Sunday, 4 April 2010

Rising Star

This blog is dedicated to 'Anonymously Addicted' who, in yesterday's comments, wrote:

"OMG- am I addicted?? Where's yesterdays blog Grace? TALK TO US!!!!!!"

Whilst I had in fact posted a blog the day before, it was, by my own admission, rather insubstantial.

So today I'm making up for it by telling you a story. A word of warning; it's my longest post to date and may require tissues. It's about a 5-year old me, my out-of-control tricycle, bully twin sisters and my Barbie star pendant.

My childhood home was situated at the highest point of a cul-de-sac. The land plateaued in front of our property before making its steep descent to a main road, which connected us to an adjoining court. We (my brothers and I) were not permitted to venture outside our court. It was the law; one I adhered to without ever, intentionally, breaching.

One day I was riding my fixed wheel tricycle, when I started gaining too much speed down the hill. The pedals were spinning faster than my little legs could manage and I remember feeling totally out of control as I accelerated towards the legal boundary.

There was nothing more I could do than to hold on for dear life. My trike arrested once it crossed the border and ascended the hill on the other side (to this day I am thankful a car wasn't travelling on the main road that connected the two courts).

I knew I'd be in trouble for breaking 'the law', but what I didn't anticipate was the trouble I'd be in from landing in enemy territory. The twin sisters from the opposing court were renowned for being bullies, though I'd never known it first hand. That is, not till that fateful day.

The wicked sisters of the west charged towards me, their brother in tow. Before I could retreat to the safety of my turf, I was being restrained by the boy who held my arms behind my back. They each took turns at using me as a punching bag, not to mention scratching me and pulling my hair.

I can still hear my voice crying out loud and desperately shouting at my then 3 year old brother, "Don't just stand there!" but really, what could he do? (I'm so grateful now that they didn't turn on him too).

Then they did the unthinkable.

They grabbed my golden Barbie star pendant, along with the necklace it was attached to, ripped it off my neck and threw it down the street drain.


This hurt more than the punching, the scratching and the humiliation.

That was my favourite piece of jewellery before being acquainted with my next favourite; a bluebird on a silver-plated chain. I had received the gold star as a birthday present with an accompanying Barbie doll (I'm sure the pendant was meant to accompany the doll, though to me that faux-gold star was worth more than the 'perfect plastic woman').

I don't remember much after the beating, other than being left in a heap at the bottom of the street. I was sobbing uncontrollably and attempted to retrieve my beloved Barbie star pendant. But no matter how far I reached, or how hard I tried, I could not get to it. I just looked at it through the concrete gap, crying, and crying... and crying.

Years later I found myself in Kuala Lumpur. It was the day after our 6th wedding anniversary and my husband was out buying bike parts for his impending cycling trip in north India. I on the other hand was heading to south India and preferred doing more girlie things prior to my departure, like browsing for shoes.

Our anniversary gift to each other was a romantic few nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers, which was just lovely. Only whilst I was out on my shoe expedition, I came across this diamond-studded white gold star (pictured) and thought it an apt encore to the previous night's celebration.

It instantly reminded me of the loved one I lost in that incident, bringing forth a flood of emotions. Instead of running away from the memory and the pain it regurgitated, I wanted to rise above it. And so, in that moment, I did the unprecedented act of buying myself a valuable jewellery item (albeit under the guise of an anniversary present from my husband).

This pendant is my 'rising' star.

It is my daily reminder of how I can overcome obstacles and rise above adversity no matter how big (or old) they are, or I am. It is a reinforcement to me now, and a comfort to the little girl that I grew from.

In times of self-doubt, I hold it. It speaks of my strength and resilience. It prompts me to let go of the past, with a promise that the future will be better. When I catch sight of it in the mirror, I can't help thinking that perhaps there's something else it's trying to tell me... and possibly the reflection I see, is the rising star within me.

Until tomorrow, may you seek what reflects the rising star within you.

Grace xx

ps. As I wrote today's blog, I realised the uncanniness that the reunion between me and my star all took place while I'd been sleeping in the shadows of the world's tallest twin sisters, the Petronas Towers, and my husband was looking for bike related products (quite possibly brake parts) - is that the Twilight Zone theme I hear playing?

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  1. I remember you telling me this story long ago. I think it is brave and strong that you put this story out, to repeat it in black & white, and to let people see your wound, so don't be afraid to let it receive a little fresh air and sunlight, and then perhaps it will stop festering in the shadows! By letting it out, its power over you is diminished. Garrie xx

  2. Thank you Garrie,

    You're right about the wound festering - it's been doing that for years.

    I lost my innocence that day and never had closure. This act of 'putting it out there' is my way of letting it go.

    Can you believe I've spent 8 hours over the course of 12 going over this blog again and again. Reworking it, rereading it, and so on. It's not only 'big' in the number of words, but it's big as in term of it's impact. I wonder how I'll feel tomorrow...?

    On that note, I'm off to bed. It's after midnight here and this Cinderella has turned into a pumpkin!

    Thank you again for your words,
    Grace xx


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