One is the loneliest number

What’s going to be my winter hobby?

A few months ago, Kidlet’s Dad and I changed the way we shared our time with him, so now we have full weeks on and off. It means that I’m away from my child for a long time, but then I get to be with him for a long time. Now what that has meant to me is that we spend quality time together, playing games, having dinner together, and just being a family together. The flip side to that is when he’s away, I have enough time to get out of Mummy mode and I’m just a single woman, rambling in our home with nothing but time on my hands. The evenings, which were usually filled with board games and healthy dinners, turn into movie marathons and a bowl of cereal.

Usually in the summer, I can get motivated to go out and be productive, meet up with friends or, at the very least, do laundry! Now that it’s dark at 6, it’s harder to get momentum in the evenings. I find myself working late to avoid coming home to dark and empty house. I have to get out of the funk. I have to find a class or something to take. It seems imperative at this point. It’s not about finding a partner, although I think that would help, but it’s about finding myself as a person.

How many of you mothers would know how to fill 7 days back to back if you were periodically relieved of all of your motherly duties? It’s because I know I’m not only a mother. It was the same way when I got married and moved to Canada. For a long time I felt like I was just a big sister and when I moved away from my brothers, it felt strange not having a gang of people to take care of, but then again, I was a wife, so that redefined me and I focussed on that. Having said that, earlier this year, I found out that I’m not cut out to be a Stay-At-Home-Mum either. So I’m back to square one. I’m saying all this not to feel sorry for myself. I’m saying this because I find that I keep circling back to this point.

And I’ve been at this point before, essentially wandering in the desert, but I just suppressed it and moved on with my life. Joining the gym was a flop. Perhaps taking some kind of class might be a good way to go, but what class? Blogging helps – having the commitment to write and focus my energy on creating good posts is a good thing. I just think it’s uber distressing not knowing who I am in isolation. I’ve always prided myself on being self-aware, but I can’t seem to get a handle on this. I’ll find it. I know I will, and when that happens, “Watch out!”

Maybe it just comes right down to be lonely and being alone. It could be just as simple as that.

Nevertheless, it’s the restlessness….

Sigh.

*****Back to my regularly scheduled programme*****

A new week, a new beginning!

Hello!

I sat here at the laptop for 45 minutes starting and trashing posts. I had an intense weekend – a lot of introspection, a lot of crying, a lot of laughter – and wanted to share some of it with you. The problem is, it’s Monday….morning….! Who wants to dig deep? Meh. Monday morning is about being positive and putting your best foot forward! The weekend gone is a memory and we are at the furthest point away from the one coming, so this will be the hardest part of the week. I’ll write about my deep thoughts later on in the week when we’ve got a good rhythm to the week going.

For me, Monday is like New Year’s Eve. I spend Sunday night thinking about how I will make the coming week better. Monday morning is full of promise of getting to work on time and other things I would like to accomplish. It’s a new beginning. Some things I have promised to myself on a Monday:

  1. I will pack my lunch the night before every weeknight.
  2. I will NOT eat lunch out.
  3. I will not spend too much time on Facebook in the morning.
  4. I will iron my clothes the night before.
  5. I will schedule my blog posts so I’m not writing when I have to get ready for work.
  6. I will try to think positively at the office.
  7. I won’t let co-workers get under my skin.
  8. I will take my lunch break and spend it away from my desk.
  9. I will plan what I’m making for dinner, so I won’t be scrambling every night.
  10. I will try to be happy and fulfilled because this is my choice, for now.

Every Monday, is a chance to do better, especially if the prior week was particularly gruelling. Many days I’ve thought, “If only I had x, then I wouldn’t be in this position right now!”

Many weeks, I don’t accomplish any of this stuff (For example, right now, I have to leave home in 30 minutes and I’m still typing AND lunches aren’t packed! Yikes! *pant,pant*), but I do want to do better. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do better. Every day is a chance to be happy, do better, do more, make different choices.

So for this Monday, I will try to be positive and upbeat, focus on my work at hand at the office and get dinner on the table by 6.30.

The truth is that I may not accomplish any of those things THIS Monday, but there’s always tomorrow! :)

V

Oh to be young again!

Remember the last time you had a crush? A couple of my friends have been throwing around the word lately, which feels weird because we’re in our thirties. Aren’t crushes and swooning for teenagers? I am an expert on teenage crushes having had many, many crushes myself when I was younger.

I was looking for a poem to share today and I found this one I wrote last year. From the looks of it, I had a crush on someone who had a crush on me. (I know who it is, but I won’t say. I’m blushing as I’m typing this!) I guess I wanted him to make the first move, which obviously never happened.

Nevertheless, I think crushes are fun. They keep you dreaming, they keep you giddy and nervous and in a constant state of anticipation, which, as an adult, you might need sometimes. It’s even more intense when your crush might have a crush on you! A crush then becomes this vortex of fantasy, a longing and wishing until one day one of you fights back the fear and says, “I think you’re kinda awesome.”

Siiiigh.

The Crush by Vikera Hunte

He plays with my mind

like a kitten with a ball of string.
He touches, then runs away -
intrigued but scared
wanting to but not wanting to
and then not wanting to but still wanting to

“See you soon,” he says.

Maybe one day
he’ll want me enough to not be scared
Or not want me enough to let me go.

Maybe one day
desire will overcome fear.

Maybe.

Virtual Blog Tour – a short trip in the Mind Maze

I was nominated to do this challenge a few weeks ago by the blogger behind Vernette Out Loud. This fab Trinidadian blogger was the one who actually inspired me to start blogging almost a year ago. She nominated me for this Blog Tour a few weeks ago and I had to accept! Thank you for thinking of me, V! I have been looking forward to this post since the nomination, so here goes!

The Challenge

1. Compose a one-time post which is posted on Monday (date will be given to you from whoever passes on the tour).

2. Answer these four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do:

  • What am I working on?
  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • Why do I write/create what I do?
  • How does your writing/creating process work?

1. What am I working on?

I’m not really working on anything specifically. I made a commitment to this blog and while it’s not always regular, it’s funny and thoughtful when I do post. It feeds that creative need that gets dampened by life sometimes. I don’t really have a vision for the Mind Maze. It continues to be a work in progress, each post a stroke on the canvas.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I will admit, I don’t read nearly as many other blogs as I should. As a result, I cannot make a comparison between my blog and others. I think there are a lot of bloggers out there, sharing their passions and fears and hopes and dreams, writing because they need to. If that’s a genre, then that’s the one I’m in. I am no different.

3. Why do I write/create?

I write because I have a gift. I write because I can’t speak all the thoughts in my mind – besides, who will listen to them all? Instead, I choose to speak some of them and then string together words, sentences, paragraphs with the rest and send them into the world. Honestly, this blog helps me unravel thoughts. The words and ideas swim around in my head, but when I write, I have to be coherent and streamlined, so it helps the thoughts form and out comes a blog post.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

Okay, this is where things get tricky. Since I don’t really have a genre or theme per se, I just write about what I feel. I struggle every time with the boundaries between honesty and oversharing. It can take me 45 minutes to mull and decided how much is too much. There are times when things happen and I want to blog about it, but I wonder if it’s too much to share. It’s extremely challenging to edit so much of my life when I’m an open book. If you asked me to my face, I’d probably tell you everything, but with a blog, you have to censor.

Another thing is that I sometimes feel like my blog has no focus. Having said that, I know that a real person is messy and not always compartmentalized. There are many facets to any one person, so while today, I might post a poem, tomorrow I might want to share something that hurt me and then another day, I will be moved to write about the man I’m waiting to fall in love with one day. Other days, a picture of the sun will be all that I want to share. It’s what moves me. If I’m not moved by an emotion: happiness, hope, determination, goodwill, anger, frustration, whatever it is, I don’t post. Plain and simple.

******

Thus ends the tour. Thank you for taking this journey with me. :)

V

I don’t hate food. So what?

I don’t hate food. I just don’t. I enjoy eating and tasting food. My only restriction is if there’s meat or horseradish in it, not if it’s overloaded with calories or gluten or whatever else.”

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, and I suspect for a large part it is, but I’ve always had a healthy appetite. I enjoy eating. In the Trinidadian culture, an abundance of food is a sign of wealth and health. People often show off at weddings, not by the venue or the music, but by the spread of food presented. When someone comes over to your house, you offer food even if you live in a one-room home. Food is a good thing. Being a good cook is a high ranking skill in our culture. Being a vegetarian in a BIG carnivore culture was often met with disapproval because when I would visit others’ homes, they felt like they wouldn’t be able to feed me, which meant they were a failure as a host/hostess. Food is serious business in Trinidad.

Food is serious business here in Vancouver too, but not in the same way. How many times would you go somewhere and hear people beg off an offer of food because “I’m watching my figure,” or “I’m on a cleanse,” or my most hated, “I shouldn’t.” Okay, I get it. People want to lose weight and be healthy and be fit, I get it. I really do, but when did EVERYBODY stop enjoying food? Why ‘shouldn’t’ you eat food unless you’re allergic to something or you’re already full?

Let me ask you a question? When did rice become a bad thing? Remember when it was called “a staple” like flour and sugar and pasta and milk? None of which are welcome anymore, by the way.

[I want to apologize if I'm sounding sarcastic, but I just can't help it. The volcano has erupted. I can't control how the lava spews.]

I often go to potlucks and when you have treats and other stuff, it’s left untouched. Even if it is touched, there has to be a ten-minute preface about how bad it is and a spiel about weight-loss or calories. Do you know in Trinidad, there are things that we buy and eat and we don’t know where it was prepared, let alone what’s in it? Heck, doubles, which is pretty much our national food, is a kind of fried bread and people eat that all the time without batting an eyelash.

I feel like food should not be something that has to be apologized for before eating. Remember the good ole days when you said Grace Before Meals, giving thanks for the food. Now it’s the opposite. Now we have the Preface Before Meals. You don’t have to be religious to be thankful that you have food to eat, but maybe that’s what it is. Here in North America, having food is a given, so no big deal there, so something else needs to be said, I suppose.

There are days when I eat that I feel grateful to have that meal. When I prepare a great meal and Kidlet and I polish it off and go back for seconds, I feel grateful and happy. When he eats and he tells me he’s too full because of food I’ve prepared, I’m happy. What scares me is that, despite how I actually feel, I find myself saying things sometimes that I know I don’t believe. The subtly negative attitude towards food is starting to rub off on me slowly. I will try to make a genuine effort to resist it though. I’ll continue to drink my full fat milk and white rice and all the desserts I can get my grubby hands on and I won’t apologize for it.

V

p.s. I don’t think I’ve finished ranting about this yet…..

Hello all,

How’ve you been?

I was sitting here thinking about what to write about, but came up with nothing profound, so I just thought I would just have a bit of a chat and wish you a happy day today!

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.

As the sun sets on another week, if you’re Canadian, you’ll be heading into a long weekend, so that’s super exciting. If you’re not Canadian, you still are heading into a weekend, so what’s to complain about, right? Having said that though, every time Trinidad gets a long weekend and we don’t, I whine! Grrr

Also, I’m already starting to get excited about my birthday…it’s in December, so I’m a little bit ahead of myself, but hey, why not? I don’t know what I’m getting myself this year. I’m probably going to get another tattoo very soon, but that’s not a birthday present. I’ll be thinking hard about it.

Um, Kidlet and I don’t have much planned for the long weekend besides spending time with friends. I’m going to try to declutter our house a little bit more – an ongoing project. When you put two sentimental people in a house together, it amounts to a lot of ticket stubs and pieces of paper and every little thing that reminds us of a little thing. Sigh. One day……

Alright, well you have yourselves a good day whatever you get into and be happy! Remember, happiness is always up to you! :)

V

Ode to Vancouver

Well hello there! Good morning!

I was reminded over the weekend that the 6th anniversary of becoming Canadian was this weekend. That flew by quickly. One minute, I’m working at a Trinidadian daily newspaper, eating doubles every Saturday morning and callaloo and macaroni pie every Sunday for lunch and next thing you know, I’m a Vancouverite through and through – complete with vegetarian diet, rain boots and recycling bins. It’s amazing how time marches on and how life changes.

I went back to find a picture from my citizenship ceremony and realized that I was married at the time, so pictures of Ex-Husband were all throughout the album. They always seem to surprise me – pictures of XH, but that’s not what this post is about. Although, of course, my being in Canada is inextricably linked to him, so it’s kind of avoidable. Meh.

I didn’t plan on being Canadian. When I met him and we fell in love, it never crossed my mind that I’d have to move. Oh, to be young and a little bit stupid! After a couple years, we did move. I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew was that it was far, but I didn’t expect Vancouver to be this beautiful. Over the years, I’ve taken a lot of trips and nowhere I’ve been is as good as here – not even Manhattan, which is saying a lot since I’m obsessed with that city. It’s not the most exciting place – I prefer the bustle of Vegas with the shopping and the noise and the crowds – but I accept Vancouver as my own.

I am Canadian! [Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.]

I am Canadian!
[Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.]

 So today I want to make a list of things I appreciate about living in Vancouver.

1. Being born and raised in a place where there is homogeneity and sameness, I always marvel at how cosmopolitan we are. I remember when I moved here and met people from LITERALLY all around the world. I met a guy one night from Azerbaijan. Do you know how blessed you are when you can casually meet someone from a place you have to look up on a map? When I first moved here and met a friend’s babysitter, who was from Nepal, I wanted to have a map and put a pin of the countries from which I met people. I still might do that. It’s fascinating.

2. The mountains and the ocean. I like the option of going up to Cypress for a day of snowshoeing, which I did on my own because I wanted to try something new and exciting – only to find out it was just hiking on snow! Then a few months later, being able to spend the whole day on the beach, lying in the sun, being warm and happy. In Vancouver, it’s easy to be outdoors – camping, hiking, going to the beach, paddleboarding, skiing: the options are endless.

3. It’s SO clean here! I mean, seriously! It’s clean here all the time. I appreciate the hard work of all those who keep our city clean. If you see litter somewhere, it’s always a surprise. In Manhattan, the garbage is just piled up on the sidewalk and it’s jarring. Here, garbage is whisked away and taken care of ever so discreetly. I love it.

4. On the same vein, I appreciate that we are mindful of our environment here. We take care of our planet and recycling is a BIG part of our culture. I’m not going to lie, I’m a recycling buff. I try to recycle everything all the time. It makes sense and it’ll be a good thing in the long run. On one of my trips back to Trinidad, for the first time I realized how much styrofoam was used and that everything was just GARBAGE. I did my part one year and took all the disposable (and biodegradable) things for Kidlet’s birthday party down there. I couldn’t bear contributing to the massive piles on the Beetham.

5. I just like how everybody gets along here. I mean, with so many different groups of people, everyone is integrated and open to different cultures. You are exposed to different kinds of food, music, religions, dances. I told Kidlet once that we should learn how to count to 10 or say “Thank you” in 10 different languages for fun – that’s still on my bucket list. Since I’ve been here, I’ve fallen in love with Japanese sushi, Thai pad thai, and Angolan kizomba.

When I fell in love with a man all those years ago, how could I have known that this would be my life today? I’ve said this before: there are days when I feel like I want to go home and there are days when I feel like I’m already home.