Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Furious Sneeze (My Life In 300 Words)

I lay in her arms, ears still ringing from the hit-and-run, and hair moist from the mix of blood and broken glass. I was less than 3 weeks old and the car was even younger. My elder brother sat stunned in the front seat whilst my father frantically forced the doors open to get us out, all the while praying to God to save his baby. At the Alexandra Hospital, it was discovered that the blood on my head originated from my mother’s arm, fractured when she instinctively shielded me upon impact.

When he heard I was safe, my grandfather, a devout Methodist pastor, dubbed me as ‘favoured, and destined for great things’. Growing up, I often heard my family repeat this to me. Positive reinforcement, they call it. However, instead of developing my self-esteem and confidence, I became burdened by the weight of expectation. I once remained speechless for 5 minutes during an interview - so great was my fear of disappointing the panel with the wrong answer. That was the cycle I lived in.

I have spent the last decade fighting this cycle by choosing paths that were significant but not necessarily conventional. After my national service, I spent two years in a bible school which taught me that life is measured by love; by how much we give. It is with this perspective that I have spent 3 years working at a charity organization whose beneficiaries were people with an intellectual disability. I have also led volunteer groups to Thailand and Nepal to conduct camps for youth and to serve at an orphanage.

This is the story of my life so far: to take every experience, no matter how bad, and turn it into something beautiful so as to inspire and encourage others.

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