Being Authentic


I am a transgendered woman and I like to think I have grown into my looks in my four decades on this mortal plane.

In my teenies, I would never leave the house without a full-on made-up face, in the style of a Chinese Opera huadan (her Western opera counterpart being the soprano), complete with Twiggy-esque lashes. In my twenties, I pared down to a dusting of loose powder, thinned out the Audrey Hepburn wing-tips, but kept the big lashes. Now it’s my freckles and wing-tips against the world.


Against the world, huh… Oh yes, I heard myself.

I wonder if I’ll ever be fully comfortable in my own skin. And stop putting on a front because I believe people would like me better if I did.

I have had breast augmentation. So, in a way, the skin over my mounds didn’t come with the original package. My twenties involved injecting some sort of filler into my chin in order to elongate it, and to achieve that oval huadan 瓜子脸 guazilian (literally, shaped like a melon-seed) face-shape I used to believe to be the ideal feminine shape.

And, look, I’m still wearing makeup!

Coincidentally, my current makeup budget is directly proportional to the minimum wage that I’m drawing as a barista.

I did write a few articles for a couple of magazines, plus a copywriting project for a major healthcare institution in Singapore – and, boy oh boy, did I milk these “glories” till the cows come home. To everyone and anyone I would come across at social events, I was a full-fledged writer.

I created my own reality, as Abraham the collective consciousness, would remind me. The Universe would never give us more if we are not ready to handle our current lot (can’t remember which Hayhouse author/radio guest said this. Sorry!)


And right now, my life is filled with clutter.


Kerri Richardson, author of What Your Clutter is Trying to Tell You, defines clutter as, essentially, anything that doesn’t serve any purpose. Like how I wouldn’t face up to reality: Dreaming of being someone that I wasn’t.

While my ego would say, “I have a way with words. Why shouldn’t I tell people I *am* a writer. Don’t they always say ‘Fake it till you make it’?”

Well, it’s been a while, and I still don’t have a publishing deal, and certainly no one has clamoured for my still-in-progress manuscript.

Freelance magazine writing isn’t creating a sustainable income, I have only written a handful of articles (a couple more, here and here).

Do peruse them at leisure and hopefully it might deliver a few laughs; If they did, and you happen to be an editor or would like to tell your brand’s story to the world, I would sincerely love to help. (Get in touch by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this post.)

Alright, that’s enough marketing. I guess what I’m trying to say is the Universe has been very kind to remind me time and again to be authentic – three different sources to be exact.

And enough is enough, if my faking didn’t make me into a writer, then I’m facing up to reality.

I no longer have any delusions about my writing experience. Believe me, I tried. Résumés to various publishers have been rejected. I even sabotaged the only chance to freelance for an arts magazine.

For now, I am staying in the F&B industry. I have quit my job at the café, and have found a better-paying job as a barbeque cook. My only hope is that I will have the courage to face up to my new reality.

While I am used to wielding a certain authority in the café, I have to make peace that I will no longer be able to do that at my new job. I will be the newbie. I have to get into the mindset that the skill set I learnt at the café might be redundant; I will have to unlearn all that’s ingrained in my ego, and humbly re-learn everything from scratch.

Back to basics.

Pray for me, brothers and sisters.

The Universe shall show the way.


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