It’s certainly common knowledge that different colours make up a rainbow. It is in a similar fashion that I believe it takes many different shades of colours to clearly define an individual from any one else. I am no exception to my very own analogy. At first glance, the public sees what is perhaps the most obvious shade of me that makes me the unique individual I am. They see me on a pushchair, they see my physical disability known as Cerebral Palsy.
Life with Cerebral Palsy has vastly limited my physicality, leaving me with minimum control of my limbs, hands and feet. This sole reason makes it understandable why strangers might sometimes view me as weak or fragile, and try to encourage me by telling me how brave I am to be stepping out into the world, with as much normalcy as possible despite obvious challenges. While I am thankful for their kind intentions, my one and only reply will always be that I’m not brave, I’m merely doing my best at living my life.
These very words, perhaps, are the reason the other two shades I’m about to mention hold the key to the depths that encompass the core of my individuality…
My knack for public speaking was discovered thanks to the Toastmasters International which provided me with opportunities and the freedom to discover and harness all related skills. Contrary to popular belief in today’s society, not every child’s talent or call is discovered at a young age, as was the case with my passion for public speaking. I started off as someone whom others found difficult to understand when I read aloud, and emerged as a woman who tugs at the heartstrings of others through my words. I wish for my experience to resonate with my readers and inspire them to endlessly work on their passion.
The second of the other two shades that act as the catalyst for putting together this book is the fact that I’m a writer. My love affair with words started at the tender age of 10… I’m not certain if it was my physical circumstances or some other unseen force that sparked my interest in reading, but it didn’t take long for interest to morph into a kind of obsession. With time, it dawned on me that as much as the words from books told me of people, places and events they wanted to share with me, I too could do the same with my own words and much more. Although an obvious route of writing was to emulate what I loved the most, i.e. to write a novel of my own, I eventually found that I favoured and expressed myself best in poetry.
With so much said, many who know of my flair for writing often ask where my inspiration for my poems lay. The truth is… I have no specific root for it but if I really have to pinpoint an answer, I would say my personal experiences, unspoken thoughts and unique views on societal norms are the cornerstones to my poems.
As you come upon each poem in this book, I hope you get to see different shades of me as a writer, a woman and most of all, realize that ‘differences’ are nothing more than extras in the human experiences we all share.