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SnowFlower

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Today, I am determined to dispel the illusion that has shrouded my identity. Much of my existence has been ensnared in a web of assumptions crafted by others without genuinely seeking to understand who I am. As Snowflower, a character from the novel "Snowflower and the Secret Fan," I have viewed my friends through the lens of laotongs or lilies, perceiving them as embodiments of compassion, grace, and strength of character.

In the quiet corners of my childhood, I found solace and sanctuary behind the protective embrace of my aunties. Their unwavering presence served as a shield against the storms of my troubled upbringing. With a father ensnared by the clutches of drug and alcohol addiction and a mother who had once known the opulence of riches now reduced to the humblest means, my world was a tumultuous tapestry of struggle and survival.

Yet amidst the chaos was a glimmer of grace embodied by my mother's enduring elegance and porcelain nature. Despite our circumstances, she instilled a sense of refinement and dignity, nurturing me into a being of sophistication despite the poverty surrounding us.

As Snowflower, I learned to navigate the complexities of life, drawing strength from the resilience of those around me. Behind the veil of societal expectations, I found the courage to carve my path, weaving together the threads of my identity with the gentle guidance of my aunties and the enduring love of my mother.

Through the trials and tribulations of my upbringing, I emerged not as a product of my circumstances but as a testament to the indomitable spirit within each of us, waiting to be unfurled like a delicate blossom in the snow.

As my friends flourished and grew stronger with each challenge they faced, I grew increasingly fragile, stripped bare with every blow life dealt. My valid marriage in 2016, not to a prince or a nobleman but to a ruthless butcher, brought its trials. I endured his gruff demeanor, weathering the storm until he softened into the loving husband I had hoped for. Until that transformation, I bore the burden of his primal desires, the scent of intimacy clinging to me like a shadow.

In the harsh embrace of hostile winter, I sought warmth amidst the icy winds that seemed to mirror the frostiness of my family and friends' reactions as the illusions surrounding me slowly peeled away. Like layers of an onion, strong in scent and capable of bringing tears in the Butcher who is cutting me into pieces, each revelation exposed more of my raw vulnerability, leaving me exposed to the elements of judgment and scrutiny. Yet, with each layer shed, I found a resilience within myself, a strength born of adversity and tempered by the fires of endurance. This is why I love him. 

The narrative of Snowflower's slow demise catalyzes her friend to step into a leadership role and be free of control. Similarly, I anticipate that the symbolic death of my false identity will ignite a transformation in the hearts of those I cherish, inspiring them to navigate life with fortitude and integrity despite the challenges they may encounter. Just as Snowflower's departure sparked a newfound strength, compassion, and graciousness in her companion, I hope my journey toward authenticity will empower my loved ones to embrace their paths with courage and character, transcending any obstacles that may stand.

If fate were to grant me another chance at life, my deepest desire would be for my butcher husband to transform, blossoming into the tender and loving partner I had always dreamed of. Just as winter yields to the gentle embrace of spring, I long for his gruff exterior to thaw, revealing the warmth and kindness buried within his heart. His tears mark merely the outset; until then, I shall remain patient because he is molding me into the woman I have yearned to become. He is stripping away the facade I crafted for the world, revealing my authentic self beneath.

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