Reflecting on a Hated 2017

As we come to the end of 2017, it’s that time again when I reflect on the year.  When I say that I cannot wait for 2017 to be over, it is no word of a lie – I am not exaggerating at all.  Although good things have happened, I have hated this year.

I started off 2017 with a plan, but as I have come to realise, plans rarely ever stay on course.  In fact, this year has made me delusional of planning.  After my job came to an end in December, I was going to spend time focusing on Young People Insight (YPI) until April – when I would have attended TCFT in Sarteano – then come home and find a job.  However, I decided to embark on a crowdfunding campaign for YPI that would launch in April, so I decided to hold off looking for a job until that ended, which actually wasn’t one of my problems.

Being trained for, planning and running my crowdfunding campaign actually allowed me to think more concisely about YPI and develop certain skills I could use going forward.  What was a problem was my campaign launching on the day I returned from TCFT, leaving me slightly unprepared, and having to jump into something full on after being drained from the two-week residency.

My crowdfunding campaign was like a full-time job in itself over 35 days, mixed with meetings and other happenings in my life, and on the final day I found myself on the Victoria Derbyshire show, which required me to wake up at a crazy hour in the morning and seriously drained me.

Days after my campaign ended, my mind, body and emotions were just beginning to recover from a crazy couple of months, when I was hit by the sudden death of my uncle.  Death seems to have been following me since last year, when I lost my grandad and aunty, which my heart was still recovering from.  It didn’t seem fair to me, but I would have to keep on fighting, so I did.

I went to regular meetings and events, while starting to plan two relatively large-scale events for August, which was stupid of me; all while dealing with the usual hurt from friends and guys, but I don’t want to spend time on that.  Numbers of my YPI events were falling and I did not even want to be attending them myself, due to feelings of frustration, exhaustion and despair.

Eventually, I cancelled one of my events in August and continued the planning of the other one (TCFT Croydon), which turned out to be a mountain that I fought tooth and nail to climb.  While planning, I completed the Prince’s Trust Enterprise course, where I gained a lot, but it was still a decent amount to take on.

Taking on so much, without taking the time to reflect, and being hit by so many emotional bullets had completely burnt me out.  I was depressed and disillusioned, fed up and fatigued.  I wanted to sleep the days away, with one day when I could not face getting out of bed at all.  Tears regularly flowed and nothing I did brought me joy anymore I wanted to die rather than feel pain.  There were numerous occasions when I thought about stepping in front of a moving car and taking a knife to my wrists – I questioned why it was my uncle, grandad or aunty in the grave and not me.

Then there was my 25th birthday, the one I had been dreading for the longest time.  A birthday that reminded me I wasn’t married or any closer to being married, and I had gone off my life’s course.  The was lovely and barely celebrated like I wanted, but I have not come to love this age and I don’t think I ever will.  The feeling of getting older is not one I like at all.

This week also brought another personal issue, giving December a sour note, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.  However, I did say that there were good things about this year.  Some were mentioned above, including TCFT Croydon, which I was so proud to facilitate.  The day went better than I thought, although the stress leading up to it meant I couldn’t enjoy it, as I just wanted it to be over.

Image by Robert Golden

I have a beautiful godson, and I was able to spend time with my beautiful TCFT family in Sarteano and some beautiful people who come to the soup kitchen at the church I attend, who I also spent time with in Queens Garden.  I reached the target of my crowdfunding campaign, and also wrote a number of articles for the brilliant Black Youth Achievement Awards‘ Stories of Success magazine.

I put on poetry related workshops with young people, which led to regular work with young people in Merton libraries.  I wrote the words for the Anthem of Peace on behalf of the London Mozart Players, which was performed in Buckingham Palace, and I am an ambassador for Croydon’s London Borough of Culture bid, which I created a poem for.

I completed a Political Poetry course at the Roundhouse, learning from the amazing Anthony Anaxagorou, Dan Tsu and Deanna Rodger, alongside some talented poets I intend to stay in contact with.

There were a number of other things that I was proud to be part of, including being asked to speak at Another Night of Sisterhood twice and be on the Thornton Heath Arts Week Question Time panel, but my most special achievement was being named Young Achiever of the Year at the Mayor of Croydon’s Civic Awards 2017, which I was not expecting in the slightest.  It was a humbling moment that I will treasure forever.

Although I hated this year and want it to be over, God has blessed me and I have achieved a lot, but I know there is more I could have done.  I’m still struggling and fighting, but if God has kept me, He obviously has a purpose for my life, so I have to keep trusting in His leading.  I don’t know where I’d be without Him.

P.S. Usually I do thank yous, but this post is quite long, so I think I’ll do a separate post for that, also allowing me to focus a little more on some of the beautiful people in my life.


I Promise

“I promise.”

I hate that phrase.  I despise it, because about 95% of the time, it is pointless, flung out of the mouth of another person probably without them thinking.  In fact, I hate when anyone promises me anything, because it is usually a lie or yet more empty words.

Lies and empty words seem to be points that I am continuously coming back to these days, but unfortunately they are far too common and regularly uttered by individuals.  Why is it so hard to genuinely mean what you say?

Words should measure up with your actions, except that often isn’t the case anymore and I don’t understand why.  It frustrates me, because the words shouldn’t leave your mind if you didn’t mean them in the first place.  I guess it’s my fault though for having some sort of expectation – you shouldn’t expect anything from anyone.  Most have the tendency to let you down.

However, nothing angers me more than people throwing around the word promise and not following through with what they “promised” to do or suddenly switching up on you.  People are way too inconsistent, especially males, and I am freaking tired of it.  Just be who you are, follow through on your words and stop switching up your personality.  I honestly don’t know what to think of some individuals anymore, and I hate that, because then I don’t know how to act around them.

The only promises I can truly trust and believe in are God’s promises, because I know His words are truth.  My God has never switched up on me and I know he never, ever will.  His promises are the only ones that matter and the only ones I can take seriously, because His words have never been empty.

No Idea Why

I hate when I feel like this.

Sad, low, easily irritated, a little depressed; but with no idea why.

My body is overcome with feelings and negative emotions torture my heart, yet I have no idea where it’s stemming from and that is frustrating.

I’m so done with these random dreary outbursts, which put me in the strangest moods and make me feel terrible about myself.

I start feeling ugly, like a failure, hating myself and hating life.

However, I have begun to see one common thread – these feelings now kick in when an event I’m hosting is coming up, as if my body is immediately fearing failure before it happens.

It seems that fear is now gaining control of me, despite how much I may try to fight it and that is disturbing in a sense.

Why does it feel that no matter how many steps I take forward, I’m always taking multiple steps back?

This is why I get so tired of fighting, because it seems like a futile action at times.

It’s as if I’ll be stuck in this droll for the rest of my days, struggling with it mostly alone, because I’m sure the people in my life must get tired of hearing about me being down and down on myself.

Nevertheless, there is one consolation – I know this dark cloud will eventually pass.