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

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.

 

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

Image from CreateHerStock

So…

This #teacherbae thing.

Who has never had a crush on a teacher before? I for one know I have had plenty of pre-teen and adolescent crushes. Very few of them had anything to do with how the teacher was dressed, but I’m a creepy girl I’m told.

Paris Monroe is an attractive woman and has a body type that ‘attracts attention’. I remember when my curves were just starting to come in, the first thing my mother told me about them was to cover them up. Other people will have a problem with my body and I should always make sure other people aren’t offended by my presence. As a good daughter I abided by this ‘cover up rule’ even when I didn’t necessarily agree with it.

I understood that if someone did something to me because of how I looked then it was my fault for looking that way. That may not have been what my mother meant me to learn but that is burned into my brain and its going to take a lot longer for that little missile of wisdom to leave me. When I was in 9th grade, there was a teacher in another class who wore heels to work. Heels! The scandal she caused. Then it was the pencil skirts and fitted blouses. This heathenous woman was taking children’s minds off their school is what the adults around me said often. My mum was also a teacher and when you hang out in her classroom after hours they forget you are there and chat away without any filters.

Here’s the thing though, her classes passed. Young girls wanted to be as bad assery as her, young boys saw another version of what a woman could be. Why would these things be bad? Why do we feel the need to save women from themselves? If a woman chooses to wear a bodycon dress or an abaya should be up to her.

Why shouldn’t a teacher be trendy if thats what she’s passionate about? Other body types wear the same outfit without the same ‘effect’ so we need to distinguish what is appropriate and what we perceive and infer.

That’s what I would like to take away, if a woman wants to wear a shift that covers her whole shape then she should be able to. If she wants to wear a slinky number then that should be her choice too.

If she’s terrible at her job, chances are her outfits wont change that.

O&O

Have You Identified Your Villains?

I don't know the source but I'm having the feels
I don’t know the source but I’m having the feels

So…

I’ve been percolating on things that “matter”. I had a health scare that I didn’t want to admit but it freaked me more than I let on (turned out to be a bag of nothing so yippee for that!). Technically I still haven’t admitted it it but life is looking a lot shorter with each passing day and when I lie in bed willing my eyes to shut I wonder “What have I done today that matters?” and honestly, I find that its sadly not a long list.

I’m not a psychologist but often I think I’d like to be. Then I listen to my friends who are experiencing therapy and wonder, could I be in your doctor/counselor/therapist and actually listen to you? You matter to me because you are my friend, but would I feel the same way if you were my client? And I don’t have an answer for that yet. I even found a lovely program that could put me on the path to becoming a behavioral analyst and got so excited but realised I was falling into an old habit of running away from “the thing that matters”.

Writing.

Sure, I love figuring out why people do what they do and then try to help them do what they WANT to do instead of only what they HAVE done (that is not my most graceful sentence), but I gain infinitely more joy in making up reasons why imaginary people cant do anything other than what they are doing in my head. After all, is it not more exciting to try figure out if the human flesh portion of a mermaid would be clammy and grey or would the white alabaster skin be like a snake? What about their hair? What would that “really” be like?

In another life, I could become that behavioral analyst and be perfectly content but where I live, its really not something I can pursue to live off, either mentally or financially… well not yet, or I haven’t researched deeply enough…

Thing is I’m a “Whats the Plan B?” kinda girl. Even if I know with 95% certainty something will work, I need a plan for that 5%. There are times when this works well for me but its not working anymore and I’m finding that I’m my own worst villain in my pursuit to my name in print.

The behavioral analyst thing is my 5% and I can spend HOURS looking into how it will work for me and completely ignore my 95% goal. That’s kinda sad… tragic even.

On that note… I’m off to tighten an arc about an enchanted artifact that needs to get to my editor soon and ignore all open tabs related to any form of psychology that hasn’t got mythical undertones.

Tell me what you villains are and in what form they “manifest”?

O&O.

How to Listen to Your Inner Voice

 The story isn't at the beginning
The story isn’t at the beginning

 

So…

I don’t know how to do this really, listening to my inner voice isn’t something I’m actually good at but I do hope to one day be a master of myself… and that should not be taken in pompous way but I truly want to know how I can make the best version of myself and what that means.

For the longest time all I’ve known is that the best version of myself is the one that makes other people happy. At all costs. Even if I suffer my own version of (internal) death by a million cuts in the process, its all worth it people are “happy” with me.

Emotions I knew well were anxiety, dissatisfaction and the self importance that comes with believing you are a martyr to your own bloody cause. I cant imagine why anyone was friends with me because I must have been infuriating to be around.

The older I get the less satisfied I am with being ‘the best’ purely for being the best.

I’ve held myself back on my writing goals because I’m trying to write a ‘Great American Novel’ and I’m not even American. What I am is a mental immigrant. This may be a result of literally being an immigrant for the majority of my life but I travel through stories, some of them pretty ‘awful’ and others are literary masterpieces but all of them thoroughly engaging . My voice cant be fully literary and I’ve been forcing it to be just that. Turns out what really tickles my knickers is good ol’ fashioned fantasy (with leanings on urban and dark fantasy), historical jaunts and steampunk. The way I used shook my head when my younger sister would bring home yet another (what I considered) godawful travesty of litera-ture with a half naked girl on the cover… if only I’d known the fire that that would inflame in me (that is not a well constructed sentence).

Anywho, I rarely make new year’s resolutions because I suck at keeping them but I definitely am more self focused on what actually keeps me happy and not on what I THINK should keep me happy.

I also don’t know long this wind will last but I will sail on with it thrusting my bosom ever forward.

Here’s to finding out who we really are!

O&O

The Couple That Makes Everyone Uncomfortable

Chris and Logan

So…

There’s this couple on Season 27 of The Amazing Race that seems to rub everyone else the wrong way because of how much they argue. These people just aren’t “nice” to each other at all. At. All.

They are Chris and Logan. It doesn’t help that they are also The Paparazzi Couple so people don’t like what they do for a living and have to pretend not to hear their yelling fests. If you want to have a chance at winning a race, making it easy for people to leave your company may not be such a great strategy.

First up, there’s something about the way Logan talks that reminds me of an old friend of mine. They are nothing alike really (and far as I know, my friend is pleasant in her relationships) but there’s an underlying vibe there… and it really has nothing to do with my comparison so I’m hopping off this train now.

Anywho, the main problem for this couple is they generally can’t communicate to each other. Not effectively. They seem like pretty nice people on their own and I can even imagine them having quite pleasant down times together but throw in stress and they implode (with special effects). 

Now, I’m not a relationship expert but I couldn’t help watching them to try and figure out why they were the way they are because like I said, they don’t seem like nasty people.

From what I gather, things start to go downhill when Chris tries to do things and they end up ‘wrong’. Logan then loses her mind over it and he joins in the self-bashing tirade. That’s a pretty dangerous mix of actions because one person can’t always be wrong. Chris isn’t a saint but when things blow up, that generally seemed to be the normal chain of events and whether there was a valid “wrong” initiating action or not is up for debate but for them: He messes up, she gets frustrated with him and he gets frustrated with himself and they yell at each other.

I’ve been in close proximity to one of these yelling type of relationships and I hated being around it. Hated. Then I found myself spiralling into the same pattern and had to take a step back. In my case, that meant Singles Ville but I don’t believe that needs to be the case for this couple. Should they get help, absolutely. With a professional. There’s a root here with both of them that makes their deficiencies compatible but they can move from that to positive compatibility. Or they can just stick to the same cycle coz it’s a fit they know.

If you’ve ever been part of That Couple (or currently are) what makes all the drama worth the non-dramatic times?

O&O

Why I want to be Adele or That Guy George

The feelings are doing things
The feelings are doing things

So…

There are few things that I wait for in life with muscle tensing anticipation: 1 is anything to do with the series Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin is a devious genius and I want to crawl into his head and marinate in his awesomeness) and the second is that fiend of a creative heart wrencher Adele.

When 19 came out I warmed to it slowly but then 21… I fell in love, then I watched some interviews and thought, yup, we could soooo do coffee, we’d get along immensely. I tried not to think of how stalkerish that sounded because OBVIOUSLY she’d like me back and nothing would go wrong between us ever.

Then 25 came out and I was scared. I was scared I wouldn’t get the Adele I loved so fiercely. I was afraid that if she wasn’t what I wanted it’d kill my ability to love things and stories because her music is all gut ripping story for me and it give me ‘the feels’. And then I stumbled upon the video for Hello and thought, ‘MY GIRL IS STILL BRINGING IT!’ and then I listened to the album and grinned like a buffoon at my desk.

Adele has no doubt changed but she is still Adele. There is emotion to her words and I FEEL THEM ALL. Even the ones I don’t like. I want to nestle in her voice and tickle myself with her tendrils.

And that, ladies and gents, is why I want to be Adele (minus the tendrils obviously).

Never mind that number of CDs (yeah, CDs not digital downloads, those coaster contraptions) she has sold. Never mind how many records she will break. The girl in 19 is still alive in 25. Even if life has both kissed and buffeted her for a spell.

In fact in my mind, Adele was Princess Merida as a young ‘un.

Merida-brave-34660437-512-644

Tell me you cant see it!

Maybe with a different picture… Or everyone, just watch Brave and listen to Adele’s albums.

The world will be a happier place.

O&O.

Right and Good

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So…

Lately I’ve been pondering the difference between right and good. When I was younger what I wanted to be was right. Left, right, up down. All the ways. RIGHT meant winning and who doesn’t want their version of victory.

The older I get more I want to be good as opposed to right.

Its not that I wasn’t being “good” when I was being right but if I am truly honest with myself, good just never felt as big as right did.

Some of the things that have me questioning that are “doing the right thing”. I’m not sure we live in a world where that is as clean a statement as it could have been in the past, it is also possible I’m romanticising the past too and I acknowledge that, however, when options were limited it was very easy to draw clear and established boundaries. When your only choices as a woman was to get a decent enough education to find a ‘good husband’ and then keep the home, the thought of pursuing a career in aviation is not really an option. The right thing in that situation is to make the best home you can.

Now, when you can go to university as a woman and decide to not only not get married if you like and also pick a career that means you never set roots anywhere that’s not an easy ‘right’ decision, as the more we move towards ‘selfish’ self fulfillment the more we stray from our own society’s version of ‘right’.

So our criteria needs to change, what is ‘right’ isn’t a sufficient measure for whether an action should be pursued or not.

What is ‘good’, assumes there is a ‘recipient’ and not the blanket ‘acceptance’ that ‘right’ promotes (does that make sense?). I have some friends that it would be right to maintain because it makes me a douchebag not to be friendly to them but it is not what is good because I feel that connection has broken, in fact I even question sometimes what it was built on in the first place. We no longer build each other or create a positive environment for each other to grow or even just mulch and I want to mulch in pleasant relationships.

The right thing is to maintain the people who have always been there, the good thing is to accept that they no longer as present as they used to be and we’ve grown into people that cant create a new definition that reflects that.

How do y’all treat the difference between right and good?

O&O!

On Being Honest

 The story isn't at the beginning
The story isn’t at the beginning

So…

I’ve been asking myself what is important to me. What do I want out of life? What makes me happy?

Truth is many things make me happy, some even surprise me. Flowers for one. I am not a flowers person (or thought I wasnt) but there was this vibrant rose bush in front of my old flat and pruning that little bush calmed me (oh, the many ways that could be twisted). Yoga, frees my mind… or rather, unclutters it and then I wonder why I allow myself to stop doing it. My cats. My mother in law gave me two kittens and while I seem to love one more than the other, those wee creatures settle me too (and I’ve always thought of myself as a dog person).

Those are the new things. Things I have always known sit well with me involve creating new worlds, solving problems and having a “safe” amount in the bank. I haven’t found the bravery to make the first two feed the last one and that’s what I want to do. Make my own income that doesn’t depend on a direct payslip from someone else (other than the people I need to convince to buy my work, not daunting at all!). I am still too afraid of things I know and things I don’t which is not a great place to be in for change to happen.

Within all this self discovery, I’m not sure what direction this blog should take. I know I am keeping it but I don’t know how I can make it helpful to both other people and keep it relevant to my own desires.

This should be a testament to my own self improvement and personal growth and mostly I see my own failure which sucks balls.

Therefore I need to figure s&*$ out…STILL.

I’M 30 YEARS OLD AND DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

I am happier than I have been in the past (which makes me think I am missing something to be miserable over so I fall into the doldrums for no good reason) and while its frustrating not having answers, I am enjoying figuring things out, some of the time.

No questions today.

Have a wonderful day!

 O&O.

Assume No

So…

 Struggle Snuggle Tee
Struggle Snuggle Tee

We glamourise our celebrities. Justified or not, they demand our adoration because they have attained what we all want, fortune and fame. And it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, its all the same.

Question is, what do we do when those celebrities fall off the pedestals we raise for them?

A few years ago, a local singer got into trouble over defiling a minor. His defence was she didn’t look like she was underage and a lot of people rallied behind him with that defence, he then went on to release a track in poor taste while the case was still in court and was found guilty. I won’t link to the song but in the age of the internet, these things don’t die.

Recently The President pardoned him. I don’t know if our president has a pro reformation of convicts agenda but this isn’t his first pardon. That’s not where this redemption song fails to strike the right note.

Oh no, this fellow goes on to (allegedly) beat up his third wife upon his release for… um… not fulfilling her marital duties. And the dialogue I’ve heard from my “fellow man on the street” is:

1) How do we know these are recent pictures, maybe he didn’t do this recently?
2) This is propaganda to make our current president look bad but all those other prisoners haven’t made the news when they were let out.
3) He was actually innocent this whole time because the underage girl he (allegedly) raped has a child.

I have gone back and forth over these arguments and some of them have left me doubting that the society I live in is one I want to raise children in. But these problems aren’t exclusive to my side of the border. Women are generally shamed in most sexually crimes and questions of whether “she asked for it” always gurgle to the surface.

As for this being an attack on our Commander In Chief’s (always wanted to use that phrase) skills, I never saw a criteria list for the other 280 (I believe that is the correct number but I stand to be corrected) and I don’t know what basis was made for releasing General Kanene. There may have been a publicised justification that I missed but I’m not aware of missing anything.

My only plea is that we quit victim shaming and look at the source of the violence. That we spend more time teaching our sons to speak than to throw their fists, that we hone their tongues as much as we stroke their muscles.

It is a far fetched dream but I do hope one day the norm of what a man is will be someone who doesn’t need to threaten violence to command, because in our glass towers and corner offices, we don’t need to be boxed around the head to know that “the man is the head of the house” and we don’t need to infer that because a woman has slept with one man that she is open to another, or even the same one…

Assume no till a yes is granted.

That’s my dream.

O&O