Journaling my personal growth journey as a Feminine Psychology Fashionista, Travel Queen and Soca Lover; popping up around the globe doing bad ass stuff (or because the search for your personal identity is complex!)
But what I did learn was that losing a job was just as bad as a break-up. I know I quit, I booted myself out, but in making that decision for myself, I lost familiarity and I lost my little community - and I certainly was not immune from all the questions of why and why not, the self-doubt, the sadness and the stupidness (read as *chuppidness* ).
I surprised myself this week because spontaneity finally found me! (That's really rare for a pizza-eating perfectionist planner - according to some Buzzfeed quiz). I happened to be back in the borough and I went back to my old workplace.
Study hard they said. Go to university they said. Get good grades they said. Volunteer they said. Gain exceptional experience they said. Oh wait “you are a little bit overqualified” they ALSO said!Welcome to the life of an overachiever – or in my case a young black girl who had a daddy that drummed into her the mantra that working ten times harder than everyone else was a MUST – and so she mastered everything and more.
The fact that Anna (read as Hannah) decided to record these stories revealed that her reasons for committing suicide were really thought out and planned as some kind of revenge for being socially rejected. I admit, this had me thinking that human beings can have such spiteful little souls because at this stage in the story, a little rejection and some rumours didn't warrant enough for me to understand why someone would commit suicide and then hold other people responsible. Damn it, we all say shit we don't mean or do dumb things. What I felt was pretty much normal - suicide often hurts more humans than just the home-girl who took her life. Many people lack sympathy for suicide, and for me, by episode two this Anna Baker had become a pain in the backside. Ok, so what? They wrote a little list about you saying you have a nice ass - I'm a black woman, the booty is beauty! Take it as a compliment and carry on. Then I remembered some psychological research on resilience - everybody has a different emotional threshold for what they can tolerate from this thing called life. Some of us remain determined even after we have been destroyed and others die at the most diminutive things.
1. You are the smart friend, that should be enough. You are not entitled to the full range of human needs and emotions too. You shouldn't want to be sexy or funny or anything else. You are too busy finding a cure for cancer and revolutionising the world.
After Black people, Women and those with disability, I want to draw attention to one of the most marginalised groups of people - smart people (before you go wild in the comment section - I'm being sarcastic!). I can't count the number of times I've been shut down for complaining about the dating world these days or the lack of job prospects, because apparently I am smart and I don't have those problems. You are not allowed to have difficulty. You should be smart enough to figure things out. You can't be unemployed, you must be lying or trying to be modest. Modesty. That damn word...
Then it dawned on me, to Edward I was Black, but I was British and in his view I had inherited the *glorious* (insert sarcasm) British colonial history too. I was a colonizer, a Columbus even (had he been British). He had created a space to distance the diaspora from Africa, a space that allowed him to classify me as a Dolezal, heck he may as well have called me Kamaria Kardashian. This is just one of the irritations that Third Culture Kids experience; always having to define your identity. Identity is not given. You may be Black, but you have to prove to be Pro-Black. You may be Black, but you might need to define if you are Benin Black, Barbados Black, Brixton Black, Beverly Hills Black or fuck it…Carlton Banks Black.
I am not JUST my hair - (Citation: India Arie) and I am not a natural hair blogger.
In fact I am not really a blogger either. I'm a woman who loves to give her opinion, encourage personal growth; whilst doing this through my profession of being a therapist and training psychologist - oh and I just happen to have natural hair. Hair that becomes a conversation starter with strangers when I go to public bathrooms, hair that makes teen girls develop an automatic liking to me.
"You have a First Class Degree and a Master's from UCL, you appeared on a live TV Panel Show, you worked abroad in a community psychiatric unit, can you explain why on earth you want to work in a low paid job supporting a young girl with educational and behavioural difficulties?"
If you are a social media complainer, bully, argument instigator, thought policer ( sorry I meant, to say social media user) you will pretty familiar with the various antics that take place on social media on a daily if not an hourly basis; which all underlie the one unsolved mystery. Not the Bermuda triangle, not Big Foot and certainly not who shot Biggie Smalls. You see those topics are far too sophisticated (I'm being sarcastic for those who are new to my blog) for social media debate; what I am rather referring to is whether freedom of speech can truly be exercised on social media platforms.
Graduation: Definition - your ceremony, but essentially your family's celebration.
Graduation season is upon us and I'm feeling a little nostalgic about my own graduation 3 years ago. The event that culminated my intelligence, my family's expectations and my ancestor's missed opportunities (no, really - just let me explain).
Taking a holiday alone is a topic that sits in the hall of fame of the weird, yet wonderful activities that defy our social norms. Unfortunately, the topic is more heavily associated with the "weird" kind, by the majority of our society. Anyone who has ever ventured abroad alone would be able to relate to being heckled with questions such as a bemused "why?" "don't you have any friends?" and "would you not you be lonely and bored?" Often this is shortly followed by a never-ending list of safety precautions and stories of terror paying testimony to the downside of solo travel.
When I created kamariafleary.com it was because I wanted to encourage safe spaces to promote personal growth and wellbeing within a framework of psychological principles. I have been navigating the world as a 20 something year old Black girl for the past 5 years and between the ebony skin I live in and the head that houses my intellectual grey matter, I have often found myself positioned somewhere between Russell Group Universities aka Really Geared for the Upperclass institutions and the ethnic enclaves of the National Health Service (NHS).
In honour of international women's day, I decided to give my personal candid take on feminism and why I am not a feminist.
The other day I was sitting in my women of colour coffee session at my students union. The topic of feminism came up and I was asked if I am a feminist. My answer - "I never used to be, until I experienced sexual harassment and then I was one for some time.
Nationally, BME students are 16.1% less likely to achieve a 2:1 or First in their degree. At UCL this figure is 2.8%. At King's it is 12.8%. The debate last night centred around the question of "why is my curriculum white?" And staff at Kings College who attended the talks were unable to give sufficient explanations other than "it has always been that way. But we are working on it." Yet, many postgraduate courses which lead to professorships will not accept those who do not receive at least a 2.1. By the stats, we can see that most BME students will be cut out front the opportunity to change the curriculum by becoming part of those who teach it.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am probably one of the world’s biggest Beyoncé fans. I started off as a lover of her empowering RnB ballads and upbeat bangers, but over the last few years, I’m less of a lover of her music, but more of an appreciator of her creativity and empowerment – especially since growing up means I have been faced with the realities of the world that have evolved me into quite a feminist myself.
This post is in no way disrespectful to the nursing queen that is the late, great Mary Seacole* BUT, sometimes I ask myself if racism truly exists or if it can even be operationalised in Higher Education. Famed Psychologist Dr Anthony Greenwald coined the term implict bias in his development of the Implicit Association Test. He suggested that sometimes people are not racist, but because of the amount of associations and stereotypes that exist with society, they develop an unconscious bias to perceive people in a certain way. Too often than not this bias is almost always negative and racial.