When Your Opinion is Too Loud

So… I’m all about everyone having a right to their opinion but on occasion I come across some thoughts that make me want to strangle the liberal part of my brain and then flay it with a pregnant cactus. I came across the post below on Twitter and ignored it at the time because, you know, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Then I heard it being talked about on the radio and I thought, ‘that was the opinion of someone with influence?!? In that case opinion requires some defence.’ So I went off to read up about him to make sense of what he was trying to say. Note: I’m only addressing the merits of his arguements because I do not know about his personal situation and can’t intellectually engage that so…Here’s the post: Here were my main takeaway points from this ‘nugget of wisdom’ above. 1) Zambian men are focused on marrying only Zambian women. 2) Zambian women are (all) physically attractive but mentally unfit. 3) 95% of Zambian women have no drive, ambition, purpose or ‘grind’. 4) (All) Zambian men are fighting for the ‘sane 5%’. 5) In order for a Zambian man to get ‘bigger, better things’, he must leave behind Zambian women and marry ‘from outside’. You may have others but these 5 ‘statements’ are what I’d like to understand. 1) I’m going to tackle this with a horrible metaphor: If a blue fish lives in a green pond with black rocks, said fish will think all ponds are green and all rocks are blue (or they live in the only pond in the world). Now, let’s say this fish gets caught by an industrious little girl, who places this lucky fish in an aquarium perched on her bedroom window on the second storey of her house. From his view, he can see white rocks lining the driveway below him. He sadly cannot go outside and play with those rocks because well… He’s a fish. I told you it’d be terrible but hang in there. I have two issues with his first statement is 1) our physical boundaries define the world in which we live and 2) Even when we discover that other possibilities exist, this does not make them ‘available’ to us. If I go to a school with all Zambians, start working and continue to be surrounded by only other Zambians, that’s most likely my dating pool. Even when considering online dating, chances are I’ll start out with what’s familiar and broach out from there. I haven’t done any actual research to back this opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if more Americans are married to other Americans than non-Americans… And if this were true for just about every other nationality… In fact here’s an interesting article from Japan about trans national marriages and Japan has loads of ‘the internet’ to indulge in international relationships. That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of international unions, we date where our pools are. If I have access to non-locals and a romantic opportunity presents itself I will rise to the occasion. If I don’t, then I won’t. Sometimes I’ll even have a preference with no actual basis I can agree with. 2) This one is the easiest to get riled up about because it sounds like a buried insult or a back handed slap thrown by a palm wrapped in silk. “You’re all idiots but you look good in all your idiotic finery, so here’s a pat on the back for that.” That’s what I ‘heard’ when I read that. It could be a phrasing problem but… Until he says otherwise. 3) My response to this stat (95%) is that he really must change his friends. Even the ‘unemployed’ women I know have at least one hustle going on. In fact, one woman is busier now as an unemployed person than she was as an employee! My question here is, what is the definition of your lack of drive/ambition/purpose/grind? If I’m posting pictures of the weaves or clothes I sell, that’s my grind. If I post about all the places I want to see, that’s my ambition. We shouldn’t mistake our own ignorance for someone else’s deficiencies. 4) Again, this guy really needs new friends. I really can’t think of anything else to say here, these stats are based on who this person chooses to surround himself by, this is a problem is that’s the world he has chosen to exist in. But for arguement’s sake… If all men wanted this 5% and this guy later claims there are lots of desperate women seeking marriage, why aren’t there more ‘pretender’ women ‘advertising’ themselves as what the market wants. Either 95% of these females are knowingly fanning themselves at uninterested parties or that 5% isn’t after what he’s claiming. 5) It’s great that he offers a solution but it makes me scratch my head in glorious ignorant wonder. If the problem is the ‘quality’ of women, why can’t this quality be upgraded instead of completely disregarded? I don’t know why the women in his test sample lack these ‘preferable’ qualities but he hasn’t tried to address why that is even a problem. If Zambian men can be ‘woke’ enough to know to aspire for more, why can’t the women? Why is the solution to take this ‘wokeness’ to merge and multiply elsewhere? Here’s my problem with a motivational speaker providing such a post and even using #TheLegendaryMan. We live in a world where men generally have more opportunities than women. Women still have to straddle the ‘bitch’/nice girl tightrope when climbing the corporate ladder while a man can be as ‘aggressive’ as he likes and get rewarded for it. You cannot be posting a motivational post that brings down half of tge population (your potential clientbase actually) by stating their limitation is their biological apparatus that (in our environment) they cannot do anything about. If the aim of this was simply to highlight that there are other types of women out there, it missed the mark because all I read was an article on why a certain type of woman isn’t ‘good enough’ and there is already way too much noise that screams this. This post did not motivate or challenge me to be a better version of myself and that’s what I believe a motivational speaker should do. How they do this differs, of course, but this… Isn’t the way. If you want Zambian men to know that foreign brides can stoke their ambitions better than local ones, show them how. Do not tell them simply that a local one isn’t good enough. Wouldn’t hurt if this rationale also applied to women but because this is assuming women aren’t capable due to their ‘mental limitations’ it’d be too much to ask. Be a part of the solution! O&O

A Leap of Faith

So…

The other day I was chatting to someone who was quitting their job because it’s just ‘not what they were meant to do’.

Obviously my rational brain went to ‘well, what are you going to do?’ and when the response was ‘nothing’ I was certain I was being pranked. There is no way any sane person would quit their job without a plan, even without ‘direct’ dependants, that’s a hella scary/bold/reckless/inspiring move.

I didn’t really try to talk them out of it (I’d only have had selfish motivations) but I did try to understand the need for it happen now. A huge part of the motivation is their faith. The work they do no longer allows them to be the kind of Christian they want to be and they feel that God has spoken to them to take this leap of faith.

Now, it’s not that I don’t believe in God..I’m sure I do. It’s just… How do U know it’s God talking and not just your frustration being channeled in a direction you need for action? I know this person believes wholeheartedly that their faith has justified their decision to leave gainful employment with no safety net and that is all that truly matters.

If we are to ever make moves that move our spirit, we most likely won’t be doing what makes sense to those that care for us. But if they matter at all, we have to take that leap of faith.

I’m still trying to make a safe landing for myself because… I don’t know how not to but here’s to one day cutting the tethers that keep us safe in pursuit of the path that we were truly meant to take.

O&O

When People Who Should Know You, Don’t

So,

Four years ago I wrote a post about how I felt about suicide here and recently I’ve had to re-evaluate my thoughts on suicide in general.

When I wrote that post I was high on the anger that devastation leaves behind and I’m not sure I entirely subscribe to that thought anymore.

I do still believe suicide leaves those behind damaged in ways that can never really heal but there’s some kind of desolation in choosing the nothingness of death to the misery of life that should not be snubbed to oblivion.

When I heard that Chester Bennington died I was so incredibly sad I actually cried,on my way to work, with my poor husband not knowing whether I should just go home and deal with my feels first before facing the world or stopping in traffic to let me sob it out. I hadn’t listened to Linkin Park in a hot minute but I remembered when I felt I needed to escape from my own demons with their music. I texted a friend and told her that I was feeling really down by it and there’s a tattoo I’ve been putting off getting because… Who knows? Reasons, anyway, I told this friend I want to get my tattoo and somehow she read ‘on my forehead’ and not ‘on my forearm’ for this tattoo but didn’t express concern and that struck me as odd, very odd.

Here’s the thing, I’m not generally an ‘exhibistionist’. I can’t even commit to colouring my own hair and this friend has known me for something like ten years but somehow didn’t find it odd that I was planning on getting a forehead tattoo (in her mind). I don’t wear heels too often coz I think it causes too much sway in my hips (which on their own attract attention and I don’t want to deal with consequences of the extra motion) but somehow I will get a forehead tattoo? In case I’m missing the point here, I don’t generally do attention but a forehead tattoo is on my bucket list?

In her defence we haven’t seen each other in years and keep in touch online but this is someone I would send messages to about my fear of sexy heel purchases and I believe conservative is one of the words she would use to describe me but somehow forehead tattoo, yup, fits in your narrative and nothing to be concerned about even though we started off talking about suicide.

This isn’t an attack on her but my own evaluation of this interaction, certain things are more important to me than they are to her and vice versa.

The reason I mention this is because we don’t always know when we have ignored what could be a cry for help/attention or just plain company. After this interaction I was torn between feeling I was selfish and feeling that she didn’t know me enough to know that I was exhibiting a trait that should be concerning and also why I was spending so much time obsessing over it.

Here’s the thing, at the end of the day we don’t know how our interactions affect other people or worse, what that interaction is adding onto because no one knows your life. I was fortunate to have other people to talk to and they helped me sort out ‘my feels’ but a lot of people don’t have alternative people and these bruises can add up but you find some way to distract yourself and it feels like a kind of outlet but then you get a few more scrapes and the injuries are deeper because those people should know better.

My takeaway is this, try and actually listen to people you are conversing with. I’m trying to do it myself because sometimes I’m more focused on what my response should be rather than what I am actually hearing.

Doesn’t mean you have to over analyse everything, sometimes you are better off breaking up with people but we all need atleast one person that puts a salve on those wounds when the world Knicks us and when we can’t those cuts get infected to a point where we are trying help.

Be present to the people you actively choose to spend your time on otherwise, what’s the point really?

I’m still formulating an update to the suicide post but I don’t have the words yet.

Let me know if you’ve been baffled by the ignorance of people who should know you better?

O&O

On Celebrating Wins

So…

Recently I ran a giveaway for On Indi’s Pillow and originally I planned (mostly hoped) on giving away 100 copies. I didn’t schedule any advertising because it was really just for me to get in front of more eyeballs with the hope of harvesting some reviews. I beat that target on Day 1 which made me then figure I could give away 500 copies.

I didn’t.

And it bummed me out big time.

It made me forget that I beat my original target and that this was an experiment to see what ‘works’ and what doesn’t in terms of the whole eyeball thing.

I know I need to write more books, I know I need to fix Indi even more. I have an idea for a friendship story next but I still have another mother-daughter thread that won’t leave me alone so obviously I need to figure that out more.

I don’t yet know what stories I want to tell other than ‘all of them’ which really isn’t a great starting point when you have the attention span of a goldfish.

The biggest lesson I did learn though was I really need to learn how to celebrate my wins. I’ve given away 473 books on Amazon (and 4 outside the environment for people that couldn’t get it there).

We can always do better but let’s enjoy what we can do now.

Does anyone else out there beat themselves up more than they pay themselves on the back?

O&O

Goodbye Chester

Thank you for giving me music that made life a little brighter and less lonely.

#ripChester

Making Time

So…

They say you make time for what matters to you and if you don’t then it doesn’t matter.

I don’t know how many people I’ve told “I’m a writer“. In bold and when they ask for more details I fluff about in a response because I haven’t written enough to really know the answer to that question.

Recently I published my first book and I think it’s terrible… Maybe not terrible terrible but it needs a lot more work and i haven’t made time to fix it. On top of that I have a slew on reasons why i cant do anything about it and I’m afraid if i unpublished it that I will never publish anything again because I will have failed.

On Indi’s Pillow was a present to myself. An internal promise I made to finish something. Starting has never been a problem. I’m a gibbering lil rabbit with ideas but knuckling down and following through… Not as much. Unless I know I’m going to be good at it.

I don’t think I’m good now, but i cant change without doing more, so where is the logic in just watching my beautiful cover gain a bad track record?

I don’t have any answers but I was curious  what any of you are struggling to make time for? What burning desire aren’t you feeding? And if you know why, why?

On Indi’s Pillow

My first baby!

So…

In 2016, I told myself I would write a book. Sadly, I did what I do every other year and I started three different ones without finishing any of them.

But I had a goal that I would publish something so I bought a pre-made covers from Go On Write (you really should check them out) for a short story that was previously published and planned on putting together an anthology of works that I had actually already previously published and was available on my DeviantArt page and I was going to throw in my previously published short story ‘Wings on Indi’s Pillow’ but as I started working on it I realised there was more of a story and I wanted the best version possible to exist in the world.

On 25th November 2016 I threw up a preorder on Amazon that you can find here.  I did this without finishing my book (talk about pressure) but knowing that with an external deadline I would be more motivated to finish it than any other project and I was mostly right. What I didn’t count on was how much I needed to do to make it the best version of the story possible.

In my original version of the story, I had a woman dealing with an interracial relationship and a ‘difficult’ mother-daughter relationship. As I worked on the project, Indi turned out to be handling an unwanted pregnancy too and the tone of the story changed into something quirkier and less ‘serious’ than the original story. I’m not exactly a funny person but hopefully my quirkiness comes through in the pages.

My goal with the new version of the story was to publish on or by the time I turned 31 (12th January by the way) but I want to do more than simply fling something up online and call myself a ‘published author’. I want to build a career with this and I can’t do that if my first story is sub-par and readers get a negative experience. Why add more bad story telling to the world? There is a lot of competition not only on Amazon but in general for poeple’s time and I want people who give me their time to receive something that I believe is the best thing I can give them so I have put myself in pre-order purgatory and pushed my publication date back to 1st February instead.

I struggled with that decision because it feels like a fail and I am letting down the few people that took a chance on it but looking at the read-throughs and feedback I still need to feel content that the book is an actual good story in its best condition it needs more time.

My goal has changed from simply publish to build a foundation for a creative career. I may lose the few pre-orders I gained and I truly wish I could apologize to them personally but I can only wring my hands over but I believe this is the best thing for me to do to make sure its the strongest first block in my new creative career.

O&O.

 

Plodding Along

So…

It’s been a while.

Sorry for neglecting my cyber turf yet again. I’ve been trying to sort out what kind of person I want to be in the real world. Since I’ve basically hinted at my people pleasing and general professional dissatisfaction I won’t rehash it.

Today I took a step I started to believe I would never take. I hit publish (for a pre-order), tying me down to delivering a finished product at least 3 days before my birthday.

Here’s the thing, the older you get, the more rational your choices have to become. You have to do responsible things like buy a house and have health insurance. All great things but they lull you into a false sense of security.

I have one friend who’s health hasn’t been great and although I don’t tell her often it makes me think of my own death,of what I will leave behind when I’m gone and so far that feels like a hunking slab of nothing which is depressing. I have another friend who’s having trouble making a connection with her boyfriend after a whole bunch of misunderstandings and (because I’m a self centres person) I have to look at my own life and ask if I’m being the most positive version of myself in my relationship and the answer is ‘I could do better’.

Why am I saying all this?

We forget that we all have our own paths to follow and while one friend may travel the world on a regular basis and I consider that one of my ultimate goals in life,that’s not my lot now and that’s okay.

There’s always a struggle that the next person is going through and sometimes we are close enough to know what that is and others we aren’t.

I believe that we learn what we can from the people around us and use the lesson for whatever it’s purpose is. If jealousy drives you to achieve more, have at it! If it makes you start slashing your wrists then you have to take a step up. Life should ‘grow’ you and not diminish you.

Cut out everything that makes you smaller and nurture only that which makes you bigger.

O&O