Taken during cherry blossom season this year, Spring 2021

I disappeared because of several things.

1). I received some creepy messages from someone. At first I thought they were genuinely appreciating my ramblings and I entertained them but when I realised they had some other ideas, I felt it was too late and I would either have to disappear from my blog space or at least take a short break so they won’t pursue me anymore. I blamed myself for not seeing the signs and also felt rather embarrassed by the fact that I wanted readership on my blog that much. I always told myself when I started writing on the blog that I would not deliberately seek readership because seeking for accolades and followers seem somewhat trite just like asking for likes and follows or Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. I just want to write because I enjoy it but I guess not-so-deep inside of me there’s a need to have some readership. On the other hand, I felt that my privacy and fragile sense of safety had been compromised and violated. But I also felt that maybe I brought on this unwanted attention to myself by continuing the line of communication despite my initial gut instinct to ignore it, no matter how terse I was in the exchanges. However, it has taken me nearly a year to spew all this out because some issues which had more gravity than this happened in my life giving me a much-needed perspective. And I arrived at the conclusion that I do not want to be pushed out of my own space I have created by invisible demons, real or imagined. What I learned from all of this is to not share my person information too much (wow – a basic rule of being online but here I am still learning about it), to trust my gut instincts, and to be absolutely ruthless if I do not want to continue communicating with a prick who likes to push me into a tiny little you-seem-like-a-meek-Asian-girl box based on his limited world view and experience.

2). The second reason for my disappearance is because I want to talk about feminism and it seems this topic makes so many men and women uncomfortable and everyone feels they need to challenge the person who dares to express their views and I am afraid of being challenged and my natural shy self likes to run away from confrontation. I always feel deficient in explaining my standpoint when it comes to this topic because I feel I am a bad feminist. I have read Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex from cover to cover or finished reading Caroline Perez’s Invisible Woman. I can’t talk about intersectional feminism succinctly and eloquently either. So I get scared and not want to continue writing about things which have huge impact on my mental and physical health, and my career. But no more of that because what I know is I identify as a woman and I have women friends. I have been on the receiving end of sexual discrimination and racial discrimination in my line of work, and in my personal life. I like to push myself into a little corner and if anyone challenged me, instead of rising up, I tend to to cower away but I am tired of that. If anyone has any issue with it, just bring it on. I will ignore or address accordingly but I really do not wish to self-censor out of another imagined demon.

3). My country, Myanmar, is under a military coup. It has been 123 days to be exact and it has been 123 days of hell for me and worse for Myanmar people inside the country. Since then I have pushed myself to become more active on Twitter and found my own voice in this very chaotic and complicated turmoil slash nightmare. I have found channels to help my country people in ways I have never imagined I could and it has given me a newfound confidence and energy to plough on no matter how disheartening it may seem and it has been pretty dire if you have been following the news on Myanmar. This has given me strength to kick the self-doubt and to get over myself and to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t.

Writing has been always been cathartic and therapeutic for me, and even more important that this is that in order to write, I have to read. Writing nudges me to read more and I like myself when I’m reading or drawing. Since the beginning of the coup, I’ve learned I know very little about the country which I identify as a part of. How can I have an identity which I identify with but not be able to explain a small part of it? So I am back with a bang – in addition to the scholarship podcast I have started for Myanmar students boycotting the evil junta, I will start a new podcast with the same name of my blog. My podcast will include whimsical poem readings which I admit has been my latest crazed but most importantly I want to discuss books written by marginalised voices, explore texts both fiction and non-fiction on discrimination written by others like myself (a woman of colour). I want to know more so I can be more and through my learning process, I want to highlight bodies of work from my country which has never been presented to the world because the revolution in the country has ignited a revolution in my heart as well.

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