Category Archives: Simply Me

I don't even like fish!
I don’t even like fish!

I have previously said, in a post somewhere on my blog, that I am not a fan of fish. I don’t like the smell, look and taste of it. I have also said that I love food and that I love trying new foods. With that being said, great food excites me! It really does (all food, for me, can be an aphrodisiac).

This past weekend, I was disconnected from the internet and all forms of social media and visited some family members out of town. One such relative was an older brother of mine that I grew up with. This would have been the first time in years that we would be under the same roof for an extended period of time. *let’s break for necessary details here*

This brother is the brother that has always tried to get me to eat the things he eats and I somehow always give them a taste and end up liking them. It is either we have very similar tastes in food or he just knows what I would like to taste in food.

*now we can resume* So being a good big brother, he got up Sunday morning and started making breakfast. My typical breakfast would contain ‘breakfasty’ foods like eggs, bread, sausages, and other delights. My brother got up and made the breakfast he was feeling for since he doesn’t “really eat meat anymore.” He proceeded to steam some fishes!

Now don’t get me wrong. I was not completely surprised because I saw the large fishes and I could smell them as well. I just thought they were for dinner, which I would not have been around for. Fish is not really breakfast food, especially not steamed fish.

Anyway, the plate came before me and I was a little taken aback. Here was this big, whole fish – head-on and swimming in sauce, looking at me. Grotesque! I decided that because I didn’t want to go to the kitchen and make breakfast myself, or go without breakfast, I would give it a try (after all, he did thinly slice ockras into it).

IT WAS DELICIOUS! Granted my mind was acting all kinds of ways for me to feel bad but my stomach was fine. IT TASTED GREAT! And now I am just feeling for more fish. This is so unlike me. Or maybe I was missing out on something for years.

 

*PS there are only 3 times I have tried fish and loved it and this brother was involved in two of those times (roasted and steamed fish).

 

Are there any foods you’ve tried that surprised you by how good they are? Share them with me.

 

It was 10 years ago

Today is June 20, 2017. What happened on this day 10 years ago, is lost to me. I don’t know OK? I have to think to remember what underwear I put on this morning. Generally speaking, in June 2007 I was in my last year of high school. I had probably just wrapped up my Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations and was preparing for graduation.  (Coincidentally, 10 years later my high school, the St. Hilda’s Diocesan High School, is finally extending to have a sixth form.)

I remember a few things concerning me the most at that time.

 

Oh my God! I failed my Caribbean History examination and will have to resist it.

 

I DON’T fail! I just don’t. Like anyone else out there I don’t like the feeling of failing or losing. This was the first time (only twice so far) that I felt that I had not only let myself down but others as well and caused embarrassment and a blow to my reputation. After the exam I went home, got into bed and cried all night (again, this only happened one time after this).

Leading up to the examination I was online (yahoo messenger…yes. It was hot) chatting with a classmate of mine about unrelated topics. Once at school, the chatting was taken offline and face-to-face. I did not revise and read over the way I normally would have in preparation. I felt unprepared.

When the results came out, I passed Caribbean History with a distinction (the highest score category). What was I stressing about? I don’t know. And on top of that, I am not an historian today.

 

I am not graduating or taking any graduation pictures until my broken tooth is fixed.

 

That was the demand I made to my parents. This must be the first time I am talking about my tooth. I usually don’t even acknowledge it because I’ve been insecure about it for the longest while. I should just accept it because I am stuck with it.

In primary school, I broke my front tooth and got it fixed. A few years later while still in primary school I broke the tooth again AND the tooth beside it. When I went to get it fixed, the pain was too much to bear so I didn’t go through with the procedure. I went through high school with a broken tooth and the nerve started to decay after a few years.

Long and short of the story is that it couldn’t be fixed and had to be replaced. Yes, I have a fake tooth in my mouth. I was so uncomfortable smiling and it affected the way I moved my lips when speaking. That was the most annoying bit. The fact that my speech sounded a little different (only for a while) was nowhere close to how annoying it was that my lips instinctively tried to cover the tooth when I spoke. I am still a little self-conscious of it especially for pictures but I have learned how to just work with it (it’s all in the angles). This should not have been such a big deal because I found out that it is a lot more common than I thought. Young and old have a tooth like mine and we are all living just fine.

 

I can’t wait to get out of this place!

 

Not the school (I loved school). I just wanted to get out of the community and town I lived in. It wasn’t a bad place but it wasn’t my fit. I didn’t feel comfortable and it got worse as time went by.  I felt as though I would be stifled there and Kingston would be a better fit for me.

As it turns out, Kingston is a better fit. The friends I am closest with I have either met here or reconnected with here in Kingston. My nomadic spirit is free to move around and the constant bustle is in keeping with my need to always be doing something. BUT low and behold, why must life be so expensive here? Sweet heavens! I don’t even want to think of the alternative. I am happy where I am and that’s that.

 

If I could go back in time I would have told my younger self to stop stressing. It is all going to work out. Focus on your own lane and do not be distracted by the pace of others. You possess a power in you that you cannot imagine right now but you will see it at work.

That would have been comforting to hear 10 years ago.

What were you worried about 10 years ago that no long matters today?

 

CFW201
I think I turned out alright.

UPDATE: Chocolate Therapy Session Series

Hi there!

The Chocolate Therapy Session series are chapters from a book I am working on.  It is about three people who get themselves tangles in a way they never imagined and how they all handle each turn.

The completed book will be posted on another site for review.

If you would like to read the available chapters contact me in the About Page for access to the entire story on the Chocolate Therapy page.

  • Must be 18 and older.

Remember, the first chapter that started it all is open to all.

Chocolate Therapy Session 1

“He was just a stranger with a drink. Till he spoke. Then he became an experience I wanted to have. Once, perhaps. That should be enough” she said.

“Hmm. What exactly did he say? What did you two talk about?” asked the therapist.

“It’s not so much what he said but how he said it” she tried to explain. “He spoke with such confidence. He commanded attention without raising his voice. That sexy voice of his. It’s like chocolate- he’s like chocolate. You just want to lick it.”

“So his voice is what attracted you to him then?” a valid question.

“That paired with his look. He had these eyes…I don’t want to say dreamy but they make you want to know what’s behind them. And when he smiles and they get even smaller, gosh it’s just an overall gorgeous look.” Smiling and biting her lips at the same time, the recliner transported her down memory lane.

“I knew he was taken but I just wanted to have some fun. After all, I’ve never seen a tree I wanted to climb and didn’t. I told him I wanted him and he was ok with the suggestion. So we had sex.”

“His voice drew you into bed with him? Is that what I am getting?”

“Ummm. I don’t know. Maybe because physically he’s different from what I normally go for but his different it good. He felt different and newness was sweet. He was sweet. I liked the feel and taste of his skin. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to say anything or ask anything. I like the fact that he just did it. I liked the fact that he didn’t ask me to do anything I didn’t want to simply because he wanted me to. I liked the fact that he made it easy to feel right. I looked past some things I shouldn’t have because after all I just wanted one thing and then I’d be gone but…I liked the sex more than I thought I would. I liked the feel of his body more than I thought I would and it happened again. I broke my rules with this man and when I said I’d had enough I let his voice and eyes pull me back. And ooooh, he’s so refreshing in bed.”

“Though I don’t condone messing around with men already involved in a relationship, there is nothing wrong with an occasional tussle between two consenting adults. This is probably what you needed, Ava” said the therapist, stilling trying to figure out the purpose of the session.

“You don’t get it do you? I developed feelings for this man. I wanted one like him for myself because I knew I couldn’t have him. I really liked him till I saw the family portrait in his wallet. He’s your husband, Carmen.”

 

 

 

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Warning: Part 2 is for mature readers only. Contact me for password

 

 

 

Fate or what you might call it.

In my line of work I come across many people on a daily basis. I also get hit on by many men. Unfortunately these men always fall in the category of kruffs/cruffs. I want nothing to do with these men outside of work interaction.

I’ve tried once (once is enough for me) and I was annoyed beyond belief with the guy. So I just had it in my head that I’d only meet kruffs and annoying men on the job.

A few months ago I met this man (on the job) and had an easy flowing, fun conversation with him. When he asked for my number I declined. I didn’t want to be annoyed again.  Sometime after I thought of him and regretted not exchanging contacts. I knew we’d probably never see each other again.

A little over a month of meeting this man, I saw him again. Same organic feel to our conversation, riddled with laughter. Still we did not exchange contacts. 

Another time he spotted me walking while he was passing in traffic. He pulled over to give me a quick hail 😊

The following week he walked into the store we had met and the same thing happened again with the exception of a hug and the exchanging of contacts (finally). 

After a week of little communication we are now at today. I stepped out of my taxi to enter the community I live in and who do I see walking out?  The same guy of course!

ALL THIS TIME. All this time we lived so close? (By all this time I mean two months because I’d only been living there for two months.)

So maybe I would’ve met up with him again either way. For now I’m just enjoying the laughs and expecting nothing. 

Post Wedding Feelings

Last night I witnessed one of my longest (oldest?) friends get married. It was beautiful through and through.

It was great fun and sort of a mini reunion for us gals that went to high school together. We joined the bride and groom on the dance floor and we danced away. We weren’t short on laughter and fun that night. There was happiness all around and I truly felt happy to see so many persons my age happy with their ‘person’.

The night ended and my ride got me and dropped me home and it sunk in. All my friends are happy in relationships, making the next step of marriage and starting a family and here I am…alone. If on any night I didn’t want to be alone it was this night. But I was and I stayed that way. I cried a little, because my mind went there. My mind went to counting the number of  my friends that are married, engaged, in a relationship, new parents and happy. What was my issue? Why didn’t any of my long term relationships work? Why can’t I meet a guy that’s on the same page as me? Why can’t I have that? (And by that I don’t mean the wedding). I never like having too long of a pity party so I eventually just fell asleep.

I woke up this morning with the same feeling. Then I decided to go on social media. That is always the worst decision to make when in a mood like this. Believe me when I say EVERYBODY AND DEM MODDA WAS CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES, MARRIAGES AND LOVE. Everybody.  Like I was being taunted.
I’m not actually looking forward to a wedding. I never have. Never dreamt of that as a child. I have no idea what I want my dress to look like or my color scheme or a theme or location. NOTHING. All I’ve ever dreamed about was sharing my life with someone that loves me for me, loves me genuinely, is honest and faithful and someone I can build a life and family with. I’ve only ever dreamed of my partner and how awesome our lives will be. And that’s the part that matters. The person, not the moment.
In college I felt my biological clock ticking. I wanted to have a baby so bad. That baby-fever is a real thing. I no longer feel that. I told myself I wanted to have my children by the age of 30 but I want to get married before that. I also would prefer if I knew my spouse for years prior to us getting married. Well, the clock’s a-ticking and time is running out.

That’s a timeline I gave myself that doesn’t seem to be working out. Last night a friend of mine who was also present at the wedding said she thinks it’s just gonna surprise me. Just creep up on me. I sure do hope so. Because this is borderline depressing. 

While I acknowledge that marriage isn’t for everyone I sure hope God thinks it’s for me because the only thing I don’t want in life is to be alone and I love to love. (Sometimes it hurts to be that way)

Super(?) Girl

I’m Super Girl 

And I’m here to save the world

And I wanna know

Who’s gonna save me?

(And I wanna know why I feel so alone)

 

Super Girl – Krystal Harris (take a listen… a real listen)

 

I don’t think a song has ever, so accurately, described my feelings.

My current situation has me feeling all kinds of alone and frustrated and a little sad (maybe more than a little).

Just today I was thinking (today isn’t the first but today the  thought was really serious) that every time my friends are going through something, I am always the one offering help and trying to ensure everybody is ok. YET, whenever I am the one going through something (like the situation I am going through now) there is no one going out of their way or breaking their necks to ensure that I am ok. Why? huh, Why?

Lets just say that I am in a very uncomfortable situation and I NEED to get out of it. For better positioning of your mind, no, I did not put myself in this position. Let’s examine 4 case studies. After I shared the situation with some friends and one discovered it with me, here were the responses:

  1. One friend said they would check back on me and see how I’d be doing. At the moment of writing this post (published immediately after) it has been exactly 8 days and I have not heard a peep back from the friend.
  2. Another friend took all of an entire week before responding to me and don’t talk about busy. If this friend wants to contact me, nothing stops her. NOTHING. Not once did she ask about my discomfort or safety (just if anything was stolen).
  3. Another friend missed her two self-set deadlines regarding getting information to me that could help me get out of this situation. At the  time of this post being written and published, I cannot get through to her to give her an update. Maybe she thinks I’m calling about what she voluntarily promised me.
  4. Now this friend is in a category all to himself. I wonder if I should even refer to him as a friend. Now this person is similar to me in a few aspects but so very different. I will say that this friend tried to help but was asking all of the wrong questions and really never satisfied a need. This friend actually couldn’t understand what the problem was and as such this created a mental barrier in my head against them (sorry). Being that they couldn’t understand the discomfort, I was left in the situation.

*NB. These are the same friends who would never let me celebrate a birthday alone. Now, had any of them (minus number 4 because they have never needed anyone for anything and I have said this to them before) been in the situation I am in, I would be the one sacrificing to make sure they are safe and ok. I would even go to the extent of breaking rules to ensure that they are a little more comfortable, that they have someone they can vent to, that they have a shoulder to cry on and just let is all out. Because, sometimes, life gets a little overwhelming.

 

But I have long time known and accepted that people don’t really care. They will ask you ‘how are you?’ out of manners or custom but really don’t want to hear anything but ‘I’m ok/ I’m good/ I’m fine, thanks’. Nobody wants to hear about another person’s problems. NOBODY. Even when they ask, they hope you spare the details and don’t talk about it for too long because they have their own “fish to fry”.

This is very unfortunate and it shouldn’t be the way it is. No one person can be that self sufficient to not need another person to lean on even if only momentarily. Apparently, my friends see me as that person. That person that always has a solution to every problem. That person whose problems are never bigger than them. That person who is tough. That person who will get through it. That person who will be fine. I think every time I have an issue they say “Charnele? She’ll be fine. She’s tough.”

I am not that person. Yes, I have been raised to be able to do certain things for myself but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like some help. And because I am treated like this, track record will show that I handle things almost always by myself. That’s the problem with being the strong person. No one seems to know that sometimes it gets to hard for you to handle it alone. No one knows how you cry over certain things. No one knows when you are truly unhappy.

Throughout this whole ordeal, the only two persons that related to my shock and discomfort and cared for my safety was my mother and a cousin I told. And to think I didn’t want to tell my mother because I didn’t want her to worry. I did anyway, after analysing all I just said. I just wanted my mother. She was hundreds of thousands of miles away though. She would get me and she did. I guess what they say is true ‘at the end of the day, family is all you’ve got’.

 

 

Still, how am I going to continue being Super Girl, saving the world if I still have to ask “Who’s gonna save me?

Why Can’t Men Do Right?

Hold on!

Don’t come at me just yet, defending your men and what-not. Just hear me out real quick.

 

I was just recently catching myself up on Scandal’s Season 5 episodes and episode 15 – Pencil’s Down, had me a certain kind of way. Now Shonda has always had a way of taking viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions for the 42 minute duration of her TV shows. I just didn’t expect this ‘wham-bam-thank-you-mam’ quick thing after that period of calm.

I am making reference to the short-lived but sweet little romance that was forcibly planted between Attorney General. David Rosen and Vice President, Susan Ross. In a matter of few minutes I found out they were in love then their ‘thing’ ended the same time.

I felt all the feels in the world when Susan asked David if he was cheating and after denying it and saying how he wanted only her, she leapt into his arms before he could complete his statement. I felt everything she was feeling. The reassurance, the comfort, the safety.

When David stood up to Elizabeth and told her that it (the “nasty” [David’s word, not mine.] affair) had to end. I felt proud of him. I felt that he finally realized the value of what he had in Susan. He should have stood up to Elizabeth simply because she emasculates him.

When Susan got a bit of advice from the President then breaks it off with David, her words and just the manner in which she did it conveyed a familiar feeling to me. Her heart was broken, she felt deceived and had already retreated to a place where she was before – focus on self and trust no man. Unfortunately, that meant taking up an old, bad habit.

Now to the meat. When David said “For what its worth, its over. I didn’t want to lie anymore. I didn’t want to cheat anymore. The thought of losing you, it made me sick to my stomach, so I ended it. I’m yours Susan. I love you. I love only you.” Susan’s look was LIFE to me! Because all I was thinking was what she must have been thinking. Having been in her position (not Vice President, lol) before, I know what that must feel like. I don’t want a man that realizes that I am worth being faithful to after he has already had his fill with cheating. I want a man who sees me as that valuable to protect what I had entrusted to him; my heart. Why would I settle for a man that cannot realise that?

Majority of the relationships I have been ended because of that same thing. Now I have decided that it is way better and my time is better spent valuing myself and doing what I want than to settle for a man who will do me dirtier than I could do myself. I just want to know why is it that men cannot value women till they are at risk of losing them? Why can’t men be satisfied with what they have? or at least content! Or better yet, why do men even bother to take the hearts of women they have no serious intentions for?

When a woman is betrayed in that kind of way, scars are left behind. Those scars will plague her and her next relationship. It hinders her being open to men because she doesn’t want that to happen again and she doesn’t know who will do that to her again.

What do you think ladies and gents?

 

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Wash Day Routine

I’ve heard many persons with locks say that they dread wash days. I could never understand why and even after being told why they do, I can hardly relate.

Persons with locs tend to have a problem finding the right products that will strip the locs and scalp of all the product build up without stripping the hair of its naturally produced oils. Some have resorted to using a clarifying shampoo and a moisturising conditioner with a leave in conditioner afterwards.

What I do is different and it works just fine for me now, though I may have to switch it up soon.

To keep my hair clean, I wash every week and a half.

I use a solid bar of African Black soap (because the dissolved kind doesn’t last as long) and rub it into my damp hair and lather.

I repeat this 2 or three times depending on how dirty my hair was. I also focus on the ends of the hair because they tend to trap a lot of dirt and dust too.

Once I have done that I use a white T-Shit to get rid of the excess water and while my hair is still damp, I moisturize it. I use the LOC method, which is Liquid-Oil-Cream. The liquid would have already been the water in my hair. I then follow up with either castor oil or coconut oil or a mixture of both. To seal it all in I use shea butter, the solid kind. Being a heavy butter it acts as a cream sealant for moisture on the hair shaft.

You may notice that I do not use a conditioner. I haven’t for a while but I will be updating my wash routine to incorporate one and other moisture adding products/processes.

During the week when my hair feels dry, do the LOC method again until it’s another wash day.

 

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Want to get away from those sulphates?

My take on the ones I’ve tried

 

As a Naturalista or just anyone concerned about their hair and how to care for it, you may have been told to “avoid sulphates”. Of course, if you are like me, you listen and then go research what this sulphates thing is and what is really does to your hair. I had one main question: Why is it so bad?

It turns out sulphates are one of those things that have their benefits in life but too much of any good thing is a _____. There! You have it! Sulphates are compounds that attract water and oil. Effectively, sulphates work in separating dirt and oil from a surface so that it can be washed off with water. Sounds great, right? It’s how most cleansers work. However, if these sulphates are too good at doing their jobs they can and will remove useful oils from the skin and hair.

The hair shaft has three layers or sections to it. The Cortex, The Medulla and The Cuticle. In basic terms, each section is just many many layers of keratin (protein) packed together. The Cortex is karatin cells and melanin. The Medulla is a section of more karatin and air bubbles. The Cuticle is the protective layer of over lapping cells that protect the inner layers and (when healthy) gives sheen to hair and prevents loss of moisture. Weathering can, however, break down the effectiveness of this layer.

Our scalp naturally produces its own oil from the foods we eat. This oil is meant to moisturize the scalp and also the hair shaft. Of course on its own, this oil is not going to get all over our hair, especially so if your hair grows up and not down. This is where your hands and other styling instruments come into play. They help to distribute the oil throughout the hair, along the hair shaft. Mother Nature would have preferred for this to be adequate.

Anywho, enough of that. Your scalp and hair NEED oil. A build-up of oil and dirt, however, it can do without. In the washing processes we lose much of that oil and dirt from our hair. Losing all of it is never a good thing unless you replace it immediately. This is why shampoos and cleansers are for quick use.

If you’d like something that is effective in getting your hair clean but gentler in the hair shaft and scalp, there are several options for you to try. Here are a few:

  1. Sulphate free shampoos & conditioners

Several companies are making sulphate free products for skin and hair cleansing. With all the varying skin type and skin conditions that exist, this is a good thing. Not every skin and hair type can stand up to constant sulphate. The products on the market vary from the regular company making a cleansing product to the all-natural products that have nothing that will harm you.

I have tried a wax bar of soap (can’t recall name or brand). Granted this was not for my hair but for my face after I found out I had eczema in 2014. The bar of soap hasn’t run out yet because I no longer use it. I never felt like it really cleansed but It is worth a try for those looking to explore.

  1. Co-Washing

Co-washing is the act of washing your hair with conditioner only. This practise has been widespread around the natural community and has been spoken about many many times. The idea is that you want to get your hair and scalp clean without losing all the good oils that are already there. Conditioner works well with getting some amount of dirt and oil out of your hair but it’s not 100% effective. Conditioner also replenishes your hair with moisture and helps to return it to an optimal state after a shampoo. To get the best result from a co-wash, I recommend massaging the conditioner into damp hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with cold water.

This was something I did for a while when my hair was short enough to be washed frequently and styled. I liked how healthy my hair felt over time. Additionally, it built up the elasticity of my hair. I’ve had breakage problems forever but during this period, my strands would give a lil stretch instead of immediately snapping.

  1. Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Baking soda and Apple Cider vinegar sounds odd but it works. Baking soda acts an agent to get dirt and oil off hair and scalp without the use of sulphates. The hair, however, will feel dry/brittle/coarse/unhealthy (the words that describe how mine felt) because of the drastic change of their environment ph. This is where the vinegar comes in. The vinegar balances it out to bring the pH down to a suitable level. Both the baking soda and apple cider vinegar should be diluted and not added to your scalp in their raw form.

This method was by far my most favourite. I was sceptical about it at first but I was surprised after my first use. It REALLY got my scalp clean. I mean REALLY REALLY. The vinegar also added some sheen to my hair. My only dislike was the fact that they stung my eyes (part of life) and they don’t have the best smell.

Tell me what you think. I want to know what you’ve tried and how it has worked for you.

 

 

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