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I Don’t Know.

In hospitality, it was one of the first things I learned… Ok, maybe the second. The first was that if I wanted to have every weekend and holiday off, I needed a new career. The second thing was, ‘I don’t know.’ Verbatim. Often times, it’s followed with a “…, but let me check.”

As a new employee, you come in as the green and malleable rookie. You go through your training and then you are left to fend for yourself. Sink or swim. Thankfully, most times you are given floaties (a.k.a. your trainer). You start to gain your confidence, and then a guest asks you a question that leaves you dumbfounded and you have to utter those three words. Of course, you don’t know! You just got there.

Since I firmly planted my foot in the hospitality industry, I hated to not know something. In turn, it would give me great pleasure to have the answer to someone’s question. Blame it on the nerd in me.

We live in the information age with the answers to our questions at our fingertips – except for the existential ones. If someone asks me a question, to which I do not know the answer, I must find out.  I find myself hating more and more to not know. But why? So what if I don’t know that cheetahs run faster than 60mph or that the dot over the i and j is called a tittle, or that it’s impossible to hum and hold your nose.

All this useless information, in my brain rolling around because of the need to know :). Maybe I’ll mentally go back to my rookie hospitality days and I’ll say, “you know what, I really don’t know.”

Who am I kidding, how can a leopard change its spots?

(You’re trying to hold your nose and hum right now, aren’t you?)

xxx
Cherise

Uncategorized

Gender Roles

I recently started a new job. I work for a food sales & distribution company. Given that it is a relatively small company with a tight-knit staff, no one has just one function. I am no exception. Within the first month, I had to make some deliveries in the delivery van. I don’t think I have ever seen that many heads turn because people realize that I’m female. The most notable encounters were with women. One female Security Guard said, “oh they have woman drivers?” Then she proceeded to question my ability to drive. In jest, I mentioned that I didn’t buy my license. After watching me maneuver the van, upon exit of the property, she concurred.

I realize that it is difficult for some people, especially Caribbean people, to give up on some deep-rooted, perceived gender roles. I also realize that maybe people would be more accepting of my newfound role if I were butch. While I’m not super girly, the fact that I deliver boxes in a van while wearing skinny jeans and nail polish is clearly unsettling. Or confusing. Or insert adjective here. Yes, of course, I’m not as strong as my male counterparts because I’m lacking some testosterone, but I’m quite strong nonetheless (thanks Dayana!). So what, if I have to make 3 trips instead of 2. The point is, I pull my weight. All of it.

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Pulling my own weight is nothing new. My brother and I learned from my parents’ example. They taught us that if you see something needs to be done, you do it. My mother, who also ran a small company, often referred to herself as ‘the chief cook and bottle washer’. In previous positions, I have filled in where necessary: cleaned tables, washed dishes, made beds, and swept floors. I don’t see why all of sudden, it’s a big shock that I can drive a stick shift and lift a few boxes. Kai is 3. He weighs 32lbs and I lift him from time to time. Does that fit into your perceived female gender role?

How about we open our minds?

Next step: Forklift!

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xxx

 

Cherise

 

 

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I. Am. Woman.

I know you read the title and you added “hear me roar”. There isn’t going to be any roaring here. Well maybe a little bit 🙂

Given that tomorrow is International Women’s Day (March 8), I wanted to talk about women. In the past few months, I have met some phenomenal women. I already knew a lot of phenomenal women, but I’m happy that I have been fortunate enough to encounter some more.

I’m writing this blog to encourage us to spread more love, especially between us women. I hear women talk from time to time and it seems as though it is easy to highlight the negative. We speak hate. We need to stop this haterism. I try to keep a positive outlook and push my optimist agenda at any chance I get. In today’s world, where hate comes so easily, let’s all show some love.

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Love Yourself, Uncategorized

The Pursuit of Skinny-ness

I have never been slim. Genetics have a lot to do with it. My mum was slim for a large part of her life and never gained weight no matter what she ate. I feel like I fashioned my eating habits from her example, but I wasn’t blessed with a high metabolism. In turn, I have forever been in the pursuit of skinny-ness. My dad on the other hand tells me that even when he was a young man and he used to run all the time, he ‘always had a belly’. Thanks, Dad!

I am,  by no means,  a health freak. I’m lazy at times and I eat and drink too much. My diet is a pendulum swing of extremes. Complete over indulgence and complete avoidance. A binge and then a purge. I know it’s not a healthy lifestyle but at least it’s not all over indulgence.

I do have a back-up plan. Her name is Dayana. She’s my trainer. We have a tumultuous love-hate relationship. Okay, maybe that’s just a bit dramatic. I love her but I hate when I can’t bend down to pick up stuff. Thank goodness I have a toddler. I convince him to pick up stuff for me all the time.

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Kai, Uncategorized

Bedtime Musings

My son Kai goes to daycare. I try my best everyday to make sure that he isn’t the last child at school. I, myself, have been the last child at school and it was never great. It wasn’t because my parents were neglectful but because they were working. Doing the right thing. Providing. Being productive. Making a difference.

Somehow, when I am late, or it is close to closing time, I feel as though I’m not doing a good enough job as a parent. So, I rush from work and pick up the little boy.

Today, I was stuck in traffic, which is not uncommon on St. Maarten. Thinking of my boy, sitting on the steps of the school feeling as though, I didn’t care. But as I drove up, I encountered something totally different than my imagined scenario. The teacher with Kai and 5 other children running around outside. He was having a blast yet happy to see me nonetheless.

I know some of you might be control-freak-over-thinkers, like me, but I am starting to believe that ultimately, as long as you love your children, keep it positive and do your best, everything is gonna be alright. 🙂
Xxx
Cherise

parents

Perspective

As kids we all have gripes with regard to how our parents raised us. I’m not an exception. I have looked at my friends’ parents and thought,  I wish my parents were like that. At the same time, I can tell you that I have also seen other parents and I thanked my lucky stars. In any case, it could be better, but it could always be worse. Maybe your mom never came to any of your games, or recitals, or plays (or insert extra curricular activity display here). It could very well be that maybe she was providing for your little ungrateful butt. 🙂 It’s important to see things from different perspectives. I feel that perspective contributes a great deal to growth.

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Not Good Enough…Pff

Print perfection has been a hot topic for a major part of my life. We see it everywhere. Photos are retouched: double chins erased, cellulite smoothed, dark circles lightened, waists trimmed and thigh gaps increased. Consider it like digital spa treatments and imagined circuit training. These are unrealistic ideals that we cannot attain. How am I supposed to measure up to that? I’m a 34 year old with the metabolism of a hibernating bear. In addition, I have a three year old who is looking for the party at 1 am. I’m practically made up of cellulite and dark circles.

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The Struggles of an Eternal Optimist

I am an optimist. An Eternal Optimist. Corny translation: I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. I try to see the silver lining of every cloud. I could continue with more cliches but you get my point. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days, but I try get over them quickly.

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I will forever see the good in someone even after I’ve been burned. I guess, to some people, that makes me foolish, but I don’t feel that way. I don’t just hope for the best, I expect it.

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Island Girlfriends

I was always a tomboy. Growing up with a brother who pushed my limits, I always felt the need to compete. My brother, Sean, is 3 years my senior and I looked up to him and wanted to be just like him. If he climbed a tree, I had to climb higher. If he rode his bicycle, I had to ride faster. I didn’t always succeed, but I tried. My mother would try and try to no avail to keep me in a dress and inside the house playing with dolls and tiny china sets. I wanted none of that. I constantly fought the double standards and my parents soon learned that I was an equal opportunity child. If Sean did it, why couldn’t I? After many scraped knees and broken bones, I think they were resigned to the fact that this was me.

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