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Perfectly Flawed + A Link-Up

Perfectly Flawed + A Link-Up

We’re all perfectly flawed mortals

In search of enlightenment.


That we are. We have dents.  We have bruises a-plenty.  There are chinks in our armour and cracks in our wall.  And I’m quite certain most of us have used up a lifetime’s worth of metaphorical band-aids trying to patch those cuts.  Yet whilst our flaws and imperfections are what make us, us, they don’t define us.  Neither do they determine the paths we choose.  The quote above?  I overheard it from an episode of Madam Secretary, and it struck such a chord with me.  So much that I thought I might share a little of my personal life choices, and how they’ve shaped me (for better or for worse).

At the end of it, I hope you’ll come to see just how utterly flawed I am, and yet, still stitched held (if somewhat tenuously) together by nothing but the best and purest of intentions.

Perfectly Flawed + A Link-UpPerfectly Flawed + A Link-UpPerfectly Flawed + A Link-Up


I grew up in a very strict environment.  Irrationally so because, at the time, my Dad was suffering from hyperthyroidism and during the early to mid 80s, it wasn’t as commonly known in Borneo as it is throughout the world today.  As such, his was an undiagnosed condition which everyone attributed to a cantankerous and moody temperament (sorry, Dad).  Back to the strict bits.  As in, we couldn’t watch comedies (because we wouldn’t take life seriously), we couldn’t learn how to swim (we might drown), we couldn’t hang out with our friends at the mall (someone might bomb it and we’d die).  No phone calls after 7pm and if we were allowed to go to parties, we had to be home by 8pm, of the same day.  If you’d guessed that my teenage life was rather lonely and boring, you’d be right.

Things came to a head one evening.  After a particularly loud argument, I ran away.

I really did.

Perfectly Flawed + A Link-UpPerfectly Flawed + A Link-UpPerfectly Flawed + A Link-Up

That wasn’t the worst of it though.  I ran away, met a guy at a pub and then checked into a hotel room with him, and his friend.  So gullible and innocent, I thought nothing of it save that we’d hang out and “chat“.  I’ve no idea how and why but angels were on my side that night.  I’d just turned 16 and I came that close to being gang-raped.  Somehow, I managed to talk my way out of the scariest situation of my life.  Literally. To this day, I think it was because I kept talking, spewing out as many bombastic words as I knew, they had absolutely no idea what to do with me.  I kept talking and talking until one started yawning which triggered the other, and after a bit, the two guys fell asleep.


Ran to the nearest payphone, called my aunt.  She showed up 15 minutes later, with my Dad, and I went home. We never spoke of that day again.  The silver lining?  My brother and I were allowed to watch sitcoms, we got to go to the mall, and our curfew was extended to midnight.  We still weren’t allowed to go swimming though.

Perfectly Flawed + A Link-UpPerfectly Flawed + A Link-Up

I can hear many of you stating the obvious, as in how stupid I was.  To go into a hotel with someone I’d only just met.  How naive.  I don’t blame you but I really didn’t think anything of it.  I honestly envisaged a nice chat in the quiet solitude of a room, and that was it.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think the guys had ulterior motives #stupidsheela

As a parent myself now, I understand how petrified my parents must have been when I ran away.  How cruel it was of me to “punish” them.

It hit close to home when several months ago, Eve and I had a huge row at the mall, over something completely ridiculous (after a movie, she got both of us lost trying to get out of the cinema, and that pissed me off, I know).  I kept yelling at her, and when we reached the public bathrooms, she ducked into one, to get away from me.  I waited outside.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  After 10 minutes and still no sign of Eve, I started panicking.  I was crying, positive someone had taken her or, worse, she’d run away from me because she hated me.  I couldn’t breathe.  Imagine how my parents reacted when they thought they’d lost me.

Perfectly Flawed + A Link-Up


Incidentally, if what I’ve written today reads somewhat disjointed and garbled, it’s because I’m writing under the influence of a high fever paired with an Angioedema flare-up so bear with me, please 🙂

Again, what do all these have to do with the concept of being a perfectly flawed mortal?

Mistakes are cyclical.  Age and perceived maturity count for naught when it comes to the follies of our nature.  We commit the same sin over and over and over again, under different scenarios perhaps, but the crux of the issue is one and the same.  We are but neverending works-in-progress.  Like moths to the flame, we err, our judgement may often be impaired and we hurt those we love.  Yet that is the heart of being human.

Simply put, we have to make mistakes in order to learn from them, and move on, and make new mistakes, and learn from those too.  That’s what makes us human, perfectly flawed, always in search of that moment of enlightenment.

I know I am.  Perfectly flawed, that is.  In pursuit of even a mere modicum of wisdom.

Love, Sheela

p/s photos by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

Eye Dress worn as Vest (Choies) | White Jeans (Forever21) | Suede Booties (Bakers, similar) | Clutch (Zara) & Oversized Sunnies (Poshmark) | Snakeskin Cuff (Etsy) | Rings (gifted)


  1. robjodiefilogomo says

    Gosh…your story brings up so many stupid memories. Of course we feel stupid when we look back….because we were naive, innocent. It’s only once you realize all the bad things that can happen, do you freak out! Of course, in your defense to your growing up situation—being overly strict tends to breed rebellion…it’s that fine line kind of thing!
    As for you & your daughter—now that’s a mother/daughter thing, and we all lose our temper. I think the best thing kids can witness is real emotions, with real thoughts afterwards (whether that be apologies, explanations…who knows).
    Of course we realize I’m an expert on this because I have no children…thus anything I say is full of crap!
    ps…”eye” love the coat (sorry—couldn’t resist)

    • It is and I could oh so easily blame it on my dad for his rigid methods but you know, we all have choices, and I chose to rebel and nearly suffered horrid consequences as a result thereof. It was only when I left home to live in a different country all by myself at the age of 22 did I feel thankful for such an upbringing. But at the time, I was just angry and I acted out 🙂 I’m very blessed that Eve isn’t half as rebellious as I was at her age. Hey most parents are caught far too deep in the situation to be able to proffer any form of advice so thank you!!! I didn’t think anything you said was crappy at all, no, not even that pun GRIN xoxo

    • Hahaha I’m not sure, Jess, I’ve never viewed it that way before but I’ve definitely got my eye on it now GRIN

  2. First of all, you look great in the white jeans!!! I remember you commenting on my post a few weeks ago when you had just gotten them in the mail (I assume) but hadn’t opened them yet! And what fabulous shoes!

    Second, the things I did when I was a teenager really scare me today! When I just think of all the things that could have happened… And then my older son (who is 24) sometimes talks about what he did a few years ago, and I get all scared for the little one and what he might be doing in a few years…

    Have a fabulous weekend!

    • Yes I did, didn’t I, Andrea, and I must thank you for the gentle nudge to open that darn package otherwise this post would never have seen the light of day 🙂

      These days, when my 21 year old talks about things he’s done or is doing, I cringe because it seems as though each generation finds new and “improved” ways to do things which would cause parents pull their hair out and worry themselves to the grave. Then I worry how my 18 and 17 year olds, if they’re in earshot, are absorbing the information and if they intend to act upon it, you know? Arrghhh. Babies really ought to come out of the womb with customised handbooks. Life would be so much easier, sigh xoxo

  3. You look amazing in the white jeans! I’m always afraid to buy some! I think I may just do it 😀 I also love how affordable your styles are! Thank you for posting your finds! So inspiring!

    I love your honesty!

    <3 Laura

    • I try, Laura, I try 🙂 it’s wonderful to wear luxury brands but that’s not real. That’s not how the world actually works. Not all of us can (or want to) spend exorbitant prices on garments and accessories, especially if we have families to support. Like the next person, I adore and appreciate the craftsmanship of haute couture but 9 out of 10 times, I’m going to hunt down a pocket-friendlier high street version xoxo

    • Thank you so much, my friend. It’s true what they say, what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger xoxo

  4. Wow. This was such a beautiful and honest story. It is amazing that you came through that situation. What a blessing. You’re right stories we all have them and we are flawed but somehow we can be broken together. Thank you for sharing such an awesome post. I am a fan 🙂

    • I think my life has been touched by angels more times than I actually know. I realise how blessed I’ve been and the many blessings which have come my way, and I am grateful 🙂 I love that, how we can be broken together, united in that common experience.

      The love is really mutual, Naomi xoxo

  5. one, you look fantastic and two I really enjoyed reading this.
    It’s so true we are never-ending works in progress and such is the nature of the life, the perfect of the imperfection.
    Simply Shaunacey

  6. Your close encounter was definitely something I could resonate with, not because I had personally experienced it but because someone close to me did the exact same thing, and she got lucky too. It’s true that we are all flawed probably till the day we die, and I’m recently learning to accept all my flaws and love them too (it’s harder than I thought, most of us hide our flaws, ignore our flaws, pretend they don’t exist, because we detest them), or we may never learn to accept/love ourselves completely.


    • It’s human nature, to hide. We’re all conditioned to camouflage what society perceives as our external imperfections via clothing and cosmetic surgery and the likes, it isn’t any different with the flaws of our personalities. I do think that if you’re gained consciousness of acceptance, that’s already such a positive start to the self-love journey. I’ll come clean and admit that I’m still very much working on it. There is so much of me that I do not like and refuse to accept, and am working on changing so yes, a work-in-progress still 🙂 thank you so much, Audrey, for sharing. You cannot imagine what a relief it is to read and realise that one is never quite completely alone xoxo

  7. Hmm…your story is bringing back bad and not-so good memories and mistakes I’ve done during childhood. As children, we’re so naive, clueless and just so stupid. But yeah, like you said, we live to learn. Mistakes are bound to happen, because we’re flawed as humans. Even as adults we still make them. Its a learning process, Sheela.
    Fashion-wise, you look simply chic and beautiful. 🙂


    • Hi Mavis, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to trigger any bad memories for you. But you’re so right, children tend to be far too trusting and not every story has a happy ending like mine, and I’ll be eternally grateful for that. What’s ironic though is how we tend to make the same mistakes over and over, albeit under different settings. Sigh. Thank you for visiting, my friend xoxo

    • Thank you, Nicole, and thank you SO much for featuring me in your beauty article. I couldn’t find a way to comment in the post itself so I’m using this 🙂 xoxo

    • I’ll probably repeat this to my dying day, Shellie, but babies really should come out of the womb with a customised how-to manual, I swear!! 🙂 xoxo

  8. Wonderful look and a great insight into your life.

    People are always astounded when I tell them the things that have happened in my past, from drugs to running away to numerous hospital stays for really stupid things. But those things made me who I am. I feel grounded and strong and better equipped to handle more of life’s twists and turns.
    Kudos on your ever evolving journey.
    Style Tomes || Instagram

    • The more grounded and composed one appears on the outside, the harder it is for others to believe what we’ve gone through to achieve that facade 🙂 I don’t judge, I do not wish to be judged, and I’m a firm believer of the mantra that we all have our very own special devils on our shoulders. Our own crosses to bear. And if we’ve come out of it, albeit scarred and bruised, that is in itself a celebration. You are who you are today, Nataliya, because of your journey and from what I can see, that is a very strong, competent, determined young woman xoxo

  9. It’s very gutsy of you to share such a revealing story with us Sheela, so well done for that. We’re none of us perfect; if we were, our job on earth would be done and we’d be languishing about on a big, pink, fluffy cloud somewhere, painting our nails while we sip on heavenly cocktails with all of our lessons learnt. The trick as a parent is to keep these shameful memories available so that we may be kind, understanding and forgiving when our children exhibit their flaws too; then our lessons can have a true purpose. Being flawed; ’tis the reality of the human condition.
    You look awesome in this white outfit – those shoes are adorable, and check you out in those amazing sunnies! Fab as ever my lovely x
    Anna’s Island Style

    • Ahhhh what a divine sight, Anna, fluffy cloud, manicured nails, delicious cocktails GRIN along with handbooks for babies, a manual for parents would be lovely too. Sigh 🙂 xoxo

  10. I love your message here that mistakes are cyclical and that’s okay. My mother was strict and I ran away at one time, and now I”m afraid to have a child for fear of messing him or her up. I don’t do a lot of things out of fear of making a mistake. I need to just do things and know that I’ll mess up at some point. Love this message; and your outfit! Those cat eye glasses are amazing!!

    • I felt the same way when I found out I was pregnant with Eve and I still live with that fear every single day. That I’ll mess up and screw her up but at some time, I realised that she’d grown into a fairly level-headed young woman with a mind of her own so I couldn’t have done too badly. Yes, we’ve been told repeatedly to just stop being afraid and go do it but you know, that doesn’t quite ring the same with bringing a child into this world 🙂 so I say when the time is right, you’ll know, Lili, you’ll know 🙂 xoxoxo

  11. I think it is amusing how you talked your way out of the worst for a woman, go SHEELA! It is funny the things we learn to appreciate or feel for as we get older with our kids as we don’t want them to make the same or similar mistakes but in the end I know they still love us. How old is Eve? I love your outfit here. Very lovely!
    Rachel xo

    • I know right??? There’s something to be said about a woman who just won’t shut up when her life and her chastity are at stake GRIN jokes aside, I really do think my guardian angel was very close to me that night, keeping me safe. I’m not particularly religious, that is true, but I am spiritual in my own way. How could I not be? I’ve seen so many miracles happen in my family 🙂

      Eve turns 17 in May and while she may not like me all the time, I know she loves me 🙂 we have a special relationship, she’s my best friend so sometimes the lines can get a tad blurry but we’re muddling through it together xoxo

  12. I dread to think of some of the things I did when I was younger but you live and learn. Thank goodness you used your gift of words to get you out of what would have been a terrifying situation. That kind of experience stays with you so thank you for being so open and sharing it with us.

    • I think they just gave up on their idea because I kept talking and wouldn’t shut up and, I’m certain, they barely understood a word I was saying. Thank you dear lord 🙂 xoxo

  13. Sheela I love your writing style…so creative! I also am in LOVE with that eye print jacket…so cute and unique! You look smashing!


    • Thank you so much, Valerie, that’s the best and nicest thing anyone could say to me. I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old and I can’t imagine life without it 🙂

      Oh and that vest has been restocked so go check it out xoxo

  14. Thank you for sharing such a touching story. Our flaws do not define who we are, but they do push us to evolve. By the way, you and Sofia are creating really beautiful content.

    • What a succinct way to phrase it, yes, our flaws push us to evolve. They certainly do. And I can’t take the credit, Sofia is pure genius 🙂

    • Many thanks, Trang!! It was one of those “I didn’t have to try too hard” outfits which don’t come together all that often 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Emma, I adore them!!! And they’re probably the cheapest pair I own, either $8 or $10, brand spanking new 🙂

  15. stinedurfdl says

    Ahhh…I consider my flaws to be my beauty marks; or battle scars depending upon how you look at it. My growing up years were the polar opposite of yours. Absolute freedom with not a soul looking out for me; so you can imagine the trouble and dangerous situations I got myself into with no adult guidance in sight. I’m lucky I came out alive. You’re so right, our flaws make us, us, but they are not the definition of who we are.
    Now, on to the fabulous outfit…love the all white and those eyes on the coat are such a super cool detail! And as always…the shoes!

    • We’ve adopted that same absolute freedom approach with our three children. The oldest, sadly, is completely abusing it, whilst the younger two are navigating it with such maturity, I wonder if they’re really ours!! Sigh. It is what it is, and I thank you for always sharing your thoughts, Debbie, they make for such refreshing and insightful reads xoxo

    • Thanks so much, Gemma, my husband bought them for me almost 6 years ago, in a bit of a bootie shopping spree 🙂

    • Hi Catherine, thank you so much 🙂 my husband thinks they’re too big and make me look goofy but I adore them!! xoxo

  16. Sheela, wonderfully written! Yes, we all make mistakes and it’s important to simply learn from our mistakes and move on! Life’s short, and may I just say how gorgeous you look in these pics? Love the all white and those sunnies are so fab! Noticed them right away!
    Happy Monday, love!
    xoxo, Vanessa

    • I do find, however, that there are some mistakes which refuse to go away, that plague us throughout our lives. Now those I can do without 🙂 thanks so much for stopping by, babe, you know I appreciate you loads and loads xoxo

  17. Love the way you’ve elevated classic white with that statement coat and glasses! What a story you went through. Our mistakes make us who we are, hopefully for the betterment of ourselves!

  18. The angels were definitely looking after you that day! I think we all did things as teenagers that looking back we wonder how we made it through. We all have flaws and learn from our mistakes. That doesn’t define us, it makes us a better person! I love your all white look!

    Doused In Pink

    • So long as we survive the experience, huh? Hahaha!! I laugh but I do realise what a perilous position I’d put myself into, in part due to rebellion, in part naivete. I’m very glad it worked out though, I doubt I’d be writing this today otherwise xoxo

  19. What a cute and fun look. It certainly contrasts with the story you described. I agree that we are all flawed in some way. It’s how we rise above and deal with the tough situations that make us who we are. I’m glad you were provided some leniency later on. There needs to be give and take. If life is too strict, kids are bound to rebel and do stupid things. Parents just want what is best and make decisions based on what they know. Hope life is better these days for you!

    xx Yasmin

    • If you keep a wire tightly coiled all the time, the moment you let go, it springs forwards without thought or control. That’s how I tend to look back upon my youth 🙂 I do know my Dad had only the best of intentions at heart so that provides some measure of consolation. Life is much much better these days, Yasmin, thank you. I try very hard not to repeat the sins of old with my daughter xoxo

  20. you look fabulous as usual. thank you for sharing and for linking with Powers the Flower.
    P.S. what’s with the two nails going thru the knuckle of your index finger and how come no-one else has commented on it? i know that it’s a ring but it looks fierce.


    • Hahaha!! I think the sombreness of my subject matter might have thrown some off, Rena, but thank you for noticing. I nicked it from Eve GRIN

  21. Oh my goodness, what a scary experience. Glad it had a happy ending, and you’re right that we are all perfectly flawed! I’m loving this neutral look, and the vest is so fun!

    • Yeah, it was a little scary, I shan’t lie. I don’t know if I’d do things differently given a second chance but I’m glad it worked out alright. My Dad and I are very close, and I suppose that’s the premise behind the over-protectiveness he displayed 🙂 xoxo

  22. First I have to say that I love the outfit and adore the clutch. Second, you are not alone in having believed that sometimes members of the other sex that you did not know as friends/family/acquaintance are innocent in their actions and went off with them thinking you will be ok…I think many young woman unfortunately think that nothing will happen and that we are eternally safe. While it is not right for guys to take advantage, in most cases they do…even when you scream no, are either in public or in private, no matter how old you are (but more so when you are young as they tend to take advantage of the naiveté). I’m sorry to hear about your daughter and hope she is ok now.

    • The very same innocence we treasure in our babies and children is what puts us in danger when we’re young 🙂 everything you’ve said is true, Rania, and yet short of bubblewrapping the innocent, there is very little else we can do save to educate and inform.

      Thank you for asking 🙂 Eve and I are fine now. We have our spats, and that was a particularly nasty one but thankfully our relationship is strong enough to recover from such moments xoxo

    • Me too, Siffat. In retrospect, I was such a dumb trusting idiot 🙂 thank you, sweet lord, for getting me out of harm xoxo

  23. Sheela,
    This was an unbelievable post! First due to the subject matter, we are all so beautifully flawed trying to make our way in a world that focuses on perfection. Secondly, your writing if eloquent and wonderful, and if I may say the last paragraph is genius.

    Love this! Also, you look amazing and your sunglasses are fantastic!

    xx, Elise

    • I like that, making our way in a world that focuses on perfection 🙂 beautifully put, Elise. And I thank you very very much for your kind words. When all else disappeared, writing was my saving grace and it continues to be my solace to this day xoxo

  24. thestyletune says

    Sheela ur story reminds me of my stupidities and troubles I caused to my parents! But I guess teenage years are such.myou totally own the outfit!

    • If anyone ever doubted whether karma existed, all they need do it witness the circle of life between parent and child to parent and child 🙂 I’m quite certain I was responsible for at least 65% of the wrinkles on my mum and dad’s faces, and I’m also quite certain I’m beyond blessed because my daughter Eve has been such an easy child to raise. I’m the grumpy difficult one 🙂 xoxo

  25. You are imperfectly gorgeous and always have the best shoes too. Ohh and you are the perfect writer as I have mentioned before. I love the soft neutral nmonochrome palette of heather gray and white. It is quite perfect as is that fun vest, Sheela.

    Always a pleasure stopping by and besides looking at your awesome fashion, I always enjoy reading what you write!! =))

    Welcome by and join my linkup tomorrow with this outfit and any recent looks. Thanks. Happy Hump Day! Ada. =)

    • Ada, you are such an awesome lady 🙂 you always make the time to leave insightful, personal comments, and the warmth of your personality shines through every single word xoxo

    • Oh my gosh, Diana, thank you so much!! I rarely ever say this but I’m a HUGE fan of your style so you can just imagine how much your compliment means xoxo

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