Three

I’ve been thinking a lot about what three years mean, and also why I make such a big deal about birthdays and anniversaries. It’s like Carnival, it is permission to mash up the place, or more realistically, permission from the universe to be extra on this one day. I like the uniformity of it, the predictability, the ability to plan and prepare and celebrate in an orderly manner. It’s weird. But back to 3.

Ever since I first worked with 3canal in 2016, I’ve had an intimate relationship with the number 3 and all the meanings in numerology. (Roger made sure of it!)

My Bali trip solidified the divinity of threes, with their way of life centred around a different trilogy.

Tri Hita Karana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tri Hita Karana is a traditional philosophy for life on the island of BaliIndonesia. The literal translation is roughly the “three causes of well-being” or “three reasons for prosperity.”[1]

The three causes referred to in the principle are:

Harmony with God
Harmony among people
Harmony with nature or environment

So here I am 3 years as a business. 9 years as a college graduate. Turning 33 in 9 months. And in a state of major growth, change, new experiences and an openness that is newer than anything I’ve ever experienced. What does it all mean? Does it need to mean anything? I pride myself on being this controlling yet free spirit that plans a lot but also goes with the wind and this year just seems like such a jumping board where what’s next is completely up in the air. I have no clue what the future holds. I have plans but I also am open to whatever else comes my way and I’m really looking forward to living, for the first time in a really long time. 

Photo by Luigi Creese

Random personal fact: I hate flowers. But I picked each of these because they spoke to me in a different way. 

Symbolising growth in a portrait is a fun excuse to avoid the reality of actually growing. Lol. I kid. I’ve somehow managed to achieve goals and things that weren’t goals but definitely should’ve maybe been on the list. This year has been full of so much change and adapt, adapt, adapt. 

Photo by Luigi Creese

Looking forward to talking more, teaching more, learning more and growing more. I am open to all new opportunities that may come my way, and I am continuously taking care of my mental health so that I can handle all of the abundance that is to come. 

Talk to me nice though. Keep in mind I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my ish. 

Photo by Luigi Creese

Lose My Breath

In the past couple weeks and days, I’ve had cause to lose my breath more times than I’d like to admit. Gasps of surprise. Gasps of hurt. Gasps of despair. And quite literal gasps for air because of the extra pounds I put on along with Mexico City’s thinner air.

Part 1: A new job. I recently said yes to a position that means more responsibility, more work and more ways I can equally become extremely stressed and/or extremely satisfied professionally.

Part 2: Space. Not like outer space but more like that dreaded “I need space” talk. Like wtf. Really? Gasps for air. From me? Clutches chest. I can’t breathe. Nothing quite like the gut punch reality check of a lover turned stranger.

Part 3: Family Realities. Traveling with family is a new concept for me. I’m an only child from a family that put zero effort into family vacations. I do not know how to share a space with someone who is my blood, with someone who is me. What life altering madness is this? Just breathe. Just breathe. Just breathe.

Part 4: CDMX. “The air is so thiccck and opaqqque” except no, not that Adele, it’s more like thin needles slicing your windpipe. Cold. Light-headed. Nausea. This can’t be real life. Three flights of steps because the elevador is broken. A face mask because COVID.

I find myself struggling to breathe daily, struggling to grasp the reality of my various situations, struggling to accept and let be and also literally struggling to breathe in a strange country that my CAPE level Spanish did not prepare me for. Constant fluctuations have me inhaling for 4, exhaling for 5, attempting to regain control of what I can, attempting to breathe.

Allow me to reintroduce myself

My name is HOV…no, actually, my name is Ayrïd and I suffer from inconsistency. And it’s bad. I struggle to keep going, with basically anything I do. I get inspired, I get started, I do the thing for a while and then, I give up. I’ve been this way since I was a child. It’s probably why I’ve done literally every extra-curricular activity but never excelled at any. The only thing I managed to consistently stick with is choir, and design. And it’s been a struggle. I need time away, I need breaks, and if I’m committed enough to it, I’ll return after. And it’s taken me thirty-two years to finally figure out that this is a trait I have, separate and apart from depression, or any other “negative” traits, this is the way I am and have always been.

As I try to do more things, as my creativity grows, as I aspire to grow my business and my life, realising this trait of mine is step one on the cheat code to this life thing. I have beat myself up about this trait ad nauseum for years. The guilt, the disappointment, the failure were all crippling elements that have further contributed to the lack of flow. This takes commitment issues to a whole other level.

So step two has to be, how can I use this information and yet be more consistent in my life? Do I continuously apologise for disappearing, giving up, running away, being inconsistent or do I plan for it? Can I structure my life in such a way where I pause right before I am about to give up, and then plan to start again? And is this all easier said than done?

Even the act of writing on this blog has been something I beat myself up about not being consistent enough with, but as we survive through this current time, I am getting fed up of beating myself up, the world is doing enough of that for me already. So in this long winded self discovery, I’m sharing to hopefully inspire someone else to use your shortcoming to your advantage, figure out what’s that thing you’re not so great at, and then figure out how to do what you want to do, in spite of it. Easier said than done, I know, but let’s give it a try!

Excuse me while I go be consistently inconsistent.

Out Loud

Tuesday 22 December, 2020, 9:49am

I feel a tingling vibration radiating through my body as I sit here cloaked in my boyfriend’s hoodie, a leopard print tights inherited (*stolen) from my aunt, staring out at mist, trees and what small bit of the Caribbean Sea I can see through the foliage and clouds. (checks Google maps to confirm that’s the correct sea). So this tingling…what is it? Anxiety? Guilt? Exhaustion? Confusion? Stimulation? All of these things? Context: I planned on wrapping up work for the year on Friday gone. I did not in fact finish everything on my to do list and planned a 4-day staycation at La Vapeur Estate in Paramin to reset, rest, take stock and recharge for the rest of 2020 and more importantly, everything that’s coming in 2021. So here I am in this wonderful wooden cabin, surrounded by nature, vibrating, not from the frigid temperatures, but my mind. All the thoughts consuming me, all the things I forgot, or didn’t do, unfulfilled promises, unfinished business. And the sun peeps through. A sip of my coffee and I feel better, but the thoughts push through, preventing me from fully being able to enjoy this. And as I sit in this discomfort, I try to think of what it can teach me, what can I learn from this so next year, I don’t return to this metaphorical place (because this physical location is breathtaking and I must return). Be more realistic, don’t say yes when you want to say no? That’s not it. I thought that was the lesson before but I did that, and yet still, here I am…What happened to my word? What happened to commitment and responsibility and the honour in all of that? I feel like I’ve been corrupted by the complacency of my surroundings and allowed myself to settle. Be less than I am capable. I stopped caring. Is this a side effect of not travelling for the year? Is this me becoming more “Trini”? I’ve always held myself at a higher standard and I feel like I’m slowly slipping away into mediocrity, knowing that my bare minimum is still way better than the norm, why bother to make an effort? Where is my competition? Where is my inspiration? Why bother? There’s an internal drive that’s missing, that’s slowly slipped away and I’d love to get it back. I used to always be 30 minutes to 15 minutes early, now I’m always running 5 to 30 minutes late, and I don’t care anymore. Something switched and it might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but a part of who I am is missing and I want it back.

Wednesday 23 December, 2020, 6:12pm

Blue turns to grey, the sun sets and the sky changes hue. The lack of natural light forced me to close A Promised Land and contemplate dinner, or work, or both. What now? Tomorrow, I check out at noon, and make my descent back into the madness that is Christmas Eve in Trinidad…the last minuteness of it all. Realising that these 4 days away were really just 48 hours (plus) but feeling ever so grateful for them nonetheless. I missed solitude. At home I have neighbours and friends and dogs and the “other” to consider. Here, just for a moment, I was alone and happy. Here, it also finally registered in my brain that I am no longer single, I am in a relationship, that life did change in 2020, and I got a thing I wanted, and I have something (someone) to be grateful for, as superficial as it may seem. Life seems so different through this lense. Possibilities and hopes grow each day and the future is exciting. I keep thinking about the descension into metaphorical and maybe even literal madness and how I could capture this present moment, and make it last a bit longer: the stillness, the various sounds of nature, bugs, frogs, the dog barking in the distance, the winds rustling the leaves on the trees sounding like rain approaching, the waves crashing, the sea calling, the night loudly silent and chilled, my pores raised as I type, the glow of the screen reflected on my glasses, the wind growing into a roar, distant sounds of vehicles whether it’s cars or boats or planes, people moving about while I sit still.

My Vagina is Angry

I’m stealing the first line from one of Eve Ensler’s monologues. In 2018, I performed this monologue in a local production of The Vagina Monologues and this opening line has been ringing in my head all day.

MY VAGINA IS ANGRY!

In the monologue, the woman describes all the annoying things vaginas have to deal with like tampons and cold duck lips and thong underwear, but my “vagina” is angry for other reasons. My vagina is angry that her identity makes her vulnerable, fragile, a target, less than, weak, and somehow invalid.

I’ve been avoiding the local news, the media, the reports of women missing or found dead. I’ve been ignoring the male comments, the “warnings” to stay out of harm’s way, the “not all men are bad” war cries, the “she look for that” comments, the questions of whose story to believe, which side is telling the truth…

I am tired. I am tired of seeing my face missing every week. I am tired of having to justify my words. I am tired of having to prove that I did not deserve to be abused, raped, murdered, abandoned, mistreated, touched or spoken to inappropriately. I am tired. I want to be loved, not for who you think I am nor who you want me to be. Could you love me for me?

Men, elders, strangers, could you love a black girl, woman, child like me?

My vagina is angry.