Hol’ a Vibes: A Tribe Called Quest – Dis Generation

My (In)Formal Resignation

Before/ in case you’ve seen my picture in the newspaper saying I no longer work for a certain company, here is my (in)formal resignation. Please share it around to prevent any defamation lawsuit. Also, share it as a means of teaching kids to be honest. Peace.

 

 

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You Know Wah Good Fi You?

I realise that people like to tell each other what to do as if we’re licenced to know what’s right for them.

“Yuh mus’ go a university cuz yuh need a degree fi get a job”

“Don’t wear yuh hair like that cuz it nuh look good”

Mek sure yuh don’t wear nuh shot-up shorts, else man a go look yuh

“Leave yuh job?! Yuh mad?! Yuh know how much people woulda glad fi have YOUR job?! Mi nuh care if it a mek yuh miserable. Yuh shoulda grateful. Mi woulda skin mi teet’ an’ bear it.”

Do these all sound like impositions to you?

I think we go around telling others what to do and how to live their lives out of fear of the unknown. Because we’d rather be complacent in our safe havens, we don’t venture outside. We don’t tip our toes in the puddles. We don’t trek down dark alleys or try foreign food.

We may just be standingrassg in another’s way because we clearly see that if they trod a new path, they might just earn a level of success or happiness that we’ll never achieve because we’ll never try to get it. And no one wants to feel left out when someone else unlocks that level. The fact that she, of all persons, could achieve enlightenment that puts her one step closer to self-actualization is just too much to bear. How him fi get that award? After him nuh better than me. We get red eye and badmind if anyone testing the status quo makes it to the other side, & the grass really does look greener.

The truth is, we’re all afraid of stepping out into the night, but we really want to. But the want isn’t big enough. That’s due in part to the fact that since the day we were born, those who came before, have tasted of the apple and have seen the consequences, hammer into our heads the age-old mantra: STAY IN YOUR LANE. If you go over the mountain, how do you know there’s food & shelter on the other side? Our resources won’t protect you when you go that far, & we’ll make sure you’re outlawed if you ever come back.

The dilemma I face right now is wanting to leave my job. I’m going to, once I wrap my head around embracing the unknown. But everyone I’ve asked for advice up to this point, instead of empathising with me 1st, have launched right into rote with, “How yuh fi lef‘ yuh good-good part-time job with full-time pay?! Yuh think yah go find that anywhere else?! Oh! Yuh must a go mek yuh own business cuz nobody else nah hire yuh without nuh degree.” Yada, yada, yada.

The decision to leave was made out of knowing that where I am at this moment is not right for me. Dare I also say, it’s not good enough. I know my potential, & I see me heading nowhere in the direction of achieving it while doing this job. I feel like the time invested in it can be spent somewhere else that is more conducive to my growth. It’s not just about the money. What about being happy? What aboh wellout being fulfilled? I can tell you that in my 11 months of monotonous routine, no one has asked about what I want to achieve, & no one has listened.
Am I really to accept the, “Oh a just so di system go, yuh jus’ haffi deal wid it” mentality?

I have debts. I have my own mouth to feed & have been sleeping on my talents. I’m aware that jobs nah just gi weh so I can’t very well up & be on my merry way, but I believe I can. A lot of the more prestigious establishments you can find were built on a dream, a desire, a whim of mere trial & error. Why can’t I have the right to do the same?

The best I can say is, if more people not only recognized, but ACTED on what they knew in their spirits to be good for them, we wouldn’t have so many people droning on as a result of routine. I genuinely believe the world would be a happier place if we stepped outside the status quo more often.

What do you believe? Let me know in the comments below.

Why Don’t My Inner Voices Like Me?

 

“An inner voice always used to be an outer voice.”

“We internalized the unhelpful voices because in certain key moments in the past they sounded compelling.”

If you ever heard a Jamaican say the phrase “Dark an’ fool“, they’re referring to a person who avoids the company of people at all costs or who’s extremely shy if forced to join a crowd. This person usually stammers, chats rubbish, is suddenly clumsy or has magically lost all their senses. The term usually makes the person sound as if they brought it on themselves for entirely no reason but for fear of the one thing you have no excuse fearing – your fellow species. It says, “If yuh fool/coward enough fi fear yuh own kind, wah yah go do when animal attack yuh?

Growing up in my house, “dark and fool” was my nickname. I was a bookworm, and for some reason:

bookworm + less & less socialisation = nerd & nerd = lacking trust in the people around you who you think are incapable of understanding anything you have to say.

There. I said it. So that’s what that was…

Anyways, because I was pissed at being considered stupid for “being precautious” (the excuse I told myself), I withdrew further & further into my shell as self-defence. I consoled myself with the thought that if there was an apocalypse, I’d live because they’re the real idiots (“they” being anyone who doubted me).

But something else buried itself in that shell with me. Because the outside world constantly met me with withdrawn politeness, I started to wonder if I really was overreacting so much as to make it obvious that I didn’t trust people. People would talk to me, but not directly because I probably gave a sense of unwelcome. I started to hear things they wouldn’t say out loud in my head. Things like,

“Why she so boring” or “She couldn’t dress better? Why she so tomboyish?” or “Lawd, just cuz she bright she feel like she must answer to everything? We nuh done see her?”

The moment I started hearing that, I imagined that the people who said them in my head were those who stood before me. Their smiles and eager expressions were masking how they truly felt – disgusted at my awkwardness & upset at having to endure my presence. So I started pulling away from them. The messages became infrequent & if anyone saw me after a long hiatus, the atmosphere was sure to be filled with “Wow, you look so different!

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I started to believe everything the voices in my head would tell me. I’m not funny. I don’t have any real talent. I’m only book smart / I’m not as smart as I think. I’m too skinny. No one will like me enough to accept a big belly. Why am I even writing if only I will read it? Why should I think anyone cares enough to support me?

An inner voice used to always be an outer voice. That line is what helped me understand why I tricked myself into believing I don’t like me, & why when I’m alone, I ignore consciousness of self completely. Coming into this world, I was fed only negative ideas about myself. I was told whenever I was singing that I was making noise and upsetting peace as early as being age 7. I was criticised for having bad penmanship when I was just learning. I was told no man would want me, or I’d be beaten by one because I had no interest in learning how to cook “properly” at 17. Nothing I cleaned was thought to be clean enough. As soon as I was no longer in the presence of someone who called me pretty, I was reassured by who remained that the comment was only made as part of the small talk. When there’s little to no one saying the opposite, it’s hard to believe in the contrary.

But things have been changing. Videos like this one help me to understand myself & understand why the world is the way it is. They might not offer advice that is directly related to all your needs, but they help you along. And to me, if I can make sense of why there’s any kind of negativity, I can be better able to forgive more freely.

What do you use to cope with inner voices? Let me know in the comments below.

This post reminds me of a poem I wrote about overthinking so much about perceived behaviours around me that I couldn’t see clearly. Read “Pensive” & other poetry here.

6 People Yuh MUS’ Meet at Work

  1. The Top Boss(es)

Usually the nice ones. Unexpected warm personalities with an eagerness to help resolve all your problems, all a click away from their having-access-to-everything screen. Their offices always seem to be way too big for the simple tasks they do but you resolve that a big office is just a necessary match to their egos (if they have one). Their only purpose (it waah look like) stretches nowhere beyond scribbling an authorizing signature when you need it, writing vacation dates down in those expensive company branded journals and talking on the phone all day. Long story short, you never see them unless you go into their offices. And you might not even be worthy enough to ride the elevator up to their floor.

2. Those who have ACTUAL power

Aka VPs, Assistant Managers and the like. For some reason, the power that these people have is greater than the top bosses because they’re overseers. They get wishlists from the top bosses, and to keep them happy-go-lucky & unawares of any glitch in the system (think, the Dai Li of Ba Sing Se in Avatar: The Last Airbender – yes, I LOVE that cartoon). They give you too much work and impossible deadlines, pressure you and then call you out for buckling. Or at least they try to until they meet that one subordinate with a fiery tongue who just nah tek fi dem s*&t.

The ones with power insist that you address them strictly as “Sir” or “Ma’am” if your mouth isn’t full with “Mr/Mrs So & So”. If male, they are almost always dressed in jackets (even on a Friday) and suits so sharply pressed, the crease lines cut slice a cake. If female, they most likely break all the dress codes by wearing the same forbidden brightly coloured mini dresses, every piece of jewelry in the box, sky-scraper heels and shockingly bright hair colour. These people don’t take suggestions or corrections. Them quick fi blame & slouchy wid delivering apologies (if them plan fi gi yuh).

3. Those who have a Foot in the Circle of Power

Meet the hyenas of the Pride Lands. They do the dirty work of keeping their ears to the cubicle walls & relaying ‘controversial’ info to the overseers in exchange for meager employee benefits. 607fb04f5657134da2810d04f5df9571And by info, we’re talking who a look fi mek a move pon di boss, who a f%$k who, who hate the job & wah lef’, the list goes on. They’re usually the ones who underperform yet always somehow get 1st preference when things a give out, & you can never understand how. The only thing is that while they always know when fi pop up and sabotage everything you try to be promoted, they won’t have the opportunity either because the gossip guy/girl is only good for gossip.

4. The Chirpy Ones

These people love their jobs no matter what. They know how to deal with top bosses, overseers, gossipers and customers alike. They never seem flustered or stressed in the face of fast approaching deadlines. They can juggle back-to-back phone calls, meetings & be responding to emails and not blink. When you 1st meet them, they appear too good to be true or even real, but over time you’ll make excuses for them in your head. Oh that one’s low-key crazy, let’s not upset her – everyone knows this. Oh he’s the CEO’s nephew, money already inna di family so him nuh haffi worry.

5. Me

You’ll be me in 4 weeks. You done mek up your mind seh anything goes if this is what the system is. If bossy wah fire you, so let it be because as far as you know, you’re 21st century & you neva come fi mek babylon stress you. Mek dem dweet. You neva spen’ how much years at university & haffi repay SLB fi this. What is this?

This person is usually afrocentric, part of the natural hair community or the loc nation, forward-thinking & ever have a controversial statement ready.

OR I could be completely wrong and you’re the opposite. Are you? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Into short, short stories? Read some at Story Poetry and let me know what you think!