Men: As You Check Your Privilege, Remember, You ARE Trash! — Anthony Oluoch

It is about time that people in power who take advantage of those who look up to them have their actions questioned. They have gone unchecked far too long and that is wrong. Harvey Weinstein has been accused. He tried to quash the stories but they came out. Speaking of coming out, Kevin Spacey did […]

via Men: As You Check Your Privilege, Remember, You ARE Trash! — Anthony Oluoch

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It’s September; it feels like June.

Color My Palate

Autumn Sangria Autumn Sangria

Glistening spinach and Chorizo atop thick tender scallops arrive in front of me Saturday night.  The plate sits next to the mason jar filled to the brim with Autumn Sangria.  I take a sip of the blissful blend of cinnamon, cloves, apples, Cabernet, and brandy,  inhale the gentle wind allowing it to wash it away–the transition, the fears, the questions, the frustration, the irritability.  It’s late September, but it feels like early summer.  It’s late September, but it feels like it’s the end of the school year.  I’m exhausted, feeling burnt out and in need of a break and it’s only four weeks in.

It is the start of my 9th year as a teacher; my 7th principal.  The new regime is filled with control, change, unrealistic expectations, and no time to complete the tasks that allow me to feel successful.  I lean back in my metal chair…

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Manspreading, it’s a space issue!!!

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I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. — Walt Whitman

(This is based on MY own true experiences)

5 years ago, I loved dolling up. Well, I wasn’t the millennial kind of femme, I mean the matte lipstick and sorts, but I tried. I wore tiny Tee’s and super skinny jeans. I wore loops too to complement my long braids…Hahaha!!, how time has flown.

Of late, my closet is quite androgynous, and I have very short hair and I love it that way for reasons best known to me, and people who matter. But that is not the point.

So today, As I was commuting to work, along the way, three tall young men came walking directly toward me, a situation in which I always give way, step aside. For some reasons (I could blame on the energies from the latest Game Of Thrones episode I watched last night), I walked right through those men like Moses parting the Red Sea. I have never tried that again, and I will never forget what I learned in that moment. So deeply had I known who owned the sidewalk that I’d always yielded, without even noticing. Today, it was so easy, just because I look I wore buttoned up shirts, short hair and some oxford shoes.

Not to mention how being a victim of manspreading is a pain especially in public transport where you have to sit for hours before you get to your destination. It is so distracting and uncomfortable. This happens almost every day!

Eventually, I got to my desk, and read some article on trans men and women. After their transition (the trans-women), they observed that they constantly bumped into people or being bumped into—as they no longer owned the right of way, which never happened before they transitioned. Same case as the trans-men, they suddenly have a right to way that they didn’t have before.

… It’s easy to see how readily this feeling of urgency could become a sense that everyone else is in your way, that your rights and needs matter more—could become, ultimately, the sort of self-absorption that renders others invisible. To believe that my important business is more important than others’ is the path of entitlement, the antithesis of any ideal of equality.

FEAR

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So the other day,I was thinking, why don’t I seem to be accomplishing the things that I would like to be in life? Why do I get so close to the edge of the cliff from which I’m about to paraglide off of, then stop. Clearly, I’m ready. I’ve climbed my way to the top, got my paragliding equipment ready to go, feel energized, know my target, but . . . then I stop.

It doesn’t matter whether the goal is personal in nature or professional, there’s an utter reluctance.

I looked deep within the other day, in a moment of stillness, and found that underneath was fear — fear of judgement, fear of being a fool.

 

There’s a lot of fears I’ve overcome in my life — lots of anxiety: social anxiety which prevented me from dating, health anxiety which prevented me from fully experiencing life, fears about quitting a job for a better one, fears about living abroad and traveling, fears about moving out of relationships that were bad for me and fear of moving forward with ones that were good.

I’m very grateful to see that each time I’ve confronted and pushed into each fear with action and resolve, life took a positive turn. Years of staticness, confusion, and indecisiveness were broken by a clear inspiration to take a certain type of action. The action was always one that I previously feared taking. Yet once I did, I would always see, fairly early on, that it was the right action.

Fear is like this invisible fence. We can see past it to the other side, where we want to be, but often don’t understand what’s keeping us from getting there. We’re often not aware that there’s fear in the way, blocking us from our destination.

Without this awareness of the core fear that’s obstructing our path, we’ll often take easy actions towards our goal that are less risky and require less courage, but are also less impactful and rewarding. These actions can be in the form of ‘idle busyness’ — like making business cards for a business we don’t think we’re good enough to start instead of getting on the phone and calling potential customers.

I wish I could say that I’ve worked through all this core fear in my life; that I’m now a social butterfly that puts himself out there with joy and confidence in each new social situation. That would be a lie though. me to take such actions, even if they were uncomfortable.

Yet, right now, as I write this, I find myself still scared to be a fool. Scared to be judged, whether in person or even online — scared of what others think of me. The fear is so much, that I find myself uncomfortable about taking the kinds of actions in my life necessary to achieve the things that I clearly want.

And this is precisely what I want to embracebeing willing to be criticized, being willing to look like a total fool in the eyes of others, and don’t give a shit  about it.

 

May 17th

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Tomorrow is going to be May 17th. ‘Our’ Prime Holiday. Happy holiday’s incredible souls. And cheers to you my love.

I choose to write on a theme that was used on the year 2016 on this same day. An issue that affects a significant percentage of people like me. Mental Illness.

(Them/they in this context, isn’t necessarily my partner. Also, not everything I jot down is relatable, or works for everyone.)

I remember this particular promising morning of my first severe panic attack. I phoned them as my breath grew shallow and my heart pounded as if I were having a heart attack. I was sure I was dying. As soon as they walked through the door, they stared at me suspiciously. My limbs were in place, and I seemed to be functioning just fine. What was the problem?

“You don’t understand,” I explained. “I thought I was dying! It was the most frightening experience I have ever had.

I was hurt. Emotionally.

So what makes an insensitive remark?

Problems happen when people make statements that imply that mental illness is a sign of emotional weakness, it’s something that can be quickly overcome with some trite homespun advice or they minimize it as a minor issue you can just get over. (Am not saying the episode above is on mental illness)

Below are some examples of problematic statements, that I have seen and believed that would make things worse.

  1. “Get busy, and distract yourself.”

With significant mental illness, [distractions] won’t work, not even temporarily. After a person slogs through various diversions, they’re still left with the same issues. Ignoring the issue doesn’t make it go away. Please, don’t use this one

  1. “Do you want to get better?”

This could be one of the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to a victim. One may not have ill intentions saying this, but it would have so much emotional impact, negatively. It implies that the victim is staying sick on purpose, and that they have no interest in pursuing health, not to mention that they are too lazy or disinterested to do what they need to do to get better.”

  1. “Change your attitude.”

While a change in perspective can be helpful, it doesn’t cure conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, PTSD or schizophrenia. Changing one’s attitude isn’t so easy either. It’s incredibly difficult for a high-functioning person to change their attitude, let alone someone debilitated by an exhausting mental illness.

  1. “Stop focusing on the bad stuff, and just start living.”

One of the most common mistakes is to tell a person to stop focusing on themselves, or on the bad things, or on the past, and just start living. It can make a person feel even worse about themselves. They figure the fact that they can’t do it is, in their mind, just one more sign of their failure.

  1. “You have everything you need to get better.”

This is always well intentioned, but to some people, it sounds like an indictment against them for not trying hard enough. Plus, this might not even be accurate. Sometimes people don’t have everything they need to improve. Sometimes they need a little assistance.

  1. “You can snap out of it. Everyone feels this way sometimes.”

Everyone experiences a range of emotions. For instance, everyone feels sad occasionally. But sadness on some days isn’t the same as “a hopeless pit of despair where it’s so dark I’ve forgotten what light looks like,” a description of depression that one victim shared. Feeling anxious isn’t the same as having a panic attack. This is a real issue by itself. Address it differently.

  1. “Just pray about it.”

Mmmm, let me not indulge on this one.

  1. “You have the same illness as my ______.”

Different person, different actions. That’s it.

We should Educate ourselves on mental illness. We should learn how to empathize and respond to the victims. We should think, then act.

Happy holidays again, beautiful souls.

BURN-OUT SYNDROME.

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Am not a workaholic!!!!! This is definitely BURN-OUT SYNDROME.

Story of my life. My alarm goes off at 5.15 every morning. My first thoughts are how I am going to juggle the many deadlines(unreasonable) that are loomed ahead of me.

I check my texts (barely get one, because I have no life) and mail, then try make myself presentable during my almost 2 hour commute to my desk in an IT firm.

This is where I spend 12 hours seated, with maybe one 5-minute pee break, painstakingly arching my back in the unhealthiest way for the rest of the day, with only few sips of water, if only I remember to. All this time blinded to see that am trapped in a cycle of trying to do my best, and not realizing the toll that is taking on me, just endless cycle of despair.

I could use few hours every day to buffer, or a few days in a year to unplug. I mean, my lover has a scheduled surgery tomorrow, I can neither see them before or after the surgery, yet am in the same damn town. I am yet to understand how I got myself into this. I totally understand when they will feel some ‘typa’ way for not being there tomorrow. I am so sorry monkie….I promise you better days. I adore you.

I have been planning to move to a new house for the longest time, but I can barely find two hours to go house haunting. This is miserable!

I recently realized I have been neglecting my health, diet, relationships, and now… my spirit is crushed. I feel numb, and every day, am at autopilot mode.

This is a common disorder of hope. It sucks the life the competent…a hard worker. They lose motivation and vitality.

Most of us have experienced that pivotal peak of pain, anger or frustration in which we want to scream “I hate my life”. But his would be unfair. There are people who are going through worse. But that doesn’t mean we bury our emotions of what we really feel about ourselves. The feeling that a dark cloud has specifically settled over us and our experiences can feel pretty isolating.

I know I should definitely do something about this. Meanwhile, I pray for the right energies to enlighten me on how to go through this without hurting myself, or those around me.