My History lecturer once said,
“There must always be a tragedy to change a nation or the world.”
He was referring to his beloved Iran which he had to leave as a young boy when the war broke. That was about 20 years ago. During the period of moving away and experiencing life in Europe and Canada, he longs for the day he could see peace and justice restored in his home, his real home.
“People have to die and only then will we be brave enough to take a stand and change.”
We were shocked by what he said. Why must there be death first to provoke change? But that’s just it. You have to be provoked to start the change. You have to be controversial and you have to be so hurt that anger resonate in your heart. Only then will you change.
It applies in your daily life too. Well, at least mine.
If you were to know me personally, you’d know that I’m really confident and outspoken. I’m so-called ‘different’ from other girls who are plus sized. My personality is my charm and although it’s hard for me to open up to new people, once I get comfortable with you, I’ll show you me.
It was never this way though.
As a kid, I was teased for being chubby. My family (distant families included) were all relatively slimmer than me. Kids made fun of me all the time. Family birthdays are the worst because I have an uncle who would always tell me to not eat cake because I was too fat for my own good. So I would usually eat cake alone in the kitchen where nobody would see me or I would eat a small piece of cake though I desperately wanted more; those normal sizes my cousins had, not necessarily a big chunk of cake.
I remember going for my grandmother’s birthday and my uncle was there. He was making fun of me for being chubby. When I went to the living room with a tiny slice of cake – because I knew he would say something if I bring out a big slice of cake, and was about to take the first bite, my uncle saw me, ran to me and made fun of me again, this time, even worse. I was so hurt that I just gave the cake back to my mother (I didn’t eat it), asked her for the house keys and walked back home, crying.
I was 10.
I hated myself and I hated my uncle. I thought to myself, if my own family do not love me, then what am I to my friends? They must hate me even more and find me useless! As a child, family is important because you depend so much on family and they are the only ones that matter most to you. So imagine how shaken up I was knowing that my family didn’t like me as much.
When I went to high school, I was not only teased for being chubby, but I was also teased for speaking English. I went to a school outside of the city, so everyone didn’t really know how to speak English. Whoever spoke English was called a show off. I felt alone and unloved. Nobody wanted to be friends with me. I hate to fake my personality to suit to what these people like, then only was I accepted. It was horrible.
But as I grew up, I started defending myself whenever people say mean things to me or about me. I would be really sarcastic and that in turn showed them that I was able to stand up for myself. My sarcasm was mirrored as me being confident with myself. But my greatest confidence booster was through my new found passion in public speaking where I was the school’s public speaker and I too hosted/emceed most of the events in school.
Because I was known for my ability to speak, I would always be invited to be a part of events by the school or represent the school for outside events or workshops, which in turn, broaden my horizon up and allowed me to gain more experiences and knowledge.
I learn to ignore jerks and only take in what matters most to me; friends and family who accept me the way I am. I began to love myself and my body and put myself out there more. I learn to shut up and observe people before opening myself to them in order to not get hurt and to choose friends wisely.
Two of the many emcee gigs that I did post-high school.
I have to say that I’m pretty proud of how I turned out in the end; despite all the mental bullying/ tortures and I couldn’t be happier when friends; new and old, tell me how they wished they can have some of my traits; trait which I would never had acquired had I not face all these tragedy growing up.
So, I suppose it is true that only with tragedy, would one be provoked to make a change and be the change.
I changed, that’s pretty hard to ignore! :)