Friday, 30 July 2010

Life Lessons

I've learned that you can't blame your location for the circumstances in your life. It's not where you live that is the problem, it's how you live.

I've learned that if you keep covering your wounds they will never heal. It's just like a band-aid, you see. Just the same a cut will never dry up if you keep plastering it with creams and band-aids, an emotional bruise won't heal if you keep hiding it and pretending it never happened. As humans, we scar; but they are not there for us to mess with, they just serve as reminders that through it all, we are still alive. I've learned that talking about painful things only helps if you are ready to talk about them and if the person you are talking to is ready to listen. I've learned that being kind to everyone has its disadvantages; but karma will be a better teacher than I could ever be. I've learned that there is nothing wrong with crying. If that is what makes you feel better then cry your heart out. Tears never run out so they can never be wasted.

I've learned that although it is natural to think highly of your elderly relatives you have to remember that before they are your parents or aunts and uncles, they are human. We all make mistakes and you can bet it's those same mistakes that make them who they are today. I've learned that keeping walls up does less of keeping others out and more of keeping you in. In order to get you first have to learn to give. No one is going to teach you how to love if you don't let them get close enough. I've learned that heartbreak and depression hurt more than broken bones and bruises. Where a bone breaks it heals itself; where a heart breaks will forever leave a mark. I've learned that sometimes it is okay to give up. It does not mean you are too weak to keep going; it means you are strong enough to let go. No one knows what is best for you except you.

I've learned that if you love half-heartedly then that is what you are going to get in return. You can't put in minimal effort and expect it to yield maximum reward. I've learned that you can't love someone who continuously hurts you. As hard as it seems, you just have to let go and think about yourself. Not everyone deserves to have someone. I've learned that having expectations for people only leads to disappointment. No one will ever live up to the person you think they are. We all have secrets and regrets. I've learned that I love you does not always make everything better; sometimes it hurts more. We have to remember "love" is more of an action than a word. It is supposed to be a verb too, not just a noun.

I've learned that some things are better left unsaid, unread, and undone. Don't go out of your way to break your own heart. Everything will reveal itself in due time; don't go searching for it. I've learned that tomorrow does not always come and you should appreciate the present. But it's not every day you wake up you will be strong enough to slap on a smile. Sometimes life kicks you in the ass and it's okay to take a little time to get back up. I've learned that greed and commitment are like oil and water. You can't commit yourself to anyone or anything if you are always wanting more. I've learned that you can't allow outside things and people to control what's inside of you. You have to be in control of yourself and your emotions at all times.

I've learned that if you keep looking back, you will miss what is standing right in front of you. You can't look behind you and walk forward at the same time. Once that figurative door closes and those emotional wounds heal, they no longer have relevance. Lock that door, throw away the key, leave everything behind it, and never look back.

I've learned that there is nothing wrong with changing for someone you love who loves you back. No one knows you as good as the one you're with, and if they are trying to help you to become a better person then let them. It's something that can benefit the both of you in the long run. I've learned that we are supposed to listen twice as much as we speak, but shouldn't believe half of what we hear. Not everyone has your best interest at heart and not everyone has the right to speak into your life. I've learned that you can't follow someone who is going nowhere. Pick your companions wisely.

I've learned that complaining about something does not change the fact nor does it make you feel better. The complaints just spew out like brain sewage and in the end you find yourself in the same position you were in before your oral diarrhea. If you don't like something, change it. I've learned that it's okay to be scared. We don't always have all the answers--and we're not supposed to. I've learned that there's no greater joy than being with someone who cares as much about you as you do about them. Neither love nor happiness can be forced; and there is no mistaking either of them. Either you feel it or you don't.

I've learned that life is as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. All you have to do is choose. But at the end of it all--whether we are happy, sad, or in between--none of us are going to survive it.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Shit Ranting with an Angry Heart

Is the road to deception really paved with good intentions?

I think not.

I have always wondered to myself about people who live a lie, especially those who go to church every Sunday and spend their lives teaching their children how to live a Christian life. How am I supposed to take you seriously when you have three different families with children all the same age and a wife? Or when you spend half your time here and half your time elsewhere living the life of a bachelor when you clearly have a family to support?

Some people are so twisted.

I cannot even live with myself after I lie about going to watch Despicable Me when I really plan on watching Grown Ups. How can someone look at him or herself in the mirror meanwhile leading two lives? How can you look at your wife's child in the morning and your other woman in the evening?

I figure after a while, people grow up and out of their "I'm young free and uncommitted" phase and learn to settle their ass down and be the best person they can be. I've been mistaken. All my life I've given people the benefit of the doubt. I am friends with everyone and anyone and I am quicker to forgive than to forget someone. I've always been the person who convinces people to just let it go; after all I've been disappointed a million times, by a billion different people and I'm still alive.

But this one hurts.

It's one thing to forgive someone's lie when you see that person but once every holiday, and it's one thing when someone only lies to you about something or someone. But what happens when they are the lie. What happens when you find out that the sweet little girl next door, who you thought was your friend, is not so sweet, spends too much time with the boys next door -- or should I say, all the boys in the neighbourhood -- and is not truly your friend at all. Granted it is not my place to judge anyone by their choices, if it's the neighbourhood that makes you happy then by all means circle it, twice if it's better the second time around. But don't drag me into your little lie. If you're a bitch you better be a bitch when I meet you and every day thereafter. You're not allowed to change your entire being halfway through our friendship.

Yeah, I said it. And believe me, I mean it.

What's more, I hate finding out about something through the grape vine. If you have something to say then tell me. All five feet two inches of me can handle it. (Sounds intimidating doesn't it?) I promise that though I may have the urge to slap you across the face, chances are I probably won't. But the important part is that I will forever appreciate your honesty.

I have a lot of anger and resentment in my heart. So much that I am almost certain it is unsafe. I found out too many things in one day, and my opinion on some important people and largely life itself took a turn for the worst. In the end, I find, a male-female relationship is no different from a friend-friend relationship -- not that I ever thought it was.

No matter how careful you are at picking your friends or significant other, you never really know their long-term intentions; but one thing you can always be sure of is that people always have ulterior motives.

The good part? Sometimes those motives are good. Sometimes, they can benefit you too. You just have to choose wisely.

Very wisely.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Love & Marriage

Growing up in a family full of men, I was never the type to fantasize about a fairy-tale relationship with a breath-taking wedding and a happily ever after.

Sure I read the books and saw the movies: I know all about the beautiful princesses who kissed the frog and lived under the sea, the evil witches who handed out poisonous fruit and sleeping spells, the stepmother who turned her stepdaughter into a maid, and their subsequent happy endings. All of that was nice to think about and good to read, but let's face it, stories are just stories--and that is all they will ever be.

These days we are so far from fairy-tales that I don't even think people still teach their kids about Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Rapunzel. It is hard enough for a child to observe a healthy and stable home life without both parents, what good would it do to teach them about something that you as a parent have not even been able to find.

I don't think we remember how important it is to have a mother and father present at home. It's more than just a picturesque faรงade; it provides your child with proper stability, morals, and understanding of the value of a family unit. I know I recently said that "do as I say not as I do" makes sense; but when it comes to basic childhood moulding, what you see is much more impressionable than what you hear. And although those first few years of life are what create each of us, it does not mean that it is okay to walk out on a teenager or adolescent.

Relationships at home are insight to the relationships we will eventually have. You might never have heard it in this context but what you see is certainly what you get--unless of course you make a serious effort to change that.

This blog is not dedicated to bashing humanity, though I am sure I could go on for days. I was inspired by a friend of mine, not much older than I am, who recently married the love of his life. I knew he was crazy about her but I never expected him to take that next step. Still, I cannot say how proud I am that he did. I am so used to being disappointed by people's relationships, whether it's because they break up or because one of them exercises bad judgement, but it always hurts me when I see a promising young couple break-up. As weird as that sounds, I know I am not the only hopeless romantic who looks on to other couple's hoping they make it through this rough world.

I've always felt like if you truly love someone there's no limit to the things you will do to maintain a relationship with that person. The little things that people allow to break them up after so long are not supposed to be that powerful. People are too quick to jump up and talk about independency and the death of chivalry, but no one is willing to compromise anymore. Women seem to have something to prove by paying for their own meal or opening their own door, and then they want to complain when a guy does not do it for them. Well, what do you expect when we don't teach them how to do things like that anymore or appreciate the very few who do?

I think the world is confused. We no longer know what we want from others or what is acceptable. Something so conventional as marriage now seems like a foreign concept. Gays and lesbians are fighting for it more than the traditional couples. No one believes in the sanctity of marriage anymore; in fighting to keep families together. No one believes in love. No one believes in forever.

But who do you think created that monster?

We did; that's who.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Ranch Adventures

I spent the past year blaming Orlando for my shitty, for lack of a better word, circumstances but I am just now realising that it has nothing to do with where I am. It's just Life teaching me how to be alone.

Let me clarify, though, this blog is not a complaint. I might be alone but I am never lonely--due in part to my supportive nuclear family, my many friends and acquaintances, and my wonderful boyfriend. It has been far too long since brother unlucky has given me something to write about, mostly because it has been a while since I visited the land of alligators. I am wondering if that is actually a good thing, though, considering his nickname lends itself to describing the unfortunate events he encounters. Anyway, I have indeed had my own adventures.

Last Sunday there was a day party called Perfect X to which I had all intentions of attending--during the day. Due to unforeseen circumstances chiney tings and I arrived at 10 30 p.m., only about half an hour before the party was scheduled to end. (Oh, the things that ceases to be important when a party is free.) Nevertheless, the real adventure was the driving to and fro.

To begin, the party was on a ranch only about a few minutes away from where I live. I suppose if we had arrived there during the day as the party-keepers intended, the dark and lonely road would have been far less dark and not nearly as lonely. It is no secret that the home-owners in those areas are accustomed to and perhaps greatly enjoy the darkness that befalls when the sun goes down. Oftentimes I wonder to myself if I would enjoy living in a big house on plenty of land in the middle of nowhere with no street lights. Needless to say, I don't think I would. (Not in the US anyway.) With all that money what does it take to invest in a street light or two. I'd much prefer that option as opposed to seeing cars drive by with their bright lights pointed right at my house.

It makes you wonder as you drive by if maybe there is someone inside one of the houses who is watching you as you pollute their area with your lights. After all, don't we as humans always notice the unusual? They probably know how many cars, on average, venture into their neighbourhood and which cars belong to which house. Other than that, you'd be surprised to know that they are peeking at you through their extensive drapery as you try to figure out where you are going.

I know you might be thinking, my imagination is far too wild, but what would you say if I told you I am speaking from experience?

During my senior year, bonafide, trinidad, and I decided out of boredom that we would take an adventure over into the dark areas of Griffin Road and Southwest Ranches. My cousin who lives over there told me about a haunted house with a moat that he and his friends had visited before and that sounded perfect. Considering the fact that scary movies were amongst my favourites at that time in my life, a nice haunted house adventure sounded like something I would thoroughly enjoy. We got no directions, though, and spent the night driving around looking for something very hard to find. But don't be discouraged; it was adventure we wanted and adventure we got.

Upon searching for somewhere dark and desolate to pull over and use the bathroom (I am Jamaican, don't look so surprised) we encountered perhaps the most unexplained event of the night. After turning down an alley, trinidad and I hopped out towards the bushes. The first thing we saw when we walked up ahead was a huge brownish red stain in the road. Immediately we stopped and looked at each other as if to make sure both of us were seeing the same thing--dried up blood.

Since it was in the middle of the road, we figured it was a dead animal. We ran back to my car and turned on my lights and went back to look. No dead animal; but the stain was certainly blood. We looked at each other again and the next thing we knew we heard soft Carnival music in the distance. (For all my fellow Caribes, I don't mean Soca music.) It was the kind of music you hear when you're on a merry go-round, and coming from the middle of nowhere we could not believe it. We immediately went right back to the car, turned it around, and headed back to the main road. With my lights shining up ahead, bonafide pointed out a huge poster-sized portrait of a native american woman just ahead. The picture was surrounded by flowers and candles and none of us had noticed it before. To not get carried away, we ruled it out as one of those RIP things that the family of the deceased put up in memory of their loved one.

Like true scary movie participants, we decided to keep looking for trouble. On that search I sure did notice people peeking through curtains as we drove by. There was one person whose shadow was printed out in its entirety on the window pane. I stopped to intensify the mood until I saw the door open. This was no stranger than the car that appeared out of nowhere with the bright blue light that seemed to trail it. It was just as strange when that same car started to follow me.

Needless to say, we never found the house. Maybe one day I'll go looking again. A good adventure with my friends is never anything short of entertaining.

Just like the unintentional wrong-side-of-the-road-driving that had me and chiney ting dying with laughter after the "day party" last Sunday.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

What is your Equation?

I've heard the quote "do as I say not as I do" and often thought to myself "well isn't that hypocritical." In retrospect, and now that I am older of course, it makes a whole lot of sense.

Sometimes you just can't help your situation, but that doesn't mean you'd wish it on even your worst enemy. More often than not our brains and emotions work against each other. Half of you tells you to do this, meanwhile the other half begs you to do that. Naturally, I think it is safe to say that we are not always in control. (Although as the highest life-forms on the planet none of us like to be told we are not in full control at any given time.)

The truth is, it's easier to hand out poetic advice than to swallow it yourself. It is also easier--for most people anyway--to listen to another person's situation than to talk about his or her own.

I've always been good at being poetic--after all I am a writer. As for figuring out what to do with my own life, most of the times that seems to escape me. And in the midst of my emotional and perhaps overly dramatic charades I always have a moment to myself where I think "Wow. Are you the biggest bullshitter liar on the planet or what." For someone who preaches The Secret and you-get-what-you-give-so-send-the-universe-the-right-message, what the hell is wrong with my universe? By all accounts my life is supposed to be something of a Utopia. Yet for some reason perfection is as far away from existence as flying unicorns and leprechauns at the end of rainbows. (What's a math teacher who is no good at math?)

Unfortunately for us, life is nothing like mathematics. In math, two plus two always equals four; there is no way around it. For every word problem there is a solution; all it takes is a little memorization but the equation is there--and it never changes. In life, there is no equation but the one you decide to make on your own. Whichever equation you think fits your word problem best is the one you use. Needless to say, the right solution is never a sure thing. It is never definite. Two people who use the same equation almost never get the same result.

Of all the living creatures on this planet, I'm starting to think we are the most dormant and confused. Even the little turtles my units discovered in our backyard this evening have it all figured out. Granted, they usually head to the water at nighttime, but upon inadvertently digging up the nest they built in our garden, their natural instinct kicked into gear. These little turtles with no help, no instruction, no guidance, and shells soft enough to be stepped on and cracked into pieces, were caught unaware and still managed to get it together. (Talk about making lemonade with the lemons being thrown at you.) They are born with the inherent inclination that if nothing else, they need to get to the water. Everything after that is a learning experience that teaches them how to survive the odds.

Seems to me that we just might be the only "animals" who have yet to figure out what mother nature intended for us. We seem to have forgotten that all we really should be doing is fighting for basic survival--just like the turtles, the birds, the fish, the lizards, and well... every thing else in the world.

The last time I checked, emotions don't kill. They serve as nothing else but a damned distraction.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

I was reading through some of my older blogs and came across one about the seemingly never-ending apartment hunting I did earlier this year.

It talked about how excited I was to be living with 3 friends instead of unknown hermits, and how we could share the fridge not just with designated spaces but also with content. I cook today; you cook tomorrow. I'll wash the dishes next day and you clean the kitchen the day after. One milk, one butter, one loaf of bread, one happy family.

It's too bad in life things rarely ever happen the way you want them to. People don't practise to put your needs before their own--and why should they. At the end of the day, we live in a lonely and selfish I'm-independent-so-I-don't-need-you-as-much-as-you-think-I-need-you world filled with people who scramble around everyday of their life only so they can compare their material things that make them so happy at the week's end.

I can't say how happy I am that I've realised this so early. It could have taken half my energy, all of my tears, and a lifetime of failed attempts at trying to accommodate others. It doesn't mean I'm going to live a selfish life too, and I will never agree that that is the key to happiness. If you ask me, the solution lies within the things we are teaching each other. We don't teach people how to care anymore; we teach them how to be careful. You're supposed to get what you give so why not give love. What better a gift than to know you're not alone--than to know that there are a handful of people who can be held accountable for the blessing of companionship in your life. Everyone needs someone.

Lucky for me I have more than a handful. And maybe where I went wrong was trying to fill more hands than what I was born with. It's like adding water to a cup that is already three quarters full. Eventually the water starts spilling over and soon you can hardly tell which is new and which is old because at some point the contents of the cup got mixed and for all you know some of the old water spilled out in the overflow and you're left with a cup full of water you no longer recognise.

I can't afford for my cup of good water to spill over or be mixed. If anything, i'll just have to find another cup: there is plenty more love for me to share and plenty of people whom I have yet to meet & befriend.

If even my second cup is being stubborn, then i'll just have to find another way to change the world.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

One Year Later

I had every intention to write a blog on my one year anniversary even if I had absolutely nothing to say. But the day has passed and I am just getting around to writing.

If you want to know what I have been doing...Well, it is really not much of anything. I don't think I have a viable excuse for missing out on it--although training with the boyfriend has kept me quite busy lately. I am afraid that when he is gone I am going to miss having something to do on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on top of already missing him. On the positive side...Umm, I'll get back to that.

As for reflecting on my first year as a blogger, I have mixed emotions. (In my life right now I have mixed emotions so maybe that is indirectly playing its part.) I kind of figured that by this time I would have a larger following and would have written my every life experience. I certainly never expected to skip so many days, and only post once or twice a month. What with my life being so boring you would think I have enough time to simply sit down and write.

I've never ever really had a problem coming up with something to write about. It seems as though all I really need to do is log in, press "new post" and voila! I'd have a page-long of utter rubbish--entertaining rubbish but rubbish indeed. Would you believe me if I told you that 90 percent of my blogs came straight from my head in a you-better-sit-down-and-type-whatever-comes-to-mind-because-you-have-skipped-out-on-enough-blog-days kind of way. People have seen me do it, and it always gets me thinking when they turn to me and say "How do you do it? I wish I could just sit down and write like that" because it's something that just comes so naturally to me.

So why don't I write more often, you say? Ah, well I knew that was coming but still do not have an answer. I guess the answer lies somewhere in between me not wanting to turn on the computer at all and my phone suddenly not being able to properly access this blogger website. I find that last summer when my phone allowed me to post I was typing more blogs than BBMs. Now, I sit on the phone too often yet blog too little.

I have plenty of time to fix that, though. And today is just as good a day to fix it as any.

Happy one year!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Rough Seas

Ever since the day we went fishing my stomach has not been the same.

Last Friday during our vacation, the units, brother unluckyTrinidad, the boyfriend and I went out on a fishing boat. It wasn't the boat we always go on but what is a trip to the Keys without a trip on the seas. We always come back boasting coolers (and yes I meant to pluralise that) full of fish, and this trip was not supposed to be any different.

We weren't so lucky.

I think all of us would rather blame the location--and maybe even the oil spill--for the small amount of fish we caught, but it was mother nature who took us on that night because the fish were present.

The week was super relaxing, though we spent most of it watching football and planning all other events around the matches. When everyone supports a different team it just means dedicating more time to watching than just one day. (Note to self: Do not plan a trip with men during the World Cup.)

The weather was perfect, the people were friendly, and the island breeze felt good when relaxing by the pool, walking around town, and laying out at the beach. Who doesn't like a nice breeze mixed in with some heavy sunshine?

About half the boat; that's who.

We chose what we thought was the least windy of our days to head out to sea. We even decided to go at night to escape the tremendous heat. But it seems as if the trip was doomed from the start.

As a precaution, mother dearest, the boyfriend and I decided to take the seasick pill considering the fact that we are somewhat prone to it. (Sure you can take a moment to gasp. Yes; the mermaid gets seasick. Jaw-dropping shocker I know.) I definitely felt like that was the night I was going to get sick. In a sick and twisted turn of events--no pun intended--I was the only one in the group who didn't.

The boat left the dock around 7pm and we sailed for about an hour and 20 minutes before finding the perfect location. By 9 o clock, half an hour later, about 20 of the boat's approximately 30 passengers were hurling their guts overboard. All around me all I could hear--besides the splish-splash of the water on the side of the boat--was urghhh and aghhh and blechh. You would think that after a while of that you would want to throw up yourself. I didn't. But everyone else caught on. It was something like an epidemic. One by one everyone slowly stopped fishing.

I won't take credit for being the only soldier on the boat though, as there were a few completely weird normal people in the bow who fished the entire night as if the right-side-up-ness of the boat was not being threatened with every mini-tsunami. That impressed me. I certainly couldn't fish the whole time, what with the wind blowing throw up in my face from all sides. Eventually, only about five people out of the whole boat were still fishing, and I was not one of them. I took the time to lay down and ensure that I kept what was in my stomach, in my stomach.

It took a lot of concentration.

Speaking of soldier, I have to hand it to the boyfriend who caught the biggest fish in our group. He will never be able to live down the fact that he was throwing up and reeling in fish simultaneously. Had all of us kept fishing no doubt we would have filled our buckets as we usually do; but the last thing on anyone's mind were fish (They were too busy counting down the hours until the boat would start moving at 11 30.)

Looking back, everyone can laugh about it. (And the throw up really made for good chum. That's why the lady in the back who fished all night ended up pulling in a massive gray snapper a few minutes after the boyfriend's runner-up.) I know there were many prayers going around and many people yearning to go back to dry land where they can finally stay still.

The worst part of it all, though, is that the fish were certainly out--and boy were they biting.