The Women in My Life

(True story, biographical.)

“How do you know you’re at peace?” I asked my mother once, in my teens. She told me “when your masculine and feminine stop fighting each other, when you stop fighting yourself, that’s when you’ll find peace.” So I asked, “which side should I be then? Which one wins?” My mother smiled and said “figure it out.”

I watched, trying ever so hard to understand how my mother could be so at peace despite everything she had been through as a mother. Then I looked at both her sisters, and realised they’re made of that same metal that makes my mother who she is. Naturally, it made sense to get to know my parents’ siblings better so that I could better understand them…

In the last two years, I’ve learned that mother’s younger sister has been doing remote work from home for almost as long as I’ve been alive! What my generation aspires to do, she’s already an expert. Last month, I discovered that mother’s older sister is one of the first women who ever wore trousers as work attire in corporate London, back in the early 80’s. When she told me this, it hadn’t even occurred to me that there was a specific “skirt / dress only” dress code.

“We were supposed to only wear skirts to work,” my aunt told me, “but skirts can get very uncomfortable, you know. So one day I put on a pair of trousers because it was more comfortable. Next thing you know, other women start doing it too. Eventually, it just became accepted in our company (Ernst and Young).”

I reflected, and pondered: it stood to reason that the strength came from my grandma. With R20 (USD 1.50) in her pocket, my grandma moved the family of ten (five went ahead, I was told, the other five came later) to the city in the 1960s during the apartheid in South Africa. As a family, they never let the Apartheid become a factor hindering them from just living their lives. When survival is your main focus, and it slowly seeps into the “norm”, you learn to embrace the better parts of life.

My grandparents always opened their homes, always welcomed those in need. Though they didn’t have much, they gave what they could: love, shelter, and a hot cup of tea. They didn’t discriminate who came through the doors. They were loving, but they were tough.

To the kids, they were very disciplined, from what I was told. Swearing warranted washing your mouths out with soap, dishes had to be cleaned immediately after dinner. Beds had to be made and tucked in completely, without an angle sticking out anywhere (although, I was recently informed that bed-making was my great grandmother’s rule). Disciplined, but always out of love. They knew that as long as the kids were disciplined enough to later be self-disciplined, then they would be able to take care of themselves.

They were right. And so it continued in the family line. I see it in my mother, I see it in how she is with our family. I know it comes from her family, that strength, that unity, that togetherness. The way she always did her best to stay strong for all of us when we were all falling apart; when we’re at our worst, she’s always the one motivating us, holding us up, comforting us and letting us know that “it’s okay not to be okay, as long as you get up again when you’re ready.”

My mother is the strongest woman I have experienced. She taught me everything I know and more, at least by providing the platforms where I, too, could become self-disciplined and self-motivated. I am where I am (literally) because yes, she birthed me, but also because she is the one woman who has always, always been there for me, through thick and thin. The one who has lifted me when I was down, but humbled me when I was arrogant. The one who can fight me when I need it, and calm me down when I diverge.

I am strong because my mother is strong. She is strong because the women in her life are strong.

So how do I know that I am at peace?

Because my masculine energy and my feminine energy are no longer at war.

I am a person, a human. A human with strength, both inner and outer; a person with emotions, both aggressive and passive. A human with weaknesses, both external and internal; a person with flaws, both on the outside and on the inside. A human with motivation, both physical and emotional; a person with compassion, both expressed and empathised. I am not perfect, but I am balanced, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.

Balanced, and equal.

Within myself.

Peace
Mikavelli

You See Wounded, I See Mended

This song is uplifting in every way possible, it’s been quite inspirational. Meaningful and beautiful lyrics. Enjoy!

“Oh, but I can still recognize
The one I love in your tear stained eyes

When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended

You see worthless, I see priceless. You see pain, I see purpose. You see unworthy, undeserving, I see you through the eyes of mercy.”
-Matthew West-

 

Liebster Award

liebsteraward

First and foremost, I would like to thank Victoria for voting for my blog for the award!

Accordingly, the rules for the award are as follows:
– Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog
– Thank and tag the blog who nominated you
– Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers and inform them of the nomination (link them in the post)
– No tag-back
– Answer the questions given by your nominator
– Provide a new set of questions for your nominees

The questions I was asked to answer:

1. Why do you write?
I write to learn, to inspire, to fight, and to excel. Writing is my form of watching the abstracts – the ideas and theories – manifest into something concrete. When I see the words appear before me on the screen, or on paper, they become real. They are no longer a fantasy, they become my version of reality.

2. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
My basic life philosophy is LIFE itself – Learn to Inspire and Fight to Excel. To live each day as if it’s your last, to sleep without regret, wake without hesitation, and do what I love so that I love what I do. Life is not meant to be perfect, but everything works out for the best in the end, and if it’s not yet good then it’s not yet the end.

3. If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen?
I would like to have witnessed Einstein in the process of inventing some of his greatest works, and also a Time Lapse of globalisation on an abstract level.

4. What is the best compliment that you hope someone will give you?
The utmost form of compliment in my books is if someone tells me I inspire or motivate them

5. What is your best or favourite memory?
It’s hard to say – probably being born, if I remembered it. Or learning to walk – that one I actually do remember. (And no, I didn’t learn to walk at six).

6. Who do you admire most?
Albert Einstein – his philosophies, his inventions, his motivation and determination. The fact that he is one of the greatest scientists but also the most creative genius ever known to man trumps any modern mythical paradox that you can either be creative or scientific, but never both.

7. What cheers you up?
Seeing progress in any form – whether it be self, friends, family, clients (students), society or even humanity.

8. What is the most daring or spontaneous thing that you have ever done?
Cliff jumping off a 30 foot cliff in the Philippines. I pretty much just ran up the cliff and jumped because I knew that if I’d stopped to look, I’d probably get unnecessarily scared.

9. What are you most afraid of?
Fear itself, and not fear as in insecurities, but fear as in phobias or general setbacks hindering clarity.

10. If you could have one wish, what would you wish?
For balance in the world – peace, equality, and essentially, balance.

My nominations:

Aquileana of La Audacia de Aquiles from Greek mythology to linguistic structualism, Aquileana has excellent in-depth articles that are easy to read and follow.

Dr. Harker of Paranorensics – excellent medical-based mystery stories

Daniel of The Incompetent Writer – good writing tips with travel adventures

N.P. Sala of A Clear Lens – interesting reads on religion, epistemology and apologetics.

Justin Antioho of Rugged Writings – good poetry and some philosophical commentary

Ben Hewitt of Ben Hewitt – introspective content with simple and easy-to-read syntax

Lincoln Davidson of The Davidson International – political and sociological commentary on various issues

Gronda Morin of Gronda Morin – political reads with illustrations

Ten questions for the nominees:
1. Who are you?
2. How do you think? (in pictures, words, sounds, movies etc)
3. What is your favourite strength in yourself and why?
4. What do you count as a weakness (any context)?
5. What was your purpose of creating a blog?
6. Are you satisfied with your blog? Why or why not?
7. What inspires you to do what you do?
8. What motivates you when you feel low?
9. What are your aspirations?
10. If you could have dinner with 4 people – living or dead – who would they be and why?

Once again, many thanks to Victoria for her nomination. Good luck to all of you, too! Keep sharing your thoughts!

Mikaela of Mikavelli