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International Women’s Day | What is the story you tell yourself?

”Destiny is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

William Jennings Bryan 

I have been thinking a lot, a lot about the story I tell myself about myself.  Is it a crying story, a victim story, a martyr story or a story that I am proud about.

I have already spoken about some of my life experiences in my about page if you’re interested.

Some of those experiences naturally still have an impact on me today. I am working through them as they come.  I believe that we continue to carry some of these as life goes anyway.

Some people, however, may not find the courage to change things around for themselves and unwillingly stay in pain or anger for the rest of their lives.

I think in my case, I learnt it from the women in my family. To take control of the situation and change it. Don’t keep crying over it. If you don’t like it, do something about it.

Then there’s me being away from home and from the people who I felt wronged me. Being away made it easier for me to forgive and see that life has much more in store for me than what has already happened.  I don’t want to be stuck in the past. I want a better future.

Yes, I got married at 18 without my agreement. Yes, I was a widow at 27 but I am here today.  What can I do to be happier today?

I can be sad about yesterday and be happy about my now and future. I am a free citizen, I can choose to wear what I want today. I can even cut my hair and show my legs if I want to. I can choose to live my life as  I want.

We have the power to find the solution within us, as soon as we begin to hear the stirring in our heart, pointing us to something greater than who we are.

If I was still there, perhaps I would still be surviving. Being in Ireland it was possible for me to see hope for a better future. I remember why I came to Ireland with my daughter over 10 years ago. In a completely foreign country. Courage to give my daughter who’s just lost her father a new beginning.

The picture above is the women in my family, my mam, sister, my mams sister and their daughter. This picture was taken in December 2018 when I last visited Mauritius.

It was our last day in Mauritius, we hired a minibus and went on an all-day road trip around the coast.  As you can see the women in my family love showing their legs 🙂

As a child, none of the women in my family was allowed to show their legs or cut our hair. Wearing jeans or leggings were also forbidden. These days most of the man who set those rules passed away and the women who believed in those rules have given up on teaching us values and rules.

The women in my family are strong-headed, stood up for themselves when the time came but there were certain things they wouldn’t care challenging because it was not necessary.  It was the culture.

All of them had something in common. They weren’t afraid of hard work.

My granny and mum worked in the field then came home to make dinner and clean the house non-stop. They were able to do it even when tired. They even prioritise a 30 minutes nap during the day.

My elder sister has a banana delivery company. Herself and her husband grow, cut and sell bananas in markets and locally deliver to local shops. Both share the tasks in hand.

My aunty also an entrepreneur is a street vendor along with her husband and children.

I don’t have a picture of my mam and granny picking tea leaves. That used to be their work. But the picture below reminds me of them 20 years ago! It was a different time.

 

My granny got married when she was 13 years old. My mam was not even 18 when she got married. My elder sister and myself we both got engaged around 15-16 then got married at 18. We both had children at the age of 19 and were a full-time wife and mother.

We were trained enough to take care of the cleaning and ready to have children so we were ready to be sent off to and have a family. But then, they didn’t know any better, they didn’t find any wrong in doing that. We were poor and daughters marriage and virginity was something too precious and sooner it’s done safer the families dignity.

This blog post was inspired as I was de-cluttering my own home recently. Why am I so obsessed with organisation and having a tidy house. Now I know with Spring we all get into the Marie Kondo spirit de-cluttering and creating space in the house.

I am a fan of empty spaces.  It feels like it gives me space to breathe.  Do you know what I mean?

Spring has been associated with cleaning and getting ready for the next season.  I wasn’t always so mindful about organisation though, growing up, my mam was shockingly organised with a few things like the wardrobes and kitchen stuff but then she was more shockingly dis-organised when it came to important papers or safety pins or little things like scissors, batteries.

This used to drive me mad! Never did I think that maybe I should take that task on board and start organising them myself. She was doing the best she knew.

And I am grateful for the chores my mother assigned myself and my elder sister daily (not my brother, but that’s a topic for another day) cleaning, blending spices, folding clothes and MUCH MORE. That’s what I mean, I know when I was just a child, both myself and my sister wanted to study but there was no time for it. We were given a list of daily chores to do before going to school and after school.  At 7 pm my father would start his evening mantra: switch off the lights and tv and go to b, d everyone! So we thought life was terrible as many kids believe anyway. But the chores helped me with other ways that I can use today.

These days I can be brutal when organizing and I get into a violent version of Marie Kondo, not the calm and collected version 🙂

I bin toys, clothes and kitchen stuff way too easily. I want as little as possible around the house.

Today on the International Women’s Day I would like to raise a smoothie glass for all the women in my life, (you know who you are) who contributed and still are to built me into becoming the person I am today. Our life experiences and people we spend time with really influence us.

The women in my family are ALL strong headed, powerful, resilient and entrepreneurs. I’ve watched them survived many lows in life and how gracefully and strongly they face the challenges.

I feel so blessed to be born where I was born, my roots and my upbringing even with all the difficult times. It’s made me into who I am today. As a mother of four, I hope I do a better job of raising my children.

 

I would really love to hear your thoughts, head over to the comment box below and share the story that you tell yourself today.  Do you think about your past and how it affects you?

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