The means to an end

I dislike hypothetical questions.

That is not completely true. I dislike ridiculous hypothetical questions such as: “Would you drink your mum’s piss for 790 billion dollars?”  and in response everyone goes “For that amount I’ll eat her $h@t too!” and they act like you are insane for saying no “What? you wouldn’t do it? For seven hundred and ninety BILLION dollars?”  Ugh shut up. Hypothetical does not necessarily mean unrealistic and stupid. Nobody is going to offer you a huge sum for something so daft.

One very common hypothetical question has to do with money vs happiness. Every now and then, a variation of  “would you rather have money or happiness” pops up. And every time the air is awash with cries of “money! money!! money!!!” Lots of people would rather cry in a Ferrari than on the bus.

I have always felt that this was a strange attitude to have; choosing money or anything else for that matter over happiness. Surely the main goal in life is to be happy, everything we do is in hopes of that it will bring us. It is counterintuitive to willingly and intentionally make decisions or change our circumstances without some expectation of happiness.

“Well can you be happy without money?”

Strange question.

We want/need money to buy things, gain power, freedom, choices and to reduce our stress. If the purpose of money is to be able to do things that ultimately make us happy, then we agree that money is a means to an end-the end being happiness. Now you have hypothetically been offered the means to an end (money) and the end in its self (happiness) and for some reason you have chosen the means because you think it will bring you the end.

It is similar to craving a carrot cake, and having someone offer you the option of either a carrot cake or a kilo of flour. You chose the flour because well can you make carrot cake without flour?  By doing this you are ignoring the numerous other ingredients needed alongside flour to make the cake. Hell you might not even need the flour. It just makes no sense to choose the flour because we think we need it for the cake rather than just choose the cake.

Money is so crucial in our lives, and to deny its usefulness would be foolish. Still it annoys me a little to hear people be so cavalier about happiness. This attitude is partly the reason that people roll their eyes when a wealthy person alludes to being unhappy. Oh please you are worth 40million, how can you be unhappy? If you are so unhappy then give me your money. This is even more evident when a wealthy person commits suicide. People are dumbfounded- but she was so rich!
Of course it may be difficult to feel sorry for someone who seems to have it all when you are struggling to make ends meet, but my point is that wealth does not translate to happiness as there are other ingredients needed.

Does it really feel better to cry in a Ferrari than on the bus? Or is it even worse, knowing you have a goddam Ferrari and are still unhappy.

Just a random rant that I usually have in my head.

 

 

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Now the week is over.

The first week of the year has come to an end and we have embarked on week 2. Unlike most people who start out strong with their resolutions only to falter down the road, I did it the smart way by faltering at the very beginning. I spent the first couple of days thinking okay do I start drinking water now? When exactly should I begin my squats?  I was in a limbo at the beginning of the year as I had exams and did not quite feel like I was writing with a fresh slate.

Now I feel strangely happy, optimistic and relieved. I cannot pinpoint the source of these feelings but it may have to do with the fact that I don’t have exams for a while, and I have nothing outstanding from twenty seventeen. I did not knock my resolutions out of the park, some of them I haven’t even started but it’s all uphill from here. I got a little excited and downloaded three goal tracker apps. It is nice to document my goals but to be honest I haven’t made much use of the app.

Let’s see how I did on my resolutions:

  1. Drink at least three bottles of water a day: I did really well on day 3, okay on day 4 and then just reverted to my parched ways.
  2. Exercise (squats, abs, yoga)– Nothing.
  3. Do something interesting on weekends and hang out with other people-Knocked this out of the park. I had lunch with friends three days of the week and had dinner and the theatre on Saturday. Perhaps all this social interaction is why I feel so happy. I hope to keep this up and I am already thinking of ideas for next week.
  4. Travel the world-Hey it’s only week one!
  5. Improve my French-I spent 30 minutes learning French this week which is not as good as I want.
  6. Eat more vegetables-Done! Had spinach and peppers with my dinners this week and it was good.
  7. Learn to knit-Nothing.
  8. Learn to use chopsticks-Nothing.
  9. Take care of my hair-Well I have made a bit of effort. I still need to find a good routine that works for me.
  10. Try something for the first time-I ate food from two new places this week. I also went to the ballet for the first time.
  11. Write two blogposts per month. Here’s one.

And so on and so forth.

All in all it’s been a good year so far. I am beginning to realise that the key to maintaining my happiness and sanity is to ensure a good balance between spending time in my room by myself and hanging out with people out of my room. As introverted as I am, it still feels good to go out and have good conversation over good food.

Cheers to the new week. I hope it’s good and I hope to achieve more of my goals.

Hello 2018!

Goodbye twenty seventeen, as far as years go you could have been worse. I often had problem distinguishing between you and twenty sixteen; how many times did I ask if something happened in two thousand and seventeen only to be told it actually happened in two thousand and sixteen “Did Brexit happen this year?” Nope that was a year ago”. Now twenty sixteen is going to be two years ago. How time flies.

Welcome twenty eighteen, or perhaps you should be the one welcoming us. As usual I try not to have any expectations for the year but this time (for the sake of my sanity) I really need for some things to happen. As usual I am not doing anything exciting to welcome the new year. I am in bed trying to simultaneously study, sleep and watch television. I hope next year will be different.

Twenty eighteen, I hope you bring with you happiness, love, peace, laughter and answered prayers.

Bienvenue!

New Year New Me?

In a few hours we will usher in a new year and in a twinkling the year will be over and it will be another new year.

A lot has happened this year-I started a new job, began my professional exams, started swimming classes, took pole dancing lessons for a month, read a lot of books, went on a short trip with a friend, and that’s it. So not much has happened. My resolution for the new year is to change that.

I have said time and time again; I am not one for resolutions, mainly because I know they will not be achieved as I am too lazy and unmotivated to do anything about them. But most importantly I have lived most of my life unintentionally-just taking one day at a time and pretty much letting the “universe” decide my fate. This has worked in some regards, but has also left me lonely.

I am burrowing deeper into old age and can no longer leave my life to fate. So for the first time I have resolutions that I actually want to be committed to. Most of the resolutions are things I have wanted to do for yeaaaarrrrssssss; they have been on every “things to do before…” list I made and even the bucket list I made earlier this year. So what is different now? I am tired of feeling unfulfilled with my life and with time hurtling by I really need to make a change.  This time, rather than just mindlessly recreating the same list over again, I have put in more thought and have even started on some of them.

  1. Develop new and hopefully lasting relationships-romantic and otherwise. This is the most important thing on the list. I can no longer deal with having no one to hang out with when I want and i really cannot fathom being alone on my birthday-I would much rather spend the day with my face in my pillow than to go out alone. I just want to build my tribe; to find likeminded people that I can bare my soul to, have a good laugh and just be myself with. I pledge to spend at least two weekends every month out with other humans.
  2. For the love of God, improve my French. In my mind I am fluent in French. I keep trotting out French phrases at will and people assume that I speak the language fluently. I would like to get to conversational level by the end of the year, and maybe even get someone to practice with. I pledge to practice French twice a week.
  3. Put in some effort with my hair. Sweet baby Jesus take control of this one. I have been dealing with hair for seven years now and this year is the year I really began to hate it. I am sick and tired of it but seeing as these are the cards I have been dealt I have no choice but to do something about it.  I pledge to oil my hair daily and always keep it stretched out. I would like to see a difference by my birthday next year.
  4. Perfect my swimming. I already take swimming classes once a week so I pledge to continue with the lessons until I am an expert and can do underwater shoots.
  5. Learn to use chopsticks. I already bought my chopsticks for this. I tried once and gave up 6.32 seconds later. I pledge to practice at dinner time when appropriate.
  6. Learn to knit. I started knitting one weekend a few months back. I actually got into it until I made a mistake and couldn’t bring myself to unravel all my work so I abandoned it instead. I pledge to practice this once a week. I came across a knitting class where for a nominal fee anyone who likes to knit can come with their materials and knit in a room with fellow knitfolk. Who knows I might just join in one of these days. I might make some grandma friends.
  7. Travel more. I pledge to travel to at least two new countries. I would also like to do some domestic travel and explore more cities.
  8. Do Yoga. This is another one that has been on my list for nearly a decade now. My problem is I only focused on doing yoga at a gym which never happened due to one reason or the other. This year, I pledge to practice yoga three times a week in my room.  I downloaded an app but I am not sure how useful this will be so I might just look up videos on youtube.
  9. Do squats and abs exercises as often as possible. As with yoga, i will do this is my room and I pledge to do so twice a week for now.
  10. Eat more vegetables and expand my culinary repertoire. I could stand to eat healthier and in the new year and beyond I would like to improve my diet in hopes that this will be reflected in my skin, hair, body and mind.
  11. Drink at least three bottles of water every day. One before lunch. One at lunch. One at dinner.
  12. Write more. I pledge two blog posts per month. I would also like to finish a short story in 2018.
  13. Try something for the first time as often as possible.

My ultimate goal is to be happy; that’s all I really want. I want to love my hair, my skin, my body and mind. I want to have friends, to go out more, create more memories and experiences, fall in love, to laugh often. I have written this a thousand times, I hope 2018 is the year these finally come into fruition.

May 2018 bring me my heart desires, may it nourish my soul and kindle the flames within.

Happy new year! 🙂

Fornibacon

“I mean come on; bacon. This is a food so delicious it’s been specifically banned by two major religions. What greater seal of approval could it have? It’s right up there with fornication.”

-The ever brilliant David Mitchell 

I’m not even crazy about bacon and I find this quote to be genius.

A drop is all it takes

America loves its one drop rule. A person from mixed racial background-most commonly Black and White- is automatically Black. Yes you are technically biracial, but is your hue even slightly darker than milk? Then you are Black. This rule may have been invented by racists who wished to distance themselves from racial hybrids, but now everyone lives by it. A biracial person who wishes to identify as biracial rather than Black is sure to annoy some Black people. “Oh you are ashamed of being Black? If the KKK walks in here do you think they’ll see you as White or bi-whatever? No you are BLACK black blackitty black”

Side Note: I particularly find this KKK point quite daft and do not understand why people think it is a valid argument. We are telling people they must identify the way racists want them to. The KKK thinks this so you must be it. The same KKK that thinks we are scum unworthy of life.

A biracial person who wishes to identify as White? Just throw them away and keep the bath water.

Biracial is usually taken to mean Black and White (because as we know these are the only two races in the world), but regardless of what the other race is, as long as there is a drop of Black in your genes, you are considered Black.

Some may say: why yes it does make sense to label a biracial person as Black because black genes are strong and well a person mixed with Black will have darker skin and therefore no longer qualify as White. 

Okay even if we accept this argument, there are lots of people who do not look Black at all but are still referred to as Black *Cough Mari-cough-ah*. I am speaking about the White Passing.

The first time I came across this term-though I did not know it then-was in a Reader’s Digest story of a Black man who lived his life passing as White. Even his wife had no idea of this and it wasn’t until he was on his deathbed that his secret came out. My ten year old self found the story so intriguing and baffling. How is it possible that no one knew he was Black? Didn’t his children look Biracial? I realise now that he must have been a biracial man himself, and if so he was not passing as White.

White Passing.

One drop is so strong that not only are people with darker skin called Black, but those who look White are still not White but rather Black people passing as White. It is remarkable.

This issue was recently brought to the fore of my consciousness when I saw a headline about a singer called Hasley who is in her own words a White passing Black woman. I was quite confused because this woman looked quite White to me-not even biracial-just White. Turns out her father is half Black. This white woman who has three white grandparents and looks white says she is a woman of colour who passes for a White woman. Huh?

The headline took me back to 2009 when there was a reality show on BET called College Hill. One of the cast members was a White man with cornrows who I did not pay much attention to until a scene where I heard him say to another cast member “You know I’m Black right?” The details are fuzzy but I think he said his mother is Black and he spoke about how he doesn’t look Black. I was stunned. Wow I would never have guessed he was Black. Now I think about this differently.

A biracial person is White and Black. Due to the politics of the land, they are labelled Black because of their darker hue. If a product of an interracial relationship is Black because of the darker skin tone then surely a person who does not have this darker skin tone is White. What is all this White passing nonsense?

I daresay most racially mixed people (want to) identify as Black, even those with tenuous links to Blackness. Why? Because despite all the struggles, it is “cool” to be Black. Why be White and have to apologise for White privilege and Slavery when you can identify as Black and get to say Nigga whenever you want?

 

Derek Jeter is yet another person I would never have guessed was African American man until he was outed by Diddy.  Who else is walking about looking like a Caucasian from the mountains of Caucasus but is really Black? Fret not, someone has helpfully compiled a list of celebrities most people don’t know are black.

All it takes is a drop.

Biracial identity is treated like the relationship between milk and coffee. A drop of coffee in a glass of milk will change the colour of milk ever slightly, whereas a drop of milk barely makes a difference to a cup of coffee (or does it? I don’t drink coffee or milk for that matter). Daft analogy, I know. I do dislike analogies of this nature, where people are compared to food or to keys and locks (you know what I’m talking about) but this does seem to be the case.

If the one drop rule was created by racists, when then do we work so hard to maintain it? Is it because we think it is reasonable? Is it because we need more people on our side?

Another incident that comes to mind is that of footballer Ross Barkley who was compared to a gorilla in an article in The Sun. At first it was a silly jibe-white man compares another white man to a gorilla. Then it was revealed that Ross Barkley has a Nigerian grandfather and bam! it became a racial slur. This man was White until someone called him a gorilla now he is a man with a Black grandfather.

White passing is not the same as people who look obviously biracial. I have always thought it was unfair to say a person is not Black enough because of their fair (not White) skin and curly hair. I also understand that biracial people are caught between two worlds and the Black community is more likely to feel like home. These points do not in any way contradict my earlier points. It is just interesting to me how the one drop rule works. You see someone and think they are White, until you find out they have a Black ancestor then it’s oh I didn’t know you were Black.

If people have to see your family tree or genealogy records to confirm your blackness then perhaps you are neither Black nor White passing. You are White, and that’s okay. (unless you have found the cure for cancer then come here my beautiful African sister)

 

 

 

 

 

 

…a state of perpetual terror

“The trouble is that some children are timorous and some children are reckless, and in order to save the lives of reckless children warnings are calibrated for their safety; the result of which is that the timorous live in a state of perpetual terror. What I needed to be told is, “you know what? Most days, you won’t die. It’s fine.”” 

-The brilliant David Mitchell puts it so eloquently.