Hurt

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.

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Wreck of Emotions, Wreck of a Heart

I swear, my emotions are such a wreck right now.  They are a complete mess – twisted up, tangled up, mangled up – so much so that I can’t sort them out.  I don’t know where the hurt starts and the pain ends.  I’m unsure of where the root actually stems from, although I do know that it could be a myriad of things.

However, what I do know is that my heart is broken, battered, bruised, despite being barricaded behind a number of walls.  It’s struggling to hold on in this cold world, giving what is left to supporting others, trying to make a difference and actually shine some sort of light in the world.

You see, my favourite phrase right now comes from Romeo and Juliet: “Be not so long to speak, I long to die!”  It comes to mind and spurts out of my mouth so many times, because I genuinely don’t want to be here.  I despise this world, more than any words I have to my disposal can describe, and I’m tired of having to navigate through it.  I’m fatigued by the news of evil, cruelty and twisted sickness.  I’m done with being hurt by those who are supposed to be close or love me.  I’m just tired of always fighting for something, but always seeming so far away.

If you know me, you know that one of my biggest dreams is to get married and have a family of my own, but I’ve come to accept the idea that this will never happen for me.  I never seem to like the ones who like me, and the ones I do like are wrong or lose interest pretty quick.  I’m over having my heart broken and letting people in, just to have them walk all over me or just walk away.  Focusing on my youth platform and making a change is where my heart will be, which cuts me deep, but it is something I’m coming to accept.  I’m not going to fight for love anymore.

Then there is grief, which continues to follow me.  Grief always puts me in a strange place and it has definitely put me in that strange place right now, wondering why my uncle is gone and wanting my family to be whole again.  Or questioning why he’s gone and I’m still here. I must still be here for a purpose, but in all honesty, I’m not sure how much use I’m going to be if I carry on like this.

Added into the mix is being hurt by another friend who was supposed to be close – someone I felt I confide in about anything – blowing me off, becoming increasingly self-centred and behaving like the others.   I’m seriously beginning to question my judge of character these days.  Add a dash of a certain someone going hot and cold, spewing words that don’t actually seem to mean a whole lot.  Stir in all that’s going on with my work in the community and thinking about money, but not wanting to waste my time doing something I don’t want to do, it’s a recipe for the emotional wreck that I am.

You see, I’m trying my best to be positive, not over think things or cast too many of my thoughts on other people, but that’s easier said than done.  I just want to lay down to sleep for a very long time and escape from all the worries, hurt and frustration.  I want to give my heart a rest.  I want to eliminate all the thoughts in my head.  I mean, as the quote says…

 

Missing You On Your Birthday

Dad in Jamaica 5It would have been your birthday today, making the loss of you all the more real.  I would have seen you at church today or called up the house to say, “Happy Birthday Grandad!” and hear you reply, “Thank you darling.”  It’s sad that I’m not able to hear your voice, see you smile or give you a hug.

I still miss you, each and everyday, feeling the hurt of knowing my grandad is no longer here.  Talking to mum and Rhianna today, we agreed that God knew that it was your time to go, but I can’t help wishing that you were still here.  I still wanted more time with you – time to hear more of your silly jokes, time to study Revelation, time to learn more about your childhood and your home of Jamaica.

I wanted more time to speak with you, as there are so many things I wish I could have said and so much more love I wish I could have shown.  Often when you come to mind, I wonder if you knew how much I loved you – I really hope you did.

August is now a little emptier without you, and I hate that.  We were part of the same club, celebrating our birthdays nine days apart, but Zane now has that day to himself.  There were many years when doctors and other individuals thought you wouldn’t be spending birthdays with us, but I never shared their doubts, so it comes as a surprise to me that I’m not telling you happy birthday this year.  You were such a fighter, I just didn’t imagine losing you.

I guess I’ll just have to get used to an August without you, no longer able to celebrate your birthday or have you around to celebrate mine.  However, I’m incredibly happy for all of the Augusts I did spend with you and all of the memories you gave me over the years.  I was very lucky to have you as my grandad and you still have a piece of my heart.  I love you always and forever.