Look what I found! Oh my god, found this in one of my older (now private) blog entries, circa 2009. I can’t remember what I wrote this for (probably a scholarship application) but the bit that is kind of cute and caught my attention is that I jotted this sentence just before the paragraph:
Sometimes I think this IS my one true love.
…Now I can’t even remember the competitions mentioned, what more the essays for each. Plus my grammar even back then… (covers face in embarrassment). Honestly sometimes this still feels like the hardest breakup, y’know? Though in hindsight and borrowing the wise words of my writing mentor, “What breakup? This is a sabbatical!”
Activity: Essay-writing competitions (high school)
Writing has always been a passion of mine. At 15, I participated in my first essay-writing competition, organized by the Malaysian Revenue Board with taxation as the theme. I was surprised to win the bonus prize! Later that year, I participated in an Independence Day-themed poetry-writing competition by a local university and was one of the Top 25 winners. This motivated me to continue, and in my senior year of high school, I participated in a global-warming-themed essay by the Malaysian Energy Center and won first-place. Yet, my greatest achievement is obtaining a “Highly Commended” essay in the Commonwealth 2008 essay-writing competition. To me, this is proof that the talent and passion I have towards writing means something. I still believe I am not the best writer in the world but I know that there are people who find value in my stories; this is more than enough.
I’ll close with a fitting reminder from one of my all-time favorite writers – I hope I’ve indeed come a long way since then:
Even among the most reluctant and doubtful of writers, this willfulness must emerge. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, “Listen to me.”
– Jhumpa Lahiri