Letters by Kenny Mah

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“press them like fresh flowers into my memory”

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September 18, 2017

Hey you,

Stories have a strange way of taking over their own telling.

One of my favourite moments — though I insist I hate it when you do it — is when you tell folks how I cheated you when we first met. How you read my blog back then (oh, say five-and-a-half years ago) and how impressed you were with my résumé. A writer, a BodyBalance™ instructor, a designer, a this, a that: I seem to have done it all.

Of course, after getting to know me better, you swiftly realised that I had only published e-books online; that I had completed my BodyBalance™ training but never actually taught a live class; that by designer I meant a smattering of book covers I had done for a couple of publishers and my own e-books. (You discovered I was truly a master at self-promotion.)

I love it (secretly, of course, I won’t tell admit this to you in person) when you rant about this deception because you’re also telling me, however indirectly, you remember our early days. That those days matter as much as our days now, five-and-a-half years later. Living together and building a life together, this ain’t easy. We have certainly told enough our friends so. But it’s so worth it.

Twelve years ago, when I first started blogging, I was a day or less from flying to Munich, starting a new life. Frightening, exhilarating, dangerous. I’ve started many new lives since then. Frightening, exhilarating, dangerous. Some days, some years, are good; others less so. But I continue. I always do. I’m a survivor.

Let me tell you though, it’s a lot easier when it’s two against the world, when it’s two of us dealing with the good days and the bad. Friends tell us we’ve grown boring together; we seldom head out at night, being content to stay at home. Old fuddy-duddies. Maybe they are right, but we don’t need the excitement, you see.

A quiet life need not be dull, need not be dreary. There is a gentle bliss in gratitude for constancy, for living the best story of your life, a story that keeps telling you new, wonderful things. I wouldn’t change a thing.

One of my favourite things to do is to apologise to our friends for writing the same story over and over again. They must know what I mean; they can certainly reproduce parodies of my writing at the drop of a dime. They are hilarious. (Not really.)

Yet when I do complain about my flaw, my friends look at me funny. Yes, they agree, I have a habit of repeating myself. But it’s never the same story, not quite. There are always new revelations in a fresh telling.

So yes, I have a terrible habit of repeating myself. But some stories — maybe just this one story — are worth telling over and over again. Especially when you are the one doing the storytelling, my darling.

Yours always and always,

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