As writers, we live lonely lives. We write and we try to share our hearts on paper (or in these times of modernity online) but there is always that fear – that worry – firstly of “Is anyone going to read this?”, then the anxious thoughts of of “Will they like it?” when really we want to ask “Will they like me?” “Am I interesting?” or maybe even “Am I acceptable?“
So we risk and we write and sometimes – if were are very blessed indeed – we hear back from someone. Someone comes along who says “I really like what you’ve written”. To me, that says “I see you” and OMG it means the whole world to me.
So today’s blog is for you, darling Shanti – a stranger on the internet who has worked her way into my heart and has actually become a friend. Someone I will always treasure.
I’ve just now seen on your blog that you wrote one about me! OMG!!! If I could do cartwheels, I would have done 10 in a row – your post made me SO HAPPY!!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!
Ironically, you called me ‘brave’ when it’s actually you that’s the hero of this story. You go through so much illness, so much pain, I suspect a lot of time on your own when maybe you might want to be sharing your life with more people – and you have such a heart for others.
You care passionately about children and protecting them. You advocate for truth and you stand for anti-bullying. That’s so powerful and so crucial, especially to those who have been robbed of their voices; robbed of their right to say “no”. I love that you speak for them. You are amazing. You love your family wholeheartedly and you’re probably a caring, thoughtful partner to “B”, too.
I read your blog today about psoriasis (sp?) and my heart just broke for you. We deal with enough on a daily basis – being old (haha), having daily chores to do, jobs to keep, bills to pay…then you also deal with cancer (is it okay that I’m saying this? I hope so) and now your skin peeling and being so painful and so costly to care for. I can’t imagine how much anxiety and stress it must cause you.
My heart ached when you talked about the shame associated with it. You are right, if more famous “influencers” shared their struggles with it, that stigma would be lifted and more people would be made aware and would hopefully want to respond with kindness.
You are a bright, shining star in a dark sky, Shanti. You have such a generous, caring spirit and you’re an incredibly talented writer. I enjoy your blogs about your personal life 100 times more than your food or travel blogs because I like knowing more about you as a person. You are such a treasure, you know.
I’m so proud of you for sharing your truth – your grief over losing your Dad (I read over your letters to him with tears in my eyes – they are all so beautiful), your worry about not being a Mom (you’re right, by the way – you’d be an AWESOME Mom), your fears for your own Mom as she ages and your love for your sister, other family members, your partner and your friends.
You care deeply and you live your life with your heart on your sleeve. In spite of being let down, bullied and badly hurt in the past, you still live with your arms open to embrace others.
Now THAT is brave, Shanti. You are a warrior and a true inspiration to me. Probably to so many. We are of the nature to complain more than we encourage, so you’re probably really, really loved – people just don’t take the time to tell each other anymore.
I highly encourage everyone reading my blog to check Shanti’s blog out: https://www.singaporeactually.com – it’s an absolutely beautiful site filled with amazing travel blogs, drool-worthy food posts, posts about Singapore and most importantly, posts about Shanti and her beautiful, layered, complex, amazing, incredible life. It’s well worth the read.
To you, Shanti – keep being the amazing woman you are. You’re so compassionate, kind, caring, generous, super-smart, passionate about food, travel, books and your family. You’re a great writer and anything you have to say holds so much value. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – not even yourself!
Keep shining bright. You are absolutely wonderful.
I’m so thankful for you in my life and I don’t think I’m alone in that.