I’m a Boxer 

I feel that this year I’ll do more of what I want to do.

Years ago, I was this child filled with greatness and as the years went by I had allowed comments to guide my actions.  Not understanding then that people aren’t perfect. We are all guided by our experiences and at time strongly believe what comes out of our mouth.

   “I don’t see you as that type of person”

   “You? ??!!! LOL”

   “You can’t dance”

   “No!!! Dat no soun ‘ good” (me trying to         sing and started wrong)

Oh the fuck yous and bashed in heads I have for you. Yes, I’m short tempered that’s why I’m on the reserved end of the vocal spectrum. The many years that I’ve been in this ring called life taking hits from those considered amateurs and heavyweights and boy some of these boxers were annoying in their approach. 

I will never forget when I visited my ailing grand cousin and when asked to pray for my mother (she was a pastor in her day), she looked at me and spoke. What she said unfortunately I can’t remember. I thought it was a mistake, and thinking about it now it was God’s way of showing me that he did not forget me. That he was still and always watching over me. 

My “relationships” have been interesting but I won’t ever say that I regret them but I know now that I’ve grown from then til now. There are few loose strings that need to be cut and that will be soon. 

I’ve reached a point where I’ve realized that I’ve been living for people and have not truly lived for me. That ends now. How can I be an adult if at 24 I’m still concerned about what people have to say? None a unno cyah beat me; the most you can do is get upset and malice me. You do that, I can get a break from you for a while. I won’t be the one affected. There are moments in which they’re advice would count but not always. 

I’m learning to be my true self and I like it. You can deny yourself for so long but eventually it will affect you immensely. 

Evidence of what I can be was first noticed on my leadership challenge for the Blue Mountains. There were moments where I wanted to give up but motivated myself on the fact that I couldn’t tell people that I was there as I never made it to the top. Plus the mountain kept croaking in the dark. Another instance was being president for  my Optimist Club. Right now, I have no idea what I’m doing, but the reassurance of my exec team, members and other Optimist members have me pushing to make my year a good one. 

My beauty is an factor that in my reflection I’m taken aback.Why are you intimated by me though? You see immense beauty and all I can look it how strong my genes are. I see my father his brothers and his mother in my face- to me that’s not cute. They’re family (cracking up as I write this).

I’ve been been belittling my own self using past experiences of when people told me no. Another year is approaching and I intend to do more and talk less. To think highly of myself and try rather than assume that because someone has done it and it didn’t work for them, I’ll also have that same response. 

My ramblings may not mean much but it’s helping me as I complete this blog. I’m in a fragile state now. If I answer you in a way that surprises you. I’m currently renovating.

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Christmas Time: The search for Happiness 

It’s Christmas Time !!!

A time for togetherness and remembering the birth of Jesus Christ for those who are spiritual persons. 
This morning, most of us have that one or few relatives that can cook and would have had the ham ready and cakes baked with the presents under the tree. 

I’m currently in bed and happy that I don’t have work for two days because we’re observing Christmas and Boxing day Monday and Tuesday respectively. 

With all this excitement and Digicel not giving us anything free because they know we’ll use it hard on Christmas day. We have to consider another aspect of the festivities. The homeless and those living in private and state run homes. 

Recently, I have been thinking about the homeless and how some of these people find their way on the streets. Some look more decent than some and you can tell that they’re new to the area. I remember seeing this elderly lady at the Transport Centre in Half Way Tree, who asked if I could help her fill her prescription. When I heard her plight, I recommended using what was left of the card to buy what she needed and return another time. She stated that my suggestion wouldn’t work. I left and told her that I wasn’t able to offer my assistance. Weeks passed and in passing the same centre I saw the woman again.

Another instance was Friday, where a man who they said had cancerous tissues damage one of his nostrils leaving a hole in his face was begging money on Ruthven road. I wanted to stop and give him money -it’s Christmas. However the other side of me said not to as he may ‘tek set’ if he should see you again (it soun a way- mi kno).

Then there are the children who live in state run homes. They are excited to see new faces and are content with you interacting with them; real interactions like playing games, reading to them, letting them play with your phone or just sitting with them and returning on other occasions. I’ll never forget the last visit my Optimist Club (Royal Optimist Club of Kingston) made to Glenhope Nursery and one child fell asleep on a volunteers lap….

For those who have had the opportunity to visit on a regular basis to any home. They will agree that all these individuals want is attention. If this is the response from them in the homes imagine that of our own families that we hardly talk to?

 Every time I see them on the streets and in these homes, I always wonder what their story is. For those on the street; what happened for them to be in this situation?  Were things that bad where their families gave up in them? Did they live a good life?  Are they at a stage in their life where they don’t want to return to the “normal” life? 

Then there are those who have to sell to make their Christmas and even the New Year better. I respect their hustle and try to support when I can. What saddens me is when everyone including children have to sell to make a profit. To them it may be the norm but I can’t recall doing it as a child. Though they set up shop anywhere to catch the eye of interested shoppers, causing a nuisance to law enforcement officer and your walking space. We should support them in their efforts.

How many of us can say that we’ve made a shopping list that included items for those living on the streets and in homes? Did you stop to give money to the Salvation Army before entering a store? Are you more concerned about what you’ll get for Christmas than the current state of your relationships? Did you consider purchasing  less presents than multiple items per giftee this year to create an ease for your pocket? How many of you contacted your loved ones and friends today to wish them a Merry Christmas?
On the other hand I’ve always asked myself, when am I giving too much?
These are the things that we should reflect on during the Christmas holidays. This season is about giving, which means we should not limit ourselves to just our families. However, extend a helping hand to those whose families have disassociated themselves from them, those whose families have died,  those who don’t know their families. Those who wish they were in our shoes. 

This Christmas season, never forget to be appreciative and truly thankful for what you have and the thought of the things you will receive. Life is too short to mulling over the little things and harboring thoughts of malice and condoning petty behaviour. 

Growing up RICH

outdoor-bathroom-at-belmond-khwai-river-lodge-botswana-conde-nast-traveller-26jan15-prBathing while overlooking  vast acres of land layered with sugarcane, and cows grazing in the open fields. Waking up to the sound of the wind and other exotic creatures. Picking cherries, guava, tamarind,  starapple,  guineps and other fruits during the summer time to snack on. Watching grandma make marmalade and cherry jams from scratch and adding Pineapple Lasco to oatmeal porridge for lunch. Waking up to Johnny cakes, dumplings,  eggs, bananas, bread and other foods that were in season at the time for breakfast EVERY morning.  Watching cornmeal and potato pudding being baked over a coal stove. This is how I spent holidays spent at my father’s parents house.

My days after school were spent creating plays and stories and reading books that I couldn’t understand the plot. Eating syrup and crackers to pass the time because grandma’s method of cooking was not easing the level of gas in the stomach.My grandfather died years before I was born so my experiences with him are non existent.  This was at my mother’s parents house.

I am a dry land tourist. I’ve been to every parish for sight seeing, special assignments through work (mostly with daddy), anniversary getaways and school trips.

Living in Kingston has exposed me to the finer things in life. Retreats and conferences out of town,  courtesy calls at King’s House, lunch with executives etc.

However having these experiences doesn’t mean that I have not seen bad times. I’ve seen my mother fashion chicken back in more ways than one. I’ve had cornmeal porridge so many times that on one of my most recent visits home, I asked mommy for cornmeal porridge only -she thought that I was joking. I had my first try at sweet and savory chicken foot one Sunday evening when that was the only thing in the house for dinner.

I’ve learnt to be appreciative of what I have, years after learning in University that I wasn’t rich. However I’ve been blessed to have hand me downs, that I’ve learnt to fashion to my suit. Spending summers at relatives because my mother had to turn up the hustle. To be blessed with a godmother who did and still does her best to provide for not only me but also my younger brother and mother and reminding me that I should live my life for ME.

My house is no vacation house, but it has a vast history. My experiences living and even visiting are those I’ll always cherish,  even if they weren’t always good. I’m now willing to accept it as my dwelling. Once it clean you cyan go wrong. Who wants to clean a huge house?

I’m not rich, but I’ve been blessed.  I continue to be blessed. With these experiences,  they are building me for the life that I want. One where there is less judgment,  where I understand the need to hustle and I am appreciative of what I have. Most importantly I’m happy with who I am.

It’s Time to Talk

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

In 2016, the UNiTE campaign strongly emphasizes the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.

To bring this issue to the fore, the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women’s call for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in 2016 is ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’. The initiative provides a moment to bring the issue of sustainable financing for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women to global prominence and also presents the opportunity for resource mobilization for the issue.

In support of this period of activities I’d like to share my experience. In my time of reflection I have made some interesting choices. However, with the treatment that I have received from this type of behaviour it should never be accepted.

I met a man who at first I thought was interesting and it was at a time in my life when meeting him I thought that he was nice. Things started well between us and I began to think that we were going somewhere. In my plight to make the relationship work, I found myself going above and beyond to ensure that I was doing the “right” thing. I now understand there should be comprise in a relationship. However what I did was give too much of myself and lowering my standards just to be accepted. I was in a phase where I wanted so much to please him that I disregarded my values and the image I was painting of myself because he would be happy

There were moments where I felt uncomfortable with what he wanted me to do and at that time, I was afraid that if I didn’t he would end it….I believe he noticed that because he would threaten to do it if I didn’t do what he wanted.

There were other instances where he would make decisions that affected us both without consulting me and when questioned, he got defensive and said that I don’t have to worry I just control the situation. When I decided not to follow through- he got annoyed.  Other moments occurred when I stood my ground at his requests, provided an alternative and he called me crazy for what he claimed he was saying what I had been rambling about all along – Mi ‘ead tough.

My time for redemption came when I did something wrong and that got him very upset. The request he made was his way of making things right but at that very moment, I remembered something my father said to me once “Hold yuh head high”. It was then I realized that my current situation should never be and that if I want to go I can always do so. I’m not tied to him, he doesn’t own me.

I ended it . 

Months passed and I fell for his charm again, then I realized that this second time wouldn’t work. Days after hearing him apologize and reassuring me that things would be different, he went right back to his old ways. The blatant disregard displayed for what he did in an incident that took place, was a sign that I would not be happy. I remember explaining how I felt about the past and was told that I was the reason why he was acting like that. It’s my fault.

Ending it again, I went through months of ignoring his messages, blocking him to ensure that he could not contact me after conversations that went nowhere. I must say that reflecting on what happened he did have a point; he was just being himself. I was the one that wanted so much to be someone else than myself. Since I was willing to do- what’s the issue? With this new information, I was willing to fully accept that he was NOT the one. I learnt that all that glitters is definitely not gold and I should never lower my standards to just be happy in a relationship.

With this negative experience I can say that I have grown, I’m not perfect but I’m no longer interested in him. That is one road that is impassable. I remembered our last conversation where in his plight to win me over, I was degraded. During this conversation he told me:

“You can’t afford to take care of me”

“You’re just a country girl, you’re nobody”

“The only reason why I’m talking to you is just cuz no one else is awake at this time”

If I am a girl that was conditioned by Disney to find my Prince Charming why should I settle for someone who thinks less of me? Where is the love? Looking back at that conversation I have achieved many things. Keeping those remarks in my mind I vowed then and still continue to be the best version of myself. You nah go more dan me.

I don’t  hate people  and I try not to malice either, there’s no progress to be had from that and life is too precious to waste time doing things like that.

It takes two persons to make a relationship work, as I said before I am not perfect but it doesn’t mean that I should be subjected to such treatment.

 

Sources – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism#sthash.qiqWOrla.dpuf