By Elma Asio

Imagine it’s one of those good days; you wake up on the right side of the bed, have a lovely breakfast, wear a colour that makes you happy and the soundtrack of the day is something funky and upbeat, and you even have a skip in your step. Luckily for you, things have been like this for a while now.

You meet an old friend who you haven’t seen in a long time. He/She, let’s call this person X, is very pleased to see you, takes you in and says, “You look good. Who’s the new man in your life that’s taking such good care of you?”

This is where the soundtrack in your mind screeches to a halt and is replaced by crickets.

The above scenario has happened to me one too many times. “Are you seeing someone? You look good.” “Who’s the new man because you look good.” This is where my concern comes in. Why is it that whenever a woman looks good, feels good or is doing well, it has something to do with a man that has waved his magical wand (no pun intended) and somehow made your life bliss? Is it completely impossible for a woman to find stability and absolute peace of mind without a man by her side? Can’t I look good because I am finally more comfortable with myself? Can’t I look happy and at peace and look good because I feel closer to my God? Can’t I look good because I drink more water and cut down on the red meat? Or because I sweat it out in the gym and do more than 5 sit ups these days? Or something as simple as “I watch more comedies now than horrors”? Can’t I look good because of something much simpler or more complex than the company of a man?

I have been in that place where my smile relied on whether a lover had sent that text and made that call that I yearned for. But over time, you realise that you shouldn’t have to rely on someone to be happy. Yes, saddening situations might occur: heartbreaks, loss, disease, your favourite chef at your favourite restaurant moving away, just about anything that might destabilise you. But you’re all alone and think to yourself, “What or who is my centre?” As you ask yourself this question, I sure hope that your centre, where your happiness flows from, isn’t in something or someone that can turn and shift and shake and break down your entire world in one go.

Some of the best advice I have received this year is, “Be a little bit selfish, because in the end no one else has to live with you but you.” Your happiness needs to start closer to home and then it will simply bubble over and show on your face like an aura.

I look good because I am closer to finding my centre and I am glad that it isn’t in another human being.