I’m still kicking around….

Good morning!

I just wanted to swing by to say that I’m here. I’m still alive. I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post. That is not a reflection on how much I like to write or how much I value this here blog. It’s a reflection on how busy my life has become lately.

Work is becoming increasingly challenging (in a good way), I have 10,000 steps to get on my Fitbit every day, school has just begun and Kidlet’s academic needs are at the top of my mind, I’m growing out my hair, which requires the whole segment of brain that produces patience, I’ve recently started a new activity and, of course, there is my budding romance with Boyfriend.¬†Even though my life is becoming fuller and fuller with every week that passes, there is room for you and room for the Mind Maze. I just have to re-calibrate.

I’ll be back soon to regale you with a bunch of stories from my charming life!

In the meantime, please play nicely among yourselves, be happy and keep on smiling.

Have a good week ahead. ūüôā

Vikera

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What a difference a year makes….

Good morning!

I was sitting here reminiscing on last summer. It seems so different from this summer. Last summer, I had just started working again and funds were not for spending, but for replenishing my withering bank account after six months of being off work. In other aspects though, my life was the same, but different back then. I was very involved with the Trinidadian society out here: going to meetings and volunteering. I was seriously single. I didn’t have the new car and still felt awkward driving my old car. I was living a very sedentary life. I didn’t have the new phone or maybe I just got it and was still figuring it all out. I was dancing kizomba religiously every two weeks. I certainly didn’t have Whatsapp to communicate with my brothers. I was rocking short hair. I didn’t have four tattoos.¬†Flashforward a year and a lot of this has changed.

Isn’t it amazing how life changes? None of these things I had really planned on changing; they just happened over the course of the year. Life has a way of moving along nicely, doesn’t it?

You know me, I have always been a planner and I’m not extremely spontaneous, however, it’s becoming clear to me that despite my best efforts, things are going to happen that I didn’t plan for or didn’t see coming and it’s not always a bad thing! Hmmm…imagine that!

  1. I am grateful to have people in my life who love me and want what’s best for me.
  2. I am grateful that I am able to provide for Kidlet and we both have more than we need and are able to have some of what we want.
  3. I am grateful that my heart remembers how to love and the person that I’ve entrusted it to is taking care of it nicely.
  4. I am grateful that I’m becoming more active. (I bought a Fitbit activity tracker…more on that next week!)
  5. I am grateful that I have a challenging and rewarding (and frustrating and sometimes overwhelming) job!
  6. I am grateful that Kidlet is happy and healthy and just an all-round super duper wonderful person. ‚̧
  7. I am grateful that I’m making peace with my hair. It’s getting longer and it’s a lot more work than a bi-weekly haircut, but when it’s big and fluffy and my curls are all over the place, it feels magical.
  8. I am grateful that after 10 years, the homesickness for Trini food is now manageable.
  9. I am grateful that I held out for a job with a short commute, so when I’m working on this blog post in the morning when I should be in the shower, I can still get to work on time! ACK! ūüėõ

It’s important to focus on the positive. Last year, my life was good.¬†It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. This year, my life still isn’t perfect, but it’s still good. Happiness and contentment live with me and for THAT¬†I am ever grateful!

Have a good week all!

I still need her…

I never thought I would say those words. I never thought I would feel this way. I had been dreading it. I was able to avoid it this whole time – it’s almost been 6 years – but finally, I said it, “I don’t have a Mum.” Sigh.

Now that I’m dating an adult AS an adult, I’m faced with things that I am not completely comfortable with honestly. I don’t feel sure of myself. This isn’t a teenage romance. This isn’t easy. There are so many things to consider: me, him, his children, my child, scheduling, blending of the families, everything. Not just externally, either, but in my own mind and heart. It’s challenging. There are so many ways things that can go wrong and get sidetracked. New Boyfriend and I do talk A LOT about everything and try to do right, but still, there are no guarantees and we don’t feel sure about everything all the time. We’re just doing the best we can. Remember when you were young and you meet someone, you like them and then you’re just ‘together’, the end. Those days are over! hehehe

Now is the time I wish Mum was still here, you know? I don’t know what it would be like and honestly, the person I am today is actually because she hasn’t been here, so if she was here, would I be me and would I be in this situation? I don’t know. All I know is that with this new relationship, I want to do the right thing and I want to make good choices, but how can I be sure? My mum often seemed to know what the right thing was…not always, but often.

I was talking to a coworker about New Boyfriend and she was literally GRILLING me about him and us and I thought, “Whoa!” The funny thing is that it’s been a long while since anyone actually gave a damn in that way. The way only a mother can: the no holds barred, I don’t care if it’s private, I still want to know way. It reminded me then that I don’t have a mum to help me get through this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good, but it’s very delicate to do it properly. I don’t have a mum to reassure me that I’m doing the right thing. I do have people in my life who love me and we can talk about things and New Boyfriend and I do talk about things all the time as well, but you know, Mummy would have been alllllll over everything,¬†asking the hard questions.

Ultimately, though, it’s he and I that are in this relationship and while it’s good to get advice, it’s up to us, but I can’t help but want her as a sounding board.

I know it’s going to come up again. What if I get remarried, what if I have another baby, what if so many things…she won’t be here.

It’s good to know that she’s still in my heart and I fear all the time that I’ll forget and I’ll go on living without her, but the fact remains that I do still need her. I do still wish she was here and I do still want to hear her laugh.

Hmmm…

I press on.

Vikera

What weekends are made for…

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Good morning, my lovelies!

So I had a spectacular weekend! Full of mini events, nothing super big, but pretty awesome things.

  1. I was in bed in pajamas with a bowl of cereal and Netflix by¬†7 pm on Friday. Now, one may view this as the height of laziness, but I choose to look at it as my right to enjoy my first child-free night whichever way I choose. Sure, I could have cooked something, but that’s the point of being an adult – the choice to make silly decisions is not always one you can make, but sometimes, just sometimes, you can just go for it! If you’re wondering what kind of cereal it was, it was leftover adult cereal and a healthy serving of sugary kids cereal. Now that I can enjoy cereal without intestinal trauma, life is good! I watched three movies (a triple feature?), one of which annoyed me.¬†It was a great romance until the last five minutes of the movie: the couple¬†shared a healthy chug each of a rat poison and wine cocktail and then promptly died, so yeah. Meh.
  2. Saturday morning, I had a VERY exciting meeting at the bank where I was told that things are not as grim as I thought. Being off work for six months and having car payments¬†put a strain on things BUT my lovely financial advisor pointed me to the light at the end of the tunnel far off in the distance. I hinted that the¬†light we saw¬†may be on shining from¬†my very own condo..but we’ll see if I kick my shoe/nail polish addiction long enough to actually reach said¬†light.
  3. Spent a couple hours at the beach with New Boyfriend and children. It was weird being without my kidlet. It turns out that for me, being a parent is nothing something I can switch back and forth from. While I was giddy on Friday night with cereal in bed, when I’m around kids, even if they’re not my own, I’m very Mumsy complete with tissues, water, chapstick and snacks at the ready from my humongous handbag. ūüėõ
  4. Saturday night: no cereal, no Netflix. Passed out almost immediately. I blame the ocean air and not the old age.
  5. Sunday morning, I woke up with a lot of energy. I was up at 6 and braided my hair. Even though I took hours to do it, I knew I wouldn’t leave it as is, but would fuss with it more when I had time. It’s my hobby, that’s how I roll. I ran a few errands, took out the garbage and then I made sweet potato and chickpea enchiladas from scratch for my girls, who came over for lunch. We had a gossipfest, made very terrible jokes, talked about boys, tried on clothes, ate chocolate and braided our hair. Yes, I know we’re in our thirties, we’re mothers, we have careers BUT we also love each other and enjoy spending time with each other and hey, that’s what girls do! When I spend time with them, I am reminded that I grew up with five brothers and here, life has given me four sisters. Aren’t I blessed? ‚̧
  6. Sunday afternoon, went for a massage. Turns out I’m a ball of knots. The gigantic masseuse, whose handspan pretty much covered my whole back and who could probably break me with little effort, declared that my muscles were ALL tight. In my mind, I was thinking, “Well, don’t tell me that…get on it!” All in all, pretty relaxing 45 minutes.
  7. After the massage, I ended up at the mall. I walked around for a couple hours and had a decaf soy frappuccino Рfirst time for me. Not bad. Managed to only buy a pair of socks and a pair of earrings. That made me happy.
  8. I came home and fussed with my hair AGAIN. I put in extensions, which look kinda cute. I haven’t worn it like this before, so I’m excited.
  9. Now, I’m sitting here waiting for New Boyfriend to come over for a visit. I’m tired, and all the dishes from lunch are in the sink and I don’t know what I’m wearing to work tomorrow OR what’s for lunch, since I ate the leftovers that I was supposed to have taken to work. Sigh.

Even though it wasn’t super productive with laundry and a clean kitchen and a fridge full of groceries, all in all, I think this weekend was a success: a little bit of fun, romance, laughter, beauty, shopping, good food, movies, cereal, good sleep, the beach and relaxation.

I hope this week at work is as successful for me and for you too whatever happens! ūüôā

Have fun!

Love,
Vikera

What are we supposed to do now? Part 2

So on Monday I was talking about how dating has changed over the years and expectations of a date have moved far away from what has been traditionally expected.

This ‘new future’ worries me though. There was a time when you would advise your child¬†to wait on someone special before committing, so at least that was in place to separate the wheat from the chaff, but now, with commitment being optional, now what do we use to gauge if someone is worth your time¬†or not?

Very worrisome.

I have always been guided, selfishly, by what a person I let into my life can add to my life. I think I am a wonderful person to be in a relationship with and I have a lot to offer. I’m not going to discount that. Why would I let some random person into my life, enjoy all that I have and then be out? I wouldn’t let a stranger spend five minutes with my child alone because of trust, don’t I deserve the same courtesy? Too often, I think people put up with situations and people that they don’t deserve. You should ask yourself, “Is this person worth all that I’m giving right now?”

I know I’m being hard on poor unsuspecting suitors – maybe that’s why I never¬†have a long line at my door – but I’m worth it. You’re worth it. You’re worth working for. You’re worth waiting for. You’re worth respecting. I think that’s what the traditional values meant.¬†At first glance, it may have seemed like the woman had a lot to prove: “Can she cook? Is she physically attractive? Is she from a good family? Can she have children?” but on a deeper level, the men have to prove themselves too: “Can he provide for a family? Does he have a good job? Does he have a house? Can he take care of his family?”. There is a need for both sides to put their best feet forward and prove themselves. Sadly, we’ve kinda moved away from that.

I get it. It’s not necessary for a man to have a good job anymore because there are a lot of financially independent¬†women out there and it’s not necessary for women to be able to have children because the need to ‘carry on the blood line’ is not a priority anymore. While all these questions don’t need a positive answer, I think the sentiment should still apply. I think we should be asking SOME qualifying questions. They may be along the lines of:

  • What are your goals? Do you want/have a career?
  • Are you financially stable?
  • Are you willing to be monogamous? Do you want to be with only me or are you still sowing oats?
  • Do you want children?
  • Do you want to get married?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

I mean, this list is, of course, not exhaustive, but these are the kinds of things one should be thinking about at the outset for a lasting relationship. It should be about complementary goals and ideologies, not just chemistry. It fosters respect and teamwork and focus and will ultimately lead to better compatibility and stronger relationships.

I think these days, we are not overly diligent about who we hitch our wagons to and it erodes the perception of love and wonderful romantic relationships and that makes me sad. Like the prevalence and availability of fast food makes us less willing to go out of our way for a nice meal, you know?

Anyway, I don’t have a solution, but I can only be diligent for myself and my body and my heart and mind. Here’s to hoping we find our way back to love and respect and honour and romance and dedication and partnership and all of that good stuff!

Keep love alive! ‚̧

V

What are we supposed to do now? Part 1

Good morning!

I saw this picture on Facebook about dating back in the day versus dating in 2015. I intended to save it and include it in this post, but it slipped away from me. It did, however, inspire me to think about the dating life these days. I know my opinions won’t be popular or possibly even understood, but it’s just what I’ve observed in recent times.

It’s 2015. It’s a world where women don’t NEED men, they want men. It’s a world where women don’t need to get asked out, they do the asking. It’s a world where it’s acceptable for two people to¬†have sex on a first date. It’s a world where there are open relationships and you can hire someone to cuddle you. It’s a world where traditional values are not strictly adhered to. There are no more guidelines, per se: the rules of courtship are much more individual. What’s acceptable is largely subjective. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

I, myself, have always been guided by a more traditional set of courtship rules. I know I’m in my late 30’s and people have hundreds of ways to connect these days, but I just don’t think it’s acceptable to court me by text exclusively. I don’t expect flowers and candy, but I do expect a bit of deference when it comes to holding the door open or allowing me to order first if we have a meal of some kind together. Depending on the situation, I do not expect my date to pay for everything all the time, but I expect him to know that he should expect me to expect him to pay all the time. (Does that make sense?)¬†What happened to gentility and respect and honour and chastity and self-worth and all of that stuff? Why has progression led to such a bastardization of our morals? These days, you don’t get asked to be a girlfriend or boyfriend, you are asked to accept a “Confirm if you’re in a relationship with” request¬†on Facebook.

I actually still believe in romance. I actually still believe in talking on the phone for hours late at night (and it doesn’t include phone sex). I do believe in going through picture albums and sharing memories (not just adding the person to Facebook so they can look through your pictures WITHOUT context or emotion). I do believe¬†in waiting for exclusivity to have sex (and not having a condom with you on a first date). I do believe in using the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ (and not label-less introductions). Having said all of this, I understand that we’re all doing the best we can and that most of these situations depend on the person involved, but I can’t help but wonder why we can’t dial it back – not all the way back, but to like the late 90’s or something.

Why can’t we really get to know each other? Why can’t we really connect with people? Why can’t we wait or slow down, for pete’s sake? I have a few theories:

  1. Since marriage is on the decline, people are not courting with a view to get married, but are ‘getting together’ in a much more casual way, so the need to know everything in order to determine long-term compatibility is fairly obsolete.
  2. With the perception of women changing from virginal and chaste, to a more multi-dimensional entity, it’s almost like the sentiment¬†is “you can take it”. We are no longer the ‘fairer sex’, so there’s no need to tiptoe around us, is there?
  3. We live in a world where we can have it all, so the general feeling is that there is no need to¬†compromise, so instead of accepting a partner as is – flaws and all – we¬†are opting to take the good bits and throw back the rest. This leads to casual sex (if it’s good) without commitment¬†or all these other ‘situationships’ that blossom out of thin air.
  4. What about self-worth and self-esteem being on the decline? Maybe with all the noise out there making people feel they’re not good enough, maybe people think they’re not worth waiting¬†for?

I don’t know, this is what I came up with. Maybe it’s none of this, maybe it’s all of this. All I know is that I’d be hard-pressed to let some random person borrow my favourite shoes without asking 100 questions first, let alone said person having their way with my body. I mean, seriously? As I said, maybe I just don’t get it.

So what do we do now?

V

What are we supposed to do now – Part 2 to be published on Thursday April 9.

Through my own eyes

Good morning everyone!

Do you think when you look at yourself you see yourself through the eyes of someone else? When you make your decisions, do you subconsciously let others weigh in?

I’ve always said if it wasn’t for my mother being who she was, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. She was always in my corner boosting me up and letting me know that I could do anything. Sure, there were times when her advice was misguided because she feared for me and my well-being. Our opinions¬†differed only because as a mother she wanted to protect me and I wanted to take risks. Now that I am a mother myself, I get that. She always let me know that I was smart, she let me know that I was beautiful and that I had many things to offer. She let me know that I was worth something and that I was a prize. Hearing that all through my life gave me confidence, it gave me strength, it made me stand up for myself and it also made others treat me the way she saw me.

You teach people how to treat you.

It’s only now, when she is no longer¬†here, I see the fact that for a long time, I had been looking at myself through her eyes. My kindness and gentleness, my sense of fairness and generosity, my loyalty and honesty are all things that she wanted me to be, what she thought me to be and I manifested that and became all those things. Over the years, I had become that woman.

Interestingly enough, while I had a voice in my heart telling me how to be a good person, there were also other voices creeping in with disparaging words; words that told me that I am other things too. In the past, there was someone in my life through whose eyes I also saw myself and the Vikera I saw was not so good. The Vikera I saw was lazy, loud, aggressive, overly talkative, too smart, a mediocre mother, cheap, naive, a little bit stupid and overly ambitious. I saw myself through that person’s eyes for a long time and it took its toll on me.

Over time, I started to believe those things, in varying degrees. My mother had created such a strong foundation that this other stuff couldn’t possibly be true, but for pockets of time, I did question if I talked too much, I did think that I could be a better mother, I did wonder if I should dampen my rambunctious, vivacious personality. I realized that I started looking at myself through that person’s eyes.

Isn’t that strange?

Luckily for me, though, over time, I started looking at myself through my own eyes: a skill that took A LONG TIME to get a handle on. It took a long time to start looking at myself objectively and judging myself and my actions based on the person I wanted to be not who someone else thought I was.

I do not judge my actions based on what others think about me. I judge my actions based on what is right and fair to others.

This circles back to how strongly I feel about the media and body image and all of that stuff. This comes back to all these forces in our lives telling us things about ourselves that we may not necessarily buy into but before you know it, we start believing it and repeating it. We start looking at ourselves through others’ eyes – others who do not have our best interest at heart, others who don’t know who we are, others who try to hurt us, others who are not trying to build us up. We have to be vigilant, we have to be aware. We have to think if our opinions are actually our opinions or if we are voicing or thinking someone else’s.

I do like my rambunctious personality, I am hella smart, I am definitely loud and funny, I can be lazy. I am a wonderful mother. I hate doing dishes and laundry. I can do anything. I have thick thighs. I am a procrastinator. My wit is everything! I can be too generous sometimes. I am loyal. I love hard. I snore.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not squirrel off with it without asking first.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not squirrel off with it without asking first.

All in all, I’m not perfect, but I’m fucking awesome and will only get better! <— That’s me looking at myself through my own eyes and I look goooooood!

Have a great day guys! ‚̧

V