About Me

Living in the Caribbean is probably like living anywhere else, with the same ups and downs. But it does have its own vibe and flavour and gives me a unique perspective on most things. I'm often sarcastic, mostly funny, always looking for a new adventure. I have not boxed myself into any one category of life. I love a lot of things and dislike a lot more. I write about them all.

That Bruce Jenner Interview

Bruce Jenner took what has been paparazzi fodder and ridicule for months, and made it real and human, in his interview with Diane Sawyer tonight.

I tuned in because this was a story we had not been privy too. While a part of the Kardashian reality debacle for 8 years, Bruce was always a supporting act, and never the star. And yet, as he said, he was the one with the story - the real story; a story that meant something to some people - to those people who try to navigate life with a lot of questions about themselves.

Gender confusion is still something many people grapple with. I grapple with it - not me not understanding whether I am man or woman. I am a woman and I am clear on that. But I never fully understood how others could not really share that sense of comprehension about themselves. There are a lot of things in this world that I do not necessarily agree with or fully understand. But what I do understand and appreciate is the ongoing quest to be happy. Happiness can sometimes seem so far out of reach - you seem to have to stretch just a little bit further to reach that fruit that is just, just out of reach. Living a life where it seems true happiness evades you is not really a life. Contemplating suicide, as he confesses he did, because you are in constant fear of what society will say or do, is not life. So when a guy feels he is happier living the rest of his life as a woman, after 65 years of living what he feels has been a pretence, then I am okay with that. Living half of a life is painful. It is empty. It is callous for us to ask anyone to do that. In the end, all any of us want is to be happy and for our loved ones to be happy - or at least that is what we should want.

I think Diane and Bruce handled the interview beautifully and brought it back really to the human condition, and made it less of a spectacle than has been made of it in the past several months. That people are harmed by others, or harm themselves because of their choice is very sad to me. The images were disturbing but hopefully there is just a little bit more understanding. Glad to see his children have been so supportive as it is clear they were his central concern. I don't agree they all had to be on-camera to prove their love for him. They are dealing with their own issues and fears I am sure. And also, I think the Kardashian girls recognised this was not their moment, but his (or at least I hope they were really being this generous). I appreciated that they were not there to bring it back to that circus level, but he could tell his story in his way, on his time, by himself.

I thought he was very brave and honest. I respect that it is a very private journey and so we did not need to see him as "her". I respect the way in which the 2-hr interview was conducted with it not being a tabloid-esque expose but a deep and meaningful, often touching, sometimes funny perspective from someone trying to come to terms with himself, and the challenges others like him face. I always felt a bit sorry for him on that silly reality show but he is a very brave guy and I give him a lot of respect for that.

I wish him the best.

Learning and Owning your Sadness in pursuit of Happiness

I read this article this week and it truly resonated with me.

The Secret of Happiness? Stop Feeling Bad About Being Unhappy.

Now while I make a conscious attempt to be fun and bubbly most of the time, the reality is...wait for it...I cannot and am not high on life every day. Yes, I preach the whole 'life is beautiful' spiel because I truly believe it is and you just need to pick up a newspaper, turn on the news or talk to friends or random people to appreciate the blessings in your own life as compared to the horrors in our world.

But that is just it. The world itself is not a utopia. The world is a dark, grim place where people hate each other so much that they lie, attack each other, kill each other, start wars and the like. Where mothers look at their toddlers while they sleep, eyes filled with love and hearts with gratitude for this small blessing in their lives but still ponder and sometimes feel a bit guilty for bringing them into a world where we have to reaffirm that black lives matter or girls are awesome or gays have rights too, because so many are still ignorant or dismissive of these facts.

And these are global issues, which filter down to your own lives in Trinidad, New York, Nassau or Pretoria because you cannot divorce your personal lives from the psychosis around us.

But getting off the cloud above it all and coming back to the space where you, the mother, wife, sister, daughter, employee, friend, person are living his or her own life right now, at this moment - you have your own personal problems.  We all have problems. Full stop. Punto finale. We wake up each day and we face one thing or another - exhaustion, dead end job, screaming kids, bills, loneliness, cheating spouse, illness, death, fear - the list goes on. Recently, in supporting two friends, I encouraged them both to work through their sadness on their own time. Too many times, we get frustrated with friends and relatives when we feel they are wallowing in the murkiness of their experience for too long. But that's just it - it is their experience, not ours. Where I would have a concentrated, contracted period of darkness, another person may need months to get past the hurt from a similar event. I know a guy whose son died in a freak accident almost 15 years ago, and he just never truly recovered from that until his grandson was born recently. Now the light in his eyes is finally shining again - after 15 years.

We edit life every day - we post photos of happy moments on Instagram or Facebook; photos of cocktail hours with friends or vacations or special moments with significant others. We rarely, if ever, post photos of the darkness - when we sit alone in a room and cry, or we are so depressed we cannot get off the couch. And that's okay because that is our truth. The universal truth though is that pain is just a part of life and we must accept that. To me, pain allows us to cherish the happy moments. They go hand in hand. A world that pushes happiness down our throats, without acknowledging that it is unrealistic to always be on top of our emotions, almost making us feel bad about being unhappy, is a world that creates us to feel badly about ourselves, makes us envy others, makes us edit our narrative to promote an unrealistic image of who we are.

I go into deep, dark places sometimes. Deep, dark places. I edit. It is my truth. I don't have to share it with the world if I don't want to. I don't claim to be the happiest woman alive. I accept that I cannot be 'up' all the time. When I am not 'up', I want others to appreciate that I am human and I have hurt and pain and fear as much as I have all this love to give. I cannot dismiss how I feel because you have placed an expiration date on my emotions. We can be happy. We can be content. But we can also be unhappy and constantly searching for answers to life's many questions. That's okay. We don't dwell on it but we accept it. I accept my truth.

That's it for today

When being the biggest loser is a good thing!

Our homemade ice cream, topped with cookie bits
Last night, part of my aunty duties involved spending time in the kitchen, forging relationships over a pail of homemade ice cream. The excitement on the face of a 4yr old over an electric ice cream mixer and seeing a milky concoction morph into smooth textured goodness was priceless. What is not so priceless is that I have been dipping into the tub of ice cream all day!

I mentioned that one of my goals for 2015 was around health and fitness, and that I would be participating in a health and fitness challenge at work. Kind of like The Biggest Loser, but without Jillian Michaels, excessive exercising and the cameras, 

So I registered officially this week, so yes, this is really happening!!!
But it was a very traumatic experience to say the least. While I knew I had put on (more) weight, seeing the numbers really affected me deeply. And not just the gross number of pounds flash before your eyes, but on the nifty self-esteem killing device known as the Body Composition Monitor and Scale, you get your body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI) and skeletal muscle among other mind numbing stats. It was a wake up call for sure. Sharing this information with a third party did not help minimise my discomfort. I will admit I was ready to jump in front of a truck after that. lol.

The only churning will be me churning away in the gym
So over the next 8 weeks, we will be working within teams, with the dietitian, and with the fitness schedule to bring these numbers down in a healthy way. There is no expectation that anyone will look like Beyonce after 8 weeks, but the hope is that we will adopt healthier habits and make use of the resources available to us. I am very competitive and so the competition element will go a long way in keeping me honest and motivated. I will admit, a bit of depression has set in over the past few weeks, and this has been my main enabler as I am a comfort eater. I know it has to be more about my health and wellness, etc, but kicking ass is a great motivator as well. I have a target I am working with and so there will be no more aunty/kiddies ice cream sessions. 

This weekend is a tough one - a 5-day weekend with hot cross buns, and get togethers, and already, 2 days of feeling ill and tired. But I gave myself today to rest, regain my strength and not care. That is the lie I told myself every time I opened the freezer today. But it's game on now. Wish me luck!

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