black girl magic · Inspiration · jamaica · Life · money · relationships · school · Uncategorized

Rich & Switch – The Ultimate Jamaican Betrayal?

Black people, I love you. We are the most creative, hilarious, hardworking set of people to exist (don’t debate me). But, we have some of the strangest mindsets that we hang onto for dear life, for fear of losing our identity. Today, I’m speaking directly to my black Jamaican community.

We need to release this weird false sense of entitlement we have to being addicted to the struggle. We’re so averse to being successful that when people get the opportunity to upgrade out of their dismal surroundings we refer to them as “rich and switch”. I’ve been a part of multiple conversations (some turn arguments) where I’ve been TEASED for being “uptown” or not being able to relate to certain struggles in life. There have been times when I literally felt ashamed of being raised in what is considered an “upper middle class” community, going to a prep school, and only ever having turkey neck once in my entire life after begging my mother to cook it just so I could see what all the noise was about. (My mother doesn’t cook turkey neck, not because it is considered “poor people oxtail” but because she genuinely isn’t a fan).

And then one day it hit me like an Audi S3: I would be doing my parents the ultimate disservice if I continued to let people make me feel ashamed, less black or less Jamaican for being raised the way I was.

And here’s why – Both my parents came from harsh beginnings and worked especially hard to get us where we are today.

Here’s a bit of background on my father: (In the interest of not making this blog too long I’ll focus mostly on his story.) Daddy grew up in the small rural community of Top Hill, Manchester. If you’ve ever been to Top Hill, you’d know that he grew up in the definition of “the struggle”. Even to this day, electricity is a luxury, there’s barely running water, and black and white TVs are still a staple in most homes. Poverty, yeah hey! (QQ Voice).

He was the first of 12 children and he left Top Hill at age 14 to escape the hardships of the community, and an abusive (and slightly psychotic) father to come to Kingston to live with his aunt and uncle. He didn’t have much to begin with, but he decided there had to be more to life than his current circumstances, and so he went in pursuit of it. He barely went to primary school, and thus didn’t qualify to attend high school, but being the brilliant mind he was, he was able to learn “a trade” in masonry and building construction. From there he literally built his life from the ground up, from being the “likkle man” on the construction sites to becoming a building contractor for the government and the private sector (and the MANY odd jobs in between that I can’t even begin to list). And dad learned early on that making connections was important in climbing the ladder (anti-social as he was), and soon he was driving around the governor general and shaking hands with the prime minister. (Random cool fact: Dad was a part of the promotion team that brought THE Michael Jackson to Jamaica in the 70’s). I don’t care what Beyonce says, Gerald Dawkins was the definition of a hustler.

Things didn’t always work out the way he wanted, but my father was always determined to make it work in order to provide a good life for his family. It is because of the hard work and support of my parents why I was able to attend a prep school, and why I went to university without having to apply for student loans, and for that I am forever grateful. (FYI, there is NOTHING wrong with primary schools and NO SHAME in student loans).

It would not only be disrespectful but an absolute waste if I was to settle for any quality of life lower than that which my father worked super hard to ensure that I was able to enjoy. Were there hard times in the past? Absolutely! Especially after he became ill and was unable to work like he used to. But those aren’t the times I want to meditate on. Honestly, if I could just forget all the times that we were so broke that mom had to use coins to buy groceries at the supermarket, or the times when they had to borrow cash from family and amazing neighbours (big up unuh self) to clear medical expenses, I gladly would. If that makes me a “rich and switch” then so be it.

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My point is, we should never be ashamed of where we come from, but we should also never feel comfortable to settle where we are. We must ALWAYS be aiming higher, pushing further and evolving from our current situation. And more importantly we must learn to support the people around us that are making moves. Encourage your friends to be winners. Encourage your friends never to settle. And GAS THEM UP when they’re doing great! Stop being hateful and jealous. Use their success to fuel you to want to become more successful. It’s time we stopped apologising for being prosperous, especially when we come from harsh upbringing. And please, stop brainwashing children into believing that escaping poverty is the ultimate betrayal to their past or their “blackness”.

Best believe I intend to spend some Sunday mornings out on my yacht, being boujie as hell, drinking orange juice (not mimosas) from a champagne flute and sunbathing to improve my melanin.

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Will there be hard times? I suspect there will. But to stay there because I’m afraid of people seeing me as “uptown” or not true to my “culture” would be beyond ridiculous. In honour of my father (RIP dad), black girl magic, my name, Jesus’ life death and Resurrection, and my future family, I WILL be successful and I WILL be stunting like nobody’s business.

shemoney

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christianity · dating · film making · Inspiration · Life · money · relationships · Uncategorized

From a Living Single: Don’t Slide Into My DMs! Unless…

It goes down in the DMs – everybody knows the song. And if you’re on twitter you’re probably just at your wits end with these twitter stories of how people met their “bae” via twitter DMs or “shooting their shot” in their crush’s mentions. Coincidentally, this week alone I’ve had 3 guys slide into my DMs on 3 different social media platforms, and trust me, it ain’t all that.

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And before anyone can guilt me into thinking I should be grateful men find me attractive enough/interesting enough to slip into my DMs like a direct deposit slip at an ATM, let me just gently lay down some rules before you even consider hitting me up.

  1. Maybe find out if I’m single first?
    I know what you’re thinking. “How are they going to know if you’re single without hitting you up first?” Great question! By all means please feel free to let that be one of your first 3 questions. “Good afternoon, how are you?” “I just saw you on my feed and thought you’d be interesting to get to know. Is that okay?” “Are you single?” Then I can give my answer and we can both move on with our lives. I have no issues with you being forward just as long as you’re ready for my answer. Instead of the “hey ma! Been a while! Take my number and holla.”

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2. Don’t pretend you just want a friend, I’m not stupid.
Listen, it’s the blessing or curse of our generation. We’ve learned to communicate in interesting ways using the interweb. If a guy says he wants to watch Netflix with me I automatically take it as a euphemism to mean he wants to get laid. If you “slide into my DMs” I automatically think you’re looking for a relationship. Just want to get to know me? How about you hit me up in my mentions where EVERYONE can see? (Some of my closest friends right now I met through twitter mentions. It’s not that complicated)

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3. Thirdly, and most importantly, don’t waste my time.
The reason I’m so picky about my relationships and who I let into my circle is because I literally don’t have the time to waste. I’m too busy ensuring my mental, spiritual, financial and physical health is on 100.
I’m building my relationship with God while building empires for my grandkids and shooting films so I can stunt on my naysayers and help put Jamaica on the map at the Oscars, while still gassing up my friends and family when they’re out here being amazing. I have ZERO tolerance for time wasters in my life. If you can’t add to what I’m doing in ANY way shape or form, you already know you’re up to no good in my DMs. If you’re just trying to get laid, check Tinder, I got shit to do.

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If you’re not trying to be a better human being just in your day to day life, don’t bother. And for the love of God, if you’re not already building something or have plans of building these aspects of your life where I can help in some way, don’t bother. I’m not trying to be a trophy wife. I’m too busy, too tired and far too old to be playing games.

boom