Something virtual such as the internet plays a big part in determining who we are as a person. What’s funnier is that I tend to play along with people’s assumptions. I dare to say that half of my Instagram followers never talked to me in real life before. Social media, it portrays individuals. How far into themselves? Not sure.
Thus, I am presenting you, the girl behind the layers of social media.
I grew up in a countryside. It takes a good hour to get there from the city. Life was slow paced and quiet. I grew up as a cheeky and petite girl with a reckless edge. Damn, 12 years old and skipping classes, climbing up a weird grave (if you were from Chung Hwa Tutong, you would know about the grave) and fought with a teacher?? Oh, my god.
I lived with boundaries. There were some people that I could not associate myself with. I lived in a box. I guess, you can say that I was taken care by maids and most importantly, my parents. I was a delicate doll, not fragile but breakable. The box, when I was out of it, I turned to this delinquent, reckless and lively girl.
Within the family tree, the comparison between individuals is essential. Family history. It goes way back. Scandalous even. Being better than everyone else, it made me feel superior. It made me feel worthy of myself because I had issues with my physique. My local family, they are of Chinese and Malay descendants. Looking at my relatives and realizing how different I am from them, that took a toll on my self-esteem. People sure do like pretty things. Thus, I find satisfaction from having more friends and doing well in school. Well, it was the latter that achieved success. The former? Nah, like I said, people? They like pretty things more. So, my cousins. They had more friends than I did. I sort of lived in their shadow until they moved to another school. Then, I changed from an introvert to a major extrovert. It was my chatty personality that brought me, my friends.
Maktab Sains. Moving to MS was hard enough. I did not know anyone, I did not have a phone while everyone had WhatsApp and I had to go back and forth from Tutong to Bandar. Year 7 and 8? I was sort of struggling with my inner self. I was thinking about “popularity”. Let’s get real, weren’t we all? I had friends but I decided to ditch them because they were not ‘cool’ enough for me. One thing that I still remember is my English. I spoke English so badly (not saying that I speak good English now but , it’s better than what I had back then) and damn, I was so embarrassed.
Year 9 & 10, I just sighed in real life! So much drama. A learning curve, I should say. From reaching the climax of my teenage life in year 9, everything else went downhill after that. It was terrible, but I managed to pull through O levels. I am truly grateful for that. Nevertheless, I was emotionally hollow and I don’t know how to vividly illustrate my situation but it sure did lead me to apply for the scholarship that I have now. This is a typical cliché story that you expect to see on TV screens but it sure did happen to me. Maybe I was just immature and childish, I don’t know. I had a guy in my life (No, mum. He wasn’t my boyfriend) and he was so special to me. He influenced me to change, be a better person and use the puppy love to better myself. Three years of a very long roller coaster ride, I decided to call it quits. I figured that I need a change of scenery to move on to bigger things in life. Hence, the scholarship.
The scholarship is something that I never really had in mind. I never actually thought that my results would be good enough for a very prestigious one. I applied for me. I did it for me. Moving to another country at just the age of 15, never in my wildest dream. Nevertheless, I managed to pull through for the first couple of months. I fell in love with the clear blue sky that Cardiff has, the soft green grass in Bute Park and the graffiti along the Millenium Stadium. I was coping well… until the last few months before my exams. Again, my mood was very paradoxical. A mixture of everything. There was a time when I did not feel like waking up and cried all day long. I was so sad? But I didn’t see any way out from the state that I was in. It felt like I was in the middle of an empty, dark tunnel and I couldn’t see the two ends of the respective tunnel. The situation at that time was never ending. That was the reason why I kept on being missing in action. Demanded space from my closest friends and shut down my social media platforms. As a natural extrovert, that wasn’t my usual self. There was something wrong. With me, that is.
What opened my eyes and snapped me out of this awful state was my result. My exam result. I am not going to comment on how I did but that sheet of paper made me realise where I stand and how my emotional state is taking a huge toll on my results. If I want to have a better one, I should start changing myself. I am not going to lose myself. I want to be bold and daring again. Just because I go to school with some Einsteins, doesn’t mean I am lower than them in any way right? I can still be the crazy Liessa I was in MS. I will stop making Cardiff adapting to me. Instead, I will adapt to Cardiff. I wasted one year here, I will cherish this one last chance that I have. Happiness is crucial. I believe you now Jing Rui, you were right, if we’re happy, our grades oso happy la.
There. On Twitter, I may sound and look like this bimbo princess. I guess my persona on social media platforms acts as my alter-ego. Not here, though, I promised. No lies. No nothing. It’s just me. Liessa.
“Bini bini yang tinggal di tutong dulu. Yang attention seeker, dulu malar stuck sama cousins nya yang lawa. Pastu ke MS tia, ramai orang banci tu. entah cana kah ia dapat scholarship atu.”
No, I am not letting you define me as something that I am not.
So you, what is YOUR story?
L I E S