Pardon the blurry, but I just want to get back to my writing mojo. Been quite a while, but here I go, trying to find my writing voice (yet again) in the midst of all the (social media) noise.

Back in the time when masks were not the “in” thing, my “mask” was a shawl.

Hung around my neck, around my waist, or onto my bag, I have always carried a scarf. Long ones, short ones, colourful and plain ones. I got one for each occasion that would require me to dress up and be in front of people.

I loved my shawls! Some I purchased abroad during tours, others lovingly gifted to me by family and friends. Keeps me warm when it is cold. Or to cover my nose and mouth when smoke and dust hit my face as I walk the polluted streets. Or just to accessorise.

But not anymore, I have not worn one since the pandemic began.

You see, I had a realisation that the shawls were just an accessory I can easily do away without.

So, in the middle of quarantine in 2020 and when we had to go back to serving at church, I found myself not bringing or wearing any. I realised it only a few months ago, while fixing the closet.

I then asked myself, what was I hiding with these shawls? My uneven looking body? My crooked waist, my be-pimpled neck? Will it hide my huge belly?

The shawls, I realised, felt like a rope stringing around my neck while I grasp onto my feelings of doubt, envy, hate, insecurity, weakness, fear. And as soon as I let go of that shawl, the negative feelings go with it and kept in the closet. Kept, not thrown, just like moments and memories, not to be forgotten. And worn again the next day.

I never got to touch any of the shawls for quite a while, not until I had to clean a corner of the closet which was left untouched for most of the quarantine.

And there it dawned to me, I was not anymore a prisoner of the shawls. By not wearing them, I also let go of the doubt, envy, hate, insecurity, weakness, fear.

As I was refolding and tidying my closet, I held each shawl and think about the memories I had with it. Good memories. The not so good ones were still there, not forgotten, but learned lessons from.

One of the last times I wore a shawl, a few days before the pandemic hit the country.
What’s left of the shawls. Some I have donated, some repurposed as keyboard and barre cover. And hello, Sablay! 😘🌻 best college graduation memory.

~ Touringkitty

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