Hey Oprah! 15 things I know for sure.


Oprah always asks this.  Mostly people give “deep” altruistic answers.  Meryl Streep said she knows for sure that she’ll never lose the 10lbs she picked up with her last child.  I like her.  A lot. 
I’m 41 this year.  I’m told I look younger and sometimes I do feel younger than “41”.  Inverted commas because I’m not sure how 41 should look.  When my mom was 41, she had been married for 20 years and had 3 children.   I’m the eldest and I was 19 and studying at university at the time.
One
I’m 41.  I’ve never been married.  I don’t have children.  Never planned it to be this way.   I became a Christian when I was 25 and decided that I would only marry a man that loves God more than he loves me.    Had long and short relationships before and since.  Just never got to the marriage stage.  Thank goodness for some.  If only I persevered longer for others.  But nevertheless, I don’t regret my decisions.  Always thought I’d rather be single than be in a bad marriage. 
Two
I’m 41.  I don’t have (human) children.  Never planned it to be this way.  Didn’t really pursued it either.  As a Christian woman, I am committed to sexual purity so never could fall pregnant by accident.  Wasn’t willing to marry just to have children.  I don’t regret my decision.  Thought that if I have children, they need a God-focussed father.  I’d rather not have children than bring them up in an unhappy home.
Three
I’m 41.  I’ve picked up weight since I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia in 1999.  About 20kgs.  Have tried to lose it with diets.  The kg’s always came back with friends.  Migrated up 2 dress sizes.  Grown into this body now.  Even like it a bit.  My body is me.  Being overweight is not equal to being defective and shameful.  It is just simply being overweight.  I’d rather be overweight and “here” than normal weight and captive in “body shame”.
Four
I’m 41.  I’m an aunt of 4 children.  My brother has 2 girls; my sister a pigeon pair.  Never thought about being an aunt really.  Now that I’m one, I am elated.  They are my future as much as they are their parents’ future.  I invest my heart into them as I would have in my own children.  I don’t have to stuff vegetables down their throat or buy practical shoes.  I buy ice-cream and Barbie shoes (not for Big Boy, of course).  I go to the beach and listen to long stories about movies and friends.  I teach how to explain how their hearts are sad or angry.  I hug and ask for kisses.  Then I give them back to their parents.  I know I miss out on the hard times that build relationships.  I don’t sit up at night with a sick child.  I don’t change stinky nappies.  This is what I would have done with my own children.  But I have the best children an aunt could have.  I'm the best aunt I can be. I’d rather be a committed aunt than lamenting the fact that I probably never will have children. 
Five
I’m 41.  I love my dogs.  They are my children, my family.  I treat them like dogs.  I love them like friends.  I used to feel guilty and even shame for sometimes loving my dogs more than I love some human beings.  No more.  I love my dogs.  I still mourn my companion of 16 years that died in my arms last year.  I will always love my dogs.  No apologies.  I’d rather rescue dogs and create a mixed-species family unit than not having these strong relationships. 
I’m 41 and this is also what I know for sure:
Six
Life doesn’t work out the way you thought it would when you were 20.
Seven
Life is hard and unpredictable with lots of challenges and emotional pain.  It's meant to be this way.
Eight
Life in Christ is harder than life outside of Christ.  Christianity is not for sissies.
Nine
I am a complex human being that will never quite have a handle on who I really am.  I don't expect you to completely understand me either.
Ten
I am surprisingly resilient.  Still here. 
Eleven
I am able to give love and my love is able to fill others.
Twelve
I am able to receive love and be filled by others' love.
Thirteen
You don't have to understand me to like me.  I don't need to understand me to like you. 
Fourteen
I have a voice.
Fifteen
You have a voice too.  I want to hear what you know for sure. 
I want to be filled by your wisdom and life too.   
Just take the step and tell me in the comments section the one or two or many things you know for sure...

4 comments:

Mrs.MyGaman BorNeo said...

Hi Amanda,
It's fun to read this article and I like your no.8 when you said 'Life in Christ is harder than life outside of Christ'. I'm Christian too, and for sure the more harder my life is the more I close to Christ. Hopefully, you'll understand what I wrote here because I'm not really good in English just like My Broken English Blog ^_^

Amanda said...

Mrs Broken English Blog. Thank you for your comment and I totally agree. I think also it is harder to live a life of awareness and giving than it is to live a life 4 yourself. Mostly I've realised that when people say "Christianity is a crutch" as an insult, it is because they don't understand how tough living an authentic "walk the talk" christian life is. Also means that you continually face up to your fragile humanity, which is easy to ignore when you don't live a christ-focussed life. What do you think?

Julia said...

Hi Amanda,
I have been gaining so much insight while trawling your archives and old posts. I especially loved this piece. I'm going to do something similar in the future on my blog - hope you don't mind.
Julia

Amanda said...

Hey Julia
Great if you are also going to do your list! How about linking my blog in yours and letting me know when you have your list up. Wld love to read it.
Thanks for the encouragement, btw. Keep in touch.

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