mental health, Uncategorized, work

A note to you, my colleague. A note I’ll never send.

 There are days that I feel like crying at my desk.

There are days that I feel that no matter how hard I work, I’m not god enough.

There are days that I feel used, unappreciated, ignored and sidelined.

 Work used to be fun. Now I feel I am trapped – trying hard to escape but getting nowhere.

 Then you send me an email.

You say thank you for the work I put in.

You say that it’s because of me things are running smoothly, that things are happening, getting done, showing results.

You tell me that I’m more than good enough.

You have brought me cake to my desk when I can’t stand the day and am crying behind my screen.

You have hugged me as I’ve had a melt down over things.

You remind me that nothing is worth getting upset over – especially not this.

 So although I will never send this note, I just want to say thank you.

Your words have pulled me back from the edge without you knowing and shone kindness in what often feels like a thankless place to work where I feel cadged to continue working and giving till I break.

 But I won’t break, not over this. As you say – it’s just not worth it.

 Mojo&Me xx

 

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difference, hate, race, racism, Uncategorized

Fighting the racist thoughts

Last night, I was caught up in a racially aggravated fight. My husband was punched several times as were two other guys we were with – one needing stiches near his eye from where the glass from his specs broke on his face, the other a bloody cheek.

There was no need for this. Our friend had reported being racially verbally abused, minutes earlier to the pub manager. And by the time he walked over to us, his would be attacker had followed.

We didn’t fight back but instead tried to break people up. They ran out of the place. The police were called. Details were taken.

“If we can find who did this, do you want to take this further and press charges?”

“Yes – so it doesn’t happen to more people” my friend answered.

I had a 40 year old man cry on my shoulder at the shock of his first racial abuse having (literally) hit him. He grew up abroad where his ethnicity wasn’t a minority. Of course hate exited, but it wasn’t based on skin colour per say.

I had his English wife, in shock, stating: “I can’t believe this is the reality… Our husbands need to watch their back because they’re brown.”

“It’s not always like this, honest. Don’t let this skew your perception. Yes, this shit happens. But we’re lucky – for us it isn’t the norm,” I said to them both.

Deep down though, I was feeling differently and various thoughts and emotions flew through me.

1. No one hurts my people

I don’t mean ‘my people’ in a racial way. I mean it in a solidarity sense. If you’re my friend, if you’re my family, if I care about you – you’re my people. We’re in the same team. Mess with one of us and I see red.

I literally put myself in harms way for these people. I am not a violent person and have my temper in check over most things – but this is the one scenario where I loose my rationality.

I will shout. I will protect. I will be present.

Do not tell me not to. Do not tell me I shouldn’t. Because I will.

2. Not everyone will feel how we have felt in that moment

Isn’t that a good and bad truth? It’s great that not everyone has to feel this, but it’s sad, unfair and angering that a truth we have experienced, is something still unseen, unfelt and unreal for some.

Do we have an obligation to speak out; to tell our truth, to tell our stories; to make real what others don’t see? But to what end, I ask myself. Who cares, really? After all, this happened outside of your bubble – it happened to my people. Not yours. So will you care? Would you care more if the people were more like you?

Do disasters in a foreign country with brown people, mean less than disasters in another, where the people are more like ‘you’? The media thinks so, so why wouldn’t you?

3. I am aware of my difference

I watch my step more carefully – ensuring I don’t touch anyone; I observe people to see if they are watching me differently. I feel on edge as I travel home, aware suddenly of my difference to so many of the people I’m around. Could any of these people turn on me, my husband, my friends?

I’m shocked and saddened at my response to this. I don’t know what to do with the emotion that makes me hate, fearful and weary of people that have done nothing to deserve this.

A drunken, racist minority brought about this mind frame. I cannot be like them. If I judge everyone as if they are the person who swung at my husband or punched my friend, am I not as bad as you – the racist? Am I not tarring a whole swam of people with a brush tainted by a malicious moment?

This is rhetorical of course – I know the answer.

I refuse to be you, the racist.

My world is better than that…

Mojo&Me xx

 

emotion, friendship, life, marraige, relationships, Uncategorized

Inaction into unhappiness

His eyes moisten when he speaks of his partner.

“I can’t talk about this with you – I feel like I might cry” he tells me.

It has been two years and two months since I last saw my old colleague. He helped me when I felt my worst, listened to me as I sobbed, not knowing how I would ever feel  better, fretting over all the life that had been and all that could fearfully follow.

And now, as we drink wine and eat tapas and it seems while my demons may retreat now and then, and time has changed me, his world seems not to have moved.

He’s hurting over something that he has not dealt with and won’t in fear of how he could feel, how she may feel. But in not dealing with it isn’t he just choosing not to be happy?

He cannot commit to their future dreams, be it holidays or homes. He seems like he’s on pause. He tries to ignore his gut and his unsettling happiness yet it resides in every decision (or non-decision) he makes.

He cannot hide from his true feelings. He can pretend to the world all is ok and yet in his depths, his unhappiness and unwillingness to face things is stopping him having a fulfilling life where dreams can be dreamt and the future isn’t frightful.

Waiting two years and two months is too long to be in debt to undealt-with emotion. In honestly we all do this for too long.

But what if he chooses a different way? What if he faces all this is…?

I’m pretty sure it will become harder before it gets better. His moistened eyes will cry, his fragile heat will break a little. But then, he has done something. He has tried to make life more than bearable. He has chosen to seek happiness; not simply hide sadness and discontent like it doesn’t exist.

Dear friend, I hope with all my heart this works out. After all, don’t we all deserve to choose happiness?

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, life, marraige, mental health, travel, Uncategorized

Anniversary

Today is our two year wedding anniversary, marking a momentous turning point in our life. Not because of the wedding per say, but for what we promised each other for that year and beyond.

Today also marks a year since we came back from a year long honeymoon, exploring the world and our marriage through a lens of freedom and hopefulness.

You posted a beautiful heartfelt message to me. Things I know you feel because you tell me often. Things that touch my heart and make me grateful for all I have found in you – my partner, my best friend, my soul mate, my other half. 

But my emotion is a private one.

I hide it often behind laughter, hardness, look always and stolen glances; behind a toughened heart, only you have softened and see through to. My expression is overt when I see you and want you close – hand in hand, face to face, an unexpected hug, a playful jump on you. A reassurance that you’re mine. That somehow the universe brought us together and we are one of the lucky ones. At other times it is independent and stubborn – not something I need overtly, sometimes it is shunned as I block out the world and protect myself from forces that are breaking me.

Our wedding was a magical moment in time, but the life we are striving to create, even when things are hard, is what I love you for. The belief that we have in knowing all will be ok, if we face things together. The belief that the road we travel is bumpy, especially as we struggle to find our feet after travel, but we will be ok.

You are my optimism during hard times, when I can’t face another day. Everyday I am amazed that you can love me even with my damaged edges and troubled mind.

My biggest fear is that one day you will realise who I am, how different I am to girl you met all those years ago, how I can no longer match or challenge your ambition or mind.

My spirit to run away and hide is there still, tamed, but when I am scared of life I have to fight the urge to run. You are my reason to fight. You are my reason to stay. You are my reason on many days, to live.

When I see you sad at the thought of loosing me to the devil I have within, I want to get better, for you. So I don’t ever loose you and you don’t ever loose me.

I hope you don’t read this. On day I should be writing you a love note, I have needed to be cathartic about how our anniversary of travel and marriage has built this foray of emotions. Ones of love and hopefulness against the fear and sadness that I am trying to conquer.

This years anniversary will be tinged by being the time I went to the doctors; the time I was advised I needed medication, the time I was referred for further help for an illness not seen, but felt.

I don’t want these things to define this time; I don’t want them to define me.

So if you are reading this, please remember this: today is another beautiful day of our marriage. I love you with a spirit I can’t always express. Look into my eyes and I know you’ll see it. Small hearts dancing in my iris as I look at the man who I will be with for the rest of my life. No matter where it takes us.

I love you for all you are, all you will be and all you give me. You are my reason for being and my inspiration to keep going. On the days I don’t want to wake up, you’re the reason that made me glad I did.

Forever yours,

Mojo&Me xx

 

faith, Uncategorized

Faith

You turned to me as I sat in church, listening to a service about a faith that wasn’t mine. 

“I come here when I visit for work” you said, “twice to date.” 

“Prayer helps. I came when someone I love got sick with a bad prognosis. And now I’m back because he’s getting better. It’s a miracle.” 

I cried as soon as you spoke to me – before your story had really started. I felt somehow I was meant to be there. You were meant to be there. Today was meant to happen.

“Prayer helps. Faith helps. I’ll pray for your special person. Is it a he or she?”

“It’s me. I’m sorry. I didn’t realise it was so obvious…”

“No, it’s not. I’ll pray for you. Remember though, you’re never given more than you can take. Remember that. I have to go but it was nice to meet you.” 

It’s funny this conversation happened as I was praying. I was thanking God for the many blessings I have and asked him to look into my soul and give me what it is I need as I can’t articulate it. 

I prayed, “I try not to ask for anything but today I’m at a loss and am drowning in a sadness that has no reason to exisit. Please help me find what I need to get better, because I don’t know what it is.”

And then you spoke. 

Your words stayed with me all day, as I sobbed and dragged myself back to work, as I got through the day, as I went home. I felt it was a secret moment, one between me and you. One where, for a reason I will never know, you shared your story with me and spoke words of hope that broke me and restored my faith at the same time.

I now wonder. Were you an angel…?

Mojo&Me xx

friendship, self love

A letter to my friend

Dear friend,

I know this is rather old school of me, but I wanted to write you a letter.

A few weeks ago I reached out to our little group to say that life is hard for me at the moment. I did this not to gain sympathy, or like minds or even support. I did this to be honest.

In doing this I have opened up a conversation with you. A conversation that I feel sad took so long for me to realise it needed to happen.

You see, we’re so similar. Years ago, we were confused as one person. Yet years ago, I met you and thought, I wish I was as intelligent, beautiful and confident as my friend. Filling rooms with laughter, ideas and straightforward common sense, I wished with all my heart I could be more like you, living life to its fullest despite the hidden wounds we sometimes spoke of late into the evening, as the office closed and the cleaners arrived, hovering up the stories we told so we could go ahead and pretend there was no story to share.

After all, on the surface, all was pretty damn normal.

There’s an attitude we share, linked to creating normality. We get on with things, achieve, are outwardly confident and can be a force to contend with. We do all this with a smile on our face.

Then, only when we are alone, really alone, without our friends or loved ones, do we let ourselves admit the truth.

I have been unchallenged by my wounds today – I’ve kept them away from the surface where anyone could see them. And I will do this again tomorrow. And the day after. No one will know.

I want you to know that I know.

Today, I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. The woman that I wished for all those year I could be, stands as a women stronger than she knows, with a fierce mind willing to take on the world; a heart not of stone as we often joked, but of gold, one that is waiting for love and makes the most of the various guises it comes in through friendships, bad dates and relationships with those she loves.

I wish for your day today to be a great one. One where you don’t run from the fears in your head, but you decide to face them. We both need to do this.

The truths you see in me, are within you. You text me, telling me that you see me as a brilliant, smart, funny, accomplished, rounded individual who can achieve anything she puts her mind to. Darling, don’t you see? That’s you too.

We’ve always been so similar.

Love always – your friend,

Mojo&Me xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

friendship
difference, friendship, hate, Uncategorized

Unlikely friendships

There’s an old lady about to board my train. I make way for her and who I think may be her carer or befriender of sorts.

How wrong I was. How utterly presumptuous and ignorant.

The ladies are so different.

The old lady has a lovely posh accent, one that rattles ever so slightly as she speaks. Her friend  is at least 30 years younger than her, has a middle eastern accent, wears a head scarf and it seems is being shown around London by the little old lady. Who, by the way has just drawn a map on a piece of paper of the route they took and the one they’re on.

Tomorrow they will visit to a local museum which the little old lady will do a tour of. She’s giving directions on how to get about this local area. She is the font of all knowledge to living around here – pouring information on to her friend, who is bottling this knowledge for when she needs it.

The conversation is tender and real; fun and informative; and encapsulates them both in moments that my misinformed mind never thought would happen.

Today, this gives me hope.

There are many things I see and read that reminds me that we are fighting divides. When you don’t look the same, speak the same and don’t live in similar bubbles there are whole sections of society that will disregard you because of this difference. There maybe explicit hate or violence, indirect discrimination or an uneasy growing rhetoric that you don’t belong.

The Barcelona attacks, the Virginia riots, the London ambushes and world-wide wars are reminders that this type of divisive hatred exists. No matter how far they are from us physically, somehow they feel close. They feel like attacks on human-kind – my human-kind. The kind that have been typecast into roles that only a minority belong.

Listening to this unlikely friendship, chatter on matters of local relevance, appointments and family – punctuated by touch and giggles – made me remember that hatred isn’t everywhere.

I believe people are inherently good. This has reminded me to keep be open minded to the unlikely opportunities that can come from this.

In difference, there lies similarity and humanity. I love that.

Mojo&Me xx