I had a question come in and because I knew it would be a long post, I decided to dedicate a whole post about it.
One of my readers asked me “What was your childhood like, and has your childhood defined who you are today?”
Here’s an insight to how I grew up, my ideology and why I am the person I am today.
In the mid 90s, something miraculous, happened. I was born at a little hospital located in Perth, called King Edward. I was light skinned and incredibly wrinkled, with tiny eyes and small purses lips. Looking at my baby photos, I had the appearance of an unhappy 할머니 (old lady). I grew up in Perth and we moved a lot. A year later, my brother was born and growing up, he was my best friend. We always played together, whether it be videogames or just running around in the garden. Because of my poor health, I was often sick and surprisingly, he was my support back then.
I was incredibly mischievous and got my brother (who I will refer to as S from now on) into so much trouble. Sorry man. I would play with the soap bar on the sink all the time, and make it fall apart into so many small pieces. I remember I destroyed a perfectly new soap bar and he took the blame for me, so I wouldn’t get into trouble. Looking at it now, he’s always taken the blame for me and he was the one who always got in trouble for it.
I didn’t have many friends growing up, so S was my only friend and the only person I’d open up to all the time. Even throughout my schooling, I only really had a small group of friends, and didn’t make my first best friend until first grade of elementary school. Her name was Kamilla. I was the only Asian child in my years of schooling, and because it was to be like that, they thought my kind was weird and something worth teasing about. I was known as the “black ching chong” since I didn’t look like the other Asians that lived here; I became dark skinned playing outside prior to going to school, so my body tanned dramatically. I was teased every single day, so I sat alone outside of the classroom and cried every lunch break we had; that was until Kamilla came up to me and asked if I wanted to play with her. From that day on, I would always wait outside of class and she’d call me over to play with her. That will be a memory that will stick with me until I die.
From there I got to know her friends and cherished them all so much; they became my new little family and people I could open up to, just like I was able to with my brother. I was, and still am, an incredibly shy person so it was hard for me to get to know people properly, and even open up to them. I found it difficult to even say a simple hello to people, and Kamilla was the person who cracked open that shell I built up for myself.
Now, I didn’t have a very positive childhood from the get go, and so much has happened throughout growing up. I’m still growing as it is, and I’m still really a little kid that’s struggling to escape their shell and becoming an adult. I remember one of my most difficult times was eating. I was a slow eater, still sort of am. It took me the entire lunch period to eat my sandwich and often at times, I couldn’t even finish my sandwich by the time lunch break was over. I was often worried when I ate because I didn’t want to choke on my food, hence why I ate so slowly. Since I ate so slow, I was told off by almost everyone, which added to my fear of eating.
At some point in my life, I just never ate at school, so I’d throw my lunch away, or flush it down the toilet. I really hated eating so much, and because I didn’t have food in my stomach, I began having stomach aches almost every day and was lacking in so much in regards to health. I was always tired, always weak and never had the aptitude to participate in anything because I couldn’t bring myself around to doing physical or mental activities.
In 3rd grade, something serious happened and it’s something I’m not talking about today. It changed my life and I’m not too sure how my life would be had it not happened. Nonetheless, it did happen and it completely changed my mind of thought today, and from that day on, I’ve gained a resentment to a particular trait of a person. From that day, I can’t look at this one particular person in the eye and even today, I’m more inclined to stay away from them if they choose to come and see me.
4th grade and my past comes back to haunt me, and I realised how much of a monster this one person was. My true fear of people began from there, and so began my hatred of life. I wished I could have just ended it there, but I didn’t and somehow I’m glad I didn’t. I realised that from that point, my grandmother, my mom and my brothers were so special to me and we truly cared for one another. This was a haunting experience for us all, and one I can’t get out of my mind ever, no matter how hard I try to block it off. I don’t know what you guys are thinking, but I can definitely say that this situation is not what you’re thinking at all, so please don’t worry haha.
5th grade came by, and I remember one distinct memory. I was hit in the head by a dart, and the needle impaled me right between my eyebrows. So close to the eyes, which I’m thankful for, because if I was blind, who’d know how I’d cope. From that day on, I never had dreams when I slept, and if I did have a dream, it would come true. I hated going to sleep because I was scared. From there, grew my insomnia, and only recently have I been able to sleep comfortably, after so many years.
In 6th grade, I was still being teased for being a ching chong, but I had Kamilla and my other friends to help support me, so I didn’t mind. I grew up almost proper, so I had the mindset of someone mature, but with a frail and weak heart, so almost anything would affect me. I still cried a lot and I almost was never happy growing up. Nobody at school really trusted me enough with their secrets, which in a way, was a blessing in disguise. I tried to fit in with the cool kids (who I want to add, are now struggling with their lives of dropping out from school and doing nothing but breeding) and lucky for me, I didn’t become friends with them in the end. With my proper attitude, I was always thinking of other’s feelings before my own, and would only say things that wouldn’t hurt someone else’s feelings. On top of that, I bottled up all my emotions and for how many years, I don’t recall, it has been sitting inside me and I was unable to let it all out until a while back where I exploded and fell into a huge slump for a few days.
My first day at middle school, I became friends with the most unpopular group in the school. Since I wasn’t very happy and wasn’t comfortable with people still, I joined the unpopular group and stuck with them all to feel better about myself. I was selfish with the mindset that if I befriended those who had it worse than me, I would appear better than them all, and that would make me happy. Of course it did none of that but my selfishness kept me there until the end. Something happened that year, which I’ve touched upon a few times and yeah, I became a laughing stock at school. The person who humiliated me probably doesn’t even remember me anymore, since I look different now, but I still see him today and I’m unable to cope whenever he shows his face around my workplace. He should have been punished for what he did because it’s wrong on o many levels, but I never had the courage at that pint in time, and unfortunately, after 7 years, it’s wrong to bring it back up again all for justice. Eh, I’ll just leave it for now, but it is something that I won’t be able to shake off, or sweep under the rug very easily.
I think only until grade 12 was I able to extend myself and make friends with everyone at the school, or so I thought. Turns out everyone in grade 12 acted all friendly with each other just to seem popular and until the last few months was I able to see everyone’s true colours and see how fake they were. I decided to act fake as well, and I realised who my good friends were. I now keep in contact with only ONE of my school friends, and her name is Ann. I don’t think she liked me at all in grade 8, but a turning point in grade 11 made me realize how much of a good friend she could be, and who knew that I would consider her friendship as special today. I’m so glad that she’s still kept me in my life since I still hold her quite high today.
How has all of this affected how I am today? Well, with my childhood, I was always quiet and very reserved, so there are still hints of that personality in myself today. I can now eat comfortably and I have become too loud for everyone’s liking, but all in all, I am more compassionate, and though I give off bitchy vibes with my facial expressions or with my attitude, I’m truly kind hearted and I am a nice person. Since people were often mean to me; I suppose I’ve developed a knife tongue, that is to say, I’m very unfiltered and will speak my mind if need me. My past still haunts me, but I’ve learnt quite a bit growing up, and most of the people I call friends now, often tell me my mindset is mature well beyond my years.
There’s a little voice inside me telling me that I shouldn’t grow up yet, since I’m holding on to my childhood still and until I’m ready to let go, I shouldn’t force myself to grow up more than I have. There’s a song I’ve had on repeat for the past few days that discusses how I’m feeling at the moment. The song is called “Closer” and is sung by the KPOP group, 오마이걸 (Oh My Girl). The song in itself is very angelic and mellow with so much sadness with the tune and the way they sing, but that’s beside the point. What drew my attention to the song is the actual video, and how much symbolism is depicted in 3 minutes.
The video begins with a huge clock and a massive forest like backdrop with a run down car sitting in the centre. Inside the car lays a still body of a girl, draped in a white cloth. The video cuts to the girls standing in a circle dancing around, which, when looked closely at, is symbolic for the clock at the beginning. There is also a waterfall shown and a close up of a tree bark covered in fungus, which symbolizes the flow and progression of time.
One of the singers dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood and her purpose is to show disguise and leads the protagonist through a journey back in time to correct mistakes. Red Riding Hood symbolizes disguise as the hood shield her from factors that can harm or alter. When she takes her hood off, we can assume that she no longer needs protection and that her task at hand has been fulfilled. Red Riding Hood takes the protagonist through a hall of broken mirrors and towards a jetty off a small island. The protagonist is lead to a small boat where she sees a little deer standing upon some water, which can resemble pureness that is of a child. Once off the boat, the protagonist walks towards a huge mirror that isn’t broken. I believe the broken mirrors represent the changes of time and that factors can lead you through a journey you didn’t expect, so your expectations aren’t always met throughout life. Now, when the protagonist sees the huge mirror, that can show that even though life gets tough, you can still see that the glimmer of hope you held onto can still be accomplished.
When the protagonist touches the mirror, she is transported to the forest that was shown at the beginning of the video; which may indicate that she has gone back to reflect on what happened in the past and what means she can take to correct any wrongs. She walks towards the run down car at the start of the video to find the body of the girl inside the car. A flashback is shown where the girl in the car is grabbing a golden apple off a tree and the protagonist tries to stop her by grabbing her hand. The scene cuts to all the girls having a lunch in what I believe to be the Garden of Eve, a symbol for youthfulness and happiness. When the girl eats the apple, she faints and the happy girls in the garden fades away.
From this scene, it connects to the rest of the scenes shown before. The main storyline is that the protagonist has grown up and she’s stopping the girl from becoming an adult. Since the girl didn’t heed her advice, she took a bite of the apple and collapsed on the floor. This can resemble the first steps into adulthood and how hard it really is to be an adult. The song ends with the girls disappearing, to symbolise that they’ve all become adults and can no longer be pure like children.
It’s hard to explain, so it’s probably advisable to watch the music video to understand the story a bit more. I have the video link for you here. If you don’t understand Korean, then ignore the language they’re singing in and focus only on the story at hand. Otherwise, listen to the lyrics as they are relatively poetic and ties well with the story as well.
That’s my current mindset about growing up now. As much as I want to grow up and finally be an adult, I just can’t find myself breaking away from the childhood I wish I had, and it’s that little voice inside my head telling me to stay for as long as possible that’s keeping me from growing up. If I had the chance to change my childhood, then I would because I don’t want anybody to go through all that, especially at a young age. But, things happen for a reason and in a way, it has made me wiser, and more caring for those around me, though I don’t show it very often. I also feel, since I have gone through that, I can be somewhat of a support crew for those who’ve gone through what I have, or if someone needs a shoulder to lean on.
I didn’t mean for this post to be so long, but as usual, it happened and if you have read to the end, then I congratulate you and wanted to give you a very sincere thank you. This was a little summary of my childhood, and I hope my answer was enough to answer your question thoroughly. If you wanted me to delve deeper into my childhood; that is to say, if you’re not satisfied yet, then by all means let me know through my SNS or comments below what else you want me to touch on, or go deeper into, and I will happily explain for you. As per usual, like this post if you found it interesting and subscribe to my blog for weekly Q&A’s, beauty reviews and random chats from time to time. Until the next post~
Anthony signing out.