12 Reminders To My 29 Year Old Self.

Hello Beautiful,

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In a few days you’ll celebrate your last birthday in your 20s.

You’ll be all of 29! Can you believe it?

I know you have no ‘plans’ for the day, but that’s ok. You have all year to celebrate.

Before the day arrives however, your 28 year old self has a few things to remind you of.

1. You are BEAUTIFUL.
Yes you! From your soul to every dip and curve of your 5ft 2 inches frame. If you ever start doubting that, find a mirror.

2. Live in the moment.
I know the introvert in you like the ‘idea’ of spontaneity, but not the reality of it.
I know you like things planned; every I dotted and every T crossed, but it’s ok to not be so rigid. Don’t be so serious about everything. Let go and enjoy the unplanned moments that arise.

3. Smile.
What’s up with you and your RBF? You have a beautiful smile, use it.

4. Hold on to your standards.
I know I don’t really need to remind you, but as you get older the question of your singleness may arise on your tongue and that of others and you may consider lowering your standards, but don’t. Your list isn’t too long and neither is it superficial. Is it hard to match up to? Good things usually are.

5. Always remember your worth.
You are a sexual being, not a sexual object. You are no man’s ‘temp,’ or ‘FWB.’ You are not casual.
You are a queen so don’t ever chase after men (that’s how Queens lose their crowns). Behave, speak and carry yourself like the royalty you are.

6. Take risks.
Go ahead. It’ll probably not work out as planned, but at least you’d know.

7. Follow your dreams.
I know you are passionate about writing and poetry and you live for telling stories, so tell them. That dance class you want to take, take it! You won’t drown learning to swim. I promise you, so go learn to. That trip to Cuba? Don’t get to 30 and not take it.

8. Never apologise for your presence.
If you have to, you shouldn’t be there. Leave!

9. Keep speaking your mind.
I know you’ve tried to not always say what’s on your mind, and you’ve mostly failed and although sometimes it’s ok to shut up, don’t ever feel pressured into being quiet. Let no one reduce your truth to political correctness.

10. Love hard and unreservedly.

11. Forgive quickly.
I know you have the potential to cling to hurtful things, said and done, but that’ll make you bitter, not better. So forgive others but most importantly, forgive yourself.

12. Stay humble.
Never get too big or too important for family, friends, strangers or God.
If you find yourself becoming conceited, prideful and too important, please go in search of yourself as you’d have lost who I know you are.

Until next year, live, laugh, love.

P.S. I love you!

Signed: Khammyie

Sometimes I feel like an intruder in a white man’s world

Everytime I watch the news and hear a crime has been committed, my first thought is, please don’t let it be a black person.’

It sounds bad for many reasons, but it’s my truth.

I cringe when I see a black girl/woman behaving outside of the ladylikeness prescribed.

I am embarrassed when I see a black boy/man acting boisterous or ‘rough.’

God forbid they should talk loudly in public or get an attitude with someone who may have well been rude and deserving of an attitude.

I mentioned it to a friend the other day.

I told him I sometimes feel I’m carrying the burden of an entire race on my shoulders.

He said I shouldn’t. ‘You are not responsible for someone else’s behaviour’ he said. ‘That shouldn’t burden you.’

‘It does though, ‘ I replied.

‘Why?’

“Because so many negative stereotypes have been attached to us as blacks and I just hate when we play into the stereotypes,” I ended.

That was days ago and as I sat on the bus on my way to work this morning, something happened that reminded me of that conversation.

There was a loud speaker on steroids sitting behind me and she was white.

Her phone conversation sounded more like a public service announcement, but it didn’t bother me (too much).

Why? Because she was white.

Or so I thought. With closer and deeper thought, I realized it wasn’t just her colour; I was experiencing was what I’ll refer to as the ‘owner-squatter’ syndrome.

You know when you visit some people’s house and their subtleties remind you you’re a guest here and can be told to leave at their choosing and as such, you are constantly walking on egg shells?

The ‘owner’ is however allowed to do as he/she chooses, but as the guest, you dare not do the same.

The owner sets the rules.
The squatter guest follows.

Are these ‘trumped’ up feelings? They may well be.

But it sometimes prove difficult to overlook the fact that racism is hardwired into some aspects of society and blacks and minorities are oftentimes made to feel like squatters intruding on a white washed world.

And no, my feelings are not in any way related to my current location.

I’ve been experiencing these feelings for as long as I’ve found out that, a popular notion subscribed to by aspects of society, is that , ‘all men are created equal; some more equal than others’

I’ve felt this way for as long as i’ve been able to read, see and understand that blacks are oftentimes required to abandon, disguise or apologise for things that are intrinsically black, if said things are not accepted by the whiter society.

I’ve felt this way since the negative and belittling talks about blacks and minorities, left closets and dining tables to broadcast themselves in media and on political platforms, forced me to understand that my people are regarded as the lesser side of the equal.

Most days though, the truth that blacks, white, yellow and copper coloured are all owners here, is unquestionable.

Most days I KNOW I belong here as much as any one else does and shall not apologise for mine nor my people’s presence.

But then there are those days, when I truly feel like an intruder in a white man’s world.

An Open Letter to Derek Morgan.

Dear Morgan,

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I can’t say it was love at first sight. I’ve watched every season and every episode of Criminal Minds and when I started in season one, you grabbed me, but it wasn’t for very good reasons.

I thought your character was a bit forced, staged.

I however saw potential in you Morgan and as such, attributed the unnaturalness of your character to you still getting to know yourself.

You heard me and your potential took root and grew and blossomed and by season three, I was smittened.

Morgan, like twinsies our emotions jinxed as I cried when you cried, was sad when you were and I turned my frown upside down and smiled when you did.

With bated breathe I waited up for you each week and when one episode wasn’t enough, I binged on you entire weekends at a time.

Fast forward to season 11. We spent  13 hours together one Sunday as I caught up on missed episodes and when I was done, I felt fulfilled, accomplished.

The internet soon started spreading propoganda that you were about to leave, but I refused to believe.

After all we’ve been through; all the time we spent together; you wouldn’t dare leave without giving me prior notice. 

Perish the thought! Morgan is too much of a gentleman to do me such ill.

So Tuesday night, almost a week after episode 18 was aired; after everyone else had come and gone, I decided it was our time together.

I skipped gym, went home, poured myself a glass of grape juice, wrapped myself in my coziest blanket and got to watching.

An uneasy feeling began to overtake me and I cringed as they tortured you and cried tears of joy when you were rescued.

I was as happy as you were when you figured Savannah was pregnant, but by the end of episode 18, I was crushed, mortified, dying.

I hollered when I realized my worst fear was actually real and my feelings toward Savannah quickly changed.

I bawled and complained to my best friend, all the while blaming Savannah.

‘If she didn’t come into his life and get married and pregnant, Morgan would still be here.”

I can’t say you broke my heart. That would be an expression too mild to fully describe what you did to me.

You walked on and all over my heart on your way out and it is for this reason I limit the number of persons I get close to.

I got close to you and you hurt me, terribly!

Morgan, I don’t do well with goodbyes and you forced me to say goodbye.

You left and took my dream, of making my debut alongside you on the show, with you. Talk about a dream deferred!

I love Criminal Minds and the team, especially Dr. Reid, but how can I bring myself to watch knowing you are no longer there?

How can I continue watching without feeling like i’m constantly pouring salt in an open wound?

Morgan, i’m in the denial stage of my grieving process and don’t know if i’ll ever get to acceptance, but I love you enough to give you wings and allow you fly away.

Maybe someday, somewhere, we’ll meet again.

Walk good Derek Morgan.

Sincerely Camelia.

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When God gets cancelled.

A few weeks ago, I was extremely weak and tired from battling the flu.

I went to work all week with the headaches and all the signs and symptoms that came with the flu and then Friday came and I decided i’d take Sabbath off to catch up on sleep and just rest.

Shortly thereafter, I started thinking of how I pushed through and went to work everyday because, by way of contract, I have an appointment to show up between 10 and 6, Monday to Friday and that appointment has to be met.

Could I have taken a sick day? Sure.
Did I? No!

So why did I feel the need to, though feeling much better than i did earlier in week, not make my appointment with God?

Why did I feel it was ok to cancel at the last minute without notice.

I got up Sabbath morning, went to church and was totally glad I did.

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That caused me to think about the many times when God became the cancelled appointment.

You know, in the mornings when you are running late and the first thing that gets cancelled is your time alone with God.

Those times when prayer gets cancelled because you stayed up watching tv (or doing something else) and before you can whisper a word you are out cold.

Those times when God and Godly things get cancelled in pursuit of everything else that we think we want and need.

Those times break God’s heart, but does He ever cancel his appointments with us?

Does He forget to show up and wake us up?

Does He forget to extend grace and mercy to us?

Does He get too busy with something or someone else and cancel His time with us? Never.

And that’s because He loves us everlastingly and unconditionally and wants more than anything else to be in a relationship with us.

God’s always on time for our appointments with Him. Don’t just leave Him waiting there. Sometimes you may be late or you may have to leave early, but still show up.

Lesson from a boy on a bus!

A lady and her small son came onto the bus, but there was only one seat.

She told him to sit and he obeyed, all the time looking up at her with a sense of trepidation etched on his face.

She too kept her eyes on him as if reassuring him that she was there and therefore had no reason to be afraid.

However, after a while, I noticed he looked more at ease, more comfortable and he stopped looking up at her.

Instead, he started looking around at everything and everyone else in the bus.

His mother’s eyes? They stayed fixed on him all the time until a seat became available when she stopped looking and instead took his hand in hers.

I noticed them the entire journey and immediately thought of my relationship with God.

I thought of how when i’m afraid, uneasy, uncomfortable … I keep my eyes and mind stayed on God. I stay looking up at him.

The moment I start feeling more comfortable and things start working out, my eyes and mind start looking at and focusing on everything but Him.

But like this boy’s mother, God’s eyes stay fixed on me, reassuring me He’s always there.

There are those times when i’ve totally taken him out of my view and instead of just looking, He takes my hand.

He’s looking at you too or maybe He’s holding your hand. Whichever way, He’s there!

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