Bumps | 颠簸

---Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

—Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

 

“Little shit, useless! Little shit, useless!”

My father would shout this when he beat me with a dustpan – my earliest memory. He hated me being born as a dwarf, particularly a female one. He didn’t stop beating me until one day he almost beat my mother to death.

 

---Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

—Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

 

Influenced by such violence in a patriarchal family, where all parents favored a boy over a girl, my brother also liked bullying me. He learned to beat me till one day he was scared when he cut my forearm deep with a scar.

 

---Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

—Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

---The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

—The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

 

Years of my mother staying unwell in bed gave me more chance to do farm work, housework and take care of two young sisters. And that somehow made me useful in my father’s eye.

 

---Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

—Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

 

When mother got better, I started school at ten. Things were fine till Grade Five when my Chinese teacher doubted my writing, “Have you copied this from an Essay Book?” I said no. He then left a striking red mark: Whether or not you have cribbed your article off a book, you know the best! 

 

---Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

—Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

---My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

—My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

 

The irony was that I didn’t even have a book. To prove myself, I insisted on joining a writing competition, which no one believed I should. In the end I won First Prize in the whole district. I thought that would make people look at me differently, but it didn’t. Their silence was confusing.

 

---Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

—Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

 

Nonetheless, I kept studying hard and being a good student. This didn’t change until a kidney stone that almost needed surgery in high school made me start wondering: What was the point of being good? What had good writing done for me? Why should I meet an expectation that was not mine? Why not just listen to myself?

 

---Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

—Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

 

Therefore I half listened to my father about becoming a teacher. But behind his back I chose Hainan Island for my college life. This was strongly against his wishes because it was too far away. For days, he didn’t sleep or eat much. At last, he gave me a thick roll of thirty-eight hundred cash and told me with red wet eyes, “This is all I have. Don’t come home until you can afford it.” 

 

---Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

—Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

 

I assured him, “Don’t worry. The school offers a five-thousand loan every year.” 

But I could never tell him that the loan was a lie. How could I?

 

---My grandfather's Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

—My grandfather’s Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

 

Owing half my tuition fees, I had to constantly take different part-time jobs. Yet my salary was never enough to pay off my debt. When the time came to register for the second year, the administrator refused me unless I paid off everything. Accordingly I showed him these two things: “Look, this is my grandfather’s medal awarded from the Korea War and his Military Certificate authorized by the renowned General Chen Yi. It clearly says, ‘His family get preferential treatment.’”

 

---My grandfather's Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

—My grandfather’s Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

 

“Is he still alive?” He sneered.

“No… please!” I suddenly knelt down. “My grandfather had fought many wars and sacrificed a lot. He had become crippled and deaf, and almost been killed on the battlefield. His greatest wish was to see me graduate from college.”

“Your grandpa is dead. What’s the use of all this?”

 

---Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

—Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

 

I got up slowly, pulling myself together. I began to make phone calls and borrow money. This made me sick. When I asked for a raise after three years of working for my first company, the boss killed me as a chicken to scare the monkey. And later in the second company, I found my basic salary had been underpaid for six months. What the hell made people do that to me?

 

---Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

—Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

 

Unhesitatingly I quit my full-time job to chase my writing dream. Had I not been framed by a world where the colors are drawn by child abuse, sexist bullies, social suspicions and human unkindness, would I struggle even now to tell the bumps of my life stories?

 

---A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

—A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

 

I’m not going to ask ‘Why me?’. Because it is not just me. It is a bunch of mes. But what bumps do you have and what impacts do they have on you?

 

---Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

—Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

 

Note: This is something that I can never feel comfortable to talk to anyone, but Toastmasters gave me courage and strength to make it a speech. You can read the original post here.

 

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---Shanghai Leadership TMC Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂》

—Shanghai Leadership TMC Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂》

 

Related article:Transformations

Last article 上一篇: LEADERSHIP’S GOT TALENT | LGT

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

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Leadership’s Got Talent | LGT

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America’s Got Talent | AGT. Britain’s Got Talent| BGT. China’s got Talent | CGT. And LGT? Leadership’s Got Talent!

 

-- The Talented Singer Alvin, 2019.9.11

— The Talented Singer Alvin, 2019.9.11

 

We have talented heroes on or off the stage, sung and unsung. We have talented singers like Alvin, who no matter what wouldn’t be bribed to sing for other clubs but only Leadership, and who deserves a proper credit for my speech title LGT.

 

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— The Talented Sharing Masters, 2019.9.11

We have talented Sharing Masters who are not only talented in mastering a speech but also talented in managing a successful life. And when the masters stand in the same line receiving awards, look, what happens? They are as happy as children on Children’s Day.

 

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-- The Talented Speakers & Gossipers, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Speakers & Gossipers, 2019.8.24

 

We have talented speakers and gossipers. During the meeting, we have rules and are hatefully tied to the Four Taboos. After the meeting, we run wild free and gossip whatever we like. We even gossiped about a naked pizza. Of course, the one who mentioned it in the first place, would be forever respectfully remembered as the most talented gossiper and leader.

 

-- The Talented Gang Family, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Gang Family, 2019.8.24

We have talented leaders, members and guests, who are like a big family in this room and a gang of youths outdoors. Special warning! The talented gang members don’t attack the weak. But they do attack the media with a flag, especially their gang leader. When he played an ancient prostitute, he attacked the audiences with his talented seduction and killed them all with their own laughter.

 

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-- The Talented Players & Makers, 2019.8.25

— The Talented Players & Makers, 2019.8.25

We have talented players and makers, who are serious about making a pottery teacup and play hard in kayaking as well as getting wet. Oh, no, not just physically wet, but mentally they drown themselves in the laughing tears.

 

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-- The Talented Problem Solvers, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Problem Solvers, 2019.8.24

 

 

We have talented problem solvers. When we are lost, we take photos. When we are bored, we take selfies. When we behave like the anti-social club devils, we pose like one. And when we are grounded in a sailing boat by a tree trunk, we entertain ourselves by taking photos of us in turns. We never have a problem to smile. We are so talented in throwing ourselves in the camera frame that our two excellent outing guides Susan & Eric couldn’t but give us all the best shot.

 

-- The Talented Life Enthusiasts I, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Life Enthusiasts I, 2019.8.24

We have talented life enthusiasts, such as the colorfully and tastefully fantastic beer provider Sky, who is a selfless man keeping showing up in our club yet working and living in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. 

 

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-- The Talented Life Enthusiasts II, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Life Enthusiasts II, 2019.8.24

 

We have talented learners, doers and foodies. We have talented jumpers. We have talented KTV singers. We have talented practitioners who love doing the splits. We have talented improvisers like Dongmei expressing her love to Eric during the Dare Game hosted by Susan. We have talented coaches including Sky, who taught me how to kayak. We have talented hoppers who were lucky enough to carry the wettest lady of the day.

 

We have talented fish catchers, arrow shooters, pole climbers, pole dancers, hidden laughers and cheeky babes.

 

-- The Talented Dancer Eva, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Dancer Eva, 2019.8.24

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-- The Talented Chef Fanghua, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Chef Fanghua, 2019.8.24

 

We have talented professional dancers and talented international chefs. Particularly Eva taught us some sexy moves and Fanghua roasted the whole lamb.

 

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-- The Talented Photographers, 2019.8.25

— The Talented Photographers, 2019.8.25

 

We have many talented photographers, who like being anonymous. They open a window for more talented people to explore a world around us and a world within us.

 

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We are the world. We are the leaders. We know Leadership’s Got Talent. LGT!

 

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— The 2019 Leadership Outing Poster by Hally Yu

-- Leadership's Acknowledgement of Susan & Eric to Youxiake Travel Agency

— Leadership’s Acknowledgement of Susan & Eric to Youxiake Travel Agency

Note: This article is mainly initiated for the 2019 Shanghai Leadership Outing event.

Last article 上一篇: Writer’s Block 创作灵感障碍

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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