Family Who Matter

Who are the people most important in your life now?

For me, it is always my parents, who are extremely loving, supportive and understanding in everything that I do. Growing up, I was much closer to my father and I admit that I still enjoy typical first born privileges, being the proverbial apple of his eye. Going into adulthood, I developed a closer relationship with my mother, who understood me as a woman, and is able advise on matters which only mothers and women can relate to.

I speak to my parents often and we share what is happening in our lives almost on a daily basis. I seek their advice, enjoy listening to them recount what they do at home, what they are cooking, eating, which tv series they follow, what is growing in their abundant garden and the various activities they do with friends and family. My parents have a much more active social life than I do, and it amuses me to no end the dramas they encounter. Oh, such is life in a small town!

I cherish moments and experiences with my parents and for many years, we vacation as a family together, sharing the love for travel and an adventure for food. My parents are quite well traveled and have an uncanny ability to find excellent food in peculiar places or restaurants all over the world. Whenever they visit, they bring my favorite home cooked dishes, lovingly prepared, along with a multitude of foodstuff to wreck my diet. I happily indulge as food is part of the love they share with me.

During this particular time of ancestral remembrance and worship, I fondly remember the grandparents who are no longer with us. My paternal grandfather was a gentle quiet man, who loved orchids, played the saxophone and knew how to perfectly butter toast. My paternal grandmother was a strong woman to be reckoned with when she was around, an amazing cook who enjoyed sipping on brandy and smoking cigarettes right up to a ripe old age and was generally very domineering in life; I believe I inherited some of her dominant personality traits. My maternal grandfather was a towering figure (literally) who also enjoyed cooking, experimenting in the kitchen and was a strong, wise man with a good sense of humor.

While I was present at both my grandfathers’ funerals, I did not attend my paternal grandmother’s funeral as she passed on and is buried in Australia. I pray to them, with gratitude of the years of having known them, for giving me wonderful parents, and with the belief that their spirits are at peace, and that they continue to watch over us as our guardian angels.

I am blessed to have an adorable maternal grandmother, who is 95 and lives with my parents. She constantly frets over all of us and worries that I would never settle down to get married. One time years ago in an attempt to guilt trip, she started crying, telling me that I should get married so that a man would “take care of me”. I was so shocked that my singlehood affected her so much. I had to explain to her that getting married is not the ‘end all and be all’ of a woman’s life, and that there is much more to life than having a man define who I am.

Citing examples of people she knew who have been in abusive relationships, married to men who are useless (i.e. cheaters, gamblers, alcoholics, unambitious lackwits, spineless doormats), I managed to convince my grandmother that it is better off for me to be single and happy than be married and miserable. Nevertheless, she still grumbles on why I have to be so picky in choosing a life partner, which I laugh off in good humor. Sometimes I remind her that my father has set the bar so high, it is hard for any man to measure up.

With love and gratitude to family who matter, Amen.

Family Who Matter

Are We All Lost Stars?

If you have listened carefully to the lyrics of Adam Levine’s ‘Lost stars’, I am certain that many of you have pondered over the quest for meaning from time to time, particularly in moments of self reflection. I have been thinking about this lately, along with the purpose of my life.

I recently became a full time student again, pursuing a master’s degree in teaching and learning, while working part time. It has been a challenge being a student again, although learning during this first term has been interesting and fun because my professor is an excellent teacher. As one of the older students within my class, I initially felt self conscious of my age. However, my classmates are mostly friendly and outgoing, and their energy and drive for attaining a common goal has been infectious and a good source of encouragement. I see their passion to share and contribute towards society on a long term basis as an inspiration.

On the personal front, I have met several interesting men over the past few months. I have grown attracted to one in particular, a man who is smart, has a wicked sense of humor, and is incredibly sweet, considerate and good looking. It has been fascinating to get to know him better, and as he has been able to keep me interested in him, I have been slowly letting my guard down in order to develop this friendship better.

I had just shared with MB a poem on ‘Reason, Season or Lifetime’, which I include below for your reading pleasure, if you are not familiar with it. I wondered which one he would be, and then decided against categorizing him so quickly. This is going to sound so corny, but one night after I had just finished a long conversation with M, Madonna’s ‘Crazy for you’ came on, and I found myself grinning like a teen, thinking of him. While I welcome this breath of fresh air into my life, in the back of my mind I am constantly wary of when the commitaphobe in me will strike. I realize this with sad pragmatism, as I have not been able to overcome this twisted self destructive part in me yet.

This poem reminded me that the people we meet – whether at school, or at work, or at a party, or even at a grocery store – often do leave an imprint on us; sometimes faintly, sometimes a more significant impression. We should remember that we personally impact other people too, and should be mindful of our words and actions; this is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.

 

People come into your path for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty…

To provide you with guidance and support…

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…

They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die…

Sometimes they walk away…

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…

Their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.

 

Some people come into your life for a SEASON.

Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

 

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.

Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

 

Thank you for being a part of my life…

Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

 

~ unknown author

Are We All Lost Stars?

Strange Love, Twisted

It is said that Love Makes The World Go Round. Of course, this mainly refers to romantic love.

I look around at couples who are partnered and married and wonder what kind of romantic love they share, and at what stage of love they are at. I have had many discussions with friends on the difference of loving someone versus being in love with someone. In my opinion, in relationships, we begin by falling in love. This then matures into an enduring kind of love through time. Sustaining love in a relationship takes work; it is like a fire that needs constant stoking and replenishment, with trust, commitment, thoughtful words and endearments, kind gestures, meaningful action, sharing the good and the bad, compromise and sacrifice by both partners. As a relationship ends, two people are no longer in love with each other. However, some may still continue to love the other, in their own way. For some, their love withered and died.

In ‘The Mountain Shadow’ by Gregory David Roberts, there is a line that struck a chord in me: “Regret is a ghost of love”. As I listen to the beautiful soulful voice of Patti Labelle singing ‘If Only You Knew’, I reflect back on my own experiences with romantic love and the regrets I have in love.

Well then. Yes, there are a few. But nothing significant that keeps me awake at night; they do not hold me back from living life to the fullest. Am I heartless? No. Have I ever been truly in love? Yes. Do I have a twisted view of love? Definitely.

The most profound kind of love that I have experienced so far is reflected in the story of two of my favorite books – ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand and ‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts. It is difficult for me to articulate the depth in which these two books strongly resonate in me. Maybe one day in the future I hope to be able to do so fully.

For now, all I can say is that in my own experiences with love, there was joy…and also pain and heartache. Pain in the uncleaving, pain in the yearning, pain in knowing that such exquisite love with a soul mate is not strong enough to keep us together. Pain in having to let go so that the other person is able to continue his journey to achieve his goals in life, even if that meant it was not with me. Heartache in giving up a man, whom being with at the time was a distraction in fulfilling my own goals.

I do know that ever since I read ‘The Fountainhead’ in my teens, it has defined me and my view of love in many ways. The men I fell in love with and the type that I am strongly attracted to, have been similar to Roark. As for the list of men I have been involved with, they were ‘fillers’ at best, which would explain why they did not last long. Never mind the fact that I have a short attention span. Good looking men, men with delicious muscular physiques, charming men with money, are great for a while. What keeps me interested is their ability to stimulate the cerebral part of me.

I chuckle now as I recall the multitude of men I have met, who have as much personality and wit of a cucumber. Like, seriously?

For those of you who have yet to fall in love, or be in love, or be in a(nother) loving relationship, stay hopeful. I do.

For everyone else out there, I wish for you to be as blessed as I am, to be surrounded by love from family, friends and pets.

Strange Love, Twisted