The more vivid my dreams are, the likelihood of getting a migraine the next morning increases exponentially. I am convinced that both have a positive correlation. Having said that, today had little productivity, the most I did was was press 5 shirts for the upcoming work week. The dream was one of complete disorientation and fear, but at times I was comforted, despite seeing some of the most grotesque creatures in this fantasy world.
I could not recall who was with me in the dream exactly, but all I knew was that I was with friends who I trusted. We were travelling for vacation and for some reason it was either Barbados or Grenada. Two countries which I have never visited in my life.
I awoke on what seem like a rocky hill covered in moss. It was a very steep incline and there was no secondary vegetation; just this brilliant green moss that covered all the rock we were lying on. The sun was beating down on us, and I awoke very confused and the light was unbearable for my eyes. We had such a wide view of the ocean and it was making me dizzy. I grabbed onto the hill, as if it was my life. I felt as if I would fall and slide down this hill into the deep waters, which by any measure, was a considerable distance away. However, in the dream I felt I was stranded, even though I had friends around me, asking if I was okay. I only kept asking them if the island was above sea level or below. Looking at the ocean it seemed as if it was below, and it was giving me a sick feeling inside.
For some very odd reason, we were able to see the airport from where we were. The planes were oddly shaped, and landed like a feather falling from the sky. They swayed back and forth until, they lodged into a dock where passengers would be able to disembark. The planes themselves looked strong, but were shaped very much like a paper plane
Soon enough, after much coaxing from my friends we hiked down this mossy hill. We arrived at this shed, where we were greeted by other travellers to the island. I kept asking if it was Greneda or Barbados but no one seemed willing enough to tell me which island I really was on. Our friends and I continued along this path that was filled with bamboo and a plethora of other flora that just seemed so alive. I wondered if this was paradise.
We came to what can only be described as a very short length of a man made beach. It had no sand, but rather only rocks. Whoever built the beach carved the rock into a smooth, but steep decline into the clearest body of water I ever saw. The beach itself was no longer than 40 ft across. The water was deep, and there were huge waves crashing against the rocks. There were a lot people in the water though. I was so terribly scared to even venture near the water, knowing my inabilities when it came to swimming. I found myself on the headland of this man made bay. I was peering over, only to see the scores of people bathing in this crystal water. At this point I was not even standing on the precipice, but rather crawling on the ground. because of my deep fear of heights. I noticed this young woman on the shore, and as she jumped into the water, she swam out into the open faster than an Olympic swimmer. Something was not right.
My friends and I, told me that it was getting late and it was time for us to head over to our respective hotels. I hired a car and was driving all around this island. I passed several shops, businesses and houses. Everything looked authentically Caribbean. I kept sending the driver in circles, because I had no clue where my hotel was. I finally told the driver to carry me back to the man made beach, where he had originally picked me up.
Here I saw the faces of two of my friends in this dream who had asked their driver to do the same. I never saw them in my life, but apparently they were my friends Two young guys of east Indian decent with backpacks explaining to me that they had difficulties finding their hotel as well. I was getting worried. Where on earth are my “friends” and I going to stay?
I noticed a hut on the beach. A hut I did not see there before. I left my friends on the man made shore and entered the hut, seeking to get some information. The doorway had long beads draped on nylon string to obscure anyone’s vision from seeing inside. When I entered I saw the most weirdly shaped creature in my life. It had reptilian skin, with long ears, similar to that of a bunny rabbit. Huge googly eyes and was dressed in tattered clothes. It was not taller than 4 feet. It was sitting on an elevated chair, in the corner of a room in front of a sewing machine.
"Want me to tell you about your lover’s fortune?" It asked me. The creature requested I pay one Grenadian dollar to have my fortune told. I peered into my wallet only to find TT dollars, and wondered why would I walk with no US currency in a foreign country. I asked if it would accept TT dollars and it said no. Surprisingly I was not fearful of the creature. Strange I would be so scared by heights depicted in the dream, but quite comfortable with the creature before me.
Suddenly this large woman emerged from an adjacent room. She had on what seemed like African garb and her hair was wrapped with a cloth into a bun. She resembled Buelah. A local comedian here in Trinidad and Tobago. At the time it seem as if I had forgotten all about my accommodation woes and my interest was now on this said creature. I asked her what exactly was it.
She told the creature to go into the adjacent room from which she emerged. Only when he was out of earshot, she told me he was a ‘buck’ or “Buckoo”. She told me not to say anything to him because he believed that they were brothers and sisters. This creature is actually from Guyanese folklore… so in the dream I was entirely confused.
A guyanese buck, asking for Grenadian money, living in a country where the waters are crystal clear like Barbados……………………….
Soon after I awoke.
The dream was extremely vivid. As soon as I finished brushed my teeth, the onslaught of a migraine came on. Sigh… Any thoughts on this?
Shahad the Sentinel
The Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch 2014 was held last Saturday at Skinner Park in San Fernando. The young Chutney superstar K.I was able to grab the coveted title once again. It is without a doubt that I believe that K.I deserved the crown. This year’s competition was judged fairly, however its organisation could have used an extra push.
I thank god that 50% of the final score for each artiste was made my adjudicators. Finally we return to the fairness that was Chutney Soca Monarch. I am glad that the organisers met midway with telecommunications sponsors, and limited text to vote contributions to 3 texts per phone. If we had continued along the lines of a 100% voter decision, I honestly believe Chutney Soca would have degenerated quickly.
K.I’s win was transparent. I truly believe it is the better system. Watching some of the more experienced Chutney artistes perform. I wonder to myself why are they still here, especially if they no longer have something valid to contribute to an audience that now demands something different from Chutney Soca. Some of these performances were cluttered with pointless props that paid no relevance to the composition that was being performed.
When it comes to an international competition, we make sure to reach ‘international’ standards. We must start the show 45 minutes late and then allow the first contestant to grace the stage an hour after. This of course occurred last year. Congratulations to Southex Promotions for keeping up with this consistent ‘international’ standard.
My only hope for K.I who is an excellent young performer get’s paid his $2,000,000 in full, along with the rest of the cash prizes for all other artistes that all tallies to 4.5 million dollars. It is indeed a shame that the previous monarch did not enter the competition to rightfully defend his crown, however, I am sure his decision was justified
Congratulations K.I. I am expecting great things from you!
I thought I would have never seen the day that I actually made the effort to set foot inside a gym. If it wasn’t for my cousins, this day would not have been realized.
Before the gym fanatics congratulate me, I must admit I am not 100% serious about the whole regime just yet. The way I look at it, is that I get to spend some valuable time with my cousins while burning calories. I honestly have not been able to view it as anything different.
I must admit that some of the perceptions I had about the gym turned out to be true, while others turned out to be completely false. I glad my cousins asked me to join them. I got the opportunity to evaluate a whole different social setting, and almost every day that I go to the gym I make a new discovery. So let’s go.. Here are some of the perceptions I have of gym thus far….
Is Carnival and Gym Synonymous?
Our cousins and I started gym just around the Carnival bend. So the question asked by anyone who happens to know you, tends to be “Are you playing Carnival”. When I was faced with this question. I did not know how to respond. I simply replied “No, not this year!” Which in itself is the truth, but is also a complete lie! I never played carnival in my entire life! What a desperate way to want to join this community lol. Amazingly the gym has been relatively empty since we started. The only hypothesis we have for this occurrence is that the Rolly Polly figure is very popular this season.
I does be really scared to go lift weights by myself.
So yeah, in the social view of my physical appearance, I can safely say that I am fat! To my friends, I always jokingly say that I am not fat, but rather ‘slim thick’. I have no problem dominating the treadmill for 20 minutes or championing the bike for 30 minutes, but when it comes to going into the that over populated area to lift weights, my heart falls to the floor and I could never seem to find it. The most strapped, muscular, good looking males always crowd the weight lifting area. I am there with a meager 15lbs and everyone there lifting 30lbs like is feathers wrapped on the two ends of a steel rod -_-. Me and my 3 sets.. More power to me yes!
Everybody so sexy!
Myself included mind you! Eye candy reaches its maximum at the gym. I realize that those fitness junkies that take care of their bodies, as well as those who are now starting off on a serious note with their health; all tend to look so bright and smiley. It’s not so much their muscles or their slender bodies, but more so their confidence and that little pep in their step that adds to their general sex appeal. Rawrrrr! When I’m on the bike time flys, because I am busy gaping, hopefully with my mouth closed, at the people who are trying their best to make a positive change in their lives!
Lactic Acid is a Bitch!
When I first started on the treadmill, after just about 5 minutes of brisk walking, I wondered to myself why do my legs feel like they are on fire!. Having had a tertiary background in Biology, I was like shit!… Lactic Acid. Brushing up on it, I realize how important it is for this process to occur during strenuous exercise. It pains though! Usually when I can’t bare it any more. I hop off that treadmill and head straight for the bike. I have fallen in love with cardio. It makes me sweat….. and sweat makes me feel like I am getting somewhere. I have only now started exercising some muscle groups. I’d get there, don’t worry, sooner or later :)
A Social Practice
My dad was telling me today that cutting the lawn is just as good as an exercise as the gym. I tired to explain to him that while cutting the lawn will break a sweat, the gym isolates different muscle groups in order to get an effective workout. The one thing that I forgot to tell my dad was that gym is more of a social practice than anything else. Anyone can stay home and do the very same exercises that we do at the gym.. However we meet people with the same goal in mind. People who share the same vision of living a healthy lifestyle. You feel encouraged and supported.
To be completely honest, I do not know if I will be sticking with the gym for a long period. However once my cousins are doing it. I’d always be up to it :D Let’s see how it goes :)
Always looking at life,
Shahad the Sentinel.
I could never comprehend how young people are in such a rush to grow up. Growing up means huge responsibilities not only for today, but also for tomorrow as well. Recently I had to make some tough decisions. I realised that I may have been falling into the bracket of day to day living, rather than seeking out a realistic future.
I was deeply involved in nightly entertainment. It was something that was not planned, but it was something that happened. I have no regrets being involved in this industry for the last 9 months. It developed me in ways that I never thought possible. It was fast paced and I do not think anyone can fathom how difficult it is to pull off 3-4 entertainment productions per week.
It was difficult for me to accept that we had to work with a template. A template that has proven to be successful for several years. Over the last nine months I realised how following the rules can ensure the best entertainment product. Instead of trying to change the template, I focused on ways to improve it and thus I had become pretty good at being a social media promoter.
My only regret was the manner in which I left the organisation. I think it could have been done better, however to be frank, I did not know how. I was extremely passionate about my position in the organisation and with anything that I do, I aimed to be the best. Being the best is hard. You always tend to be very critical of yourself and you always think that there are several ways to improve your product.
There are far more important things that I should be concerned about at age 25. I should be planning a future! It sounds pretty boring, but I need to get it done. I had to force myself into thinking that social media promotions isn’t going to run away. If anything at all, it is going to expand and the majority of people are going to be come more dependent on social media.
What I want now, is a stable job, insurance, gratuity and maybe even a pension plan. These are the things I need to lock down, before I can focus on what I am truly passionate about. I have proven to myself that once thrown in the deep end of the pool, I tend to unexpectedly float or swim like an Olympiad. So then, why should I be intimidated by what the world has to offer me? Should I not attack it ferociously.
Originally I did state that this would end my stint in the nightly entertainment industry. However, that was me being highly irrational. I should not have said something like that. To be honest, Its only been four days since I am off my entertainment team, and I feel as if I could die. I felt as if I was ripping part of my heart out of my own chest.
Will I return? Providing my entertainment team will have me, and I can manage my time well and render 100% dedication and commitment, yes I will!.However this leave from entertainment I believe is well deserved. In the mean time, I want to focus on a few of my own personal ventures that I am sure I will be sharing with my reading audience very soon.
Always stay positive when growing up…try not to let the toughest decisions phase you!
Shahad the Sentinel
I came across an interesting article that spoke about the changes that occur when your reach 25. Interestingly enough they were quite correct. It is an age that we start officially maturing and we seek to ground ourselves with respect to our personality traits. It mainly focused on the fact that many of the social dynamics that mattered to us before, doesn’t seem to matter much today.
One of the inherited traits that I got from my mom, is the ability to give of myself 150% without any kind of reproach. This I have realised can be the best trait or sometimes the worse. For instance, this trait works well with me in the workplace. I work hard, I dedicate myself and try my best to bring pertinent ideas to the table. I always try to keep it professional and provide my services with the best of my integrity. However, when it comes to relationships, I always find myself on the darker side of the spectrum. I tend to see friendships as one sided, and could never come to terms as to why I am willing to do something, that another friend may shy away from.
These days I find myself aiming to be a perfectionist. This does not come easy, because right now I am at war with my mind, body and soul. I consider myself as coming out of a dead period where I have not exercised my true academic skills in the last year. I am trying to convince myself that I can do better. I find it extremely hard to take criticisms, and I get too disappointed when one of my ideas are shut down.
I also have this rotten gift of recognising flaws in any system. I always have ideas on how to make things better, but from past experiences over the years, I have learnt to keep my mouth shut, until others recognise the utter mess that needs to be cleaned. It usually takes a while, but people do eventually realize how imperative it is to review, communicate and understand how working professionally comes into being.
I have once again decided to do everything in my power to be the best and succeed and everything I do. For the new year there will be so many critical decisions that I will have to make. Working alongside Chameleon Entertainment, Janam Limited and Coco Lounge has been a blast, and I do not see this changing any time soon, unless something better comes along.
Losing a mother at age 25 is very horrible! You have to make harsh decisions that will change the social life that you know and love. My friends do not see me as often as they would like, because I have responsibilities. I do not have a mother by my side advising me what to do. I now advise myself and hope to God that I am making all the right decisions.
My social dynamics have change so much. I do not get angry at silly things and I’m just making conscious decisions that will make myself happy today, tomorrow and into the future. 25 to me is old. I need to give myself a general directive and follow through with a smile on my face :)
1.) The Good Girl but Bad Inside
Have you ever came across the most sweetest beautiful girl that strikes you as wife material, but after two days you realize that she is slacker than a 52” waist pants. Its shocking though, because during the day her demeanor is sweet and innocent, but at night she opens a shop for business.
Crazy glue doesn’t even begin to describe this girl. Is not just the calls and the messages, but its also about the desperate and pathetic need to always be comforted by a man. Most men these days search for an independent woman, because the majority of us could barely take care of ourselves! Times are hard!
3) I agree!
I dislike when anyone agrees with EVERYTHING i say. Are we not allowed to have an argument. This should have been the number one reason, because it gets me boiling mad when someone doesn’t have individualism on their side!
4.) No Ambition
If talent was a woman, I would have been married with 40 kids and that’s a fact. I love to see people who chase their dreams and use their talents and skills to make their life more successful and meaningful. If a girl has no ambition to be something… It honestly makes no sense!
I was thought that if you can’t love anyone else, unless you learn to love yourself. If you cannot love who you are, then I can’t love you. As long as you take care of yourself, that’s enough physical beauty for me. I don’t fuss. Beauty always comes from the heart!
"Social entrepreneurship is the process of pursuing innovative solutions to social problems. More specifically, social entrepreneurs adopt a mission to create and sustain social value. They relentlessly pursue opportunities to serve this mission, while continuously adapting and learning. They draw upon appropriate thinking in both the business and nonprofit worlds and operate in all kinds of organizations: large and small; new and old; religious and secular; nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid”
Ever since I came out of secondary school, I always considered myself as too involved in everything. There was never one single definition that defined who I was as a person. One of my very good colleagues told me that she reminded me of a social entrepreneur. When I read what it was, it seemed so familiar with what I do on a day to day basis. I always had such a high focus on the value of social outcomes. I care about how people feel, how people think and how they react to certain situations. I care about a person’s empowerment and their potential to always be the best that they can be.
I think the term carries a broad spectrum of meaning. From what I have read, it seems that each social entrepreneur is different and everyone carries a different goal or aim. According to the definition above, the social entrepreneur draws upon appropriate thinking from the worlds of business and non profit organisations. I have found myself deeply involved in both.
One of the main characteristics that says a lot about me, is that the emphasis is not on earning money, but rather the social value that is realised from the efforts that is made by the social entrepreneur. In other words, our skills and our services are priceless. You can’t buy over a social entrepreneur if people are being adversely affected.
To continually adapt and learn is probably one of the hardest thing that anyone can be faced with. I have touched the worlds of theatre, journalism, promotions, media and the environment. I have learnt so many different things about each field, and it seems that my experience always have a cross-over effect. I always take what I have learnt before and try my best to apply it to what I am currently doing. Bridging gaps is probably what I do best between different spheres of life.
For example; I volunteer with the Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Youth Advisory Committee. In a nutshell the initiative empowers individuals with the financial information that occurs between both the government sector and the private oil & gas companies. The public is able to see how the natural resources of our country is spent. The initiative produces a yearly report that is widely distributed to the public of Trinidad and Tobago.
In my mind, this is exciting, but to the young people of Trinidad and Tobago, this information might not be as appealing to them, as we would like it to be
.Party promotions with Coco Lounge on the avenue, has been a blast! Young people come out every single week to enjoy themselves and have a great time. It was my suggestion that we educate youths on this entertainment strip about this initiative. Did you know that if we did not have an oil and gas industry, partying on the avenue can be WAY more expensive than it is already? Gas subsidies if removed can increase the price of alcohol since it is currently transported under those very same subsides. Food prices can increase, because the very gas that cooks the lamb in a gyro is also subsided. Electricity subsides reduces our cover charge at the door. Without it, all those amazing light effects will impact our wallets. This was my idea to bring the importance of knowing more about the Oil & Gas Industry into the eyes of young people.
I love to make my organisations bridge gaps, and find ways in which people can see how EVERYTHING is interlinked in this world. My aim in life is to be happy, and to also make others happy as well. Whenever that is compromised I will run and run very far! I have every intention of keeping constant the importance of the social factor in our daily lives. I want to aim to empower people and have an everlasting impact on their lives. I want to be able to give the best first impression, and leave people with a lasting memory of who I am and what I will always be about!
For the past 4 months, I have been promoting parties along Ariapita Avenue; A street in Trinidad that hosts some of the biggest weekly parties for party goers. Admittedly, it is exhilarating, fast paced and a lot of hard work. Being a Party Promoter, one cannot escape the usual stereotypes, but I am trying to live above that, as best as I can. I want to bring a new meaning to the word ‘Party Promoter’
I honestly would discourage people to become involved in nightly entertainment, simply because its not as easy as it seems. Sure you can ride the wave of popularity and bring no business to your establishment, but what sense would that make. Like with many things in my life, I need to do things that have purpose, and it must bring some sort of satisfaction my way!
To answer the questions that many people ask:
My promotional team operates as a functional unit to bring as much people as we can to our establishment. I will admit that some do work harder than others, but that’s the case with all organisations. The best thing about promotions, is that you get rewarded for working hard. So once you are on the same page with your managers, you can set yourself up for good business and great fun. Yes… I did say fun… don’t let me fool you… This could very well be the best job you every had, if you’re good at it.
These are some of the perks:
I remembered distinctly my promotional manager telling me that part of our responsibility was to “create vibes”. It was so arbitrarily stated, that I had to come up with my own definition of what ‘creating vibes’ really meant. To illustrate this, I will give you a brief synopsis of how I usually get prepared for a Saturday night event.
Firstly I heavily promote the event through my networks. Once that is done, it is imperative to promote the event outside of your network as well. Bringing your friends every week will not help the organisation grow. Making friends is a big part of party promotions. I make it my duty to at least meet someone new every week………… Please do not go and thief your fellow committee members’ clientèle… that is a no no! Ask if they have been listed with anyone before, and if not… introduce yourself and explain to them the benefits of being listed. .
During the week, keep evaluating your list and checking back your messages. You won’t believe how easy it is to miss someone’s message requesting to be listed, When your patron arrives at the door on the night of the party, and they realise that you didn’t list them, bet your bottom dollar they will never list with you again! Pay close attention to your list, keep both a hard and soft copy!
Trini people are always late. Between 3pm-6pm last week Saturday I got 30 people listed. I call these people my lucky charms, because they are more than likely guaranteed to come to the party as oppose to your early Listers. Always double check your list, and place it in alphabetical order. ( I usually forget to do this lol)
Attending the party itself is not mandatory, but its a sign of good faith that you show up and make yourself known, especially if your are handing over a list of 40 or more people. Meeting your patrons has proven to be so vital to ensure a healthy list each and every week. Patrons love to feel genuinely appreciated for being at a club or lounge. Nothing is more important than making each individual feel as comfortable as they can!
Last week, I realised why I love this part time job. Even if its just for one night, you get to see many people happy, as they dance away their worries of life. I get to be a part of that. Even if I carry the smallest job function in my organisation, I am still apart of it all. For the past couple weeks I stayed back, just to help clean up the broken bottles and the plastic cups all over the floor. Even though its not something I am supposed to do, I wanted to see what it was like. Surprisingly it did not feel like work, but rather something gratifying to sweep up the stresses of hundreds of people who went home more than happy.
When you do this job, you are more than welcome to drink, get drunk, have sex with everyone, and drag your own name in the mud. I choose not to do that. I’ve been here for 4 months and I have heard stories that made me shrivel up and curl in a ball. People tend to lose their moral backbone in this industry, and so far I have held mines very strong…. okay….. I admit fairly strong lol ;p
I am very humbled by the fact that my promotional managers gave me two more duties in their establishment. One includes social media management and the other a job in corporate marketing. Both poses its challenges at times, but because of my managers, they have made me fall in love with this job. I have become extremely passionate about it. I often tell my friends that eat, breathe and sleep party promotions.
I often remember my production teacher telling me that its called “Show Business” not “Show Fun”, but as he says, once we take care of the business, then we can ALL have some fun!! Nothing can be closer to the truth to become a successful party promoter :)
Check out my winning submission for the CARIDI/CTA Media Awards 2013. I will be attending the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Guyana in early October in order to collect the Youth Journalist Award. The theme was Achieving Food and Nutritional Security through Regional Cooperation
“Our Nutritional In-Dependence”
Our oil and gas nation of the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago, recently celebrated fifty-one (51) years of Independence. Independence is defined by one’s capacity to conduct and handle their affairs. As a country, these affairs range from the society, the environment and the economy. These categories are all defined by the needs and wants of its citizens. One of the basic needs of any living human being is food. Which brings about the question, how can a country celebrate its independence, without truly having the capacity to feed its own people?
According to a Trinidad Express article dated February 6th 2011, expert analysts suggest that the Caribbean’s import food bill may be as high as US five (5) billon dollars. The Caribbean’s rich history is proudly built on agricultural practices, from Grenada’s exotic spices to Trinidad’s sweet sugar cane. There is no denying that the Caribbean truly has it all. How is it then, that our food import bill can be so incredibly high? Our regional impression of development is sometimes skewed. We often look to developed nations as a form of guidance, but ignore the fact that they have grown to be self sufficient.
Various organisations from across the region are trying their best to deal with these pressing issues. A media release from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) speaks about six principles to improve productivity and resilience of agricultural systems. Two of which include diversifying and fostering integrated farms. The media release speaks about our vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, and the importance of preparing ourselves for any adverse occurrence that would affect our agricultural production. Whether these initiatives can help the small farmer on the ground or the large scale producer is yet to be seen. Our markets still boast of vegetables and fruits that have been injected with artificial chemicals for growth. Our only vulnerability that are citizenship is concerned about, is having enough money to carry on for the next the day. The larger the crop, the more money they would make.
The culture of food in the Caribbean is one that needs to be seriously addressed. According to a Trinidad Guardian article dated March 18th 2013 Diabetes is the second leading cause of death in Trinidad and Tobago. Our food boasts of several sweets and a variety of starchy foods. Carbohydrates have been the basis of survival in the days of widespread poverty and have transgressed into the current generation. While our economic concerns have always been pressed upon our food bill, no one has really taken the time to examine and assess the types of foods that reach our shores.
Caribbean states look at the developed world with glassy eyes. We admire their mode of transport, their clean environments and their daily productivity levels. This admiration does not fall short when it comes to types of food that is consumed in the developed world. With a proliferation of fast food restaurants in the Caribbean, our people now consume foods that contain high levels of fat, sugar and salt. These adversely contribute to chronic diseases that have now become widespread across the region.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the national budget attributes a large sum of money for agricultural expansion. These include, but is not limited to, tax incentives, land distribution and heavy subsidies. These initiatives are put in place in order to encourage the citizens to invest in agriculture. With proper educational guidance, our citizens can become better prepared to handle threats to their agricultural systems. This can be done, by upgrading their current operations to incorporate sustainable integrated farming methods.
Nutritional independence not only incorporates ‘how much’, but also incorporates ‘what’ we are importing. Our economic standards and the health of our people are some of the vital concerns of our region. Without a strict balance of the two, the Caribbean can be faced with a large food import bill as well as a population that boasts of chronic diseases. We as a Caribbean people are too diversified to let this happen. Our governments, our private organisations and our people should press forward to attain the nutritional independence that would support our future.
My mom’s battle with cancer sadly came to an end on the 29th of August 2013. I am doing quite well, considering how close we both were. She died at the very young age of 53, and despite very strong hope for her survival she was unable to battle this nasty disease.
It was not easy going through 6 months of physical and emotional turmoil with my mom. At times she would suffer. Many say that you have good days and bad days with cancer, but for my mom it seemed as if her good times only lasted a few hours..
My mom had a special gift to spread joy among the people she met. She was kind, giving and loving. At her funeral I emphasised the point that if it was one thing that my mom taught me was how to love. I am so eternally grateful for that lesson, because it is a lesson that I would use for my entire life.
I’d like to believe that my mom gave me incredible strength, because just after 3 weeks I have bounced back into my normal routine. I still think about her everyday, but with a sense of happiness that her suffering is over. Immediately after her funeral, I could not help but have a broad smile across my face. It was probably the most unorthodox thing to do, but in a good sense, I was very happy. My mom’s suffering had come to an end.
During her ordeal, I cried several tears. It is not an easy thing for all doctors to tell you that there is not much they can do for your mother. We experienced it all. From using natural medicinal treatments to even consider choosing a non-commercial route to cure mom’s disease. We were all desperate and willing to see my mom live.
I am happy because I told my mom that if she was to lose her life to this disease, I want her to go down fighting. This is exactly what she did. My mom, fought to the very end. Her will to live remained constant, even till her very last breath. Her death was peaceful, and I’m very grateful for that.
My advice to my fellow readers is to appreciate your parents, because today I can stand tall and say that I have no regrets!! I feel the pains of not having a mother every single day. Its hard, but it something that you have to grow to live with. Cherish your parents like gems and the rewards would be more than worth it.
Shahad the Sentinel
System: A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.
I believe that there are many systems around the world that control and govern us. Whether we choose to live within these systems is entirely up to us. These past couple days I learnt that there are many people who are hell bent on getting other individuals to go against societal norms. They claim by doing this we can break free from the shackles that has held us for so many years.
Government, pharmaceuticals, religion, and the world conglomerates all want us to live or behave in a certain way, in order for them to gain the majority of the benefit, whether financial or otherwise.
There are many people who do not work a 9-5 and break away from what is customarily referred to as ‘job’. They tend to have more free time and get to live and see the world in ways that others won’t. This is of course their lifestyle of choice. Many of these lifestyles tend to be artistic in nature. The world has been crafted to put emphasis on corporate lifestyles and is determined in the direction of capitalism. Gone are the days where writers were respected and actors viewed as kings in their own right. Today’s world focuses on how we can make money, and how fast we can make it.
I personally do not see a problem living within a system. It is your choice. It is your life, and no one should be able to tell you how to live it. I am tired of so many organisations coming up to me and explaining how much money I can make by selling or marketing a certain product.. They explain that the established entities would refuse to promote this product because it would harm their business in one way or the other. These organisations are 100% convincing. They make it seem that you can live a perfect lifestyle in mere months.
I am not saying that what these organisations claim is untrue. Those presenting the ideologies are living proof that you can be a success. Its scary. The majority of these people claim that they have left their jobs and have made a new life by marketing and selling certain products that are not socially accepted as the norm.
My experience with these individuals has been nothing short of robotic. All they can talk about is their product and their new lifestyle, and how much it has benefited them. In terms of how their mom is going, their school work or other activities in their life, I have no clue what they are up to. Only because there is NOTHING these individuals talk about besides everything I aforementioned.
I refuse to give up my personality and my well being for the sake of promoting a product 24/7. From the little I do understand, these organisations have several conferences, as well as books and guides that train you how to market and sell, and become the ultimate success that you want to be, WITHOUT hard work. An easy ticket beyond the challenges of life.
Whether you want to stay in a system or join a new one, the choice is entirely up to you. No one should ever force their perceptions on your current mindset. You already have your goals and don’t let anyone come in the way of that.
This weekend I learnt a very important lesson. The way you live your life must be embedded in stone. Your standards must be sure, and no one should have the strength to sway you from your initial decisions. “The lines of communication is open, when she is ready to receive her healing” was a sentence that was repeated to me twice this morning. People are persistent, but people also need to realise that everybody has the right to live their life the way that they want to.
Shahad the Sentinel
I have tried so hard to find the time and energy to write something on tumblr. Tonight I have a little bit of both.
Many times I wrote and stated that I am going through a difficult patch in my life. Those times have now been overshadowed by what life has now thrown at me. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer in March of this year. Since then, her disease has progressed considerably and its taken a toll on not only her, but the close family members who love and care for her.
For those who keep up with my blog posts, would know me to be quite the social entrepreneur. I was deeply involved in anything and everything. I made the decision to stay at home and take care of my mom 24/7. I have left all organisations, including a job that I had recently gotten.
I would have delved deeper into the details about this experience, but for those of you who know me well, I push forward to turn everything negative into something positive. So look out for something special relating to this very challenging battle that I am fighting with my mom.
All I can say though, is that the feelings associated with this sacrifice isn’t the easiest to swallow. Every single day I come face to face with emotions, and at times its overbearing. A sacrifice isn’t suppose to feel nice. Its not suppose to be something that is enjoyed. Its suppose to be something that you do, in order to see greener pastures on the other side.
Sometimes I am faced with guilt, anger, tiredness and exhaustion. However, seeing my mom battle through with this devil of an illness, makes me wonder if I should feel anything at all. She is going through ten times more than I can ever handle.
I hope that people do not expect me to be 100% happy. The truth of the matter is, I am not. I do not like seeing like my mother like this, and I wishfully think that one day I would get up to the end of this horrible nightmare. Sadly, I pinch myself everyday and I feel pain every single time.
I am not 100% comfortable either, but you know what… My mom has 0% comfortability, and I wonder why should I complain? The more and more I dwell on how I feel, makes me realise that I shouldn’t feel anything to begin with. “Always remember, somebody suffering more than you”- A line that resonates in my mind from time to time. When dealing with someone who is ill…. the ultimate sacrifice is always putting your emotions LAST. Make your relative the one who always comes first.
I lost contact with ALL my friends. Even if they try to contact me. I don’t usually respond. I don’t feel to chat with anyone. I hate to tell people how I feel. I rather deal with this on my own. It may not be the best way, but its my way. It may not be working exactly the way it should, but I’m making myself believe that its keeping me sane.
My thoughts have become corrupted. It goes way beyond my wildest thoughts. I look at something and I convolute it in my mind with gruesome depictions and worse case scenarios, to make me feel as if the current situation I am in, is ten times better than what it really is.
I know this entire post, doesn’t say much. However, its something I needed to get off my chest. Writing this makes me feel better about the decisions I have made, and the journey that I am embarking along with my mom. Fighting this disease has become my life. I’m completely surrounded by it. Its consuming me abstractly, while for mom, its consuming her in every sense of the phrase.
Thank you guys for sticking around;. Sending me support and love. I really do appreciate it!!
Shahad the Sentinel
Its definetly been a while since I have last been on tumblr. Needless to say that the challenges in my life have become much more difficult than I originally anticipated. Its hard to even publicly express what’s wrong in my life, simply because its a reality I don’t want to face.
For the most though what I can say is that I am coping and I am doing well. My intention is to start back writing here on this platform with a lot of new experiences to share. I hope all my wonderful tumblr followers are doing awesome and thanks so much to all who sent me messages. I really do appreciate them. You guys would soon get some blog posts from me :)