Miscellaneous · Uncategorized · West Indian Life

You can’t pour from an empty cup

“You can’t pour from an empty cup”. Most of us have seen this quote floating around on the internet, but what does it really mean? The literal interpretation seems very obvious; if a cup is empty you can’t get anything from it. However, for the sake of this blog post we’ll focus on the figurative meaning.

“What’s the figurative meaning?”, you ask? Well I take it as ‘if you’re low on energy you won’t be able to help those around you’.

Too many times we forget this. We forget that we’re human beings and we need the same love and attention we give to everyone else. How many times have you listened to your loved ones’ problems? How many times have you felt abandoned when you needed them to reciprocate?

We give, and we give and never get, until it seems like there’s nothing left to give. Until you feel empty and hollow inside. In my short time on this earth I’ve come to realize that you can’t wait for someone to fill you up. You have to do it for yourself dear.

I’ve learnt that lasting happiness and fulfillment comes from within, not from other people. People can make you happy, I don’t discount that, but LASTING happiness comes from your own internal joy.

You don’t have to do big things to make yourself happy. Have you ever heard “it’s the little things that count”? Well guess what? It works when you do it for yourself as well. I’ll even list some of my personal favourites.

1) Eating ice cream and cake for breakfast. It’s naughty but it makes me feel so good.

2) Turning off my phone and reading a few chapters from a book. Usually a book I’ve already read as I know for a fact there will be no ugly surprises.

3) I play with my makeup. I usually swatch shiny eyeshadows and go “waaaaw” even though I’ve worn them several times before. I’ll even try on a few lipsticks.

4) Jam to upbeat music on my ipod and dance like a crazy person. This is my personal favourite because it gets my blood going. Sadly it’s no longer a viable option as my ipod kicked the bucket after 7 long years of faithful service.

*Send me a new Ipod Lord*

So you see, it doesn’t take much to “fill up your cup”. If you want to be of service to people, start by being of service to yourself.

Please comment below and tell me your favourite things to do when you need a pick me up. Don’t forget to like my blog post and subscribe!

hair · Miscellaneous · West Indian Life

The Shea Moisture Commercial

I have exams…I shouldn’t be writing this article.

Like most naturalistas on the internet I saw Shea Moisture’s joke of a commercial last night 24/04/2017. Just to give a brief recap the ad features three women; 2 white and one bi-racial/racially ambiguous woman talking about their hair struggles. Now if you’re already confused don’t worry you should be. Shea Moisture’s core buying audience is mostly black women with kinky hair…yet there were none in sight.

IT IS HARD TO FIND NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS THAT WORK FOR KINKY HAIR. For months people have been complaining that Shea Moisture has changed some of their core ingredients and that the products no longer work. Now we know why; Shea Moisture has been gentrified.

They are trying to make their products work for white and black hair but we all know that is impossible. Most white people have straight fine hair and on the other spectrum you have me; coarse kinky hair. Buying products at the hair supply store has always been a game of Russian roulette when you have kinky hair. Now there will be one less brand that caters to me.

Let’s talk about the red head’s “struggle”. Apparently for six years she dyed her hair platinum blond and now she can finally be a redhead. Are we seriously trying to equate that to the struggle of black women and their natural hair?

Let me illustrate real struggle. I returned natural when it was less popular in my country, the movement was just about to begin. One Monday I wore a twist out with bobby pins to pin my hair back out of my face, I felt cute. I went to work that morning and received many compliments, I was on cloud nine until my supervisor intervened. She dragged me aside to scold my hair, “why would you wear your hair like that to work? It is inappropriate for the customers to look at. They don’t want to see that!” I was dumbfounded.

Let me put this is context. I live in the Caribbean, 80% of the citizens are described as afro Caribbean. Meaning we are black with kinky hair. Yes ladies and gentlemen the slave mentality is that deep.

How was the hair that grew out of my scalp inappropriate?…She then dragged me to the other female supervisor who promptly agreed with her. I was so angry I cried. You see this is the discrimination black women face everywhere. I worked as a teller at a bank so I understand the desire for us to look “neat” but pray tell why my 3C co-worker was able to wear the same hairstyle? Apparently her hair was never inappropriate.

I am all for inclusivity with the Shea Moisture brand, I am not saying white women shouldn’t be able to buy their products. However, instead of making the few products that work for kinky hair suit straight hair, how about making a separate line? Shea Moisture for straight or wavy hair. I am happy natural hair is being more accepted but the journey is definitely not over.

Please don’t be afraid to comment and give your honest opinions. I’d love to read your thoughts.

Miscellaneous

Grades and Self Esteem in the West Indian School System

Let me start off by giving some background information about myself. I am a level two Economics students at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus and I am what you might call “bright”.

My entire life I’ve been known as “smart” and “nerdy” and quite frankly it’s true. I am also aware of how fortunate I am in my ability to master the schooling system. However, that’s it. I am good at the SYSTEM, I am in no shape or form superior to my peers. My brain is simply suited to the rigorous teaching methods employed on our students.

Did you know I was poor in athletics, art and computer science? Luckily for me these things aren’t as heavily graded as math, science and english. You might be thinking “why is she even telling us this?”. Be patient, I’m setting up the story.

You see when you’re good at something you tend to attach it to your self worth. My entire life has revolved around how well I did in school. This might not seem like such a bad thing…until you get a bad grade of course. As a teenager a bad grade meant I wasn’t good enough. It meant I was a failure. I might as well just ‘chuck’ myself into the river (BTW I cannot swim). I was conditioned to believe that failure in school, meant failure in life.

Skip forward a few years later; I’m a student at UWI. My aunt messages to tell me my cousin (her son) is crying. He’s having a melt down because he’s realized he has made a mistake on his exam. My cousin is six years old. At six years old he has already attached his self worth to his academic performance. My heart is heavy because I know that feeling all too well. In my opinion there is too much pressure placed on students’ academic performance. However, I do not blame the parents.

I look around me and I can’t help but notice 90% of the Vincentian students here attended the top female and male secondary school. That is NOT a coincidence. Your placement in secondary school almost sets your educational path in stone. The parents know this so they push their children to excel. (Perhaps I will speak more on this topic in another post)

This HAS TO STOP. We must not segregate students so early based on academic performance. I know CXC and the governments are taking strides in fixing these issues, I see their efforts. However, too many students are marginalized because of this system. The same way I learnt to attach my self worth to my grades, who’s to say other students don’t do the same?

How many students would have given up before the journey even began? We think of school as a race, but a race is a competition and school should NEVER be a competition. Education should not only encompass science, english and math. It should be designed to nurture artistic minds as well as mathematical minds.

There are so many people with amazing talent and skill, I am in complete awe of them. Yet, according to the world I am the success and they are the failure because I happened to grasp Pythagoras theorem better than they did. It should not be so…it should NEVER be so.

Please, I beg you, let your children know they have worth even if they don’t place first in class. Give them room to hone other skills besides what is taught in the classroom. Remember a carpenter or mechanic is no less important than a banker or a lawyer.

Thank you for reading, please don’t be afraid to comment and add your thoughts!