The Boy Named Jeff

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Yesterday after work, I was waiting for my friend to pick me up. I took a seat outside my office building, and chilled until he came to get me.

Suddenly, I see a guy approaching me directly. I was racking my brain to see if I knew him or not. When he finally made it to me, he told me that he wanted $2 to get something to eat. I responded by saying that I didn’t feel comfortable giving him cash, but if he wants, we can go somewhere and get him something to eat, and I’ll pay.

He agreed to my condition, and we made our way to the nearest Pizza Pizza. While we made our way over, he told me about his life. He recounted how he and him girlfriend are both homeless. He disclosed that he had some money on him, but was saving it for his girlfriend. As a result, he couldn’t afford dinner.

My skeptical readers are probably shaking their head, and asking:

How do you know he was telling the truth?

Honestly, that’s a great question, and my answer is “I don’t.” He could have been telling me a fable, but I choose to believe him.

He continued and stated that he was a recovering drug addict. He appreciated that I didn’t give him cash, and instead offered a meal. Once we arrived at Pizza Pizza, I offered the world, and he only ordered a pepperoni slice and a drink. A grand total of $8.

The boy I met. His name was Jeff. Jeff is experiencing homelessness, but he is so much more than just that one circumstance. It fucking SUCKS. It’s fucking MIND-BOGGLING to know that people are experiencing homelessness in a country as privileged as Canada, and in a city as proud as Toronto. He is a person. There is a whole theory dedicated to discussing how no good deed is selfless because the very act of doing a good deed gives one a feeling of euphoria. The question arises, if doing a good deed makes you feel good is it selfless? (I am totally getting sidetracked. We can discuss philosophical questions later – back to Jeff. )

This whole interaction didn’t last longer than 10 minutes. However, that’s 10 minutes that made a memorable impact in my life, and hopefully I had the same impact on his life.

As a black woman who wears outrageous hair colours and is way too bubbly for her own good, I find it important to show people, especially people experiencing homelessness, kindness and decency. You never know how a small act can effect someone.

With all of that being said, I challenge you to do a good deed, selfless or not. Go out of your way to make a positive impact in someone’s life.

The Lesson from my Ex

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One of my friends used to say, ” Everything is a learning experience.” It used to irritate the SHIT out of me. I would be crying about-how-some-guy-I-thought-was-the-one-ended-up-being-a dick, and she would sit there and nod, while whisper comforting things. Then say,

Everything is a learning experience.

Eventually, I realized she was right. This is why I can say I learnt something from my ex, despite all the shit he put me through. Yes, this sounds like a cliché. Nonetheless, it’s true. Even he knows it. (We’ve discussed this topic in the past.)

Before I tell you the lesson, another tangent. – I used to be a very selfless person.

With that said, the lesson my ex taught me is that it’s okay to be selfish. I always put everyone’s needs above my own. I got so used to giving, and giving, and giving. I forget what it was like to care for myself.

My ex forced me to care about me. He forced me to think about what would make me happy, and honestly it wasn’t until I met him that I started thinking about anything other than surviving. But, it wasn’t until I met my current boyfriend that I started living.

Universal, they say, “Some people come into your life for a season, and some come for a lifetime. Never mix seasonal people for lifetime expectations.With this quote in mind, in the comment section, tell me about an experience where a seasonal person taught you a lifetime lesson.

The Concept of Self-Destruction

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“Almost none of us commit suicide. Almost all of us self destruct. It can come in the form of an urge to drink, smoke, overeat, or even wreck a perfectly happy career or marriage.”

Annihilation-2018-movie-poster

Hi Friends!

I was watching the movie “Annihilation” last night, and a theme that was portrayed in movie really stuck with me. The concept that I can NOT get out of my head is the concept of “self-destruction.”

I realllly liked the idea that everyone can self-destruct or self-sabotage. “Annihilation” does an amazing job of showing how different people can self-destruct. It was a really good insight into the human mind and psychology.

For example, one character chooses to deny her addiction and corrupt lifestyle, and in the end she ends up succumbing to her inner rage. Another, devotes herself to external mysteries (religion or a higher power) as a way to scapegoat her inability to understand her own problem. Some simply accept their self-destructing ways as unavoidable and become their demise. Some allow themselves to be consumed by their problems until they become shells of pain and torture those around them. Some will do anything to avoid their pain they’ve been expose to emotionally and physically. Lastly, some acknowledge their mistakes and are consumed with self-loathe. In the end, they end up seeking out misery as a penance for their sins.

Which ever form of self-destruction the character has, the result is the same in all cases: we are all doomed to the same fate if we allow patterns of self-destruction to continue in our lives. In the end, we all become something different than who we were before. We become someone else.

I challenge you to examine your life and detect the form of self-destruction you use in your life. I challenge you to spot it and change it before it rules your life. I challenge you to break the cycle. I challenge you to live your best life without apologies. I challenge you to be you. 

My Boss WAS a Dick

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Now, I am not saying saying “my boss was a dick” because he is no longer one, I am saying “my boss was a dick” because I am not longer working for him.

When I got my first full-time permanent position I was excited; even though, it wasn’t in my field of study. I was ecstatic because I was 22 going on 23 years old, making 33K a year with relatively no bills. If I added everything up, I probably spent $500 on bills a month, which left plenty of money for me, food and alcohol.

Nonetheless, after my first month on the job, my boss – the woman who hired me – was fired, and less than two days later a new dickish boss started working. I tried, I really did try to make the best of a bad situation. I tried to make him feel at home, to feel welcome. However, two months into the job and I was miserable.

He made all these empty promises. He gave out half-ish compliments such as “you actually did your job well.” He made rude and unnecessary questions – “what are you doing? What do I pay you eight hours a day for?” I was the Activities Director. I planned and hosted activities, organized major events and sold trips to the students. After planning a Holiday Party for 200+ students and staff, several staff members and students LOVED the party. Activites. Games. Food. Beverages. It was a lot of work, but it was really well done. Nevertheless, my boss found me and said nothing. Actually, not nothing, he basically said it wasn’t a disaster and would have been better if I had alcohol. Alcohol for a school events with minors. *include face palm here*

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m young, but I’m not naive. I know part of the gig is working with people you don’t get a long with. I know that there will be personalities clashes, BUT I shouldn’t wake up every morning dreading going into work because of ONE person. I shouldn’t have anxiety attacks when hearing my bosses voice. Nor do I need to be recognized for the work I accomplished, but the very least I should feel appreciated, and I didn’t. Simply put, I wasn’t appreciated because I wasn’t.

As a result, I did what any person in my position would do – I found another job. It took about 4 months, but I am NOW employed with Indeed. I’m very happy and excited to be working with this company. I haven’t even started and I feel more welcomed and at home with Indeed, then I did at my previous job. I’m making more money and I finally have benefits – something my dickish boss has been “working” on for 6 months.

Anyways, I could ramble and give examples as to why he was dick; in addition to why I and other didn’t like him BUT we reached the part of the story where I got my revenge.

Ever since my new boss was hired, he made it very clear that he believed my position in the organization was unnecessary. He made it clear that he thought planning and executing activities for 100+ students was easy. Even when the auditor stated that the students loved “the teachers and the activities” – activities that I planed, he rolled his eyes and walked away. As if it was ungodly for the students to actual appreciate my position.

This, when I received my offer from Indeed, I gave my current employee two weeks notice. However, at the end of week one, I dreaded coming into work. Just knowing I had to see him and deal with him for another week brought me physical dread and anxiety, so I emailed him and told him I wouldn’t be coming into work that week.

Was what I did unprofessional? 100%

Do I care? NOT AT ALL!

When you’re a boss, when you’re in a position of power- your personality and presence makes or breaks a workplace. Your employees don’t owe anything to the organization or the job, but their loyalty to their boss will either make them stay or leave. People will give up promotions or wage increases, if it means working with a good boss. In other words, who you work with is JUST as important if not MORE important than who you work for

All I’ve been thinking this extra week off is – since my position is so unnecessary and easy, good luck hiring and training someone to do “nothing.”

How you treat people matters, and if you treat them like shit – best believe karma will come and kick you in the ass.

Job Searching is a Job in Itself

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Yes, I am currently working. However, I am not where I want to be. As a result, I’ve been job searching. I really want to work in my field, and although I really like working in the Student Services Industry it doesn’t give me much of a chance to utilize my English literacy skills. I recently went on an interview – well, two interviews – for an editing position. I was getting all the right vibes, they liked me and I liked them. One of the employees was actually giving me tips on how I should complete the editing test.

Th first test I did, I got 73% – not very good. But they liked me enough to call me in for a second interview. I re-did the editing test and I got…88% a lot better than the first time. They told me they would let me know by Monday, so I waited. It’s the waiting that’s hard, the not knowing. Eventually, Wednesday rolled around and I got a call.

The owner informed me that I didn’t get it. According to him, an employee, who is currently an Editor wanted the chance to become an Editing Supervisor. They pleaded their case. According to him, it was a tough decision. He could either go with me -who they liked and thought would fit in well – or they could go with someone who was already working with him. He did tell me in my first interview that he’s “loyal to a fault.” He always tries to promote within. So my job, the job that should have been mine disappeared right under my eye. He said the usual lines – “I’ll keep in touch. I’m keeping your file open. I’ll let you know when something is available.”

My mom called “bullshit.” She said if they wanted to hire me they could have. Who knows she could be right. The thing that sucks is that I always get this far. Not to be cocky, but organizations and companies always love me. They love my personality, my education background, and my potential. Then it comes to the part where I have to stick the landing, get the job, and shit like this always happens.

I don’t have too much to complain about, I know I’m lucky. Instead of looking for a job, I’m looking for the right job. I’m lucky that I can still pay my bills. I’m lucky because I have a job. However, my appreciation for what I have does not mean that my feelings aren’t valid. Job searching is hard. They say “job searching is a job in itself.” I just have to have faith, and pray that the right position is coming my way.

Trust vs. Respect in Relationships

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Trust and Respect are two very important pillars of any relationship. However, people often use the terms interchangeably. Since getting into my relationship with my partner, these two words are recurring topics. Being the writer that I am, I thought it would be best to blog about it, so I can get my thoughts together and out of my head. This is my opinion, I’m not saying I’m right and my partner is wrong. I’m not saying trust is more important than respect or vice versa, I’m saying this is what trust and respect mean to me.

First of, trust is something that I usually give people from the beginning of our relationship/friendship. My motto is “I trust you until you give me a reason not too.” Now, in terms of my relationship, I obviously trust my partner. From the moment we decided to commit to a long distance relationship when I was in school, I trusted him. If he wanted to cheat, he was given more than enough opportunities to do so, and he didn’t. I know, if anyone’s partner is going to cheat, they will. I trust that he wouldn’t do that to me, as naive as it sounds, I trust him entirely. BUT my trust in him isn’t just about him being loyal. It’s about me feeling emotionally safe with him, me becoming more vulnerable with him. For me, trust isn’t an issue. My issue is respect.

Again I say, people use these words interchangeably. If you trust me, then you won’t have an issue with so-and-so, or if I do so-and-so. It’s always if you trust me than you would trust my decision. Thus meaning, if you don’t accept their decision, you don’t trust them, which isn’t always the case. It’s certainly not the case with my partner and I. However, what about respect? Respect for your partner? Respect for your relationship?

Respect means understanding that two individuals do not think exactly the same. I understand that my partner and I have different reactions, different upbringing, that we are COMPLETELY opposite, which means communication is very important. However, I trytry being the key word – to look through situations through his lens. I know I’m not perfect, I know I get it wrong sometimes. I know I mess up too. It’s important to note, it’s not about who is right and who is wrong, its about getting out of my own head, and looking at things through my partner’s perspective.

Most people think, “I wouldn’t have an issue if s/he did this, so s/he shouldn’t have an issue if I do it.” Or, “I trust my partner, so I don’t care if they do so-and-so.” BUT that’s still looking at things through your perspective, it’s not looking at things through your partner’s perspective. In order to do that, you have to get a sense of how s/he views the world, which in return will help you gauge situations and decisions, with your partner in mind. 

Thus, before you make any decisions in a relationship, think about how this decision will affect your partner? How it may look to them? How they may feel? NOT, how you would feel if the roles were versed.

This does not mean that you are not a individual, considering someone else’s feelings does not mean your individuality is completely erased. However, what it does mean is – you are sharing your life with another person. Sharing your life means taking them into consideration when making decisions.

Again I say, trust doesn’t always beckon respect nor does respect beckon trust, but you need both in a relationship for it to function. With all of that being said, I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.