How are you?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns

Seems simple enough a question but when I Google "most difficult question to answer" it shows up as one of those questions. I think it depends on who is asking. I think it depends on how talkative we feel. Sometimes feelings are hard to put into words. Sometimes we want to appear strong to the world to face the world. As I write this I feel stumped. I feel a loss for words. I am so used to responding matter-of-factly with "I am good" or "I am normal" to this question without giving it much thought and carrying on with my life. But now I am writing an entire chapter in a book and I want it to be meaningful. I want to benefit from a better understanding of my approach to this question. I think it is allowable for us to say we don't know how we feel sometimes but for this writing I have to move beyond this. The trini phrase that is coming to my mind is vai-ki-vai which is French Creole for "for better or worse" which has the meaning of lackadaisical or carefree or without much thought. Sort of where I am now but more on the happy go lucky side.

I feel like there are things that I could be trying harder with. Putting some effort into. But I counter this with my feelings of contentment and gratitude. Life is a balance. Life is short but life is also a test. Maybe I am scoring a B grade at the moment. B for better effort needed. There were times when I would be scoring lower and other times scoring higher. I have come a long way. I have matured plenty. I am older but I feel young in spirit. One of the challenges I have gotten better with is morale. It is so easy to fall into a trap of beating up on yourself. Being hard on yourself. Being your worst critic. Being consumed by the negativity in the world. I am humbled by the progress I have made. I feel like I am better able to cope with life.

I was watching a youtube video where the presenter said that "how are you?" is a question we do not really expect an answer to and that there are other better ways to ask this question in conversation. Like, how's life? What's new with you? What have you been up to? How's things? How is life treating you? To me, they all seem like questions that would produce an indifferent response. I think people would rather hear the question "how can I help you?" rather than "how are you?" Is someone going to really tell us how they feel if we are not going to help or support them? If the only thing we are going to do is judge. Are we being authentic when we ask "how are you?" Is it just a social construct for us to be social and polite? I do not like being the cynical one but I should tackle the question from all sides and explore the depths of my emotions. But at the end of the day (end of the chapter) I ask myself what does matter the most? I carry many emotions and feelings but the one I like the most is an attitude of gratitude. The next time anyone asks me "how are you?" I am going to respond with "I am grateful" or "I am thankful". That makes me feel good inside. I am going to end with this piece of wisdom from Robert Brault - Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.


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