Archive for the ‘Writing Wednesday’ Category

(A series…)

How to tie a scarf in several different ways.

How to be still.

How to love people you didn’t birth.

How to cook soft shelled (or is is “shell”?) crabs becuase I wanted them.

How to never give up on dreams.

How to go with the flow when all you want to do is drown the sorrow.

How to be brave.

How to not get lost in your own reflection.

…We all need this type of love.

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Silent Americans have an impact. If you’re not voting because your candidate is not on the ballot, you are still making a statement and this statement has an impact and consequences.

Of course I hope everyone who can vote, votes. I’m openly biased against the likely Republican party’s nominee and I’m okay in my soul with this. Hence my plea.

Abstaining from the process, no matter the reason, has an impact on the outcome. If you aren’t thrilled about the options, take a minute to think about how we got here. Once you have that answer, ask, “How can I work towards changing what I don’t like?”. This simple question is useful in so many areas of our lives so don’t limit yourself to using it only for politics. Let’s use voices, actions and ballots to make a difference and not become the laughing stock of the world with a mad man at the helm. Focus on making your life  better – whatever that picture of contentment looks like to you.

Oh, and if you still want to abstain, just a reminder from the ACLU about your voting rights and how at one time in the past, some had none. If you’re a woman voting for Trump, don’t forget how fragile your candidate’s ego is, and that you have your very own woman card…

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chasing the dream

Some of you who know me well may think this post is gonna go another way because of the “but(t)”, but sorry, it’s not. Do you know what Spanx are? ¬†They’re an¬†invention from¬†Sara Blakely who¬†was getting ready for a party when she realized she didn‚Äôt have the right undergarment to provide a smooth look under white pants. Armed with scissors and sheer genius, she cut the feet off her control top pantyhose and the Spanx revolution began! With a focus on solving wardrobe woes, the Spanx brand has grown to offer bras, underwear, jeans, pants, active and more” (http://www.spanx.com).

Well I apparently need Spanx for life. You know, something to remind me that I need to push up, pull tight and bear down to accomplish the ¬†life I want. I need to cut the pieces that aren’t working and start solving the woes! Hence, Spanx, but(t) for life!

Things that go bump in the night have nothing on the scares of real life day woes. Yes my nightmares are horrific but I wake up and ¬†I’m usually tucked safely in a bed, under warm covers, secure in a house with¬†maybe no more than 2 or 4 people with¬†access to multiple bathrooms so I don’t have to coordinate everyone’s¬†schedules and bathroom times or worse yet,¬†get in line in the schedule after uncle Hector’s odoriferous bathroom time. So what do I have to worry or be scared about?

Not accomplishing my dreams! Not following my passion! Quitting when I didn’t get accepted!

Background that you may or may now already know: I’m an immigrant. Moved to the U.S. under circumstances that were less than favorable but not as terrible as other immigrants who paid for their trips¬†in life and limb. I’ve lived with many people over the years in smaller and less than ideal conditions. Now life is relatively decent, fun and full of love, but every now and again, when I get complacent and want to be one of the people who¬†sit idly by and stop reading, learning or striving, it takes just one visit with family members who are closer to our original family culture than I am these days, to kick¬†my arse back into gear and remind me that I need to not be complacent, to not sit idly by, and to always keep learning, reading, striving…

what-people-think-of-me

Sympathy isn’t needed, neither are complaints. While I’m¬†living a life that many relatives don’t understand, don’t want to or just don’t care enough to try, at least now I get to choose who I call family and don’t have to be nice or hide myself to appease negative folks. Most of all, I still live in a country where I can pursue my dreams. Sure, I can fail. And boy have I done that in spectacular fashion at times! I’ve also not been successful (yet!) in getting¬†a major magazine or journal to publish my writing, but I’ve also had small wins in that several online journals and hard copy local magazines have published my work. ¬†So I take my small wins and keep plugging away. I also have to remember not to dwell too much¬†on the past but it does¬†haunt me a bit¬†when I visit¬†family.

Sure, I know that no one owns, or holds my happiness hostage. Also, while happiness doesn’t¬†lie in actual dollars, it sure doesn’t lie in being butt arse broke either. So don’t take this post as a proclamation to go out and drop the career and pursue only the dream. What this post is, is a proclamation to say, “screw acceptance!”, “fight for your right to be happy, to be heard, to be passionate and pursue your dreams!” (okay, that may just be me screaming to myself…). But seriously, while job satisfaction is good it isn’t detrimental to ¬†well-being as long as the paychecks keep supporting the dreams.¬†Sure, at times I’d like to have a¬†big welcoming family to run to, and a magnificent sum of life savings to make me feel safe¬†but at what cost?

sick of being nice

Keep striving, learning, loving and living. Take all of the bad experiences and¬†turn them loose. I may not truly forgive all of the people who hurt me but I’ve figured out ways to move past the hurt so that I can feel good about myself again. I may not be able to shake the¬†enveloping sadness when those I love are sad or stressed¬†but I’m working on just being there and not letting it take over every pore of my being. Being there for those you love is totally within your control and being a healthy and happy person makes you a sturdier¬†shoulder to cry on, a better loved one with whom you can vent and get it all out with or as needed, an excellent arse kicker for those who hurt the people you love.

So chase the dreams, eat the cake, dance in the rain, drink the whisky, hike with the dog, get that tattoo, pierce that skin, try polygamy (or not if your first spouse will literally kill you)!

Oh, and if you¬†really feel like you need some more¬†stomach and butt shaping, here are pics of¬†men’s and women’s spanx…

words have weight

I’m a native English speaker. Who’s originally from an Island in the Caribbean so the English terms and dialect¬†with which I am familiar stem from several areas – formally from a British school system for many ¬†formative years, and informally from a mixed bag of¬†Caribbean slang and terms with a heavy dose of influence¬†from living for many years on the¬†East Coast in the U.S. The accent? Well, it’s¬†been described as a¬†a crazy mixture of ¬†several states within the U.S. and when I’m tired (or a little drunk), an accent from my homeland. All of this leads to why at times, language is this crazy barrier to my understanding of cliches, colloquialism, slang, etc. You see, it’s not that I don’t understand the words because I do. It’s because when certain words are strung together in a phrase that I don’t understand, my mind tries to pick them apart separately and then insert the meaning. ¬†I can’t even begin to imagine what non-english speakers go through with the multiple translations in their heads and in their understanding when they move to the U.S.!

I also realize that while some people, even those who are close to me, confuse me and in turn, I am sure I confuse them! Even though we’ve communicated with each other for years and for hours on end, there’s almost always some confusion. Granted, at times I’m probably just decoding at a slower pace, like when I’m tired or not paying attention so I won’t blame that on language in general. That’s just me catching on and relaying slower than I¬†should.

However, there are times when I really need a solid answer maybe akin to a “yes” or a “no” and when it comes in the form of a colloquialism or a cliche or worse yet, slang, I’m totally lost and sometimes, heartbroken. Thoughts race in sentences like, “I thought we were past this”, or “What did I do wrong?”, or “Maybe something has changed?”, and so on. Then there’s context but that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day.

Yes, I realise that not every sentence or statement or question¬†is going to be cut and dry or consist only of plain language for all to understand as language itself is a beautiful beast that can be oh so subjective. But when it’s an important life decision, whether it be a binding agreement or contract, or a relationship related issue, I really need it to be clear cut and understandable. To do this, I try to repeat in the plainest english terms I can think of, what I believe is being said or conveyed. Not because I think the other person is slow or dumb. In fact it’s the opposite. I realise I’m being the ignorant one and so to avoid entering into a binding agreement or losing a loved one over something that wasn’t even an issue to begin with, I have to break down my¬†barriers. The problem is that unless the person knows me somewhat well, they may sometimes think I’m being a condescending ass. So I try to remind that I’m not trying to be an ass, I’m just trying to ensure I understand and that I’m confused by a particular phrase, etc. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they may wonder how the hell we got along all these years, but hey, here we are…

Words have meaning and these meanings change as language changes.¬†Confusing words and lack of grammar at times, can cause interesting and not so entertaining mishaps, heartache and alarm. So as I¬†continue to learn and grow with language, slang, colloquialisms, etc., and I’ll continue to keep an open mind. Because, well, words mean something and sometimes, they mean nothing, and then at other times, they mean everything.

 

Simple Definition of colloquial

  • : used when people are speaking in an informal way

  • : using an informal style

Full Definition of colloquial

  1. 1:  of or relating to conversation :  conversational

  2. 2a :  used in or characteristic of familiar and informal conversation; also :  unacceptably informal b :  using conversational style

(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

words have power

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Image: google search dreamstime

I have nightmares of epic proportions at times. They’re so bad that the feelings of dread and being uncomfortable can last an entire day. What’s weirder to me is that sometimes I’ll have the same dream but with a different outcome, or have different thimgs happen in the same location, or even pick back up on the dream on a totally different night! I’m sure I’m not the only one because I’m not that freakishly special.

I’ve only ever told one person some of the crazy dreams because I think that person is strong enough to hear them and because to be honest, I don’t want others knowing how utterly fucked my mind is at times, apparently. And yes, I know these are not active thoughts so there’s little I can do to control them. However, since dreams supposedly mask life events or fears or goals, etc. or are abstract or very real indications of something else that may be occurring in life, I wish there was a magic decoder ring that would tell me what I need to know so I can keep life moving.

Sure, there are tons of resources online and books and people who claim they can interpret dreams. But I don’t really trust all of that. So here I am, about to go to sleep again on another night, following yoga and meditation.  If these two things don’t work, it’ll be another long day tomorrow. But you know what? The one thing I am getting better at, is disguising and pushing down the heartache, and the sense of dread as I try to give myself a mood boost and ignore the nightmares and these asinine creatures and humans in my head. Hell, maybe even my way of dealing with it, tje cover-up, is indicative of something as well. Who knows? Either way, I’m one edgy night creature. Just ask the truly fucked up characters in these head stories of mine. 

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Ever get so frustrated because you want to create something but once you start, all the pieces you put together (art, eriting, song, photo, or whatever your art love is), feels like it’s not good enough? Like it’s shit? No? Me neither.

I thought once I was published I’d be happy but while searching for that publishing credit, my true happiness was found in telling stories. But that doesn’t pay the bills. That, and wallowing in some of life’s muddy, mosquito-infested water with the green bubbly slime floating on top of it. Besides, who wants to swim in slime? And what does any of this mean or stand for? Who knows? I’m just here to tell stories and be a tortured soul.