Twenty-one; the young and promising age

"You are now a young woman"

That was what people would say when a girl, reaching her puberty and she can no longer act freely as what she can. Because, people will talk. People will judge. And there are names she needs to maintain so that the dignity is well protected and honoured. That's the idea. More of a reality, to be sure.

Girls must be well-behaved. Cannot go out too often. Should be back home before night. Must tell who she's going out with, by 'telling' it should be understood that it must be prepared with details; is there any boys, what their names are, is it a normal friends or what. At least that's how I've been heard from my girl friends that there are some girls actually grow up with curfews.

But neither on me. 
Ma and Bah have this hidden or should I call mysterious power that even though they didn't state any curfews, I just know I should not disgrace them. I must, like any other girls, be well-behaved. Because after all, I am a young woman. And young women must know how to take good care of herself. I must know somehow, there are limits; though it has never been mentioned by neither Bah nor Ma, I just know. Maybe it's just the common sense I've been living up with. 

Common sense. 
That's the thing. For one issue to be sensed 'common', it must be talked timely; yet until everyone gets the idea. In this case, it's the society or maybe it just our world we are living in that keep projecting the idea-- girls must behave well and classy. 

I have such a limitless freedom and a golden trust from both of my parents, that even when I was in highschool I was the one who has been putting limit on myself. I hid my gadgets because I aware of the need to get myself focused on my studies as big exam is coming. I made myself pulling off the simcard and put somewhere hideous as if I will going to have aftermath memory lost and get to be forgotten where did I put. It was a struggle back then, living in such freedom and trust my parents gave me. Trust me, there were more curfews I myself created like a boundary so that I must not crossed over. 

There are some of my friends who kept rebelling over the same issue but with their parents acting strict on them, exactly like how I'm being strict to myself. 

I've always thought that Bah and Ma must have been "of course, she knew already. she's grown up now." 
And me "of course bah and ma don't have the need to tell, they know i know" 

Sometimes somehow, I just hoped that Ma and Bah could be more strict like other parents do. But most of the times, I feel thankful enough as how I have been treated, because from there I got to feel threatened with challenge and struggle, eventually I'd learn by myself. Maybe that's the parents' love that I don't really understand how, that actually they know myself better. Even better than my youth self. 

I consider that as a 'skill' of parenthood that my parents nailed in order to grow me up. 

Same goes to hijab. To be honest, I can't recall any of younger days when Ma handed me tudung and asked me to wear it. I just know when seeing my neighbourhood friends who happened to be my childhood bestfriend who would wear tudung whenever we go out together to Pasar Malam. She didn't tell anything either, maybe that's just how her action really influenced myself. And somehow that younger me finally then found out more and more ironies in her wearing hijab, after Ma sending me for Kelas Mengaji and islamic school afterwards. Bah and Ma are just smart I guess, for sending me to islamic kindergarden, islamic school up until my highschool ends. From there, I can say, education really has answered all my questions that the younger me has then nothing to doubt with. 

I grew up receiving everything they taught me, without any objections. 

Now, to think wiser, I'm in the phase that growing up more older gets me into more and more questions that the younger me must had not look deeper into. Or maybe, she wasn't curious enough to ask. For that's why I read, so that my older me won't regret my younger me to not have the courage to seek answer in the form of knowledge and belief. Human's traits, to live is to believe in something; which I rather call "perspective"-- or anything you may prefer to call. 

I have names that I look up to, basically my women crush and men crush to be idolized. Like an inspiration. In this year, I went meeting them one by one; by courage. I managed to meet the young and good potential Syed Saadiq and attended his debate class. I met the intellectual Redza Minhat and managed to book a seat in his conference on women empowerment subject. I learnt alot from both. If I could claim that as an achievement in meeting people I adore, I would. 

I can drive a car now. 
I can go buying my things without asking any boys in the family to send me.
I can go attending any of talks or conferences without first worrying who I will burden to.
I can go eating alone, because that's no abnormality in that. 
I can go out with anyone, because I'm privileged with friends.

But in the same time, I can also cry just before I start again
I can complain over thing that goes wrong so that I feel relief
I can choose, anything to wear, anything to say, anything to do
All just because I have choices and reasons to stand
And one of life's priority is to maximise my options.  

Life is in fact, a combination of what I chose. 

here's me turning 21; praises to God for showering His continuous blessings throughout my years

This is 2017, I've turned 21.
And I'm moving forward.

Who will love you?
I will love myself. 

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