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'Gingerly, I unclasp the diary and open to the first page. It’s titled: 2nd February 2003. And underneath: Today I had death by chocolate cake.'
'In navigating and surviving dating-app-dates (D.A.D.’s for short), it is entirely vital to have some sort of escape system – although not necessarily one this elaborate...'
"Writers are seekers. We seek out images, new thoughts, adventure, and tales to tell. We look for meaning in all that we see, hear and feel. Gatherers are both seekers and finders."
'If I sound cold, it is because I am. The minute I understood my trauma had currency, you stopped being my mother and started being material. This icy attitude is how I survived.'
'Since we’d left, and during any this visit ‘back home’, I would hear about things like this. It painted the picture of how we needed to be grateful for where we lived now, but also so careful. We didn’t know how quickly things might turn, again.'
'...I have notebooks and diaries dating back to several years crammed with such first drafts. Often these drafts are barely legible. But they’re there, at no risk of being wiped out by a virus. The flow of ink on paper is still an unmatched sensation.'
'Shame is the unwanted legacy I am learning to leave behind. It began with my nose, the nose I inherited from my father, and his mother, and who knows how many mothers and fathers before them.'
'Numbers can't explain willpower or the territorial mothering instinct that ignited the moment I held my son for the first time. My urge to nurture and protect my son continued to grow, and it required an abundance of willpower to set my mothering instincts aside.'
'I say moved, but we never really ‘left’ Hong Kong. My father still works there. My mother and brother live there as well. My sisters and I all have permanent residency. Before COVID-19, I could still safely say that I returned at least three times every year.'
'I painted my portrait. It didn’t look like me. Closer to the assignment’s deadline, I realised that the colour of the paint I was using for my skin wasn’t quite right. The more I worked on my self-portrait, the more unrecognisable I became.'
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