Memories and Rantings from Traditions

It’s Good Friday which means the country and maybe the world will pretend to be holy or good for a few hours. I can’t pretend to be good, but what I’m doing right now is gonna make me feel good for a couple of hours; maybe even longer.

So growing up in the old country (rural Manchester, Jamaica) you didn’t do much on Good Friday. When I was younger, I’d wake up early so that I could watch the crucifixion movies before my siblings got up and started playing music to annoy me and before my parents went into the kitchen to make breakfast (if they did). If we were all going to church then breakfast would not be made by both my parents. There’d be bun and cheese and you’d better help yourself.

This week I’ve been listening to old gospel songs that I recall hearing on the radio on Sunday mornings while getting ready for church and watching on the television Sunday evenings while my sister did my hair for school in some hairstyle I cried my eyes out begging her to change when I was growing up. Beggers can’t be choosers and my mom didn’t have time to do my hair in the mornings so it was either hideous hairstyles as can be seen in exhibit A

 

Photo from Xien
Exhibit A: hideous hairstyle #1; I still hate it!

 

OR

have no hair at all please see exhibit B

Photo from Xien (1)
Exhibit B: I might have hair or this was the first time I’d experienced hair loss
DSC_0454
I don’t look that much different from exhibit B and this was 14 maybe 15 years apart except I voluntarily chopped my hair off

back to the music.

What I love the most about music is just how universally it has the power to create the perfect aesthetics if used correctly.  On Good Friday, most radio stations that aren’t gospel would play gospel music for a few hours in the morning and then return to their regular programming by mid-day. They had the worst selections and it annoyed the good out of me.

My family would make our way to church, churches often had baptisms on Good Friday. I think I was baptised on a Good Friday afternoon (I’m a backslider) or maybe not. During the service, we were very reflective and solemn then we’d go home and watch more Jesus movies as I liked to call them and eat bun and cheese and hope my mom made dinner. I disliked that part of Easter, not much cooking was done as parents used bun and cheese as an excuse. This tradition lives on, I’m away from my parents and I definitely will not be cooking today.

I’ve got an assortment of Easter buns (no dry bun in my pantry by the way) and enough cheese to make the buns extra nice because they don’t need it.

I shall also be watching some Jesus movies; I might attempt to watch The Passion of the Christ all by myself and I’ll watch Prince of Egypt or a really good Bible Story animation after. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend church, it’s been a very long time actually. But as I write this I’m listening to Come on In the Room by The Georgia Mass Choir and before that, I was playing Tremaine Hawkins songs.

Now, if you know gospel music you’ll understand what I’m talking about. But if you don’t know gospel music like I do, let me help you.

Bishop Walter Hawkins and Lady Tremaine Hawkins sang The Potters House. you probably heard this song on the radio a lot and had no idea who sang it. But if you did then you know good gospel music.

If you are Jamaican and not new to gospel music you would have grown up listening to Love 101 and will agree with me that they used to be the plug in their time. You might recall that they often played this group called Change especially during the summer and on the weekends. Change sang some great reggae gospel songs like “ Take The Lord in Your Life” and “Jesus is Lord“. If you can appreciate a really good baseline you can thank me later as long as you use really good earphones. They have other great songs and I am on the hunt to find their album.

Good gospel music is dying out, and it’s getting to me. What’s happening now is a waste of decibels to me and I wish some of these people would stop. I won’t call any names because trust me they know themselves.

Another dying tradition is good Easter Bun.

trash
trash in its finest form

Now, this is a mess! This bun tells me that I better have a lot of cheese to help me to eat it and lemonade to help wash it down. For without these other elements this sorry attempt to recreate a time honoured tradition shall surely stop in the throat of the individual who decides to eat this and pretend that it actually tastes good. I don’t know what this is but it’s not worthy to be called an Easter bun must be a summer bun cause only when people well hungry inna the hot sun them swallow dem smt yah.

Translation of the last two lines:

This is in no shape or form an Easter Bun because this is the type of product people consume during hot summer days when they are too tired and annoyed to prepare a decent meal.

 

DSC_0171.JPG
From the best escovitch spot in Port Royal

 

Escovitch fish is another tradition that’s dying out. Not everyone can escovitch fish, and not everyone can eat or pronounce escovitch. I’ve never tried to make it and I need adult supervision to eat it. As the tradition of Lent was to give up certain things, like red meat and alcohol among other things, fish became the protein of choice because based on the movies we watch that was all Jesus ate. Or am I the only one who got that from the movies?

OH WELL…

It’s time for my next Jesus movie and I am definitely not gonna be confused today.

There are other traditions but people ruin them and I don’t want to talk about them anymore.

COM

 

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Odd Things Become Good When I Have A Breakdown

That was such an odd topic but that’s what happens when you’re an odd person like myself. One has said that I’m mellow dramatic but then again he’s allowed to (I love you too General!)

So this post comes from several happenings. Recently I had a meeting with my boss just to check up on me. I think he was concerned that I just get my work done and go home without ever complaining about anything. I like to bottle up what’s bothering me, mostly because I’m passive aggressive. But who isn’t?

Yes, I know you aren’t so kudos to you!

If you are passive-aggressive you’ve got a friend in me. That was a toy story reference in case you were lost.

My boss recommended that I quit with the creatively confused college girl stuff but this is a once in a lifetime thing and I have big dreams for this name. Trademark soon to come. The name of my blog itself was an off happening; well kind of.

Here’s the story

I was in a communications class and we were looking at new media technology and the assignment was to create a blog. We had the option to give the blog whatever name we chose to, so the blog could just be your name or a topic you think will be the subject or relating to your posts. I like to be different, but I was actually not in the mood so I decided against using my name or a topic I could write about on a regular basis. I couldn’t understand why I was struggling with something that seemed so simple and I was running out of time too. And right then and there, after one of my classroom breakdowns, I decided to use alliteration to showcase my creativity and nonconformist tendencies. I was just being lazy though…the same thing happened with my logo.

The things that I make in photoshop usually result from wanting to give up and making a bunch of mistakes that I think look good. I really don’t care what anyone else thinks, at least not until I’m in bed and struggling to fall asleep and my brain decides to replay every questionable decision I’ve ever made.

My logo CC

was another assignment that I had absolutely no interest in doing, but as the good meme goes:flip

I usually feel better after my little tantrum and get a good grade. My logo was the result of a mistake but I played it off as if I totally wanted it to look that way and I’ve stuck to it for the past three years and will probably stick to it for another thirty years.

My current odd thing is my personality and blog being used to promote a job site and give job search advice. I remember at a very young age when Facebook was a thing, declaring that I was fluent in sarcasm. Its one of the things that haunt me on a regular basis but look where it’s gotten me. I’m known for saying weird things and it attracts people to me; I am their breath of fresh air.

My job is to be the odd one that holds the group together. Like I legit get paid to be myself, the nonconformist who’s afraid to physically take chances. But give me pen and paper or my laptop and I’ll blow your mind or just make you chuckle.

Did you actually expect this post to make a tonne of sense? Welcome to my world of confusion, pull up a chair. You’ll need a seat to tolerate my thoughts and ramblings.

Creatively Yours

COM

 

Broken by the Benefit of the Doubt

I’ve been writing what I hope will be my first book.

Thing is I haven’t been adding much to it as my new job kinda makes it difficult for me to write anything other than stuff for my job lately. I’ve just had a thought that may be a quick solution to this. I’ll either post to my blog while I’m on break at work or do some work on my book.

The book, by the way, will most likely be self-published if published at all. We’ll see how that goes.

Back to the topic…

I know my blog is all over the place but have you checked the name of my blog? Based on my bio I may seem a bit naive and optimistic, but the truth is I’m quite pessimistic. Well I know I am but the character assessments I’ve done say otherwise. But who knows me better than I do? Probably my mother-in-law.  Oh and the urban dictionary because they totally get me.

So according to the urban dictionary, I’m optimistically pessimistic…but I wonder if I could also be pessimistically optimistic. I don’t think that’s a thing as one would cancel out the other. Right?

Back to the topic…again

So I might just have given my book its title with this post. Here’s the thing, I don’t really like people but they don’t know that because my mother taught us to never treat people differently no matter what their situation is or how they’ve treated you or who they are. This doesn’t apply to my current neighbours though, I really don’t like them so I’ll continue to ignore and dislike them.

Back to the topic…seriously

For me, I give people the benefit of the doubt almost automatically and automatically it comes back to bite me in the ass. Thankfully not literally because I bruise easily.

Group projects- I try to take on new people to see their strengths and how I can include them in my network of creativity and confusion but they are waaaaay too confusing and lack creativity even though they told me they had what I needed.

Music-I hear a few songs by an artiste and I think oh their album might not be so bad, a can only listen to the song(s) that brought me to the album. I might have brought that let down on myself but isn’t that what the benefit of the doubt is?

Relationships-They talk their best game and I get sucked into their web of lies. I thought he was one of the good guys until he wasn’t. Like the guy, I wasted two years of my life on and all he did was suck the energy out of me. The others were easy to walk away from because I sensed the disappointment.

Snacks-A certain potato chip and their bag of air. Snacks that promise to be great and fresh but are stale and make me want my money back.

Giving people and things the benefit of the doubt is easy but its also hard. When your conscience warns you not to but you go against it and do it and regret it. Like the time I tried to go to my first ever after-school fete with my friends and got mugged. I knew I shouldn’t have gone because, (1.) I don’t like crowds and would not know what to do. (b.) if my mom found out she would’ve knocked me out because I didn’t have her permission to stay out late much less go to some fete where she knew absolutely no one who would be there and (3.) I’ve never had a birthday party or any party (even now) so what was I trying to do?

Needless to say, my ass has not been to another party or fete since. Except for office parties and I think that was like twice. Oh and the past summer when I was the camp photographer and worked the events. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Police officers- this comes from the way they treated me when I went to report that I had just been mugged. (I mean in the movies that’s what they do and I expected that that was also the right thing to do.) Yeah, the woman at the desk laughed at me because I was crying and looked like I wanted to beat the life out of her for laughing at me. She thought I was crying because I knew my mom would’ve beaten my ass. While that has some truth to it, I was really upset because that was my only phone, as a matter of fact, my bother lent it to me and it was a cool phone at the time and I knew I’d never get another great phone again just to teach me a lesson.

sophia Continue reading “Broken by the Benefit of the Doubt”

#Cringe Moment

If you overthink things like I do, there is never a day that your brain won’t choose the most inopportune time to drum up the past to remind you of a moment it failed you. Lately, I’ve been having them more times than I would actually care but I’m determined to embrace them as a true confusingly creative college chick.

Today’s episode could be the reason for my sudden headache but hey I’m gonna share it with you.

So once again I’m applying to work and the worst thing happened. The application portal requires that I state the salary I expect to receive annually. First of all, if I should state that bit of information I’m sure my application will be a laughing stock and perhaps serve as office humour for quite awhile. In my head, this is what happens with everything I have ever said or done that I consider being even remotely embarrassing.

Like the time I was in the studio for my radio prerecording session and decided to snap the “fun” moments. They might seem fun but I had no business doing it. Yes, I have a snapchat account, and no, I’m not an impulsive “snapper“. The things I have posted on my snapchat…oh you would cringe for me!

That’s even worse if you ask me. Someone else having a cringe moment for you or worse cringing with you and even worse cringing because of you. Some people would say that it’s okay to embrace your not so ideal moments and I would ask that person to prove that they aren’t a robot. It’s all good until your brain loses focus and replays moments that you had hoped it would have forgotten to make room for the stuff you stayed up three nights in preparation for your finals and tried to cram into it.

Cringe moments with your family are cute, sometimes, if you don’t overthink it. But if you’re dating and something happens that’s cringe-worthy…please believe that it will haunt you forever. Especially if you are no longer with that person.

Remember that paper you wrote and swore it was the best thing you would ever produce? Reread it why don’t you? What’s that? You didn’t cringe? Well whoop-de-do! I take my hat off to you!

But you still have future cringes to come. Like your graduation, or wedding or some funeral that you’ll have to give a eulogy at or even your own. Haven’t you seen like everybody’s wedding video that’s shared somewhere on the world wide web? Too many of them! But so glad to have them! That way I can cringe at someone else and give myself a break.

Well, that’s all, I had a cringe moment and thought I’d write about it but it turns out I didn’t actually write about the moment of disquietude.

For now, I am the cringing and confused college girl.

 

 

Am I Jonah or Chieniel

Hey there! It’s been a while I know, but my excuse is the inevitable I had so many assignments to do I just couldn’t spare the time.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I bet you’re wondering what this is about. And some of you may have guessed it, I’m giving you an update on my unadventurous life and comforting myself, sort of.

So I wrote some time ago that I had a fear of success and just before I started this post I googled it and The Jonah Complex was a part of my search results.  I should be writing a letter requesting financial assistance towards the completion of my studies and I am procrastinating because I’ve been in a slump with my writing for about two months now and I’m also afraid that my letter will not only go unanswered but even worse, rejected.

So what if it is? I wouldn’t be the first to be denied a scholarship.

Moving on…

Please tell me you know who Jonah is. I don’t personally know a fellow named Jonah, but hopefully, in the future, I will. Yes, I think the name Jonah would suit my son, let’s hope his father will agree. But that’s beside the point!

The Jonah I’m referring to is the prophet who was sent by God to warn the people of Nineveh of their impending doom. So Jonah’s challenge was to face a very wicked set of people and tell them that because of their distasteful behaviour they were gonna die. I mean who wouldn’t run from that kind of responsibility?

Jonah being swallowed up by a whale was fortunate but I know I’d want the whale to chew me before he swallowed for two reasons.

  1. Who swallows their food without chewing? I mean come on! Your mother didn’t raise a barbarian, did she? I’m very concerned about this creature being so careless and irresponsible with their health.
  2. I’m trying to die here so if you’re gonna be helpful do it right.

Now according to Wikipedia, which I shouldn’t be quoting right now because I was taught that it isn’t credible; the Jonah Complex is the fear of success which prevents self-actualization, or the realization of one’s potential. It is the fear of one’s own greatness, the evasion of one’s destiny, or the avoidance of exercising one’s talents. As the fear of achieving a personal worst may serve to motivate personal growth, likewise the fear of achieving a personal best may hinder achievement. (some CTRL+C was used just now along with CTRL+V).

How is it applicable to me?

You must not have been following. I’m supposed to be writing a letter requesting help to fund my tuition but because I’m afraid that my letter may not get the response I need I’m hesitant to write it. Deep down I know that I could write a letter that will blow the minds of the audience it is intended for but this semester has taken so much from me I can’t quite bring myself to put the words on paper.

But here I am and I’d appreciate it if you would stop judging me right now.

As a student of communication, it shouldn’t be this hard to write a letter and believe me that’s not even the issue. Boy, have I got layers? I don’t like asking for help. There I said it! It’s not pride, or is it? The idea of being rewarded for proving with some extra effort that I’m worthy of being compensated or rewarded just doesn’t make any sense to me. No these people are not familiar with me or my work, so they can’t just get up and invest in me as I’d like them to, so I need to prove to them that I am worthy of even their consideration.

Pssssh, they’ve made worse decisions. Not saying that I would be a regret. I’m a safe bet… it doesn’t get much safer than Chieniel. I’m also not saying that these people who reward students with grants and scholarships make bad choices.

So I guess there is some Jonah in me but at the end of the day, I am Chieniel.

Chieniel the communications specialist student who is worthy of a scholarship that will ensure that she is able to complete her Bachelors degree in Communication Arts and Technology, which she is excelling at just so you know. A degree meant for her; let’s just say that she puts the C-O-M in communicate. She wants to write, to represent, to create, share and impact. To do this she must complete her studies, however, she is financially challenged and this adds to her fear of being successful.

I hope this makes sense.

Yours in frustration

another struggling college girl

(Disney songs motivated this post)

 

2:24 p.m.-2:43 p.m. thoughts

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017 I sat with my computer in my hot house and tried to prepare a proposal for my first documentary which is actually coursework. I recalled a previous lecture on creativity that my favourite lecturer had recently which left me puzzled.

Here I am, the “creativelyconfusedcollegegirl” and my work and life was lacking just that. Yes there are those who will say I am one of the most creative persons that they know but I have to say I could be a lot better. So I tried to be creative. One thing that stood out most to me from the lecture was that creativity can be boosted when one listens to music. I remember thinking that might work for me if I listened to Brahms or Tchaikovsky or Chopin or Vivaldi…my reference comes from reading Fifty Shades and looking up every single song mentioned.

There have been times when my mind was restless and I reached for these but thinking about it now they didn’t really lull me to sleep. I had thought after thought about things I wanted to do with my life.

Back to trying to do my documentary proposal.

Somehow I ended up listening to Janet Jackson’s Would you mind, Tank’s When we and Chrishan’s Sin City on repeat. Needless to say they didn’t help. If you look these songs up on YouTube you’ll see why and probably have an idea of what they did.

Don’t be a prude.

Now with the deadline for my proposal even closer than before I once again sit with my laptop and contemplate how much time I’ve lost/wasted. I’ve listened to Ray Charles, Pentatonix and now Vivaldi.

I’ve had an epiphany and I leave you here for now. Hopefully I’ll come back soon to tell you about it. But before I leave, tell me or ask yourself.

Do you consider yourself to be creative? How do you embrace it? Do you embrace it? Is there anything that you do to bolster your creativity?

Today I am a curious and frustrated college girl.

Me and who or should that be whomst and I?

If you spend four, maybe more for some, years in college and leave without establishing a friendship that made it through the toughest of times and will hopefully see you through some even tougher moments, what would that say about you? Should it say anything though? After all, this isn’t high school where it seemed necessary to have enough friends to at least make your social media presence worth the work.

Oh I can just recall my days in high school when Facebook was the hottest thing to be apart of.  Boy was I in my prime then… I would literally go to school and just wait for people to walk up to me and make some comment about something I posted. I remember the my first announcement on Facebook which shook my mostly my year group with tremors felt around the rest of the school; I had shared with my people that I was in a relationship. I had logged off so that the “peasants” could bask in my news and that was when my brother took his shot and stole my shine.

I can’t recall his exact words, but I do remember that they made my post even more interesting as he addressed the “young man” who remained anonymous. I think the guy even contacted me the day after and asked me why I had put him in the spotlight like that. He was even afraid that my brother would find out who he was. Haha! That was when I first realized how powerful my words were and vowed never to make another announcement like that again on social media.

That young man is no longer apart of my life neither are most of the people I had befriended then.

Now I use Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp and boy oh boy my words do get around. For my studies, a whatsapp group was created so that students can keep up with assignments and network. Assignments, job postings and gossip is the pretty much what we get into. Yes, myself included…funny enough, people always found what I said in the group to be funny or on-point or just plain savage, but they didn’t actually know who was saying it until last semester. I kinda had a gossip girl moment when my identity was  revealed.

The whomsts, yes I said that! The whomsts of my life is so diverse. I have created a  network of writers, editors, photographers, audio engineers, actors, chefs and connoisseurs of all kinds. These individuals will tell you that it was something that I either wrote or said that brought us together. This I am truly appreciative of, as I wouldn’t want anyone to recall anything too embarrassing to share with anyone else about me when they introduce or roast me.

No the point of a roast isn’t lost on me.

My whomsts, I intend to hold on to for as long as I can. These are the people who pull me up and push me to complete my studies everyday. When I have writers block, there’s always someone who needs their work revised and what could be better motivation than correcting another person’s work? It’s not what you think, they actually value my opinion and eye for detail, and they also know that this is my way of contributing to their lives…scholastically that is.

These whomsts will work with and for me in the future. This is networking, the friends I’ve made in college. They serve a purpose and not just to love and support me but to criticize and defend me. To grow with me and to everyday be a better version than the first version of themselves that I met the first time.

By doing for me, I do for them also. Its a special kind of relationship, where we don’t expect the extremes of each other and our expectations are fulfilled by our mere presence in each others lives. This is what we will use to nourish our relationship for as long as they will last.

I dedicate this post to Makeda; my creative everything and biggest whomst. The inspiration behind so much of my work and attitude adjustment. To the top we go!

Watch out world

This girl isn’t confused tonight…she’s just creative.

 

S.N. Carrie Underwood’s What can I say, was on repeat for awhile while I wrote this.