• Melissa Kartini

#MyFirstTime: For Everything

Updated: Aug 6, 2018

Since I was a kid, I am terrified to connect with people because of my flaws, but at the same time, I wasn’t comfortable with being bullied by other kids. Just like everyone else, I also want to stand out for something that I’m great at. To be recognised and acknowledged.

Do I have a pretty TV star face like some of my friends do? Nope.

Was I a rich, spoiled brat who could show off her Luna or decker pencil box or fancy bags? Also nope.

Neither do I have a golden voice nor the athletic ability to make people cheer and be happy.

I was just a loner and my friend had just been snatched from me by someone else. We became friends because she was my neighbour and her house was close to mine. That said, she never really cared about me. But I still miss her and that was my first heartbreak. It hurt, of course.

There is nothing great about being a loner, and in order to not be invisible, I had to do something since luck was not on my side. Effort was and is the only way.

I started with being smart. In theory, it should be easy peasy, but it isn’t when you’re in first class and short yet seated at the back of the class. So what did I do? I shouted so the whole class could hear me. Yes, I did. Even if I did sweat a bit when the whole class, including my teacher, turned their heads to look at me. But I had to do it!

I did get laughed at, though, since the answer was “penyodok sampah” and not “cam”, like I had shouted. Well, can I really be blamed for that when my mom refers to dustpans in her dialect? Even now. Still, I managed to grab their attention. I was already unique in my own way.

The attention I got was priceless. From time to time I worked hard to excel in my studies. Teachers even mentioned my name and placed their bets on my UPSR results! One of my classmates even challenged me to a spelling bee and phew, that was a happy moment for me.

I didn’t limit myself to excelling in my studies; I also wanted to know what being on stage feels like. I joined a fashion show that was organised by my school and although confidence is everything on stage, I was shaking. Well, at least I satisfied my curiosity even though I failed. I was still great at NILAM and further built my confidence by answering some questions for a contest in front of everyone.

I secured my place so people knew me and none would bully me. For the latter in particular, I learned some kicks and jabs thanks to some kung fu moves from Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies I watched back then. Not to mention WWE. My dad was a huge fan.

He was and forever will be my hero. He taught me to be strong, wise, mature, honest and independent. God bless his soul and may he rest in peace.

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