Things people assume about me that aren’t true #Bloganuary Challenge

Saw this writing challenge and loved the self indulgence! I’m sure there’s a profound moral message to be raised but this post is not it. I’m keeping it vain and shallow because – well catharsis rocks x

So probably the biggest misconception about me is that I’m an extravert..

But despite the carnival feathers and my joy of doing the “Ricky Gervase Robot” on the dance floor- I’m actually really shy!

I love carnival for the music and sense of freedom and community it evokes. It is never about one person- it’s a celebration of people- a huge party where everyone is invited. When I used to perform on stage with a Samba carnival school, it felt very different. The spotlight literally being on me was an introvert’s nightmare.. my stage dance career did not last very long 😉 but my love of carnival is lifelong.

My hair is probably the next biggest misconception. Generally, people assume that the wigs or weaves I wear are my real hair and when I have my hair in an Afro it’s a wig. I suppose it’s one of the joys of being “ethnically ambiguous” in a society with Westernised beauty standards. I should probably discuss here the endless conversations I have about my “race” or heritage but – nah not today.

I’ve only heard this a couple of times, but being very political and opinionated there’s an assumption ,by some, that I am a serious person with “the weight of the world on my shoulders”. People who have met me for five minutes know that’s not the case. Joy, as they say, is a revolutionary act.

Strangest idea I sometimes hear is the assumption that I’m a good singer…

Even laughing at that as I type! I mean I love singing, but I’ll be first to acknowledge that not one note is in key- as a singer I make a good butcher 😂

Anyway this is probably the most shallow post I’ve written in a fair while and I enjoyed every. single. word. I definitely didn’t expect that! Lol BHW xx

Death of A Girl Boss

We may be through the first week of the new year – but I am still going through old draft posts. Considering Molly Mae’s recent deluded ramblings – one in particularly caught my eye. It was written in 2016 and discussed the pressure to (or at least appear) “have it all”. It was written during the rise of the “Girl Boss“. A deliciously deceptive right wing construct which targeted women via social media. The charge was led by young, female “influencers” regurgitating Thatcherisms as “inspirational quotes” to accompany aspirational snap shots of their jet set lives. And they were rewarded well – with engagement figures in the millions and the lucrative sponsorship deals. Classic neoliberalism for the modern womana. I mean girl. I mean girl- woman? Female empowerment at it’s finest.

And just like the tenacity of each new strand of Covid, the influence of the Girl Boss insidiously infiltrated my life and friendship circle over the following years. For some – empathy and understanding were replaced with judgement and condescension.

A testing time to say the least, but with the great pain and loss this pandemic has brought – it also brought the opportunity to pause for thought. Across the locked down Nation, the clogs and cranks of critical thinking slogged into gear as many in society questioned the identity, value and treatment of “Key Workers”. Remote working challenged the concept of work/life balance and the value of time. Questions were asked of neo-liberal maxims: Productivity is a merit of worth – Worth to who? And an increase in the popularity of more socialist ideas: People over profit.

Without that discourse, perhaps Molly Mae’s comments may have gone unquestioned or even lauded so just as Willie Loman’s pride and delusion led to his ending, may #mollymae’s recent comments be the genesis of the crack that brings the glass House of “Girl Boss” tumbling down.

Radical Dreaming

This season’s holidays provided the much needed down time to go through my writing note books, incomplete posts and projects. Amongst the sprawls and scribbles I found the half written poem “Radical Dreaming”. After watching Don’t Look Up and with New Years Eve rapidly approaching, I decided to rework the poem into a post as an intention for the new year rather than traditional New Year resolutions.

So what’s your radical dream for 2022? here’s mine!

Radical Dreaming

Capitalism is a corruption of love.

In our desire to own and possess ourselves through our possessions we have neglected and exploited the natural resources which quite literally provide us with heaven on Earth. We have over consumed our path towards planet destruction like the Ouroboros devouring it’s own tail. But just as the mythical beast can symbolise death and rebirth, creation and destruction this moment is an opportunity to reimagine and birth a new society.

If capitalism is a corruption of love then a reformation of love can save us.

And as ‘Courage’ originates from the Latin “cor” for heart, it is time to be courageous. We need to act from the heart because we must act outside of our own comforts, interests and egos to work collectively to tackle climate change. We must risk our freedoms by defending the right to protest.

We need to be brave. Brave enough to put down distractions-whether they be digital, consumerism or the bottom of the “locally brewed” bottle. It’s time to be accountable and refuse to support the system which is depleting and deleting our planet. It’s time to reclaim our seat at the table or starve to death as our planet dies. It is going to be uncomfortable. But with community we will get through it. If we acknowledge the seriousness of the problem but dream outside of the current antiquated structures, we can build governance systems founded on empathy and equality not elite capital gain. We are so used to acquisitive ideals that alternative models sound like fairy tales or distant dreams but in reality many are living in a daily nightmare.

I know that individuals can’t recycle their way out of climate change – it takes structural changes by governments and corporations – I can question the motivations of my actions and purchases. Thus making changes that may be uncomfortable at first, but in the long term lead to a more fulfilled way of life. Ultimately joining with others to work towards those common goals that respect and empower the wider society and our planet.

My intentions for 2022

Reduce online time.

Stop buying new clothes (and photo frames…cushions… etc)

Reduce food waste and learn how to grow and preserve food

Join a local group/ community.

Show The Love – Activity Pack

Always choose LOVE

Rest In External Power – Bell Hooks