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How do I get here?

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Dammit. What. To. Write!!!

I’ve been staring on this page longer than I should. I’m not talking hours, but almost two-fucking-weeks. I have the tab open on draft mode for days, hoping to craft at least a paragraph out but still couldn’t. And I’m struggling to commit to this because I have better options than to actually sit down at Starbucks or any one of those hipster coffee places I choose to get caffeinated at.

I could just dismiss this – I know I have this as option, do some more walking around the city (which I’m sort of doing today — in between this, of course) and stop by another coffee place and continue reading Bad Feminist or  I could watch some YouTube videos until I get bored while eating Shihlin crispy fried chicken (I’m addicted to that shit). I’d probably choose the latter cause I’m lazy like that.

The power of self reminder

But I can’t. I can’t have those other options. I have – must – gotta – write this post.

Often I have to remind myself about my purpose here. Why I’m doing this blog and the role I wanted to take when I set it up a couple of years ago. This continuous self reminder of why TFTPG exists is the very reason why I have the distraction-free mode on right now, trying to write a blog post that might not matter to anybody else but me.

So I go back to the About page of this blog and re-read what I wrote back then:

WHAT is That Fat Tudung Party Girl about?

The blog is a platform for me to remind myself of who I truly am and why I am the way I am right now. I’m writing to share my journey, my story, my fight, my search for that happiness I’ve managed to achieve so far and hoping to achieve more soon. That Fat Tudung Party Girl is also my way of telling the world that sometimes, accepting people’s choices to be who they are, or in other words, to just be themselves, could possibly be the wisest thing to do. This however, is not me giving you a green light to ‘leave other people alone’ (though you gotta do that sometime) or ‘mind your own business’ for that matter. What I’m hoping to achieve through That Fat Tudung Party Girl is to get people to never stop caring. And that is exactly why I’m writing this blog: I care.

Damn girl, you got big words.

Credit: Maharis Azman

Of promises and your actual ability to live up to it

I realised that I haven’t used big words in sentences in a while. I’ve been too focused in looking at and using words like ‘audience segment’, ‘market insights’, ‘integrated campaign’, ‘native content’ or ‘strategy and tactics’ these past years. Now how do I ‘show the world that I care’, ‘inspire people to care’ or ‘help girls boost self esteem’ when subconsciously, I don’t continue to preach as promised?

I got a few girls sent me personal emails from the moment one of my articles went viral and asked me to give them tips on how to become more confident or love their body better, or how to dress better than skinny girls when you’re… well, fat. (Sigh – this shouldn’t be a statement or a question, because you shouldn’t want to feel like you dress better than any girls. Remember, fellow ladies are not your competition!)

I love these kind of emails. I got them, read them, feeling extremely humble, felt ’em pains and get inspired by them; and I try to reply to each and every single one of them and I began making promises — like ‘Hey, I’ll write about that.’. ‘Hey, thanks for the email. You just inspired me to write a post about that, bla bla.’ But I didn’t — I ended up not publishing shit. Not living up to the promises I made in those emails.

Not that I didn’t try.

I drafted out a few — heck, that’s an understatement. I drafted out a lot. Some has potential, some are okay, while the majority are shit. But one thing I learned from continuous drafting – and this is the main reason why I never published any of them – is that I tend to question a lot of my input. I scrutinise a lot of them and asked myself this question a lot: What makes you credible?

When one starts questioning her own self credibility on things she understands and passionate about the most, you can immediately tell that that person still have underlying issues somewhere she have yet to sort out. And I had that issue – heck I still have it and at one given moment, I was like, what — me? 

How do I get here?

It was in late 2012 when I rebranded the blog and call it That Fat Tudung Party Girl and have this cool logo Fairiz designed for me. It has been almost three years since that rebranding or recreation or whatever you want to call it. And three years is not too short a time to change and indeed I’ve changed – at least some parts of me.

I had a conversation with my colleague, the very talented Maharis Azman about change. I won’t highlight the gist of our story, but Ari mentioned how life has somewhat changed how he subconsciously react to something a certain way, the way he wouldn’t – say – when he was my age.

The same way I would treat a new album Mos Def/Yasiin Bey might release in the near future (baby, I’m hoping for this moment to come). The way I would respond to people questioning my ongoing career jump or why I change jobs like ‘I change clothes’. Even the way I reacted and response to old friends who literally never change – how my words might hurt them the way I never would years ago. How I’ve changed to become brutally honest in some respect and careless in another. How I get bored in the idea of pursuing a relationship when in the end I ended up getting out before I even started just because I fear it might go against the plans I made for myself. How I’m not ashamed to tell people that I listen to Rihanna or Miley Cyrus or sing rock kapak songs at karaoke. How I am not ashamed to admit that I love makeup and reapplying my makeup in public and will just tell people off when they begin making remark about it. How instead of actually throwing tantrum, I just… cry and be okay with my vulnerability. How I like to stay indoor a lot more or eat out alone a lot more. How I’m becoming more critical of the idea of gender balance or political reform. How I might not care about whether I would stand out in a crowd full of people because I tend to be quirkier, louder or just naturally an attention seeker and most importantly, not caring about whether people would like or disapprove my presence.

Now at the age of 28, I’m beginning to get real about why I’m here and how I ended up here. I asked myself a lot if I like it here (read: not really in the context of the place I’m in – just generally – here) and my answer to that is becoming more and more apparent and straightforward. Precise and on point.

I have less doubt about my principles or my take on things or the decisions I made. I might not be so firm in less important things but when it’s a matter of life and love, now and the future, the majority of the time, I am sure. I am beginning to be in control of my consciousness. And I’m no longer afraid of being different and I don’t have to work hard to be different anymore – I don’t have to dress nice, prove that I’m one of a kind or talented, or I don’t have to say some big words – because I’m beginning to accept the fact that I’m different.

That’s it.

I have now beginning to accept the flaws that I have, the good and the bad that I am, the craziness that I am, the curvy fat lady that I am, the sloppy that I am, the limited talent that I have, even those that I don’t. I’m beginning to accept that it’s okay to lose when you’ve fought your battle. Or to choosing the exit. And that I’m a flawed Muslim trying to becoming a better Muslim – one who’s moderate and never righteous. Or the fact that I might never get married.

I accept them. Or at least, I’ll work and learn to accept them.

I guess this is how I get here.


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