Losing Someone Important

Say you’ve known someone your whole life. They’ve met all of your family members and been at every single birthday get together you have ever had.

They know all of your secrets and all of your fears. Yet you don’t know much about them.

Yes, you have known each other for as long as you can remember, you don’t remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation with them. When was the last time you spent time alone with them and actually enjoyed it?

Maybe you are growing apart. Maybe it’s time to come to terms with the fact that you no longer know who they are. You have spent too much time focusing on university, work and romantic relationships that you have forgotten to be there for them.

They are going through a hard time and they need you to listen. They need you to stop focusing on other aspects of life and listen to them. The are too ashamed to ask for your help, they don’t want to come off as selfish or needy. So they keep quiet. They let you keep yourself busy and distracted while they slowly start to disappear. Fade away until one day, when you need them most, they have gone, long forgotten.

That is when you realise that you didn’t make enough time for them. You didn’t listen to them when they cried out for help. You didn’t hear them. You didn’t hear you. You didn’t listen to your inner voice and now you have lost who you are.

Take time out for yourself. Get to know yourself again. Fall in love with who you are. Treat yourself and be happy. You can’t expect anyone else to.

I am slowly coming to terms with the idea of loving me. Not waiting for anyone to buy me flowers, but buying them myself. Doing things that I want to do without asking for other peoples approval. At the end of the day the only person that I am certain will be around in my life is me, so why not treat myself? Why not spend time getting to know myself? Try it. Take yourself out for dinner. Go to the movies alone. Get comfortable with your own company.

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The Problem with Young Love

Falling in love young is both a beautiful and tragic thing. You fall quick, you fall strong. Yet you get blinded and lost at the same time.

My boyfriend and I became a couple a few weeks before my 18th birthday. We had messaged each other everyday for a few months before we met, then we got together a couple of weeks after we met. It was quick. We barely knew each other. We barely knew ourselves. All I remember is knowing that we would be together forever. That my times of being single were over.

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I didn’t know what it was like to be in a serious relationship. I didn’t know what type of girlfriend I was. So I experimented. I did things that I look back on now and cringe. Like declaring my love for him on a video and posting it on tumblr. Writing his mother a letter thanking her for raising him. Things that I guess are ‘cute’ but things that the current me would not do.

I did other things too. Trying to be something I was not. But yet, how could I have known it wasn’t me, when I had not known who ‘me’ was.

We never argued, and I didn’t like to show him when I was hurt. We weren’t real with each other. Tried to keep up this ‘perfect relationship’ when really we were both very lost and confused.

Until the day that we broke up. 1 year and 10 months into our relationship. As painful as that day was. It was the birth of my self awareness. When the bubble I had lived in had finally burst and I was set free. The real me. We spoke, and we understood each other.

Six days later we got back together. I cannot lie, even though I learned that those lovey dovey messages from him were not completely truthful, I still missed the cuteness that I thought we had. But now we have grown. We know who we are. No more trying to be a certain type of girlfriend. I am me. He is him.

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Here we are 5 years, 2 months and 26 days later. Our relationship has definitely evolved and strengthened. We are friends. Dare I say best friends. Who are in love. We have our days when we need our space. We do our own things. We help each other reach our goals.

See, falling in love young is a hard thing. Finding yourself when in a relationship with someone is difficult. But once you make it through that point. Once you realise who you are, and you love yourself. Your love for that person becomes real.

It’s more than flowers, love letters and cute texts. It’s about taking the other persons plate to the kitchen and washing it.

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Photographs taken by @PatieCakes

 

Crusty Foot! (PediSpin Review)

So since last week I had NEVER had a pedicure! Heck, I didn’t even think about getting one until Jay from Curlture gave me the most disgusted look when I told her that my feet were pure ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

You know what, there was one specific moment in my life that made me realise that my feet were worse than I had thought. Don’t get me wrong, I did know that my feet were pretty crusty but one day I was given a shock of my life!

I was wearing a pair of shorts at home with no socks on whilst sitting at my desk. With my right leg folded underneath my bum I started to feel something sharp poking my thigh. I checked what was digging into my skin and I couldn’t see anything. So I continued to sit on my leg. It happened again! I couldn’t find the culprit at all! Then I decided to slowly sit back down whilst watching my thigh to see what was causing discomfort. Then I saw it ๐Ÿ™ˆ A part of my hard crusty heel was poking out. Digging my thigh. That’s when I knew that my feet needed some serious attention.

Then randomly I came across Vanity Planet, I ordered the PediSpin and as soon as it arrived I was too excited to use it.

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The box came with a user manual, the PediSpin, a Hard Bristle Brush to remove dirt particles, a Pumice Stone to eradicate dry skin and stains, a Callus Shaver to get rid of thick calluses and a Buffing Pad to refine and buff the soles of your feet. I used the attachments in that order. The first two can be used in the shower but the other two are to be used on dry feet.

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Now, I tested this out straight away and when I used the first attachment (Hard Bristle Brush) I was less than impressed. The brush didn’t feel like it was doing anything to my feet just lightly brushing it. It wasn’t until I came to use the Callus Shaver that I fell in love with the PediSpin.

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This thing took my hard, dry and crusty feet to a place they have not been to in a very long time! Just for the sake of this blog post and because my feet no longer look crusty, I will insert a before and after photo below.

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I just had to come on here and tell you guys about it! Especially as it getting warmer and the sandals are coming out. Oh, before I forget, I have a 70% discount for you guys to use on ANY of the Vanity Planet products. Just use this link ! You have until June 4th 2016 xxx

#1 Mental Slavery: Divide and Conquer

I asked my followers on a couple of social media pages to help with my next, ‘Being Black’ video on YouTube. My next topic is Mental Slavery. In the picture below you can just about see the points I came up beforehand.

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Supremacy: the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.


I received quite a few suggestions after posting that picture, so many in fact that I was no way going to address them all in YouTube video. So, I decided to create a series of blog posts addressing quite a few of those points. The first and probably most important points is the act of dividing and conquering.

Now, I was going to entitle this, ‘White Supremacy’ instead of ‘Divide and Conquer’, but the fact of the matter is, that I do not see white people as superior. They are just strategic. And boy did their strategy work!

Now, the biggest problem that was born out of this scheme, is the fact that we no longer trust our own. We seem to be against each other in a world that is already against us. We currently have no chance in this losing battle. Weย find it so hard to buy from our own, to support our own, even work with our own. But find it so easy to buy, support and work for the white man.

I put this down to the fact that weย have been conditioned to think white is right. Ever since a young age all the “positive” images that we are force fed to us, center around our white counterparts. So much so, that we have classedย those of us with lighter skin as more desirable and more approachable. Why? Because the lighter the skin, the closer they are to being white.

Supposedly.

The lighter the skin. The looser the curl pattern. The slimmer the nose. The better.

Is it our fault that we think this way? No. We are continuously being divided, so we are easier to conquer. This doesn’t just happen in the Western world, oh no no no. This is a WORLDWIDE issue. How on earth did the minority manage to make us feel as though they are the majority? Well the pretty much control the images that we see on a daily basis that feeds into our subconscious.

The media.

There I said it! The cause of almost all of our problems. As much as I hate using such a generic term, it’s the truth… well not to mention the fact that “great” Britain managed to forcibly place itself in 90% of the world (yes I mean invade). Forcing its language, religion and ideas of beauty across the majority of the globe.

Not only did they invade us. They also stole us.

Not all black people where forced to leave Africa. If we look further back into history we will learn that our people traveled way before the transatlantic slave trade. But those who were stolen from the motherland, somewhat completely dismissed their African roots and claim to be Caribbean. Yes, you may have grandparents and great grandparents who were born in the Caribbean. But let’s not forget that countries such as Britain and France were importing Africans to work for them, harvesting sugar canes and tobacco in both Jamaica and Barbados during the 1600s for almost 200 years. And yet we still hear about the ‘Caribbean vs African’ debates on Twitter and even used as a theme for Raves.

Long story short, by dividing us physically they have conquered us mentally. Through invading our countries and forcing their whiteness upon us they have managed to use to power of images, words, and social constructs to make us want to always be in competition with our own. We struggle to buy black. We struggle to celebrate black success. We struggle to embrace black beauty in all its shades and sizes. We struggle to be black.

Through struggle comes strength. Be strong my black people. Be strong.

Why I prefer being Unemployed

As some of you may know, I work in a school. A rather new school at that.ย  It wasn’t like I have always wanted to work in a school, in fact I don’t. I remember back in February of my final year at university. I was sitting there thinking that I need some kind of experience before I graduate. I had worked for two weeks at Wimbledon the summer before as security/steward (lol). I had also done a couple of freelance running jobs in the post production section of Channel 4. That was more of what I wanted to do. Not being a runner, but being a film editor. I love to edit, and I love to film so I was in love with the idea of working at Channel 4 (notice how I didn’t say I was in love with working there). But because it was freelance, I barely worked. So I decided to check out what my old media teacher was doing. I found out he was working as a Vice Principle at a Media College, so I contacted him regarding a bit of work experience at his school.

True to his nature, he didn’t reply until about 3 months later. He messaged me saying that there was a job offering at the school if I was interested. And of course I was. I visited the school on a bright summers day and it just reminded me of Los Angeles. The way the building looked and it’s location just amazed me (my views have changed drastically since then).

Anyways, I wasn’t completely sure whether I would get the job there so I spent my free time back home figuring out what I could do to make money. That was the best time of my life. Having no source of income made me actually sit down and think about what I am good at doing. I have never been so creative in my life. I wrote down a whole list of things I could do; faux locs, canerows, yarn braids, editing, filming etc etc. I had the mentality of a hustler. I had so many means of making money listed down.

Once I got the job my mind set changed. I waited for the end of the month to get my money, and I was content. It wasn’t until exam period at the school where I really started to reevaluate my life. I was made to sit and invigilate numerous exams. It was the worst month ever! Sitting there, in silence for hours on end, with the worst year 11s group I have ever met (well they weren’t too bad). I sat there hating where I had ended up. This wasn’t my life calling. I was not created to work for someone else, doing something I hated. And that’s when I decided that I was going to quit my job and get back to that hustler mentality. I wanted to leave at the end of that academic year, but that wasn’t smart. I didn’t have enough money to live off of. So I made a promise to my self that I would spend the next year saving almost half of my monthly wages and getting my skills up to scratch, so that I was all set for July 21st 2016.

I have been counting down ever since. I have spent my money on things that will, and already have, been making me money. I have started up Mother N Diaspora, an African Inspired art collection that focuses on Africa and all of her children. I am still trying to figure out how to get my pieces printed nicely enough to sell on t-shirts, phone cases, canvases etc.

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I will be my own boss.

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My Goodness, I’ve been away for a while! To think, one of my last blog posts was of my 2nd Big Chop and now my hair is less than an inch long. YES! I cut it all off! ๐Ÿ˜€

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There has been a few changes in my life over the past 2 months. Firstly like I mentioned, I completely cut off my hair. I woke up one morning and was fed up with the fact that my wash and go from the day before was no longer existent. I got my dads clippers and cut it all to a level 2. Of course I recorded myself doing it. You can see how my dad gave me a helping hand too.

The reactions have been quite interesting to say the least. A lot of the elders have given me “the look” when I tell them I cut if off because I just wanted to. They clearly don’t approve, but I couldn’t care less. As long as I am happy with it then I am content. The best reaction I received was from my Grandma who is currently living back home in Tanzania.

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I have received messages from distant relatives basically making sure that I wasn’t going crazy. That’s what a lot of people think for some reason, if you have spent a few years looking after your hair properly and you cut it all off then there definitely must be something wrong with you! This has made me realise how materialistic hair really is. People put way too much importance into a appearance. I have come to the point in my life where I would rather people respect me for the things that I say and do rather than the way I look. Yes, hair for a black person is important. I have already made my statement and have helped people with their own natural hair.

I love the way I look. I love my natural hair.

Now it is time to focus on the inside. I know I have a great mind, I just to exercise it more. I need to be able to articulate what is on my mind. Not just speak it, but also express it.

Not many people know that I have loved to draw my whole life. In the past few months I have decided to take it seriously. I have created Mother N Diaspora, a brand that focuses on art inspired by the Motherland and her Children. I will do another blog post on this soon.

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Until next time ๐Ÿ™‚

All light skin people are the same… OBVIOUSLY!!

So, I was on the bus to work the other day. Two teens sat opposite me, they looked around 15/16. One was a white male and the other was a mixed race female. First impressions told me that she didn’t really want to be with him at that momentย (as soon as she sat down she started getting her iPhone ready to listen to). Here is the short conversation that followed:

Boy: “Have you see the girl in the year below who looks like you?”

Girl: *looking unimpressed* “What?”

Boy: “The girl in the year below, she looks just like you”

Girl: “You’re only saying that ‘cos she is mixed race” *screws him*

Boy: “Nah she actually looks like you”

Girl: *rolls her eyes and puts in her headphones*

I wanted to just say, “YASSS GURLL!! YOU TELL HIM!” because I really felt her annoyance right then. I’m sure we have all been through it, being told you look like someone else just because you have a similar skin shade, and possibly a similar hairstyle. The amount of “twins” I had when I was her age was unbelievable. I mean, I could understand if the girls looked somewhat like me, but the vast majority of the time they did not.

The worst one was a couple of years ago whenย I was compared to Moss from the IT Crowd… by my own aunty (yes if you are reading this, I remember!).

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Not only does the problem lie in the ideaย that we all “look the same” but it also means that we are all judged the same way. How many of you have heard about the “stoosh lightie”? Probably only my London readers know what I’m on about, but I am sure we all know about the long running joke that light skin girls don’t reply to text messages.

I don’t know where these preconceptions emerged from, but they are around. Even my own boyfriend had such beliefs about me when he first saw my picture. He didn’t expect us to end up in a relationship, let alone be together for almost 4 and a half years. Buy why? Why do people think that all light skin males and females are stuck up their own behinds? I can’t even lie, I had my own thoughts about mixed raced boys a few years ago, I truly believed that they were just good to look at but didn’t really have much going on personality wise. When I look back on it, it is evem worse for me to haave thought that because I come from a family full of mixed race boys and I know they all have completely different personalities.

Maybe it is simply because we are conditioned to think so. We all know that there is that idea that the lighter the skin the prettier and more desirable the person is. And in turn this often leads to lighter people being disliked by others because they supposedly think they are “better than everyone else”.

I can’t speak for every female who has a percentage of both white and black in her but I, myself went through a lot of issues when it came to knowing myself as a child. Not just because my father is half white and half black but also because I was raised as a Muslim but didn’t fully practice the religion. Everything was all too confusing for me and the kids at school did not help with that either. This is probably why I have shortened the amount of countries I’m from over the past few years, from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Holland to just Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. If I could just leave out the South African part in the list I would but that is what helps people understand why my skin may be lighter than other East Africans. And when people now ask me why I don’t eat pork I just tell them that I was raised a Muslim, unlike what I used to tell them which was that I AM a Muslim, because well, I don’t identify with those who practice the religion (blog post about religion to follow).

I went slightly off topic. All I really want to say is that unless a person has facial features that look so much like mine that you had to do a double take, don’t tell me that we look the same. Because I know for sure that the only reason you are saying that is because they have light brown skin and curly hair.