Written by: Crystal-Lee Young
The simplest question rarely has the most truthful answer.
“Hello, how are you?”
I spent the longest time staring at this sentence in front of me. Believing that the universe had also held its bated breath in anticipation, that the blank expression on my screen would rendition an automated response. I could audibly hear an apathetic reply in my head.
“Fine thank you, and yourself?”
LIAR! These are my mom moments of truth.
‘Mom-ents of truth’
Those eerie, five-worded, somewhat-rhetorical-remark, has become nothing more than an empty phrase of duty. Our highways and by-ways have become congested to capacity. We are always swaying rhythmically back and forth, arriving from one place, just to shove off to the next – always in a hurry but much of the time, not really going anywhere. Honestly, it is a mocking display of an oscillating pendulum.
Guilty as charged!
My ‘mom-ent’ came swiftly. Leaving me cold to the touch. Sitting down, my mind began to skilfully sift through all the excuses and silly attempts at excluding myself from others. How many times have I hastily blurted out, “fine thank you, and yourself?” I’m not really expecting a hearty answer… (Maybe because I never attempted offering one of my own.)
I seemed to have missed the mark completely. The presenting question is: “How are you?” And, honestly, I don’t think I know how to answer that truthfully.
Women of wonder
Sometime last year (2017) while sitting pensively at my kitchen table – my eyes still sleepily fixed on my cold cup of coffee, I clearly heard God saying to me, “Woman, you have lost your wonder!” Those soft words, still echoing in my ears, pierced straight through my heart. I knew it was true.
Somehow, I had gotten swept up by a current of chaos and spat out into the hustle and bustle of life.
Like a drunken sailor I was falling around, barely touching the ground before I was on my feet again. Simple tasks became chores. I don’t know about you, but as a wife and mother of two small girls, I tend to spread myself a bit thin. Always trying to squeeze in one more event or one more birthday party.
“Hello’s” and “goodbyes’” became nonsensical space fillers. Until I was caught off guard one day. “Hello Crystal, how are you?” Her friendly voice spilled into the air. Speechless, all I could utter was “aaah…”. My demeanour desperately searching for the nearest exit.
I wanted to escape because I didn’t know how to be truthful!
In all honesty, I had flat-lined. I had not been (fine) for a long, long time.
“Woman, you have lost your wonder.”
What does that mean I ask myself time and again? I can’t quite find the right words to express myself, but if my emotions could speak, they would surrender volumes. Therefore, I have decided to ‘unveil myself.’ Today (superwoman) is exchanging her cape for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake!
Women are incredibly complicated creatures. We have a way of camouflaging our cares, worries, and sorrows. Without even thinking twice, we flip on our façade for the day: A two-fold, self-invented veil so that no one can see how badly we are hurting. A barricade to keep those nearest to our hearts, out! I don’t know when we became so defensive or started hiding our wounds to those who care about us, but it makes for an awfully heavy load to carry alone.
“Hello, how are you?” She asked again gently, her voice spilling into the air. I was sitting ‘cool, calm and collected’ in my seat, while my thoughts were traveling at the speed of sound. Late last year my friend and I decided to have an impromptu, long overdue visit while enjoying a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.
The truth is, I hadn’t been truthful for a long time, not even to myself.
And, I didn’t want to hide anymore.
Superwoman is way overrated! Besides, being true to myself and others shows a greater feat of strength and courage. Instead of hiding cowardly beneath a cape, I have decided to do myself justice and be honest to those closest to me about what is going on in my heart and head. In fact, I think it’s a crucial step for all women who have lost their wonder. In my opinion, a cup of coffee and a slice of your favourite cake is the best place to start that conversation.
Be – YOU – tiful
We are beautiful, we are unique, we are women, we are wives! We are many things. But, we are not superwoman. It is so easy to lose our true identities in the hustle and bustle of life. The never-ending merry-go-round of madness. God delicately designed each one of us to reflect the wonder of a woman’s heart, which is nothing less than beautiful! We need to slow down more often, take a sip of coffee while it is still hot, and eat a slice of our favourite cake with a cherished friend.
Will you take courage with me to be true to yourself? Will you take courage to be truthful to those around you?
Take your barricade down and be honest. Share your feelings. It’s alright to cry. We can’t always have it ‘together’ all the time.
Let’s be women of wonder!
So, how do we move forward from here? I suggest that we each find a friend who has taken upon herself the role of a ‘drunken sailor’ so to speak, make an impromptu coffee date with her and then gently ask her the following question:
“HOW ARE YOU?”
About the author:
Crystal-Lee Young is an avid blogger and creative writer. She is intrigued by the human psyche and the interaction between people and their environment. She is also a SAQA accredited Christian pastoral counselor. She lives in the Cape Winelands with her husband and two daughters. Crystal boasts that her highest earthly accolade and title is that of ‘MOM.’