So Laura says if she was making money for the number of people she’s told about the Working Holiday Visa to Great Britain, she would be on her way to real wealth. However, the Sister has given me a real idea. Maybe I’ll just go to England. Head off into Babylon for a while. I know I never intended to make Trinidad a permanent choice. Never. It was a means to an end for me and that’s always how I saw it.
I just want to get out of the Caribbean. I am willing to go anywhere that’s not here and I can make a life for myself. This visa lets you work while you’re there, and there’s an opportunity to stay longer at the end of the year. I know I am extremely employable and have a body of experience behind me that would serve me well if I go.
My Iya thinks it’s an excellent idea. I don’t think I will be able to talk to my mother, my Mummy about this as easily. She’s coming in a week and half, and this is a move I want to make in the next five or six months.
My mother has this way of shooting down my ideas, being dismissive of everything I say I want to do. It doesn’t matter to her that I have been committed to developing Sunhead since 1996, yet I’ve had to make all kinds of turns, take jobs I didn’t want to, swallow my pride and take shit for the last eight years and I haven’t been able to get to where I want to. As far as my mother is concerned, my current job is all I should hope for and unless I am going to do something with the same amount stability and money. She keeps telling me that a year is not long enough to create a good impression on anyone. Me, I think a year is more than long enough.
When it comes to my mother and my dreams for myself, my choices, my life, I keep remembering what this seer had said to me: That my mother isn’t always good for me. That she holds me back on purpose and doesn’t always do things for me for the right reasons. I have also noticed that since I’ve been listening to her more, the more bogged down I get. I’m not blaming her, I’ve always known this. For a long time I confused respect for her and taking her ‘motherly’ advice, which I always question, with what I felt was the right choices, right decisions for me. Whenever I have seriously talked to her about leaving the Caribbean, she has been hesitant to support such an effort.
Is it a bad thing to say that I think she’s jealous of me sometimes? I think she is. In a lot of ways, I think because she had to give up so many of her own dreams, and her own life has had such disappointments that there are times she is adamant that I give up my own dreams and settle down to her reality right quick.
Except this is not my reality. Her life is not my life, and this is something we come to loggerheads over regularly.
I remember an incident when I was in Second Form at school (that’s age 13-14, I don’t know what grade that is in the North American system) and I, along with almost my entire class, failed our final exams. It came to the point where the Headmaster asked my mother to choose:They were promoting the class to Third Form, based on the requests or ascent of their their parents. My mother chose to keep me back that year. When I protested, her words to me, pools of wisdom and the soul or reason, “I stopped down in Second Form.”
That incident I think really solidified a great deal of mistrust for me, and although I’ve forgiven her, I don’t think I’ve forgotten it.
When I tell her I am dying, that making choices based on pragmatism have led me into situations and to live a life where I remain unfulfilled for the security of a pay check that doesn’t cover my expenses, she puts down my talk of escape, my talk of making money working for myself and my dreams for Sunhead. She does it in a subtle ways as well as flat out telling me I’m foolish and selfish. She tells me I need to wake up, and give up my dreams. I tell her I think doing things her way is a dream, a bad dream. She doesn’t get it.
I often think she is quite happy for me to not live up to my potential, as long as I can pay my bills and more important be close to her. She’s talking about buying a house in Trinidad, and I’ve been telling her for at least five years I don’t want to stay in the Caribbean. What should I do? Tell her my plans, or just wait it out, and just tell her when I am ready to make my move?
See her attempts to hold me back, translate into me holding myself back. That is why I don’t trust her advice anymore, because I recognise clearly that this is what I’ve done. I’ve allowed the things she tells me, to run itself into a loop, a tape that plays over and over in my mind. I win sometimes, and for a while I am flying and believe in all possibilities.
I’ll tell her that I can see how I can manage this, that I can hurl myself against the walls the society that I was born into, and scale them… stand triumphant. She urges me to take the path of least resistance. I often wonder, if I were in her position, if I would counsel my own child to do that.
The reason why I think my mother worries me the most is because I know her so well. She is always telling me that she knows who I am, and I think she knows me to some degree, but to this day she doesn’t see me, she only sees what she needs to see. She and I disagree in many ways about the picture of me she holds onto.
She’s also getting older and she wants to be closer to my brother and I, and wants me to have children so she can have grandchildren to spoil. I can understand that, isn’t that what we all want? Except, I don’t think I should be held to ransom to it. I love her, but you know, like I’m sure you know, I have to live m life, not hers and certainly I don’t think I can conform to her idea of what my life should be.
Maybe she will surprise me. She has on occasion done this, but we will see.
The life I know is meant for me, is out there in the world, not ‘safe’ as a slave in the belly of the corporate Caribbean. I don’t want to bash the Caribbean, it’s just that this place ain’t ready for me yet. I’ve been hearing that call since I know myself… “Come light traveller, chameleon, shape shifter, tenacious imaginer, sweet girl, goddess incarnate; come out into the greater experience.”
Today, I got a definitive message about leaving the Caribbean and about going to England. It was clear and not muddled or garbled. I know everything is going to be all right with me. I can feel it. Deep in my guts, I feel it. The same way I know that I haven’t found my place, my space yet. I haven’t hit flat road for a long time, and home and my heart, are still ahead of me, and no place I’ve been so far.
So I am preparing and plotting an escape vector.
Independence, comfort and growth in my independence that is what my life is meant for. Wealth and prosperity, the truest kind and mine to have and hold, yet they are ahead of me. To find the kind of man that can equal me, I have to start going out into the world and what is more, I have to be the equal of the kind of man I want.
I guess in the most real terms, even more so than in the world outside the Caribbean, there is no room or space for advancement or real progress in the society I live in. Not that I think England is that place, but it’s a bigger stepping stone that Trinidad, and I just have realised I’m not capable of settling out of pragmatism any more and it’s time for me to move on and get out of here, go and do the damn thing.
Like Laura said, “If I have to be frustrated, I’d rather be frustrated there.”
There, it’s easier to move from one place to the next and provide more accessible options for alleviating that frustration that Trinidad or Barbados. It’s a matter of a few hundred pounds to leave England, it’s thousands of dollars here.
Besides, I gots peoples in Hinglan. Plenty peoples. Close peoples. Meh know I not going into Babylon alone.
I am going to be all right. I keep remembering Miss Delores in Merle’s little botanica in Barbados. She kept telling me I was going to be all right, and as she said it I started to shiver from head to toe, waves and waves running through my body as my spirit recognised the words of truth coming from the mouth of a stranger; a woman I met once.
Too many people see some kind of sparkly light in me, see my stardust shining like the light that will not go out no matter how low or small it goes down.
I ain’t afraid to spread it out over the world. We need light-filled people in this place. Besides, I am cautioned to use my powers for good and to defend those who need defenders.
I am Osun’s Blessed Child, Daughter of Ifa. I am meant for higher orders, priestly duties and to help move energies for good in my own life and in the life others. I can sense my destiny coming towards me, and I can feel myself rising to meet it. It is out there and I must meet it.
So is it really escape, or inevitable motion manifesting new realties? It feels like the Universe is bending to accommodate my view of my world, my view of myself and my life. Whatever it is, the vector for it’s execution exists clearly in my mind’s eye. I trace it with my fingers, fumbling and losing it for seconds while my reflexes forces unseen muscles to react and catch it back. It is fusing itself…. fusing fast.
No-one can hold it back, not sungoddess-haters, not my mother who would seek to keep me ‘safe’ in an effort to ‘protect’ me, not even me. If I am meant to burn, I’ll burn. But I think it’s a shining thing for me…. my name is a variation of ‘light’ in Swahilli.