You know I wasn’t sure how this article will go down and I have been holding myself back from writing it for months now. I don’t have any statistics for you or research. I only have what I’ve observed from being a teenager (through the story which I’ve written i.e. The South African: True Colours – based on a true story) my own life and over two decades of life experience.
You know the first role model in your life is your mother i.e. if you have had the opportunity to grow up in a family where your parents are still together, if not and your mother was still very much present in your upbringing then she will be the first role model (if you’re girlish or female). You might not appreciate the way she is when you’re a teenager. It takes seeing a lot, experiencing a lot, realising a lot for you to start appreciating your mother and her qualities and that is when you start taking it onboard into your own life.
At first, I didn’t appreciate my mother (when I was a child right down to being about fourteen years old). It’s only until I started growing up and understanding life more, seeing more women and their mothers, relationships other people had with their mothers and leaving home was the biggest one. Leaving home and the value I had/have for my mother just had/has no price. No one did what my mother did for me out there in the real world, honestly, no one sacrificed for me what my mother did for me and if you have a mother that you have such a great connection with, you better hold onto her. Hopefully, you have a mum that is an incredible force and a very good influence.
I met the good woman and I know her very well (my mum of course), I met the self-entitled women when I was working and it was only until there was a certain phase in my life that, thank god, came to an end by destiny that actually made me see that every woman while growing up can become her (the self-entitled woman) if she isn’t aware, doesn’t get guidance or have any good influencers around her and then, there is the princess.
I call princesses, women who have been through both the first two phases and finally get it. The princess is the woman who created her dream into reality but not just any dream. A dream where she understands that as a woman she is not only a businesswoman but is a mother (bearer and provider) to world change for the better. The princess is the woman who can transform the best learnings during her self-entitled days to blend into her good woman ways. The princess knows and understands that balance is key. She has the grounding of the good woman and is humble, caring, kind, protective (the qualities of a true mother), the firmness/assertiveness, wisdom, intuition, power, management, people skills, etc. (the good parts from her self-entitled days) and then reaches the princess stage. This is the stage where these women really get it.
It takes a soldier to get to this point, incredible heartbreak, pain, struggle, faith, even at one point a loss of hope, a loss of oneself to make it to the princess stage. Why? The princess gives what she couldn’t have, the princess remembers what hurt her the most, what’s been taken away from her and these feelings she carries with her as she remembers how others feel. She sees them transparently when no one can. The princess has been through the ultimate experiences both joy and pain that she never believed she’d make it through. The princess has taken the ultimate risk. She sees, feels, creates change and connects with the world. The princess has the power to solve, to defeat, to come to aid, to comfort, to console, to empower, to bring justice, to mother etc.
During my life experience, I’ve seen women remain as “the good woman”. Those were the old days when women had no rights and I still see some of these good women in patriarchal societies. Times have changed but back then there were a lot of women in domestic violence. The good women has endured a lot. The good women and even the self-entitled women haven’t come to terms with their worth. I have met and seen women who remain as “the self-entitled woman”. I have been in contact with self-entitled women while living and working overseas, but we lack princesses in this world. I have never met a princess other than myself in person (no modesty here 😊). I thank my mother the most and all the experiences I had over the years with the good women, the self-entitled women (these were hard learnings for me) who taught me to become the princess.
Maybe one day I might write an article about the good woman, the self-entitled woman, the princess and the queen…
I am still to meet the queen!
To be continued…
T. Dench Patel