Contentment

Lying face up on a rickety bench with nails protruding within sight, I inhaled the sights around me. The very blue, blue sky peeping from the frame between the roof of the hut I was lying in and the edge of that rickety bench, the swaying coconut leaves of trees, and to make it even more meaningful, I had scrapped a real coconut just that morning using an antique coconut grater that was in our house in KB for the girls to make Ondeh-Ondeh for tea. In a distance, my girls were flying their new kites beautifully with the Hubs ensuring they didn’t go beyond the monsoon seas. The ceiling of the hut had a faulty light but the sun shone so brightly that it was not necessary. I was finishing up my book, Horror Stories by Tunku Halim, with the sea breeze slapping my right cheek when I suddenly felt it – contentment.

Everything I needed was here.

There was nothing else more that could make my heart sing with contentment. Even with my dearest and most beloved Mom not with us in presence, she really was felt everywhere we went. That was how strong our love was. I now lead a fearless life because I know I am safe. People ask me, the pictures of your kids are everywhere, don’t you care about their safety? There could be pedophiles lurking.

Let’s just stop to think of that for a minute. So what exactly is a pedophile going to do with my child’s picture? Masturbate to it? Find them and hurt them? Ruin their reputations? I’m good on all fronts, thank you. I’ve got them covered. I sincerely believe that everything in this world happens for a reason. When your intentions are pure and clear, no harm can ever come onto you. And besides, we have a lot of angels protecting us from above. I have been born lucky, I really do not spend sleepless nights worrying about things like that. Call me naive but I’m good. Thank you for your concern for me, as always.

Am I naive? For someone who has been through the depth of more than 40 years of real life experience of a coloured life, what more with a further 50 plus years of several first hand experiences, I don’t think so but you’re most welcome to judge. This brings me back to my solo conversation with Samantha Barlian, my best friend at University. We were both in tune with one another. We had gone through enough (and mind you, then she was only 21; but of course she had her Mom’s experiences to go by too). We had seen with our own eyes so much of the world there is to be seen. Perhaps that’s arrogant so allow me to rephrase. We have seen more than what many of our peers have. Sam herself has said, nothing surprises me anymore. Another person I’ve met in this lifetime who understood this is a girl whom I met through the UWC gang I used to hang out with. We were also very in tune with one another. We might not have been to prison, but we knew people who had. We knew the inside stories of Government and political power. We have mixed with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and we have made our choices. I remember asking her once, you are a high profile lady with bodyguards. Why don’t you wear make up? She shrugged and said, “I just prefer to spend that time putting on make-up doing other things.” I love that girl. Always have, always will. And we are tight lipped. That much I know we are. Our secrets are forever safe with each other for I am the best keeper of one.

Despite living a simple day to day life of minimalism, I’ve learnt that I am still admired. For what, I am not exactly sure. Perhaps not all fans are admirers. Some are possibly haters. And some are just gawking in fascination. I am not a millionaire or a billionaire’s daughter, but I have solid life values. I know who I am and what I am capable of. I know too my weaknesses. And I think that when you truly know yourselves and are truly true TO yourselves, contentment sets in. Nobody can hurt you.

My wish is for all women to get there. It always has been. Because I was not always here and it took effort and learning to get here. But I was blessed that I had a Mother who loved me enough to teach me the ropes very early on. Not everyone had that but everyone can still learn. Get rid of all your insecurities and believe. You need to live life to build upon such confidence instead of remaining cooped up at home. You need to get out of your comfort zone to speak to people real life. Lots of people. You need to learn how to think on your feet. Meeting people builds inner confidence. Doing things builds self-esteem. Do both. Clean your home, clean yourselves. Go out to meet a wide range of personalities in various settings. You need to have versatility to build upon that confidence. If you keep meeting up with only one class of people, you limit your ability to take on that beggar on the street, or the Prime Minister. Meet people from different parts of the world, different nationalities, different income groups, different artistic backgrounds, different nerds. Enrich your lives with knowledge and experiences. When you have so much experience, your confidence is strong and you will be able to be the best parent, leading by example.

Of course, not all women want to get there preferring to stay in their comfort zone of happy already. That is their choice too. We all have choices and we should never impose. We should never judge because you never know what goes on in another person’s life. What you see is not necessarily what their reality is. I have been trying to express that idea to women for the longest time but not many get it. C’est la vie.

Happiness and contentment – I do not react to many things because I see things with different sets of eyes. Do I have six pairs of eyes? Yes, I do when I choose to. Absolutely. You can too. Even my extreme joy is sometimes silent. Those moments are usually happiness and contentment to do with the bigger picture. I do not waste precious time with superficial unimportant matters. My good friend reminded me last year at a funeral, bless her, that you work for God and in Him, you serve. It hit home.

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Contentment, we can all have it in varying degrees. How much money do you have to make? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Write it all down.

Love and light x

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