Monday, June 29, 2009

Full freedom

I have accepted that the journey to find balance and self-actualize cannot be made without taking a triangular approach. Yogic gurus refer to it as Ayurveda. And when one element is off, the whole is disturbed.

I am talking of the MIND-BODY-SPIRIT. I have come to see this as the trinity of the life energy/force. Life entails all three, and all three work in tandem with each other. Another interesting observation is that when any element is short, you cannot double up on one or replace with something totally different, just like how you cannot patch bitumen with concrete. It may appear to work, eliminating a pot hole, but the chemical components are mutually incompatible and eventually, the pot hole becomes even bigger than before.

This has been such an enlightening journey. And for conviction, revelation and awareness, I am totally grateful. I continue to grow as I press on to higher things.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Damsel in utter distress

I had the privilege of having my dear cousin's car shut down on me in Kingston last night because I forgot how to disarm the convoluted alarm. Thank heavens for a patient and committed good Samaritan (they still exist) with an engineering background and another cousin, Celia with the flashlight to the rescue.

Turns out the gent was shopping at and leaving the supermarket at the same time, and saw me with my hands flailing in distress... I was hard to miss- I had my own background music which drew a lot of attention.

Note to self: it always pays to dress up when going to the supermarket. It also pays to know where the kill switch for the alarm is, but that is really just an added bonus.

I used to be such a tomboy who was so into mechanics, but somewhere along the way, I turned into a really girlie girl who cannot even remember the sequence for disarming an alarm, much less the position of the anti theft device needed to start the car once said alarm goes off.

I am now making light of a situation that gave me a tension because I got off unscathed and with car and groceries in tact. Thank heavens Celia was home and had not one but two flashlights on hand. It also didn't happen in traffic, which would have been more than a little embarrassing.

All's well that ends well.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The life is back in Sheer Almshouse

I was right. I am happy. Incredibly so. I slept VERY well last night.

Everyone is telling me that I sound MUCH better. Even Daddykin said "You sound MUCH brighter!" Easy Skanking Chef said "You are laughing all the time, and you even sound giddy." Sounds like I am in love right? I am.

I knew that my depression was purely environmental and just leaving all that behind would have been better for me. The overwhelming cloud of heaviness has lifted so much so that I have already re-disovered my joy for life.

Home is my anti-depressant. And love and laughter, the best medicine.

I am eating well again, after a crazy week of not paying close attention to my fitness goals. I am back on track with renewed fervor.

It's funny because I was alone last night, I had no company, but still, I am in great spirits.

It's not that I could not have seen people, but I was too tired to be up and down or to have late visitors. I am still tired, and figure it will be so for the rest of the weekend, but I am content in my fatigue. I will eat well and get in lots of sleep to recover from two weeks of sleeplessness and two months of despair.

I got a few good hugs already and it's just lovely to feel sexy again.

As tired as I was, I made sure to head straight to the hairdresser after unpacking and having a healthy lunch of whole wheat madras chicken roti and fresh coconut water straight from the husk. As much as I am 25lbs heavier than when I left last year, I can't walk around Jamaica in the same drudgery. My hair has to look good. And my 25lbs are feeling good because I have got my oomph back.

I got some Herbalife green tea from K.Azikiwe yesterday and he is supposed to give me some organic vitamins soon. He also gave me my very first Otahite apple ( a wonderful variety found in Jamaica) and a very sweet home grown banana.

I am about to dig in to my very first Julie mango in a year (my favourite mango). Thankfully, my cousin left just one in the fridge for me. She knows me well enough to leave more because I really cant help myself with them, and will eat several in one go. At least now I can pace myself.

I saw it in the fridge last night decided to leave it for breakfast, so that I can enjoy it fully.

Got to go. I have a date with a big, sexy, juicy mango who is giving me eyes from across the room!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home free

I am back in Jamaica.

I am feeling better already.

I am exhausted. Just need to sleep. Give me a few days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One last day

I am in the office, finalising the sale of my car to my colleague. I have also requested two days departmental leave with permission to travel, which makes me still an employee on paper until they have made a decision about my case. Even though I want to walk away from this for my sanity, my father advises to make sure I cover my ass just in case. After this, I will send in a medical certificate which will buy me some more time after those two days expire.

Update a few mins later:

The car is sold.
Now to deal with the bicycle and the DVD player.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Letting go and moving on

This is my last night on the Island Behind God's Back. Praise God for journeying mercies.

I have decided to forgo legal intervention and just cut my losses and move on. I have too much good awaiting me to be bogged down with legal drama with a government that is so broke that it cannot make payroll on time. I have also accepted that there was enough good coming out of my time here to balance the axis of evil that I have experienced (Bush will never live that one down).

What's been goood:

1. I have paid off my debts
2. I have managed to be even closer to family because of the distance and my friendships have been tested and proven rock solid.
3. I have written more than ever
4. I have invested thousands (USD) in pro photo gear that will provide an additional income stream as well as artistic release
5. I have left the comfort and safety of home and everything I know and love to live in a VERY remote place that is foreign in every way.
6. I am in a position to re-claim my independent career, not being fixed to any organisation just for the purpose of getting a monthly income to meet the monthly demands of antsy creditors whose business models conflicted with the irregular even if substantial earnings of a small business owner.
7. I have had lots of time to think and reflect and plan my next move
8. I have invested in a long distance relationship that has reaped tremendous rewards, having proven that the foundation is rigid and the love insurmountable.
9. I am going to enjoy 9 full weeks of VACATION mode summer living. Meaning... for the first time since I was 16.
10. I have learned that there are only few things in this life that are worth hauling around with (signaling the end of my pack rat days). Thank heavens that my mother still hordes so she can keep the things that still worth keeping but not worth extra international flight overweight charges.
11. I have decided to quit using smoking as a crutch to manage stress. I am still working on it. I am going on the patch as soon as I land in Jamaica.
12. I have come face to face with the scariest depression of my life and managed to fight it using self-awareness, discipline, diet, exercise, and therapy. I am still not completely well but home will be the best medicine.
13. I have had a man fly all the way here and use up his entire vacation to prove to me that we are right for each other and he is committed to me.
14. I have not bought one single pair of shoes.
15. I have increased my financial wisdom and have improved my fiscal management in leaps and bounds
16. I have proven that I take care of my responsibilities, even when I have left them behind.
17. I have felt what it feels like to earn hard cash as opposed to the Jamaican dollar which has devalued by $20 in the one year I have been here.
18. I have been able to visit family in the US, some of whom I have not seen for up to 20 years.
19. I broke out of my Florida only US policy, and flew to NYC and Atlanta.
20. I am making my first transatlantic trip this year.
21. I got away from all the hangers on who really were just wasting my time.
22. I am giving a single mother her first opportunity to own a car because I am selling mine to her dirt cheap
23. I was able to give another single mother about $700 worth of food, groceries and toiletries.
24. I have learned that I may not necessarily have the best formula for making new friends and will have to revisit how I let people in my inner circle even if I am lonely and starved for friendship.
25. I made one real friend, and others who have given me unexpected blessings.
26. I have learned to lower my expectations of people.
27. I have survived bathing in dirty water for a year, even though my sensitive skin despises me for it.
28. I can appreciate eating raw conch (a big sea snail).
29. I have managed to re-discover healthy eating even under dire circumstances.
30. I have survived.

Getting a fight

I am getting the proverbial fight to leave. They have still not officially received correspondence to even signal the receipt and deliberation of my proposal sent two months ago to the committee, much less a decision.

I presented additional medical information and the police records yesterday to see if I could expedite the process. I asked for immediate permission to leave due to safety concerns and resultant medical reasons. I am prepared to write to the governor this evening/tomorrow morning if I have not received word.

I cannot stay. I refuse to go on anti-depressants (that have already been prescribed) and I have already been prescribed two sedatives for sleeping. I do not need to test the boundaries of my mental capacity to handle this whole thing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

All things work together for good

ESC is fine. He in another emirate and left his phone. He emailed me to check in.

Walking the line

I am worried sick about Easy Skanking Chef. I don't know how I am going to be a mother. I dread the thought of sleepless nights waiting for fevers to break and later on for them to return home from parties before I got a call from the police station explaining their absence and the fact they will never return home.

I seemed to have developed in to what I define as pragmatic pessimism. I think of all the things that could have happened to explain phenomena like unexplained absence. Especially if one's facebook is not updated during that time.

I am all for little mental and physical getaways... and I quite like a disappearing act or two, but usually, somebody knows where I am and how long I will likely be away. Or I may just not talk to anybody on the phone, but blog and update facebook so that any concerned individual can realise that my heart is still beating and I have not been made captive by some sadistic cult intent on torturing me to death.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Maybe mine is lying in waste now, which is why I can be so ghastly worried about my boyfriend because he hasn't touched base in three days. But there is a catch. The dude is recovering from a bad fall and a blow to the head- the second in months, and he is pretty casual about it... happy enough that scans do not show any brain damage or build up of brain fluid. Finally, he lives alone. He is in a foreign country, and his nearest relative is in Ethiopia. He was supposed to visit her during this leave but this injury has interrupted that. So I am here, in another hemisphere, making up all sorts of stories to fill in the distance.

This time though, I have learned from previous experiences. Whenever there is unexplained lack of contact, something is wrong. However instead of spending the entire time convinced of a rather trivial plot, I will try and pray a little harder.

My poor brain does not need anymore stress right now- God knows that. But all I can do is just pass it on to He who is in the prayer answering business.

I have sent a message to one of his friends over there to check on him for me. It could very well be as simple as his phone not working properly.

I took two sleeping pills last night and finally got some sleep. Valium didn't help me the day before.

I am just feeling really exhausted and overwhelmed by all that I have gone through over the past year and honestly, I am even more worried about myself than I am about Lij. I am walking a VERY thin that I am trying VERY hard to not cross. That is NOT a precedence I want to set.

I am just tired. I just need a break. I need sleep, relaxation and peace. I need love. I need home.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Leaving on a likkle plane

I would fly American Airlines but decided not to for two reasons:

1. I would pay too much in overweight and excess baggage &50 each for up to three bags
2. I will have to stop in Miami en route to Jamaica, which means clearing the bags through customs and hauling them through to the connecting flight baggage area

That leaves me with no other option but to fly the rickety small plane that goes direct from this country to mine. They charge overweight by the pound and not my piece , to that will likely workout better for me.

I am dumping more things.

I have a tentative sale for the car, which is less than half of my original asking price, but it's better than nothing.

I am leaving on Thursday June 26, 2009. I would have left on Monday if I could but I get paid Tue/Wed and that is when my car will get sold.

I took two valium tabs and still cant sleep.

I am so relieved that this will be the end of it.

I plan to finish my packing by Sunday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ode to small island mentality

Thank you cousin K. I couldn't say it better myself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Double Jeopardy

Lightning dies strike twice if you are standing in the same place.

They slashed my tyres again...this time in an Anti-foreigner spree. My neighbour got 3 holes each, I got 10. This time at least 12 cars were affected. It is no conincidence that this happened to me in the first place nor the second. I live on a cul-de-sac, far removed from regular thoroughfare. This is a targeted attack and it is getting worse. I got 4 holes each last time. I have called my lawyers. Time to stop dilly dallying. What the f**** would I be waiting for? The third strike? The charm? Enough said.

Footnote, the police STILL haven't called my neighbour to question if they saw anything from the previous incident reported on March 6, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Knowing when to leave

One of the hardest things in life is walking away from relationships that are not healthy, but in which you have invested the vast majority of your emotional portfolio. As hard as it may be, sticking around long past the expiry date is much worse.

I am aware that I have developed some patterns as a result of a previous relationship which soured for so long that it permeated my psyche and working through that baggage now erodes all the blessings of that union.

I am usually a walk away and don't look back gal but I made a very bad exception to that rule. But the rule is there for a reason. If you walk away once, it is for a reason. Don't go back. As my mother used to drill into my head "Good, better, best." You move on and moving on means letting go.

I know so many sister friends and brothers who too have romanticized situations to the effect of slowly poisoning themselves. The more extreme cases usually end up with a body and a prison sentence, or two bodies. Others have children who are so traumatized that they never really lead normal lives.

Love doesn't hurt. And that whole long suffering bit in the bible wasn't meant to be a Joan of Arc re-enactment. This is not homeopathy either, what kills you doesn't necessarily cure you.

But often the damage is hard to access while you are in the midst of the roller coaster drama. But you have to trust your intelligence. The heart muddles decisions, and often we make bad ones based on feeling than on what we know to be true. Sometimes the truth hurts too much and it is easier to sugar coat it than to admit to ourselves that we are in a bad way.

I believe that spiritual ties are made with those you sleep with and those are hard to break. Lying with somebody is never just a physical experience, no matter how liberated your worldview. You enter into a spiritual bond and it's not always good. You can sometimes take on their drama, their demons, to add to your own personal struggle.

I am not sure why I am writing this, but I felt led to do so.

It may be lonely to be alone but nothing is lonelier than being in an unfulfilling relationship. Love is about commitment to another's spiritual growth as much as your own (as defined by Dr. Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled). Newsflash, if it is killing your spirit, it isn't love.

Relationships are hard work because we each have our own personal crosses to bear and when we put them together, it can be a rather heavy load. That is why choosing partners carefully is important. But we are not always right. This is why break-ups and divorces happen everyday. Sometimes, walking away is simply the best option. Do not be afraid to take it if you know that this is your truth.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How I feel...

I took this photo earlier befits how I feel right now.

Long distance trauma

My dearest Easy Skanking Chef had an accident resulting in a concussion and hospital stay. I got an email from his boss which was also sent to his family.

I am so torn up about being so far away. This is his second accident in less than a year and I am very worried.

I need to go take care of him, but my trip is not scheduled before the end of August. I am waiting for him to be restored to health so that we can talk about whether or not he needs me to go sooner.

Just watching and praying.

Personal Therapy

I have changed so much since I have come here that sometimes I don't recognize who I have become. But change is a part of life and at least it means that I am human and am capable of personal growth.

I can't say I believe that all the changes I have made have been positive. But slowly, I am peeling away the layers and facing my demons.

Nobody has more power over my life than me, so I am trying to walk in enlightened awareness.

I recognise that I need to meditate, pray and enjoy my hobbies, which include photography and meeting and spending time with people. I have managed to become very undone in a situation that would undo almost any sane person, but still, I have to maintain my health and still manage to walk away from this better than I came in. That is the beauty of life- the potential to be totally burnt out and still rise like the phoenix from the ashes.

Inch Lost!

I lost my first 1 1/2 inch off my waist!

Today is day 6. I did not workout yesterday because I was feeling a little depressed and low in energy. So instead of missing a workout, I will call yesterday my rest day and workout on my rest day which was supposed to be tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fitness and Libido

Their's is the magic made in an O shaped heaven. That's why men and women crave fitness sex idols who are buff and tough. It's why I watch men's track and field and why ESC watches women's gymnastics... there is something about the athletic body in mint condition that is so scintilating when it is operating at peak performance. (As an aside, its also why rich women bed their sweaty, ripped gardeners instead of their bald, pudgy husbands. It's also why men bed younger, fitter and more agile women than wives who feel that they paid their dues in the bedroom and should be living on the annuities).

When fitness is out of the picture, libido wanes. It's similar to the athlete after retirement. But reitroduce fitness, and voila! The powers of unobstructed, oxgenated blood flow.

So... are there side effects of getting back in shape? Hmmm... let me think about it.

Very tired, but still committed

I am feeling VERY tired in the mornings (the last two) which leads me to believe that I am not fueling my body properly for the extra physical activity. The Slim in 6 routine is squat and plies intensive, and my heart rate is kept high for the duration of this week's 24 min workout. Next week I move on to a 45 min workout which adds strength training to the squats and plies and for the final 4 weeks, it will be a 60min combination at an even higher intensity.

I am reluctant to add more carbs or fat to my diet so I will add more lean protein. I bought skinless chicken breasts and plan to make healthy wraps for lunch next week.

I want to experiment with a red bean salsa this weekend.

Instead of having cereal for dinner, I think i should replace with chicken breast and veggies.

I am drink A LOT of water. It's summer and it's hot so I am thirsty more. Plus I am sweating buckets when I workout.

I would like to add leisurely weekend bike rides this weekend.

-My stomach is noticeably slimmer
-I see my deltoids popping up a little
-My biceps pop a tuups
-My thighs have are regaining the shape they are famous for
-I am no longer sore (not since Day 2 on Tue). This means I am adjusting well to a really intense workout.
-I have significantly reduced my cigarette quota by over 100%
-I still have a very thick layer of fat to lose, which is likely to be there until the final week. I am by far at my heaviest weight ever so I do not expect to get to my ultimate goal overnight. I just want some drastic results within the first 3 months and then the rest will be icing.

The Ultimate Goal
Best Shape EVER by 30 and lifetime maintenance thereafter.

The Ultimate Challenge
I tend to lose focus when there is a change to my routine. Traveling so much over the next few weeks and going to Dubai will be major tests but I cannot afford to derail me. I have made so many changes to prepare my way for this part of my journey and I refuse to lose this personal challenge. It's hard, yes, but the question is am I worth it? The answer- HELL YES!!!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A woman's right to choose

The irony about the whole faith based arguments that support the anti-abortion movement (known as "pro-life") is that the very faith that they use to espunge their opnonents is based on choice.

Christianity and other major religions realise that faith is choice that one makes on a PERSONAL level, based on individual spiritual conviction. It is this personal application of spirituality and religion that then dictates the life of the persons who are led by faith.

A faith-based life is a CHOICE. God does not force himself on man... he gives man the ability to choose his own destiny and make his own daily decisions. God could be looked on as the Chairman and the Board would be the spiritual books; bible, koran, etc, whcih are guides... but when it comes down to the nitty gritty... you are the CEO of your own life.

Those who are not living a faith-based life operate as a sole-directorship which gives them sole shareholdership.... they make their own decisions and are accountable only to themselves.

I think that religious fundamentalists often get so bogged down in what the spiritual books say and their own halo of holiness that they forget that their mission, is to spread love and peace across humanity. What is God? God is love. How can you be so mean and evil and war-like against people who differ in opinion and conviction and still say that you are a child of God?

Did God not say "Love your enemies" and "Do good to them that hate you" and "Love your neighbours as yourself?"

Did he not also say "Vengeance is mine" and "Judge not that ye be not judged?"

I think the problem is that religious fundamentalists and extremists are trying to make matters of personal choice their collective domain. Reality check... we aren't in heaven yet. This is earth. And people are free to make their own choices. We will always have disagreements. What's important is that we love each other in spite of them. Maybe if they spent more time loving people, then so many people would not be looking for love in the wrong places and wind up facing the dilemma of termination. And who said abortions were just birth control?

A woman, her partner, and her doctor have the right to make a choice based on matters of mental, physical and spiritual health. It's never a cut and dry situation. We have enough bad parents in the system and children in public homes who have been failed by unfit parents.

Maybe instead of picketing, they could all come together to adopt these children and show them the love of God and give many women even more choices. Even though I am not sure I would hand over my baby to a pack of freaks.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Driving through the relationship maze

There is no map to navigate the ins and outs of love. You just have to take the road that appears to make the most sense, and be willing to turn back and start over if needs be. Word to the wise, taking directions from others may be the biggest mistake.

Note to self: You are wiser than you think.

Shit out of shape

I tried my new workout this morning and struggled through 14 min of the 24 min beginner phase. I felt like a 500lb person stuggling to catch a train door. This is absolutely crazy! These are moves that would have been sooo easy for me in the past. This had nothing on my dance classes or a cardio class at the gym. But hey!

I promise to never let myself be so unfit again... this is so thoroughly depressing.

I have been resting my carpel tunnel hands (hence no posts) trying to prepare for this workout.

I am going to attack it again later this evening though. Of course I refuse to give up that easily. And I know what to do today, so that tomorrow wont be as much a struggle. As bad as I am now, I really cant afford to get any worse.
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