I read today’s newspaper and I came across a 2-page article on coming of age too soon (NST – pages 14 &15). Funny, when I first got my period I thought it was not normal. Why you might ask? Because I reached puberty at the age of 15. Yes, I did not type it wrongly, i did reach puberty at the age of 15. I still remember the date, it was 22nd December 2004. When I was 13, the whole class had already gotten their period except yours truly. I was embarrassed with my other classmates as they were twice my size, their female assets had started to grow and I was just a little girl with a ponytail, sometimes 2 ponytails, who was as flat as a plywood and as chubby as Doraemon (no, not really THAT chubby. I was just being a little bit dramatic).

No one in my class knew that I haven’t reached puberty. At that time, I felt I wasn’t normal and to make things worst, I started to think that I might be a hermaphrodite! I wished I had my period when I was 9 or 10 and I could be like my other friends, who to me, were normal (at that time). When I read this article, I now know that it isn’t really a good thing. Besides, the earlier you get your period, the earlier you’ll get your menopause and you can’t have babies anymore.  So girls out there who are 12 and haven’t gotten your period, fear no more as it is a good thing. On average, Malaysian girls reach puberty between 9 and 13 and a half years old, so it is normal. Unless you are 18 but still haven’t gotten your period, do consult your physician.

OK, enough with the so-called advice. Moving on to what this article is all about.

Many were wondering, as an only child, what do I do to fill in my time. Well, I would gladly answer, the same things that you do except I do it alone most of the time. I’m still a normal person, minus the fact that I don’t have someone to grow up with or someone to share all my toys with. This article that I’m writing is about the things that I did when I was small and the things that I still do now. If you’re an only child reading this, your experience might differ from what I’m about to write. You might also been brought up in a totally different environment. If you are a writer, then you should write the same thing too.

You see, I was born and raised in a small town somewhere in Perak called Ipoh. If you don’t know where that is, Click Here. When I was born, my late Step Granddad (who brought up Mummy) was still alive and he wanted me to be a ballet dancer. Believe it or not, this is coming from a pious man but what to do, he loved me so much and i think he thought ballet dancers are pretty. Mummy rejected the idea because she said as i grow older, it is not appropriate for a young lady to show off their undies to live audience. (If I were a ballet dancer, I would have been slim and thin and what Malay people call it, ‘lemah lembut’). I am sometimes very clumsy and a bit rough, but sometimes I am ‘manja’ too and only few people know this. So ballet is totally out of the list, here are the things that I did instead.

Swimming.

I started swimming when I was about 3 or 4. The person who I should be thanking is Papa because without him, I would have drowned because I had a very ’round’ shaped stomach when I was small (and I still do, only a thin layer of fat due to lack of sit ups). It was only when I was 7 I started to take it to the next level. My parents hired a swimming coach to teach me the various technics of swimming. I learned back stroke, butterfly style and free style. I entered few swimming competitions but didn’t win anything. Few years later, I realized that swimming is not really something that I would do seriously and I should just do it recreationally.

Cycling.

Papa also was the one who taught me how to ride a bike. Of course, he first bought me a tricycle and as I grew older he bought me a real bicycle. I still remember the first time I could ever rode the bicycle by myself. It was in front of my house and Papa helped me push the bike, a usual practice that we did, and I didn’t realize that he pushed me and I rode happily alone. I looked back and saw Papa waving at me. I was ecstatic! Ever since that day, I only cycle in the evening at 5.30pm onwards as I can’t be under the hot sun.

Cat.

I had my first cat, Tammy Boy Adik when I was 4. I practically grew up with him. I spent a lot of time with him. Everyday when I arrive home from school, he’d wait for me at the front door. He knows when exactly is the time to wait. He has a very strong instinct. I still remember when he was still a kitten, every morning when I drink nestum straight from my “botol susu” in front of the TV, he will come running and sit on my chest and wanted some nestum. I had to fight with him over a bottle of nestum. *tears* He was my partner in crime, my cat and my brother. He passed away in 2004. He was 10 years old. P/S : I stopped drinking from my botol susu when I was 10.

Reading.

Being and only child living in a house full of 40+ folks (a polite way to say ‘old folks’) is something rather unique perhaps? I don’t know how to describe it. All I can say is I could totally understand how Benjamin Button felt when he was young. Hehe. So anyway, when you’re the youngest person in the house, you have no one to play with. Yes the old folks did play with me when I was small but they tend to get tired. My best friend ever since I could read are books. Mummy used to read to me and as I grow older, I read by myself. I don’t remember exactly how many books that I have read and I must say my favorite book for now would be “The Lieutenant’s Lover” by Harry Bingham.

Bowling.

Since I can’t really be involved in outdoor activities, I took up indoor activities and the one thing that I’m serious about until now is bowling. I started playing bowling ever since I was 12. It all began when Papa organized a tournament for his colleagues. I joined it for pleasure and I really enjoyed playing bowling. That day I realized that I really want to take this sport seriously. After the tournament, she kept on taking me play bowling. From there, Mummy could see how enthusiast I was at the bowling alley. And so, Mummy bought me a bowling ball, bowling shoes, hand guard and a bowling bag for me. She even enrolled me to bowling classes. My first coach was Shirley Chow, a former National Bowler (in the ’80s, if I’m not mistaken). I played straight ball at first and after a while, Aunty Shirley asked me to get another ball and play Hook Ball. Once I’m ready, I played professionally and played for Perak for a very short time because I had to stop and concentrate on my PMR. It was 2004. After SPM, I was enrolled in UiTM Penang and I played bowling for my campus. I had participated and organized numerous tournaments. I really love bowling and do play until now.

Writing.

I always loved English subject and ever since kindergarten, I scored high marks in English especially essays. I noticed my special gift (cehh poyo!). OK, not gift, talent since I was 14. I know, it’s quite late to discover your talent. How did I find out this talent of mine? I first wrote a song in 2004, that was when my cat, Tammy Boy Adik died. I was really depressed as he was like a brother to me. I really enjoy writing and I feel so peaceful. I know it sounds weird but I express myself better in writing. I also write poems and articles.

For now, only these 6 things I want to share with you. I’ll write more on it some other time (when I remember them). Tq for reading!

When I was 3.

.LOVE.

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