Happy New Year and Welcome 2023! Thank God I’m around to see you!
The year 2022 Anno Covidi started with with hope and expectation but I think that it was only in the second half that I began to feel less and less restricted and more and more free to be my ‘normal’ self. I felt like I could fully exhale and get back to the things I happily loved to do even while experiencing personal setbacks and resets. Such is life though, one day you’re blazing in glory, next day you’re crawling in ashes.
A couple of days ago when trying to encapsulate my year end review on social media, I realized that the majority of joyful moments came when I simply spent time with people. I don’t think I realized how much I missed my family and friends while on lockdown/quarantine/distancing etc. so therefore when the time came for actual, physical ‘link ups’, I was in total bliss. With this revelation at the forefront of my thought process, enter my 2023 Word of the Year:
Yes I am one of those persons. No new resolutions in sight but I try to centre my life and my year around one word. The more I sat with CONNECTION, the more it resonated. How do I vibrate higher, strengthen my relationship with myself, my family, friends and community? Everything is inextricably linked with space to improve and staying connected is the one thing I plan to be intentional with in order to close the gaps left in my life by the previous years.
So that’s it! May 2023 be the year that brings it full circle for me and for those I interact with and may we all find the joy in simple CONNECTION.
How about you? Do you have a Word of the Year? I’d like to hear it if you care to share, let’s meet in the comments!
If the Twitterverse is any measure, this is a chorus that is getting louder so permit me to join in before it becomes a total cacophony (I sing alto).
I have been a blogger since 2014. That year I pinched my nose and dived into expressing myself publicly mainly because it was a gnawing idea and I was encouraged to share my unique perspective (that as far as I’ve seen) had never been done before. Blogging was a wonderful outlet which allowed me to reveal myself and my thoughts to take up a little space in the world.
Even though my blog posts could stand to be a little more frequent (I have only written 135 of them), I’m proud to be part of the blogosphere and that I’ve put my writing out there and I’m especially happy for the connections I’ve made and all the people who have taken the time to click and read.
These days however, sometimes I feel like powering down.
Life Gets in the Way
As the name of my blog suggests, my life is such that I’m in the middle of every damn thing. I have a 16 year old, 13 year old and 6 year old and my plate is filled trying to navigate the three of them with some sense of normalcy. In any given work week I (try to) teach a foreign language to over 100 of the nation’s teenagers who learn at different levels therefore I manage the challenges that come with that. I am also a wife trying to keep a marriage alive and prioritizing the associated duties of family life, trying to stay healthy and sane, being social, maintaining good skin, drinking water and minding my business. There are many topics jotted on paper and filed in my brain, from both considered perspectives and lightbulb moments but lawdddd, the time to sit and express it adequately…Wordpress remains ignored.
Writing into a Void
I’ve never been one to write for an audience, the truth is I don’t even think I have ‘a niche audience’ pinned down. Many of you are WordPress bloggers new to a Trinidadian perspective while some of you have been sent here via connection through my social media which has been good in terms of raising my profile. I welcome all of you who read, peruse, ‘like’ and engage with what I’ve written. The feedback doesn’t happen all the time especially from a wider Trinbagonian audience, the visits and views can be abysmal and I would be lying if I said that this hasn’t caused me to ponder the worth of it all. Although this isn’t the sole purpose of writing, it can be very demotivating. This feeling doesn’t last too long with me but it is still a feeling to recognize and validate.
In 2014 I had no clue about the extra stuff in terms of getting my blog posts to be ‘seen’. If you are a blogger now, not only is what you write important but how you write it, keeping the extra stuff at the forefront of your mind. So monitoring your SEO (search rankings), managing posting times, creating links and backlinks, cleaning up your previous links, optimizing your photos, maximizing your stats, tying in and keeping up with your linked social media, engaging and maintaining your follower count….all of this for your work to ‘matter’. Trust me I understand the ‘why’ behind it all but lemme just write nah…
One More Thing
We live in a time where visuals have higher precedence than words. One only has to look at the battle of the top giants Instagram and Tik Tok with the world of doom-scrolling, content creators and influencers while Twitter hosts bloggers who battle ‘writer’s lifts’ and ‘pin for pins’ to rack up followers and readers. There has even been some discussion on how to tie in the visual platforms to our writing to get views our way. Honestly, I find this to be a lot (read: too much) to deal with.
These are just my immediate thoughts on why (sometimes!) I don’t feel like blogging anymore. It doesn’t mean that I am ready to follow through and fold up but I felt it important to acknowledge and maybe identify reasons as to why you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while. I’m sure some of you who are bloggers have felt the same way at one point or another. Please feel free to express in the comment section below, I would really like to hear your views on the matter even if they diverge. Feel free to also follow me via joining my email list, like and share this post as well to fellow bloggers!
Let me tell you a thing about motherhood. While it comes about as a tango by two (in any iteration), it is an experience that can make you feel very much alone. Motherhood can be a very lonely thing. Why do you think so many moms form clubs, have meetings and create online communities commiserating with each other over the common crazy and wine? There is an ‘if you know, you know’ sentiment where shared experiences help to make the entire journey easier once you know that others are going through the same.
Moms hold in their hearts the worry that comes with pregnancy, the pangs and the pain, the trauma of childbirth and breastfeeding, the pervasive thoughts about their non-biological children, the self-doubt, the mom-guilt, the societal expectations and the obsession over doing it right by these children all from year 0 to year 18 and beyond.
Now in light of this. all mothers are not perfect. Some may not get it right and others don’t deserve the title beyond the biological process. So where can they get support for the sake of the babies? Enter the village.
In our nine-day news cycle in Trinidad and Tobago, one particular tragic circumstance is front and centre. read about it here and come back.
I purposefully activated the turbo in my scrolling finger mainly because Trinis can get very stupid in a social media comments section and sometimes my brain doesn’t cope well with that. In reading the story however I stood with those who wondered why the neighbour would have seen the child in the road and not raise an immediate alarm…in the road….. I stand on that opinion despite her viral video explanation re not being able to catch the child as well as the blame being placed squarely on the mother who should have kept an eye on the child.
A village provides extra cover for a mother who has failings, check all the societal traditions over the course of history to see how this plays out as fact. I have run out of fingers and toes trying to count the amount of times I have done absolute mess as a mother. My own mom (who is my village leader) reminded me of this recently:
A strong sense of community is a critical element in the mental, emotional and psychological state of those on parenting journey. Some have no one to rely on to ask for help or to teach them how to do this parenting thing properly at a time or in a manner that would benefit of the child. This is why some are run ragged to the point where no ‘self-care Sunday’ would suffice. Community is a tradition that seems to be missing very much in Trinidad society (except of course in a negative way).
If you are close to a mother in any sense, don’t shy away from being a part of her village even in the age of “drink water and mind yuh business”. There is a way to do it without being ‘fass and outta place’*
Are you a mother? Can you identify who is in your village or do you feel alone and helpless? If you’re not a mother, are you an active part of a village?