Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hey I'm Mixed

Being mixed today is celebrated on social media. When you meet people for the first time they ask "What are you?" . I have been mistaken for a Spaniard, Hispanic, Indian, Turk, Greek etc. No one ever guesses what I am correctly, there are too many cultures and races to bring up and that is fine. It makes it easier to not belong to any group in particular, and just be who I am.

Growing up I have witnessed a change in society, the broader acceptance of interacial people and couples. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home that sheltered me from racism. It never dawned on me my mother was "White" and my father was "Black". To this day people tell me I am only a quarter this and a quarter that and etc etc etc..... eventually I just hear music where their statements are being voiced, at the end of the day does it really matter? To me it does not. I am mixed, and there is nothing else to it.

Growing up at home being more black or white did not make a difference. The issue never came up at the dinner table. My father never said "I got bad customer service today because I was black!". My father has said however " There are ignorant, illiterate people that we unfortunately have to deal with". I have seen them and experienced it from a young age, and learned to turn a blind eye upon them.

At six years old , while at school I was physically pushed from the playhouse at break time because I was " not like us." The same child who did that shouted loudly in the playground that a Japanese classmate had drank blood from an Ostrich in the woods behind our school."  My second encounter was at twelve years old where I was told to go and sit with the other white person because " I did not belong here." That hit me for six, since when was I JUST white??

One day I was walking to school, and a man dressed in business attire walked towards me. I said good morning, and he spat in my face, cursed me and told me to go back to my mother country along with numerous expletives which do not deserve to be broadcasted. When I was nineteen a friend of my mother's said to me " But you are not at all what I expected, you could be one of us!" They quickly received the Trinidadian 'Steups'... nothing more, out of respect for my mother.

Fast forward years later, depending upon the ignorant social group I am either too white or too black. I have encountered the ignorants who disagree with interracial relationships quite often....which no longer deserves a response, because really who cares? It is far more damning to see close mindedness so aptly demonstrated through distrustful stares and unsolicited opinion than for me to hold hands with a black or white man.

People have tried to school me on my "blackness" which I find ridiculous, just because I was raised predominantly under my mother's so called" white" values does not mean you have to school me on being black, because NEWSFLASH I am everything, not just one particular race. What is even more hilarious is that my mother at times appears terribly distressed because she believes I know nothing about my European heritage.

The gist of it is. It's PEOPLE that make it and issue, and not just any sort of person, but the IGNORANT kind. Labels come from ignorance, unsolicited opinions come from those who feel they need an audience.At the end of the day we all bleed the same way. Every event that occurred re racism was brought by someone who was too blinkered,ignorant per lack of education and self absorbed to see past their own two feet.

The good part is though, it just shows how much we have to combat, and daily I see.. with social media and hashtags such as swirl, mixed love, etc. how far we have come.

Ignorance will never be fully erased, but ignoring it and looking past it is a wonderful way to start.

                                                              My family circa 2008

Chikungunya Life

All Trinidadians will know by now the hell that is Chikungunya. It is worse than most mosquito borne viruses. It's like an irritating ex boyfriend who continues to try  and contact you after you explicitly said you never wanted to see his face again, let alone hear anything that reminds you that he is breathing.

Social Media has been flooded with every possible remedy for the virus. Most popular is the paw paw leaf. That is to be crushed and the juice drank to restore blood platelets.

It works so well, it was a dream come true. In desperation I didn't even follow the instructions. I blended it with water and ate it by the spoonful. Apparently not very good for you, but within five minutes of taking it I could feel a surge of energy I had not felt in days. 

They say the effects can last from months to years after the virus, but the bonus is once you get it, you will be Chikungunya free for the rest of your life. I never thought I would say it, but I would prefer another Chikv bout again. Six weeks post Chikv and every time I wean myself off of medication thinking I am fine, I wake up two days medication free and can barely walk. My feet cannot fit into my shoes, and heels... HA HA HA they are just there to look pretty, not be worn.

Another Chikv side effect that is severely overlooked and downplayed. Decreased dexterity. Weaning off medication means a return to atrocious handwriting that is equally as painful, almost impossible task and dropping things, and realizing you have dropped them a few moments later. Normally accompanied by stares and remarks, especially when it happens on Independence Square at lunch time. Now when I drop things I just exclaim "OPA!!!" and laugh, isn't much else that can be done now is there?

Another frustration: I cannot walk at my usual pace. All those people I would mentally blast for walking like they were on a Sunday stroll. Well God really decided to show me. Now I hobble, and when medication is at its best, still walk not even half the pace I was used to. Crossing the roads in Port of Spain is the worst. Drivers "cussin" because I cannot get across the road quickly enough, which has led to many middle fingers and expletives on my part out of sheer frustration and pain.

But, it isn't all bad. Recently as I walked gingerly across the road a taxi driver poked his head out and said " Take yuh time dahlin, I know how that Chickv does be". I slowly retreated , as I had been mentally prepping myself  for another cuss out.

But the frustrations still stand. Not wanting to be dependent on medication but not being able to fully function without them is a hell of a thing.

So here is to a post weaning day, where all my plans have been shot to hell.

 Thank goodness for Netflix.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

No One is Perfect.

So it is 9:00pm and Joel Osteen is on television. Talking about bringing greatness out of a great mess. As of recent I have fallen for his preaching more so than before.

He has become my morning companion while I get ready to go work, He makes me happy and renews my vigour and faith each morning when I would much prefer to bury my head under a pillow and wake up in an alternate dimension, where all is "right" in the universe. Where there is no need to face that which became a world of disillusion and a stage for masqueraders of promise, attempting to hide insecurity, ignorance and pride behind the strut of a peacock.

 Jumping to another messenger, this is the reason I came to Blogger tonight.

Rev Run's wisdom caught my attention on Instagram today. Mainly because it is the truth. Striving to live like this may lead to labels such as self righteous but at the end of the day, its a blessing to hear that. To be exposed to the slander, Learning more and more that the gossip, while it is human nature, is a reflection (the majority of the time) of the speaker. Speaking love and happiness actually does bring more of it, and the more you call it, the more revelations of toxicity arise. 

It is a benefit, an opportunity to live, experience and see past black and white.

As his caption said " Try to be nice.. It'll enhance your life tremendously."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Goodbye Smoking! Hello Love

 On September 9th 2014, I bought a pack of cigarette and I have not opened them since.

I had tried everything from the patch, to e cigarettes, the gum etc. Nothing had worked. Somehow this did.
Let me give you a little background  to my smoking history.

When I was a teenager, a friend came over and exclaimed that my house smelt like a cinema. I was baffled until I realized he was not speaking about a popcorn smell, but cigarette smoke. I could not have cared less, growing up smoking was part of the household. My mother, father, brother and grandmother smoked. Ashtrays were party of our crockery. I knew each brand and what each person smoked.

Benson and Hedges Special Filter
Benson and Hedges Lights
Silk Cut
Du Maurier
Du Maurier Menthol

When I joined the smoking club, my mother had quit and so had my father. Early morning I would go to the corner and buy a single cigarette and ease into my day.

When I turned 19 and came home, I was an overt chimney. The guy I was dating was demonstrably displeased, which had no effect and prompted the response of "You don't like it? Sorry about that" while lighting another one. My girlfriend who is a pharmacist tried to discourage me by telling me I would put on weight. I ignored her... Models smoke to curb their appetite, No? Fast forward some years. Soon I was accustomed to heckling when i took a break in between shifts to light up on the sidewalk with a cup of coffee. The lines bounced off me. "You're too pretty to smoke!" or the recurring "Don't you love yourself?" Sometimes depending on the frame of mind I was in a smart retort would be thrown back, especially when they became too persistent.

Fast forward again. Both parents smoke free, brother and wife smoke free and grandmother passed away to a smoking related illness (may she RIP). Yes I was still smoking. Chest pain and shortness of breath from twenty six years old and no sign of quitting. Ignorant much? Extremely so.

Last month, I don't know what overcame me. Prayers I am sure played a major role. I just decided that was it without giving myself time to doubt. I glued myself to YouTube and watched all the smoking videos, I printed out some pictures and placed them in a diary, and listed all the benefits of quitting in a timeline. It worked.

Today I can breathe fully. I can actually run without feeling as though my lungs are about to burst yet be knotted at the same time. Sometimes I do have a craving, now maybe once every 2-3 weeks if so much.

But the most beautiful thing of all is now I realise, I love myself, and before I did not.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Would You Sleep With The Devil

Sleeping with the Devil?

Thanks I'll try it.

I really don't give a f**k what you think. Why? Why not? Do you even know who the devil is?

I refuse the red skinned imp with horns and a pitchfork. I don't need the brainwashing storybooks. I have seen the devil in real life. Slept with the devil, dined with the devil, even showered with the devil.

The devil isn't a man. The devil is in me. The Devil is that nagging doubt in the back of your mind. The "you cannot do it' chorus.

So while everyone cowers in fear at the sound of "Devil" like those wizards in the Harry Potter books. I will lace up my bustier, strap my garter to my stockings, and ride the hell out of it.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Turn negative energy into positive energy.

Embrace it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Zumba Experience

Today, a girlfriend and I ventured to a Zumba class at our Community Centre. Being a lover of all things latin and spanish, I was counting down to the music being pumped up.

What an experience. There were six of us in the class. Four of us in our twenties, one lady roughly forties and a gentleman, perhaps fifties.

When I arrived I did not dare venture up to the studio. I sat outside and waited for my girlfriend to arrive. I felt like it was the first day of school. People milled around, a friendly lady passed and asked "Are you hear to Zumba?". My normal sarcasm screamed inwardly " No, I'm standing here in workout clothes for a shoot and ur blocking the light". Instead I smiled and "Yes" barely escaped my lips.

Eventually she arrived and we ventured upstairs. To find the instructor and same lady smiling. The instructor gave me a hug. I didn't know how to react. I was taken aback by such an open display of friendliness.  The scenario replayed in my head throughout the class. "Perhaps I have been associating with too many a**holes and this is normal?" I thought as I tried to do some reggaeton shake mixed with a desperate "chest pop" (if that is what it's called).

I watched the lady at the front ( Miss Forty). She barely paid attention to the moves and was smiling from ear to ear. The gentleman booty popped, and did the salsa, swaying with his imaginary partner like there was no tomorrow. While the rest of us were still learning, he had all the moves down like he was the instructor himself, the first 5 minutes in he was breaking a sweat like I don't know what.

After the first ten minutes, all inhibitions flew out the window, and I was poppin, doing some shoulder movement, thrusts and gyrations like no tomorrow. Sweat poured and stress seemed to be lost. We laughed and danced , embraced our sexy side with some 'tude and sauntered around like we were in a video (I daresay it did not look the way it felt!)

The instructor was great. She made the six of us feel like we were the most important people ever. She beamed as we all flailed around a bit awkwardly. All in our own world, but focused (at least a few of us were) on her.

She deserves a medal. Hardly anyone turned up, but she pumped it like there was no tomorrow.

I think I love zumba, this shaking your hips thing and the clothes. I need some more of it.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The 30 Approach

Apparently all my friend's ovaries are screaming. Mine on the other hand prefer no comment.

Recently my best friend had a beautiful baby girl. We all stood around and marvelled at this "tiny human being" as one of our friend's calls her. She has pretty fingernails, pretty feet, she is just gorgeous!

So it lead me to look around and observe everyone.Where has this baby phenomena developed from and did I miss the hormone hand out when it passed?

Its like a mass cloud of must pro creation dust appeared and dumped over all my 20+ plus friends. All of a sudden conversations have turned from business and school to " Should I do waitlist registration for pre and primary school?", hearty exchanges of who is walking, not walking, pampers and university funds. You look at them all in wonder and slight awe, its amazing to see the transformation from girl to mother and one day maybe the Hormone Godmother may throw some magic dust my way, not now.

Does that make me selfish? According to some just saying "yes" is not enough, perhaps having it on a live ticker would be better, on a billboard.. heck a television ad would probably be the best thing. Sorry, I am still far too concerned with school, my extensions, my on and off struggle with weight. I still wake up every morning and check my phone with one eye open. I need coffee before I am socially acceptable to interact with. I am still deciding between yoga or a light jog.

I am still understanding who I am. Recently a friend sent me an article from a blog, where the author asked readers over 40 to voice things they wish they had been told when they were younger. There was the need to save for retirement, rainy day and health. However one response struck me in particular.

No one knows what they are doing.


I remember re reading the paragraph with glee, dismay and confusion at the same time. So no one truly has their s**t together? And the classic, do not believe people who say they do. Everyone has doubt.

I think if I could have done flips, I would have done. I am not alone! Not saying I do not have vision, I still fight towards it daily, making small changes, big changes, closing doors and opening books.

But no one is perfect, it is not a disclaimer, it is reality. So while people play charades and parade around in their daily life, I will continue to make mistakes, try my best, sometimes feel like giving up, wonder what the hell I am doing, drink, smoke and be blunt.

Feel free to advertise.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The "I'm Grown Up" Facade

There was a time I never wanted to grow up.I defined growing up as I saw it happening around me. All of a sudden all my friends started getting married and having babies, our conversations had turned from what clubs we would be hitting Wednesday to Sunday and the woes of studying to wedding planning and babies.

I realised later on, babies and marriage for some was not really growing up, and believing it was,was not growing up, it was merely falling into the facade of" this is what society says I should do now because I am in my mid twenties, pushing 30 and whatever". They still have the same relationship problems they did before,and the ring on the finger, the multiple babies had not changed a thing.Why? Nothing changed, emotional maturity did not magically appear because these things occurred and the foundation of all these institutions adopted was unstable, the relationship.

Growing up is not about settling down because it is that time and playing house. Nor is it about accommodating insecurities and allowing them to control you. Growing up is about developing you before throwing yourself into it all out. So many sit down in situations and massage egos, give the continuous blind eye and wonder 20 years if not months down the road why they are unhappy and spend more time trying to fix it than themselves. Loyalty is used and misconstrued to cover a multitude of sins, cycles continue out of fear of the unknown, for the preference of a safety net and most of all insecurity. You know that word everyone likes to use in third person, but shy away from the first?

Have you seen the new anti-smoking advertisement on television, that shows cigarettes are bullies? As a smoker it hit home to me, because it is true. Insecurity is no different, we allow it to control us and find ways to validate it, such as loyalty and commitment, and not the truth, the weakness of the mind and lack of self love.

Growing up is no longer marred by fear of being tied to one person, nor babies and responsibility. It is a beautiful journey of self discovery, letting go of fears and continued self development. Letting go of toxicity and recognising that all those things we once found as attractive now fall by the way side, that its okay to let go of what does not compliment and support your growth, because discovering that which does, not only makes you blossom, you are happier, stronger , successful and growing up.

A Journey of Little Footsteps:New School

There is nothing more exciting yet intimidating as the first day of school. You can be 5, 12, even in your twenties, the same thoughts still mill around in your brain, will I know anyone who is there?Will I make friends?

School in Trinidad at  five years old was still better than being at school in the United Kingdom. I was elated when I got dressed for my first day. Instead of having seasonal uniforms, I would now be wearing a simple pleated skirt and a white shirt. No more blue summer dress, with a straw boater and striped blazer!

I woke up early, and prepared for the auspicious day ahead. Everything was brand new, my shirt and skirt had been laundered and ironed to perfection, not a crease nor a pleat out of place. My hair was combed into two bunches (also known as pigtails).

Excited yet nervous, with a wave of emotions I ventured off for my first day. The first thing that struck me was the size of the school. I remember trying to look past the playground and down the hill to see where the rest of it was. 

Soon I came to find that was it. A two building school housing roughly 60 people (if so many) was my new school.

As if it was not enough, the second shock came when everyones outfits caught my eye. Everyone was in denim shorts, tee shirts and sneakers! There was no one in cute skirts, knee high socks and sandals like me. 

I hated it. I may as well have been back in England walking around the courtyard perimeter at break times. Better the devil you know than the one you do not.

Always wanting to be a chameleon of sorts, I felt like an outcast.  I heard whispers and comments and did what I do best, retreated into myself and away from the new world.  

What should have been on and off, turned into quite  learning experience as a child. I used to countdown to hometime, to retreat into my comfort zone, swim and watch television. Though thrilled with island life,a few months in, I was ready to go back to what I knew, what really was home.

Monday, February 17, 2014

That Scandalous Enticement

I fell into the Scandal trap! Currently on my second episode and I cannot decide whether to keep blogging from my mobile or watch!

One eye on the tv and another on my mobile, why did I avoid this show? Maybe my lack of television love, or is it because it is a bit too close to the bone, or for comfort.

I can do without the heartbreaking affair,  but I will take everything else that's by her side.

From Olivia Pope's cold yet passionate demeanor, her fabulous wardrobe, to her sordid love affair, how can one not ne hooked? Did I mention I am going to be pulling all night study sessions for law school with renewed vigor. 

Cheers to the creators of this television show. It is a fantastic break from the newly monotonous world of books, but it begs the question... how much of the "real world" can we humans handle, and leaves room for the mind to wander past morale and conciousness, to the conspiracies of what really happens behind closed doors of these institutions.

What a brilliant guilty pleasure.

Pop Culture,  it is practically orgasmic.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thing's We Do: 20's

Recently you cannot move for online articles expressing the glory of enjoying your 20's and being the curious 20 something year old, I opted to try some new things....

Now I have done the "date someone completely wrong for you". Absolute disaster, and it begs the following:

 I have done the "Eat whatever you want!" ............My A** !!!!!!

Recently though I came across an invitation from a friend to a Society Dinner.

Looked like a bit of good fun and why not, so with my boyfriend along for the ride we attended said dinner.

Good fun translated too, are we over dressed? Followed by well let's eat the food!

Talk about thrown into an awkward situation at a few points, when the lights went out for the presentation I could have tap danced on the damn table.

When the lights came up, and we both got our needed share of "bep" (light sleep) and they announced the outside display, we zipped outside and got to the good stuff, Astro-photography, viewing the Moon and Jupiter. We were sorely disappointed the skies did not clear for the recent Super Nova viewing but all in all it was an experience............that can be ticked off the list, and next time we know the following:

1. Skip the Dinner.
2. Wear flip flops or sneakers or anything else that is comfortable.
3. Do not try to bep without having back support.
4. Appreciate that we do not all use the universal pronunciation of words, and try not to snicker, unless you really could not care less (if so good for you!).
5. Do not forget insect repellent. (Scars!)

Definitely one for the books.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Children having Children.

A few days ago our nation cried in shame, mothers held onto their children paralyzed in fear yet again. This time, it was a fifteen year old mother...yes MOTHER, shot dead while out with her companion (father of her child).

Now there is no intention here to berate, admonish nor belittle the mother of this young mother. After the child's ( 15 is a child, no?) death, her mother was on local news, speaking of the initial shock at her child's pregnancy, but later on lauding her daughter for being a responsible mother.

The question is, where does it end and who is at fault with this phenomena of children having children. Where are the values of the earlier generations? Have they dissolved into the background, taken over by technology and the YOLO (You Only Live Once) mentality?

It isn't uncommon to see young women, barely twenty one with a babe in arms and another on the hip. Speak to some teachers who dare to share stories of their students in the government schools. Can you imagine a 16 year old informing their teacher that they wont be at school the following day for an exam because they cant afford to send their toddler to daycare! What a world to live in, robbed of innocence by poor guidance and poor education. Imagine those who have grown up and learnt that having a child is a form of income, as the state provides welfare for those mothers in need.

Where is sex education? In a nation that is predominantly "Christian" there is no sex education on the curriculum, yet a growing discomfort over the population increase with children having children.

Imagine being a fly on a wall in a primary school classroom, where a young boy and girl barely 10 years old are having sexual intercourse on break and lunch times. Imagine yourself again, picking up your nine year old from school and having to answer why your sons classmate asked him if she could 'sit on his face for a nice time'.

Where does it start and end, and do these parents and elders even recognize the values or lack thereof they are instilling in their young ones.  Is it cultural? Since when did it become acceptable to encourage your offspring and younger family generation to have children out of wedlock, when did education take the back burner and the desire to have a 'girl child' or 'boy child' become the number one priority!

I am ashamed for my country, and ashamed as a woman, to see the elder generation preach  the word of God, and call damnation upon those who wrong them, yet encourage such an immoral and present time oriented mentality. Where is the common sense and true love for humanity? If you really love your fellow man and want the development of a nation, wouldn't priority be to invest in the future of the younger generation, encourage education and the promotion of all round development, and not the roundness of a stomach.

Wake up Trinidad and Tobago, for now all you can do is hold your head in shame and see that the society is tantamount to the mentality you cling to, if you believe that your leaders are not setting the right example, one up them and do it yourself.