Come too close to me and I will implode.

By Sherlyn Goh, Yale-NUS ’17


Most days, I am a child. I must run from myself, I must choke the child before anyone sees her. Only then, can I be woman.

It is difficult to differentiate between independence, solitude, isolation, and loneliness. Suddenly, I am overcome by an immense desire to be heard, to be known and to be understood. Above all, to be saved. There is enough of everything without having to make anything up, yet uncertainty wells up from the core of my being. My sense of self is weak, and has always been weak. My self-worth seems to be non-existent as sources of external validation begin to fade away gradually. My confidence is built on transient and insubstantial things. I do not rise to challenges. I run from then. I hide from them. Perhaps I am a coward. Or perhaps I am ashamed. I feel exceedingly inadequate, but I never project myself as such. People will see me as someone confident and enigmatic. People will admire, respect or be intrigued by me, but only from a distance. Up close, I tremble, I collapse, and I shatter. I become unworthy and undesirable. My beauty is untouchable. I am like a house of cards. Essentially, I am nothing.

Perhaps this is why I lie, why I embellish. Lying is a kind of living as well. They fill me, they add to me. Embroidery.

About Sherlyn

tell me something real

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