Ever since I could remember, I was always filled with a deep yearning to be understood. I suppose this became clear, whether by clever photos imbued with meaning, or by spilling words out in a clumsy attempt that if you, or anyone, were to read them, they would somehow see me.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t know if the same person staring back at me is real.

It certainly doesn’t feel like he is.

We have the same eyes, the same round face, with the same slight crook across the bridge of our nose; but every single time we exchange glances I feel as if there is someone else out there, in the world, walking around with my body, wearing my stolen features, whispering things with my voice, touching someone else with my hands.

Today, or every day, I am learning again, afresh, how to be real. How to inhabit this body, this face, the new lines around my eyes. I look at myself and I know I am growing older, with each passing minute, while the world spins on its axis and money is earned and love is made and smiles traded across a crowd.

But somehow, in some inexplicable way, it is as if I am trapped in null gravity, unsure, filled with uncertainty, caught adrift on a foreign wind.

And yet, as true as tired cliches, life must go on. We must learn to believe again, to throw out the anchors and find again our bearings. Discover what it will truly mean to walk in the waking world not as a stranger in my own skin.

Everyone, I believe, desires on some level to be understood. Perhaps that is because we fear that our own true selves, without guile or armour, will turn away even the people whom we believe love us the most.

The truth is that I am tired, of trying to smile or appear genial at very least, in order to not come across as gruff or mean to the people around me. And yet the sad fact is that I cannot cease to do so.

For a very long time I have not wrote, because it felt like I had forgotten how, and now, as you can tell, I fumble and prattle about ultimately inconsequential things. I used to think that by writing, I could show you the “real” me, to lay bare the very things that I cannot reveal with my stranger’s face and my labyrinthine body.

But I still harbour a boy’s hopes and dreams, that I will be understood, in a true fashion, and that strangeness, in every way, will be regarded beautiful.

    • Anonymous
    • July 11th, 2013

    Hi, how do i contact Grace Khaw from here?

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