As I write this I just started reading a manga series where a 60 year old woman wishes to be 17 so she can enjoy her youth, and her wish is granted. It’s called Sumika Sumire and has 2 chapters so far, you can read it for free here.
Here at BBW, we’ve talked about black women (BW) dealing with family members who try to stop them from dating anyone but a black men (black men). Family members trying to stop people from doing what said people really want to do (enjoy life, get the education they want, date who they want, be who they want to be) happens in all cultures and all countries. Which is why it is even more important to not get sucked into the madness of someone else dictating or restricting YOUR life choices – we’ve all seen it doesn’t work out well for the person being restricted.
Reading this series reminded me of the importance of seizing my happiness TODAY. Even if it’s one small action today, it’s important to do it TODAY. Why? Because time is not always on your side, and youth does not last forever. The main character is a woman called Sumire, whose father wouldn’t let her stay in school (despite being a talented and hardworking student) because he believed children existed to work for their parents, and it was a waste to educate girls. He demanded his daughter stay at home to care for her ill grandmother, but to me he clearly was looking for any excuse to not educate his daughter – even said she’d been playing around so far (a girl who came 12th across 3 classes, in a Japanese school). That fucker. I can never understand parents who don’t want their children to live even happier, more enjoyable lives than they did, but instead want them to be as miserable or even more miserable. So Sumire reaches age 60 single, a virgin, no college education, no career, and all alone as her father, her mother, and her grandmother are now all dead.
See, this is my fundamental issue with parents who are so hardline and domineering about who their children can marry. One day they’ll be dead, and unless the child stood up for his or herself, said child will probably be all alone or stuck in some unhappy marriage to someone the parents approved of.
Back to Sumire, who is a kind-hearted, diligent, polite woman, and is now 17 again. She’s a pretty one, and I foresee great adventures in her repeated youth, including men falling in love with her and wanting to wife her up :). But the rest of us don’t get to relive our youth like that. Unless you happen to know a supernatural cat offering wishes in exchange for virgin blood? Even if you did, count me out as I will never be ready to explain to God why I made a deal with a supernatural cat let alone one involving blood….
Recently I’d been holding back on buying make-up (was saying I’ll buy it in Feb, focusing on getting a personal trainer for now) until the wise Brenda55 here at BBW said “Do not wait”. I took it as a sign and immediately bought my first batch of make-up from Etsy. As I write it I’m smiling at my first attempt at liquid eyeliner – yes it is not perfect at all, but practice makes perfect.
What have YOU been putting off, that will make a difference to your happiness? To your enjoyment of life? To your ability to fulfil your goals? To make your dreams come true?
Hand in hand with seizing your happiness today is choosing to flourish forever. The Oxford dictionary definition of the word flourish starts off with “To grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment”. Note these key words: GROW, DEVELOP, HEALTHY. And for those people who insist on staying in highly dysfunctional / battlefield environments, communities where your needs are not been met (and no-one can comprehend your dreams / your dreams are being sabotaged), please note “especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment”.
What are YOU doing to grow, develop, and be healthy in all areas of your life?
In my conversations with women I tend to push for better, happier, less-stressful, healthier outcomes. So if someone tells me their boyfriend cheated on them (true example, dude met with 4 other women in the 2 weeks the girl was on holiday, and for the record neither of them is black), I won’t encourage sticking in there. Yes, some cheaters may never cheat again (lol at my scepticism), but why must you be the one to take on the stress of helping him reform / dealing with trust and self-esteem issues / dealing with the fear that he may do it again?
One thing I’ve noticed is that unless you make a conscious decision to flourish and make the vast majority of your decisions in line with that, it is way too easy to not flourish. Some obvious ones – the decision to regularly eat half a tub of ice-cream with a slab of cake, when you know your metabolism and your fitness regime cannot easily overcome the effects of said decision. The decision to procrastinate on a major task / project at work, when you know your reputation and performance appraisal are going to take a hit if you don’t meet the deadline. Then there are the less obvious ones, the ones where it is a small decision at the time, but the consequences can domino. For instance, choosing to spend time with people you don’t like, who don’t add value to your life – they may become a part of your life, and since birds of the same feather tend to flock together, you may have to spend time with their friends, whom you also might not like.
Right, there’s been a fair bit of rambling so I’m going to bring this to a close with some questions and quotes for you, lovely readers. Afterall, what’s the point of all talk with no action / no call to action 🙂
Who do YOU want to be?
What kind of life do YOU want to have?
What types of relationships do YOU want to have?
And what are YOU doing to bring about what you want?
The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself – Mark Caine
I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want – Muhammad Ali
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence -Helen Keller
Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay – Simone de Beauvoir
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows – Ralph Marston
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best -Epictetus
Quality is not an act, it is a habit – Aristotle