The STI guy

A number of titles would have been suitable for this blog:

Online dating – approach with caution!
Online dating – Horror story
He has psychosis!

Woman! Where art thou worth?

This is the second time I’m writing this post. I accidentally deleted it the first time. I thought that the universe or the forces or God, didn’t want me to publish it, probably because of how open and revealing it was.

Friday afternoon – These are usually the days I go and spend the weekend with my boyfriend, but sadly, since last week, I’ve spent my weekends alone as we split up.

As I reflect on our short lived relationship, I’m torn between whether it can even be classed as a relationship, whether it was a waste of time, or whether it happened for a reason. As the saying goes, some relationships are for a season and some for a reason. I’m not quite sure where or how to categorize this one – but feelings were involved.

At the time I signed up to online dating, a number of things were going on with me. I felt as though I was in a good place, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I felt as though I had something to offer- companionship, friendship – Love. I felt quite whole although, I also wanted to erase the presence of a man who I foolishly slept with and ghosted me the following day. I wasn’t completely devastated by it but felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself as I didn’t even really like him that much.

I spoke to a few candidates online, but none of them took my fancy. I video called one guy by mistake and had a less than pleasing conversation with him. He was full of himself and I regretted our brief encounter. We didn’t speak again. A message then popped up from an attractive middle aged man, who looked much younger than his age displayed. I had forgotten that I swiped on him as a few days must have passed before he contacted me. His message was unassuming and short, as if he were testing the waters. ‘Hi.’ I gave a witty reply and we hit it off. We wasted no time in meeting up and and had our first date at a restaurant. His personality was a bit wacky – I mistook bouts of inappropriate behaviour during dinner for charisma and personality – I missed the first signs, I believe he was mentally unstable/unwell.

As the night drew to an end, I drove him home. As he got out of the car, I became aware of just how short he really was, again, I ignored the signs. His inability to drive became an issue in our relationship, as he never made the effort to come and see me. I also stopped wearing heels as I didn’t want to tower over him. He was also quite small and boyish in appearance although he was in his 40’s. You see, I have a thing for older men, which I may have to revisit as dating them doesn’t seem to be doing me any favours. It is more disappointing when a grown arse man hasn’t got his shit together, and I say that because I know how hard I’ve had to work as a Black woman to get to where I am today.

I believe we had sex that same night. I consciously decided to do that because as I said, I wanted to erase the other guy from my mind, ‘get over an ‘ex’, get under the next’. I was single, generally enjoy sex and thought it might just be a one night stand. We lasted five months.

I was tired of doing the same thing and getting the same results. I tended to go for the clean cut, well spoken guy, that I knew would be easy to introduce to my friends and family, well those relationships never lasted. I could see at face value that this guy wasn’t all of the above but I was keen to see the outcome.

A few days later, he shared with me that he had a sexually transmitted infection. I don’t know why, but I remained fairly calm because we had protected sex. Rather than run for the hills, we discussed how we could continue to have sex responsibly, it actually made our bond somewhat stronger as the relationship wasn’t solely based on sex. He also wasn’t a male sloppy whore, and by that I mean, loose in bed, ejaculating at any given moment, he was sensible in that sense. What I found more disturbing was his account of how he got the infection, his story sounded bogus, I didn’t believe it. In fact, I didn’t believe a number of things he said to me during our relationship, the stories seemed to be made up, fantastical and implausible. I now believe it was because he had psychosis, which was exacerbated by his frequent use of marijuana. He was delusional.

So why did I continue to see this man?

I grew to love him, we had some warm moments. It was mostly me and him. I had love to offer, but, as is often the case, he mistook my kindness for weakness. If a friend had told me that they were dating this guy, I would question their sanity. I don’t know if I was with him because of my low self-esteem and standards or if it was because I just had love to offer, I genuinely believe it was the latter; to use an analogy, when you’re in a plane and on the ground, you tend not to see the bigger picture until you’re up in the air and everything appears minuscule, there you can see everything. I believe that is what God is like – omniscient and omnipresent. I don’t know why I crossed paths with this guy, I may never see him again, in the short time we were together though, I gave him a piece of me that I will never get back. It hurts to think that I gave him what I could, with all the best intentions in the world and his mind has led him to believe I am other than what I am.

I’m experiencing a range of emotions, to cope with these feelings; I talk to friends regularly; watch inspirational and advice videos online. I continue to wake up each day and go to work as if nothing has happened. The busy nature of my job means that my mind doesn’t have to wallow in self-pity. But as soon as I leave work, or have thinking time, the cumulonimbus cloud hovers over me. When we were together, I felt as though I was working for us. I enjoyed getting the groceries at the end of the week, so we could cook something over the weekend. I enjoyed planning things for us to do, although I wished he would use his initiative and return the favour. Mornings are particularly hard as I think about him first thing, it’s as if my mind is searching the memory bank for him as he is physically no longer here. I love….loved him, I just wish he didn’t accuse me, that was one step too far.

Advertisements

The Accused

I sit at work, behind my desk, looking blankly at my screen. I’m emotionally exhausted, psychologically tortured and running on empty.

Only 4 days ago, I introduced by new boyfriend to my best friends. It was something I’d been thinking about for a while. I felt the time was right. It wasn’t often that the entire crew were able to gather, so I thought I’d seize the opportunity and introduce him. He’d already met my family, but for some reason, his interaction with my friends was more significant.

Our relationship for the past few months hadn’t been smooth sailing, but I developed love for him, and a friendship. I felt comfortable around him and he was like a brother as well as a friend. He was quite the opposite to me, but I liked that. In hindsight, we moved too fast, but I enjoyed his company. I saw bad habits and practices, but was besotted I guess. If there’s anything to learn, its knowing what I do like and want, such as to be tactile with a partner.

On Monday night, whilst talking on the phone, out of the blue, he accused me of doing something immoral and illegal with one of my friends at the gathering. I was completely aghast and taken aback. Being in a state of complete bewilderment at his baseless accusations, I put the phone down. I hadn’t the energy, time or words to respond. I messaged him the next morning, and wrote him an essay via text. He mocked the length of my message and was adamant that I had been immoral and engaged in illegal activities. He asked me to remove my items from his apartment.

What saddened me the most, was his accusations were more a reflection of himself. I seriously question the state of his mind, it was unhealthy. There are some things that can be resolved, but until he accepts that he has mental health issues, he can never treat or love me the way I deserve to be loved and treated. I am deeply pained as I love him dearly and appreciate and will miss everything, but to have someone whom you know is quite broken and unstable as an individual, accuse you of things you have not done and refuse to self-reflect, so early on in a relationship, I have no choice but to call it a day, and that I unconsciously did through text. If I ignored it, and accepted it, if we became fully committed in the midst of both our flaws, we will be worse off in the future, and I haven’t battled through life alone, to claw through the sewers all my life.

I woke up this morning with a dark cloud hanging over me, I prayed to God repeatedly to take the pain away and to calm the storm in my head. I’d cried the day before, today I was anxious about how I would function during the day. As I speak to my closest friends, I keep asking myself whether I made the right decision, whether it can be fixed. It can’t, this is not the first time that I’ve said we’re over in the short time we’ve been together, I’ve left twice before and come back because I was too afraid of being alone again and having to deal with heart ache. Every time I’ve come back, he’s thought he was right and I was just an indecisive and insecure woman not knowing what she wants. Enough is enough.

I want an apology, in fact I need an apology. I don’t want him to tarnish my name. I now see that the brush he painted his exes with, he’ll use it to paint me. I questions the validity of the things he said about his exes and the experiences he said that he’s had.

I love him! However, he is not even the person I think he is, he’s intoxicated and mentally unsound. I wasn’t totally naive to his mental health, but didn’t think it would escalate to the point where he would accuse me of such things, I can’t move forward until he sees the error in his ways. It’s so hard when you still love some one. I can’t help him when he is either unaware or won’t acknowledge that there is an issue. I don’t know if I’m even in the position to help. I once read a meme that said, women needed to be mindful of fixing/healing man only to make him suitable or better for another woman, whilst being left drained and unsuitable for any suitor. That would be me.

I’ve failed in so many relationships and I know I am the common denominator in them all. As I reflect, with this relationship, there wasn’t much more I could do until I just ended up a doormat. I’ve survived break ups before, but this stage here……….God help me. I’m currently going through the process. I’m aware there is light at the end of this long, dark tunnel but it doesn’t make the process any easier.

What does He do?

Why is it that when you inform people that you’re in a new relationship with a guy, the first or second question they ask is, ‘What does he do’?

Why is that so important?

I’m in a fairly new relationship with a guy who unfortunately or fortunately does not have a conventional job. Whereas, before I could wheel of a list of acceptable occupations for the guy that I was dating- now I cant.

Does his work validate our relationship or him? What if he’s unemployed? I get it … The better his job, the better our chances are of doing the things that lead to a conventional , successful relationship …but he doesn’t have such a job.

I’m trying not to look so far into the future with this new guy. After all – tomorrow isn’t promised. I’ve had dreams of marriage , children e.t.c but as great as my previous partners’ work was, as F̶a̶n̶t̶a̶s̶t̶i̶c̶ okay as I thought our relationships were, those relationships didn’t work. So I’ve consciously turned a blind eye to the fact that I don’t know how my new fellow makes money and we may or may not last but I’m going to enjoy the journey , as much as I can. I obviously wish for us to last.

Yes, I’m struggling with the unconventional nature of out relationship but I hope we make it . it’s the first of a completely new set up I’ve been in, and so far … I kinda like it.

Hurry up and marry

The last time I visited Ghana, I volunteered in an orphanage for abandoned children. On my last day,  as I walked towards the taxi with the director of the orphanage, I felt a sense of pride and achievement, I had done something worthwhile. That self-fulfillment soon dissipated as his parting words to me were, ‘the next time I see you, I would like to see you married.’ Unfortunately, with two failed engagements in between, I was unable to fulfill his wish by the time I visited again.

I returned from a wedding in Ghana last month, it was stunning. I got talking to a woman much older than me, she took a liking to me (she was apparently married to a very wealthy man). She asked how old I was,  when I told her I was in my mid thirties, she tutted and said, ‘Oh, you should be married by now.’ She asked whether I had been praying about it, and I responded sarcastically, ‘clearly not enough.’ I played along with her and said, ‘I know, a girl my age should have had children by now.’… but I don’t, not even a potential husband. My mood was slightly dampened during this trip as all I could think about was my failure as a woman.

I should be married by now….. it’s not as if I hadn’t made efforts.

Should I have married the man who wasn’t mentally or financially ready to be a husband? Should I have married the man who was at the same time seeing another woman? Had I done something wrong?

Whereas I thanked God for not making me make the biggest mistakes of my life by marrying these un-marriable men, I now felt that I had failed, even though I was doing fairly well for myself.

I empathized with women who were constantly asked whether they were pregnant yet, some of whom have suffered miscarriages or are unable to have children.  I know these people are coming from a genuine place of love and concern and I am fully aware of the Ghanaian culture and tradition but these people are remiss of decorum.  After each failed engagement,, I beat myself up about rushing things, and now that I had come to a place where I wasn’t trying to take the reigns and order that which could not be ordered, I was met with distraction. Such conflict in culture, here in the UK, I am met with ‘don’t rush into any relationship, it will happen when it happens’ whereas in Africa, I am met with ‘hurry and find a man to marry you.’ I love both cultures, I am a part of both, I have more of a desire to have children than I do to marry.

From my experience, and I know this may cause offence, Ghanaian men are not the most faithful. With women like Moesha Boduong roaming the streets, it is easy for men to play the field and their wives accept it. I am not  so concerned about adultery as I am about being in a really unhappy relationship that is unfulfilling. Adultery is not the end (Yes, I know I left my ex because of it, but there were other factors involved, the adultery just highlighted the faults in the relationship)  I’ve learn’t that even in marriage, you do not control your partner, if they have a desire to cheat, they will, as Jada Pinkett Smith said, as long as he can look at himself in the mirror and feel fine about his decision. I have seen marriages crumble, I have seen wildly in love couples split or divorce, so I am not blown over by social displays of love and marriage. I feel as though I should be praying for a man, but my desire for it, is not strong enough.

 

Mr Photographer

I’ve been through so much s*** over the years, now that I’m through the thick of it, the number one thing I desire most when I have leisurely time is to maximize happiness and minimize stress.

It’s been a while since I last posted. But I’m happy to share that I’ve had an epic summer, there have been sacred and special moments. I’ve spent it with people who I’ve become close to, but were not initially my closest of friends. I’ve found, the more I give, the better I feel about myself, the more I receive the more I have faith in humanity. The more I interact with people from different backgrounds the more I develop character.

This is a tale about two men, one whom I love and one who provides good company. Both these men have told me how chilled and relaxed I am and it’s only because I’m grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves to me.

There is something sacred about the relationship I have with the man whom I love, I’m unsure how to go about writing our experience, as words will never truly be able to express how I feel about him and the situation, but the man who provides good company, that I can share:

I lay on the hotel bed, hot, bothered and sexually frustrated.

‘How am I going to get rid of this feeling?’ I thought to myself.

My senses had been aroused from the events that had taken place just over an hour ago. I could feel his body heat, I could hear his light breathing and tried desperately not to disturb him. I promised myself I wouldn’t go there with him, besides he was my ex boss and I just wasn’t attracted to him.

I discreetly moved my arm under the covers following the path to pleasuring my warm moist throbbing region. I slid my lace flowery panties to the side and rubbed on my clitoris gently and with intent. I wanted so desperately to relieve myself of the tension. It wasn’t exciting, glorious or glamorous – it was burdensome.

‘Are you ok?’ He asked.

I stopped for a brief moment, my hands guarding my vagina, so as to not raise his suspicions about what I was actually doing. Silence gave ear to the few people down below us in the centre square enjoying the warm summer night.

How do I reply?

The problem was, if I told him how I truly felt, I would destroy the state of our relationship for good. This was my ex boss after all, the man that interviewed me for my first retail job 17 years ago.

‘I’m touching myself.’ I moaned.

I could feel the movement on the bed as he turned to face me. He mumbled something and steadily placed his hand over the hand that was guarding my vagina. I kept my hand in place guiding him around for a while before fully removing it and letting him take over.

As I lay on the bed, staring between the ceiling and the wardrobe, gyrating, verbally guiding him, I sensed that he was a novice.

I encouraged him.

‘Yeah, keep it there’…’keep doing that’…’that’s good’.

I was a pro, many nights with a vibrator will do that to you. I was sure of what I wanted and how to be pleased and he was attentive.

As good as it was to release the sexual tension , I was unsure about the situation. There was absolutely no chemistry between us, and he certainly wasn’t my type, but he was a nice guy and I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint him.

I played mental ping-pong.
Why can’t you form a platonic relationship with men?
Why did you allow it to come to this?
Don’t you have any respect for yourself?
What happens in the morning?
Is he going to want to cuddle after?
Would he like me to return the favour?
I was glad when I asked him he declined.

‘I’m not hard yet, I just want to make you cum’. I sensed he was more guarded about the size or state of his penis.

I came quicker than I anticipated and told him I would, and asked that we not discuss any of it in the morning. He asked whether I wanted him to continue to enable me to have multiple orgasms, but I declined. I just wanted to get rid of the initial feeling not enjoy a night of passion with a man I was not sexually attracted to.

We turned opposite ways and went to sleep, I closed my eyes but was fully awake. I felt as though I had overdosed on caffeine.

I tossed and turned for a bit before asking if he would mind me turning the TV on, he obliged. I got up and placed myself on the navy blue corduroy sofa couch, where it all began.

An hour before, I casually lay on the sofa wearing a grey vest top and shorts, watching European TV. I couldn’t understand a word of what they were saying but that was what made it all the more interesting. He, on the other hand, could understand and speak the language as it was his mother’s tongue. He asked me to repeat the sentences I heard on the TV and seeing that I was butchering the language we ended up in fits of laughter. He took my phone, hovered over me and took a number of artistic and creative photos of me laughing at my dire attempts.

His photography skills were certainly more impressive than my language skills. I praised him on a job well done. I felt inspired to place myself in other parts of the hotel room whilst he took photos of me. I was his muse.

I told him to wait whilst I slipped into something a little more pleasing to the eye. I grabbed my nylon yellow bikini and changed, facing away from him. I knew I was testing the boundaries. The only place left to be explored in our little apartment room was the bathroom.

I stood in the shower, it was the perfect lighting.
I presented him with a number of different poses and he directed my movements , shooting me from various angles, heights and lengths. I tried desperately hard to make my poses tasteful and not tacky. He occasionally asked me to relax as he could see I was over thinking at times.

As I stood in the shower, I felt a sense of empowerment. I felt naughty, as though I were in a blue movie, it was sultry it was spontaneous, it was dirty and I was here for it. I felt beautiful even without my makeup on. His words of encouragement also added to my bravery. I turned the shower on so he could get some varied pictures.

Filthy thoughts entered my head, I succumbed to them. I untied my bikini top and for the first time ever revealed my bare breast to him. He commented on how beautiful he thought my body was. He directed me further. I wanted to take it up a notch and asked his permission before removing my bikini bottoms, revealing my cleanly waxed Brazilian vagina. I was stark naked in front of my ex boss, warm water dripping down my body. Wow! He exclaimed. Clearly startled. He informed me that he had a hard-on but would continue to take me photos. We moved from the shower to the window sill, to the bed, to the sofa, to the chair. All the while he did not touch me once.

When we had finished, I lay on the bed besides him as we went through the pictures. He repeated again how beautiful he thought my body was. He asked me if he could touch my breast. I was surprised at how courteous he was, how could I refuse. I allowed him. I felt he wasn’t use to this unless he was just very overwhelmed by the whole situation. Rather than caress them, he played with them, like a child with plasticine. After a while, I got up put my clothes on. It was quite late and we had an early start in the morning. We had shared the same bed for 3 nights prior, nothing had happened between us. We’d spend nights together in bed platonically and days roaming the beautiful city, walking along cobblestone streets and looking up at medieval, Romanesque, gothic architecture.

Goodnight! I wished him as I turned over in the hope I could go to sleep, but I couldn’t, I was sexually aroused and desperately wanted to be touched. We were only supposed to provide each other with company.

Don’t give up the cookies – He said, She said

I sent him a message to confirm that I had arrived home safely and wished him a good morning. He responded casually mirroring my modest tone.

Later on that day, I did the unthinkable, the utterly regrettable, which upon reflection and advice, I shouldn’t have done. Easy mistake to make really.

I messaged him to say that I had changed my plans for the day and wished him a good day. A curve ball had been thrown. This was not something he was use to, a new phenomena had taken place. I had initiated conversation. The messages he tended to get from me were often cold and blasé responses to his questions or requests.

Him: How’s your day babe ? X
Me: cool, you ?

This did not deter him from trying till he succeeded or better yet conquered. Now that he had ‘succeeded’ I was left with a green message box, reminding me of my stupidity.

He did not reply to my message. I checked my phone a little later on in the day and there was still no reply. I decided to give him a time frame before I would firmly and without a second thought throw him in the bin of no return. He did not reply until 3am.

I was devastated. Dumfounded . Had I just been used, like a teenager? Did he get the cookie and leave? It would appear so.

The evening before, he called to ask me out as I had not been over enthusiastic about his advances. I was not into him and did not want a relationship as I still have a few side effects from the previous relationship. I’d shared this with him and he acted like the perfect gentleman and was even more apologetic about my situation than my ex was. Ironically, I texted him the same evening to say that I wasn’t so forth coming with my communication with him because I did not want to lead him on and ended up spending the night with him. Such poor timing. Such poor discernment.

The effects of my fickle nature came down on me like a tonne of bricks. I slept with him, not only because he invited me in but because the opportunity was there and as I lay on him, which was the initial plan the desire for physical intimacy crept in and it had been a mighty good while. The alcohol also played no small part.

To have gone from a man who went out of his way to get my number and plead to at least let him take me out, I was dumbfounded and dissappointed in his actions. All the rhetoric he shared with me about men, unfaithfulness and relationships was all a front because once he got the cookie he was ghost.

He gave the excuse that he was busy. So trite. All of sudden he was busy.

I replied succinctly and left it. He continued to ring my phone. I answered and told him simply that I was dissappointed in him and thanked him for at least offering an excuse. I knew it would be the last time I ever spoke to him. In the past, I never followed up a conversation, I never listened to their reason and I never really told them how I truly felt so I wanted to share my thoughts before terminating the friendship for good.

I felt sick to the stomach reading his grovelling messages. They reminded me of my ex, they were pathetic. I blocked him.

I feel used and stupid. Stupid that he mostly likely felt like he got me easy. Embarrassed that because I hadn’t planned to become intimate again (did not groom) I do not feel like he got the best of me. Maybe he thought I was lousy in bed.

I spoke to my brother and he said the joke was on me. I had most likely confused him by telling him that I was not interested then slept with him and contacted him the next day giving him mixed signals.

I explained that I didn’t want to play games and that I was just being courteous but he told me that a guy wouldn’t see it that way and a man’s perspective is always of value in these circumstances.

Im shocked that once again someone would outrightly lie to my face about who they are when I’ve been very upfront. That at this age when all he kept talking about was marriage and including me in his picture that he’d sleep with me and ghost.

I’m a bad judge of character for sure and feel decieved. Being in such a vulnerable place he’s definitely opened up some painful wounds.

Sunken place

Currently in a sunken place

Wish I could just escape

They call it an illness

When it’s just a wish

I don’t want to partake

I pray to God he takes my life

Sorry for the offence caused.

Wish I’d wake up and realise

Leaving my mistreated body behind

The spirit lifts.

And I look back at myself.

The rain falls at night following a day of sunshine

I made it through the day because I was occupied with things to do

I smiled, I laughed, they were none the wiser

I just want to leave but have no courage to act

Life is not for me

My family and friends will feel sad and that makes me feel bad but I’m mad.

Why am I like this?

The sun will shine again and act as though we’re best friend.

It’s just this night with the rain

Excruciating pain.

Tomorrow is another day

Sexual Favours

In a recent interview with CNN journalist- Christiane Amanpour, Moesha Bodoung, a 20 something year old Ghanaian model and actress, most notable for her voluptuous figure, afforded by cosmetic surgery, proffessed that the state of the Ghanaian economy meant that, ‘you need someone to take care of you’ and that care giver was older men.

When probed further she confirmed that this was in exchange for sexual favours.

As one can imagine, this revelation didn’t go down so well with the straight living citizens of Ghana who retorted that they were still able to make an honest and decent living despite the bleak state of the economy.

Ironically, the interview took place at a nail bar, a luxury treatment very few can afford. What viewers found most unpalatable about the discussion was the revelation that she was sleeping with a married man.

The interview highlighted an issue that seemed to be swept under the carpet. Young vulnerable women being dependent on older men.

The interview struck a nerve with me for a number of reasons. I wasn’t offended that she was sleeping with men for money ( indeed, my philosophy on this matter has changed over the years). I was most turned off by the fact that she had no remorse or guilt about sleeping with a married man. There were far too many negative factors for me to side with her.

If you’ve read my previous posts you would know about my angst whilst having an affair with a married man. Something I am not proud about but have written openly about. I believe that no self respecting woman ever feels good about sleeping with a married man.

Another thing that struck me was her naivety and simpleness. If she has any desire of getting married, this interview and many others she has given, where she presents herself as what can only be described as a prostitute, is sure to surface and bite her in her silicone butt.

Inability to defer gratification seems to be a trait with a few millennials and post 80s babies, a sweeping statement I know. Rather than live a humble life and strive to achieve the things she wants, Moesha rather is said to live in an affluent area in Tema, Ghana. She has no concept of building a foundation first. She rather has built on sinking sand. What if he one day refuses to pay her rent ?

The main reason why this post resonated with me was because the 48 year old man I was going to marry was having a relationship with a 22 year old woman. What this interview highlighted was the dark stark reality of the happenings in Africa and I’m sure other parts of the world. Whilst I thought the age gap between us was wide, the truth of the matter was that he was looking for a younger model and will continue to trade in women if ‘the econony’ stays as it is.

Entitled

‘It’s not right, if this were a relationship I would have left by now’. I sobbed.

I stood in the staff room kitchen, disorientated, soaked, and most likely smelling of decaffeinated coffee. Had my mind and actions been aligned I would have forseen the disaster that was ensuing .

My colleague tried desperately hard to cheer me up whilst handing me kitchen roll to dab at the wet patches on my top and trousers. It was in vain. Lucky for me I was wearing black so it was unnoticeable just olfactible.

Like me, she too knew and felt what I was going through. Her comforting words did not go unappreciated.

The coffee accident was not the problem it was rather the result of an unsettled mind.

I had only been in this job for 16 months. I was working flat out to raise the standards of my department, but I was burning the candle at both ends and had become exhausted and bitter about everything.

I gave so much of my time and effort to my form group, my students, parents, colleagues and other staff, I neglected the most important person – me.

I prided myself on the title.

What do you do ?
‘I’m a teacher.’ I would reply. Leaving the recipient to do and think what they will with the information. At the end of the day, I knew it was a suitable and respectable proffession with trust that I could co-sign an application form for anyone I could attestify to knowing. The reality was that in the 6 years that I had been teaching, I only signed one passport application.

A teacher!

The respect that this title bore was similar to being called a wife, with it came a mark of maturity and womanhood. However, underneath it all, I was painfully exhausted, frustrated, depressed and unfulfilled.

This was not what I came into teaching for. As a young looking black woman I was also up against a few more hurdles compared to my male or Caucasian counterparts.

With nothing else to feel proud about what would I then say when asked what I do. A thirty something year old with no progression in her career or life.

I searched for other jobs and came to the resolve that I could find another school to work at, but I knew the education system just like the health service or prison service, was insufferable. I had to leave completely and with that would come a pay cut and retraining.

I thought I had a calling to teach but there seems to be another calling… Unless I’m mistaken?

Life ….never goes as planned, 1 step forward, 5 steps back.

Roaming alone in Rome

This time last year, I believe it might have been today, I uncovered incriminating messages on my fiances phone that led our relationship towards a dead end. I left him and found my own way.

A year later, as I prepared for the Easter holiday, I knew I had to create new and positive memories for myself.

Following a particularly stressful day at work, I went home and on a whim, booked a trip to Rome for me, myself and I.

Although I had lived abroad some time ago, I really wanted to experience what it would be like as a lone traveller. My biggest fear was getting lost, being robbed or experiencing racism.

Neither happened although I’m certain I was refused service at McDonalds. Both employees conveniently left as I approached to make my order.

I purposefully booked a hotel that was central and hopped on and off the tourist bus daily

Break