Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Night Time Musings of A Garvin: Conflicted

Ever had someone disappoint you? Yes, I have! 
Ever had that disappointment morph into a myriad of other emotions? Yes, to that, too! 

So, who did the disappointing? Someone who I've admired for quite some time because of their strength of character and values. I've thought of them as one of my many role models. You can say that I've always had an idea of who they were, and what they stood for; that was until a year ago. I could say that their actions came out of left field, but I’d be lying if I did. The signs were there, but I ignored them because I was too young to truly comprehend them for what they were. Then, that bitch came into the picture, and comprehension dawned on me as the shit hit the fan.

Initially, I was shocked; what, how, who, when, cómo? It eventually dissipated, and I was left with this empty feeling, which I would later identify as disappointment. Their actions were not in keeping with the values they stood for. Their change in attitude and perspective was astounding. It’s like, you thought you knew this person, but one day he/she decided to take off their mask and show you who he/she really was. Maybe, he/she adopted a new personality altogether, and secretly suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Seeing the change left me reeling. The disappointment was still there, but unbeknownst to me, other emotions had begun to fester. I noticed anger, even hatred, when I saw their face, heard their voice, or someone mentioned their name. I picked up on hurt when I saw how their actions had affected the relationships they once adored. Confusion reared its ugly head when I laid on my bed, in the dark, desperately trying to understand it all. I can’t even begin to describe the betrayal and helplessness. 

But, amidst all those negative feelings, I still held on to a glimmer of hope. Overtime, I developed this blind optimism. My naiveté sprang into action, and I started to look forward to their visits. I started to believe their impassioned declarations that they had seen the error of their ways, and their intent to change. I was asked to be patient, and although I had my doubts, I agreed because I wanted it so much.

That was a month ago. Nothing has changed; the bitch, and the “new them” are still very much present. Yet, they continue with their reassurances of impending change. Sadly, my patience has begun to wear thin, and I've noticed a trend. The apologies, grand gestures, and admissions of guilt only seem to come when they want something. The harsh reality is that nothing has changed. I was being used... emotionally manipulated... nothing more than a pawn in some twisted game of chess. Soon, all the negative sentiments that I thought I had done away with came rushing back.

And, that’s where I’m at right now. I ask myself: "What’s the point of hoping if nothing is going to change? Why put myself through all this? Should I even care?" I'm left feeling apathetic to it all. I wonder how long that's going to last?

Until the next post! 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lawd Fadda Dis Is Heat!

Hello! I'm editing this post in front the fan. 

During my yearlong sojourn in Neiva (I've always wanted to write that), I used to complain about the sweltering heat, a lot. And, like most foreigners faced with a less than ideal situation, I compared my host country to my homeland. I swore up and down that Trinidad was never this hot, and that the breeze usually quelled the heat. Most times, I would end up giving a monologue about, "The Perks of Living on an Island".

Over the past few weeks, except during those rare occasions of torrential rainfall, I've come to the conclusion that I treated Neiva unfairly. I was wrong, and I'm sorry! You see, I've been experiencing a level of heat (not sexual) that is on par with (does this make my apology moot?), and sometimes, surpasses (better?) that of Neiva, and lies somewhere between the temperature on the sun’s surface and the deepest pits of Hell. The intensity of the sun’s rays coupled with the absence of clouds in the sky has been an inconvenience, making my existence an uncomfortable one. Before you think me dramatic, allow me to explain.

I went to school and actually paid attention to my Integrated Science teacher, so I’m aware of the importance of sweating. Quite frankly, I could care less about regulating my body temperature when there are rivulets of sweat, cascading from my hairline down the side of my face; or when I have pit stains, and feel sweat on my butt after sitting for five minutes. I go through all this and more whenever I leave my humble abode, which is annoying. I have to wipe my face at regular intervals. I feel uncomfortable talking to people when I look like a fried bake. I’m afraid to raise my hands, pass a certain point, to wave to people; I end up doing that awkward and ridiculous "throw your head back in greeting" thing. So stupid!

Between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM, my fan is rendered useless as it recycles the hot air. This doesn't bode well for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’m fascinated by the art of sleeping, and I enjoy perfecting my skill. It’s quite difficult to do so when the fan doesn't keep you cool. Have you ever had sweat behind your knees and/or neck? Trust me (because I'm an authority on sleeping), it can make sleeping during the day a nightmare.

If the fan keeps recycling the hot air, one would assume that an easy fix would be to put up the curtains and open the windows, right? Wrong! This brings me to my second point. I enjoy having my curtains down; it gives the room a nice cozy feeling, makes me feel like a sexy, hibernating bear, and keeps Ms. Murray’s wandering eye away after bath-time. I lose all these perks when I have to put up my curtains and open the windows. And, to make matters worse, the sun ends up coming through the open window in all its blazing glory on my bed. Everything I've just mentioned (moves hands emphatically hysterically), has interrupted my daytime sleeping in ways I can't even begin to enumerate. The bane of my very existence! 

Travelling has become a task in itself. Lately, I've had to either deal with the pungent odour of perfume/cologne mingled with sweat or had to sit next to sweaty people, who disregard the considerate notion of “personal space”. To my chagrin, it doesn't stop there. I've become obsessed with the directionality of the sun in relation to where I sit, when travelling. For example, I know that, when leaving Grande before midday, I have to sit on the right-hand side of the maxi to avoid the sun, and vice-versa. Thus, I get very upset and/or nervous when I enter a maxi with no seats in my desired position. Sometimes, when it becomes too much and I have time to kill, which is almost never; I wait for the next one. 

Honourable Mentions: The heat has made my skin overly sensitive, so much so that I can’t wear certain fabrics. At home, I always want to walk around naked, but I can’t. I've actually thought of going to the beach to escape the heat, and I hate the beach.

So, there you have it! It’s been really hot, and I hate it. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do, except write a blog post, because I live here.

Until the next post! 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

What's In A Name?

*chants, "Goosbraba", and rubs earlobes* 

I’m ANNOYED because someone misspelt my name, yet again! I HATE that some people leave out the “R” in Garvin, or else, add letters to my first name, and come up with “Garving”. Like, seriously, what’s a “Garving”? And don’t get me started on those who spell my surname P-A-R-S-O-N! Ugh! Helloooo, there’s supposed to be a big ole “S” at the end! Unless it’s “Garvs” or “Gobin” or "Garvos" or “Fari”, whenever I see those other travesties done to my name on Facebook, security logs, or in emails, I just want to punch someone in their trachea. 

Before you think me ridiculous, maybe I should explain why I feel so strongly, and I suppose, violent about all this. It’s simple actually; I believe that names are important for they are part of someone’s identity.

Now, because I feel this way about names, I tend to try my very best to spell people’s names correctly. This extends to placing the correct title in front of someone's name. So, I’ll ask a question, do a Google search, and look on Facebook, etc. I do this because I believe that I am respecting this person's identity; you know, who they are, all that they have achieved, their history, etc. Quite frankly, when I see my name misspelt, I feel disrespected. I can't help but think that I'm not worth the two seconds it would take to ask a question, or proofread what you wrote. I mean, I don't expect you to go as far as I do and search on Google, but you could at least pay attention to my email signature, or my name as it appears on my profile and at the top of the message pane on Facebook chat.

I was named, Garvin, after my grandfather, who died one year before I was born. Tafari is my African name, given to me by my father. It could mean, either “The Chosen One” or "He Who Inspires Awe", and it was the birth name of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, KING of Kings, LORD of lords, Conquering Lion of Judah, Defender of the Judean Faith, The Light of the World (he was born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, FYI). Lastly, there are only a couple of people in Trinidad with the surname “Parsons”, which makes it one of a kind, to a certain extent. All this has made me VERY PROUD of my name; it’s unique in some aspects, it has history, it links me to the grandfather I never knew, and it has a powerful meaning. In short, my name is important, to me.

This brings me back to my initial point about your name being your identity, in this case, MY identity. Knowing what my name means and where it comes from has shaped the person that I am, as much as, or maybe, more than, any experience that I've had. This feeling has manifested itself in several ways. Aside from becoming “irrationally” upset when I see my name misspelt, I've come to write my full name on anything from forms to my Facebook profile. I, also, start by introducing myself with the words “I am” instead of “My name is”, which says a lot.

Whew! It feels great to have gotten all that off my chest. Writing this post has served to remind me why I get the way that I do. What's more is that I'm going to continue demanding that people get it right in the most polite way possible. For future reference, I AM GARVIN TAFARI PARSONS!

Until the next post!    

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Words Hurt As Much As Sticks and Stones

“Bruises heal. Cruel words can make us cry for years”- Unknown

In comparison to other boys, I’ve always seen myself as different. I liked reading and being indoors. I enjoyed the arts: singing, dancing, drawing and acting. I preferred the company of girls because I felt more understood. I would often be seen at recess or lunch time, playing ‘Miss Universe’ or braiding someone’s hair. I saw no problem with any of this. I was simply unique. Then, I went to Secondary School and it all changed.

From the very first day, I was considered ‘gay’, and called every gay related term; admittedly, some were more creative than others. There were the usual, derogatory terms thrown my way, like faggot, panty-man, buller-man and girly-boy. Sometimes, the bullies used their imagination, coming up with stylised names, like Garvgina or Garvina.

When they were bored with the name-calling, they asked hurtful, mocking questions, referencing all my mannerisms and interests that made me less of a boy, in their eyes. They pinpointed my walk and shake, my high voice and use of Standard English, my pop culture references to Britney Spears and knowledge of pageants, my love of books and singing, and my hand gestures.

The torture was never-ending; morning and evening, from the first bell to the last. Usually, I’m an optimistic, charismatic and creative person, but the constant barrage of insults had taken all life from me. I was miserable and wanted to be invisible. I tried my hardest to achieve the latter. I would sit quietly, never answering questions. I would walk the corridors with my head bowed and my hands in my pockets, hoping that I would make it back to my classroom, unnoticed. I would try to dissimulate by walking with a ‘bounce’, deepening my voice, and talking about ‘boy stuff’, like the Premier League. The consequences were disastrous, to put it mildly.

I went in search of ‘comfort zones’; those are, places I could be my optimistic, charismatic, creative self. It was important for my sanity. The library was my go-to place during free periods. Silence was golden and talking was frowned upon, so although I got the looks, no one said anything. I quickly became friends with the library staff, too. I joined the school’s choir, where my creativity flourished. I met other individuals who shared my passions. Sure, the hecklers were in attendance when we performed at school, but for a few minutes, I was happy. Making friends- adults and students alike- instilled in me self confidence.

I made the valiant decision to stand up for myself by using snappy retorts. I told my bullies about ‘how their mothers made them’, ‘what I did with their mother the night before’ and ‘to make way for their new step-father’. I took it a step further, too. I noted their shortcomings, limitations and insecurities, and used it against them. Nothing was off limits; everything from their academic performance to their living situation became a weapon with which I could hurt them. Pretty soon, I was not only gay, but a smart ass, a meanie and a bitch with a ‘hot mouth’. I was unstoppable.

For a short time, it made me feel better. Then, it came to a screeching halt when I made a boy cry in the choir room. I hadn’t realised that, in fighting fire with fire, I had become a bully myself. I had projected all my hurt on not only the bullies, but others who reminded me of myself, like the snivelling boy in the seat next to me. What had I become? On the outside, it was all bravado, but the truth of the matter was that I was hurt, sad, angry and confused. In short, I was a mess on the inside. I cried that night, alone in my room, asking God, “Why?” This cycle would replay itself for four years.

I started to take a few steps in the right direction, after a school trip to Venezuela. During the trip, I overheard my roommates complaining that they didn’t want to sleep in the same room as ‘the faggot’. I was left reeling; until that point, I was having fun, making friends and being accepted/ respected, or so I thought. It was a rude awakening. With tears streaming down my face, I cursed the boys and stormed out of the room.

A few minutes later, I was seated in the lobby, waiting for a room change. I was going over the ordeal again and silently sobbing when a teacher sat next to me. Instead of cuddling me, she told me as it is. I was different from most boys my age, and there was nothing wrong with that. It was unfair that my uniqueness made me a target, but I needed to develop a thicker skin. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself. School was a preparation for life, and in life, there would always be persons or groups who would try to tear you down. She explained that only I had the power to decide how I allowed it to affect me.

I pondered her words on the remaining leg of the trip. Initially, I thought that she was stupid. She didn’t know what I went through every day. Her words had no bearing and heeding them would not have made anything better. I had another breakdown two days later, where I screamed at a cashier in a restaurant. I felt justified in my behaviour, until I registered the looks I got from other patrons, students and teachers. I was reminded of the crying boy in the choir room, and felt ashamed.  I had to regain control of my emotions and manage my anger. I needed a complete overhaul in perspective.

I began by muttering self affirmations. I am different. I am intelligent. I am confident. I am going to be someone one day. This stage of my life is not forever. God made me in his image and likeness. Eventually, I accepted and revelled in my circumstances. When I went to the library or attended choir practice, I did so because I loved it, not because I was trying to hide from everyone. I became more open-minded and accepting. I no longer felt the need to degrade others, and discovered that I had a killer sense of humour that was dark, self deprecating and sarcastic.

Most importantly, I didn’t allow the words to affect me. This was the hardest part because the name-calling did continue, and along with it came the desire to retaliate or cry. When I offered to help one of my bullies with his SBA, I was quite proud of myself. It would have been quite easy for me to turn him away and chastise him for being too dumb, but I didn’t give in. I was on the mend. I spent the next three years of my Secondary School career happier than I had ever been.

To this day, I remember the teacher’s words, and I use my affirmations. I surround myself with people who love and accept me just the way I am. The truth is- and I say this without any reservations of sounding cliché- circumstances really make you who you are. For, if I hadn’t gone through all of those things, I wouldn’t have been as contented and confident as I am today. No one is perfect, but I am proud of the man that I have become and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

I Dislike Miley Cyrus, But...

... She can teach me a thing or two.

Nine out of ten times, I’m an optimist. I usually try to put a positive spin on things by, for example, finding the one redeeming quality in a person and focusing on that, rather than being a hater. Sadly, there are those “one” moments when I can become a real pessimistic, self righteous, sarcastic, judgmental, hasty, hater-bitch. I can get REALLY mean and nasty; oft times, I just delete people from Facebook. Shado from Arrow had a point when she explained to Oliver that we all have two sides, light and dark, a yin and a yang.

Today’s post puts this balance to use. I’m going to attempt to write something good and positive about Miley Cyrus. I’m sure that my optimistic side can find something if I were to try really hard. Of course, before that can happen, my bad side needs to rant a bit, like for three paragraphs. Enjoy reading what they both have to write.


Guess what? Part of me detests the New Miley Cyrus. Everything she does lately seems to be over the top. It’s like she tries TOO hard to be sexy and/or ratchet in her valiant, albeit slutty, attempt to separate herself from her squeaky clean “Hannah Montana, Disney Child Star” past. So, she walks around and dances onstage half-naked, licks hammers in videos, and acts like she’s THAT bitch *snaps fingers*. To me, it comes off as contrived and desperate and disgusting, and it gets old quickly. 

As a result, her antics have become particularly annoying with a capital A. First, there’s the incessant twerking; from onstage at that guy’s concert to her now, infamous performance at the VMAs. Then again, I don’t even know if what she does can be considered as twerking, especially after seeing Rihanna’s tasteless video for “Pour It Up”. She made Miley look like a country bumpkin with no ass who simply bends over, wiggles her backbone, and thinks that she’s twerking. Although I thought that this phase in her development would end when her hair eventually grew back, she seems to have had enough, for now.

Then, there was the whole “tongue out of her mouth” thing. For the life of me, I couldn’t (still can’t) fathom why someone would think that sticking their tongue out all the time is flattering, especially when that tongue is all white and dirty looking. In a recent interview on the Ellen Show, she explained that she feels awkward when posing, (sic) like a normal celebrity, so she chooses to stick her tongue out. That totally makes sense, Miley, and Garvin’s World thanks you for that illuminating piece of information. Check out an interesting take on Miley's tongue here.

Still very disgusting... (Source)
So, what of the good? Let me think... hmm... I got a pocket; got a pocketful of sunshine... ahm, focus... Miley can actually sing? Yep, that’s it! I’ve listened to her live performances, and most times, she does a good job. Plus, most of her songs are good. For example, I like the message behind "Wrecking Ball", but the general nekkidness on display is a turn off. I also like that her voice is very distinctive, and polarising; you either love it or hate it, which brings me to my next point.

There are those who absolutely adore this girl and think that there’s nothing wrong with what she’s doing. Then, there are others who are offended and/or disgusted by her showboating. And what does Miley do in the face of all the criticism and open letters? She continues being herself, which I think is somewhat admirable. (Sidebar: her making fun of people with mental illness is not!) Personally, I can be more thick-skinned and not let what people say/think affect me, while being respectful, at the same time. Like, she says: “Only God can judge ya, forget the haters, cause somebody loves ya”.

After watching her “documentary” on MTV, I’ve realised that Miley knows EXACTLY what she’s doing, and it seems to be working well for her. So, you go girl! Maybe, I should put as much energy as she does into realising my dreams? Nah, I’m doing just fine!

Until the next post!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Exploring T&T: My Zip-Lining Adventure

Zip-Lining: Terrifying, Exhilarating, Liberating, Amazing

I’ve wanted to go to the Zip-Lining facility at Macqueripe, Chaguaramas, since its inception. I figured that it would be a new and interesting experience, and provide me with a chance to conquer my fear of heights. Thus, when I learned that the Rotaract Club of Sangre Grande Central had planned a trip to the facility, I knew that I had to be involved. Basically, I did go, and it was everything I expected and more. This post details how it all went down.

It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon, and I was seated in the Zip-ITT Office at Macqueripe Bay, reading a waiver and giggling. The source of my giggle was a sentence that outlined a number of risks associated with zip lining that the company was not liable for, namely scrapes, scratches, bruises, debilitating injuries and death (yes, they appeared in that order). Although reading those words rattled my nerves even more and made me question the necessity of the day’s activities, there was something dark about them that I found hilarious.

Once the waivers were signed, we were ushered over to an area where we were suited up. We were given two harnesses; one went on like a diaper, the other, like a vest. Both came with several clips and other gear used by mountain climbers, I assumed. Then, we were given a hairnet and helmet, and a pair of smelly, heavy duty, construction gloves. The overall look not only exacerbated the size of my stomach, but left my nether regions residing in close quarters. 

But, why she watching me cut-eye, though?
Next, we were given a crash course in “How to Zip-Line without Dying 101”. I really wanted to return to Sangre Grande that evening, so I shushed my cousin and gave the two instructors my undivided attention. There was a lot of information to process, but the instructors interspersed it with a few jokes, which helped to make me less nervous. I'm not going to go into all the details, but the instructions basically revolved around how to position your hands when zipping, how to slow down, and the proper way to approach the platform as you're coming in. With all the bases covered, the moment of truth had arrived.

To reach the first platform, we had to climb four flights of stairs. We did so in single file, and I expertly placed myself at the back of the line as my stomach did somersaults. The fact that a quasi thunderstorm came out of nowhere as the third person from our group zipped into the trees beyond did nothing to alleviate my trepidation. I started to think about my science classes in Secondary School, where I learned about conduction and looked to the skies for any sign of lightning.

Before I knew it, it was my turn. My legs felt like jelly as the guy hooked me to the zip line. My heart thumped wildly in my chest as I was ordered into the sitting position. My armpits started scratching as I said a silent prayer. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and let go. As soon as I did, I opened my eyes, looked around and started screaming at the top of my lungs. The line seemed to hum as I zipped at the speed of light to the second platform. The screaming didn’t stop, but my fear was replaced by exhilaration and joy. I felt so liberated, and as I slammed into the padding around the tree trunk, I started laughing hysterically. The platform monitor looked at me, like I was crazy, but the adrenaline left me laughing as I moved on to the next part of the course. 

Part of the zip lining experience involves crossing these canopy walks. I remembered the term “canopy” from Form Two Geography, and was therefore, not surprised to see that the “walk” would take us from one tree to another, and involved crossing a net bridge with a plank down the middle. I HATED every moment of it! The breeze and the movement of my body caused the bridge to sway from side to side. To keep my mind of it, I looked straight ahead, and slowly made my way across as I hummed, “Royals”.

Le Canopy Walk. Scary!
There were five more platforms and four canopy walks to complete before I got to the last zip line. Nothing much happened except the fact that I slammed into the padding of two more trees at high velocity. Apparently, I didn’t see the guy on the platform signalling for me to slow down. In fact, I slammed into the second tree so hard that my legs straddled the tree trunk, which prompted one member of staff to ask if my "jewels" were fine. Oh, I also missed one platform and ended up stuck and panicking over the forests of Macqueripe. I had to turn around and pull myself to the platform. That was hilarious!

On the second to last platform, the instructions got a bit complicated. We were to zip slowly to the tree marked with the red flag, and then, go faster. As soon as I let go, I knew that I was going to be in trouble. I forgot how to go slow, and instead, went faster and faster and faster. Then, I also forgot to extend my legs, so when I crashed into the padding, my left ankle hit the edge of the platform. It hurt so much that I yelled out, thinking that it was sprained.

While I was having my ankle examined and stretched, I was told that my crash was so resounding that it shook the platform and caused the rain droplets to fall off the leaves of the tree. It was so loud that several patrons looked up in alarm, wondering what went wrong. Of course, the adrenaline was still coursing through my veins, so it wasn’t until I got home two hours later that I started to feel the after effects of being George of the Jungle for an hour. 

Overall, it was an exciting adventure. My only gripe would be that it should been longer, but I definitely recommend you all to try it out. If I can do it, anyone can.

Until the next post!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Yep, I'm Getting Older!

“Happy birthday to you too,” I smiled. “How does it feel to be eighteen?”
“Pretty much exactly the same as seventeen,” Rhys laughed. “Do you feel any older?”
“No, not really,” I admitted.
“Oh, come on,” Matt said. “You’ve matured so much in the past six months. I can hardly even recognize you anymore.”

- Ascend, The Trylle Trilogy- Book Three by Amanda Hocking.

Hey, folks! As you may or may not know, I celebrated my 24th birthday a week ago. Mostly, it was a day of reflection that focused on my growing up and what it all means. For some reason, although the physical signs are mostly there, I don’t feel any older. In reflecting, I realised several things, for examples: 
  1. I have more responsibilities that don’t revolve around doing chores and homework.
  2. More so, I am responsible for my actions and the consequences of those actions.
  3. I find myself thinking about my future, and ensuring that the decisions I make today facilitate it.
  4. I have to work; gone are the days of Mummy and Daddy providing my every need. I mean, I have to buy my own deodorant.
  5. On those rare occasions that I go out, I no longer have to/ feel obligated to tell my family where I’m going. I do so because I want to.
  6. Life is happening to the people around me; from past classmates getting married and/or pregnant (not exactly in that order) to baby cousins writing CAPE and entering UWI. It makes me realise that life is happening to me too, although I don’t see it.
  7. For me, the fact that I’m trusted to look after people’s children speaks volumes to my level of maturity.
  8. Speaking of which, I feel like I have matured. When I think back on Secondary School Garvin, and even, UWI Garvin, the change in attitude and perspective is astounding.
  9. My family, friends and acquaintances have commented on my more mature look.
  10. I find myself annoyed by and complaining about the antics of today’s youth. This is usually followed by a story or two about how things were when I was younger.
  11. Oftentimes, I ponder my own mortality. 
  12. I now use sayings and/ or phrases that I used to associate with older, more experienced people. For example, “All skin teeth eh grin”, “If is not one thing is the next”, “Do so doh like so”, “Tomorrow, please God”, “Look how big you get!” (I used to hate when people told me this), and “We went to school together”. 
So, all signs seem to point to the fact that I am growing older. In arriving at that conclusion, I’ve decided to embrace adulthood in this, the 24th year of my life. I’m still not sure what there is to embrace, but I’ll start with the responsibility, maturity, wisdom and independence that come with age. Meanwhile, I’ll figure out the rest as I go along. Wish me luck!

Until the next post! 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Throwback Thursday- I Used To Be A Bad Boy

A throwback with a difference!

Hey, folks! I happen to like the phenomenon, that is, Throwback Thursday. I think it a fantastic opportunity to reminisce and share funny glimpses into your past with your friends, families, and acquaintances. As such, I really wanted to do a "Throwback Thursday" post on my blog. Who knows? Maybe, depending on the feedback, it would be the first of many more to come.

Today, I'm going to write about those few instances during my childhood and adolescence, that I can remember, when I got into serious trouble. When I write, "serious trouble", I'm referring to those times when I got licks, was banned, slapped, sent to the Principal's office, had to do lines, and/or disappointed my parents. I used two photos from my school days, which best depict what I looked like at the time of each incident. So yeah, let's throwback yo!

1) Childhood, Primary School, 8-11 years old

My brother and I. 
In Standard Three, my class had some sort of competition, which I lost after trying my hardest. Being the sore loser and killjoy that I was at 8-years old, I booed the student who won. As a result, I was sent to the Principal's Office. I was terrified; I mean, I was off to the Principal's Office for the first time, corporal punishment was legal, I had a low threshold for pain, and as if that weren't enough, my parents were going to find out, which meant another cycle of punishment. I almost started crying as I explained to him what had happened. I ended up lying, and told him a vapid story about the guy booing me first a week earlier (I know, not my best). Thankfully, I got off scot-free, unless you count the fact that I had to swallow my pride and apologize.  

In Standard Four, I placed 34th out of 36 students in my end of term exams, and to this day, I can't understand why. At the age of 10, I was concerned about having a fun filled vacation, and I knew that there would have been no fun if my parents saw my grade. So, I decided to put my report book in a black, plastic bag and hide it under some clothes in a barrel. I told my parents that the report would be given at the start of the following term. Everything was fine for one day. What I didn't count on was how much my treachery would weigh on my conscience. I swear I almost had a nervous breakdown, and was therefore, relieved when my mother found the book. Although I got licks for lying, was banned from playing and watching TV, and disappointed my parents all in one day, I was happier for it.

2) Adolescence, Secondary School, 12-15 years old

Me: First Day of School- Form Three
In Form One,  some of my classmates and I started a sou-sou in an attempt to be more responsible and manage our money. My father was pretty impressed by our initiative and was eager to lend his support, as long as our Form Teacher supervised us. Of course, I lied and said that she was. Eventually, the bacchanal hit the fan! Surprisingly, someone stopped paying after they received their hand (I thought all 11 year old children were responsible), which angered the others. There was a shouting match, the Form Teacher intervened, and parents were called in. In short, de mark buss! There was no licks, no being banned, just pure disappointment from the parents, especially my father. Basically, my life was ruined, since being told that you are a disappointment is pretty much the worst kind of punishment.

More than anything, my rudeness, hot mouth, and general outta timing-ness, got me in trouble. For starters, I went through the phase of rudeness, which was directed at my grandmother more than anything. I would mumble under my breath, walk off in a huff, and complain that no one understood me. It all stopped after Granny cut meh ass with some kitchen utensil one afternoon at my aunt's house in Mayaro. Even worse, the masons outside heard every lash and scream. How embarrassing!

Then, there was the time that my mother slapped me because I had mumbled to myself that a friend of a friend of the family was being grumpy because she needed 'ah man'. I also had to apologize, in front of a group of people with tears running down my face. Lastly, on a trip to Tobago, I said that one of the teachers lived for minding her student's business. Given my luck, her daughter had heard me. Basically, I had to apologize and write lines. Looking back, not much has changed; I just learned to be more tactful.

That's all folks! Thanks for stepping back in time with me. Until the next post! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Reasons I Need To Get Serious About Losing Weight

The greatest, most important challenge of my life is about to begin!

Guess what? I’m fat! Yes, sirs and mams! I’m fat... and lazy! Ain't self realization a bitch?!? Anyway, during my second time in Colombia, I ate a lot of fast food, drank, partied, worked, lazed around, and did not exercise on a weekly basis. So, I gained weight! And the cycle has more or less continued, since I've been back. Whilst I've never been skinny, things have certainly been getting out of hand.

As such, about two months ago, I bought a pair of sneakers and started walking around the almost dilapidated recreation ground close to my house. Things were going well (I mean, I lost two pounds), but I got bored, so I stopped. I've been meaning to get back on the proverbial horse, but it’s easier thought than done. Then, I had the genius idea of creating a list, since I figured that if I saw it everyday, it would give me the kick in the butt I needed. So, here goes... 

Oh, and when in doubt, follow the red arrow! 

1) I constantly bite the insides of my mouth.

2) My belly is huge. No, GINORMOUS!

3) It’s slowly started to hang over my waist bands and belts. Not a cute look, at all!

4) My belly and my butt are almost the same size (I think my belly is bigger). If you've seen my butt, you’d be concerned too.

5) Sometimes, when I'm sitting, I can’t bend to pick something up off the floor or tie my shoelace.

6) Sucking in my belly doesn't make a difference.

7) My legs constantly rub together.

8) Said rubbing of legs has made holes in two pairs of jeans.

Yep, I did that!

9) The idea of putting my shirt in my pants terrifies me. 

10) I have trouble breathing. Like, I need to stop and take deep, deep breaths after over-exerting myself too much.

Like, after riding a bicycle for 20 minutes. Hate those girls and their enthusiasm!

11) I’m paranoid about the way I smell.

12) My favourite clothes don’t fit.

13) My boxer briefs have gotten noticeably tighter.

14) I have man boobs.

15) Even worse, I have cleavage when I lie down on my side.

16) I find myself irrationally hating people who are fit and skinny. I roll my eyes or call them names. Ugh, Skinny Bitches!

17) I don’t enjoy “pigging out”, anymore. I feel so guilty and disgusted with myself. 

18) I have to constantly remind myself that I’m an intelligent, good-looking young man, and that my weight doesn't change that. Pathetic, right?

I am good-looking, though! Ha-ha!
Making a list is only the beginning of the battle, I actually have to get up, get out there, and get in shape. I think I can do it, since I know that I can do anything I put my mind to. I hope that you'll join me, via my blog, on my journey. Keep an eye out for future updates! *insert smiley face*

Love abounds! Until the next post! 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Exploring T&T: Turure Water Steps

Eat your heart out, Dora!

For a small country, Trinidad and Tobago has a lot to offer. In my few travels abroad I've seen and experienced a lot of amazing places, which  made me want to see and experience more of my country. It was with this desire that I decided to participate in a hike to the Turure Water Steps (TWS), three weeks ago that was hosted by the Rotaract Club of Sangre Grande Central. Situated in Cumaca Village, Valencia, the steps are a series of limestone formations that get bigger the higher you climb. At the base of each step, there are pools of water that are great for taking a dip, sitting, posing for photos, jumping into, or finding crayfish and other animal life. 

There I was, dressed in an over-sized track pants and T-shirt with bright orange and black sneakers, taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Everything was so peaceful, like the sound of the birds chirping, the air felt/ smelt clean, and the view of the surrounding mountains was breathtaking. I remember feeling rejuvenated, and being very eager to start the adventure.

Eventually, we were asked to assemble at the beginning of the trail, and were greeted by our friendly, neighbourhood Hike Master, Emile. Although I had only been in his presence for, like 5 seconds, I was drawn to how passionate he was about hiking. He had this excited- almost manic- look in his eyes (as though the prospect of giving us a glimpse into his incredible world made his day), was very expressive, and exuded joy. He was also very knowledgeable about the history of the area. Honestly, I can’t remember most of it (I know, I studied history, I should be embarrassed), but I was definitely impressed and even more excited.

Finally, we were on our way up a hill, covered with rocks and stones of varying sizes. My excitement lasted for about five minutes as it gave way to heavy breathing, heavy sweating, and heavy, mental cursing. It was so physically demanding for me because I lead a sedentary lifestyle. I had to pace myself and make sure that I breathed through my nose and out my mouth.

Before I knew it, I found a rhythm: go up steep incline, go down steep incline, duck under tree branch, go over tree branch, slip in mud, be rescued by random dude I don’t know, go up two more inclines, lend a helping hand to that girl who was worried about her hair getting frizzy, roll eyes at said girl’s silly concerns, cross a river, complain about my shoes and track pants getting wet, cross another river, sit on a rock in the river, pose for a photo, drink some water, complain some more, and repeat with some variation for 35- 40 minutes.

By the time the Hike Master announced that we had arrived at the first step, it took all of my depleted strength not to pass out. As my heart rate slowed down, I observed how interesting the steps were. I mean, they seemed to have risen from the bottom of the river. There were the steps themselves with water cascading around them and smaller areas of rock that were fantastic for walking, casually. Equally interesting was the fact that no moss grew on the limestone, which also adhered to the sole of your shoes. Both made it possible to walk on the rock without slipping, and easily climb it to get to the other steps. Nature can be cool! 
That's me, with the orange sneakers, walking up a rock, like Spiderman

After climbing some more, I arrived at the biggest step, and just stared in awe at its size. Unfortunately, some “humans” saw it fitting to spoil the view by carving their stupid, pointless names in the rock. Like, who does that? Couldn't they have just marvelled at nature and leave without spoiling it? Ugh! Anyway, I opted not to go to the top and settled for sitting on a rock with my sneaker clad feet in the water. 

Like so...
The hike back was uneventful, unless you count my slipping three times in the river, falling down on my butt twice, sliding down an incline, and getting bitten by an ant and thinking that I was going to die as uneventful. Overall, it was a great day spent in the great outdoors, exploring my sweet country. I can’t wait to do it again!

Until the next post!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Hello, September!

Yep, what the photo said! 

After a two week blogging hiatus (not that anyone noticed), I'm back. I was a bit down and uninspired, so instead of writing and posting, I wallowed in self pity, self doubt, and unemployment. Thankfully, it didn't last long this time around, and I got a lot of sleep. Then, September happened and I got excited again. At first, it was weird because I thought that I had no real reason to be excited about the month of September. But, as I lay on my bed and thought about it more, there were actually a lot of things to look forward to. 

For starters, it's my mom's birthday month, and we get to shower her with gifts and make her feel even more special. Then, there's the start of the 2013-2014 TV season, which means that my favourite TV shows will be premiering new episodes soon. Not to mention, the bevy of new TV shows that I'll become a fan of. Gosh, I'm so excited that I can be a TV whore again! I can watch my shows weekly, fall in love with or hate the characters, get emotional, get sucked in, read recaps online, and comment on fan forums to either laud or complain about the latest episode. Oh joy, joy, joy! There are other things too, like the upcoming events with the Rotaract club, counting down to my 24th birthday next month, and the possibility of new opportunities presenting themselves. 

I'm anticipating a month of new blog posts, since I've had a couple of ideas brewing in this big head of mine. I'm yet to write about my amazing hike to the Turure Water Steps, over two weeks ago. I want to do a blog based on the whole #Throwback-Thursday phenomenon, and reminisce about the times I got in serious trouble with my parents. I intend to document my latest attempt at weight loss, and create a few lists based on my crazy observations and quirks. I can also count on a random post or two popping up on my page, whenever inspiration and I do our little dance. I really want to build my blog because I love writing, it's my creative outlet, and I enjoy sharing with those people that read and relate to what I write. It truly gives my life meaning. 

Basically, I have a pretty interesting month ahead, and I couldn't be more excited. Yay me!

Nicely put, artist lady! Succinct and to the point! (Source)
Until the next post! Chao!