Creative Piece - Identity and Belonging

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“You ungrateful little brat, after all the money I spent on you. You quit?” Those were the exact words my mother uttered to me when she found out I quitted on Kandyan dancing. You see, I was always a disappointment in her eyes. No matter what I did, I was never good enough. Then there comes a time in your life when you just don’t give a damn to what she tells you. When did this begin? It all started with the swimsuit.

Step one – Wear a one-piece swimsuit in public.
I was 17 years old. It was Max’s 18th. It was a pool party with chaperones, one person in particular happened to be my cousin. It was a cool party. The weather was nice, sunny but a breeze wind now and then. Things were good until my attempts to leave the changing rooms. I was halted by one of the ladies that worked there. Apparently, the swimming pool had a specific set of rules for what you had to wear in the pool. I had not known that. At the time, I was wearing a pair of blue shorts and a baggy grey t-shirt. I was not allowed to swim, in these clothes and since I didn’t owe a swimsuit - she decided to lend me a one-piece swimsuit. I was exposed. I was self-conscious of my body. Never in my life have I worn fitted clothes and to top it off, I had a chubby body. I wasn’t obese but I had my fair share of flabbier. This made me feel out of place, I was insecure of my body more than usual because all my friends looked good! Besides I was a tomboy. This made my cousin my cousin laugh so much, she could barely stand up. Yup, thanks for the self-esteem boost. You can just imagine, what happens next. It was so funny that she had gone and told my mum. Who angrily said “villi lagga nathi adumak?” (Are you not shamed in showing off your body like that?) I was grounded for a month. I was isolated from my friends, the TV in my room was removed and lastly the play station was taken to my brother’s room. A space, I wasn’t allowed in. Step two – Get a B+ for your exam.

I was fifteen, when my brother...
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