Day 40: 

Early to bed,

Early to rise!

Makes me a dull girl,

But a sharp one too.

Also, I get to catch the early bus.

When you’re late in London, 

The direct trains cost you much more.

My current broke self cannot handle it 😭

Day 39: Listen

/ˈlɪs(ə)n/ : To give one’s attention to a sound. I’m sure you know the definition. But lately, I realised that few of us do anymore. We are good at pretending we are. Like my dad says, we hear through one ear and what’s been said flies out through the other. There’s a short back story to my inspiration for this post.

After a year of using them, my earphones died on Sunday. I was in TK Maxx, doing some shopping (you know it’s therapy), listening to one of my favourite podcasts 3ShotsofTequila and … a sudden silence from my left earphone. Although irritated, I didn’t complain. I couldn’t! Because for earphones that cost me less than £13, I had gotten more than full use out of them. The value for money probably ended at 6 months so I’m grateful. Since I was in TK Maxx, I decided to get a cheap option to keep me going till I replace my old faithfuls. When I am listening to more podcasts than music, the sound output is the least of my worries. They’ve been okay so far but I can tell the difference. For £5, I cannot expect better. All I need is some barrier between me and the world as I am out there and I am getting some of it. Their shittiness only struck me a few hours ago when I decided to wind my day with some Hans Zimmer (for those that do not know who he is, listen to movie scores, he’s one of the most celebrated composers.) There’s nothing worse sounding though than Classical music coming through lousy earphones. Yes, it’s worse than blending forks.

So yeah, it hit me when I was listening to another favourite, actually it’s number one on my list now, DMD Podcast. Like a tonne of bricks, that so much information is out there for us but we barely use it to our advantage. Maybe we do not want to exert ourselves, we are too comfortable, I don’t know. All I know is there is a lot of ignorance floating around. I don’t know everything! Don’t quote me even, but I have had many a conversation with people that are holding their phones in their hands all the time, have access to the internet, and they still cannot use google to enlighten themselves. Like Skribz said, (I’m paraphrasing here), few want to be students. The fact that the words “I don’t know, can you enlighten me” or “show me where I can find that information” don’t really exist in our heads anymore is disturbing. This is where politicians win. They know the wider public, the one that can force them into change, is okay with being spoon fed information. Whether it is wrong or right, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is has the agenda been pushed?

My dad always made sure we discussed politics and history when I was younger. Whenever I asked him for help with my homework, I got more than I asked for. I was a child then, I found it long of course! Now though, I see and appreciate what he was doing. I remember we had news books (part of the homework) in which we wrote a summary of what struck us most as we read the newspapers. While most of my classmates got away with copy and paste,my old man wanted me to write everything in my own words. He always took the time to explain to me what I did not understand. As time went on, I started discussing with him over coffee or tea. I vividly remember my first cup of coffee. I was 11 (loved the experience but that’s a story for another day.) These discussions are definitely part of what led me to Law school. I was determined to work with the UN or the ICC, be a Judge or something. Till I realised the fuckery that goes on in all these institutions. The laws are made but politics gets in and messes it all up. It does more damage than when you pour juice into a laptop. It’s happened to me before, I had a coursework deadline to beat, it wasn’t pretty!

See when the law is made, everyone is expected to follow it. It should work that way. At least in an ideal world. What is ignored, and I’m sure it’s on purpose, is the fact that one CANNOT follow a law they DO NOT KNOW! It’s no surprise either that a phrase like “Ignorance of the law excuses no one” exists. And it is said proudly by the way. Those that know the law, usually the same that make it, do not give a shit if you don’t know. Politicians and other people in power banking on the ignorance of the masses is something I noticed when I was in Uganda. I was 12. We were studying Civics at the time. Talking about Human Rights and Duties. I remember my dad bringing the up the duty of the State to the Citizen. All they taught us at the time was the duty of the Citizen to the State (of course!) You have to know that when you reach a certain age, you’ll pay the Gov’t a part of your wages whether you like it or not. It’s a given. The government doesn’t want you to really know the other side. It’s cheeky that way. So when my dad brought up the other side, I knew I could not forget it. Something that isn’t as emphasised but is important usually stays in your head.

Ignorance is not bliss. It just reduces your outrage and makes you complacent and easily accepting of anything as long as it is packaged well. Best example of how this works out, is in the rural areas of Uganda (what am I saying, in the urban areas too.) These people are living in absolute poverty. They lack things like medical care, they have some of the highest infant mortality rates, but because they do not see themselves as tax payers, they have no outrage over how fucked the government is. All the President (been the same for 31 years now) and his counterparts have to do, is give them handouts. A little money, about £1 equivalent and a t-shirt, a kilo of sugar, and they’re voted again. All the broken promises of the past 5 years are forgotten. It instantly becomes a case of the man cares about us. Another vicious 5 years begins and the cycle continues. If you told these people that for every little sugar, oil, soap, paraffin for the lamps, that they buy, some goes to the government, maybe they would care about the poor services that are available to them.

Fucked up thing is, it is the same damn thing everywhere else in the world. The first world too (no one should lie to you that it’s different.) All that makes it seem better is the fact that the first world has had a longer time juggling this democracy thing so the lies are just more refined. They use numbers and statistics, the media pushes it down your throat for them. This is why we need to listen and eliminate the ignorance. We are given 10% of the information directly or less. We have to get the other 90% ourselves. It might seem hard but take a few minutes off snapping and google something useful. Get into an argument with someone who has different views from yours, don’t make it a nuclear war though, you’re just people, not countries. It works. It is how I made up my mind in the 2015 election and the Brexit one too. I had only been here a few months for the first and a year for the second. I definitely had little to no information on what to vote for. Enlightening myself worked. For the former I wasn’t even sure I cared, I actually didn’t but I know numbers matter. One is too little but if we all put in what we could (walking to the polling station and ticking that candidate) we would see the change, rock the boat with time maybe even have a whole revolution. I’m tired of talking to people who are all about the it won’t make a difference story line.

You DON’T know! You NEVER know! It is all about doing your part for your future.

I’ve talked too much today. 2 hours into my bedtime, but I had to say whatever I have said. Could have said more but I will not tell my manager I was late because I stayed up writing. Till the next entry.

Day 38: Anniversary

They make it look like a real certificate

I got a notification before I slept last night, that today was my 2 year anniversary on WordPress. Exciting! I had a gin and tonic to celebrate later on in the day. Anyway, I have decided to take a trip down memory lane to two years ago to commemorate the day.

Two years ago at this time, I was in a relationship that had reached its end (I was the one still holding on to it, but it was dead.) I didn’t want to lose my investment. I was attached to him, or I felt I was, I don’t remember. All I know was I was a mess. I’d just done a big chop two weeks before. I had also started my Interior design course. Just 24, living in denial and in turmoil. I didn’t feel right, I was fully hurting. To be honest, though I was opening new chapters, I had crashed. My life as I knew it was coming to a close. 

Then one day, I was mindlessly browsing the internet, when I decided I needed a space to write my thoughts. Something private for me to share with a few friends whenever I didn’t know how to explain my feelings. Also, (I’m not embarrassed to say), it’s something my ex always did, so I thought, what would I lose if I did too? So that night, I got myself a blog. The next few nights I went HAM and wrote! Now of course it being the internet, and I’m not stupid, I barely scratched the surface. I just wrote little pieces when I felt overwhelmed until the last nail was finally pushed into my relationship coffin and I fell back!

I needed time to heal away from everyone. So I deleted my Twitter and Instagram accounts and zoned out. I almost deleted the blog but I knew I  I needed it. Self care is important! I learnt that during the time. I watched me slowly pick myself up (therapy helped too) without distractions and much interaction from the outside world.  I started to see the beauty in me. While at this, I also realised how much I didn’t like the course I was doing so I dropped it.

I’ve been working on different things since then and I now love where I am. I keep talking about baby steps. They’re not seen to sow at the beginning but I’ve come a long way and I’m proud of me. 🥂

Day 37: Playing Catch up

Just thought about this because it’s what I’ve been doing with my Journaling all week. I fell behind because I was doing longer hours at work than I’m used to and it took a toll on me.

 Playing catch up is not a new concept though. It’s something inherently human. Something we all do at one point in our lives until we realise you can never catch up with everyone. Some of us are lucky and we learn early, others skate through and realise it later in life when they think they cannot turn back. 

Literally running after time

We are raised in a catch up system. Mainly because of school and the way it’s set up. We spend about 19-20 years of our lives in the system on average so it’s bound to happen. When you start school, you hardly care about what’s going on around you but as you fit in and get accustomed to it, you see how competitive everything is. You’re conditioned to want to be the best in class, sports, everything! And if you cannot be the best, you want to at least be somewhere in between and not the last. Again, it’s a human thing.

As we grow older, we start forming groups of friends, colleagues and teammates which mould us even more. The desire to stay as one of the group increases, peer pressure is what they like to call it. What isn’t set in stone though, is your character and this is where the conflict comes in. Your character usually determines which path you want to take in your life. In most cases what you want to study, where you want to go, and where you eventually end up. The younger you are, the less it influences you because you don’t really ​see the consequences in the future. All you care about is moving with the herd.

It’s only when you have to fall back, that the important bits strike you. Playing catch up all the time is a hard thing to do. Sounds cliché but experience really is the best teacher! You have to go through something yourself to see it differently. Many times we are sure of how strong we are but if we are not tested, how do we know? 

You see your agemates starting jobs when you’re still at university and it hurts a bit. They go on to get married and you’re just hitting the pavement on your job hunt, it hurts a little more. By the time they start having children, your single status that you were comfortable with starts to get unsettling. The “forever alone” and “cat lady” jokes slowly become less funny. The “where is he” questions from the family become much more annoying. You hate the fact that you’re behind everyone you know on this life journey. Sometimes you hate it, other times you’re okay with it.

Until one day you say fuck it! And you start your own timeline. You fall, get up, and fall again but it’s comforting because you’re on your own time. In competition with no one else but yourself​ from yesterday or the month before. Doing you everyday. 

It’s satisfying and you get much more joy out of it.

36: The types of people I want to be

As I take myself through this life, there’s certain types of people I want to be like. I’m not saying this in jest by the way. I truly want to be like them, because they inspire me in one way or another:

  1. The “I can drink at 11am of any day even when I’m not on holiday” person: I saw these ones at the Chelsea Flower Show. We started serving alcohol at 11am everyday (as bound by alcohol regulations in the UK) and every day, without fail, there was a queue waiting to be served. Counting down, watching us closely and patiently (sometimes), waiting to spend their money on the Devil’s Juice. It was quite interesting to watch them exercise their freedom to start drinking at that time. I want that life for myself. And not that I will drink at that time either. I want to have the freedom to drink if I wanted to without reperccusion​.

    A nice glass of whiskey can make your day better
  2. The “I can spend my money on any product I want even when it’s hiked for a 300% profit and not get into debt” person: Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a dickhead that would get extorted for my money and say nothing about it. I probably am everyday considering the cheap manufacturing processes of so many things but I’m used to that. My problem is with the things I can certainly find for a much cheaper price elsewhere but still buy without feeling cheated. I grew up being taught to get value for my money and to be honest if I was to get myself something at a price I find really steep, I would have to get the value out of it. For example if I bought​ a pair of Louboutins now, I would wear them everywhere (to the bathroom too.) Actually, they would have to be waterproof and also enable me to fly a bit like Superman at least! That’s satisfaction enough for the price. A month’s rent cannot go that easily.

    See those red bottoms?!
  3. The “I can comfortably say ‘Keep the change’ and not bitch about it” person: Let’s just say I’m not there yet. Not that I’m stingy, but I need my coin. I still call my pay wages, and I’m living from hand to mouth. I don’t carry cash on me because I want to minimise the chances of me losing money. Think I’m lying? I dropped a £5 note last year and I still think about it once in a while. Yes, it hurt! I know how happy the phrase keep the change makes me, so when I tell you I want to be that person that tips freely, know that it’s coming from my heart. I want to make people smile too.
  4. The “I can go wherever I want without much restriction” person: This is my dream! I’ve always said to everyone that knows me, “When I get to travel to escape UK’s shitty weather whenever I want, then I will say I’ve ultimately made it!” I still have a few years to go. I’m working on it. I am not even looking to travel to as many countries as I can. That’s not my goal. All I need is a country to escape to for the winter, and sometimes in July because the sun without the breeze doesn’t work for me (I grew up in a tropical country, allow me.) I want to be able to wake up and say I’m going somewhere and go. I want to have a place I can escape to whenever I’m overwhelmed, where few people know me and can seek me out.
  5. The “quiet power” person: This is not new. I love quiet power. I’m drawn to it. I don’t like being in the limelight. Most of my wardrobe is made up of dark colours and earthy tones. Colours that let me blend effortlessly. I don’t force it, it’s just me. I love quiet power. It fascinates me.

Basically, that is it. Those are the different types of people I want to be. It could all be at once or it could come at different times, but I want it all! I really do!

35: Teams

So the Chelsea Flower show ended on Saturday and now I do know what sportsmen feel like when they’re a part of a team. I liked the team I worked with for the week. They made the days feel much shorter. 

Apart from the fatigue, it was a nice time. I think I struck gold! See when you work with an agency, you never know who you’re going to end up working with. Sometimes you end up with good colleagues and managers, others you end up with dickheads. 

Who you work with, be it for 5hrs or a whole week usually determines your feel for the place. I’ve worked at places where I couldn’t stand the managers within an hour of working with them and I vowed never to go back again. Then there are ones where I’ve worked and I specifically ask to be sent there again. 

With agency it’s always a hit and a miss. A gamble with life and experiences. It’s always worth writing home about though. I cannot take that part away from it. 

Day 34: Give Me Love!

It’s been a while since I gave my heart wholly to someone. Long enough for me to comfortably say I’m okay with being alone (trust me, it is the hardest thing I’ve had to come to terms with!) Just adding to my list of friends and celebrating the love I have already. 

Being a human that is part of a society though, friends and family love is never just enough. I, like others around me, wish for that intimate connection you make with that one person or several depending on where you are in life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for cheating. I’m just saying that maybe, you can have different soulmates at different times. Each one brings a new face to you. A new side you didn’t know you had. The one you stay with the longest of course, is the one that decides to grow with you. Not many can follow through with that all your life. Let’s say about 30 or so years of your life. Depending on your lifespan.

Give me love! Ed Sheeran requested. A plea I understand so well. Something I crave when I sleep without a goodnight call or wake up in the morning and I find no texts from the one I slept thinking of. And to think that is just scratching the surface. 

I hardly dig deeper. I know it’s a lion’s den of some sort. One I have to face. The only one I want to strengthen my procrastination for. I’m contented with where I am because I am hiding from what I know can break me but make me stronger in the process. I’ve come a long way. I have a journey twice as long to make. Its added to with every step I take.

Give me love! This time, I will take it. I will not play with it. I will keep your heart safe if you promise to keep mine as well. Show me that I can trust you to keep it. I know myself, I am ready to do the same.