Glow Up: 19 Things I've Learnt at 19

Brunei Blogger May Cho The Mayden Fashion Style Beauty Glowy Makeup Dewy Skin Editorial
I turn 19 today. Between 19 and 5, I think I've grown -- I know I've grown a whole lot.

From a bright-eyed, keen and utopian child, I have turned into a hard-hearted, sad and cynical young adult, experienced things, seen things, learnt things. But, I think all is well and good at this point in time, for where melancholy lurks, inklings of happiness breed.

This is a post for the young and naive me, for the unprepared teenage me whacked and slapped swiftly by life, for the desperate, lost and fatigued me at ten-twenty two in the evenings. This is also a post for 19-year-old me who's somehow learnt to love herself and who's learnt to embrace the scars on her body and who's learnt to take a step back.

These are some of the things I've learnt at 19.


I surprise myself yet again with an ensemble that brought patterns of two spectrums together. 

One, checked gingham of the yesteryears sprawled across a skirt in degrees that broke order; two, child of tartan of unorthodox politics, familiar to my ears only as 90s punk rebels; one and two makes three, held together by the backbones of black and white.

Gray somehow finds itself into the look, though, as patterns clash and heads shake at the mold that has been broken.

Meet: Zahra Zamari

Brunei Blogger May Cho interviews Zahra Zamari of The Rosie Grammar and Eve & Rosie
Brunei Blogger May Cho interviews Zahra Zamari of The Rosie Grammar and Eve & Rosie at Rack & Brew, Gadong.
Faith-conscious, style-loving and unapologetically true-to-self, Zahra Zamari is your regular 21-year-old and more.

I arrive at Rack & Brew at 3:00 PM sharp and see Zahra seated at a corner table with a group of her friends; "Group mates," she had forewarned me earlier, "I have two assignments due next week."

Dressed in her signature style, with pastels and delicate color blocking (pastel pink and navy blue on this occasion), she stands up as I make my way towards her. After a few shuffles and fumbles, we seat ourselves on a table beside her friends'. She smiles as I whip out my phone, "Do you mind if I record?"


It was a particularly cloudy afternoon when these photos were taken. There was, alongside the scurried footsteps of pedestrians in muted hues, a melancholy wind drifting pale clouds of gray along. The dim sky brought about a bout of ennui that seeped and soaked into my skin as, sunless and cheerless, lethargic languor lulled me in.

Laziness is the word most would use upon the sight of a red mug on the bedside table, quiet mist, hot tea and all. Difference begs to be heard, however, where there are clamped legs and tired arms, cramped heart and sighing mind.

Monthly Merits: May

Monthly Merits is a monthly series where I recount and award the month's worthiest moments in merits.

May was good. May was a good month. May brought back coffee-sipping, word-centric, music-filled afternoons. May also brought with it a rediscovery of passion and a reentering of non-passion into my life. But all in all, May was good and I'd relive it again if only it was not for the looming approach of one's month of birth.

Here are this month's merits.


Brunei Blogger May Cho in collaboration with makeup artist Muiz Zamri and Photographer Lily Harith
Brunei Blogger May Cho in collaboration with Rebecca, makeup artist Muiz Zamri and Photographer Lily Harith
She is a chameleon.

She is emerald in the forest, cyan on ocean beds, marigold in fields of sunflowers. She is Hazel in front of mirrors, Raven to her readers, Henna to her followers. She breathes in violet clouds and exhales indigo daydreams, drinks in azure mists and speaks spun scarlet, but never were the colours that burst forth from within her in a euphoric stream of mania ever her own. It is white light shattering into seven shards showering upon her soul.

She is a chameleon, but she does not tell anyone.


One Year of The Mayden

This post was initially scheduled to be published on the 19th of April when The Mayden officially turned one, but circumstances halted the process. So here I am a month late but publishing this post that was written in April for The Mayden's first anniversary.

Brunei Blogger May Cho
You. Thank you.

The first post I published under the persona of The Mayden dates 19th April 2015, an adorable effort complete with phone-taken photos alongside tiny kittens and a three sentence long post I once regarded as blogging. The latest post I published is a 700-word reflection piece on eclecticism and subjectivity, subject matters I expedited in the form of a narrative accompanied by style photos -- exactly the kind of content The Mayden is known for now.

A year has gone and, in just a year, The Mayden has evolved from a horrific girl-next-door effort into a creative space I foster my love for the English Language and sartorial affairs in without shame. Pride wells up in me as I look back at the transformation of this blog.

One year, The Mayden, but my oh my, you've grown.

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