Starting at 1…

Somedays I feel like an onion — layers and layers below the worn-out, dried-out surface, just waiting for someone to peel back those layers and find the stories waiting. Other days…like today, I’m an over-stuffed haggis — just bursting at the seams to share my thoughts and reflections.

Coming out is hard…But at some point, we all have to shake those dusty bones off and take them out of the closet.

Be it the fact that you are the proud owner of various sexual orientations, someone living a double-identity, the victim of abuse, an extreme-mental sports survivor…all of us keep secrets. And, unlike the song from The Pierces, no one has to die to keep that secret. Sometimes…it just needs to stop being a secret.

So here’s me setting the tone for the rest of my posts on Medium, starting from now — starting from the 1st post.

I have my reasons for staying away from the limelight, but it doesn’t mean I’m still hiding. In fact, if you follow me long enough, and happen to have heard of me, or know me in person…well, the link would be quite obvious. So here’s my laundry list of secrets I’ve kept till now —

  1. I’m ADHD — in all senses of that label. I can’t ever focus on just doing one thing, but the upside is, I CAN actually do multiple things at once (which occasionally leads to odd situations where I’ve heard another conversation happening alongside my current conversation…and is able to recite the entire contents of both conversations, thereby getting them mixed up), except, well…being organised isn’t exactly a forte. Except…
  2. I’m OCD — again, another label. Look, I grew up in South-East Asia. We all know what Asian parents are like. The stereotype is true. So to cope with the fact that I’m easily distracted, I was assigned weird tasks that would take me hours of focus to complete. And that kind of stuck. So yes, it may not be obvious…but then there’s no other explanation for how someone knows EXACTLY how long it’ll take to get from Point A to Point B, or how many seconds late someone is for a meeting…
  3. Yes, I’m full of labels. Here’s another one — Dysthymia. Heard of it? Well, you’d have heard of it’s scary big brother enough. Depression. Dysthymia. Same, but different. Depression is characterised by episodes of intense emptiness, but these episodes have a life-span. Dysthymia…well…they kind of stick around. FOR EVER. Well, for a really really long time anyway. It’s even part of the diagnostic criteria.
  4. Want another one? I’m pretty sure if every label I have been given was made into a sticker and stuck on me, you wouldn’t ever see me. So how’s about this — PTSD. What trauma, you ask? Well, lets see now…sexual assault, physical abuse, mental abuse, physical assault (although I did serve up some myself…but hey, that was self-defence. Either that or retaliation…but all that’s in the past…I’m actually quite quite squeaky clean). The people responsible for all the trauma, well, some were family, some were strangers. Some…were supposed to be friends. I’ve lost people, and I’ve almost lost myself a number of times…

I guess right now, what would be going through your mind is, “Why are you even sharing these? What’s the purpose?” Well, I’m on a mission. And that mission is to create change, by disrupting the pre-conceived notions people have about people like me. I’m not just talking about my mental state — I’m not even done with that list!

The point is, I’m sick and tired of getting thrown out and kicked about just because of these labels, so I’ve decided to take things into my own hands. Together with a bunch of amazing souls world-wide, I am now part of Cafiend — a collective a creative misfits. Based out of Singapore (at least for the time being), we aim to create positive change by designing a new model of “work” — the industrialist’s model is way beyond out-dated. We are injecting new ideas, boundless energy, and, hopefully, positive disruptions to how “work” happens.

And…maybe, someday, one day within the next 5 years …I can step out and shout at the top of my lungs —

“This is me. I am Odie. And I changed the world.”

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