Now That I Know Better

By Malika Staar

Biography & memoir, Personal growth

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Now That I Know Better

This is a MaliStaar Books Production

Copyright © 2015-2018 MaliStaar Books & Malika S. Carey


The last person I ever wanted to be like was my mother. I never thought she understood me. From childhood we never really bonded. I was her daughter, and I guess she loved me because she provided the basics, like good food, a decent education and a clean house. I never really understood why we did not click. She said that even when I was a baby, she could do nothing to pacify me. It was rough growing up not feeling confident that I had my mother’s love and support.

To make matters worse, I had this annoying twin brother who played on the discontent of my relationship with my mother. He constantly reminded me that he was the favorite sibling in the most vicious of ways. Since she always protected him from my wrath, or condemned me for screaming at him because he was always teasing me, I believed there was some truth to his statements. In that moment, I vowed, as a young girl, not to be anything like her. I vowed that if I had a daughter, I was going to love her and protect her at all costs.

As I entered into adulthood, my relationship with my mother began to change. I was beginning to discover who I was as a woman, and she began to soften her edges. Or perhaps, I was learning to forgive her more and letting go some of that pain. We still have our moments of disagreement, but I am learning not to take them so personal.

I must admit her advice, at least some of it, changed my perspective on how I viewed my life. Even though I refused to be anything like her, ever since becoming a mom, I see more of her coming out of me. Now, I wish there were some things that I had of hers, like the way she is so well organized. A lot of times, I catch myself and laugh, “OMG, I am acting just like my mom!” It’s not exactly a bad thing though.

My mom, although I do not think we will ever see eye to eye, is a very wise woman. She reads a lot on health, wellness and spirituality. In theory, she should have been a professor or motivational coach. Hands down she would be one of the best out there. She definitely has been doing it in some shape, form or fashion long before being a “life coach” was the popular thing to do. This attribute I kindly take from my mom to a certain extent. I am always trying to fix, or correct (my version of help) a person.

Nevertheless, my mom’s wisdom is mind-blowing at times because of her vast quest for knowledge and understanding. I can honestly say, I have not listened to all of her advice. If I had, I might have avoided some of the blunders you are about to read about in this book. On the other hand, I did survive, by the grace of God, mom’s prayers and yes, her advice, that of which I chose to listen to. At the end of the day, it is respectable to acknowledge, she was my first teacher.

Just the other day, in one of my “mom moments”, while encouraging a co-worker who had been going through a stressful time in her life, one of my mother’s famous phrases just spewed out of my mouth. I could not catch it from slipping off my tongue. It was my “ah-ha” moment of clarity about the subject matter for this manuscript. It hit my spirit like a beam of light…and there I had the title of this book.

The revelation that “when you know better, nine times out of ten, you can do better” began to resonate in my spirit. The conversation with my co-worker shifted just that quickly from encouragement, to celebration. We received our clarity on the situation. It gave us a reason to shout right there at my desk. She went off to finish her task, and I wrote down the title as fast as I could so that I would not lose that thought, as I finished that day’s assignments.

I was bubbling with excitement. I could not contain myself. Just earlier that morning, while on the train, I had said a small prayer. “God I need a new title for my book.” I had been struggling with this project and the words were just not coming together as they should have been. There was a serious block and it was hard to pen my thoughts. I had several topics is on which to write, but after that conversation with my co-worker, something just screamed, “Write me now!”

Though the events in this book are my personal experiences or the experiences I witnessed other people go through, I wanted to write something that spoke to you in such a way that you walked away having some great nuggets of wisdom…that, if they were applied, could benefit your life just as they have benefited mine. It could not just be about my growth, but yours as well.

If you take a moment to reflect over life, you will notice that everyone (self-included) has had some kind of challenge to overcome. Maybe you have experience the loss of a loved one, a job, a home, or the heartbreak of the ending of a relationship. Maybe you had an experience that left you in a daze, trying to figure out the next move. Maybe you have not experienced lose, your life is “a bed of roses”, then I would consider you blessed. But the reality is “life happens” to even the best of us.

If you are in tune with life and what is going on around you, there are all kinds of experiences you can learned from. “They are life’s teachable moments”, as Oprah would say it. After that experience, you know better than you did before you went into it. Hence, the title, “Now That I Know Better…” It is the best my experiences and my mother’s wisdom and prayers hitting me smack across the head. I write it to you in a light-heartened but thought provoking tone.

When I look back over my life, I realized there were lessons in each experience. Each lesson taught me how to get through the messy parts of life – the low self-esteem, the physical and emotional abuse, the divorce and losing some very special people in my life. I also discovered where there is knowledge to overcome a situation, there comes freedom, and it becomes very hard to stay broken or a victim to your circumstances.

It is also important for each of us to know; it’s not just about what you know, but also what you apply that is going to make your life more fulfilling. I hope this book encourages you, so that when life deals you an unfair hand to play, you have some strategies to win and not fold. Look at your experiences as I have looked at mine. Each of them is an example of the Great Teacher training you for your success and not trying to break you.

Laugh at my mistakes, because I have learned that they were the best lessons for me to learn. Then look at your mistakes and laugh…even to the ones that hurt the most. The curriculum only gets easier the higher you go in this classroom called LIFE.

I pray you laugh; I pray you cry; most of all, I pray you become free to live a life that you can be proud of. You can live a life without regret.



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