Sunday, November 27, 2011

Insecurities on show

This video gave me some food for thought:

So after watching this video, the first thing that came to mind wasn't how demeaning it was that all these girls were shaking their booties or anything like that. I'll be honest and say I felt a little bit jealous, I thought to myself: I wouldn't mind a bum like that!

Unfortunately I do not have a bum of that epic proportion. My lack of a derrière is something that gets to me sometimes. Coupled with the fact that I am black and there is some kind of unwritten rule that black girls are supposed to be blessed in that department and also the current preference for big bums in the media, I occasionally feel a little bit down. Where does my skinny ass fit into the picture? Does anyone really want to see bones instead of meat?

After battling with these questions, I decided to take a new stance: I don't care. And let me say this don't care attitude is something that I have been trying to develop for a while in regards to my physical insecurities but unfortunately hasn't been very successful.

I decided to try and take a new approach, that of acceptance. As part of this new tactic, I've bravely decided to list some of my insecurities in regards to my appearance, not because other people necessarily want to know but just to get them out in the open.

1. Lack of bottom.
2. An out of proportion body: this is not an easy insecurity to get over as it is such a pain. Being a size 10/12 on top but a 6/8 on bottom is really not helpful in terms of finding flattering clothes :(
3. A protruding Adam's apple( I've been told many times that only males have Adam's apples but I'm clearly the exception to the rule as mine is always ready to say hello whenever I look in the mirror)

So with those insecurities in black and white for all to see, I'm going to declare today that I am learning to accept me for me! All these things that I complain about help to make me and if I don't learn to love them, who else is?Whilst I'm no Nicki Minaj, I'm still gonna shake what my momma gave me (even though she didn't give me much in that department :D)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Each day is a gift, not a given right

This post is a reflection upon a recent incident that has been in the news. Two young students were crushed to death after a stampede at a packed nightclub.

See full story here

When I first heard about this incident, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. Obviously I know that people die and things happen. The new is rife with gun crime, knife crime, murders, rape etc. but this really hit home. The overriding thought I had was: what an awful way to die, such a waste of life. To think that earlier in that evening those girls were getting ready to go out, probably amongst friends with high expectations of the night, with no incline of what was yet to come.At 19 and 22 these girls were still in the prime of life. To think that their families will never see them graduate or get married or even just get to hug them again is hard to take in.

This story made me aware of how fleeting life is. We don't know what each day will bring. Whilst we can't predict the future, we can be grateful for every day that we walk this earth. Live each  day to the fullest and know that today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised.

My heart goes out to the families of these two beautiful young women and to all those who have lost people and are hurting.  I hope that they can find the strength to live their lives in tribute to those who are no longer with us.

"Dance like no one is watching, Love like you'll never be hurt, Sing like no one is listening, Live like it's heaven on earth."

Friday, November 4, 2011

The wrong kind of love

*disclaimer: I'm not sure where this post will go, I'm not even sure if I will finish this but I feel compelled to blog about this after a long while of hiding from it*

Love is a beautiful, amazing, wondrous thing. To know that I am loved; by God, by myself and by others is one of the driving forces in my life. But there's a dark side of love too. A destructive side. A love that wounds without intention or sometimes without knowledge.

I've known that kind of love and everything that came with it has shaped the person I am today. A couple of years ago I was in an 'abusive' relationship. A relationship that started off well but which could have destroyed me.

Let me start by saying that there are lots of opinions about abuse, domestic violence etc. (I know because I've heard a lot of them) but I'm not here to validate those opinions but just to give my account.

I fell in love. And in the beginning it was all I ever wanted in a relationship. Then things changed. What should have been meaningless arguments escalated to bouts of emotional and physical abuse. There were always tears and begs for forgiveness (on both parts) and over and over again the promise 'not to do it again'. But those promises were empty. The love between us was too needy and too involved to see the damage and so the cycle continued. I wasn't aware of it at the time but my identity started to slip away, I didn't think the same way or act the same as before. The more love I invested in him the less I invested in myself and with that I made myself even more vulnerable.

However I was fortunate. There came a time when enough was enough and the destruction had to be over for good. I'm blessed with the most amazing network of family and friends who made sure I never went back to him and who supported me in my darkest days. I often wonder what would've happened if I didn't leave. To be honest I could've been dead.

I would love to say. We broke up, I got over it and life is all good now. But the truth is: that kind of love scars. Sometimes I feel angry with myself for still thinking or feeling sad about it. The product of that love was a lot of fear and anxieties. I get anxious when I see couples arguing, I get agitated when people even mention the words domestic violence.

Despite this, I can hold onto the fact that I'm alive and I'm breathing. And everyday I give God thanks for that. I've been blessed with a wealth of opportunities and I'm proud of the person I am today. Sometimes you have to be broken to be healed; its all a part of growing and I know I've got much more growing to do. I've learnt some valuable lessons. I've still got some healing left to do but I've come to accept that sometimes it's okay not to be okay. I'm only human after all. Even after seeing the damage love can do I haven't given up on love just yet. I still live in hope that one day I will share a beautiful, pure and enduring love with someone. (P.S that guy will be very lucky because I am one hot mama!)

There it is. I did it. And surprisingly I don't feel sad, I feel empowered. For every negative, there's a dozen positives. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reading between, through, across, around, above and below the lines....

I have a problem. (I have many,but lets just start with this one) I read into things far too much. This post is on a similar vein to my last post, as this problem often leads to worrying.

I don't know how to just take things at face value, I always over analyse things in my head. Whilst I'm sure in some instances this is a good thing, more recently it's driving me crazy. This reminds me of childhood/adolescent romances, you know the ones where if he texts back with a kiss he likes you if there's no kiss there's no hope. Exactly the same now but on a wider scale, not just reading into text messages but phone conversations, body language the lot! Why can't I just be happy with what I hear straight from the horses mouth? No consequences, no implications, nothing.

What good is it trying to read into something ,especially when 9 times out of 10 no one is going to validate the theory I come up with?

So on this note, I'm trying to figure out what the best course of action is. Should I continue to read between every single line or just be straight up and voice my concerns/opinions at every opportunity? Or maybe a bit of both?

Guess I've still got a little more thinking to do on this one.....