Hustle (less) hard

I know it’s basically the opposite of what we preach these days.

We are firm believers in the gospel of ‘while they sleep i grind’ to the point that we almost shame people who dare to rest (unless that rest involves a yacht and cha
mCJBOhX_UcAAC3_zpagne and can fit into the rubric of ‘work hard play hard’). In a very Tina Turner-esque turn of events we like things more, even the nice things, if they’re hard.

honestly, I get it.

Our lives are different from the generations before, the boom time is over, recession has been a part of our reality, and capitalism marches on.

 

For black folk and people of colour who have had everything including their work ethic colonised, we are busy pushing back against the notion that we are naturally lazy and dunce.

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So of course we hustle to prove them wrong (I’ve always wondered why we’re so comfortable defining our lives by external terms and giving our entire existence over to disproving some myth that was used to shackle us,  but that’s another post).

The point of this post is that your body will pay for it. And at this juncture despite your best efforts your body might be the only thing that can belong to you (though they sure have tried to take the autonomy with unethical experiments and surgery  inserting birth control that could never come out, and denying us reproductive rights while supporting rape in almost every way possible). Your body (for now) can’t be repossessed and you can’t be deported from it. They can’t give you notice and tell you to vacate in 30 days.

Sleep deprivation and overwork will literally kill you.

Acute stress is the leading cause of sudden death, especially in young healthy people with no evidence of coronary disease. But it can fell people at any age. (see here for more).

What will also kill you is the other things that accompany the hustle hard lifestyle: caffeine and energy drink dependency, poor eating habits, not getting ant exercise, high levels of stress etc.

Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, liver diseases, arthritis and high cholesterol – caused by dependency on fast food, eating as a means of escapism and coping, not sleeping, and binge drinking are now the leading cause of death – in particular among young people. The Caribbean is reported as having the highest rates of lifestyle diseases according to one study and puts a burden – yes on the government – but moreso on us who a dead earlier or live in illness more than before. This while medical technology has improved significantly.

So the issue isn’t medicine people, it’s us. Overwork is glorified and …sometimes me nuh even sure it rewarded. Me know nuff people weh a overwork demself fi years and nuh have nuttn but heart problem and poor eye sight and strained relationships wid dem partner and pickney fi show fi it.

But what can you do right? A just so the system set.

Well yes, and no. The system will be the system, you don’t have to buy into it. But it will take some work and maybe some change in aspirations.

I have a few things I think might help.

  1. Stop glorifying busy and overwork. Stop acting like always being at work is some kind of achievement.  Work is supposed to pay for your life, not eat the whole thing raw.
  2. Decide how many things you need. Yes, step away from the life they’ve sold you as ideal and think about what you need and want. Yes, I know its hard, especially since we judge our success through what we own. So maybe 2a) change how you judge success. Everything you own or want to own is a certain number of hours of work that you’ll have
    to put in.  Now go ahead and add in the hours you’ll have  to work to maintain them and you have a pretty good idea of what your life will look like. Prune, prioritise and remember life is not work.
  3. Stop equating stress with success and productivity. There are quite a few successful people who live stress free. Also stop telling yourself ‘ when I get to the top of the ladder I’ll take a break’…suppose you never get there…suppose trying to get there in the way you’ve been trying actually kills you? Success is a lot of things but it’s not stress. And the absence of stress is not laziness, it’s just called healthy living.
  4. And this is a reach – over throw capitalism. Because the capitalist system can only function if some people live in or die from poverty and if some people do far more work than they’re paid for. I think we can agree most people do that now.
  5. Since number 4 is unlikely to happen I suggest prioritising your health and learning skills to manage stress. Because honestly what’s the point of working like that if you’re less likely to be alive to enjoy it.

I recognise that for people who don’t have much financial support these can be especially difficult choices to make because this change of mindset can come with consequences. For people without financial and social buffers the consequences could mean devastation. Also, overwork may be necessary to overcome absolute poverty. It is up to people who do have financial advantages to intervene in this overwork culture and create some kind of change so people who are trying to make it don’t have to die doing it.

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Take care of yourself, no matter what. If you can only afford 5 minutes to stop and eep breathe take the. To the people who don’t have to work that way to survive: stop buying into and propping up a culture that is actively hurting people, including yourself.

 

on renting in Jamaica (and Babylon)

Often we think about how Jamaica makes it difficult for people to achieve things we often look at the outer extreme of poverty. Centring those who live in extreme poverty is important since they are most often ignored in many aspects.
Only using that experience as a lens to understand Jamaica, however, leaves some other people out of the conversation and limits our understanding of what needs to be changed. And how we make independence and upward movement near impossible for each other in our own unofficial policies and preferences.
 
For example, the standard in Jamaica is that a person needs to provide first, last, and one month deposit before they can move into a home. That’s three month’s rent they need to have ready to go in advance on top of moving costs, application costs for light and water and cable and internet etc on top of cost of furniture.
 
Even if a person decides to tough it out and sleep on a mattress on the floor they still have to provide three months rent before they can get to the four walls. So for a rent of JMD 25000 per month I must first have 75000 put down just so to hand over before I can get the key. Now this may seem like a small amount for some but for a person who is only working 75000 or even less per month, who had to move to another parish for the job, who is currently cotching on a couch and good will, who perhaps also has a kid to feed or a parent…that’s a lot of money that will take a long time to amass.
 
and why do we do it? it’s not the official policy. and even people who have never had a negative experience with renters will demand it.
 
we do it because like most other things the Jamaican renter system is mercenary and developed to benefit the (historically white/wealthy/landed) owner while taking advantage of and pathologizing the (historically black, poorer) renter.
 
I get it, you need protection in case you place mash up. but you also walk into people place to conduct random checks as you have a feeling…or perhaps if you were doing maintenance like you should you would know what was happening before the person moves out.
 
just saying.
 
people, we claim that we want ‘di yutes’ to do good or rather blame them for not seeking independence. But so many of our policies make life unliveable for people who don’t come from money or earn ’nuff money or who can’t call on parents to back them up.
 
we can do better.
 
#carlamoore #thinkitthrough

oh Jamaica 1/who knows

I find more and more my relationship with Jamaica is a conflicted thing full up of resentment and growing short on hope.

I hate the feeling.

The latest thing I am trying to make sense of is the vendors who beat a Rasta man and left him for dead because he started (him alone mind you) chanting against their jerked chicken and saying it smelled like dog and was polluting the place.

The whole thing bothers me for a number of reasons:

1. Is it that easy to kill a person now? Anything they say that’s against you or displeases you deserves death? What happen to all the shades of responses in between and why more people inna the crowd never recognise say it was a mob against one man and that never fair? And when we going to realise that this particular brand of badness can only ever benefit a select few while taking advantage of most…rather, when we going to recognise that our time as the ‘bad’ is limited and soon we will all fall from power and become the beaten?

2. I know somebody is going to say

‘well you haffi consider say wah him a do coulda did a interfere wid the people dem money…some people nuh play bout dem money’.

This I understand. When smaddy a ramp wid you money it nuh just easy fi siddung and watch. But that draw up even more question fimme: a) people really in such desperate situations (that kind that warrants killing a man fi piece a bread) or we just tell we self say things desperate as a way fi excuse we self fi treat one another terrible? Because sometimes me feel say we turn the sufferers story into the national identity and use that justify anything we do. Not everybody is at the ‘anytime me hungry again you a go see mi nine’ state. Some a dem nuh even hungry but dem a tear out people neck and headback like dem a starve. We, the not hungry,  tell we self say Jamaican dark lakka midnight inna every situation and go from there. Fi why? To what end? And what cost?

3. Now as me write this round and brown me know say smaddy a go tell me say

 A middle class browning like you cyan chat because you have privilege  and you belly full and you will never understand

Yes, me have privilege. Cyaan deny it and the impact it have pon me life. And me nuh waan take up too much space in a conversation that is not about and my experience. But the fact that I am privileged does not mean I am blind and don’t mean me cyan call out foolishness when me see it. And this is it: One Rasta man chanting fire on a whole slew a jerk man never did a go cost them business, dem cudda shout him down and run him dem never need fi do him physical harm. Dat a just people feeling like anybody come against dem must be exterminated because them a pest. That a we feeling like black people easy fi kill and deserve fi dead. That a colonial ignorance and foolishness. That a summn we need fi puddung.

4. Why is it so easy for us to sing about and talk about and actually do harm to black people? Because me sure a white man woulda never get beating and me nuh see white people a sing bout killing niggaz nearly as much as black people. So wah di deal?

5. Why all now Rasta cyan get some respect. This many years after defining some aspects of Jamaica culture internationally, after the many atrocities including Coral Gardens, after everybody wanna be a Marley, people still cyan see Rasta as anything but dutty foot mad man.

The more I think about my future in Jamaica the more deeply riddled I am with doubt.

What do I see?

An upper class that manages to thrive because they have enough social and economic buffers to make a world inside a world. To live in the Jamaica we wish we could inhabit. Some of whom have grown mercenary in their relationship with the lower classes.

A middle class that is being held accountable for the country’s debt through taxation. Some of whom have grown mercenary in their relationship with the lower classes.

A lower class that has managed to resist and recover from crippling under development. Some of whom have grown mercenary in their relationship with the middle and upper classes.

Criminal activity passing for culture. Violence as a marker of national identity. And hopelessness.

Inside of that beauty and hope and children growing businesses opening and people living their lives.

When I think about my future here I don’t know what I see…and with the love I have for the country…this burns me.

It actually makes me cry.

I want to scream that we can do better but I’m not sure who is we and who I should scream at first. Perhaps at the colonisers and the ones with the whip. Perhaps at myself.

 

singular wanga gut- the ultimate betrayal

look here nuh, me used to see the meme dem and laugh after dem but me never realise how it real…

is there any betrayal that cuts more deeply than when he smaddy who claim fi deh wid you nyam and leff you out?

everything gone inna doubt after that

yes you love me…when you belly FULL

will you love me when you hungry

matter of fact

will you love me when you peckish?

me  cuddn believe it, come inna the bathroom as cool as you please wid di cheese trix crumbs a circle him mouth like lion fish inna harbour  – well proud a tell me bout him likkle snack.

like me did fi happy fi him.

like me did fi celebrate say him nah starve.

inna that moment if me see him a road a dead fi thirst me wuddn even piss inna him MOUT

so deep was the wound if you cut me you wuddn find BLOOD

JESUS wept and died and rose again for this charlatan to come moggle pon me wid cheese trix crumbs…the salty part a the bottom too…the nice part weh you all tun over the bag fi lick out.

when-bae-eats-without-you-k-messages-details-whats-for-16114048

me hurt,  me devastated, me nuh know if we can make it back again.

this is 30something

It’s a 4 day weekend and i’ve sequestered myself into my home with snacks, turmeric (to counteract the snacks) and the highest hopes of going nowhere until Tuesday.

There was a time I would have been rinsing paint from the crevices under my batty jaw and popping andrews like hope for a better world.

those days are done honey, at least for now.

do I feel bad about it? of course. people don’t hesitate to tell me how me old.

and do I feel old?

YES

a b*tch is living with chronic pain now as a very real reminder that time, like red ants, marches on.

am I happy? still not sure.

This is probably the closest I’ve been to it in ever though.

and so?

So I’m home. with a cold sore (yup, came out about those), reasoning with people online about being survivors of sexual assault (came out about that too), dealing with my anxiety (backside yes me come out bout dat too to raws) and being unsettled by the world but more at ease about my space in it.

This is what happened while I was gone y’all…and me love unnu long time.

 

cm.

…whyU.D.?

yes, me title it whyU.D because me think me savvy.

Unnu cuddn tell me that despite being about the prevention of pregnancy, the IUD basically punish you every time you take even a tiny piece a ting?

Me mumma.

Me nuh know how unnu do it enuh. Maybe me too old.

Maybe if I made my debut into the world of invasive painful female birth control in my 20’s me wuddn know better. But at 34 (well 35 now) and very much accustomed to bodily autonomy and at ease with my regular pains (cramps, joints, people me nuh like) fi come add summn weh a go hot me when me cum, ovulate, and menstruate just feel like too much.

Honestly, should out to the lesbian homies doing it real big without big medical interventions, unnu really have the thing figured out.

No joke.

Supposedly it will get better sooner…

*big old hetero-taking-dick-for-no-reason- eyeroll

“The essence I embrace are my curves, a

“The essence I embrace are my curves, and if I could, I’d be naked most of the time… After years of being insecure and half-loving myself as person who isn’t the ‘normal’ shape, size and sometimes even color, I decided that it would be easier to embrace who I am than to fight everyone telling me who I have to be.” — Felicia

I’ve NEVER shown my back in public because of my back flab…worse when I sweat. When I first saw this picture I didn’t know how to look at it…the part of me that hates my back flab wanted to look away. The other part couldn’t believe she was so audacious. this image has changed a lot about the way I feel about my back flab…because…it’s just skin. Like any other skin. There’s no actual reason I should be so self conscious about it. More women have ‘normal’ bodies than have ‘perfect’ bodies but I just always looked at the modelish ones because that’s what I was shown…i choose now to look at myself

“I’m so serious LOLOLOLOL”<—why do women do this?

I read an article yesterday about the one word that’s damaging your credibility. *Spoiler Alert* the word is ‘just’. Ellen Petry Leanse, a former Google employee, moved to a new company with a higher female to male ratio and realized that females tended to soft their queries, requests, and even directives by adding a ‘just’ to it.

It’s something I’ve observed myself and my mom doing (we run a interior construction company which means we are surrounded by the types of men people put on billboards for Axe commercials and Tank-Weld ads).

But I’ve also noticed something equally sneaky that’s started to annoy me but that I just can’t get away from…

The laugh.

In real life it comes out as a short snicker or a gasp meant to mimic a laugh at the end of my sentences. In tech life it’s a LOL.

Every time my mom or I need to correct, reprimand, or be stern with the workmen we laugh after to ‘soften the blow’. The end result is they often don’t even recognize there was a blow and keep on with the same fool-fool behaviour because what started out as a serious conversation descended into light banter the second we added the giggle.

I do it with text friends too. Case in point a young man has been pursuing me recently and he’s the kind that wants all the details about your life and has a hard opinion on everything. Of course everytime he messages me now I want to elegantly step into a line of traffic to end the convo. Because I am incapable of blowing people off I had to bring in a consultant all the way for Ri-Ri Land to tell me what to do….after a grueling 15 minute interview where he armed me with every let them down easy or greazy tactic known to man….he cautioned against the LOL.

What?

No LOL

But then I will seem mean!

And this person who I want to stop liking me may not like me!

Apparently sometimes you have to be mean…..if by mean you mean direct.

Thinking about it, as women we often shy away from being too direct.

A) Because if you are a woman (esp one in a position of power) the word bitch is basically dangling behind you by an invisible poop string and you don’t want it to catch up …and a direct woman is almost always…a ‘bitch’.

B) Because male egos are fragile (come jump down me throat and deny it, but the fact that you fly into your feelings over it will only prove me right son, have a kleenex). And as such we don’t want to damage them. Sometimes we avoid the damage because we care about the men in question (such is the case when a long time friend makes a play for you….even after the ‘play’ stops being playful and is now bordering on problematic). Sometimes we do it because we don’t know the men well and don’t know if they are the kind who will become physically or verbally violent (Oh? you disagree? Ask the women you know how many men trace dem off because they said once and for all that they were not interested…trust me…more feelings than a girls school on their full-moon period). Most times we do it because women are bred to be nurturers and regardless of what ever else is happening we will attend to the emotional well being of the people around us….even if their f-boy antics are interrupting our own well being.

C) Because you were never taught to be direct, have no tools to handle it, and imagine some kind of nuclear holocaust as the end result of doing this heinous thing.  For real. I think that if I am direct people will automatically decide I’m Cruella De Vil and abhor me. If I am direct I go home and wonder if I was too harsh and the next day go back and be extra nice to the person…even if the thing I was direct about was some mess up on their part…or I really don’t want to speak to them.

At this juncture I won’t even ask for time to myself without the LOL. It goes like this:

*Carla has a dreadful day and cannot handle another word from another human*

*Human starts speaking*

*Carla speaks to human while her eyeballs bleed from frustration, pent up anger, and the need to cry*

*Human continues talking*

*Carla: sigh, you know I’ve had a really hard day and I think I just need some time to myself (several emojis to soften the blow of needing personal time)*

*Human: oh no, what happened? are you sure you need time alone or are you hiding*

*Carla (envisions daggers): No, I just need some times with self. LOLOLOL. No hide and seek (look another joke to soften the blow)*

*Human: ok, because you know you can’t hide from the world. You have to face your battles head on*

*Carla: sends several emojis- yes that’s true. But I’m not hiding, see me here in the light (see the joke and the emojis)*

*Human: so let’s talk about it*

*Carla: no thanks, LOLOLOL, I’m just gonna have a *bath emoji*

-_-

And sadly, this is me after years of work…before I would have talked about it!

Clearly, that should have gone like this

*Human talks*

*Carla says she needs time*

*Human asks questions*

*Carla politely reiterates that she needs time and leaves*

But you see what happened? Nothing direct and a bunch of LOLs

Sigh.

I have tried various ways to get around the laugh and to be more direct, but full hundred I fail most times. Saying something with no LOL and no emojis, no cartoon voices and no implied smile just seems so brash and harsh. But I know it’s rubbish. There’s nothing wrong with speaking in a straightforward way. There’s nothing wrong with speaking plainly. There’s nothing wrong with a woman just saying what she means in a tone that matches the one in her head. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the tone in your head.

Nothing.

So do it. Recognize that the bitch is a social construct that is used to keep you acting like a weakling because you want to avoid being called one. Accept that once you stop being so nicey nicey some people will like you less. Recognize that sometimes it comes down to your comfort versus their comfort and choose your own.

Be kind.

Be nurturing.

Be considerate

Be plain.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

It’s OK.

Now I am sure there are men who struggle with this. So please miss me with the ‘it’s not just women’ argument. Disproportionately I have observed women engaging this behaviour and that’s why I am speaking to them specifically.

Remember to check out MooreTalkLive Saturdays at 1pm EDT 12pm yaad time streaming on http://WWW.IrieTimes.Com, http://www.Caribcast.TV and http://www.Jamaicans.com

#Tessanne come fi dig up inna we feelings wid her new single #EverythingRemindsMeOfYou

#TheVoice fever may have subsided somewhat but #Tessanne fevah a bun hotter dan ever.
Chinita Goodaz debuted the first single from her new album #EverythingRemindsMeOfYou on the Voice tonight and needless to say plan fi send people right inna dem feelings
she say she cyaan talk to di man modda, fada, sister or brodder cus every single one a dem look di same
big farrin and dese tings Tessi a talk enuh
Big up YEW Tessanne
and when yu buss di small one drop
PUPPALICK!

also….nuff love to 13th Street Promotions for bussing us on di link
#riddimup

PS it nah embed but see di link YASO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg9r7aw9su0