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  • Writer's pictureMalar Villi

Out of the closet

I have been writing from a very young age, as young as when I knew how to form sentences. I used to write notes to my dad and hide them in his lunch box to remind him " Appa, please come back, sober " and prayed. I learned how to write in Tamil to communicate with him. In our family, I was the black sheep who could not contain her thoughts to herself. I needed an outlet, and it has to be with the person that I needed closure. Some of these letters worked because appa came back sober. Other times, the magic of the note failed. Then I wrote to sulk over my unfulfilled dreams, the forbidden dreams of wanting to dance and perform. At other times, the pains of being misunderstood and accused of mistakes at home and not having a chance to tell my story. I didn't know that these stories would form a large part of my identity of who I am today. These stories are my wings today and help me to remember who I am and how miraculously I feel lifted by many angels throughout my life journey. These stories are my DNA today because they formed my future when I didn't know how to dream. They shifted me from a pessimist to an optimist. I wrote in the past to cure my helplessness. Today, I write for hopefulness. I write to my kids as I miss my dad a lot more. I wished for just another chance to have conversations with him. I wanted to know my roots better. The more I missed him, the more I wrote to my kids, in case they want to know me better, some day. When I signed up for my creative writing course in 2012, I didn't expect so many stories from my past to emerge only to heal my heart. But yet, I didn't dare share. It has taken me fifteen years of telling these stories in class and finally having the courage now to write them down. As I step out today to tell my stories that define me, I hope many others who fear being judged, like I have, will step out with me, in spirit. I stepped out and looked at my closet, and wow, it's been such a colourful life. Wish me courage in telling these stories as I remember them.

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