Taking a bow
Today Breezy Monday will be taking a bow, as I embark on a new period of my life. It has been an amazing journey, and I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
Thank you all, for allowing me to share my weekly ramblings that are totally and shamelessly self-indulgent. I have shared with you my hopes and dreams, my ups and downs. I have moaned and groaned, my heart has flown and bled for you in step with my emotions of the day.
I have told you tales and (mis)adventures of my mother, my father, my kids, my alcoholic housekeeper and her abusive husband, my dogs and cats. I have wept for dear departed friends, and cried at weddings.
You joined me as I moved out of town to a new neighbourhood as construction went underway for my new house. You even met my "master builder". You joined me on my travels, and shared eye-opening experiences.
And I have personally grown and matured through writing my columns. The reason is that I might have scattered thoughts that flit about in a stream of consciousness, but those thoughts don't crystallise until I put pen to paper. Writing has helped me put order to the chaotic universe that is my mind.
Writing has been a tool and a passion which probably grew from my boarding school days when my father forced me to write weekly letters home. My mother has kept most of those letters, and my early letters comprised, "Dear Daddy and Mommy, How are you? I am fine. Miss you. Love. xxxooo". Hardly the beginnings of a budding journalist.
Over the years, the letters became more detailed, and they were probably the catalyst towards helping me share my thoughts with others. For some reason I didn't have the same success with my son when he went to boarding school. I can count the number of letters he sent me on the fingers on my hands, and long distance phone calls weren't much more successful.
Young teenage boys don't want to "chat" with their mothers. They grunt "I'm ok" when you ask after them, and that's as much as you're going to get.
At Triam Udom Suksa School, my English teacher made us keep a notebook called "Thoughts" in which we had to make an entry every day, on any topic that we felt inclined. At Chulalongkorn University, my writing technique was given more structure, logic and finesse.
I continued to learn and grow as a writer with the Bangkok Post, and I am grateful to have had the chance to share my writing with you. I think if we keep an open mind, we will continue to learn new things every day. Age has no limitations in that sense.
I recently discovered the beautiful wordsmanship of Edith Wharton. In an age when the world communicates through emoticons and acronyms like LMAO, OMG, OTW, BFF, it was refreshing, and a bit overwhelming in fact, to read the language in The House Of Mirth. It took me a while to readjust my brain to take in the mass of words that make up each sentence. I sometimes had to read it out loud, so I wouldn't lose track of the thought process. You can't skim through the pages like you do when you're reading a best-seller. You're not reading just for the storyline, but for the art and beauty of the written word that we tend to forget nowadays. I cannot aspire to anything so breathtaking, but it gives me faith in writing as an art form.
So as the year draws to an end, I would like to sign off by wishing you the best for the coming year. May life continue to amaze and reward you with her beauty.
And in keeping with the times, MTFBWY!
Usnisa Sukhsvasti is the features editor of the Bangkok Post.
M.R. Usnisa Sukhsvasti is Bangkok Post’s features editor, a teacher at Chulalongkorn University and a social worker.