Trinidad and Tobago: My Homeland of Incommensurable Contradictions
TW: Discussions of Violence, Murder and Sexual Assault. This article's not worth sacrificing your mental health for so if those topics are particularly traumatic for you, please click away.
Why I'm Breaking Up With My Vocal 'Stats' Page
Short answer: It was driving me crazy. Long answer: It's a bit more complicated. I have suffered from mild anxiety for as long as I can remember, particularly when confronted with new and unknown situations. My palms get sweaty, my heart starts racing and my mind goes into hyper mode, turning over the finest detail of every circumstance to the point that even if it was initially positive, it appears sucky. Always one for self-awareness, I've drummed up some strategies to combat this over my 22 years of life. I go to bed really early. Phone's off by 8PM. I don't check emails until after I've gone through the motions of meditating, preparing breakfast for myself and washing my face in the morning. I journal. I do yoga. I've deleted Reddit and limit the amount of time I spend on social media. As far as coping mechanisms go, these actions have helped me to manage (if not totally cure) my anxiety in the past.
Quintessential Black TV - 12 TV Shows That Defined My Childhood
It's February, the shortest and coldest month of the year and also coincidentally, Black History Month! I grew up in the Caribbean and not the US so we didn't really observe Black History Month. Black History in my country encompasses and informs most parts of our cultural experiences (food, religion, festivals etc.) so I imagine the powers that be decided an entire month would be redundant. As an adult currently living in Canada, I've come to appreciate February as an important opportunity for learning, celebration and discovery of the significant contributions of the black population to the history and cultural vitality of the country.
Fate: The Winx Saga - A Tale of Racial Erasure, Wingless Fairies and Burned Monsters
Winx Club defined my childhood. Everyday after school, I would allow myself to be whisked away into the land of fairies, magic and friendship. For those of you who have no idea what Winx Club even is, it was a Nickelodeon (originally Italian) animated series that centered around a group of friends attending a magical boarding school named Alfea. The show's main protagonist, Bloom, is a fairy who grew up among humans and had no idea that fairies even existed let alone that she was one. She then attends Alfea and begins to learn more about her past, forms a group of friends and together they do really cool fairy things like transform and fight witches. This show was fire. Well, the orginal version was.
My First 30 Days on Vocal - I Earned $545
Discovering Vocal was like finding out about an unplanned pregnancy. I'm sorry, I couldn't think of a better analogy for a "happy surprise". Are people typically excited about unplanned pregnancies? I guess it depends. I definitely meant it in a happy, over-the-moon kind of way though. My first article was published on Vocal on 28th December, 2020. I discovered the platform through a targeted Facebook Ad. I typically ignore Facebook Ads because I think our phones are always listening to us and that's creepy as hell. The very same day, I had been on the phone with a friend from back home and explaining that it'd be a dream to earn money for my writing. A fews hours later, I pop open the Facebook app and what do I see but "Earn Money Writing on Vocal." I clicked on it and one month later, here we are. I thought that it would be fun to look back at this past month and reflect on what I've written thus far, my experiences on the platform and yes, because I clickbaited the title, how much money I've earned. Full disclosure: this review is actually going to be a month and some change. Because I started posting at the end of December 2020, it made logistical sense to just lump those few extra days in with the entirety of January.
How Twilight Inspired My Love for Terrible TV
Twilight is a staple of my teenage years. I still remember when I was first introduced to the franchise after seeing the second movie, New Moon, in theatres with two of my childhood best friends when I was ten years old. From then on, I was hooked. My mom bought me all the books that year for Christmas and I went into a repeated cycle of finishing the books and immediately beginning them again. I’ve probably read the series in its entirety 7 times and have watched the movies just as many times. I can still quote lines from the movies word for word.
Cracking the Code of Vocal Top Stories
I’ve been on Vocal for about a month. Actually today on the 28th January as I'm writing this is the one month anniversary of the publication of my first post on Vocal. In that time, four of my stories have been featured as staff picks (with the redesign, this is now called Top Stories) which is just mindblowing and amazing to me.
Code-Switching: On Having Two Linguistic Personalities
Code-switching, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is "The action of shifting between two or more languages, or between dialects or registers of a language, within a discourse, especially in response to a change in social context". Growing up, I was always accused of "talking white". Spoiler alert, I am not white. I did, however, attend a somewhat prestigious secondary school and there's a pervasive trend in my country of mocking the accent of students from said school. We were posh, "hoity-toity" (their words, not mine) and we spoke with an accent that gave off an air of superiority.