Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poem- December 20th 2008

Sometimes I still see her as the enemy
She makes me feel the pain as something real
and bottomless
I try to numb her with
savory treats and
endless distractions
only to feel her shift restlessly
but not silenced

She will not leave me in peace

There is the rare occasion when I am strong enough to embrace her
heaving form
She can grieve then with dignity
She can survive the barrenness of winter and hope for spring again


It's like trying to assimilate a foreign language
I grasp at the word but find it ever elusive
Always evading my short swollen hands

But spring seems so far
Too far from my freezing heart
I ice over again
She suffers alone
Her silent wails wake me in the early morning hours when it is still dark outside
Her snotty sobs slip me into an exhausted sleep at night

I am on the defence
or offence
I'm not strong enough for this
I'm not strong enough to take care of this withering, dependent, grieving child
I'm not ready to be a mother.
It's then I realise I suffer from a horrible affliction
An inability to nurture myself.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Untitled (1st December 2008)

Tears flow like a river from my heart
Always returning back to you
I sit on my knees trying to piece together the puzzle of my life
the puzzle of this broken mess
My heart.
What am I to do with all of this new found freedom?
I risked everything for love
only to have what is left of my shattered heart returned to me.
"Poor girl, your such a fool"
I think now that I will never love again
Since love is too cruel and people seem incapable of it.

The VOID (20 Nov. 2008)

I have this void inside of me
It's so huge
and gaping
and painful

It scrapes
It stares
It pulls at me like a malnourished child

"I am so needy
fill me, fill me, fill me.
I am so unhappy
I am so alone
fill me, fill me, fill me
fill me, fill me, fill me"

I am sated but never satsfied
I am still unhappy
I am still alone.

I want
I need
I want
I need
It is never enough
It is never good enough for me.

Digging Deep (14 Nov. 2008)

My mother tells me to dig deep
real deep
when life seems hard
She wears the battle scars of loneliness after 20+ years of a marriage that ended in failure
She lives in a three bedroom house
with two angel-faced beauties whose feet pitter-patter
as they follow her around the house
I say I am digging deep
but the tears keep comming
and sometimes it seems as if the pain is more than I can bear.

Simple prayers echo off silent lips.

Questions seem to hold no real answers.

A heartwenching cry for help.

And even in my apparent weakness,
I find strength in a new day.
Promises for peace, love, wisdom and hope
flutterby on yellow wings
or coat the air with their honey-glazed song.
And when I feel the void opening up beneath me
I find comfort in the space between word and thought,
pen and paper
and beautiful teachings from Bon Masters, Native Americans, Christians, Buddhists
and regular souls just like me
and then there are the kind, supportive words of family and friends
that are as dissappointed as I am
that life has a habit of hitting you where it hurts the most.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Letter to That Which Dwells Within

How I long
to be consumed by the flame of your intention
so that all the layers upon layers upon layers
of all that is not
can fall away and leave me
and light
and easy

How I long for the promise of salvation
the simple heaven of being and breathing
the beauty of divinity that beats within me

I am yours
and yet I am imprisoned
I do not remember what it is like to be free
what it is like to gaze upon the loveliness of your face
and feel finally like I am home

Have I
drifted so far that I can no longer recognise the sound of your voice
no longer feel the music in your heart
no longer dance to the drum of your desires
our desires
the kind that made us one?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Inspirational Quotes

"I don't want to come to the end of my life and realise I have lived someone else's version of it"
From the 1985 Oscar winning movie "Out of Africa"

"Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it"

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"
Eleanor Rossevelt

"When you come to the edge of all the light you have, and you must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen. Either there will be something for you to stand on- or you will be taught how to fly."
Patrick Overton, educator, poet and playwright

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On The Right Track

A series of events have brought me to this moment
New people in my life,
New decisions,
New circumstances,
Pathways of the past suddenly illuminated to give me encouragement for the future
I watch delighted
Joy again ignites my heart as the colour of hope bounces playfully past
And all the promises of the Universe suddenly unfold into my lap

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Letting Go

They say that the people that come into our lives are placed there strategically to teach us more about ourselves. That what we despise in others only grows stronger within. And instead of looking within, we look without to see who we can blame for our demise, who we can demonise.

In a sudden flash of insight it suddenly became clear to me that what I despise in you feeds the beast in me. You lack of appreciation towards the people who unselfishly work on your behalf, your inability to give praise, encouragement and validation, your nit-picking, your lack of trust in people's motivations, your constant need to blame and point fingers at the people you hold responsible for your successes and failures- your inhumanity.

I recognise the beast within you because it lives inside of me too. You hurt because your hurting, because you've been hurt. This anger spreads out like a fan affecting all the people in your life, pushing them away, leaving you alone. Do you know how many people I have hurt, how may I have pushed away because I don't trust, don't want to believe that they want to do something nice for me, something good for me because they want to be a part of my life, they want to know who I am, because they see something good? Sometimes it feels like everything I touch is poison, because I am poison and I haven't learnt to let go.

How many lies will we hold on to for the sake of shielding ourselves, protecting ourselves from what we think is the unavoidable. What happens? Who do we become when we let go?


Or Free.

Why is it so hard to take responsibility?

Why is it so hard to let go?

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Prayer For You

I pray above all things that you will find peace
that happiness will spring like a seed of joy from your womb
infecting everything you see, smell, hear, taste and touch.

I pray that your eyes may see the beauty that surrounds you
That your heart may be opened to soft spoken words, warm hands and all things done in the name of love for and because of who you are

I pray that you will hold onto hope long enough for it to prove to you
That you are never alone

I pray that your faith is strong enough to carry you through all that seems at first glance lost, unbearable and unforgiveable

I pray that one day you will come to understand that we are all children of God struggling through the dark to remember again what is laughter, what is peace, what is freedom, what is

I pray that the reality of the truth will lighten your step and lighten your heart always

With thoughts of love


Monday, July 7, 2008

Running Away

There are a lot of reasons to justify running away from things, situations, people that scare and intimidate us. I've had my share of running. I run in different ways for different reasons, reasons that I am not proud of. I'll avoid situations because I don't want to find out the truth about myself. I don't want people to build high expectations only to become dissappointed. Ultimately, I can't handle facing my deepest fear- that I am not good enough.

Since I graduated from UWI, I have had a total of 4 jobs, each quite different from the other. It shames me to say- 4 jobs in 2 years. From passenger agent to receptionist at a jewelry boutique, to communications assistant to receptionist at a day spa. My family asks me, whenever they see me whether I have chosen my career path as yet. When am I going back to school to complete my Masters? Sometimes I feel like a total loser for not knowing what kind of career drives and motivates me. I think to myself, shouldn't I know by now? Haven't I made enough guesses, enough wrong turns? Why can't I just stick to something, anything? It's like I have commitment anxiety to work.

But I don't want to be a drifter, a floater, a dreamer and yet that is exactly what I appear to be. I guess that's what upsets me the most. I don't like who I appear to be, because it's not who I am. In my last couple of jobs to the present I've felt like I've hit the replay button. A drama keeps unfolding where I find myself butting up against these super defensive egos that want to antagonise, punish and blame the people who work for them. Work morale is low, working environments are tense and there are too many questions: Why do they treat people like that? How did I get myself into this situation? And the most important ones being Why am I here? and Should I really stand for this nonsense?
Many times I've seen myself as the victim, but this time I realise that it really has nothing to do with me. What happened to these people that they feel they can't trust and have to emotionally bully people into submission? What happened to me that I keep attracting the same relationships, the same employers? Do I not think that I deserve more?

Sometimes I wish my guardian angel could just speak to me with real words, guide me, tell me where I need to go. I don't want to run anymore and I don't want to play the victim. I really am just looking forward to working towards something, something that improves me and allows me to help others. I want stability, and the peace of mind that comes with it. But it seems as if the Universe has other plans and I can only choose to go with the flow and trust that everything will work out in the end. Trust- it's like I don't even know what that means anymore. How can I not be dissappointed? Who wants to uproot again, to start over again, to search again and hope for the best? Is hope all I have these days?
Why do I stay?
To prove that I am not a quitter. To who?
To continue to make a financial contribution to my family.
Because I am comfortable and afraid of change.
Because no job is perfect and people are not perfect and this could be the ultimate lesson that I need to learn
Because I am afraid of how I will appear, of what people, my family will think.
To reach this evolutionary state of heightened awareness that shows me that I can endure, that people and circumstances do not dictate my happiness, to allow myself to see the person beyond the ego, beyond the pain and give myself the chance, the challenge to recognise the divinity within? The divinity that connects us all.
Because I don't want to run away again.
How do I justify leaving?
To take a stand for myself.
To no longer underestimate my value and self worth.
To prove to myself that I don't have to or need to take crap from anyone.
To trust in the Universe for guidance and direction, for opportunity.
Because I can contribute to my family with any job.
To prove to myself that I am not manipulated into making decisions based upon what people think and expect of me
To trust in this process, this journey, my path
To prove to myself that I will not let the fear of the unknown cripple me into indecision- to embrace the unknown
Indecision is a decision to do nothing and take no responsibility.
I am tired of analysing and overanalysing.
For once I want to know, for once I want to trust, for once I want to put faith into action and beyond words. For once.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Everything's Gonna Be Alright

If this situation were to last forever, what kind of qualities would I have to develop to be at peace?

It's been almost two weeks since this question has been posed to me and I feel such resistance everytime I begin to think of the possibility that things could possibly remain this way forever. The truth is it's not that things are so horrible now, its just that I look forward to progress, to the evolution of my person, to a deeper knowledge of myself and a more profound connection to God. I look forward to the steady advancement of my career, to my own home, to a growing family, to travelling and seeing some of the wonders of the world. I look forward to spending time with family that I get to see sometimes once a year, to having my own babies and sitting on a porch swing staring at my beautiful garden. I look forward to growing old with my husband and retiring and spending days by the beach watching the sun rise and warm a new day.

All of this looking forward, I find it sometimes impossible to just be at peace with the fact that I may never find that job that brings added value and meaning to who I am. It's possible that I will always be drifting, or that I'll settle in a regular 9am to 5pm job, glancing up at the clock every now and then, waiting for the end of the day to come. I may not even be able to have my own kids. I may never get to see Alaska or Tibet or Ireland. I may never live in a dream home near the sea. Nigel and I may even fall out of love (God forbid). I may never dance on stage again. I may never be able to publish a heart wrenching book of poetry. There are many plans that may never come to fruition, many dreams that may only remain in the corner of my mind. Can I be at peace with that?
I think I need to be, if I want any peace in this life. I think that I need to learn that I don't really have control of anything except Who I Am in this moment. I think I need to trust that I am where I need to be right now and stop being so ressistant to the learning process, to challenges, to growing responsibilities, to change. I think I need to trust that no matter what happens, everything will be alright. I think I need to sit and feel the pressence of God in my life, and if I just let go, just let go, just let go...I'll find joy in the quiet tapping of my fingers on the keyboard in the early morning, sweet peace in my husbands sleeping body next to mine, simple happiness in pleasant interactions with random strangers as we cross paths time and again and the biggest surprise of all- I'll find that I am happy and I am free and not such a bad person afterall, and as Alicia Keys sings, "Everything's gonna be alright"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Being Friendly with the Present Moment

I'm reading this book now by Eckhart Tolle, "A New Earth". I was not really caught up in all the fanfare and hullabaloo that surrounded this book but my mother heard about it and purchased it for me (I love my mommy) and I figure I should have the decency to open up and see what message could be awaiting me. Besides, as I mentioned before, I don't believe in coincidences. I even go on to see the web classes, go through the workbook and do a few of the exercises. It's all an interesting experience. Watching the web class for Chapter 2, Eckhart Tolle talks about being friendly with the present moment. Until recently I never realised how hard that is.

I spend most days waiting for the next moment: for the next movie or sitcom, for my song to download, for my husband to come home, to finish cooking dinner. Even menial tasks like washing dishes or jogging up and down the stairs. Everything has become a means to an end. How many moments do I actually enjoy? How many meals do I actually relish? How much time do I spend being present with the people I love without always thinking of the next thing on my itinerary? Even before I finish meditating, I'm already thinking about what needs to be done once my meditation comes to an end. And if I exercise I focus more on the long term benefits of losing weight rather than simply being present and enjoying the invigorating flow of energy through the muscles in my body

I talk a lot about the importance of living and not just existing, but the days run by and I wonder, have I really been present for any of these moments? How many more Sunday April 13th 2008 days will I have once this day is gone? It seems I am always looking for the next event, never really accepting and loving and giving in the moment, in the now. In essence I am cheating myself of this life, feeling disconnected, like I am floating from one moment to the next.

What a strange thing.

They say that wanting is a dangerous thing. But I want more out of this life. I want to feel alive! I want to feel the song of the bird ripple through me, to feel the rays of the sun fill me and the caress of the wind embrace me. I want to feel the support of the earth beneath my feet and feel the essence, delicateness and beauty of the flower radiate through me. I don't want to feel less than because I've gained a little weight, I don't like house work, I'm unemployed, I love cheesy sitcoms and television dramas and my hair never wants to stay in place. I don't want to feel as if I have to work hard to deserve happiness and that if I don't work at a particular establishment, have my life sorted out by 40yrs and have kids by 26yrs that I'm a loser and a failure. And when I do a mediocre job at being a wife, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a friend, an employee, a black, middle-classed Caribbean female, I don't want to feel like I am simply unworthy and can no longer stand to look at myself in the mirror.

Strip all of these labels away from me, all the stereotypes and structures that I have allowed myself to be boxed into and Who Am I?

Who am I?

And if I find and define myself within all of these labels and structures, then without them I am nothing at all.

Am I nothing at all?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Inspiring Messages

"We all believe we exist. So we all believe in existence and existence is God. Being is God . . . This search for God is a search for the state, the place, of no pain. The place of peace. And we know it's there because it's our own state. Somewhere inside us there is this knowledge of our own state, of the painless state, of the state of complete peace. That's why we search for it."
~ Nani Ma

"When you see Him in all. Everywhere, whatever you see, you see Him. Nothing but Him. Means nothing but divine. That stage is called enlightenment. You see the divine in everyone. And you see His will everywhere . . . When you are not enlightened you become the victim of dualities, light and dark, good and bad, love and hatred . . . A person who becomes enlightened becomes a free soul. Nothing can bind him then. Things are there, but nothing can bind him."
~ H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj

"The child that you are, learn to realize that your relationship with God is not dual. In His dynasty, the regime is love. He is the only one as you are the only one. He is inside you, lives with you. Admit this and accept this."
~ Devaraha Hans Baba

"I eat when I feel hunger. I sleep when I feel to sleep. An unhappy happening makes me weep too. When occasion demands, I laugh aloud and freely.At the time of silence, I go into deep silence.Whatever I do, I do it as a worship to and of God."
~ Prem Avadhoot Bapuji

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If you really knew me, you'd know that I...

If you really knew me, you'd know that I...

am a hopeless romantic

love making new friends

love making people feel good about themselves

don't really like looking at myself in the mirror, or in pictures

often feel misundersood

cry when someone else is hurting

believe that anything is possible...

Now you try.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Real Freedom

In the book "Psycho-Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz, the author describes the healthy human being as a goal seeking, goal driven individual. Sometimes I become frustrated and angry because I do not feel as if I am getting anywhere on this journey towards getting to know myself and finding the right career path for myself. It feels like I am just passing time doing nothing meaningful or important. But in the silence, out here with the cool evening wind brushing my skin and the sun slowly fading from the evening sky, I realise that I am on a much larger quest. I realise that finding contentment in all things big and small- the twittering of the sparrow, the sweet song of the yellow breast, the chill of the evening air seeping into my wrap, the smell of food cooking in the apartments below, the neighbor's dog barking in the background, the soft drifting clouds and me, myself and I sitting on the porch in conversation with a book from my aunt's old collection- contentment, detachment, acceptance in and of all things- these are the real joys of life. 

Will I feel this way tomorrow? I don't know. But I have this immense feeling of gratitude now, and I would like to savour it while it lasts and endeavour to be patient, faithful and nonjudgmental even if just for this moment. 

Real freedom cannot be bought with money, it is the ability to find contentment in all things.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Attempt at a Poem

I found it discarded on the sand
Bone dry and bleached out by the harsh unrelenting sun
The song of the sea would not soothe it
The kiss of the wind would not caress it
It was simply alone
Drifting in the middle of here and nowhere
Watching the earth spin by

Weariness had seeped into it's bones
A cold, damp chill
Though the day grew warm and still
It's weary heart could no be filled
Dragged by the shore's tide
Stretched out beneath the sun
It drank in the roaring ocean
and rolled about on the bejewelled land
Weeping and sighing in ecstasy as the belly of the sand
Rose and fell beneath Her touch

Something inside stirred
Something stumbled
Unfolding slowly beneath the cloudless sky
(A long awaited encounter with the Divine?)

By: me

Reconnecting-The Difference Between Living and Existing

I've been trying to sum up in one or two sentences the reason that I left my job. Was it because I felt unappreciated and underpaid? Was it because I simply didn't love what I was doing? Was it because the job had become too stressful and I no longer felt that it was worth killing myself over? There are many reasons to leave a job. I think my biggest reason was because I was tired of feeling so run down, of having such a half hearted atitude and living to work. What did my life outside of work consist of? And how could I let the demands of my job overrun my needs as an individual for relationships, leisure activities and something as simple as a descent home cooked meal?

I had stopped living my life and had relegated myself to a life where I merely existed outside of what I could accomplish within the work setting. I had allowed myself to accrue all of my feelings of self-worth to my role and accomplishments in the workplace. Can I blame anyone but myself?

So why did I leave?

I felt like my life force was slowly draining from me and I just wanted to feel alive again. I just wanted to feel like I was talented, creative, adventurous and beautiful. I wanted to feel like the sky was the limit to my potential. I wanted to feel connected again and peaceful and cherished and loved- not battered, run down and abused at the end of the day. And a lot of the way I was feeling has to do with me. What I choose to let in to my sanctuary and how I allow things to affect me.

How can I re-connect again? How can I feel alive again? How can I get back to me?

It's like I have to rediscover myself, celebrate my talents, abilities, gifts and accept the parts of me that need to change and grow. Such a simple formula right?

Then why does it seem so hard?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tomorrow Will Have to Take Care of Itself

A lot of us attribute our self-worth to many things, our families, our jobs, our hobbies, our talents, our gender, our race, even our nationality. But if we were to strip away all of these things, who would we be and would we then find ourselves unworthy, inadequate, lost? All of these references lie outside of us and are inconstant. At some point they change, dim or simply fade away.

February 29th was the end of an era for me, it was my last day at my previous place of work and the beginning of my journey into the unknown. In the short amount of time that I have been at home I find myself questioning and doubting myself as an individual, my talents, my gifts, my motivation. Reading and researching tirelessly for one thing- the solution. I find myself returning to one thought, if only I could find the kind of job in which I can utilise my talents and impact people's lives. One that supports my need to live a balanced, better quality life... then I would not be so restless, then I would find some peace, then I could focus my energy and start digging into life.

There is only one problem with this solution- it's not a solution. My ideal job won't be the key to a happy life. I've received this advice time and time again from loved ones and friends and even from various articles I have read- if only it could be so simple. The real problem is getting it through this thick scull of mine. The real issue is that somewhere along the way I stopped living. I was instead existing from weekend to weekend, wishing Friday could come soon enough so that I could spend time doing what I want to do- whatever that was.
But now look at me, I have nothing but time. Time to meditate, to read, to party, to watch movies, to catch up with old friends, to spend quality time with family, to cook, to spend quality time with myself. But only three days in and I find myself going stir crazy. My husband says that I cannot be pleased. I am beginning to think that perhaps he's right. Perhaps there is something wrong with me.
What I really think is that I am going through a process of learning, of waiting, of cleansing and of renewal. What I need to learn is to enjoy life in the moment- in silence, in sunlight, through the noise from construction next door to rainy overcast days, and stop waiting for the next big thing to happen. In terms of waiting, I need to learn that I am not always in control; things do not happen when, how and the way that I want. I can't get all the answers now, or by the end of the day, or by tomorrow, the end of next week or next month, just because that is the deadline that I have set. I need to exercise faith and wait upon God's timing for things to become clear again, for doors to open and opportunities to spring anew. God does not take commands and He/She does not work according to my schedule, I am to wait on Her/Him. As for the cleansing, I need to practice living a more balanced life, storing good thoughts in my mind, working and feeding my body wholesome foods and meditating on the higher purpose that lies within- in essence I am in the process of cleansing and renewing my mind, body and soul.
It is a rough journey waiting. I'd much prefer to exhaust all bodies of knowledge to see what is available and what is the next best job opportunity for me. But I would end up in the same cycle of fear and insecurity. Instead I have been asked, rather politely to attend to the deeper wound, the one that has been neglected and as a result has not been able to heal. Instead I have been asked to work past the frustration and the headaches and the stomach churnings that accompany my fear of the unknown and my constant need for approval and stability and exercises a little faith, work on healing. All I can promise is that I'll try for today; tomorrow will have to take care of itself.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Growing Pains

I read somewhere that the problems we face on a global scale are a reflection of the problems we have yet to solve on an individual level, like poverty (self-empowerment), crimes of passion (forgiveness), war (fear). It's a cycle that keeps repeating itself until one day you wake up and say I'm tired of this and I don't want to live like this anymore. It's either that or we stay miserable for the rest of our lives, complaining, blaming and taking no responsibility for what we can change, how we can learn, what we can do. It is all so simple and yet so hard.

Recently I've been having a hard time. I've been looking at where I am and where I want to be and I've been angry, depressed, frusturated and generally unsatisfied. I felt as if all of this soul searching just reveals one thing, I am such a mess, I'm not doing anything right and I don't know where to begin to rectify all the damage or reach some semblance of ballance and peace. I felt as if I haven'tlearnt one thing. I felt stagnated and repulsive. This kind of energy seeped into everything I saw, everything I felt- I didn't like the way I was feeling, I didn't like the person I was becomming. I felt like I was in my own private hell.

Then an incident came up at work and my boss and I had a disagreement on a matter. I basically told him that he was unappreciative of me as a work employee, he puts me under too much pressure and he stretches me thin with my resposibilities. I must admit, it felt really good to get it off of my chest, this thing that was eating away at me for months on end just eating and festering like a parasite. It took me a few days to realise that he was right, I do have a history of not accepting criticism well. It took me almost a week to realise that I've been fighting myself for these last few months. I take crap from people all of the time, I don't stand up for myself and I sell myself short because I do not acknowledge or accept myself as a talented individual who is worthy of authentic relationships, better work positions and better job conditions.

I also realise that I have trouble accepting criticism because I give myself impossible standards to live up to and I'm very unforgiving when i fall short of them, even though I fall short over and over again. Where is the love in that. With slow effort I have begun to identify a cycle in my life. I attract people who will trample all over me if I don't establish boundaries from the get go- some of my family relationships, previous friendships, 2 out of 3 of my past employers, my previous dance teacher (funnily enough I don't let Nigel get away with zilch). I always place their opinion over mine, I always make myself available, I never complain and I never stand up for myself I just sit there and take the pummelling. I bottle up my anger when I am mad. I stifle my feelings when I'm hurt and I avoid confrontation. But then things start going south, I start getting wrestless, cause not even a slow poke like me can take on so much crap at one time. One day I just say "Enough!" and I almost explode. Yes, it feels good in the short term to finally do something good for me but in the long term it can be hurtful and burn bridges so to speak.

The most liberating thing for me was to hand in my letter of resignation, with my husband's support even when I don't have a job lined up. Why did I do it, some people would ask, because I was tired of being afraid, I needed to do something for me and I trust that I will find something to bring me a paycheck for the month of March (yes I have some savings too!). In addition to that, I needed something to jump kick me into action to take charge of my life and stop allowing things to happen to me. I need to stretch my legs, take a risk and just go- before I talk myself out of it. And you know what, I fully trust that the doors will open and everything will be alright.

As for this cycle, we are all moving through one. We are all connected. Attracting people and circumstances that try to teach us a way to a better life. I think we need to be more compassionate with one another and realise that we are all a work in progress. There are people who have come into my life as gifts to teach me to stop acting like a victim and stand up for myself, set boundaries and believe in myself, my talents, my gifts, myself as an individual. I think I too have come into their lives to teach them that any self-respecting person will not sit there and take the kind of treatment they see fit to mete out. I think we are all lookin for a ballance.

As for this cycle, I hope the lesson has finally hit home for me because I don't want to do this dance again. But I must say I am happy to look back at it all and see the bigger picture. Perhaps it means that I'm no longer stuck in limbo. It's time now to put action to words. I will let you know how it all pans out.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

When I Grow Up...

Growing up I wanted to be many things. My family would tell you that Janet Jackson was my icon. I wanted to sing and dance like her. I would pretend that I knew the words to the song (make up words really) and have a little routine that I would perform. I loved Madonna too, but Janet Jackson looked like me, someone I could be.

As I go older the idea of being an entertainer never really left me, I still kept begging my mother for dance lessons, and by the time I was 10 years old I finally got my wish. Before that I had the idea of becomming a mad scientist like Einstein- I don't know where that came from. And I was busy proving to everyone that I was a tom boy while I poked frogs, played with Barbie dolls and made up imaginary games where I usually played a hero like Peter Pan come to rescue sweet Wendy from Captain Hook.

By the time I was 11yrs. I had grown out of imaginary games, boys were swooning into the picture and I could not share with my friends the things I had to face at home. So i began to write- stories, poetry, letters. Dancing and writing became my expression of all I could not say or simply didn't know how to say. I used to sing out loud too and with a lot of gusto but after being laughed at in a talent show, I refused to sing in public again. But that was ok, if I could not be Janet Jackson, at least I could be her back up dancer.

My parents in the meantime had high hopes for me. I was argumentative, I never thought I was wrong and I had a smart mouth so they thought I'd make a perfect lawyer. I'd go to school, get my education, be successful, independent, have a high paying job and live a meaningful, comfortable life. What some people don't know about me is that I live up to my birth sign in the sense that I really am two fish swimming in opposite directions. I was rebellious but I was a people pleaser. I wanted to maintain whatever semblence of peace I could in the home, so I did as asked, I studied hard, I respected myself and I even did law at BCC but I hated it and I didn't fit in.

I started to dread going to dance class. My haven turned into a nightmare once I went into my senior jazz class. It was the first time in my dance career that I felt untalented, unmotivated and unnattractive. I simply didn't love it anymore. Nothing I did was good enough, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I practiced, I was relegated to a position at the back of the group. I was heartbroken and disillusioned. I started skipping classes and eventually I left. Dance just didn't provide that release anymore. So it was time for a change- I was going to heal the world.

I could be a writer, but what kind of living could I make with an English degree. I was good at Spanish so I would maintain that, it is always good to have a second language and dancing- if I could get myself back into the groove again- could always be pursued on the side as a hobby. I could not make a living doing that either, especially if I was not that good. Not if I was going to be sucessful, independent and financially set- at least I would be making a difference in the world.

These were the kind of thoughts that were running through my head. I wanted the kind of life my parents wanted for me. I also secretly wanted to be happily married, and have a job that I absolutely loved- whatever that was. I would be good at it, one of the best and I would only marry if I found someone who would not demand that I fit into the mould of who they thought I should be. But someone I could be me around, someone who would love me for me, push me to live my dream- he would have to be my soulmate. I refused to settle, and i was true to my word. I did not want to repeat the mistakes of my parents. That's when I met Nigel.

My Black is Beautiful

From the colour of my skin, to the texture of my hair
to the length of my strands, to the breadth of my smile

To the stride of my gait, to the span of my arms, to the depth of my bosom
to the curve of my hips, to the glow of my skin...
My black is beautiful

It cannot be denied. It will not be contained.
And only I will define it.

For when I look in my mirror, my very soul cries out,
My black is beautiful

And so today, I speak it out loud, unabashedly I declare it anew.
My black is beauiful.

Whether celebrated, immitated, exploited or denigrated
Whether natural from inside or skilfully applied
My black is beauiful.

To my daughters, my sisters, my neices, my cousins, my colleaugues and my friends,
I speak for us all when I say again,

My black is Beautiful.

By: Saundra Heath