Life goes by fast…real fast

Life goes by fast. I’m sure at some point we have all heard it, and for fleeting moments we all feel it, but then the demands of the current force us to get over this quickly and move on…only to have time fly even faster.

The hamster wheel-roller-coaster…life.

The more responsibilities you gather it seems, the faster the wheels turn. You have a job and/or are an entrepreneur, your wheels spin. You have family members you care about, the wheels spin. You have one child, dare say two, the wheels are on overdrive, school, relationships, friends, bills, goals…spin spin spin spin. Crammed for time and the demands placed on your time by all your responsibilities…you spin for almost like an eternity, falling asleep only to wake up and jump on the wheel again. Days become years, years become decades, and it gets to a point where want it or not…ready or not…the wheel begins to slow down…you get old.

Sometimes if you are fortunate, or depending on how you look at it…deliberate, you may be able to look back at the road(s) your wheels graced and see some tracks…some impressions, impact. If you are unfortunate…or depending on how you look at it…less deliberate you may not be able to see much or see what you thought you would see.

The difference is how purposed, deliberate and aware were your spinning moments.

Tips for liking what you see when you look behind you:

  1. Know thyself: Truth is this whole idea of knowing thyself can be overwhelming and in fact misleading. The human being, mind, and desires are always changing and in fact should always change. So knowing thyself entirely can be a massive and sometimes distressing thought if you take the term literally. We grow every day. Know thyself really means:
    • make it a priority to spend time with yourself
    • do things for yourself
    • be alone with yourself
    • treat yourself
    • reward yourself
    • listen to yourself
    • love yourself
    • prioritize your self
    • be about yourself…and I could go on and on.
  2. Goals – set Goals: Your life is like any other business or venture, including education etc that you embark on. Every single activity you engage in must make sense. So start with Objective setting. Didn’t the books tell us to how to set objectives and goals. Be S.M.A.R.T. about it. Make your objectives:
      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Achievable
      • Relevant
      • Time-bound.

    People tend to try this goal setting around the new year which isn’t bad, the issue is they don’t build in the M&E structure, Monitor and Evaluate. At some point, you have to get off the wheel a little and monitor and evaluate your progress, re-strategising/re-setting if necessary. This could be monthly or quarterly, depending on how closely you need to be monitored. Build in a rewards systems as well.

  3. Be deliberate about creating your clan: Old time people have some phrases for it, like ‘lie wid dog, yuh rise wid flea’, or ‘show me yuh friends and I tell yuh who you are’.

If you are an avenger like me, this will sound a little bit jarring to you. You may even defend your own immature chicken-chest theory that you are an individual uninfluenced by the people around you. Not because your friends, lets say smoke, means you have to smoke too. Ride with that kinda ideology and you can forget the whole process…your life will just keep flying fast…and the tracks u see behind you will be very unpleasant. Full stop. Seriously. Youth and inexperience can be blamed for a few years or God-forbid decades of this thought…however, it doesn’t need to last forever and thankfully its not irreversible. It may be even help focus you a bit more…having had a few years of unintentional abandon (carelessness). Jim Rohn posits that each individual is the average of the 5 persons they spend the most time with, these people are critical to their success/failure or mediocrity. Let it sink it. Take an audit. No, I am not advocating that you get rich and switch or cut off family members that are not ‘there’ yet. I am advocating that you be more purposed in rationalising and respecting your time. Spend less time with the people who are not aligned with the Objectives we spoke about in point 2 above, and fill that time with activities/people that are more aligned with your goals, reading or learning is a good way to do this.

A bonus truth is: all is easier said than done. We can end up being a Jack of All Trades but Master of None. We know the facts…know the theory and life has beaten many of us senselessly with the lessons, but for some reason we still lack the carry-through. We’ve watched the videos, read the books, read the blog-posts, similar to this one…we have gotten so advanced that we don’t even need to finish reading the posts or watching the videos anymore because we know for certain what will come next…we know it…we know it all. 🙂 Yet, where are we…anywhere near better off…no. Or so we think!

Monitor and Evaluate!

Monitor and Evaluate!

Monitor and Evaluate!

Jamaicans have a term: WAH NUH DEAD NUH CALL IT DUPPY! translated in essence means…never give up, once there is life there is an opportunity to rise again…and again!


When we all have a story

Social media has been known and I believe researched to contribute to depression, and I can certainly understand why.  The best pictures make it up…the ones where the lighting is right or we are wearing our favourite colour, the best days when all is right…constantly we are fed with these ‘perfect’ images of the ‘perfect’ life.  Users are careful not to be too real with their posts for fear of people actually knowing what is really going on.  Somewhere at some point, our vulnerable subconscious-es are tricked into thinking the filtered pictures and posts are real life and life is great for everyone, except of course us.

We remain addicted to our timelines or the timelines of the subjects of our low-key obsessions, annoyed that our own face is breaking out…or we are putting on a little unflattering weight.  Lunch isn’t the appetizing meal we had as a payday treat, as we planned our posts, but rather a PB&J we packed and some office instant coffee.  Our bosses are assholes but the reality is JPS won’t accept that as an excuse for an unpaid bill. The kids are cute but feeding the critters is a task, and we have no idea where their lunch for next week is hiding…again.  The ferris wheel of daily life isn’t slowing down, as the routines carry on with dire consequences should we harbour a thought of stepping away or taking a break.

We need our friends…we need our parents…we need our partners to be who we paint them to be.  We need the money and the answers…we need rest, we need a break.  Our stories are heavy, the wounds of our past really not healed.  There’s no real answer to why we wake up each day, why we go through all the things we do, why do our challenges seem insufferable, why our angels die, yet the demons live to terrorise us and tear down the positives we try to build in life.  There are no answers.  The ferris wheel will always be spinning and will so do until you choose the things that are important to you.  Just understand that in making a choice, there’s no way you can have it all.  All choices have consequences, and you always have the ball.  It could be that your family is most important to you and with that being said, no job will keep you after 2.  It could be that money is important to you and therefore running after him is worth the bags and outfits it can buy or the bills it can pay.  While, letting him go is reinstating you and your children to a place of extreme poverty, albeit with hungry happy smiles on your faces and lasting peace in your hearts.

We all have a story of trial and terror, the introduction and cover may give an idea, but it is us that fills its pages.  Don’t lean to your introductions or pay your cover any mind, get to writing and sharing and building into who you are by virtue of your owned and directed choices and accepting their related consequences with grace and poise.

When is it time to move on?

Recently, while making the now daily walk to pick up my toddler from school it dawned on me that there are three guiding principles an individual would benefit from applying to themselves:

a) BE PRESENT and BE HONEST. Understand that you are exactly where you need to be, right now. It is critical, regardless of where you are, or rather where you should be…that you stay very far from accepting other peoples negative criticisms as fact. Messing up is part of blessing up!

b) LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE! It is easy (particularly as women) to not be too clear on what we like. As absurd as it sounds, many of the things we do are not necessarily things that please us authentically. Don’t be too stressed about it, just take time to question yourself about how you feel about a particular thought, idea, thing…you may find that how you thought you felt was really a matter of socialization and not fact. Really get to KNOW yourself.

c) LEARN! Never before has it been so easy to learn something new. The internet has made it that much easier. Have fun with it…challenge yourself to break out of your cocoons and grow with each new lesson.

So when is moving on the right thing to do?:

As a living being…growth is natural and change should be looked on as an opportunity. Imagine the horrible state the world would be in if caterpillars never left their skin. If the metamorphosis never happened, a world without the beauty and purpose of butterflies.

It is time to move on when:

There is no growth.

If you have been employed to a company for over a year and you have not noted any personal or inspired growth, it is time perhaps time to re-evaluate yourself:

a) BE PRESENT and BE HONEST. Is the job fulfilling your needs, are you fulfilling you company’s needs?

b)Do you actually LIKE your job, and does your job LIKE you. Check your energy when you think about work…do you get excited or are you sad/angry? If you are energised but still feel as though you are not fulfilling your company’s needs, and it is not fulfilling your needs, speak with your boss about what you both need to GROW

c) Are you able to LEARN anything that can improve your company or your ability to serve, and after you have learned it…is there an opportunity to implement what you have learnt?

I bet after these 3 processes, you will be a lot more clear on when to leave, remember…everything needs to grow including your company, you don’t need to feel anxious to part ways. A door always opens.



There is a certain kind of power in standing in your truth. A certain kind of power and defiance in nakedness, rawness, naturalness…and somebody knows it.

The self help scammers (I’m just bitter, all the motivation speeches and books in the world never seem to move me long enough) talk about it as a base ‘know yourself’, ‘to thine ownself be true’. We know them, but I cannot be the only one that for whom this message flies over my consciousness.

Truth is…those who are at a place where they need to Know Thyself are usually super uncomfortable with self and constantly trying to find ways to look at self ‘differently’.

The sick cycle

The black hair industry…a half trillion, or in other words a US $500 billion industry is a real indicator/demonstrator, if there was any…of a group who does not truly know them self or accept themselves. It lends itself to question, if black women and other consumers of the black hair industry in their bid to escape or redefine naturalness have also reneged their power.

We have accepted and we teach our young women that their hair in its natural state of black nappiness wherever it falls on that spectrum, is not appropriate and will be a character that will keep us unsuccessful, unhappy and uncelebrated. We have accepted and teach our girls, and consequently our boys, that rather than the freedom and ease that comes with our natural-born hair, the burning from hot combs or the chemical burn wounds from hair straightening creme and the damage it does to our crowns and our consciousness is just right…as beauty comes with pain.

The people holding bag after all the chemical wounds and the resulting hair loss etc from the industry are not the people using the products!…smile.

I was born and raised in Rockfort Kingston, one of the most notoriously violent communities, I went to school, as the system prescribed, earned a degree and for a time did great things. I am still living in Rockfort and struggling in spite of my best efforts and intentions. The truth, I look around me at the systemic poverty, I look at my all-age school mates who all seem to not have moved an inch in their lives. What were they doing when I was being great…I’m sure they are wondering what is she doing back here. I was born in Rockfort and for years I avoided that fact…but it is all true. I accept it. I will stand in power of its truth.

Follow my other blog about life in a Kingston Garrison…there are good things as there are ugly things.

I don’t know what you did last summer…and it bothers me

Jamaicans have a saying, “weh yeye nuh si hart nuh leap”, translated to mean, ‘what you didn’t see or rather don’t know, will not cause any pain or confusion. 

I believe quite the opposite. What you already know can’t hurt you…as you know what to do for sure and what to expect. On the other hand, what you don’t know is what you should fear, not only do you not know what to expect…you also have no idea, how to prepare for what you don’t expect, even worse is the situation then that you expect all things…frantically looking out for the worse there is that only could come. 

Surprises are not my thing when knowing is an obsession. People have sadly developed mechanisms to hide who they really are, in the folds of who they pretend to be, that you honestly never ever know who you are dealing with…ever. This intricate skill of deceit breaks so many hearts and dreams unnecessarily, when all that was required was the plane to be honest…and on that same plane…the tact of being non-judgmental with both truly understanding that as water has its own level…and should be allowed to flow unhindered or else there will be dire circumstances, so it is with people. We will all benefit from honesty and frankness, with no one being made to feel bad about who they really are between their intricate folds, allowing people to follow their bliss away from their pain.

I know I don’t know the truth about what you did last summer, and it doesn’t stop my heart from leaping.

Monkey Business

I would like to start this post with a lament. The kind where you hold your belly and bawl in Jamaican, like:
‘Lawd jesus crise…a wah di raas duh some ah unuh’,

The internet and social media has afforded every single person an opportunity to be vocal and express their opinions on any and everything. This is good in some ways but terrible in others.

Recently, the net lit up with posts and videos bashing H&M for its new jungle-themed campaign and the ‘unfortunate’ image of a black male child, wearing a green hoodie, dubbed ‘the coolest monkey in the jungle’,h&m my usual black-tinted lenses, didn’t initially find the the upset in the image, and even after the many videos and posts, I still don’t find it. To be frank, I started questioning myself, wondering if this meant, I wasn’t as black/afro-centric as I thought I was, I couldn’t find an ounce of ill-feeling toward the image or the campaign which also feature a white boy with an orange shirt, dubbed ‘Survival expert’. What I initially noticed was that there was no female in the images…I guess that was my feminist lens..(shrug).

After all the videos and posts…all I could feel was…what is so wrong with Monkeys, as far as I know, Monkeys are super smart, scientifically proven to be one of the smartest most evolved creatures, with Chimps putting human memory to shame. White people are genetically known as not being very awesome or even smart in the survival category, heck a little sunlight with bake these non-melanin having human breeds. So what exactly is going on!!! H&M is not the first brand that has done shady things…others have outright expressed their not so flattering opinions relating to race, gender etc.

If not careful, we stand the risk of creating situations we really don’t want, by placing our energies and attentions in the wrong place. As opposed to finding problems and tearing down things that we don’t like, we really should focus on supporting the things that we do like. Kudos to Puff Daddy, deep dark brown Puff Daddy and his Sean John clothing line for stepping up and offering the said Monkey a contract with him, moved by this incident to do something (at least publicly)other than run his mouth for likes and mentions.

Instead of cussing and fighting about disgusting food and shitty service at JoJo’s Jerk Pit, take you uptown friends to Kushites Vegetable Cuisine located at Eden Gardens for fantastic ambiance with Gourmet food that is actually good for you and owned by black Jamaicans, Keisha McDonald and Kush! Support your local designers, our local beauty queen turned Politician, the beautiful Lisa Hanna is an ambassador for supporting local designers/dress makers…do that…who wants to wear uniforms anyway in an era where individuality and self-expression is so highly ranked.

Bottomline is…stop jumping on all these different bandwagons that only serve to distract and lose you! Shut the hell up if you are not willing to do something, as if you are not part of the solution then you are definitely part of the problem!

Dem Figet weh dem come from

Don’t ever jump to a conclusion or opinion…take your time to explore angles.

Most recently, social media caught a fire, with viral stand-offs between Jamaican’s plowing the snow abroad and local Jamaican’s refusing to climb breadfruit trees and catering to foreigners. While many found it entertaining…with numerous clap-back videos that really sound either like plagiarism or for once many Jamaican’s agree on a single idea. Whichever way…the conversation is telling on many levels.

The importance of remittances to the Jamaican economy.
The 2016 Economic and Social Survey reports that US$2.2 billion was sent by Jamaicans overseas to family members and friends in Jamaicans for 2016. With an estimated equal number of Jamaicans living abroad as there are living on the birth soil, remittances have always played an important role in our country’s economic development, representing over 15% of our GDP. Remittances are documented to reduce poverty per household, with more likely investment in property, small businesses and education to name a few of its benefits. In summary, Jamaica benefits from the hard-earned money made from Jamaican’s who have decided to bear the volatilities of migration, lamentable of which is the snow.

If no one else says it…Dear Jamaican’s abroad, we appreciate your money, we invite you to look into retiring locally, continually investing in properties and business but also to use your financial clout to ensure change at the macro level. Insist on similar tax breaks as provided to international investors like the Chinese.

Why Jamaican’s migrate:
Migration is not an uncommon phenomenon for most low-income developing states. Many who are lucky enough to obtain a visa to the lands of opportunity, never come back, while our nurses, police, doctors and other levels of public and private servants choose to hustle abroad, even in sleet and snow as opposed to remaining in their own country. Brain-drain has been a concern since time immemorial, and I am yet to see any sufficient effort to retain the many educated, skilled and potential nation builders that leave the island in droves annually.
I dare say ALL Jamaicans that leave to work abroad, have claimed at one point or another to do so in order to help their families. Sounds very Chinese-ish…or Jewish or Arabic or African, doesn’t it, where for example…the Chinese, migrate to Jamaica, opens a wholesale/restaurant or whatever business and when it reaches a certain level, sends back to China for family members who are then taught the rudiments of the business, while the original person moves on to open another wholesale…tales can be told about how frugally they live, with multiple Chinese, sleeping on floors etc.

When Jamaicans go foreign…they obviously FIGET WEH DEM A COME FROM.

Why do we forget:
a) no real family connections/structure (unlike the Chinese)
b) Greed
c) Getting caught in the unforgiving plantation-like maze of menial service – doing things they would never get caught doing in Jamaica.

Life is difficult everywhere! Gratitude, vision and commitment will take us a long way, not only as individuals but as a nation, as a people. We need to come full-circle all hands on deck…hands down ‘nuh weh nuh betta dan yaad’ (unless you are an out-homosexual, then yaad is a very dangerous place).

A matter of perspective: Sandz the Savior 

Sandz is an annual event hosted in Jamaica and quite renowned for it’s ever expanding massive crowd of patrons each year.   The event was held on New Year’s Day on the scenic and historic Palisadoes road, a smooth ride to either the famed Port Royal, or the back gate to paradise, the Norman Manley International Airport. 

Having caused the definition of laughable chaos, the famous New Year’s event, has left all the players in the Sandbox baffled, crying and pointing fingers.

Sandz promoters are ICONZ….and I imagine they are now sipping champagne dressed in all white, putting the final touches on a plan to use the brand to launch a tourist product aimed at attracting the untouched niche of Millenials….the in-your-face-risk-taking ones who take pleasure in beating the system. Sandz promoters must be acknowledged for somehow beating the common sense out of the system and left not only holding the bag, but also the HOPE. 

Sandz single-handedly held our country hostage…the security of our airport at seige, delaying flights, people frantically trying not to miss flights to subsequently  become a nationally debated issue, as all involved play the retarded game of pointing fingers at who is to blame, only publicly avoiding the real issue of who had the most to gain.

Entertainment events are perhaps the most policed and regulated social activity, strangling the life out of an otherwise potentially striving economy, and one which we (Jamaica) have significant and under-explored foreign income generating possibilities that could touch literally all different types of local economies.

In order to get an event permit, an event promoter has to follow the below-noted steps.

A) Write a letter to the Superintendent of Police at the closest station detailing location, date, time, contacts for DJs and Promoter and expected number of attendees.

B) Attend an interview with the Inspector of Police at the nearest Police station where they will be asked to provide even more details, while made to understand the Police duties and expectations for an orderly, drama-free event.

C) An application would also have to be made to the KSAC. This application will require that the promoter estimate the number of patrons expected, the layout and space etc. 

D) The police would have to visit the location to determine that the facilities are sufficient to support the event.

E) once permit is granted, the event promoters would then meet with the Police again to revisit regulations pertaining to the event and collect the physical permit.

Recently, the police began insisting that only event promoters are able to conduct point E, which is to collect the permit, ensuring that they came face to face with the persons ultimately responsible for staging the event.  Thank goodness, as prior to, it wasn’t uncommon for a promoter to deputize this task, sometimes to their peril, if unlucky.

Corruption is real, and available at all levels if doing things the right way is made particularly and unnecessarily difficult and pervious to ‘spirit-tek’, where sabotage and manipulation is easy due to archaic systems and methodologies. 

While the thwarted snot-nosed players in the Sandbox, scream and point fingers, we are missing the opportunity to be frank about a few things:

A) the unfair targeting of events by too many and too often for unfair extortion-like personal gain

B) The shameful almost cultural prevalence of corruption in state agencies at ALL levels and by extension…it’s root causes

C) The incredulous potential of the Entertainment industry a long time golden egg, unfortunately only recognized in its disjointed form and not via it’s potential to support national development if afforded the proper investment…as opposed to chasing industries like agricultural export and mining with glaring competitive disadvantages. 

I hope we are able to have frank open conversations having decided to truly arrest our national growth and development right now for our not so far future. 

Jamaica is a great country. The powerful gem of the Caribbean, so buoyant with passion found in every single thing we do that it often gets ill-directedly tumultuous in the face of unappreciative visionless management.  We are either a wily facinating bad child….or a cutting edge genius.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

Not a happy slave today

Not a happy slave today…the oppression I feel is more than these Peruvian bundles I wear on my head…because the black backra master is uncomfortable with my natural. 

The commodity is no longer cotton…but capitalist dollars…my tool is no longer a machete, but my voice and my laptop.

Attempts to emancipate from slavery is threatened by fellow slaves who seem to no longer care to be un-enslaved. 

The pain runs deep today…timeline filled with RIP..streets filled with maddening fear because…Christmas is here!

Donkey more wise than we all thought…’wurl nuh level’ you can hear him say…Ninja in Prison…because house slaves run the place…the young people know this…and so capitalist dollars have become the new craze for us field slaves. A BMW and light coloured skin can save an ass from almost anything.

The future is bleak…humanity is weak.

But Sir…I am BLACK 

I wore my head wra to work yesterday after being called off my leave…feeling solidly good about my new found skill and the information and history of headwrapping, I rushed into my bosses office for our 2pm meeting. He looked at me intently with a look of confusion on his face that slowly morphed in disgust and frustration. 

He spat “that’s not how you plan to visit clients with that headwrap on your head”, I can’t even recall if I answered, as his words broke flesh…like the crack of the whip on my ancestral mothers back…inside me screamed…but Sir…I AM BLACK. 

You see my boss is black too…the blackest of black…a successful businessman nonetheless he knows how to ride the capitalist slave masters back. To push his product…a woman with pretty hair and brown skin is the only thing that can get him in…with the way paved by the browning…he’ll work with a dark skin like mine…to continue what she started. 

What kind of reality is this…how confusing is this thing!!!! I can’t be black as blacks don’t win???