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The Ponderings of SCsquared

The musings of my self-discovery

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Life

This Is Not My Home

Life can be frustrating at times. As a matter of fact, sometimes life throws us enough stones that we can feel completely defeated. It can be hard to move forward or look up at these points in time. Sometimes there is so much fog that the future isn’t simply unclear, it seems to not even be there at all.
I hate it when my friends are facing those moments, but I’m happy to help them find the way when they ask. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the purpose of our situation. Sometimes we need to find a purpose in it. Sometimes we need to get out of it completely. And yes, sometimes we need more than an anecdote to move forward.
For me, being an expat comes with moments so upsetting my heart feels like it will shatter into a million pieces. It comes when I can’t speak for myself, when I can’t speak up for others, when someone is hurting and giving them a hug would be a great issue. Even more, it comes when I feel lost.
I often need my friends at times like these. I need them to remind me of the purpose in this process. I need them to remind me of my own life’s vision and the role this plays. I need them to give me the anecdote that helps me move through the moments of utter sadness and devastation.
Instead, I tell them I’m okay. I say, oh it’s just cold. I tell them funny stories about school, and interesting things I see in the supermarket. I tell them about my pot of soup.
I don’t tell them that I cry every time it snows. I don’t tell them about the teacher that makes me question my purpose. I don’t tell them how incredibly lonely it is to not understand anyone. I don’t tell them that I feel absolutely unloved living amongst strangers who don’t touch. I don’t tell them how much sleeping in on a Sunday offends the core of my being. I don’t tell them that not being there for them hurts my heart so much my chest is sore.
Instead, I remind myself that I asked for this. I remind myself that there is more to learn here. I remind myself that God has never left me alone in the wilderness. I remind myself that this, this is not my home. I remind myself that I have a home to go back to. I remind myself of all these things, so that I can remember to be grateful. Because gratitude changes my perspective and kicks me out the pity party. For me, gratitude takes me from misery into happiness, and from tears to laughter.
I’d rather laugh than cry, so I do.

Almost A Mother

Recently, I was reflecting on how long I have been single, and it dawned on me, I could have raised a child!

Honestly, I almost did.

Almost 11 years ago, my eldest sister died shortly after child birth and in the midst of our mourning the question was raised, “What do we do with this child?” It wasn’t just an important question, it was an urgent one. A baby needs a home, love, and family, and this child just lost all of that in one fell swoop.

Feeding Noah
He Changed My Life

There we were, in the saddest state I think we ever could have been in, and a child’s life was about to be decided by a bunch of emotionally compromised adults.

The decision: Shikisha will be his mother.

Their reasons ranged from my age to my seemingly unending love to how much I reminded them of my sister. My immediate emotion was fear, but my verbal response was that I will have to discuss this with my household.

A few months later when I was expecting to go and take this child home, my sister’s family informed us that they had given him up for adoption. Yes, all levels of anger replaced fear. However, there was also a great sigh of relief. I wasn’t ready to be a mom.

The prospect of being a parent sent a shock of realities through me. With all the comforts I had in life, I was completely incapable of taking care of myself. I was an uneducated, low-income earner, with limited options. My earnings at the time could barely handle lunch. My job had a nice title and I could randomly be seen on TV and was even quoted in the newspapers, but my financial status left much to be desired. I had, to that point, done nothing meaningful with my life. I had a stream of unfulfilled dreams, desires, and potential.

I was in my mid-20’s and a sorry excuse for an adult. By the definition of WHO, I wasn’t even qualified to be one.

This close call propelled me forward. It forced me to speak up more and to stop being silent to comfort those around me. It made me push for my own education, the formal kind that puts letters behind your name. It made me more aware of my own earning potential and more purposed in how I manage my finances. It made me look on my dreams as goals, and I started moving towards them. The idea of becoming a parent, pushed me right into adulthood.

My life would have been dramatically different had I become a mother that day, and yet, it changed because of the mere idea that I could have.

New Year, New Tings?

Every December to January, we get caught in an avalanche of blogs, vlogs, TV features, and newspaper articles about making the new year the beginning of a new you. With all these implications that you are not good enough, or that you must be dissatisfied with your life, I want to know…

Continue reading “New Year, New Tings?”

There’s Just Something About @Chunchi!

To know her is to love her. That’s the most accurate way to explain Chunchi. There is no other way to explain our friendship or our tolerance of each other. In fact, I don’t think our friendship works in the “natural order of things”. It really doesn’t. Chunchi 2016

I mean really, we have pretty much nothing in common. Continue reading “There’s Just Something About @Chunchi!”

Missing Christmas Already

I thought about what this Christmas is going to be like and a tear or two escaped my eye. Yeah, the left one that’s always the most rebellious.

I thought about how we do Christmas mornings. How we have evolved from a loud house of seven children just happy to see our Dad before he jets off to somewhere on a Reggae mission to deep discussions at breakfast. Continue reading “Missing Christmas Already”

I Honour You

Growing up with a father like mine was good, bad, adventurous, chill, and all sorts of things in one. As a child, I thought my father lit up the night sky and pulled the sun out of its slumber every morning. As a teenager, I loved him but resented his work. In my early 20’s, all I wanted was his approval and respect. Now, I adore him and appreciate who he is, where he’s been and most of all, the relationship we have.

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I honor him not because he is my Daddy, but because of the man he is. The man I grew up with. The man I respect. The man who mentors me.

When I was very little, my dad always had money for the many persons who reached out to him for help. Even when we ourselves were stuck with tin mackerel for dinner, he somehow was able to always help others make ends meet.

I recall one night that he had a homeless man come to the house to bathe and get some new clothes. It wasn’t the only time it happened, but I remembered wondering why does he always do this. More importantly, why couldn’t he let them use the outside bathroom, why let them use ours? When I was a little older, he told me the man was the same as us, he just had a different struggle.

His kindness and care for others was never a matter of pity though, it was just a part of community, a genuine caring for others. It was not always the grand gesture of helping to pay university fees, but it was also in things like buying a breadfruit or a pear (avocado) for his friend just because. Why? Because that is who he is.

The struggle of being my father’s child is shared by the children of any passionate person. When you grow up with someone who is excited to go to work, who can’t wait to pursue their vision, it’s hard to settle for anything less. It is difficult to imagine a life more ordinary, because you have seen and experienced a life less ordinary. There is no return from that.

I appreciate you, my wonderful blessing of a father. I honour the love, the joy, the peace, the passion, the amazing, the principled man you are, because you have taught me about the person I only can hope to be.

 

(Originally written December 14, 2013)

My Wish

I wish you understood that the things I care about are not because they are my personal experience.
I wish you recognised that speaking about issues are not simply passion projects, that yes, they can be good business.
I wish you understood that my passion isn’t about promoting my self-interest.
My passionate cries are because someone has to speak up for the silenced.
I wish you understood that each time you say it’s not important, you enable an abuser, a cheater, a rapist, a racist, and yes, your own blindness.

If you understood that standing up for each other, even for those hidden in the shadows, meant standing up for yourself, maybe you would not be silent.
If you realised that silence enabled the Holocaust, Bosnian and Rwandan Genocides, but speaking up let the Nuremberg Trials happen, then maybe you would say something.
No, it doesn’t have to happen to you nor does it have to be the hot topic of the day, but if you say something, ask something, simply acknowledge it exists, then it doesn’t have to grow in the shadows it likes so very much.
Maybe if you said something, you could help to make it stop.

I wish you understood, I don’t care if you think I am but a voice in the wilderness because I know that I am a voice and I will use my voice until my very last breath.

(Nov. 2014)

 

Be Awesome Instead!

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I give high-fives. I tell people they are awesome. I do this every day. Yes, every single day. Most people are receptive to it, and it lifts their day just a smidge. At the very least, it makes them smile.

Others think that because I do it daily, it has little value, and others shouldn’t get happy about it. They suspect it is not genuine, that it’s just “a thing” that I do. It isn’t. Here’s how I came to celebrating our awesome.

A couple years ago, I watched a video of a 9 year old who asked, “Why be boring, when you can be awesome instead?“, it changed me. I stopped using the word bored when describing myself, my mood, my activities. I decided to look for the awesome in life, in the same way I used to always find something to love about each person I met. I decided to be more awesome.

For me, being more awesome means celebrating others, going on adventures, finding peace, worshiping God, encouraging others to greatness, and enjoying life’s moments.

Now, I make it a point to celebrate awesome, remind people that they can be awesome, and share high-fives for the little victories in life. I celebrate a lot.

So yes, I say “Be awesome“, “I’m awesome“, “That’s awesome“, and high-five multiple times a day, but I mean it every single time. When I do it with you, know that I am celebrating with you because I know YOU are worth celebrating.

 

A Joyous Year – Week 1

I have looked on my life thus far and weighed and measured it, I have found it to be a good one. I have had ups and downs, laughter and sorrow, poverty and wealth. Through it all, I find that in each day, there is joy to be had. Yes, even in moments of devastation, we can all find a bit of happiness.

So, for this new year of mine I will publish “A Joyous Year”, a weekly list of things that have brought me joy within the previous 7 days. The first list, today’s, covers the first week of my 38th year :) and I am excited to start sharing joy!

A Joyous Year Headline

Sisters whose love travel across oceans:

There is nothing as wonderful as pleasant surprise, especially one that takes your breath away. At almost the end of the work day I got one of these; a huge beautiful bouquet filled with roses, orchids, and lilies. Not one filler to be found. Just a beautiful arrangement that is still blooming two weeks later. Grateful as I am for the flowers, I am even more grateful for the givers, The Conners & Baby Cowan. When I read the card, what was lovely bloomed into a heart touching moment, knowing that a student in Canada and a very busy family in Texas found the time to scheme and brighten my day in a way that only sisters could.

Flowers for ME!

A Friend who supports my secret dreams:

I have this friend, who just makes me, no, forces me to take steps towards my secret hopes and dreams. She doesn’t judge my fears or insecurities, but she doesn’t let me use them as a crutch either. She ignites the pro-active part of me to move forward in the direction of my own dreams, not just help others actualize theirs. She is like a treasure box for me, not only can I deposit precious things, but she gives precious things back. I asked God for friends in the faith, and she certainly is a gift He gave me. (Oh and yeah, thanks Twitter.)

An Island Home filled with treasures:

There is no expression that can ever truly express how amazing an island Jamaica is. No matter where you go, beauty can be found. No matter what your plans, an adventure awaits. No matter what you need, we have it in abundance. I spent 3 days in places not found on a tourist map, but certainly filled with moments to make you smile.

I went on a “picnic-chill” at Hope Gardens, drove half of the North Coast, and listened to the waves on Lime Cay. All happy moments.

My Jamaica

Friends who are up for adventures:

How I spend my time is almost and important as who I spend it with. Only the most adventurous people, can take a rainy Portland day and end up in Ochi. I have some friends that make my heart burst with joy at the thought of a drive out – any card can play. I am never in danger with them, yet we always have adventures. Whether it’s a random corner shop meal, or a community dance, or bailing a friend out of jail in the middle of the night, I have found them to be both wise and adventurous. I can count on them to get me out of trouble as much as I can count on missing trouble by a hair with them. I am forever grateful.

 

All-natural, 100% organic, Coconut Oil from the street side!

This is my fave part of going to Portland, the stop at the bottom of Blacky Hill to buy coconut oil from my dread-locked, happy, vendor. I love the smell, the feel, the taste, of coconut oil. It reminds me of going to the beach with my Mom, and it soothes me. Nothing brings me that except the sounds of water and the smell of coconut oil.

It doesn’t get any fresher than this

 

Other happy-happy, joy-joy things from my birthday week:

Chocolate Cake from Kim, Special desserts from Quizz, Chinese New Year, My parents, Days off, Sushi, 3 story yachts, Lifelong friends, did I mention Chocolate Cake? But really, these messages warmed me to the core:

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