Sometimes it’s okay to cry it out you know…

All my life I’ve felt a sense of shame in being emotional or crying about things or being sensitive as if it’s a socially unacceptable thing to do. My mum never cried in front of me or my sister apart from when her mother passed away. And my father never did either. So I grew up learning the best thing to do was to keep all my emotions inside of me because ‘that’s what we all do in the family’. Sooo many times I’ve been called “dramatic” or “over emotional” or “being stupid” but truth is, I feel things so much more than most. I’m highly sensitive, and I’m also a natural idealist and optimist, so my world comes crashing down several times a day. I sometimes had wished I had a medical condition so that people (by people I mean family) could believe me. Yeah I know it sounds sad. But when you put a professional label, all of sudden, you’re a good person but with some defects? As oppose to a ‘cry baby’?

Granted, my emotional resilience wasn’t as strong as it is now (not that I’m massively resilient now) so things could seem more chaotic looking outside in. But sometimes I just wish I knew what I know now (hind sight….what can I say) that it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to let it out, to feel so damn frustrated and worried and sad and to just cry those tears without feeling guilty for it. To embrace it and to own it, and then do something with it and move on.

All my life, this has been one of my ‘Achilles heels’, and now after 32 years, starting to really own it. It’s okay to cry. It’s OKAY. In fact it’s healthy to let it out, as long as you can move on with it. It’s like sneezing – all that climax and buildup to a little sneeze then you feel a whole lot better. You might have many sneezes in a row and have a sneezing fit but eventually you’ll stop, rub/wipe your nose and continue your day. It’s part of life. Getting rid of the mucus. The gunk. And making way for a happier breath inwards.

I’m writing this after just crying over my living situation, feeling displaced, feeling sorry for myself. But writing this now actually makes me feel 100 times better. I ACTUALLY don’t feel guilty and self-absorbed about crying. I’m not a ‘cry baby’, I’m a highly sensitive, intuitive, emotional human being going through the motions of life situations. And if (or should I say when) I wan to cry, then it’s okay. As long as I take in some perspective and move on. Thank you, next!

Err, I like you…but can we really be friends?

I’ve come to realise that I’ve never been in a platonic relationship/friendship before. That is to say, I’ve never had a proper friendship with a guy before. I’m the type of person who is very selective with people (introvert alert) that I want to be friends with so I might have quite a lot of “friends” but a small handful of proper friends.

And then throw in a guy.

In the past it’s been….Errmmm. Messy.

I end up thinking this person is a potential long-term boyfriend, when really he just wants a bit of hanky panky. So I’ve consciously been very wary of guys who want to be intimate but without the commitment i.e. “the wasteman”.

But here’s the thing.

There’s recently been a guy I feel such an instant connection (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) with since he pursued me in my local supermarket (which showed balls to say the least). I’m thinking he wants some hanky-panky or even dating but we both have declared that we just want to be friends. Yet there’s still some underlaying chemistry or flirting going on, I feel, because even now and then there’s a flirty text.

I’m happy to be friends with him, because I genuinely feel he’s good friend material. But I can’t help wondering if men and women can really have a platonic relationship? At least with this person and I.

Things are good and I don’t want to spoil it with him since we’ve only been getting to know each other for a few weeks and we live locally. I think about him a lot. A LOT. And I like receiving messages from him throughout the day even if it’s about domestic things. Which is why I feel like this is something more than friendship. It’s deeeeeep.

I’ve had the habit of rushing into situationships/romances and perhaps forcing some sort of bond because im such an idealist. (I’m a real life hippy deep down). And then for it to come crashing down.

And there’s another thing. I’m a single mum – a tiny part of me feels like he just wants a bit of fun because he might think single mums are easier, sexually (which to be honest some are, but I am most definitely not).

Am I facing falling into another rabbit hole, or can I really shape this into a true friendship?

Well, I’m leaving it up to the universe, quite frankly. I just want a decent person who won’t play games, who is genuine, who likes me for me, who wants to find peace and harmony, who wants to live to their full potential, share life experiences with and have a bit of innocent fun at the same time. Is that too much to ask from me and a guy without sex or romance???

I’ll give it a go but really it’s above me now.

And if it doesn’t go well…the I guess… it will hurt like a mo fo, but I’ll put it down to life experience.

Entering motherhood: reality vs expectation

Little man will be 17th months in 8 days.

Almost 17 months gone by since entering motherhood.

And over 17 months since I last made a blog on this post.

……

I think that says a lot to me.

There’s so much I want to write about and a lot of things I’ve had to learn and embrace that I would love to channel that into some sort of creative project whether it’s a book, or a collection of paintings or illustrations. Or even podcast or dare I say it a Youtube videos? This choices are endless and most of the things have been said before. But not by me.

I will state some more facts just for context as of now:

I’m currently living in North London. With my toddler son. His dad and I have separated. The sun is now shining. It’s Leo season.

I’ve had some time to reflect on things, especially with a CBT therapist. And also because I’m that personality type that likes to reflect and think and feel. There’s so much.

There’s no doubt motherhood changes you. Life changes you. Whether is a beautiful energetic little human or life situations. But out of the many, many, many things I’ve learnt by choice or by life circumstance is that there is an inner strength to me. A new version of me that I haven’t really come across whether that’s the mum role or the Meron role. There’s a certain courage and truth that comes to me. Because whether I life it or not, I’ve got power now. And with great power comes great responsibility, as the saying goes. Time is such a luxury even more than ever. It’s learning what choices and thoughts and emotions and decision I put into time because of the power.

m=p+n/t.

If you want a formula. Meron or anyone else for that matter (m)=power (p) + choices (n) divided (/) by the time (t) we have on this earth.

Anyways. That’s a little simplistic but you know what I mean. Right? I usually don’t reflect on life this way so only god and the universe knows why I’ve decided this way for now. It’s fun.

My focus now is, what do I do now? I keep making blogs – definitely. About everything. But what do I do with all this ongoing experience packed into 18moths? hmmmm. Formula? Lol. Hmmm probably not. Errrr God/universe/higher power, can you help me out here?
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Photo of me and little man at the seaside. Why not?

My best creation: Baby boy – pt. 1

It’s literally my due date today (Wednesday 7th March 2018) which means I’m 40 weeks pregnant and expecting my baby boy any day soon.

My last blog post was 8 months ago funnily enough. And it’s actually the first one of 2018  (I have a mini post on Instagram featuring my top 9 posts of 2017).

But I’m back! And I aim to continue posting every month at least as I initially started.

I’m wondering where all the time went….!

Finding out

I did a pregnancy test on Monday 10th July 2017. I remember this date very clearly as it was the date I eventually told my partner.

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It’s definitely positive!

I was so nervous because we weren’t at our best point in our relationship. There was a lapse in trust and a strong need for space between each other. I had moved out recently and living in a house share and we were working through things. Naturally I thought he would run a mile, because hey it’s a way out. But I should have trusted his sense of duty. Either way I knew he had to know.

He pumped his fist in the air, and genuinely smiled with the warmest smile.

And of course I cried.

Not for fear but for relief. Relief that my faith in him and in us had been restored. There was hope that we could make something beautiful out of a tricky situation. That even though a baby doesn’t cure a relationship, there was something that we both wanted to fight for, to nurture, to love that depended on us and it was our chance to make things good.

And naturally we kissed and hugged it out.

We both wanted children in our relationship and although unplanned, I think this gave us the clarity to decide what we needed to do next and finish tying up any uncertainties. It’s all or nothing. In or out.

We chose all in.

And it’s the best thing that can happen so far. Surprisingly.

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Ultrasound scan at 14 weeks + 6

 

When being black, female and sensitive just gets too much…

Earlier I went to the South London Gallery in Peckham to visit their current exhibition ‘The place is here’. It’s actually a decent exhibition with a collection of videos, photographs, mixed media pieces and archives relating to prominent black British art and artists in the 1980’s and 1990’s, at the time of Afrocentrism and riots.

I was there for a fair bit as I wanted to really get a sense of the space and the content. [context – I used to study black British art of this particular period as part of my history of art degree at SOAS…SOAS represent!! 🙌🏾]

There were artists I knew of like Eddie Chambers, Kieth Piper, Sonya Boyce, Mona Hatoum and Rasheed Araeen. So it was great to see their works close up! Although it didn’t help that when I arrived staff there decided to walk up near me and randomly have a convo about their personal life, like ‘Hello? I’m trying to engage with this video, not your life!’

I digress.

It was after when I exited the gallery that a very panic-stricken woman came up to me whilst I was texting on my phone and asked for money.

I usually just say sorry and keep going (keeping it real here). But she caught my attention so much I couldn’t ignore her.

She was in a right state. She begged for £6 to help her pay her council tax bill as well as food for her children. “I”m suicidal! I tried to take my life earlier. I had to have sex to buy this [points to her carrier bag with a bread loaf in it], and he cummed in me and I have to get tested for AIDS now [and a lot more rambling that I couldn’t figure out because she was distressed]… I’m suicidal, I’m going to kill myself!!”

Wow.

“Don’t do that please”, I firmly said because who knows? She was that manic, that she may have just jumped in the road.

“Look at my feet, they’re all dirty… [mumbling again that I couldn’t make out as she was distressed]” She then took off her right shoe and revealed some dutty feet.

“It’s okay, you don’t need to do that” – This is going far now.

I gave her £2 in the end – “no I need £6” – I still gave her 2 quid and she was off.

Walking up to my bus stop, I was a mixed bag of emotions – what should I have done? Should I have just said sorry and walked away? Should I have googled a helpline for her? Should I have said “Everything is gunna be alright”. This lady looked Caribbean and distressed and I really felt for her but I still felt like I was being conned. But then, I just got out of an exhibition all about the struggles of British black people in the U.K. especially London, and here I am confronted by a real life example. I couldn’t help but to do something for my British black women community. But still.

I just felt helpless.

I knew my money probably didn’t go to her bills, but then this woman doesn’t need money. She needs a support system. People who have her back. People who can help her and won’t oppress her for having brown skin and curly Afro-Caribbean hair, for having outspoken opinions and a different form of banter. She may have had a history of mental health problems or just the struggle to have basic human rights is what made her this way. I don’t know. All I know is this shit ain’t right. And yes it’s upsetting. Today I really felt all the troubles and frustrations that people with brown skin have to endure in London. Sometimes it gets to me more than others and I do have a heavy heart…This shit ain’t right…

 

What would you do?

 

100 days – DONE

Finally after 100 days (originally 100 consecutive days) I have completed my little project #100daysofminicreations!!!

My main intentions for this project were to:

  1. maintain consistency and regularity
  2. continue exploration of artwork, and to
  3. capture a highlight or feeling of the day.

Link to my blog post – “100 days of mini creations!” in August 2016.

Did I do that overall?

  1. yes, somewhat (it’s a marathon not a race)
  2. yes, for sure
  3. yes.

Apart from the checklists, the start of this project was really a pivotal moment for me in my life. It was the start of my public art life.

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I have always been ‘into’ art and have always appreciated it – my family and friends will tell you so, but it wasn’t until this time that I made an active decision to make myself known to the world as an artist. Prior to that I was too afraid,  I had a lot of self-doubt about labelling myself as an artist, the pressure, the self-criticism (and still have, a little – I’m human right?) about my abilities, not being good enough or if I should just stick to the grind of a ‘proper job’.

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But, you know what, I’m glad I quit my full-time job. I took a major risk, and became unemployed for 2 months (scary), but I don’t have regrets and I already feel in a much better head space for it. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have randomly done this project.

It was a really good chunk of time for me to really reflect and digest the ebbs and flows of my movements, my thought processes, who I am as an artist, who I am as an introverted private person and a contributor to social media, the power I have to influence people, what mini creations were more popular than others and why, what I did when I thought ‘nah i’ll do it next time’, what opportunities I got out of it (which I did get some!), the wonderful support and positivity I got from people, the people I know who really were loyal. For me mostly, it was also the confidence. The acceptance of myself and who I am and my ongoing learning, creative journey.

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Lastly I wanted to say a big massive thank you for all the people who really engaged with my creations and commented and who will probably be reading this! I am really appreciative and thankful for your support 🙂

Stay blessed,

Meron xx

 

 

 

 

Getting help.

I’ve been reading this new kindle book lately called: ‘Make Your Creativity Pay: How to Earn Your Living from the Things You Love to Do’ by Pete Mosley. In one his wise pages, he mentions getting either a coach or mentor and the benefits and differences having one makes.

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I’ve never really thought about having a coach or mentor because I thought first I need to do this alone, and figure it all out by myself, to prove some sort of worthiness, I guess. But I find that I’m naturally connecting with people and actually wanting to get their advice on how to do things, and how they have done things as a step towards their right direction – whether it’s emailing artist friends I know or having a quick cup of coffee and a chat.

Recently I’ve been following illustrator and soul guidance coach Hannah Marie Dudley  through her Facebook group as I actually met her funnily enough through a meetup group for creative coaching! There’s a lot of things that I find really true and can resonate with on a deep level and we have so much in common in terms of our goals and our vibes. We both want to help people and use art to do it and both creatives. She also lives in my neck of the woods, so it’s a good start 🙂

I had a short consultation session with her yesterday I’m positive that this is going to be such a great help. She’s got the drive and experience I need to hold me accountable for things which I lack of course. We will be starting our journey now together and I’m so grateful. I feel like this is meant to be! I even started back meditating again this morning (which was one thing on my list to improve)! Yay!

Check out her Facebook group The Freedom Soul Seekers – ‘Awaken the light within’ It has great tips, thoughts, giveaways and a nice community of like minded people to chat with.

I will let you know how it goes 🙂

Peace x

HerStory : Hidden Figures

I just watched the 2016 film ‘Hidden Figures’ which encaptures the inspirational stories of three African-American women mathematicians and physicists in 1960’s America. (It’s a true story based on the book by  Margot Lee Shetterly ‘Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race’).

Oh My Gosh.

Of course it was a little romanticised and honey sweet a times but just amazing to watch. I love Taraji P. Henson from ‘Empire’ anyways and also Janelle Monae but this was just  so great! There’s even teaching resources for school curriculum! (https://twitter.com/hiddenfigures)

Before watching this (or hearing the hype) I never really knew the history of NASA, especially the involvement of African-American women in the early days, and especially within the STEM fields, so it was a real eye opener for me. I had to google the three ladies:

Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn,

afterwards to find out more about their lives. It also just goes to show how much history is HIS (‘the white man’s’) story – that is, how much history has concealed and lied and twisted the truth for the benefits of ‘the white man’. What I mean by ‘the white man’ is any man who is privileged – mainly bankers, politicians, judges, CEO’s of mass market corporations that do nothing to society really but extract greed.

It is very important to assess and re-asses the role of stories in our lives. The last year or so I’ve been very aware of stories (usually through media), and learning more about how stories are an integral part of the human race. It’s a legacy, a past and a present time. Stories can include facts but we (I) must be careful to not take things at face value so easily. I will definitely be exploring this concept on stories more in my art and personal work.

This film has definitely added the figurative gasoline to my fire and awakened a more spirited side towards feminism and civil rights.

I also caught myself saying ‘I wish I was strong like those ladies’, and ‘I wish I had an insane gift’.

I had to think again. Nope. ‘I am strong’ I say to myself. And I have the potential to be more brave and courageous. I have a strength that is different, more quieter than others. I have the potential to still make a change. I have an INFP personality so I’m the rare type of personality in the world you will discover and I am quiet and introverted. But I am also strong in my own way.

I’m showing this to my future children (biological or not)!

P.s. I’m happy (pun intended) to see Pharrell Williams co-produced and was in charge of the music for this film.

Stay blessed!

x

Rant #1

 

When you get so ambitious, but your skills and experience don’t quite match up to your visions…yet.

It’s bloody frustrating!

You’re told “go fish” but not told/realise how hard it is to wait for the fish and keep the fish and then cook it.

I feel like to give up sometimes. But then quickly realise how foolish I’m being.

So THAT’s why patience is a virtue.

PATIENCE.

‘Tis what I need.

and some tea.