My So-Called Life

Ever heard the saying ‘life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans’, well dear readers this is the reason why I have been MIA for the past couple of months. Sorry about that.

Let me catch you up on the goings on in my life , here is a quick low down:

Business Owner – I am proud to announce that I am 1/4 owner of  AfroStar Tours. My girls and I had somewhat of an epiphany and realised that  we have a great passion for  black history. Being of Caribbean and African descent, we found  it highly frustrating that we were not taught about our inspiring history in school and had to learn everything regarding Black History through an American gaze. Black History Month in school consisted of tIMG_5351he same stories about the civil rights movements, watching Roots and a brief history about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks.  Not to diminish the great legacy of these amazing people but where was the history of black Britions and what we contributed to the nation? and thus AfroStar Tours was born.  AfroStar Tours aims to showcase the history,  beauty and culture of Black Britain. This is a super exciting time for us and we can’t wait to take people on the journey of London Town to learn all about the Black Power Movement,  carnival, African art and so much more. If you are interested in learning further about us then please click here AfroStar Tour.

Down Under – I flew to Australia for my friends wedding in March and as one of the bridesmaids I was given a first class seat on their wave of love. It was such a beautiful lush day and we were surrounded by rows and rows of vineyards which made the whole day feel so zen. Now that I am back home, I can’t help but feel like Katherine Heigl in 27 dresses, my wardrobe is full to the brim with bridesmaid dresses. Always the bridesmaid but never the bride. I may have to charge people for the use of my services.  I digress, apologies. Australia was amazing, the weather as you’d expect did not disappoint. It FullSizeRenderwas hot, hot, hot near enough everyday that we were there and I could slowly feel my iron levels getting back to normal. Living in England certainty does damage to my health.

I did not experience any racism like I had been warned about, instead I found Australians to be kind and very welcoming or maybe the bride just has awesome friends. However, there was a glaring omission of people of colour and I failed to see any Aboriginal people during my whole 10 day trip. When I did come across a black person in the city, the man in question proceeded to pull  my hair and stared me in face and said ‘don’t you know when you see another African you must say hello?’ No, I did not know this! Is this a thing? I was perplexed. I also got called a ‘fucking idiot’ by a drunk white man that very same day so needless to say that was the only downer that I experienced in Oz. Apart from these two incidents the holiday went off without a hitch, that is until it was time to come home. Let’s just say that our flight was cancelled and we ended up staying overnight in China, an experience I do not wish to repeat again. I felt like a zoo exhibit. I have never been gawked at so much in my life, it was truly unsettling. But hey that is a story for another day.

Work, Work ,Work – The world of work has been stealing my joy lately. It has been draining me of all of my energy and as AfroStar Tour has not made me a millionaire just yet, I still have to wake up everyday and go to my 9-5. The joy 😦

F.R.I.E.N.D.S – I have tried to make a real effort these past few months to catch up with all my girlfriends and check in on them. A lot has happened in the past few weeks, we have  had new baby arrivals, marriage proposal, new jobs, new relationships and a heck of a lot of gossip to catch-up on. My friends truly amaze me. It is so easy to get carried away with our own lives that we forget to give our friends a look in now and again. Have you checked in on your friends today? if not, do it now you never know who needs to hear your voice.  To my girls – I love you guys so much and I miss you. Let’s make a concerted effort to see each other more.

Anyways, I hope you have enjoyed reading this mish mash blog post. My life at the moment has been very hectic and sometimes I absolutely have no clue what I am doing. The blinding lights of London is seriously making me super dizzy. I need another holiday.

 

Working 9-5, what a way to make a living!

Everyday between Monday – Friday, my alarm bell screams out rousing me from my sleep, shocking my system into overdrive. I feel a wave of dread overwhelm me as my 9-5 beckons me with open arms. The monster.co.uk ad swiftly begins playing in my head ‘you hate Mondays because you hate your job, and I involuntary shake my head. No! I hate Mondays because I hate jobs. Period.

The daily working grind is not for me. I shudder thinking about sitting behind a desk all day, everyday, working my arse off for someone else to reap the profits of my labour. All the while I get given measly crumbs to tide me over each month and time off for good behaviour by way of annual leave.

The 9-5 life is just so absurd. It baffles me that this is what I have been working so hard to attain for since beginning education. We go from institutions to institutions all to end up in a shiny prison cell. Then we get sucked into the mortgage trap which keeps us shackled to our corporate jail, as leaving means bills go unpaid and life in this capitalist society becomes x10 harder to manage. This cannot be my portion for the next 40 odd years or so. I refuse to carry out this sentencing. Working a 9-5 cannot be the sum of the human experience.

I think  that what I struggle the most with, is the fact that we can’t ever escape paying taxes and bills. The system sets a deadly trap for us that keeps us rooted to the spot and all we can try and do is make a better situation for whatever position we find ourselves in. I’m not ashamed to say that i’m struggling with working 9-5 just to stay alive! word to Beyonce.

I mean we can become our own bosses but that also has its pitfalls. Being a boss isn’t for everyone, or else we would all do it and besides not everyone has equal access to  resources in order to pursue their own thing. The system is built unfairly and there always has to be a top dog. I wish this staus quo could be revamped but alas, life is not fair.

However, personally working for some entity is no longer a viable option for me. I need to own something for myself. I want to dictate my own terms and conditions. I want to be in charge of me. I want to be my own BOSS!

As 2017 looms across the horizon, a new dawn comes calling. Time to set new goals and objectives and dissolving my marriage to my 9-5 is definitely at the top of my wish list.

 

Working in the City : Redundancy

 

The dreaded ‘R’ word was thrust upon me a few weeks ago and my world caved in. Fresh from my holiday in Ghana, I walked into the office feeling revitalised and ready to start the working cycle again.

Imagine my complete surprise when I was taken aside and told that my job was at risk of being made redundant.

I never saw it coming!

I knew that redundancies were occurring as I got word whilst on holiday that some of my close peers were being given the boot, but not once did it actually cross my mind that I would be on the chopping block.

My mind started to drown with all the thoughts running through it. My number one concern was how I was going to pay my rent and bills. I mean, I just got back from holiday. I had spent well.

I was distraught.

When I thought of redundancy, I always thought of middle aged colleagues packing the desk away, being escorted out of the building or simply agreeing to take voluntary redundancy. I never thought someone in their late twenties in their 3rd proper professional job would be one of the casualties.

I got told not to take the news personally – they were not trying to get rid of me just the role. But, how could I not take it personally, when ‘I’ was the role?

Colleagues kept trying to pacify me by saying that they (management) really wanted to keep me and that they were sad that I was put in this position but all this did was incense me further. They had put me in this position!

At this point I didn’t really care about their feelings. If they had wanted to keep me, then my role should not have been thrown into the pool.

I understood that business decisions had to be made. I understood that as employees we are in essence, disposable. But what I didn’t understand was the justification behind my role no longer being required. This is what hurt the most.

Over the coming days and weeks, I saw colleagues get the chop and leave without an official goodbye. We were being led like lambs to the slaughter.

However, I decided to safeguard myself financially by applying for the suitable alternative job role that the company had coming up. They dangled the carrot and I took it. I didn’t want it. But I had no choice. I needed a job.

I got it!

Damn, I was stuck.

I should have been happy. I still had a job – albeit a different one, but a job nonetheless. I wasn’t though.

I had to get out. I felt trapped and confused, what would be my next move?

They say when one door closes another one opens.

I threw myself vigorously into applying for another role.

There had to be a greater reason as to why this redundancy came about. Maybe this was the push I needed to leave the company and grow professionally.

I applied and secured some interviews. I went. I conquered. I got it.

Better pay, better benefits, better career prospectus.

Maybe things really do happen for a reason.