Weekend off

I actually have a weekend off and I ACTUALLY have family events that I’m going to. I spent the day yesterday with my father’s side of the family “Down D Islands”, while today I have a luncheon with my mom’s side of the family. Both events are Birthday Celebrations for family members. 

Yesterday had the best weather ever and everyone had a great time just relaxing on the jetty or in the water.I hadn’t planned on going but in the end I was glad I did … 

It was still sad in some ways. Everyone still asks why I don’t have a boyfriend why don’t I get married don’t I want children. My cousin who is the closest person I had to a sister was there with her husband and two kids. We had always wanted to have kids the same time so they could grow up together like we did. It didn’t happen but those plans rarely ever do I suppose. 

I had to go alone because my addict would not be able to be at a family event like that and want to be sober since everyone else would not be sober. So my parents weren’t invited to go even though it was his sister’s birthday (my aunt), only me. It’s too bad because my mom would have enjoyed the day and he would’ve too, but we can’t take any unnecessary chances… 

Going there also reminds me of my boyfriend and how much he loved going there with friends and how much time we spent there when he was alive. Living on an islands, beach/ocean life IS life and he loved it. 

But aside from that, the day was enjoyable… A rare occasion … Here are some of the pics I took… 

   
   
  

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Happiness? 

Maybe I just don’t know how to be happy. Could it be possible that I just only exist in a state of NOT being happy. Not necessarily that this means “sad”… But just not happy.

What IS happiness anyway? Is anyone ever really happy? 

To have a day not full of anxiety about something/ someone is impossible for me, that I know. 

Can you learn to be happy? 

I know self help/ motivational excerpts always say positive thoughts make “life” positive. I’ve never bought into that… But I do try it sometimes… But maybe since I don’t fully believe it, it has never worked for me. 

So far nothing has changed. Maybe I want the change too fast? Or I’m looking out for change too much? Or maybe there won’t be a change… 

I don’t know many happy people. I probably don’t know any off hand just by thinking … 

Why, with all the advancements in the world, is happiness even harder to achieve now than before?

  

Anxiety 

Anxiety is a strange thing. It is always there in the background of your everyday life… Like white noise. There’s no explanation for it most of the time yet it’s palpable in every second that goes by in your day/ night.

I have been plagued with anxiety and it feels even more heightened lately. Yet… Nothing’s wrong. Work is usual, I’ve been performing in sold out shows, home is quiet enough, I travelled recently… Nothing’s wrong yet I’m always feeling like I’m on the edge of “some thing” about to happen.

This is common and I know my sponsor would probably say it’s our side of the disease acting up… We are never used to things just going fine and we look for a reason for it to be bad – real or imagined. 

I know I haven’t been sleeping (as usual) and lately I haven’t been following a proper pattern of eating so I’m sure those have been adding to it. I just can’t seem to get into a routine to calm down.

I lose interest in things so quickly… Adult coloring, exercising, watching YouTube videos…all start with excitement and enthusiasm and then after a week or two it’s over and I don’t have any interest in looking at it again. 

I haven’t found anything yet that works to keep me relaxed for an extended period of time and keep me from imagining all the things that could go wrong in time.

  

Rape is never Ok.

During the carnival celebration here, the murder of a Japanese national occurred. She was found dead and apparently strangled. As if this was not bad enough, the Mayor of the capital city made statements implying *not verbatim*  (before even an autopsy was performed) that it was probably that she had engaged in vulgar action over carnival that provoked rape and death. 

While this was purely premature speculation on his part it was clear that he was placing the blame of the victim’s death at her feet. 

This is one of the few times that the usual laid back society in which I live seemed to be truly incensed. People took to social media, held protests and bombarded his office clamouring for his resignation because of his blatant sexist, misogynistic and all round poor judgement in making those statements especially given his office. 

He subsequently “apologized” yet still insisted that there were some people who agreed with his original statement (therefore you still think you were right to say it?). He has been endorsed by the Prime Minister so he will not have to resign office despite the clear public outage. 

I have never and will never understand the act of rape. I will also NEVER understand the attitude of – well she probably looked for it/ deserved it/ should know better because that’s just how men are attitude. It is so common now that rape is so loosely referred to and it seems that it is increasingly easy to find people who are willing to do it. I can’t and don’t want to begin to imagine that invasion of the body. 

My body is mine. Regardless of what I wear, how I behave, and the things I do – it is MINE. Who has the right to decide I should be/ need to be/ can be raped AND by extension murdered? What are we teaching our boys/ men? Why has this act become so prevalent within society that it is treated in a flippant manner and STILL with victim shaming? 

We have too many cases of babies being raped and elderly women … What act of vulgarity did they commit? We are not dealing with the real problem – why do men feel it is ok TO rape? 

We have lost a young woman who travelled to our country because of a love for our culture and our national instrument – the steel pan – which many of US can’t play yet she came here to do so and THIS is the best that the voice that is supposed to represent us from a public office can say?

I teach girls. While I have a syllabus to teach… I don’t just teach what you need to know to pass the exam. I wish teaching was that easy – where I teach what’s on a syllabus and that’s it. But it’s not. I have to teach my girls about LIFE as well and what they will meet when they leave the confines of school. 

It is not fair that the fact is that they will be at a disadvantage in the workplace because of their sex, at a disadvantage in the world because of their race- the reality that they are at a disadvantage in life because there were born female and not male. It is not fair that I tell them go out and be anything you want to be but I know that many of them may be forced to fail because of their very sex. 

Is it remiss of me to ignore telling them about what or who lies in wait for them out there in the world? How are these the rules we as females live by? -:

Walk quickly and with purposeful action

Don’t make eye contact with men 

Do not go to the bathroom alone when out – buddy system always

Do not leave your drink alone ANYWHERE or with ANYONE.. In fact just don’t drink 

Be careful especially at night EVERYWHERE 

Watch how you dress… Better yet don’t wear a dress…

Be aware of how you dance 

Try not to get a man angry 

Don’t make a man feel insecure

Don’t leave your children alone with a man – ANY MAN

In fact….. Just don’t go anywhere or speak to anyone! 

Where is the trust? The respect? The supposed love FOR fellow humans? How would I treat with this if I had my OWN children? 

It is a frightening world with innumerable unknowns. Responsibility must be taken by those in positions of authority for their part to play in endorsing the stereotype that women are to be seen (only when cooking) and not heard and if we are heard it is our fault whatever action is taken whether it be rape or murder. 

I don’t believe all men are like this. There are good men out there (somewhere)… But there is always fear… Hovering in the back of our minds and I’m angry… Angry that I will let fear and distrust forever hinder the chance to believe a man when he says he is NOT that way. 

Only WE collectively female and male can change the world. We have to demand more from ourselves and our peers and those who represent us as a people. I want a world full of love, respect, protective nurturing and without fear. I want better.

  

Mini Get Away

We had a long weekend here for our national carnival celebration so I took the opportunity to travel. 

I am not a fan of traveling mind you. The long lines, the wait, the security checks which always find some reason to prolong the situation of getting from place A to place B… I could never understand how people travel often/ regularly. But despite all the harrowing travel experiences I’ve had, I went. 

It is always strange to leave your country and go elsewhere even if it’s just a few hours flight. Coming from a usual 32-33 degree Celsius Caribbean weather needless to say I was not impressed this time by the 12 degree weather I met when I landed abroad.

But, coldness aside, the trip was good. It was a change of scenery, definitely a change in people and an all around difference just knowing that I was not home. 

I think the thing that always strikes me is customer service. Something that is really non existent here at home, yet when you travel to certain places you realize it is such a top priority. Return items? Meet helpful assistants? GET assistance? I always feel like I’m in some alternate universe.

Whenever I travel I always wonder if I could ever see myself living in another country. But being somewhere for five days is definitely a far cry from living there. Unfortunately I don’t think I can shed my anxiety, depression or lethargy with life that easily. 

I will try to travel maybe once a year or at least every two years… Even if it’s just to get a break from the norm. But I know I have to work on trying to be happy with what my everyday life really is, as opposed to running from it. 

P.s.: I had problems on my attempt to RETURN home with the airline insisting that on their system I was supposed to be traveling with a baby (I have NO baby) which took ages to clear up – seamless traveling thwarted yet again!