‘Surviving R Kelly’ Aftermath

Well firstly, Happy New Year to you all! It kind of sucks that my first post of the year has to be quite this serious. However I’m pretty sure there are very few people who’s minds were not reeling after watching the Surviving R Kelly docuseries, which aired on Lifetime in the US on Friday 3rd January. They sure as hell  wanted to make sure that everyone started 2019 woke.

I don’t know about any other 90’s babies who watched all six episodes, but afterwards I felt incredibly guilty. Now I’m not going to lie and say that R Kelly was my favourite artist when I was younger, and that I was a super-fan. However R&B was my absolute favourite genre of music back then. It still is today, but they don’t quite make R&B like they used to. It is very difficult to come across an R&B song created in the last few years that isn’t interspersed with pop. Anyway, because I was such a lover of R&B, of course I would have several R. Kelly songs on repeat. After all, he was at one point thought of as the King of R&B, although not by myself personally. It was Usher all day for me, but that’s neither here nor there.

I felt guilty because during the time that R Kelly had been taken to court, he was still dropping some of his biggest hits. I was one of the girls that you saw singing along to Ignition every time it came on, or I Believe I Can Fly or I’m A Flirt. But the year he went on trial, I was 14 years old, ironically around the same age as a lot of his victims. I had heard about the tape, but because he was never found guilty and still continued to be the star he is, I just assumed that it was untrue or just rumours. I never even thought about trying to find the tape to confirm if for myself, and to this day I still don’t want to do this. Of course I know that he was indeed guilty now; I don’t need to view the tape for myself. The fact that his brother, his ex-wife and several people that also knew the victim, including teachers and friends from school and Sparkle, who is her aunt, have confirmed his identity is enough for me. I know how this sounds, but this sex tape is child pornography. While I understand that a lot of people needed to view this in order to have their own piece of mind for confirmation, I just know that I am too sensitive to handle being able to see such a young girl be abused like this.

So anyway, at the time I didn’t think much of these rumours. Remember, these are things I would hear from friends in school. I remember being a young teenage girl, and even at the time I knew that about 50% of what came out of the mouths of most was bullshit. I knew this, because I wasn’t really any different at the time. So it was very easy to hear something like this and not take it seriously. To be honest, it’s only recently with the downfall of Bill Cosby, and the exposure of monsters like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, that we as the public are really seeing the hidden horrors that seem to have been rampant in the entertainment industry for some time now. Horrors which a lot of the people we look up to in this industry were aware of, or had heard certain things about, but either turned a blind eye or did not think to ask the right questions. Apparently older men have been using their power to abuse women for years now, so no wonder R. Kelly thought (and still thinks) that he is invincible. We have allowed him to get away with this for so long now, which has instilled this God complex he seems to have. The fact that he is still denying these allegations, despite all the evidence and the countless victims speaking up, he clearly still has the idea that he is untouchable. It was only a couple of months ago that the video went viral where women were wiping the sweat off his face at his concert, and this was after the news came out about him keeping girls as sex slaves for his “sex cult” organisation he has hidden away.

I think that is honestly the worst part of it all. The fact that R Kelly has verbally denied all of these allegations, but all his actions do is show you exactly who he is. It’s almost like he’s trying to dangle it in front of our faces without trying to actually admit to who he really is. Charlamagne from The Breakfast Club even brought up the good point that he referred to himself as The Pied Piper back then. And who is the Pied Piper? The old German tale is that the Pied Piper was a rat catcher the people of Hamelin hired to lure all the rats out of town. Then when the town refused to pay him for his services, he retaliated by using music to lure their children out of town, never to be seen again. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but these seems like a crazy alter ego to choose for yourself despite the fact you have been on trial for child pornography, and have had several accusations of abusing under-age girls. This shows that he really didn’t care. He continued to flaunt his true self in such a way, but still somehow continued to captivate our hearts with hit after hit. The fact that I used to love  this man’s music so much at the very same time that all these families were suffering, makes my skin crawl.

I just want to be clear by saying that my heart goes out to every single one of his victims, as well as all their families. However one thing I don’t understand is why there were so many victims that accused him of the same things, but ended up settling for a sum of money. Now don’t get me wrong, I completely appreciate that I have never been in this position. But I don’t think I would let anyone who did these heinous things to me think they could make it all better with money. Especially a lot of the families who made this decision, as their daughters weren’t even old enough to decide this for themselves. I really don’t think I could take the money as compensation, and then continue to look my daughter in the eye as she gets older, knowing that I compromised her integrity like this. She would have never even had the chance to make the decision for herself. Then when she’s old enough, I have to be the one to tell her that the money was more important to me than making sure the man who did this to her was put away for good. I understand that it can seem like an overwhelming concept when it is as big of a star as R Kelly, especially now that we are aware that his team are almost as bad as he is, with the several threats they have made to anyone who dares to speak out. But by taking money in exchange for silence, whether it was the victim’s decision or their family, we are inadvertently working for him as well by continuing to sweep this under the rug. This allows him to continue to do this to other girls, and gives him the idea that he cannot be touched. As I said, R Kelly and the members of his team who continued to aid him with these disgusting acts are the only ones to blame. However, if Sparkle’s family had been brave enough to confirm that it was her niece on the tape during the trial, R Kelly would probably be in jail as we speak and would have never had the confidence to even pick out another victim at his trial.

I also just want to finish by saying that the people who knew something was up, but chose not to say anything, please don’t think that you are any better. I don’t just mean people like his brother who downplayed R Kelly’s paedophilia by calling liking young girls “a preference”, or his old manager Demetrius who falsified Aaliyah’s identification to say she was 18 so that R Kelly could illegally marry her at 15 years old. I’m also talking about the countless people who saw him go to the same high school to pick up young girls almost every day, and would see several 14/15 year old girls hanging around with him in the studio. I’m sure you sleep at night thinking that there wasn’t much you could have done, but please tell me this. What if one of these young girls were your daughters? Or sisters? Or cousins? Would you still turn a blind eye, and simply just think to yourself, “hmm that’s a bit weird, but ohh well.” One thing I am glad about is that I think that people are finally starting to realise how fucked up this culture really is, and that it is in our best interest to ask all the relevant questions or speak up when something doesn’t seem right. It may save several people years of abuse and trauma. I know that I for one have learnt my lesson to do research on anyone that I choose to speak praise of or be a fan of. I have also deleted every single R Kelly song from my phone. I know some people are having trouble letting go of some really great music, which I do understand. After all we cannot deny the guy was talented, and a lot of his songs have given us all a lot of significant memories at some point in our lives. But if we could be making light of all these strong women who have come out with their stories every time we bounce along to Ignition or grind to Bump & Grind, is it really worth it?

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Is Social Media Taking Over?

Okay, so I know the answer to this question seems fairly obvious…yes. We are most definitely in the era of social media at the moment. I think it’s safe to say that if you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat account, you may as well not even be considered a member of the public nowadays.

The concept of this “social media takeover” seems to be widespread.  I’ve heard that most companies don’t even invest as much in advertisements nowadays, because the most powerful form of marketing at the moment is social media, which is completely free. Not to mention the fact that, as the great Charlamagne tha God always says, social media has also desensitised a lot of the younger generation, to the point where when something tragic happens, which is unfortunately becoming more of a common occurrence in 2018, instead of using their smartphones to call the police or an ambulance, people are filming the tragedy purely to “entertain” they’re Instagram or Snapchat followers. I use the word ‘entertain’ in inverted commas, because you cannot possibly describe some of the horrible things people have had the audacity to film recently, such as the murder of rapper XXXTentacion, as entertainment. If you do, then you should seek professional help immediately. It’s true you know: “smart phones, stupid people”. Another quote from tha God himself.

It’s funny because although these thoughts occurred to me quite some time ago, I have been thinking about it all pretty heavily just this past week in particular. I think it all started when I was watching the latest episode of BKChat New York the other day. For those of you that don’t know, BKChat is a show on YouTube where a group of young adults have a discussion/debate on topics that are relevant in society today. For example, rape culture has come up quite often in several episodes, on the back of the ongoing #MeToo situation. There are three different editions of the show: BKChat London, BKChat Houston and a BKChat New York. I have watched all three, and as interesting as it is to watch a heated debate on a controversial topic with different individuals, I can only conclude that, in my opinion, most of them usually have a very narrow-minded, old-fashioned, patriarchal and sexist way of thinking. Yes, even the women. That’s why I think I’d consider BKChat NY my favourite one, even though they have had the least amount of episodes. I feel as if these episodes feature the only BKChat panel where the majority of it’s members don’t think this way, are a lot more open-minded and a lot less judgemental. Basically, they talk that real shit, is how I would describe it. Whereas I feel as if the members of the panel on the other two, particularly the London edition, only speak on behalf of a certain kind of individual i.e. one who is probably black, religious(ish), completely in touch with their culture and tradition, and if they are female, they probably consider themselves superior to the rest of us because they can count the amount of men they’ve slept with on one hand. This last part is not applicable for the men. They can run through as many females as they damn well please, and still be welcomed in open arms at church on Sunday. It’s a great society we’re living in, right?

Anyway, I have sooo much more to say about BKChat, but I’m going to leave it there before I forget what I’m actually supposed to be writing about. In fact, I think I might make an entirely separate entry about it. Yeah, I think I’ll do that. But in the meantime: the reason I bring it up is because the topic they brought up in the latest episode was one I found captivating:

Who is to blame for the over-sexualisation of women in the entertainment industry? Is it the industry for enforcing it, or the women for allowing it? 

As I’m sure you can imagine, there were a variety of opinions on this particular subject. They certainly posed an interesting question, and while the debate was heavy, everyone seemed to be in agreement that the way women are portrayed in the media today has a great effect on women in society, particularly teenagers or young women still growing. From the Kim Kardashians to the Amber Roses to the Blac Chynas, a lot of women watching seem to be trying to follow suit and are therefore looking for their next hustle. When I was in school, young women would aspire to be doctors, lawyers, businesswomen, actors etc. They would strive towards a profession that they thought could both make them happy and live a fruitful life.

Now as I said, this is one of those topics where different individuals are bound to pose different opinions. So I can only speak on behalf of myself and state what I think personally. And personally, I do not knock anyone, woman or man, who is trying to get their hustle, no matter what it might be. Cardi B is a female icon that I personally admire, and she started off as a stripper, before moving onto Love & Hip Hop and then finally becoming recognised as the star she has become today. Cardi lived a pretty rough life back then and you know, bills had to be paid. Of course in an ideal world, I’m pretty sure most women would embark on a profession that didn’t objectify and sexualize women, but this is life we’re talking about. It is not fair, and it certainly isn’t easy. Most of the ones who sit on a pedestal and judge strippers or video vixens are in a fortunate position where they aren’t left with those kinds of decisions to make, because we have loving parents that can take care of us. Not that I’m saying that Cardi B didn’t have loving parents. But there are a lot of women that don’t really have family that they can depend on, often forcing them to be financially independent from a young age. Some women have children that they need to feed, and again, no one to rely on for money. So what should they do? Are you telling me that if you’re in the position where you have mouths to feed, and you literally have absolutely no idea where your family’s next meal is coming on, not to mention the other bills that need to be paid, making roughly a grand a night just to take your clothes of isn’t going to sound appealing to you? Of course it would. Hell I don’t have these kinds of problems, and it sounds appealing to me right now. A colleague from work once told me that she ran into a girl from her school and she was now a stripper. She just bought her own house and she’s 22 years old. So yeah, that should give you an idea of the kind of income they’re raking in.

Some women enjoy stripping as well, and so what if they do? I’ve never quite understood why what other people choose to do with their lives and bodies enrages certain others so much. If it’s not my business, I really don’t see what the big deal is. Some women enjoy being video vixens, or modelling raunchy pictures. So fucking what? I understand that some of the members of the BkChat panel were trying to make the point that a lot of women are starting to behave as if those are the only or best options available to them if attempting to head down the road to success. I definitely agree with that, and this should not be the case. However can you blame women for feeling this way? Because of the amount of female influencers on social media at the moment, not to mention the women on reality shows such as Love & Hip Hop and Real Housewives etc., the plastic surgery epidemic has never soared to greater heights than it has done today. I mean, women were always getting their boobs done, particularly after you’ve had children and they’ve started to wreak havoc on your nipples. (Not looking forward to that, I’m very fond of my tits to be honest). However when I was younger, there weren’t a huge load of women getting surgery on their ass to make it bigger. In fact, from what I remember, white girls didn’t even used to like having a big ass. It was construed as bad thing, even in the reign of J-Lo. But then, when icons like Nicki Minaj became more popular, it started to become more of a trend. And boom, all of a sudden here comes Kim K and ladies are running to the nearest plastic surgeon to get those butt shots.

Now as I said, unlike most Nigerians, I don’t judge anyone. If you want an ass the size of the moon, and you’ve got the funds, you go get that shit honey. If you want boobs like Pamela Anderson, you get those titties plumped. However I do think it is a sad concept that a lot of women only think this way because they feel that they need it to be successful, or even worse, to be deemed attractive or desirable. There were plenty of beautiful and sexy women in the spotlight with slim, lean bodies: Eve, Mya, Cameron Diaz, Zoe Saldana and the amazing Eva Marcille, winner of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 3 (love her!). But for some reason, when it comes to females that aren’t in the spotlight, having a ballooned up booty, but still keeping a tightly toned stomach, seems to be mandatory to be popular or sexy. But I kind of get it, I mean Amber Rose is certainly winning. Blac Chyna is winning (she’s moving stupid these days, but she’s still winning) and Kim K is most certainly winning. Her youngest sister is about to be the youngest self-made billionaire in the world, male or female, purely because Kim got her back blown out a few years ago by a certain little brother of the incredible Brandy. It’s no wonder that a lot of women are subliminally starting to think that shaping their body like theirs must be the way to win now.

This has been on my mind lately because when you actually keep your eyes peeled for it, this subliminal messaging is everywhere! Even on Fashion Nova. If you take a good look at the models that are advertising their clothes, sometimes when you compare what they look like in them to what you look like in them once you get it, you just want to crawl up in a ball and die. They pretty much all have the exact body types I was describing above, although the derriere is not quite as big. Just perfectly round and proportionate enough. Not only are they’re bodies perfect, but their makeup is flawless and their lace fronts are ON POINT. It’s enough to make you want to strangle yourself with your own wig sometimes. Well, me anyway. This is exactly what motivated me to write this in the first place. It suddenly occurred to me the other day, that when I was younger, I didn’t have as big of a butt as I do now. But my stomach was always pretty much flat, and I don’t really remember ever feeling so bad about myself and the way my body looks, as I have done this year. I mean, I know I didn’t really have many issues in that department at the time. As you get older, you discover that your body just isn’t what it used to be and it is much easier to gain weight. But even so, if I were to take off my shit tinted glasses, I bet you anything that I don’t really look any bigger than I was a couple of years ago. But because I don’t have a perfect booty with a cinched in waist, I am genuinely guilty of often lowering my own self esteem by making me feel bad about myself and the way I look. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a bum like Chyna or Kim. That is way too much ass for me personally. However if I could get a body like Teyana Taylor, I think I could honestly die feeling as if my life was almost complete. I’m just saying, her body looks banging. Iman is a very lucky man.

Anyway, my point is, social media has indeed taken over. Not only does it have the power to make beautiful, confident women feel like they aren’t shit after flicking through their feed for two minutes, it also does a great job of making others oblivious of anything that is occurring unless it is on their iPhone screen. Certain people even feel incomplete if they don’t have a certain amount of followers on Instagram or Twitter. Like really? When did such small things becomes so important? If I didn’t need social media in order to promote my writing, I genuinely wouldn’t give a fuck about how many followers I have. As it happens, this is definitely something that needs to be worked on. I have less than a hundred followers on Twitter…so yeah, any tips or advice on that would be much appreciated. But as I said, it’s only an issue for me because I need it for professional purposes. Social media also tends to negatively affect people’s mindset in terms of where they are in life. When you see tons of Instagram feeds with people driving nice cars, women rocking Louboutins and Louis handbags, of course you feel a surge of longing for that to be you. Then when you realise it isn’t, the bitter disappointment and slight depression takes over. I personally just feel motivated and hope that will be me one day, once my writing takes off. But as I’ve written previously, when trying to embark on a new career and finding confusion down every new path, it can be very easy to be in your feelings and start to wonder whether that will ever happen.

Social media: it’s certainly a very powerful tool. But like most things, it can be a blessing and a curse. It can be incredibly useful when promoting a business or brand, or really anything at all. But it can also burn you. I’m sure several celebrities will tell you that they regret a lot of things they have posted or tweeted in the past. But unfortunately once it’s on the internet, there is no going back. The lengths that people will go to just to be famous in the realm of social media is getting disturbingly desperate. A lot of youngsters seem to be incapable of feeling any emotion, as being glued to their tiny screens all day seems to have drained it all out of them. Most people are incapable of going out and doing anything without posting on Instagram or Snapchat. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “If it wasn’t on Instagram, did it really happen?” And finally, the way a lot of well known or popular females are portrayed can inadvertently leave other onlooking women feeling insecure or inadequate if they don’t look exactly like them, despite the fact that most of them don’t even really look like that without “assistance”. So in short, it has taken over but we as a society need to gain some perspective and remember that we are all people as well, not just characters on an Instagram story. I just hope that at some point the majority of us can find a balance, so that we can take advantage of the many benefits that social media has to offer, as opposed to gradually letting it destroy us.

My Stay at The Ned

This review of my recent stay in The Ned may be slightly biased, seeing as I work for the company. However I must say, the experience is entirely different when staying there as a guest. Of course it helps to have friends in high places, i.e. Reception and Guest Relations, who will usually do what they can so that you can really get the best out of your stay. However I’m confident that even if I were staying as a member of the public, I would have enjoyed my night there immensely.

My best friend Kiki and I were scheduled for a package called a Sunday Spruce & Sleepover since Sunday 29th April. Due to financial reasons mainly, we ended up rescheduling it three times so didn’t actually end up staying until Sunday 15th July, the Sunday just gone. It was originally supposed to be for Kiki’s birthday, then we had to move it to 20th May, then 24th June, which ended up being my birthday weekend, until it finally ended up being scheduled for last weekend. The package includes the hotel room, Sunday Lunch for two along with a bottle of house wine, which I substituted for a bottle of prosecco, £50 credit to spend in the spa as well as breakfast for two the next morning. It all comes to £350 in total, so £175 per person. Definitely worth it in my opinion. As it was a package, I did not receive a staff discount on it, but the price is more than reasonable for what you get, and I was definitely well taken care of by my lovely colleagues.

We arrived at the hotel at around quarter past one on Sunday. Check-in time is 3pm, so our room still wasn’t ready. However after being told that I had been upgraded to a Heritage Room from a Cosy Room (three room categories above – a really big deal!), I didn’t really care if I had to wait until 4pm to check in. Sunday Lunch was amazing. It was buffet style for both starters and dessert, however you had to order your main course. And ooh what a main it was, but we’ll get onto that later. I had initially planned to stuff my face with loads of Canadian lobsters, which was one of the starters on offer. However the lobsters are MASSIVE and the plates they give you are kind of small. Way too small for these lobsters anyway. So there was literally no way to fill your plate with them without making it look like you planned to empty out the whole restaurant. Not that I’m usually particularly fussed about this to be honest. However, after placing the one lobster on my plate, along with several pieces of sushi because I looove sushi, it was so much effort to open up the damn lobster once I sat down to eat, that I just couldn’t be bothered to have anymore. It was definitely tasty, especially with the hollandaise sauce that they were serving it with, but it was almost too much work for what you got in the end. Oh and the oysters…ew! Now I love me some seafood, like LOVE it, but oysters are fucking gross. I’d never tried them before. Well actually I tried one a couple of weeks ago while I was drunk, and clearly I was more drunk than I thought I was because I actually thought it tasted good at the time. I was wrong. Oysters do not taste good. They are disgusting.

The main though….ooh what can I say!? I ordered the half roast Banham chicken, served with pigs in blankets and bread sauce, and of course gravy. I’d never tried bread sauce before, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think it would taste quite as good as it did to be completely honest. The chicken was succulent and immensely tasty and I’d never seen such a colossal Yorkshire pudding in my life! Like seriously, it was almost the size of my head! I’d only had gross Yorkshire puddings in the past, served in my boarding school along with the rest of their slop. So I was a little hesitant about trying it. But I was very impressed, as I was with the rest of food, although I must say the roast potatoes could have been better. They were a little tough, and the quality just wasn’t on the same level as the rest of the meal. Kiki ordered the roast pork belly with crackling and apple sauce. I tried a little with the apple sauce, as I was curious, and I must say this dish was, in fact, on par with mine. I just wish I could have finished it all, but it was such a hefty portion that I just couldn’t force myself, as much as I wanted to. Especially when it came to that chicken. I almost cried seeing it being taken away from the table half finished.

We just about had enough room for dessert (of course!), so up we were again and back at the bar, where all the dishes that were part of the buffet were being displayed. I had a slice of Victoria sponge, a slice of red velvet cake and I picked up one of the cake pops that were on offer. The Victoria sponge and red velvet cake were beautiful, but if you know what you’re doing in the kitchen, then it can be pretty difficult to fuck up two tasty treats such as these. However I unfortunately did not get to sample the cake pop, because I just could not eat anymore at the time, so I put it in the fridge in our hotel room. But then I had work the next day, and still didn’t feel like it when we were leaving, so I reluctantly let Kiki have it along with the two she had for herself. As much as I wanted mine, because I’ve never tried cake pops before either, I don’t always have such a sweet tooth these days. However Kiki most considerately assured me that she would call me when she was eating it so that she could let me know what it tasted like. The bitch.

Anyway, lunch was amazing. One of my colleagues in Reception had called me to say my room was ready, so we went to collect our keys and popped up there quickly. Because we did have to wait quite a while to order our mains, we were cutting it pretty fine for our spa treatments at this point, which were booked at 3.30pm. But I just had to take a look at this room. Although I had been given a tour of quite a few of these rooms before, there was just something different about seeing the incredible super king-size bed and knowing that you were going to be sleeping it, looking at the enormous television whilst knowing that you were going to be watching it and staring besottedly at the inviting bathtub in the bathroom and knowing I’d be getting all up in it with some suds later. Which I did. It was all I could do to stop myself from clambering up onto the bed and jumping up and down like a little kid.

After a quick once-over of our mini palace, we headed downstairs to the spa for our pedicures. They treatments I had booked were called the Ultimate Cowshed pedicures; they were 75 minutes long and included a scalp and shoulder massage as well. The actual treatment was amazing, and I cannot tell you what a relief it was to have all the horrible dead skin sloughed off my neglected heels, but I was a little disappointed to see that the lovely “Pink Fizz” colour I had chosen had started to chip away by later that evening. Although this may have been partly my fault, as I did forget that I had shellac on my toes already, so they had to squeeze in a removal for me, meaning my therapist probably rushed the colour portion of the appointment. Booking extra time for a removal, or removing the shellac beforehand myself, is something that would have been embedded in my brain whilst I was working as a Customer Care Coordinator for Cowshed when I was on the Beauty Team. However, having been over a year since those days, apparently these things just don’t occur to me anymore. Ohh well, at least my feet feel soft and pleasant again. Well, as pleasant as feet can feel I guess.

After a while of letting our tootsies dry, Kiki and I changed into our swimming gear and went back down to the spa to have a swim in the indoor pool. The pool wasn’t quite as warm as I had hoped, but after thrashing around for a couple of minutes, it soon became quite comfortable. The sauna, steam room and hammam were much better though. Especially the steam room. Kiki kept saying that we should have put leave in conditioner in our hair beforehand, so we could have a nice steam and a hair treatment at the same time. Crazy she might be, but she definitely had a point there. A nice face mask wouldn’t have gone amiss either. Hmmm, there’s always next time. Surprise surprise, it was my first experience in a hammam as well, but it was not all it was cracked it to be compared to the steam room and sauna. It essentially just felt like a really warm room with a little bit of steam. We were only in there for a few minutes right at the end, before having another quick steam and departing.

When we went back to the room, there was a bottle of prosecco and a nice little chocolate mousse waiting for us as a Happy Belated Birthday to us both! This was thanks to my pal Darren in Guest Relations. Like I said, friends in high places, wink wink. So we didn’t really do anything after that but chill, drink prosecco and watch Love Island before falling asleep in the giant cloud of bliss. Despite being up watching TV and talking until 4am, I don’t think I’ve had such an amazing sleep since…well since the last time I stayed at The Ned!

So overall, an amazing stay. The Ned really is a great hotspot for the high flyers who can afford it regularly.  I am sad to say does not apply to me, at least not yet. Although the property is frequented by quite a few white prejudiced hotel guests, who were staring at me and my friend and clearly wondering who let the niggas in, this did not matter as the hotel staff were very welcoming in contrast. Ohh yeah, I’m being serious. This was probably the only slight dampener on the experience; one old lady was even talking about me and my outfit right in front of me, obviously not too impressed. I was wearing a pretty short backless dress, but so fucking what? It’s the weekend, it’s 30 degrees and oh yeah, I can wear what the fuck I like. I didn’t let this ruin my mood too much though. I must admit, it did ruffle my feathers a little bit at first. But it is a five star hotel in the centre of London, so unfortunately these kinds of visitors are to be expected. I just say fuck them. Fuck them, and fuck anybody else who has that mentality. They are not worth any of the energy I would usually muster up to react in anger, especially when this is energy I could be using to do productive things to better myself instead. Sorry for all the F-bombs, but as a black woman this kind of prejudice is obviously a subject I am particularly passionate about.

I got this kind of vibe when we went up to the roof for a hot minute as well on Sunday evening. If you know anything about The Ned, then you might know that The Roof Bar is one of the main reason that most people want to go there. I don’t quite understand it myself, because London is filled with other rooftop bars and restaurants, some of which you can smoke shisha in as well. Way more fun than what we have going on at The Ned, in my personal opinion. But some of these people just make no sense, you know. It was just funny, because this particular part of The Ned is a members only area, so is exclusive to members of The Ned and hotel guests staying in certain room categories. Because of this, so many people were so desperate to get into The Roof Bar. We just changed the rules in April so access would be limited to only certain hotel guests, in order to accommodate the increasing amount of members, as it isn’t the biggest space. As a result, my team and I have found ourselves dealing with a whole heap of complaints from the unlucky guests who won’t be able to access the roof during their stay, insisting that this was “the only reason they booked in the first place”. Well that’s a waste of money just to floss for the ‘gram. So it was funny to see that Kiki didn’t give a rat’s ass about the roof. I made the mistake of forgetting to tell her that you can’t take pictures up there, because those are the rules for the members only spaces. It’s a Soho House thing; it’s the exact same in all the other Houses as well. But she took a couple of photos and was abruptly told that she couldn’t do that up there. So I guess all the guests that do plan to floss for the ‘gram or their Snapchat are going to be bitterly disappointed. We couldn’t get a seat on the roof though. It wasn’t packed, but all the tables and chairs were occupied, leaving us no choice but to head back down. When I asked her what she thought of the space later on and she confirmed that she didn’t think much of it, these exact words were her explanation: “It’s too hot, there’s nowhere to sit and you can’t take pictures.” I can’t argue with that Kiki, I cannot argue with that.

 

Cry and Carry On

Okay this is going to be slightly different from my usual content, but sometimes you do just need to get certain shit off your chest. So it’s rant time!

You know when you’re just feeling, not exactly shitty, but just “meh” for no reason? I mean, I do have reasons. But the things bothering me today are the same things that bother me nearly every other day, so it just seems a bit pathetic. However for whatever reason, each issue seems to have intensified in my brain by ten. I just kind of feel like I have so many ambitions, so many things I want to have achieve for myself, both professionally and personally, that I’m just about ready to explode. I’m not where I want to be financially or in my career or finished my book. I haven’t felt good about the way I look in a couple of months, but yet I haven’t lost the weight I want to lose. We’re literally only talking a little bit of weight on my stomach I’m trying to get rid of, but ladies I’m sure you feel me. If you don’t look the way you want to, even just slightly, it does fuck with your self-esteem. I need money for a new wardrobe for work, but I don’t have the money and couldn’t even tell you when I would have it. I haven’t even gotten my driving license yet (although now I’ve booked my test, I’m hoping that is only round the corner).

After I get my license and a car, not to mention insurance, then I can focus on saving up to move out. I was originally going to take my mother’s advice and just stay at home until I have enough to buy my own place, rather than waste money over the years renting. But I had forgotten about how much living with my parents, as much as I love them, drives me crazy. After my mother and I had the argument (see Old School Nigerians vs. Westernised Nigerians post), I decided that I was just not in the stage where I could put up with all of it 24/7. I love my family very much, but I feel like us being around each other all the time does nothing but outline our differences and our issues. It’s also just the little things, such as not being able to come home after a long day and blast out some music. Honestly, it sounds like such a minor sacrifice. But for those of you who live alone or in a much more chilled household, I don’t need to tell you how much better it makes you feel after a stressful today, to turn your favourite tune on full blast and pour yourself a large glass of prosecco. Or whatever might be your favourite tipple.

Anyway, as I’m sure you can tell, I have a lot on my mind. I really wish there was a manual on growing up. Of course the majority of lessons need to be learnt through your own journey and experiences. But still, it would have been nice to have a “Life For Dummies” book to have as a back-up. Am I alone in this by the way? Do any of you ever feel like you just want to do so much, buy so many things etc., that you just get so overwhelmed and essentially end up mentally saying, “fuck it” and just not doing anything? Well, maybe I’m being a little hard on myself. I’m definitely persevering with my goal to get my license this year, regardless of how many times I’ve been knocked down. I’m still eagerly pursuing a career in Entertainment PR, being sure to exhaust any possible opportunities where I can get my foot in the door, even if it has to be a receptionist position at a PR agency to start with. Ideally I would like to move out to my company’s Communications Team and keep it in the family, so fingers something opens up soon. So yeah, I am definitely pursuing some things.

But all that just doesn’t feel like enough. I see so many people making moves these days, and it just makes me think I’m really not doing as much as I should be. I have so many great ideas that I could take really far, but I feel like I’m dedicating all my time to my job and leisure. Of course when you have a full time job, spending more than half your time at work is hardly avoidable. However whenever I do have time off, I tend to just relax and do nothing and then feel like a terrible lazy slob when I go back to work and realise I’ve done nothing with my days off. It is difficult though; because when you’re on the go all the time, temptation to do absolutely fuck all is just too real. I would say I currently dedicate about 40% of my free time to writing. Not too terrible, seeing as I would say it was about 20-30% not long ago. However this still does not work. It definitely needs to be pulled up to a good 80-90% at least. I blame television. This is what I get for starting to watch Love Island. I shudder to think what will happen when I finally start watching Atlanta and The Chi.

I’d like to thank you all, and of course WordPress, for being my therapist for today. I very much appreciate it. With all this craziness going on lately, not to mention living in the era of social media where you see all these Instagram stars living their best life whilst you’re scanning Tesco daily for lunches that average no more of about £2 a day, it can be very easy to get down in the dumps and a little depressed. But I urge you all to find an outlet where you can escape, let all the bullshit out and then carry on.

So I Finally Started Watching Love Island…

…and I’m officially obsessed!

I’ve been considering giving Love Island a try since I first heard about it, but as I’m sure all my fellow binge-watching folks out there will agree, a decision to take on a new television programme is not something you enter into lightly. It certainly isn’t one that you make without thorough research into said television show first. You see, deciding to watch a new show isn’t quite the same as watching a movie you haven’t seen before. It is all a very complex process, from the initial idea of watching the television show to finally switching on the first episode. This process usually involves reading reviews from various websites, asking the opinion of different friends, family members or colleagues that watch it, as well as some serious private contemplation on your part. I know this may sound insane if you are not really a television person, but after watching Season 1 of Power and being unable to continue, I refuse to just dedicate myself to a new show anyhow. Yes I know, Power’s supposed to be the shit. I do like the premise of it, however, unless Angela dies, I just don’t know if I can bring myself to go back to it. But more on that another day.

After my extensive research, I decided to give Love Island a go now that they have put it on Netflix. For those of you that don’t know, Love Island is a reality TV show on ITV2 that started in 2015. The easiest way I can think of to describe it is Big Brother meets Ex On The Beach. The show takes place in a beautiful villa in Spain during the summer, and roughly ten or eleven singletons are thrown in there in order to compete against each other to find love. At the end of the competition, the winning couple are awarded a £50, 000 prize. So you essentially get an all expenses paid, six week vacation in a five star villa in beautiful, sunny Spain, where you just get to talk to hot guys, drink and chill by the pool all day. Then if you’re lucky, you could end up leaving with a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and £50, 000. Not a bad deal, right?

An entire season of Love Island is spread out over the course of six weeks, and is shown every day on TV. This would be the Big Brother-esque part of the show. The contestants don’t have any form entertainment apart from each other, so no TVs, phones or radios etc., with the exception of the phones that they are provided with for the duration of the competition. These phones alert them with a text message whenever there is any kind of update in the show, i.e. a new arrival, a couple are instructed to go on a date, etc. This of course would be the Ex on The Beach portion, the contestants phones being a substitute for the famous ‘Tablet of Terror’. The players all have to partake in various different challenges set out for them, another example of a text message that would be sent to their phones.

I think the first moment I knew I might be sold when I began watching the reality show, was when I saw that Jon Clark from The Only Way Is Essex was one of the contestants on the first season. Oh yes, I do realise that Love Island currently in the middle of a new season. However I am one of those people that have to watch anything new right from the beginning. Even if it’s just a reality show, I need to start from Season 1. I mean, who ever heard of starting something in the middle? That shit’s crazy to me. I think the only television shows that are exempt are the ones you’ll just throw on when there’s nothing else on TV, e.g. Come Dine With Me. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Come Dine With Me but you’d never catch me sitting down to watch it from Season 1. There are way too many episodes for a start.

As I was saying, Jon Clark was on the first season of Love Island, so I knew instantly I would at least be completing Season 1. I love Jon. He’s one of my favourites on good old TOWIE, and to be honest I had no idea that he was on Love Island at all, let alone that this was actually his rise to fame and the reason he joined the cast of TOWIE in the first place. Jon may get irate very quickly and easily, but inside he’s really a sweet guy made of honey. Because of this flaw, some people think he’s a bit of a dickhead. However I can relate to not being able to control your temper sometimes, although I do consider myself a lot more mature now.

Despite the fact that I loved watching Jon in it, not to mention his girlfriend-at-the-time Hannah who he had partnered up with, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about the show yet. I mean I was only a couple of episodes in. Watching a new show is a bit like entering into a new relationship, you play it cool at first and act really laid back. When you’re a good few months in, then you can show your true wacky, crazy self. So I wasn’t about to be raving about how good Love Island was when I was only a few episodes in. With that being said, I am now two seasons in and am officially happy to confirm that I do indeed Love Island! There’s never really a period where it gets dull; they always seem to know when to mix it up and I like that. It’ll be smooth sailing for a bit and everyone’s all happy, then BOOM: a new arrival. It’ll be slightly too chilled for just a few moments, then BOOM: someone gets dumped from the villa. Sun, sex and six packs, the drama never ends. What is not to love!?

Anyway, I’m not going to go into detail about the contestants and what happened, because let’s face it: if you watch it, you already know and if you don’t watch it, you probably don’t care. However I will explain why I like it specifically for those of you that think reality TV is the trashiest, most “rachet”-est thing since…well, since the slang term “ratchet” was invented. I completely respect that opinion; I’m not going to lie, reality TV is trash. But occasionally, trash can be just so entertaining to watch. I do have limits though; I draw the line at shit like Teen Mom, Toddlers and Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. However I do consider Love Island to be slightly different. I find the concept intriguing, I mean think about it. When you meet someone in real life this is usually how it goes: you exchange numbers, talk for a bit, meet up for a date or sex, depending on the vibe and the person, you keep seeing each other for a few months, perhaps an average of three or four dates a month. Then it progresses, and you’re seeing each other more often, perhaps meeting friends or family members, and somewhere along the line, you eventually make it official. However in Love Island, you meet someone and then you essentially spend every waking moment together. I mean, every moment.

To be honest, the fights between the couples don’t surprise me in the slightest. Judging from what I know about guys, if I had to be in the company of one every moment of every day, I’d definitely have more than a few choice words for you after a while. One of the rules of the competition is that when you’re coupled up with someone, you have to share the same bed, even if it is more on a friend vibe (because unfortunately not everyone meets someone). This means that they wake up together, get dressed together, eat together, they chill together, because of course they need to get to know each other and there’s nothing else to do anyway, they brush their teeth together, and then of course they go to sleep together. I know that if you are genuinely enjoying someone’s company that this can be a good experience, however, best believe there will be moments that I will want to kick him in the face. I’m just saying. It’s only natural; anytime humans are around each other constantly, arguments are almost inevitable. When I used to live with my best friend, we would occasionally have little arguments about tiny little things. However, both before and after we lived together, we never had any arguments. It is wondrous how much of a difference just a little bit of space can make.

Although initially the biggest motivation for competing would naturally be the 50 Gs, it seems that there were quite a few pairs that did genuinely find love. So I guess the aim of the show does work for anyone who is genuinely looking. From what I’ve found out, a few couples have ended up getting engaged and even having children. A couple of them broke up with the people they were coupled with on the show, but ended up getting with one of the other contestants. So it’s nice to know that some of them did get their happily ever after in one way or another. However it is incredibly sad that the same cannot be said for the beautiful Sophie Gradon, who was one of the most memorable contestants on Season 2 of Love Island. A couple of weeks ago, the tragic news of her untimely death was brought to the attention of the media. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, however they have said that there was no sign of “foul play”, leaving many people to speculate that it was suicide. I personally feel that describing it as a tragedy is too much of an understatement. I may not have known her, but Sophie seemed an incredibly intelligent, kindhearted and amazingly free-spirited woman. I heard the news of her death before I had started watching the show, but once you make your way through Season 2 and watch her more and more, it just continues to weigh on your heart. I know they will probably never read this, but my still heavy heart goes out to both her family and her friends.

I am yet to start on Season 3, so I definitely haven’t made my way to the season that’s currently showing on TV. However there has been a huge outrage from a lot of viewers at the lack of diversity in Season 4 of Love Island. There is one black woman in the entire cast, who from what I have seen is gorgeous, but apparently she hasn’t found love so far and this gradually seems to be chipping away at her confidence. Not to mention that the remainder of the cast seem to consist of supremely sculpted, chiselled, muscled, ripped men and perfectly preened, plumped, nipped and tucked women, who all look exactly the same. No seriously, look it up and play a fun little game of Spot the Difference. I bet you’ll still be playing by the time this season of Love Island is over. Now I completely agree with all these opinions; my best friend and I were half-joking regarding the plight of Rachel in Season 1. Rachel was the token black girl of the first season, and she, of course, got no love. Which brings me back to the point I was about to make. I completely agree with all that is being said, however the lack of diversity on reality television shows in Britain is nothing new at all. Look at all the shows that are currently on TV: Made in Chelsea, Geordie Shore, Ex on the Beach, Love Island. For those of you that don’t partake, please just look up previous cast members on Google and tell me how many non-white contestants you see. Because from what I’ve seen previously, you are lucky if you ever get two in a season at once. Now I don’t think that the creators and producers are being racist per se. I just think that it doesn’t enter their ignorant minds that the public might want to watch someone on television who isn’t white and perfect looking. Well folks, I have news for you…we do!

So I assure you, I am not making light of an issue which I truly believe is a serious one. But it is difficult for me to share the same level of outrage as some of my fellow viewers because this all occurred to me years ago. This certainly didn’t begin in 2018, and I unfortunately I don’t believe it will end this year either. Not when it comes to British reality television in general anyway. However with Love Island specifically, what with the huge amount of backlash they’ve recently received, not just from the public but from previous contestants as well, I am confident that the cast of Love Island 2019 will look incredibly different. Mark my words: instead of the usual porcelain dolls along with the token black girl and the one mixed race guy, there’ll be five white girls/guys (one of which will be bigger than the average size), two black girls and two black guys (one of which will be bigger than the average size, take your pick), and perhaps one Asian guy just to go crazy.

You know what, if I generally thought I could handle the aftermath of it, I might even consider applying for next year myself. I do believe it might be the perfect time for a black girl! However, whilst I may feel that I’ll be okay in theory, I know that it will most likely be a different story when it comes to actually doing it. So being a future Love Island contestant may not be in the cards for me, which is probably for the best. However I very much hope that they do improve when it comes to their lack of diversity, as well as any other television programme being shown to millions of influential viewers. But nevertheless, Love Island definitely have me sold as a spectator in this juicy saga for the time being. Keep that shit coming ITV2!

Chicago: The Musical, The Review

So Bank Holiday Monday on 28th May was very enjoyable. My friend Keely and I went to see Chicago: The Musical playing in The Phoenix Theatre, London. I won the tickets in our New Year’s staff party (I had never won anything in my life up until that day, so this was a very proud moment for me!) and when I was given the tickets, I was told that I could book anything except Hamilton and Harry Potter & The Cursed Child. I know, boo right? It’s not like Harry Potter was my first choice or anything. But you know, free shit is free shit so I was not about to complain.

After doing my research, I was on the verge of selecting Dreamgirls as the lucky winner, when I discovered that Chicago would be coming to London in March, and that Cuba Gooding Jr. would be paying Billy Flynn. Well, suddenly it was a no-brainer! I had to see Cuba Gooding Jr. perform live. I was completely unaware of what his skills as a singer were, but this was not about to be the sole reason not to attend.  I mean, Richard Gere isn’t exactly John Legend himself but, as we all know, he killed it in the movie.

On the day, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. I had been so focused on my excitement at seeing Cuba Gooding Jr. perform live, that I had forgotten how much I loved the way the characters were played by the actors in the original movie. To be honest, I completely underestimated how brilliant Catherine Zeta-Jones was as Velma Kelly. From the very beginning of the show, whilst she was performing All That Jazz, I had a feeling that Josefina Gabrielle would not do the role justice quite like the lovely Mrs. Zeta-Jones. I know that the entire cast in the movie did set the bar very high, but I just didn’t get the essence of the “Miss Velma Kelly” that you’re supposed to feel from the moment she walks into the room. I won’t go as far as to say that Josefina did a bad job, but I just didn’t love it.

Now Sarah Soetaert, who played the main character Roxie Hart, did fantastically in my opinion. When performing in something well-known, actors tend to study the original too much and just mimic exactly what we’ve seen before, rather than make it their own. Ms. Soetaert did not do any such thing. She still brought the playfulness and ditziness to the character, but she also compiled this with the perfect touch of comedy as well. I don’t actually remember the character being quite that funny when it was played by Renee Zellwegger, as brilliant as this was. So I was very impressed with what Sarah Soetaert brought to the role.

Another who impressed me was Paul Rider, who played Amos in the musical, Roxie Hart’s husband. Now for anyone who has seen the movie, or has been lucky enough to see Chicago on Broadway, I’m sure you remember that Amos is essentially Mr. Invisible. He’s described as not very attractive, a little simple and according to Roxie, not very good in bed. I think even referring to him as “a little simple” is me being kind-hearted personally. Because if we’re going to be honest, any man who would spend his life savings on his woman who is in jail for killing the man she cheated on you with, is nothing short of a mug in my opinion. I get it, love is blind or whatever. But he is still a mug. However I could not fault the actor’s performance.

Ruthie Henshall played the fabulous Mama Morton. Once again, I didn’t quite consider just how much of a mark Queen Latifah left with her portrayal of the matron. Ruthie Henshall certainly had some big shoes to fill. I wasn’t a huge fan of her characterization at first, however she did grow on me. I liked the fact that she seemed to have all the edge of Big Mama, but was still able to bring her own style of acting to the character. She didn’t quite resonate the confidence and power that I would expect from anyone who took on the role, but when she walked onto the stage, you knew it was Big Mama. She wasn’t actually big in size at all. But unexpectedly, this didn’t really matter to me. The only negative point I had was that she and Velma Kelly didn’t seem to have the relationship that they should have had before Roxie arrived. When it came to the climactic part of the performance, where Roxie has essentially replaced Velma as the big dog, I didn’t feel as much of an effect because I didn’t feel as if her and Mama had much of a bond in the first place. But overall, I did like Ruthie Henshall’s portrayal.

And finally, the wonderful Mr. Cuba Gooding Jr. Yes, I did indeed save the best for last! As excited as I was to see him perform live in the weeks leading up to the show, all I could think of once we were sat in our seats on the night was “please don’t mess it up Cuba, please. I love you so much, please don’t make me hate you!” And he did not disappoint. For an actor who is used to performing in front of the camera as opposed to on stage, I thought Cuba Gooding Jr. did an amazing job. I truly believe that Richard Gere would have been proud. Or slightly jealous perhaps. But either way, I loved it. Not only was he every bit as witty, funny, cheeky and daring as Billy Flynn should have been, but he was practically dripping with the suave and sophistication that we are used to seeing from Mr Gooding Jr. Only it was even better, because there wasn’t a sheet of glass separating me from him! Well, there will still several people, chairs and the stage, but that’s beside the point. I am genuinely struggling to find a negative element of his performance throughout the entire show.

So overall, it may not have been Harry Potter & The Cursed Child but it was amazing and my friend and I both thoroughly enjoyed it. I vote for a brand new film adaptation of Chicago with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Billy Flynn. Encore! Encore!

When Did It All Get So Complicated?

The human mind is a funny thing, isn’t it? It can play all sorts of tricks on you, such as making you focus on something that feels important at the time, when what you’ve really been doing is subconsciously trying to drive the issue which is really bothering you out of your mind?

A very similar phenomenon has been occurring with me lately. I’d managed to convince myself that I was actually a missing a guy I’d been seeing not long ago, who I wouldn’t quite say turned out to be a dickhead, but let’s just say he wasn’t for me. We went on a few dates and during nearly every single one he had made a big deal about the tiniest thing in the most unnecessary manner. Like most people these days, I feel like I am at work pretty much 24/7. So I don’t much enjoy spending my free time with someone who can easily cause an argument for essentially no reason. This is exactly what had happened when I last saw him; he pissed me off unnecessarily for a small issue, so this resulted in an argument, we haven’t spoken since then.

Now before it had come to this point, I really did feel a genuine connection with this man. One which I don’t usually get with guys if I’m being completely honest. Because of this, I’d actually managed to fool myself into thinking that it might be worth contacting him and seeing if he wanted to reconnect. Can you believe that? This is not somebody that I could honestly say I had spent nearly every day thinking about, yet here I was contemplating reaching out to him, despite the fact that he hadn’t contacted me since our argument either, when I had done absolutely nothing wrong. What for? I mean, yeah we had definitely had fun. But I couldn’t tell you one thing about him that I honestly missed. Apart from his car maybe. He drove a white BMW, just saying. I was actually fooling myself into thinking that this was someone I should allow to distract me. Even as I write that, it just seems so laughable. There is only one person I should be completely focused on at this point, and that is me.

But this was the problem. I’d done the same thing with the guy I wrote about previously, Damien. Although now I think I’ll just refer to him as Full of Shit, seeing as that is exactly what he is. I’m not even going to get into that though; the less said about him the better. I was really upset when Full of Shit seemed to have done a complete U-turn pretty much just after he’d confessed his so called “feelings for me”. But then it occurred to me: if I was being real, I didn’t honestly care too much about either of these boys. They were both time wasters, and I knew I could have gotten another of them in a minute (all hail Queen Bey). The thing that was really bothering me was me. Me and the career that I was planning on pursuing. The problem was that I didn’t really know which career that was anymore.

I’ve already decided that I definitely want to pursue a career that would involve writing. This has always been my greatest passion and the one thing I was the best at. Even at work when we write emails, a few of the girls would occasionally ask me for advice on how to word certain things when they were trying to get their point across. But at the moment, I’m kind of trying to weigh up whether I’d like to go into Entertainment PR or if I’d be better suited to working as a journalist for a magazine. I think I’d be good at both jobs really, but PR would be completely new territory for me, whereas I have a lot more confidence in the idea of journalism, depending on which kind I suppose. You see, this is where I’m torn. On one hand, Entertainment PR can be a really lucrative and exciting career, one in which you can make good money from in the future. However, I have absolutely no experience in this field, so getting into it from the start would be quite difficult. Not to mention, and I think this is my biggest worry, when I do eventually get something and start working, it might be completely different from what I expected and I may not like it. Remember, this is something I have never done before. So what if I find it isn’t for me, and then I’ve wasted a year and I’m back to square one? I know I am only 24 years old, but I’d still rather not waste any time if it is avoidable. Life is short after all.

On the other hand, writing for a magazine is definitely something else I think I’d enjoy. I’d love to have my own column in a magazine, or write a blog that’s featured in one. I definitely fancy myself as a black Carrie Bradshaw. Except I am also English, and have a much less fabulous wardrobe unfortunately. I will get to that level soon though, fingers crossed. Anyway, I’d totally love to do that and then eventually start my own magazine. It occurred to me just recently that there aren’t many magazines that are specifically for black women. I think I only know of Essence magazine really, and while their audience is definitely black women, it really is only aimed at African American women. This is fair enough; it is an American publication. However mine would be more centred around black women from the UK. We have plenty of issues and stories of our own, particularly as our generation is getting more and more westernised. The only bug on this windshield for me is that every journalist needs to specialise in a particular field…and I just don’t know what mine would be. I’m passionate about films, TV, books and music. So I guess entertainment journalism would be the obvious choice. Things such as television and film criticism, or celebrity coverage. I know I could write about all three of those subjects. I mean, I tend to dip and out of celebrity gossip when it suits me, but I could definitely dive all the way in when it comes to writing about it. I have plenty to say about a Carter or a Kardashian, I can tell you that.

But where to begin? I literally do not know how I would get into it. I suppose I could sort of use my blog as a platform for now and go from there; it’s certainly worked for a lot of bloggers in the US. But I’m not exactly a huge socialite with millions of followers. It’s going to take a while for my voice to be heard, and then what do I do in the meantime? I am currently looking into internships in PR to get started, but should I be doing the same thing with journalism as well? Should I be contacting magazine publications simultaneously, or is it literally all about the Internet these days? Should I go back to university and get a degree first? Would that make the path much easier and clearer? I have SO many questions, and I STILL do not know what decision to make! When I was eighteen, it just all seemed so much simpler. I never really thought I’d be in this position where I don’t know what I want to do, and the answer to every question regarding my career would be “I don’t know”. I like my job, but it is just a job to me. Even my manager knows this. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m in a shitty place for 24, but I just want to be on the right path. I want to be on the path to my dream career, even if it is only the beginning of the journey. Of course writing books, and maybe screenplays as well, is my #1 goal. However as confident I am in my abilities, anything creative is never guaranteed to bring you success. So as much as I say that I should just stick with what I’m doing and throw myself into writing, it just makes sense to have a back-up plan.

I’ve been feeling this conflicted for some time, and just before I started writing this post, my brain had been in complete overdrive and it really overwhelmed me. I actually had a good cry about it, which was such a shock to the system. I mean, I thought I’d been upset about a boy who wasn’t worth my time at all. But after I’d spoken to my friend and got to the root of the problem, I’d started bawling. I don’t think I’ve cried about a boy since I was a teenager, from what I remember. I used to be concerned about the stupidest things when I was younger, so that’s one thing I’m glad has changed. But here I was in despair over me, myself and I and what the hell we were going to do with my life. If only I could say that was a stupid problem to have. My crybaby moment kind of made me feel a bit better. It always feels a bit better to let it out. But I’m still not any more sure about the decision I have to make.

My friend’s advice was to just keep writing and keep it moving for now, and what I wanted to do would become clear in time. To be honest, I think she is right. Because I’m such a planner, I really prefer to know exactly what my next move is where possible. But I guess I do have to be accepting of the fact that it’s not a bad thing to go with the flow in your mid-20’s. I know one thing is for sure though: I am definitely in a phase where I cannot have anybody surrounding me who isn’t adding any positivity to my life. This doesn’t just apply to niggas, but to my friends and certain family members as well. I just cut off one of my friend a couple of days ago for that very reason. She’s the kind of girl that handles things very immaturely, and likes to create drama where there isn’t any for whatever reason. She’d done something very similar last year, and one of my friends actually told me she’d been talking about me behind my back because of it, and to be careful with her. I personally don’t give two shits what people have to say about me that they haven’t got the balls to say to my face, but don’t bitch about me to someone who will obviously tell me. It just makes you look like a bitch, and stupid as fuck to be honest. Because the matter was so petty, I didn’t even talk about with her and just forgot about it. But I was always careful with her after that. Then this same friend tried her bullshit again recently, and I just thought “you know what..nah. I don’t need this”, and that was it. This woman is almost 30 and still acting like we’re in school, but that’s her business. This certainly isn’t how I need to be rolling, and I most definitely am not interested in keeping up a friendship with someone who will try some more nonsense two months from now, and then some more bullshit on top of that in another three months. Like I said before, life is too short and I intend on making mine as enjoyable and fruitful as possible. In the meantime, anybody who doesn’t like me, the shit I do, or isn’t adding any value to my life, can kick rocks as far as I’m concerned. As the amazing Cardi B once said, “I’m quick to cut a nigga off so don’t get comfortable.” I know, I know, Beyonce in the last post, Cardi B in this post. I think I’ll quote Nicki Minaj in the next one.

If any of you gems have any suggestions about the dilemma described above, please do let me know. Believe me, any advice for me and my hopelessly scrambled brain would be very much appreciated. However in the meantime, please continue to read and share (like for real, help a bitch out) and continue to shine!