Posted in Life, Ramblings

Back to School: A Great Must-Have

So many of the kiddies (and young adults, heck even adult adults) are either going back to school this week, or have already gone back to school. Since I’ve graduated, I don’t have to worry about that, but in a couple of years, probably.

I assume that you all have your pens, pencils, calculators, laptops, and syllabi ready? You’ve made sure that your outfits are killer? Hair on fleek or whatever?

But, do you have your self esteem in check?

Something strange happened to me today, and it caused me to slip for one second and question my self worth. That one second came thiiis close to ruining my day. I’m still mad about it, but I won’t get into details. I’ll probably write about it when I’m ready.

Sometimes, I think, why do I get upset over these things? People say stupid things. People don’t matter. People can be ignorant.

Well, I was a sensitive kid. You could have looked at me the wrong way and my eyes would start welling up, my throat would constrict, and my cheeks would burn. I guess that trait carried over somewhat into this part of my life.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but when I was growing up, my self esteem was shot. It was even worse when I moved to the US as a hormonal, prepubescent little girl. I was skinny, dark, had an accent, and I was shy.

Naturally, with all of this, kids found something to pick on me about. My accent coupled with my shyness caused me to never speak up. I didn’t even want to order food in a restaurant.

Luckily for me, I had a family that got 100% behind me. Sure, there was a bit of tough love and I might have hated them for it at the time, but they supported my education, made me join clubs, forced me to do the best that I could. Hell, now I realize that I could have done even better. But now, I’m educated, I have a pretty good job, and I have unlimited prospects for the future that will be further opened up when I go to graduate school.

I’ve been able to travel to different parts of the world, learn about different cultures and languages, study with people of different ages and of different backgrounds, hike at 5 in the morning with new friends. It’s an amazing life, but I still get boggled down at times by the words of others.

It me
It me

So imagine the people who are unlucky enough to not have such a support system. How do you think they feel when people question their whole purpose or existence with no support systems behind them?

Be kind.

Critiquing someone isn’t the same as insulting them. Especially for the younger ones and their caretakers, teach them to be kind. Their words may have an everlasting impact on someone that is vulnerable.

With that being said, take care and enjoy the school year. I’m definitely missing the uni/college lifestyle.

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Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized

Let’s Talk About Shorts…

So, I moved to Madison not too long ago, and so far summer here has been…well, summer-y. It’s hot one day, humid the next, and when both of those things happen…well, you’re pretty much screwed.

So naturally, when it’s hot and I don’t want to repeat the mistake of overdressing in the heat, I wear shorts. No big deal right?

WRONG!

For some reason, when I came to the Midwest, I expected hospitality, kindness, courtesy, you know. But this morning, and I’m talking about 7 in the morning, when I went to get my car, some douchebag really just had the nerve to slow down, leer at me, and freaking yell obscenities at me. Like he legit yelled “I want to fuck you.

Like really? Who even does that?

I tend to feel self conscious when wearing shorts because, despite the fact that I’m rather slim, my lower body is a bit curvy. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! But when I wear anything that remotely hikes up at the back, I just feel like someone’s just leering, and are about to say something. And they do. And it sucks.

There’s nothing worse than some scumbag leaning out of his car and just ruining my day by making me feel gross. 

Catcalling. It’s not cool. It’s weird. Like, are you seriously expecting us to chase you down while asking for your number?

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Simmer down thirsty ones! Let me wear my shorts in peace!

 

Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized

Changes and Memories

So, I’m about to be an aunt. Like an actual aunt. People may think, “oh what’s the big deal? It’s not your child,” or “you already have nieces and nephews, what’s the big deal?”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, and those who fall in between, I am an aunt. One that is very much excited and scared to be an aunt, again. But this time, there is a difference. This is the child of my brother. The one that I’ve grown up with. The one who has both bullied and protected me. The one who I’ve taken my love of video games and Dragonball Z from. He’s the one that taught me how to drive. He’s the one who contributed to the madness that you see here.

He is the one who has both annoyed me and inspired me. I’ve confided in him and hid things from him when I believed that he wouldn’t understand me. But he hasn’t judged me for it, well as far as I know.

So, thinking about him in this way, and thinking about how we’ve grown up together, growing both apart and closer, naturally this child will be someone very special to me. I hope that I will be the greatest aunt to him. I hope I will be able to guide him to the right paths. I hope that I can love him unconditionally. I think I will actually.

There’s always a sadness that comes with thinking about my new nephew. I know I won’t be able to protect him from all of the failings of society. Nobody will. I know he will have his moments when he’s scared and I won’t know what to do. I know that there will be moments when he won’t even want to talk to me.

Most selfishly though, the greatest sadness that I feel right now is the fact that I’m growing up.

There is only one year in my life when I wasn’t an aunt. But my brother’s child shows that those days of playing Tekken 2, those days when I could selfishly cry for his attention, those days when I was player 2, those days when we would run outside barefooted on scalding concrete in the blazing Jamaican sun, those days when we were children are gone. They’re only fond memories, and it’s hard to handle that.

The only thing I can do is adjust to this. I can only make sure that my nephew has the best childhood. I can only look forward to that.

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Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized

Why We Need Beyoncé

Have you ever had those days where you listen to a great song and you just feel like you can do anything? Something that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, like a straight up badass?

With the release of Beyoncé’s new album, “Lemonade,” I see a lot of people focusing on the infidelity aspect of the album. You can take a listen on Tidal, which is free for 30 days I believe. Anyway, I’ve seen people commenting things like “this bitch is crazy,” blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, irrelevance, etc. That’s great and all, we all have a bit of crazy in us. I love the humanity in this album, the anger, the sadness, the jealousy, the culture, the badassery (if that’s a word). But I choose to focus on the representation that she uses in her videos.

I could have used a role model that showed the same messages as her when I was younger. I’m not saying that Beyoncé wasn’t around when I was a child, because she was. The messages that I got from her were those of confidence. But, quite frankly, the message didn’t reach my heart, because as I’ve previously written, I was a tiny dark-skinned child with little confidence and society was doing nothing to help that.

Now as an adult, well kind of, my heart melts when she showcases Blue Ivy, with her cute little afro with the lyrics “I like my baby with baby hair and afro. I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.” She showcases the beauty of her child after all of the attacks on her innocence. People talking about how her hair needs to be combed and how Beyoncé is a bad mother for having her leave the house like that. This little girl is perfect the way she is. She is beautiful, and Beyoncé will not let society degrade her baby.

Beyoncé’s use of so many black women with their diverse shades, textures, and talents gave me life. I honestly wanted to just rip these braids out and wave my afro around, but too bad I paid $100 to install them. Soon enough though. But I digress. This representation of black women who were doing so much, so much ballet, so much sports, singing, poetry, among others, shows, especially for the younger ladies and gents, how much beauty and potential. The light ones, the dark ones, and the ones in-between all know that they are beautiful. They all know that they can slay.

I love Beyoncé for showing them that. I only hope that they will take that to heart.

 

Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized

Finding my type

I really love taking showers. It’s always that one opportunity I have to unwind, reflect, and plan my life. But, there’s always that moment when I’m showering and my thoughts take a dark turn.

In this case, I was suddenly brought back to my childhood insecurities. It was bizarre, because it was just me seeing the water trickle down my skin that just reminded me of the times when, instead of using black soap, I would try to erase my blackness with papaya soap. I remember trying to escape the water pouring from the shower-head as I tried to keep the suds on my skin for as long as possible. I remember looking at my naked body in the mirror after each shower to at least see if my skin had even lightened a fraction of a shade. And then the splotches came. Continue reading “Finding my type”

Posted in Fluff/Ramblings, Ramblings, Uncategorized

#tweetlikeapickme

Why are people always trying to put each other down? Every time I go online, someone, usually some attention-seeking woman, posts something like: 12046693_1661383437451670_2685600402066534320_n

Ok great cool. I mean, good for her that she found someone that was willing to push themselves to be successful. He’s worked hard and he sure as hell didn’t lay up on the couch just saying that he was going to do something. So don’t hate on me for pushing myself and then not necessarily wanting to have someone who is barely there. There will be those men who push themselves, but there are also bum, so yeah.

There’s that and then I’m hit with something like :

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Yeah…No. Honestly,I love wearing shorts. I love my tank tops, I love my body. Not to mention, calling someone a slut just because of how they dress is just downright shameful. Like, really? Me exposing my skin puts me in a bad light just because some pervy dude can’t keep his dick in check? Ok, bye.

So when I found this article on Blavity. I couldn’t help but die. It was so accurate. It was beautiful. I love seeing ignorant people get dragged, but this was a wonderful manner to throw shade at those people who put other people down for their own benefits.I mean come on ladies (and gents, because I’ve definitely seen some of that), if you’re really willing to put up with some of these lowlife men or women, then you need a reality check and some self esteem.

Anyway, enjoy your days. Keep your heads up and love yourselves, you know, without putting other people down.

 

Posted in Fluff/Ramblings, Ramblings

Being Your Best Self

I’m finally beginning my journey to health! Again. There’s just something about being at home that just turns me into a lazy potato, but when I’m at school, I just want to do everything! I practice martial arts, I go to the gym almost everyday, and now I’m even going to learn how to swim! I’m really excited about that by the way, at least if I fall off a bridge I’ll be able to swim!

I’ll have to admit the fact that I exercise for vanity and health. Vanity because I want to be toned, I want to have abs, that glowing skin, and I certainly want to have that cute butt. I also do it for health, as I want to make sure that I won’t have to deal with heart disease (something that many women deal with), lower my risks of cancer, and I want to live longer. Strangely enough though, when I tell others that I am going to the gym or that I want to be healthier, they look at me and comment something like “you’re already so skinny, why do you need to exercise/eat so healthy?” This annoys me, yes, I do it for the vanity, but I’m going to say this right now: skinny does not equal healthy. I have a high metabolism and that’s great, but I want to be able to run around and not be out of breath. The same goes for bigger people too. We as a society have such an obsession with the perfect body that we lose sight of the fact that we are all different. We all have our own perfect bodies or we can achieve our own perfect bodies. We don’t have to alter ourselves cosmetically to be beautiful, we only need be healthy. It took me far too long to realize that, and I still don’t appreciate myself as much as I should.

I want to be my best self. Not the person who is skinny by simply laying around, watching TV, and eating. Rather, I want to be the person who looks and feels healthy while living my life. No matter your shape, make sure to live your lives to the fullest. Make sure that you’re able to go after the things that you love, both physically and emotionally. Let no one get in the way of your happiness.

Posted in Ramblings, School/University Life

Final Stretch!

Actually, that was like two days ago, I was just too bogged down to post anything. Anyway, this is it. My final semester as an undergraduate student. After this, I will be leaving a wonderful university with a degree, one of the first in my family to do so. I’m so excited, but I’m also so scared to see what the world has in store for me. I hope that I’ll succeed and make my family, especially my mother, proud. I hope that I will learn from any mistakes and that I’ll be able to mentor others who were in my position at some point. These past three and a half years have been difficult and enriching. I’ve made friends and lost friends. I’ve traveled. I’ve succeeded and I’ve failed. I’ve led and I’ve been led. I’m going to make this a short entry, but I do want to leave two messages: first, go to university/college, it’s been worth it. I’ve met so many people who have influenced me in some strange manner, both good and bad. There are lessons to be learnt from everyone that you meet there and in your regular life. Secondly, students who are/will be the first in their families to go to college, there are so many resources available to you, use them. There are people out there willing to speak with you, guide you, and cheer you on. Go for it, it’s worth it.