Adventures in Asia

In September 2017, I took a leap of faith and booked and 15,000 mile trip across the globe to a weird and wonderful place of the world.

I had my doubts – while I’ve always wanted to travel and work internationally, Asia was never on my bucket list. The reasons I realize were all pretty shallow. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, I’m a small town gal. Even downtown Toronto gives me anxiety (and for those who are international, you’ll realize that’s a bit of a joke). So encountering a city where it every nook and cranny is highly populated and busy made me antsy. Also, (and I’m not too sure where this perception came from – probably my ignorance towards that part of the world) is that Asians are strange (and I’m sorry, I’m not by any means racist, and not trying to be offensive). But I’ve always thought they’ve had strange food, a stranger language and an “interesting” sense of fashion.

I landed extremely jet lagged, but was instantly impressed by the speed of how things moved. For anyone who has travelled through Pearson/YYZ, you know not to check bags as it’s takes 45 minutes just to claim them. I blew through customs, picked up my luggage and Octopus card (similar to Presto) within that time frame and took a very scenic bus route to my destination.

My first impressions were all wrong – I said it was dirty and overpopulated. Well, duh!! It’s a highly populated city, and shockingly enough, when I took off the Debbie Downer hat I realized it’s actually cleaner than some parts of Toronto (considering it has about 7 million more people in a quarter of the size of the GTA.)

What I loved about the trip was the fact that:

  • HK consists of Islands, you can do amazing hikes in the morning, watch the flamingos in the morning at Kowloon Park, do Tai-Chi and Kung Foo in the afternoon and shop till you drop in either the night markets (similar to flea markets/bizarres) or the higher end shops.
  • It’s reasonable (if you know what you’re doing). While I didn’t do much shopping there, I relied heavily on transportation and wet markets for food (while treating myself to a daily local dish). I could have done the “tourist thing” and grab cabs and Uber, but the MTR was so efficient (literally ran every 3-5 seconds in rush hour).
  • The food nor people are strange: I ate the most amazing beef satay in giant bowls, pad thai, deep fried pig ears (not by choice, but was quite good during hot pot), dim sum, thai vermicelli noodles. Note: DO NOT eat KFC of McDonald’s there (I don’t eat that crap here, so why try it in another country). Besides, they have tons of local burger and fried chicken joints which are far better.
    • Sidebar, something I found annoying was the amount of my Canadian friends asking if I was eating ok. Yes, I ate real food for 16 days straight…in fact, I probably ate better there than I do here.
  • I got lost during several adventures but picked up so much trinkets, trash and great memories along the way.
    • Stumbling upon the beef jerky street in search of finding cheap eats in Macau which literally at every store had different kinds of cured meats and samples to try!
    • The Ladies Market in Kowloon. I got 5 bras for $30 CDN dollars. Enough said.
    • The Night Markets/Temple Street: pretty “touristy” it’s a great place to find cheap bargains on pretty much anything. Offer the vendors a smoke, they drop the price, play dumb…they drop the price even more. But here’s what worked for me – being friendly.
    • REAL FOOD AT 2:30 a.m! Getting spicy thai vermicelli noodles, Tsingtao (the local beer) and eating outdoors was a dream. However, if that’s not up to your liking, you could a smorgasbord of food (seafood and street meat – which is not hot dogs, but chicken, beef, liver skewers, fish balls…pretty much anything your heart desires). An international city indeed!

Would I go back to Hong Kong again…absolutely. It was a humbling learning experience and the trip was an adventure and experience of a lifetime.

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-Lady Friday

New Adventures

As for most of my readers know I come from a small town (90,000 but actually declining) …quite a small region to be honest (there are six towns with not even 500,000 people)…so yes, you’re right in saying that this is a “bumf*ck nowhere group of towns.” So with small town living comes small town values – drinking on a daily basis, high teen pregnancies per capita (which fortunately did not happen to me) drug induced friendships (as pretty much everyone smokes or drinks – in most cases both) bonfires, trailer park living and so much more. A great quote to pretty much sum this all up “when it rains…we drink; when it’s sunny…we drink” – so essentially we just drink. For some – this may seem odd. Perhaps some may consider us to be alcoholics…and maybe we are, which is why small town living is not for everyone. Nor is it remotely the same in the big city with cool, fancy shmancy Sunday brunches and actual real activities which people can do at their leisure. For me small town living was the good life – but with the good comes the bad. Unfortunately there are very little to no jobs where I live and after my departure from my last job I’m moving to the big city – literally – and this for me is very exciting.

Living on my own comes with a whole new set of responsibilities. I’ve never lived on my own, heck I’ve never lived even with roommates, I’ve always lived at home. And for a mid-30 something, I know not only is that sad, but I’m also very shielded from what reality is really like. While I do pay my own bills (no readers, I was not fed with a silver spoon) and have a lot of financial responsibilities (which again my parents do not help me with) I live with a very nice buffer. I know that at the end of every night I come home to a furnished room, a bed, heat, food (sometimes) but in general…shelter. So living on my own is wild, scary, overwhelming, eye-opening all at once.  Buying my own furniture, paying my own rent (on time so I’m not evicted), gives me a general sense of accomplishment and proves that I’m not a princess living on mommy and daddy’s money.

It was time for a change. I was angry in my own house…the house that I’ve lived in my entire life. I was becoming a bitch, someone who wasn’t pleasant, and just an overall grouch. I knew that this house, or maybe the elements inside the four walls were making me crazy. I am not a mean person, so me turning into a beast proved that it was time to dip. And my mom, (God bless her heart is a little bit of a helicopter mom, always clinging to her children) when she finally mustered up enough courage to actually support my decision…I knew it was time to leave.

After I left my job in the in one of the most toxic environments I’ve ever worked in, I knew that I’m just tired of having just a room in my mother’s house. I’m an adult and I need to grow up and understand the reality of life – because living in a place where shelter is provided is amazing and a blessing…but not reality.

Because I’ll have no friends in the new big city, I’ll be blogging that much more…so stay tuned for more fun and exciting adventures in my new place – and if you’re wondering apartment hunting is stressful and whomever said moving was fun is a total liar.

I’m always so blessed and grateful for new fun and exciting opportunities.

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Stay Blessed always,

Lady Friday

 

Movin’ on Up

Have you ever went against your gut feelings? Did something you know is wrong, yet feels so right? For some it’s drinking, for some it’s sneaking in that last piece of chocolate after supper, for others it’s their late night booty call, for me… it was totally opening up my heart to a supposed “friend.” My life is not an open book, I wear a lot of masks to cover inner pain – so for me this is pretty big.

The reason why I went against my gut is because I’m a good person (try to be at least) and try to see the best in everyone – despite their flaws. NOT a good idea.

Long story short – knew this guy, thought we were cool, but to figure out after a really long time…we’re totally not. What a waste of time and energy. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bitch fest where I’m going to vent, use expletives and call him derogatory names (he’s called me enough for the both of us…)

Plain and simple…he almost broke me.

How many times can one person hear they’re just not good enough? I’ve been hearing that since I met him. And if he wasn’t saying it, his actions certainly were.  A brief snapshot: He was verbally abusive and almost like an angry military drill sergeant.  You know the ones – the ones featured in the movie Jarhead, Under Siege 2, etc… these people are the ones who call you maggots and totally break you in hopes of trying to build and mold you into the person they want. Example:  Apparently I’m gross because I drink Heineken; real ladies drink wine. Or the time I was called a drug pusher for he thought my body was going through withdrawal after 48 hours of not smoking.  Or when him and his friend called me “fast”  and that I act like a street-walker/prostitute… (honestly, I flash people and pinch bums because in my brain I think it’s funny). To be told you’re worthless, no man will ever want a booze/pot head.  Ouch, that really hurt. And to top all of this – this is the icing – he recently told me that he was only talking to me to try to get with my sister  (who is happily married by the way)! Holy Moley!! How much can one person take?! God forbid me having fun! I am sorry I’m not my sister and some small town country girl! I seem to harp on this point but again, with my work schedule I don’t have a social life…so acting a little silly to me is no big deal – but apparently to some it is. And yes, yes I have the tendency to get a little out of control. But with help, prayers and friends I’ve totally gotten that under wraps.

You ask yourself, why did you talk to this guy? Honestly – I don’t know – I really don’t. There was definitely little to no benefit in it for me. It’s perhaps because I thought we were friends. I’ve known him for a little over a hot minute (slightly three years) and in adult time you could be dating, married with  baby in tow in that time. But I saw an innate goodness in him (which clearly was all in my brain), and like most women, I try to see the good in people, that one glimmer, that diamond in the rough. I tirelessly searched for the good in him – just to know that it was all a joke. Honestly – realizing that I will never be good enough was like taking a bullet. It came clear when he told me he was only really talking to me to get with my sister. To finally realize that you mean nothing to someone after so long is hurtful and laughable (because it’s so funny and pathetic all at once).

Yet somehow – I want to still want to talk to him. I’m not crazy – I just want him to apologize, and mean it… I don’t think that apology is coming. He’s admitted that he lusts after my sister, and that I’m just a sad replacement, second best, not good enough. How could he not say sorry for that, I don’t understand? Does he not care that he hurt me  – or perhaps try to break my spirit? No, because according to him I don’t think we were ever friends. And I’m over it,  but that’s my regret. Wasting my time, pining over a friendship that was non-existent. And that’s what hurts the most – I was living in a dream world, one where I viewed the world in rose-coloured glasses thinking my “friend” and  were cool. (Sidebar: when I actually admit all these things I realize the fool I was. And no – not interested in no damn pity parties).

My glimmer of hope – I’m a survivor. And my advice, there will be people who try to break you down every day by their actions and their words (trust me, I’ve seen or heard it all). You can internalize it and take it in or you can know your true value and know that there are poisonous people everywhere. They come in the form of good-looking muscular men.

Never forget  your worth. In the words of Rihanna, we’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky.

xo,

Lady Friday

‘Tis the Season

As 2015 comes to a close, I am pleased to say that 2015 has been a successful year. I did everything I wanted and said I was going to do, as I’m pragmatic. I’m always interested in self-growth, so I make a plan.

I don’t do resolutions: stopped doing those a long time ago for every day I make conscious decisions and make changes within my life. I don’t question those who do  make resolutions, but when people don’t achieve their goals in the New Year, are they disappointed? Do they try to attain them for the next year? Do they give up? Because resolutions leave room for uncertainty, I don’t do them.

There is much to be grateful for in 2015:

  1. The health, wealth and prosperity of my family.

Although 2015 was a year of loss, it was also a year of additions of many little ones. And bible says, “weeping may for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” ~Psalms 30:5. Death is a tragedy and affects people in so many different ways, but I’m happy to report that even after some losses, we were able to overcome – and I know more than anyone that it’s a struggle. I am surrounded by a strong, level-headed group of people. However with sadness comes joy, inner strength people never knew they had and a sense of clarity to keep pressing on. To those who have lost, look at how far you’ve gotten. After my loss in 2007, I never thought that getting out of bed or carrying on with life was possible. Didn’t think I could do it but I did, and so can you!

2. The birth of my two month old boyfriend. I love him like he was my own.

It’s so funny how everyone’s life progresses. We’re all getting older, and while marriage and children aren’t foreseeable in my future, it’s so great to see the progression of my friends from students, to workers, to wives and now mothers. My boyfriend’s mom in particular – we’ve known each other for a long time. She’s a little beam of sunshine, a ray of light if you will – everyone loves her.  Did I also mention she’s a hustler. She’s worked and/or studied, and volunteered across the globe, and because she’s a bit of a trotter, she’s been a good excuse to dip from the city. I remember the good ol’ student days where we would anticipate each other’s arrival at train stations and our frivolous road trips (usually my doing) around the province. I will miss those, but life is different now…all in good ways though. And although we’re in totally different places now (me being career driven, and herself being a homemaker) she’s not a different person – she’s a mom and a wife 🙂 And a GREAT one of that. I see so much of her in her son, so I know her husband and baby will be blessed.

3. The progression of my own life.

Holding down two jobs is often tiring (sometimes to the point where I want to cry), but I never complain, because I’m forever grateful and blessed to still be working and doing my thing. I’m a doer; I’m a go-getter… I work hard to get what I want and need. I’m happy that I’m able to set attainable goals and follow through with them because I’m in a situation where I can. I’m not rich (not even close – hence the two jobs), but I never forget where I came from because it has helped me get to where I am today. Did I grow up ballin’ or in abject poverty? No, but I realize that my parents worked damn hard to get me to where my sister and I are today. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in prayer, Jesus and determination – this is what helps me everyday.

4.  My Friends

I’m fortunate to have some of the best friends in the world. They are straight shooters, they don’t beat around the bush, they make me laugh, we help each other out, call each other out on our shit – true, real friends is what they are. I’m lucky to have them.

What’s in stock for 2016? Only Jesus knows, but I anticipate greatness.

In whichever part of the world you may be in, don’t drink and drive, and stay safe on New Year’s Eve.

All the Best for 2016 🙂

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xo,

Lady Friday

 

Life Lessons Acquired from D2: The Mighty Ducks

My life with working two jobs has become hectic and therefore my social life has become essentially void, so I spend my not-so-free time (as I work seven days a week) watching Shomi.

I’m right now going through a stage of nostalgia, watching all of my favourite movies from my childhood. One of those happening to be The Mighty Ducks series featuring Emilio Estevez.

Recap of movie one: Gordon Bombay (Estevez) is a hot-shot lawyer who gets pulled over for a DUI and his “punishment” is teaching a ghetto team how to play hockey. And of course, he brings the team to victory.

In D2: after he’s received all his fame and glory, he is drafted into the junior pro league (which we all know is a lie as he was way too old) nevertheless, was badly injured and was asked to coach team USA for the Junior Olympics. With a new job, came new responsibilities – and these are where the life lessons come in.

  1. Your group of friends will probably grow throughout the years, but you’ll always need your core group to have your back.

In the first movie, the team was a group of friends, a tribe if you will. They knew each other like the back of their hand, their shortcomings, misgivings, etc. – this is why they were able to succeed as a team – despite the fact that they sucked, they were friends. They worked together to overcome to eventually won the little league championship. So D2 comes along and he is told to recruit some blood to accompany the rest of Team USA – and who did he choose – his little rug rats from the hood.

Lesson #1: Your situation and your life may change, but you always have your core, your tribe who will help you. It doesn’t matter where you are, what position you have, where they are – your true, inner circle has ALWAYS got your back and will help you. Whether that’s in life or a hockey game, you always know you can count on your peeps.

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2.  Never lose sight of where you came from

In D2, Bombay, after he accepts the position to coach Team USA obtains a high-end corporate sponsor which offers him press gigs, fancy-schmancy cars and fine three-piece suits. In the midst of his fame and fortune, he’s whisked away to several PR gigs, which consisted of flashy flame throwers, mascots parading around and fans screaming his name. In the midst of his glory, he lost sight of reality – he was a hockey coach, not a PR stunt dummy. Very similar parallels drawn to my life. I work (as well as many of my friends) in Marketing and PR. This is a high-end, and often flashy lifestyle. We’re often whisked away to press gigs, have gotten to meet a few celebrities (mostly Canadian ones ;)) and received so much free swag. Sadly, like Gordon Bombay, some of my friends have lost themselves in the process. They’re more interested in the fame, free swag and pseudo-fortune. They’ve lost sight of why we got into this business to begin with. We were writers – that’s what we loved to do. In talking to them we just wanted a job where we could write, or have a voice for the tiny start-ups who were trying to make a break.  Unfortunately goals got put to the back burner as the glitz and glam lifestyle came to the forefront. Bombay had to strip himself of the hair gel, suits and cars to remember that he accepted the position not for the money or fame, but for the love of hockey (okay – and maybe a little for the kids).

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Lesson #2: Keep it real, remember your roots and humble beginnings, because fame is transient and often fleeting. It will come and go. Just like Gordon Bombay lost his corporate sponsorship for becoming rogue and defiant; you too can lose it all in a moment. Never lose sight of the person you were prior to jobs, life, money, wealth, etc.

3. You’ll always have that one old school partner in crime who keeps you in check and keeps it real

We all have that one friend. The one who comes with a shit load of life stories and experiences to keep your reality in check. The one friend who is supportive, but also tells you when you’re being irrational or to calm down. Hans was no different. In the first film, he re-ignited the love of hockey in Bombay and gave him little bursts of encouragement for the team. In D2, not only did he recommend Bombay for the position of coach for Team USA, he supported him. When Hans noticed that Bombay was getting out of control and becoming a walking corporate sponsor he had to show up, encourage him but also put him in his place.

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Lesson #3: I’m fortunate to have several friends like this. They give me high fives and pats on the back when I’m doing a good job, but do not hesitate to let me know when I’m being a little shit. We all need friends like that – people who remind you to check yourself and keep it 100 – 100 per cent of the time.

Thank you D2 for these simple, yet important life lessons.

And Remember – Ducks Fly Together! (watch the movie to get the reference)

xo,

Lady Friday

 

 

The Sobering Truth

I’m sorry to my readers who have been patiently waiting for a blog…I’ve been sick and have been sick for a very long time. This is not a virus, or the common cold. I’m mentally sick – I have a cognitive behavioural disorder. I think I’ve known this for quite some time, but it dawned on me after my 30th birthday that I’m not getting better, I’m getting worse and I probably need help because these feelings just don’t go away. I learned however that these are not just mere feelings – I have to change my entire perception and thoughts – MUCH easier said than done.

So you ask: is this depression? No. I don’t wake up with thoughts of suicide, I don’t want to end my life, and I am actually motivated to get out of bed to face the challenges of each day.

Is it manic depression or a bipolar disorder? No. I don’t  have extreme highs and lows and I do not need to take mood stimulators.

The textbook definition of a cognitive behavioural disorder: maladaptive thinking  that leads to change in behaviours. In layman terms: my brain produces harmful thoughts. So something that’s said – my brain totally segments/compartmentalizes that information and interprets it as something different – often negative. These negative thoughts are what dictate my behaviour or how I react in certain situations.

How does this affect me?

Everyday I wake up with feelings of inadequacies and not being good enough. Yes, I have many things going for me (holding down two jobs, the ability to pay all my bills, etc). but I have these innate feelings of never measuring up. Who sets these standards/benchmarks – perhaps I do, but when friends give me advice, it always reverts back to that – you’ll never be good enough the way you are, you are worthless and generally inadequate – why else would you be offering advice? I just misconstrue things: if  you were to ask me, my brain has already convinced my body that this is what they’ve said, however if you were to ask them – it’s perhaps the farthest thing from the truth.

Case and point: My consumption of alcohol is becoming to be an issue (however the doc said that this is drinking in excess is quite normal for my condition because it eliminates the negative/pervasive thoughts). I noticed this a few weeks ago, so I’ve tried to cut back. In the interim, I’ve told a few people about my quest for pseudo-sobriety (meaning I’m trying to cut back not quit altogether). For those who know me this is a very touchy subject with me: but to hear that I’ll never be wanted by a man in this condition or that I’m an alcoholic – totally not the advice someone like me needs to hear, and totally doesn’t make me want to change because the only thing this advice has done has reinforced the feelings of inadequacies and feeling like 1 foot tall.

Unless you have this disorder you’re going to think this is a minor thing – it’s really not and you realize how severe it really is. Grow up girl, get some balls and stop drinking. This is what I’ve always heard. It’s not that easy. And why I take it seriously? I had a friend who discovered he had a mental illness in his late 20s and was shot and killed when he ran away from the mental institution – not on his own volition. He heard the voices who convinced him to do so. Read the article here. So this shit is real for me – mental illness is not a joke and I’m tired of people telling me to man up, grow balls and just magically get better. It doesn’t work like that. My sickness can’t be fixed with a drug or some sort of magic elixir, apparently I need to work on my brain and the thought process before I can get better. It affects me on a daily basis – so much to the point that my behaviour is now self-destructive (also another trait of people who have a cognitive disorder). I don’t make the best decisions but I’m not too keen on how they affect my life because I don’t feel like I deserve this life. Do you understand? If not – it’s difficult to put into words.

I’ve lived with this for the past 32 years and perhaps it will take another 32 years to get better.  And I know the alcohol and magic cigarettes are definitely not making things better, but know that I really am trying.

Soontimes, I really hope to be in a better head space 🙂

Everyday is an uphill battle, but I’m pressing onwards and upwards.

xo,

Lady Friday

 

 

 

 

Why I Say No to Shonda Rhimes

I have so much rage for Shonda Rhimes and her shows that she produces (and yes I mean all three of them). That apparently makes me an oddball out – but there are reasons which had to be articulated since unfortunately tis the start of a new season.

What I do appreciate her for:

  1. For too many years there were several black actors and actresses who were just not recognized for their craft. Very talented people, yet year after year they were shunned at every Emmy, Golden Globe and any other award show deemed cool in Tinseltown. Remember the year that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won best actor and actress? Or when Lupita Nyong’o won for her supporting role? Other than that, I can’t think of many (or any), but it’s really quite sad of the lack of recognition for Blacks in Hollywood. Thank you Rhimes for giving the Black actors the exposure they needed to be recognized in Hollywood.

What I don’t appreciate:

  1. Her gay and lesbian story lines – honestly Shonda, it’s now just getting old. It started with Grey’s Anatomy when the Hispanic started dating the blond chic. Then it was the two gay men in Scandal – (which we figured out are re purposed actors from the West Wing and Grey’s), then just when we thought How to Get Away with Murder was half decent (with the exception of the gay couple) Viola Davis’s character to no one’s surprise also had lesbian love action. However, I read this morning that having Annalise (Viola Davis) kiss and have romantic feelings for another woman starts to venture into spaces the prime time television has yet to visit: the Black, female, queer, powerful, leading lady. Apparently, this will start to help audiences explore what being sexually fluid can look like. While that may be true, that this very small demographic needs to be represented – it’s too common amongst her shows and it’s becoming boring. I don’t knock anyone’s sexuality – that’s not why it’s annoying. I don’t appreciate it because it would appear that she’s using sex to sell her story lines. Note to everyone: Good writers are simply that, good writers, they don’t need all the bells and whistles to make people watch their shows.
  2. The predictability of her shows – Most may not agree with me on this, as apparently Scandal has twists and turns weaved into the unforseen plot, however, I don’t watch her shows and I can always predict the next episode, which normally consists, of sex, red wine, sex and yes you guessed it …sex. No thank you, I didn’t sign up for kitty porn at 8 p.m.

My frustration and inner rage stems from two things at this point:

  1. She perpetuates the black stereotypes that have sadly plagued Hollywood for years. It’s for this reason why I also don’t watch Tyler Perry movies. Going back to the days of University in my Women’s Studies class there are three stereotypical black females which the media perpetuates: The mom/mammy – the care provider. The Jezebel – who is the sexually promiscuous female,  and finally the Sapphire – the ghetto black girl with attitude. We take a look at Olivia Pope and Annalise – doing everything they can to protect their students and clients from harm and danger – so they’re the moms. But in the same token they are also the Jezebels – very promiscuous in their own right. Pope pretty much has sex with every man under the sun, and apparently so does Davis who was sleeping with her man, a cop and I believe one of her students (maybe not). And of course they’re the Jezebel – flying off the handle, frequently getting into arguments, walking around with this black girl attitude because they’re in positions of power. I’m sorry, I’m a black female and those stereotypes REALLY bother me  because the real women I know do not fall into any of those categories and it really just takes us back to the days of slavery, which is where these “black figures” were initially created. So yes, watching Shonda Rhimes reminds me of slavery.
  2. Sex makes good TV, but it does NOT sell. Look at Chuck Lorre, he’s like the sitcom master right now and writing pretty much everything in Hollywood. Big Bang Theory is very popular, yet not sex driven. Or take a look at Seinfeld, Fraser, CSI, Law and Order – the countless shows I can name that are well written with very little sexual elements. These shows have staying power, I can’t say that Rhimes’ do (i.e. Private Practice fizzled right out – thankfully).

So this is my theory: Shonda Rhimes is a lesbian with a women of a different race. She’s also probably getting some male action on the side. I’m a writer and I know that writers often tell their own stories through their characters.  That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

So before you get sucked in the Shonday, consider the amount of brain cells you’ve lost.

Say no to sex and stereotypes 🙂

xo,

Lady Friday

What Defines Blackness

All my life I’ve sort of been the odd one out.

When I was in elementary school I was the only black girl in my graduating class. My entire hood used to be/and still kind of is void of colour. The white kids definitely out numbered the rest of us. Therefore the people of colour were the token kids. We had one Indian, three Black kids, and two Chinese guys. But I was the only black girl and the only girl of ethnicity.

So as a result, I’ve heard all my life sound like a white girl and dress like a white girl. It’s not by choice. I speak with something called a glottal stop. It’s essentially where and how people put emphasis and inflection on words – so because of where I put emphasis on words, yes that deems me to speak like I’m a white girl from the valley. This was discovered when I was in J-School taking my radio class. My prof made me take diction classes  because she said my glottal stop was so bad it makes her ears bleed. Now people wonder why I hate public speaking…But I throw the question out to you – how do black girls speak? Am I supposed to speak with ebonics? Or maybe I should sound more ghetto. Is it because I don’t use street slang? Is it because I don’t live the thug life?

And how to black girls dress? It makes me apparently “white washed” because I prefer to shop at Tommy Hilfiger as opposed to Urban Planet or Dynamite (although I don’t think black girls shop there either ;))  Is it because I don’t wear weaves? Or maybe because I’m not uber bashy. Is it the fact that my pants don’t look painted on? Or perhaps it’s because I don’t have excessively long nails and hoop earrings which are so big that lions can jump through them? Is it because I’m not defined by labels?

What is it?…

I think the one thing that bothers me the most about this is that I take heat from my own colour rather than the white people. It’s my so-called counterparts who have given me the heat of not being black enough.  It’s my black friends who make the assumptions that all my friends are white. It was my black friends to call me out when I was the only black person in my graduating classes (with the exception of high school). It’s the black people I know who make me feel self-conscious of my colour. But I’ve never heard from any of my other friends of other ethnicities, wow, you’re not black enough or you’re trying so hard to be one of us. For none of my other friends (despite their ethnicities) have never made such outlandish, ridiculous comments about how I dress or speak. Why are black people such haters – and why does my dress and speech bother you?

Apparently even the lifestyle I live and what I do for fun is also “white”. It’s the faces, reactions and comments I receive from the black folk: Black people don’t camp, ski, skate, swim, do adventure sports or anything along those lines – those are things for gringos. And perhaps they may be right, we often don’t see faces of colour when we backpack/hike however what the hell does colour have to do with social activities?? Or maybe I could play into the stereotypes and hang out at a backyard jams/house parties or maybe in a seedy nightclub? Cause perhaps that’s “we” do right: hang out at parties, over eat and go clubbing.  My mom says it best actually: black people have an innate cowardness or fear – one that we in my family don’t understand. Sorry, For my black friends who can’t do pretty much any of the above 1. You’re missing out and 2. Remember you are black but you’re also Canadian and slapping on a pair of skates or skis doesn’t make you white… it makes you Canadian.

So I ask what defines blackness? Is it defined by what I wear or how I speak, or the activities I do or don’t do. What makes you more black than me? Because you talk like a hood cat and have a street name? Perhaps it’s because you like Apple Bottoms not Aeropostale? Or is it because you have the best hair on the market. And what makes me less black than you?

For me: Blackness is – remembering your heritage: who you are and where you came from being proud of your culture and always representing. It isn’t defined by dress and speech. I’m very proud to be black and I think that sometimes the notion is because of how I speak or dress, it’s an attempt to fit in better with the white folk. Why would I want to do that – baby, I was born this way and if you also know me – I’m just me. I don’t mould into norms (whichever race is creating them) …I’m often the rebel, doing my own thing anyways.

Stay true to yourself.

My truth: I’m black and very proud.

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xo,

Lady Friday

 

 

Ants in my Pants

I’m feeling antsy…

I’ve been feeling this way for a few months now, and it’s something that I just can’t seem to shake.

And I think what’s bothering me the most is I can’t put a finger on why I’m antsy. I have two decent jobs, my bills are all being paid, I’m happy with where I’m at and have finally gotten a decent head on my shoulders (the latter let me tell you took some time).

I remember back to the days when I was a student and every week it was a sacrifice on whether I could either a. go out for dinner or b. put gas in my car, because money was so tight I was certainly not able to ever do both. Sounds like a small deal, but to know that my bills are always paid on time and I still have fun money left over – it’s like I’m living in a dream world.  I realize I am blessed and have MANY good things going for me – I am very grateful for everything that has come my way – and yet…despite all of this I still feel antsy.

I think this may be stemming from the fact that although my life is progressing my actual life outside of work is not progressing. This is the year of marriages and children. So many good friends of mine and taking that leap and are either walking down the aisle or expecting. And while I have no problem being single, I’m tired of the awkward stares when I walk in alone to social gatherings, the questions of “so are you seeing anyone?”…or “any plans for children on the horizon?” or the friends who feel sorry for me and try to find me dates so I won’t be the odd man out.

Is that what equates to a life – marriage and children? Would that possibly be the reason why I’m feeling so unsettled because I don’t have any of those things? Or is it because all my friends have these things and I don’t? So then I ask myself – is this a feeling of antsyness or Jealousy? But then I ponder even further – what I am jealous of? Coming home to screaming children or becoming a domesticated housewife who cooks and cleans. Frankly…I don’t think it’s jealousy because in order for me to adapt to that life I will definitely have to give up the part-time job – which right now in my life I am not willing to do as I still have some goals that I’m trying to pursue.

So therefore, I chalk it up to loneliness. Perhaps I work so much to fill an empty void of my non-existent social life. I thought I worked to stay out of trouble – but I’m an adult now so my days of being young, wild and free are over. However, I’m strong enough to admit now that there is a void somewhere in my life…one which I just can’t describe. Some say that this is where you sometimes need to find religion because Jesus will help you navigate through these waters.

What is this life I live…and do I need Jesus?

Or what do I need…

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xo,

Lady Friday

 

 

 

Reflections (Part II)

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After my birthday, I spent some time trying to figure out why new guy never called.

All these random questions popped into my head…

Did I drink too much on our dates?

Did the calls and random drop-ins from family (which only happened once) annoy him?

Am I too slutty for having sexy time in my car?

Am I not slutty enough as I never put out?

Am I too controlling? Loud? Abrasive?…

Too many questions – but no answers…none, zero, zilch.

I was convinced new guy was not going to call me – and lo and behold, he actually did.

Truthfully, it was probably the lamest message I’ve ever heard.

“Hey, just calling to say what’s up. Give me a call when you can.”

Give me a break buddy. Frankly, with a message like that, I would have preferred to not to hear from you at all.

  1. Life is about acknowledgement. At least acknowledge the fact that you missed/ignored my calls…but he said nothing in that regard. Good communicator or not, that’s just lame dude.
  2. He didn’t acknowledge my birthday. And I’m not even concerned about that…what am I five?! It was the whole lackadaisical, nonchalant, I don’t give an eff attitude in his voice that really made me angry.

The call just seemed like he was trying to do me a favour (and please don’t do me any favours…I ain’t beggin’ for friends or a life partner). And I thought I would have been excited to hear from him, but really I felt nothing. And as a safeguard, obviously I deleted the message and his number. And it’s not that I hate him, nor is he dead to me – I feel nothing, absolutely nothing…almost like I never knew the cat to begin with.

What bothers me was the fact that I legitimately was trying to make it work with new guy. I even made a vow to stop talking to the married man – like for real this time. I was determined – as I know that I was torn and my heart was/is in two places. To be fair to new guy, I knew it was best to cut the married guy off so that new guy could have a fair shot (which in retrospect meant absolutely nothing).

So I did. I cut the married man off – it was difficult…but I did.  And after not talking to him for a few days, I received what’s app asking me if I was okay and sure with my decision. I told him absolutely I was  and that I was sorry… sorry for being a home wrecker, sorry for being promiscuous, and for wasting both of our times. Seconds later, I got a call from him explaining to me that that’s crazy talk, and that it will never be over. So much for trying…

And as a preamble, married guy said: new guys will come and go, but I’ll be around forever. Oh boy…

When I got off the phone I pondered this…

Why was I excited to hear from the married dude and not new guy?

Why do I still want to text the married man?

Why don’t I want text/call/communicate with new guy?

Because my “getting over him time” was a solid two days, did I ever have feelings for new guy at all?

I ponder…

xo,

Lady Friday