Friday, July 20, 2012

Leaving a legacy

My love with the written word began in the earliest part of my life. As a lonely child, I used to spend a lot of time going to a neighbour’s house to devour the reading material available there- mainly movie magazines with juicy news about some movie stars. Later, I assuaged my reading appetite whenever my mother took me to visit her Peranakan relative. As I could not comprehend their conversation as they spoke in Malay, I buried my nose in some forgotten magazines and books. Later, my reading appetite was fed when I went to a friend’s place where lots of reading materials were available as her brother was then in the university. So far, my reading materials were all in Chinese. So when I went to an English school, I had difficulty reading English. It was only later on, when I did my further studies in English Literature that I began to fall in love with the English word. In no time, I was devouring all reading materials in English and the National Library had become my second home. Yet, despite my great appetite in reading, I had not really developed my writing skill. I remembered my secondary school teachers’ comments in my writing assignments. “Have good ideas but unable to write smoothly.” The writing I did over the years was my diary which I started when I started my teaching career at the age of eighteen. I continued to write since then and had accumulated seven to eight volumes. The writing captured my years on this earth but mainly my emotional state as I went from one relationship to another. Another book that I used to keep was my reflections on reading that I have done. Quite recently, I decided to put my past behind me and throw away my diaries. Before doing such a silly act, I managed to condense all these musings into a few pages in my more recent diaries. As I grow older, I have learnt to be more reflective and my interest has also led me to write quite differently. However, I realize that I have mostly recorded events rather than my reflections and learning from them. Furthermore, I realize that I am getting on in age and it is time to capture some of my experiences in print. Perhaps, it could be my way of sharing my experience or leaving a legacy behind. Well, it does not matter if I will ever become a writer and publish my writing but the learning experience has been good. It will be a good way to spend my time anyway as I learn to express myself more succinctly and effectively.