As someone who used to identify as perpetually single, I understand the anxiety surrounding February 14th.aka Valentine’s Day. Before my current relationship, I was yet to experience a romantic, non-platonic Valentines. Valentine’s Day compelled me to confront both internally and externally what I perceived as never-ending spinsterhood.
“I’m having a private party…Ain’t nobody here but me, my angels, and my guitar singin’ baby look how far we’ve come here”
I remember the apprehension and dread, I used to feel at the thought of having to field questions from my mum and aunty about “where’s my boyfriends”. Years of soul searching helped me realise that there’s nothing wrong with being single. The biggest indictment on “aunty” culture is their harassment of black single women. The unnecessarily amplification of the demonization of black single woman, that occurs at Valentine’s Day needs to change. As cliché as it seems I’d rather be happy and alone, than suffering in a relationship. Men remain trash and sanity and safety over everything. I’m happy that in 2021, we are de-stigmatising being single, buying suction dildos and sending ourselves flowers.
“I’m havin’ a private party, learning how to love me. Celebrating the woman I’ve become, yeah”
Thankfully with fraternisation and flirtation extinct due to ongoing pandemic, being single is no longer perceived as indictment or failure. Although, the lockdown has made it more socially acceptable to be single, Valentine’s Day remains a hazardous holiday for singletons. Steeped in capitalism and patriarchy Valentines’ Day, is a hallmark holiday aimed to proliferate “single shaming” and rush woman into potentially unhealthy relationships. Being single in the digital era means having to be subjected to an influx of social media “couple goals”, triggering feelings of inadequacy. Exposed to falsities of happiness and I know in the past I wonder where’s my “somebody’s son”. My advice for singletons feeling lonely and left out this holiday, please remember that the majority of Valentine Day content, you’ll be subjected to isn’t a true reflection of someone’s relationship.
Started to feel a little pity that’s when I realized that, I gotta find the joy inside of me
Portraying a Pinterest perfect couple, I’ve seen people stuck in a toxic relationship who post their materialistic Valentine’s day experiences and presents, but knowingly suffering chronic infidelity and emotional manipulation.Don’t compare yourself to YouTube couples trapped In joyless, mort relationships, trying to exploits all the possible monetary value before they get caught in a lie. Valentine’s Day has matured into crude performatism, a band aid use to cover fatal relationship flaws with red flags. Make sure you delete all your dating apps for the weekend an, Valentine’s Day is not the time to be searching for a special someone. Dating apps that weekend, will be full of thirsty dudes trying to capitalise on loneliness single ladies may feel.
“I’m gonna take off all my clothes, look at myself in the mirror. We’re gonna have a conversation… we’re gonna heal the disconnection”
Mine Day isn’t a day to wallow, it’s the ultimate self care and relaxation day; use the day to pamper yourself. It’s time to get reacquainted with yourself and re-establish intimacy with yourself. We as women , particularly black woman, need o rebuild the romantic relationships with ourselves – the first love, should be self-love. Pour yourself a glass of your favourite red, white or rose – make sure to leave the bottle. Light some candles and play slow jams to soothe your soul.
Seduce each of your senses – spray your favourite fragrance, try on some lingerie or strip down into your birthday suit, look in the mirror and admire. I know for some, lockdown has caused weight gain causing dips in self-esteem – any changes in your body doesn’t detract from the fact you’re still the “Sugar, Honey, Ice, Tea” (SHIT). Tease yourself with a feather tickler to stimulate your nerve endings – turn yourself on.
Admire and caress your curves, embrace your flaws and recognise your achievements – compliment yourself. Speak affirmations in your life and verbalise 10 things you love about yourself, it’s time to reaffirm the reasons why you are. Due to our deviation from white patriachy, society has aimed to humble and diminish black woman. In 2021, we are normalising black woman practising self-indulgence and self-confidence. “Mine” Day is the optimal time to bring out your favourite suction toy, clit stimulator or dildo and “cater to yourself”. In the words of Tweet and Missy, “I looked over to the left I was looking so good I couldn’t reject myself, I looked over to the left, I was feeling so good I had to touch myself”. If you consider yourself as spiritual, implement some masturbation manifestation. Masturbation manifestation is where you visualise goals you want to achieve as you bring yourself to climax. My favourite thing to do on Valentines Day is a yoni steam , there’s something incredibly powerful about cleansing your pussy from all the past penises that penetrated and break any soul ties.
Enjoy a soak in a luxurious and relaxing bubble or spiritual bath. Insert jiggle balls to contract and stimulate your walls. My body responds well to bath salts, essential oils. Depending on your pH balance allows, try bath fizzlers and bath bombs. If you plan on having a long steamy bath – make sure you’ve drank your 2 litres of water throughout the day. Follow the bath up with sweet smelling body cream, slip into a nice satin slip, between silk sheets.
“My body is beautiful and sacred and I’m gonna celebrate it
An article I wrote for Millennial Femme about the importance of protecting platonic relationships and how society’s forced copulation to facilitate the patriarchal agenda.
In an era of sexual liberty and casual sex with friends, I feel like I’m witnessing the end of true platonic friendships. There’s a common misconception that there’s sexual tension underpinning all friendships between men and women. Certain individuals tend to perceive friendship as the intermediary stage, that either precedes sexual relations or follows amicable breakups. I blame men’s perceived entitlement to the female body and society’s disposition to reward esteem to females based on their proximity / connection to men. A lot of women succumb to the pressures of patriarchy and struggle with the concept of being alone. Subsequently they try to transform every male interaction or male acquaintance into something romantic. A lot of women don’t understand the benefits that come with having a truly platonic relation and exclude a male acquaintance if…
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Like many other females I have struggled with my weight my entire life. Although considered mid-size and what society deems an acceptable palatable level of fat, up until recently I struggle with the concept that someone could love me in my current state. I struggled with existing as a black plus size woman, I very much believe that I was living as foil to highlight the beauty of conventional white patriarchal ideals. Embedded into my psyche was a notion that I was undesirable and undeserving of love. Through therapy I began to find self-love and identify black love as internal entity. Unfortunately. these feelings recently resurfaced due to the significant amount of weight I have gained in the past year. This can partly be attributed to the pandemic and the relating happy weight. My weight gain severely impacted my ability to feel desirable. Thankfully through my shadow work I’ve started…
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This is the first Christmas I am spending with my boyfriend’s parents. Last year I decided to skip it because I thought it was too soon into us dating, however this year I’ve decided to join them for our first major holiday together. Thankfully, me and his parents already have a good rapport so I’m not nervous about being there. Your first Christmas invite is potentially your induction into the family, it’s paramount that you make a good impression, regardless of whether you’ve already met them before. Here are my top 5 rules to follow, to make sure you’re first Christmas doesn’t become your last Christmas (RIP George Michael).
1. Tis the season of giving – Regardless of the race or culture, it’s impolite to turn up to someone’s house on a major holiday without a present. They’re about to feed you several courses and have you in their home…
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Struggling to find other reasons
To alleviate the pain that you just love for me a season
Trying to understand why after my initial appeal
You fail to feel anything real
You’re contempt for me, you can no longer conceal
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you stop this impending sorrow
The answer is no – you wont even like me in the evening
Your desire to be with me as fleeting
I can feel you love depleting
Feelings fleeting forever
Goodbye to the dreams of us ever being together
Good luck in all your future endeavors
Feelings fleeting forever contradiction in the pain
What was once feelings is now just distain
It’s been a while since I last wrote anything to post but I thought this seems like the most appropriate place to start. I’m still trying to figure out how to solve a problem like Maria, but I’m coming to terms that this may no longer happen. It’s not that I think things are unable to get better but I think I’ve transitioned from trying to solve my problem to managing my issues. Maria is evolving – I’m focussing on managing my emotions, managing my stress; managing my ability to savour the few joys I experience.
“You made my life complete, You are so sweet no one competes“
Someone who is helping me manage is my new boyfriend Nathan. As cliché as it sounds, I met him at a time where I felt like I was struggling to manage with the banalities and reality of life. I was mid depression trying to adjust to a new form of normality – carnival didn’t revive me and the idleness of no work but an inability to work was draining and numbing. But then unexpectedly I found Nathan him and I hate to quote Ginuwine “My whole life has changed, since you [Nathan] came in.” My Disney like perception of love which had remained dormant since the beginning of Temi situation, before the infidelity and disrespect kicked in and tainted my mindset.
The cynic that I am writes this with article with fear and apprehension. Petrified of jinxing the bliss I call the honeymoon stage of my environment – the ghost of each failed situation, recycled apologies and reused coping mechanisms linger in my memory banks. In my draft post are 3/4 disregarded heartbreak and mourning posts – posts that I started but became too overwhelmed with grief to complete. I could list off all my heart breaks in a remix to Jhene’s Comfort Inn Ending but it feels more reminiscent of Jhene’s “You Are Here”. I’m in a euphoric sense of bliss and happiness; our relationship feels like light. As cliché as it seems, Nathan is the highlight of my day, a beacon out of my depression it feels like warmth.
I’m doing things I never do but I feel good, Why it take me so long me find you”
I’m not going to ebaorate on why this guy is so special to me. My aforementioned perpetual bad luck, overly paranoid and suspicious nature means there are some aspects I still want to keep myself. I’ve fluctuated between a feeling of content and infatuation. But this is the only guy I can say that in him I’ve met a husband. In Chiron I thought I had met a companion, in Temi I thought I had met a boyfriend but honestly in Nathan it feels like I’ve met the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. We feel like twin souls- in sync. He gets all my different personalities – we formed a friendship based on our mutual love of sports but we fell romantically for my corny and “minxy/nypho” side. In him I feel like utterly at ease and so comfortable with myself. This level of emotional support and genuine affection is foreign to me. It’s more than than refreshing i
“Without you right here having my back, I really don’t know where I’d be at”
Before I met him, I knew I needed him in my life in any capacity. Our personalities were perfect reflections of our ideal partner – he ticked all my boxes and even it was just friendship I needed him. It may not have been romantic but it was definitely a king of love. For me it became real the moment he held me and stared me deeply in my eyes – it was an incandescent glare that had the power to stop me from unravelling. His hesitant embrace – a product of society’s decision to instil power balances -was nonetheless endearing. To this day we argue over who’s punching (above their weight), in an adolescently adorable “no you hang up” manner.
Right now I live in colour and i would love to stay like this. Separated from the saturation of a solemn an single spinsterhood, I feel whole. The serene natures of our relationship feels like flying/ floating on our perfectly in sync wavelength. We move at the same pace and with the same intensity. The pragmatic realest in me acknowledges the fact that this relationships may not last but even if it doesn’t I will always love him. He is the first person to show me unconditional and non malicious love and I’ll never forget that.
Sharifah is so much more than a best friend. I know everyone makes hyperbolic proclamations about their best friend being their soul mate but I genuinely believe Sharifah was the physical manifestation of everything my soul needed. Spending time with her feels like drinking from the Holy Grail, my soul feels replenished, the emotional pain subdues and things hurt less. The only way to describe the role of Sharifah in my life, is a life support machine. She is literally there to sustain me when I have nothing to give and no energy to live. I could write endless words to describe my love for Sharifah but the English language has ran of words to express my devotion. I tell everyone there is no me without her. She’s the reason why I still exist.
Sharifah came into my life at the perfect time. I expected to find a friend in Freshers – this but I never expected to find a soul mate. I needed a kindred spirit to accompany me through my journey to maturity and emotional stability. I could’ve done it alone but I didn’t want to; I thank God daily that I didn’t have to do it without her. A collision of fate and serendipity, our friendship was formed over a first day ice breaker and a priceless Parker pen. We bonded over our shared history of bad luck, mutual apprehension and parental pressures.
The difference in these 2 pictures is 6 years of friendships, tears, coursework deadlines. There are very few pictures where my smile is genuine and the happiness is real – 75% is attributed to her . People will never understand mine and Sharifah’s friendship. Sharifah’s entire demeanour is to live her best life and not take anything to seriously whereas my vibe can tend to be try exceedingly hard to not make a mistake. Mine and Sharifahs friendship consists of
– 10% of my leg on Sharifah’s shoulder essentially dry humping her and acting like lesbians
– 25% of laying in her bed in silence comfortable enough to be myself around
– 40% listening to each other problems and just trying to be there for each other
– 15% doing stuff no one else will want to do with each other
I decided to play Sunday mas aka “dutty mas” with Chocolate Nation . I decided to play with them because my first love is Trini soca, they always have good DJs and they’re the only band to throw chocolate rather than paint or powder. Also it was Chocolate Nation’s 10 year anniversary year and their teasing proclaimations of something special to celebrate, was incredibly enticing.
Carnival can be extremely costly when not planned in advance. The early bird catches the worm / the slightly cheaper priced tickets. Consequently I made sure I purchased the initial release packages (early bird) for £25 as opposed to the £35 standard price. They later released a leotard in however for me the standard carnival leotards cut me off at an awkward pace – do nothing for my body and no cleavage. Also this year to commemorate their 10 year anniversary they linked up Live Love Soca to create a special and more flattering red collection featuring a standard T-shirt, standard leotard and zip down hooded leotard. I was tempted by the zip down hooded leotard and the potential for cleavage and built in hair protector.
So the music and DJ was amazing, after the jump up jump up of Dreamland a bachannal based/ power soca band was refreshing, Obviously they still had jab-jab and dennery section but at least I could breathe. The heat was everything and was perfect carnival weather. The complete opposite to last year’s dutty mas, I loved it. Unfortunately I feel security didn’t do their job. We had so many band members and stormers – which detracts from the experience. This is unfortunately a carnival wide problem – the sun brings out people ignorant or carnival conventions who don’t understand the significance of judging point. I know it’s only dutty mas and the major costumes / main day for costume is Monday but judging point is important. I understand the objective is to get messy and covered in chocolate, but some structure would be nice. If I had paid £80-100 for the limited edition Live Love Soca packages – I would’ve been annoyed.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS . Did I enjoy myself – yes! Was it worth the money I paid for it – most definitely! Will I play Chocolate Nation again – probably! Is it the best time I’ve had – no! I must admit that physically I didn’t feel as good as I did last year. They failed to live up to their 10 year anniversary hype and all the surprises they announced they announced they had planned. Other then having King Bubba perform and the limited edition Live Love Soca collaboration, it didn’t feel any special.
A relatively new band (only 5 years old) and experiencing all the teething issues that come with initial stages of growth – this is a band for feters. Playing the best in Grenadian soca aka jab-jab and dennery, I had my caffeinated glucose drinks at the ready. Island Mas aren’t likely to win any awards in terms of artistry and constuctions but the atmosphere especially sans major performers is unrivalled.
I chose to do blue T-Shirt All Inclusive package for £45 instead of the blue £60 Al Inclusive Leotard or the green £30 T-Shirt only package (which increases to £50). Like I mentioned earlier, I just feel like the leotards on me are not flattering and I love the all the benefits of the all inclusive. Island Mas were definitely one of the cheaper bands with more established bands such as Chocolate Nation charging £100 for a parallel experience. It has less goodies in the bag but it had everything that I really cared about.
The jab jab atmosphere and spirit of Grenada is so lit – not a “stoosh” vibe to be present. Do something crazy hits differently when you’re actually crazy and Grenadians are crazy. There’s nothing pretty or bouji about Island Mas, it’s all about the energy and running. The comradery you feel when jabbing / moshing is ridiculous. I broke nails, lost possession and acquired so many new scratches and bruises but I regret absolutely nothing. We had appearances from Lil Natty and Thunder who entertained the crowd with wig shifting, shoe losing tracks such as “Top Striker” & “Get In Your Section”. Mr Killa. Also the security did their job by making sure the majority of the people between the ropes had paid to be there. The only irritating thing was their poor punctuality – I should have expected this as they also organise Dreamland. Breakfast was meant to start 8.30 with a 9.30-10.00 departure time. Unfortunately the food wasn’t served until 9.15am and we failed to leave on time. I wasn’t overly mad because no band leaves on time I just wished I had slept more. I know I could have met them on the route but I hate wasting time looking for the correct truck and it gets so much harder to find the truck mid route when there’s other people.
I lived my best life at carnival. The nature of each day means its difficult to compare the 2 days but I can honestly say my preferred day was Monday . Typically Sunday is my favourite day as it’s quieter, more authentic and less influencer laden. Normally Sunday’s paint and powder is a deterrent for the Instagram obsessed folk but this year just felt different. Also on Sunday, the Chocolate Nation security people failed to their job and let non masqueraders into the band space. The saturation of stormers and randoms turned judging point into a farce and made it incredibly difficult to enjoy myself. Island Mas security did their thing, they’re performers were better and they were more liberal with their “rum” punch.
So I know I posted a think piece about my birthday, but I forgot to actually speak about my birthday. I’m not going to let my negative mind space cloud my perspective of my birthday. Especially when taking into consideration that nothing momentously bad happened and thus objectively my 24th birthday was my best birthday (on paper). For my birthday I booked a VIP package on a boat party with a load of my closest friends. The boat was organised by @YPEvents and launched from Festival Pier. The music was good, staff and promoters were friendly and there was good vibes all round. I think if was drunker, less self conscious and less concerned with trying to put out fires (e.g. missing friend, knocked down sisha pipes and table intruders) – I may have had a better time. Nonetheless my friends enjoyed and that was my main priority. The following day was a chill birthday meal with some sisha. The nightlife aspect was a little bit of a let own but I got drunk and the DJ was accommodating.
Special thanks and every positive feeling goes to Sharifah for understanding and bearing with me. You somehow make it work it work each ear despite netball and martial arts. . through netball. All the love to Arianne, Antonia, Bianka, Ayesha, Kemisha & Reanna for coming through. Thank you to Sophie, Alimat, Kamarl & Blake for the birthday wishes.