Dear Debbie,

Before you were born, I knew you. And no, I’m not God, just in case you thought so, knowing your silly religious tendencies. I am —  the universe. I am the age old stars, the wind in your face, the good, the bad, the earth, the rain, the yin and yang of what holds everything on the face of the planet intact. And whether you believe in God or karma, there’s no denying my existence and the fact that I have the power to make or break   you and your so-called “destiny”. You smirk as you read this. You think you have your little head too cemented in with ideas and knowledge that won’t let you down. But you are very wrong to underestimate my hold on you, my dear. You’re not the first person I’m bringing down. Millions have died before you.

My job with you so far has been to screw you over. I showed you poverty and pain as a child growing up. I made sure you cried to sleep because you saw a beggar drop a pot of rice by accident and bend over, eating it off the dusty road. I made sure that by the age of 9, you had already read and re-read stories and facts on the holocaust again and again til you were so backed up against your literary wall, you decided not to eat pork, not to take riding a bike for granted, and to pledge your life to protecting the Jewish nation so that no one would hurt them again. I fed you little nuggets of fear — frogs and enclosed spaces, needles and rejection. I whispered into your ear that you were never ever good enough even though you skipped a grade at school, never made anything short of an A+, performed Tchaikovsky for paying audiences and you were gullible enough to cry yourself to sleep at night because you believed you were never good enough. I let people you love walk out on you. I let people you care for disappoint you. I let you suffer the regret of being a disappointment to others. I let you watch your father suffer and die in 3 short days from a sudden liver issue and though you were tough and didn’t cry til the moment they buried him, I loved how that resulted in you slitting your wrists to make the pain in your heart go away. When you were presenting your first paper at an international conference in Singapore, I made sure that it coincided with the news that your mum had cancer. And now I watch as you juggle work and school and caring for her while dealing with  emotions too big for you to handle.

The fight is fun because you’re resilient. When you fall down and cry, it’s a point for me, nil for you. While you patiently swallow while I rain blows on you, the best part is yet to come. I won’t stop til you drop. It’s not enough to bring you down. The game only ends when you’re crushed to death. When you give up and decide to die.

You’re playing well so far. And at the end of the day, you’re just another dead person, screwed over by the universe.

It’s been a pleasure playing with you.

Best of luck,

The Universe

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Dear Universe,

How kind of you to write me letters especially because I love writing little letters and receiving some too (though people these days don’t always write. And it’s great that you have been taking such a detailed interest in my life. I feel honoured. This, here, is MY letter to you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did yours.

Thank you for teaching me pain and pressure. I heard pressure only does two things — it either crushes someone or produces diamonds. I’d like to think that in my life, pressure births precious stones. Thanks for showing me that I have my parents only once. It also makes me treasure other relationships and think before doing something rash. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to look after my mum and spend quality time with her. Thanks for showing me that I really do in fact love myself. These days, I never talk myself down. I tell people “Stop! Your body is listening!” when they say negative things about themselves. In fact, I’m my own best friend. Thanks for giving me fear. It challenges me to become an overcomer. Thanks for putting way too much on my plate for me to handle — stretching me like this can only make me stronger and better. I handle a lot of things easier now. I don’t strive for unrealistic goals anymore. I do my best. Perfection is letting the light inside me shine through my flaws. So what if I fail? Everyday is a chance for me to get up, dust myself down and start over with my chin up. I’m not backing down. I will cry some days. But that doesn’t win you points because the next day, I’ll be up and moving again (does this win me extra points?). I’m determined to win no matter what you or life throws at me. If you’re trying to intimidate me, my friend, hear me out : I’m THE supervillain in YOUR life and I can bring you down no matter your experience or age. I guess the harder life gets, the more I learn love and longsuffering, patience, endurance, to always help others and to be a better person each passing day.

I’m not gonna hurt your feelings but, hey, happy screwing YOURSELF over.

Love,

Debbie xoxos

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