Love

They All Effected Me in Some Way

Yesterday, I started off my series of blog posts about the beauties who have played a part special part in my 2018 by writing about Billy and Ken, who I met in Bridport early this year as part of TCFT.  I’ve decided to spend a little more time on some of the other people I spent time with in Bridport, as it was a meaningful part of my year.

Tina and Robert have been a special part of every one of my years since meeting them in 2015.  They are caring and wonderfully supportive, always there with words of advice and encouragement.  It was lovely to conduct video interviews with Robert for a third year – it has become one of my favourite parts of TCFT – and also hear more of his amazing stories.  Tina was the usual wonderful Tina, taking time to speak to me about TCFT Croydon (I’ll focus more on that in another post), but was also on hand to speak to me all throughout this year through our email exchanges and meetings in London.  She is truly the most amazing woman.

I’d never met Louise before this particular TCFT residency, but I was happy to finally meet her on this one.  Louise is kind, supportive and a very good listener – speaking to her was just what I needed when I was struggling slightly.  In addition to Louise, there was Louisa, a beautiful poet who I had the pleasure of leading out on workshops with.  There was a real yin and yang thing between the two of us, with Louisa being more of a page poet and me being more of a performance poet, which worked well.

Having dinner in the evening with my fellow artists was also one of the highlights of my week, with lovely food made by Alex, Rachael and Francesco, which I was incredibly thankful for.  I loved being able to spend some more time with my darling Francesco from Italy, who I felt like I bonded more with during that week.  I was able to have him read some of his beautiful poetry to me and we spent quite a bit of time dancing – he truly does bring me joy.

A lot of time was spent dancing when around the beautiful AK as well, who has the most amazing taste in music – his laptop and speaker brought me joy over and over again.  He also took a liking to my name, like the lovely Sam, Qan and Awais, who made me laugh a whole lot.

I developed a special bond with the talented Kaitlyn, whose energy would astound me.  We would have some really nice conversations and I foundnd myself offering words of advice as one of the older individuals there, but more than anything, I loved watching her grow in confidence and throw herself into the TCFT process.  Another young person I developed a bond with was Aimee, which seemed to happen over poetry.  What was hilarious to me was Aimee saying that she begun to read poems in my voice after seeing me perform, as I still don’t think that I’m that great of a poet.  I do know that I was able to inspire her in that week, which means a lot to me.

Being in a smaller group, I also got to spend some more time speaking to people from previous TCFT residencies that I had spent minimal amounts time with, like Finn, who is very funny, Kierra, who is very sweet, and the force that is Jade, who continues to grow more every year I see her.

However, the two individuals who played the biggest part in making my week special were my beautiful, beautiful hosts, Imanda and Makeda.  I had met them back in 2016 during the TCFT residency in Bournemouth, but I didn’t spend much time with them unfortunately, which is a shame because they are such inspiring individuals.

Imanda is one of the fiercest, loving, strongest women you will ever come across – a Mother Lion who will do all she can to protect her cubs.  She treated me with the most care and consideration, making me feel at home immediately.  I also enjoyed our evening chats, especially when she would share her life stories.  I am not exaggerating when I say she is amazing.  And then there is her lovely daughter Makeda, who is wise beyond her years and good at holding conversation herself.  We had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun and she definitely made me feel at home.  I loved staying with them and was actually sad to go.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to mention everyone, but I enjoyed spending time with every individual involved and they all had some sort of effect on me.  Every one of them is part of my TCFT family, who I love with all my heart.

Advertisements

How Am I 26 Today?

I can’t believe I’m 26 today.  Writing that and saying it out loud is actually mad.  Little me has really turned big 26 today.  I’ve passed the middle ground of 25 and am even closer to 30 – a crazy and at times terrifying thought.

From the moment I turned 25, I was dreading this birthday and the prospect of being 26 made me proper sad.  However, I became accustomed to the thought of it as the day drew closer and today I think I’m actually okay.  I don’t particularly like getting older, but I am a lot more comfortable with the age I am now and don’t feel as many of the pressures that came with 25.  I’m more at ease with who I’ve become and how my life has changed.  I’m also out of 2017, which was a horrible year, and I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

You read that right, I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time.  In fact, I am in a proper good place.  A number of things have contributed to that, but it mainly comes down to the amazing God I serve and the impact He has had – and continues to have – on my life.  God has supported and comforted me time and time again.  He’s granted me strength and resilience, while taking me through storms.  He has my back and saved my life in more ways than I could imagine.  Being near to Him brings me peace, joy, validation and so much more.  My relationship with God is a true blessing.

I’ve also taken time to slow down a bit, properly reflect and take the time to understand what I’m actually doing in my life, as I lost myself for a little while.  This has enabled me to really be in the present and appreciate everything around me by really taking note.  I have also finally been able to see how much I have achieved and how much I have grown over the past few years, which is genuinely surprising to me and I personally believe is pretty amazing.

The course of my life may have changed when I left university, so I was not where I projected myself to be at 25, but I can now acknowledge that I have something even better and I am so proud of what I’ve done.  I’ve started and maintained my own platform for young people, which I intend to develop further.  I am a lyricist, published writer and performing poet.  I’ve put on a cross-arts programme in my home town two years in a row, bringing young people together and spreading positivity.  I’ve been paid for facilitating workshops and had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing young people.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet very special and wonderful people from different walks of life, who I greatly appreciate.  My YP Insight family, my always extending TCFT family, my Queens Gardens peoples, my Mitcham Library crew and everyone in between (I’ll do another post fully highlighting the beautiful people in my life, because they are so many to mention and they deserve the shout outs).  I don’t think I would have come so far without the support, advice and laughter provided by them all.

There is definitely a lot further for me to go, and there is a lot more power for me to tap into, but I’m feeling pretty good at 26 at the moment.  Even though I say I’m getting old or feel old, I’m actually still young and I have done quite a lot as a young person.  I’m also content with how my life is on a more personal level – being married and having kids right now would not be right for me at this time of my life at all with everything that I have to do.  I enjoy being single and having the freedom to do as I please – I’m also still getting to know me and working on some of the mess that remains within.

So right now, I can smile and say ‘Happy Birthday to Me.  Shaniqua, you are a wonderful, hilarious, beautiful-hearted girl who has so much to give to the world.  Don’t sell yourself short, be a slave to fear, or doubt your abilities.  With God you can do anything.  Love you girl.’

Giving Up, Not Waiting for Love

I haven’t written on here for a long while – which is really sad, cos this is one of my babies – partly because I have been busy or have not known what to write about.  However, I’ve now got so much I want to say, but I have no idea of where to start from, which is often the case.  My head is regularly a crazy jumble, whirling round with masses of thoughts and inner-venting.  The inner-venting seems like a good starting point, so I’m going to begin with venting on one of my favourite venting topics: guys.

Yes, that ancient frustration with guys continues to nag at me.  Is it any wonder why I’ve given up on love?  I’m genuinely serious, I’ve given up on love.  If it happens, it happens, but I am not holding my breath, especially as I am willfully trying to avoid love finding me.  I’m not really about dating anyone and I hate the concept of letting anyone remotely close to me, so I prefer to keep others at arm’s length.

Despite not wanting to date or get involved with anyone, guys insist on trying to work their way in.  This should be flattering, but it actually isn’t, considering most of them are time-wasters that end up putting me off guys even more.  In my opinion, if you purposefully go out of your way to make contact, you should be serious and actually want to get to know me as a person.  However, this is not their logic and it confounds me; like, I didn’t request your presence in my life.

I’m happy going along my merry way on my own, yet these guys feel that I must have them come along with me, as if they are somehow an answer to a prayer I never prayed.  In turn, this makes them feel somehow entitled, therefore enabling them to call the shots on how all things should run going forward.  They choose to speak or see you when it is convenient for them, they make it so that you have to come to them (even though they approached you), or the classic, they ask you to come to their house, because thinking of somewhere to go out is just too much.

I am beyond sick and tired of guys making interactions all about them – this actually extends beyond romantic interests and applies to all guys in general.  The conversation begins and ends when they feel.  Their time is more important than yours.  It’s alright for them to treat you any way they feel, even if it is unfair, hurtful or inconsiderate.  The majority of guys I know or know of are so self-absorbed, it is unbelievable.

But I digress.  Basically, I am over having guys in my life romantically.  Not only do I enjoy being single – able to focus on my work and do as I please – but I am fatigued by the disappointment, heartbreak and confusion that guys bring.  It seems to be a consistent and I am so done with it.  For some reason, my love life can never be normal or smooth-sailing.

The guys I tend to like do not like me back, or don’t take me seriously, or are only interested in sleeping with me – this is why compliments about my outer appearance mean so little now and compliments about my persona / inner being hold much more weight.

Then with the guys who do like me, I usually don’t like them back and I don’t want to force myself, because that is not fair on either of us.  And when I do start liking a guy who likes me, somehow their interest begins to lessen, until they stop liking me all together.  It is beyond ridiculous.

As I mentioned earlier, I hate letting anyone close or being vulnerable enough to let them in – it terrifies me.  Letting myself have feelings for anyone terrifies me too, because there is always that chance they will cause me pain.  Too many of the guys I have let in or caught feelings for have left, messed me around or caused deep hurt, which have at times taken me a long time to get over.  I refuse to find myself in those positions again.

I recently met someone who I connected with, almost immediately, which doesn’t happen often, automatically making the individual stand out in my eyes.  He proper made me laugh and I felt comfortable with him – he was genuinely someone that I would want to chill with on a regular basis.  Neither of us want to be in a relationship right now, but I did want to get to know him better on a friendship level (that is the best foundation after all).  However, it turns out he is just a typical guy and out to waste my time.  I really am sick of that.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes I would like that go-to person I can pick up the phone and chat to, share the good things and the bad, chill with, and share a sense of intimacy, but we can’t have it all.  For some reason, I don’t do well with love and I don’t see it coming my way.  I’ll just spread love in the world instead.