51: Take Me Back to Uganda

Take me back to Uganda, the land of my people. The place where most of my kin live. Where I can decide I need a hug from my grandmother during a tough day at work and get it by the end of the day. The city, Kampala, is small enough for me to navigate after work and still be home in time for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Take me back to the place where I don’t need an AC on the hottest days nor a heater on the coldest ones because it’s right at the Equator. And we all know tropical weather is the best. The place where I smell the soil when it rains, and the clean air after the skies clear. Where I can climb a tree to pick my fresh fruit instead of walking into Sainsbury’s to buy one that lacks the sweetness of a fruit that’s lived it’s full life out on the tree.

Take me back to the place where I see and talk to my parents everyday if I want to. I can still talk to them now, but I miss their facial expressions. Their faces say much more than the words. I want to dance to kadongo kamu and Zouk with them and talk about more than just how I’m getting on. I want to attend my cousins’ weddings with them (can’t lie, I miss being my mother’s handbag) and share opinions after. I miss hearing my dad say, “mbalesse!” To my mum and I as we get ready to leave the house.

Take me to back to my brothers. They may be a source of my stress sometimes but we do have some good times when they aren’t ganging up against me. Calling me names and shit. I learnt to hold my own too though. Always a good laugh

Take me to my friends! Lizzie, Mandy, Phoebe, and Irene. The mad girls that brighten up my WhatsApp now. I need the tea and chapati/samosa moments. I have them after church now but without my girls it isn’t the same. Plus it’s church, I really cannot say have the same conversations I have with them.

Come on, just take me! At least before winter or my next birthday.

An Ode to a Little Girl I Once Knew

For only a year but it felt like I’d known you longer, always bubbly and ready to tell a story just like another little girl I once knew. You made friends quickly like she, lighting up faces of all those that were around you. Like her, entertainment was your thing too, always dancing and singing like you were being paid to. You’re the reason I still have Cheerleader on my phone, it reminds me of you. I remember learning the lyrics involuntarily because it was your favourite at the time. You even knew the choreography in the video. Your love for Little Mix made me think of her love for Spice Girls. You were both girly, making sure you had only the prettiest things around you. Maybe it was a way to mirror the beauty of your souls, I don’t know. I’m sure though, that it was a way to have you etched in the hearts of those that knew you. No one forgets beauty and you had it in its purest form; LOVE. I know you’re getting and giving it in abundance, as you dance in heaven with the Angels. It’s been a year since the Lord called you, six in her case, but what comforts me the most is you are both in a place that mirrors your charm. One day, we’ll meet again but for now, I hold you close to my heart like the little girl that went before you 💕❤️.

Life as an HSP

Aka a Highly sensitive person: someone who feels everything greatly regardless of who is going through it. Empathetic to an annoying degree actually. We feel emotions we don’t understand, we think too much and we are called too deep. So, we hide it. Okay, let me not generalise here,  hide my sensitivity. Been doing it all my life and I hate it! See it’s a simple reason why. I don’t want to be described as that weepy girl/woman/female etc. I wish I could express my emotions freely though. No, let’s put it this way, I wish I could cry whenever I feel like it. I’m tired of keeping my tears in till I reach my bed. I know I don’t have to (shut up if you’re going to say “why don’t you just do it”did Nike patent that phrase? I can see the sneer) but I have to and you know it. We’ve been conditioned to keep our tears for when the upsetting factor is visible. I mean, it makes you uncomfortable watching someone cry, doesn’t it? I know it does. I’ve cried shamelessly on the tube before and the uncomfortable stares were uncomfortable. The irony! *Insert eyeroll emoji* Now had I had a broken arm or heel, it would have made sense but let’s not get into that story, it’s a long one and no one’s got time for that. What was my point? I lost it along the way. Yes,  how hard I have it as an HSP. 

  • I have to claim I don’t like things that make me emotional because the only way my eyes can know who is BOSS is by denying them the chance to embarrass me. Like romcoms, I love chick flicks, yes, the cheesy ones where people profess their love in parks with an audience and kiss in the rain like we all don’t know how uncomfortable wet clothes are. The ones where every couple realises how strong their love is at a wedding (is this a real thing? Because I like it.) Dumb storylines but they get me teary eyed EVERY TIME! I can’t watch them with others though, I don’t want to be laughed at. I also don’t want to hear the “it’s just a script” line. Listen, I know it is, but I feel the story, let me be, Jeez!
  • I have to explain some decisions I make because they are not as obvious as they seem to me. Things like why I don’t go to hospitals. It’s going to sound mad but when I see a person in pain, I feel like I’m going through it too. Trust me, it’s a real feeling. Many of you find a bleeding wound disgusting, I don’t, I feel like it’s me with it and I think of it for a long time. I don’t choose to, it happens. For that reason, I’ll stay away until I can’t get out of it anymore. Maybe my heart will be stronger then. Shout out to hospital staff though, you guys are the real superheroes.
  • I cannot sleep or move on if I have unsettled beef of the day pending. I don’t have to really care about you or want to keep you in my life but I have to settle it. Now don’t get me wrong, settling beef doesn’t mean fight or talk it out, no. I can do it by myself. Alone with a paper and pen, an angry song that relates to the subject on repeat, a movie, anything really as long as it takes my anger away. Talking about it makes me cry and as I said before, that’s for when the reason can be seen. No one has the energy to be sad and have to explain why with a PowerPoint presentation. I’ve come to the realisation that writing it out works and tearing or burning the paper up ups the ante. That’s why I find it hard to keep grudges. I’ve put it out somewhere, why dwell on it? So I guess that’s a plus for me.
  • I attach memories to everything, songs, movies, poems… as long as it was there with something that happened, it’s attached. I have stopped listening to some of my favourite songs because something I didn’t like happened and I transferred the memory to it. It kills me, but I can’t stop it. Although, on the plus side, it’s how I know I have moved on from events. If I cry to a song, I let it rest for sometime and when I listen to it later, it lets me know where my feelings are. I’ve gotten over some of my biggest break ups that way. And let’s be honest here, no one can hate their favourite songs forever. They are shelved and unshelved constantly (I can’t be the only one that does that😊)

Got to leave this here. I just realised that being an HSP is actually awesome minus the occasional “being someone else.” Yes, I started this out of frustration. Trying to explain why I come off as emotionally aloof to some but I’m sure everyone uses humour (I’m funny sometimes) and “meanness” to keep their emotions in check. Again, I can’t be alone on this boat. Everyone should embrace their inner sensitivity. Those of us that can’t help it want you to. That way, the world will be a better place, and maybe Trump wouldn’t be President 🤔🤣

#BlackandBritish

I’m watching the BBC documentary and I am intrigued, by the years of black history eroded and how things still have to change. I’ve been in the UK for only 2 years but I can feel and see the difference with which we are treated, it is definitely not as crazy as it was let’s say 20yrs ago but it is still visible. I’ve seen myself become the stereotype “aggressive woman” all because I have had to stand up for myself and not take sh*t from anyone. I have become more self aware than I have ever been before.

I’m currently reading David Olusoga’s book, Black and British: A forgotten history too and I have to take breaks, not to internalise the story, but to calm down from the anger and tears that overcome me (and of course I don’t want to damage my book with tears.) I am not telling my story now, it’s still too short, I’m listening to those who were here before me. People who were told by their teachers not to dream too big because they were black. Told to work twice as hard because they would always have to compete twice as hard. Called out all the time because they dared to break the “norm” but they still made it. These people inspire me to keep going strong against the tide. Black and Proud!

To be continued one day…

New Year…

Well it’s finally here. The golden baby we’ve all been waiting for, the little innocent sister of “the HORROR” 2016 has been. Frankly, I have few complaints about the past year if there are any. I was up for the changes that happened. Not that I am gloating or anything but let’s face it, sometimes things are better shaken up. It’s happened to me and I moved on. The world should too…

2017… you’re here babe, and I have no resolutions set out for you. I gave up on those when I was 21. I always seem to break them before my birthday, and it’s just a week after New Year’s Day!!! My deal now is just to be a better person than I was the year before. It’s a tired quote, I know, but hear me out. I have managed to do it and I continue to. I set myself small milestones like cleaning out my contacts list, changing my perspective, actually talking to people and not zoning out, being honest (that’s the biggest for me) and being patient. Over the years I have worked on my rage, forgiving people, (still working on the forget but I’ll get there) and I am proud of the strides I have made. All these are internal struggles and that’s what makes them valuable.

This year, I have a vision board. I’ve been told they are a fantastic way to see where you are heading and I want to see that for myself. I’m going to try much harder at everything I have set myself to do. The best way to do it is by setting yourself small distances to cover. KAIZEN: It’s a word I learned and decided to take on. Meaning “change for better,” it requires you to take it one step at a time, a second, a minute, an hour, and on to bigger things. My board is taking it in months. Will I break it down weekly or hourly, I don’t know yet, but it’s coming to me. Taking my time on this journey has become of the utmost importance to me. I am not in a rush, I am stopping to smell these flowers and let the thorns prick me too. They have pricked me alright, and I am still nursing some of the wounds but oh well! I’m not going to stop.

I’m rambling, time for me to get some sleep. I need to start on my year and I’m sure everyone is too *raises glass* To a better year than the last one.

Last Holiday

No, I’m not dying 😀 I’m just fascinated by the movie. You know the one with Queen Latifah? Yeah, that one. I watch it every once in a while. Whenever I feel down and out, it’s one of my go to movies. Not that it has a great story or anything but it always reminds me that I have to learn to live without worries. There’s always bigger things out there, both good and bad so why should I worry about it all? I can’t tell the future but I can control the way I feel about it. Living in a box isn’t living at all! I tell myself this all the time, I follow it with one step (usually by quiting my job) then I give up on the thought. Probably it’s the joy of freedom that stops me dreaming. Maybe I need a life changing opportunity to follow through. No one should have to wait for a death call to live the life they want to though. I have to take my dreams further because there’s absolutely no reason for me to wait. I’ll start tomorrow 😂 Someone needs to kick me up the butt.

“Momma, I’m making it!” (A hair story)

I am SO EXCITED! I can finally hold my hair with one band. Anyone with natural hair can tell you this is a milestone and how exciting it is. I am making it out of the TWA stage and to celebrate, I’m going to talk a little about my hair.

I cannot say I am one of the most dedicated people when it comes to my hair (my mum has seen this first hand) but I have tried to this time. I have stopped myself from getting irritated by the thick, nappy, frizzy mess it is and I am PROUD OF MYSELF! Natural hair is high maintenance and it’s the reason I was hooked on the creamy crack before. My hair was always someone else’s problem. I realised though at that time, when you let someone else take care of hair, they never have the sympathy you’d have for your scalp. Plaiting my hair was always something I dreaded because it hurt like hell, no one seemed to listen to my cries of pain, a lady once told me I was just being a baby. Although I loved the laziness (it’s fun), I had to take matters in my own hands. And while I really want to say I single handedly did it all on my own, I have to give credit where it’s due. I have tried so many products and I have zeroed down to a few staples, three actually that I will never let go of.

These babies, plus Marley braids, have been the best, through the co-washes, the detangling, the hard days, the moisture loss, protective styling, even the heat damage.

Got to end here, I have much more to learn, I’m not done with the growth yet. Next stage, hair falling on shoulders effortlessly (this one could take 2years but we keep on keeping on) 😊

To Natural hair love 🍾🍷