I’m starting a new job soon (yes! A real job!), and boy am I feeling that anxiety. Everyone gets those nervous and anxious feelings about any big new step in their life, right? But here I am feeling double the anxiety and nerves, since I’m just a generally anxious person to begin with. All I can think is ‘I really hope I can do this’ and ‘I wonder how long I’m gonna last this time’. Cause let’s face it, I’m a chronic job quitter. Do you know someone like this? Lasts about a few months to maybe a year, then quits and moves on to something else. That’s me. For me, it’s not because the job itself gets difficult. It’s either it gets too monotonous and I get bored with the routine, or I get really fed up with the environment and my coworkers and it starts affecting my mental health.
When I was 3 years old, I started singing and dancing. I was obsessed with music and Indian culture. I was told by many people that I had a ‘natural talent’ for singing. I spent the next 12 years singing in competitions, appearing on television, and starting writing my own songs and thinking about the type of music I wanted to create. Eventually, I was told that these things were “hobbies”, and I needed to focus on a more realistic goal.
“You can’t date till you’re an adult! No boyfriends allowed!”
“You can’t do that in my house! Not under my roof!”
*“Okay, well I’m 21 now, I wanna get my own place!”*
“Move out?? Why do you want to leave??? Do you hate me????”
*finally leaves home at 24 after finishing school, etc*
“You’re 25. Why aren’t you married yet??? When will I get grandkids?”
Do these scenarios sound familiar? If it’s something you’ve experienced, I empathize. I am Indian. From the Caribbean. Specifically, I’m West Indian with East Indian roots. These are my parents. Overprotective, overbearing, strict, traditional, conservative. I have a question for them that I could never ask them. “If I literally just started dating because I was raised so strict, how am I supposed to get married now and have kids?” Now that’s considered being rude. But honestly, what do you expect from me?
Now, this isn’t exactly my situation, and it might only be an exaggerated version of most Caribbean young adults’ actual life and relationship with parents. But why is it someone can look at this and laugh along? What is with parent’s strictness, then overbearing expectations on their children, especially their daughters?
i remember you.
Journal entry dated 23/05/2017.
Dear 20 year old me,
You are so tough. I wish I could be as tough as you are. Somewhere along the line I think I lost some of that raw nerve you had. I mean it’s not all bad, don’t worry. I’m pretty sure you’d think I look cool. I still have wildly coloured hair. I have 7 more tattoos, and a couple more piercings. Yeah, I know, totally rad. Job wise? Eh, well. I’m looking I guess. I was going alright there for a bit, you know. It was pretty okay. But I think I’m taking a break and going back to trying to “be happy”. I’m sure you remember what we used to want to do in life. I’m trying to realize those dreams once more. So I’m back to the drawing board. Literally. I’m drawing again, can you believe it?! And I’m painting, crafting and sewing. But, oh no. Please don’t be upset. I barely sing anymore. And I definitely don’t perform anywhere. I haven’t given up! I’m just….waiting. I wanna finally make my own stuff, like you wanted.
There are things about you I wish I still had. How are you so fearless? I have terrible anxiety every single day. Some days, I can’t even leave the house because of it. I wish I could figure out how you do it. You’re the strongest person I know. I think about the things you go through and know that I wouldn’t be able to do it myself. You are so funny and charismatic. But I wish I could tell you that you don’t have to hide everything like you do. You don’t have to mask all the bad stuff. There are people in your life who genuinely care about you. Don’t be so guarded. I know why you do it, and I know you feel you have to, but your true friends will help you and remain by your side. They’re still here. They’re proud of you. And so am I. I am so proud of you.
I love you,
25 year old you.
I’m going to be doing an entire series of these, to various ages. Stay tuned.
Also, I invite you to join me!
It is June and that means… PRIDE MONTH! Happy Pride everyone! I Am ONE TnT is hosting its second annual Pride Arts Festival this month, and let me tell you, boy, am I excited. These events so far, are the only LGBTQ+ Pride Month festivities we have in this country. I am very proud and pleased to see the turn outs we’ve been having. So far, I’ve been to 4 of the events, and they have been amazing and inclusive. It’s great to see all this attention and support! Continue reading
“I want to be trapped in the cluster
of your mind;
For you are the air
when I am drowning.”
Journal Entry dated 1/3/16