Being in Trinidad can sometimes feel like being in a very bad soap opera. Like The Young and The Restless, for example – it lasts your whole entire lifetime, people don’t seem to grow up or out of the dramas, there’s no getting away from it, the bacchanal is both unimaginably silly and totally hysterical, and people get away with murder …literally.
Oh and gossip spreads like wildfire.
And the gossip although a lot of the time has 0.5% truth to it…a lot of the time also has 0% truth to it. I think this is what happens when there are lots of bored people all in one place.
Because sometimes it seems as though everyone is waiting for you to make a mistake, have a slip-up, do something, anything that they can talk about. As if you aren’t under enough pressure as it is to stay fit and look sexy, work hard but not too hard, always have a waxed vagina and a mani-pedi, make plenty money, play punkie-val (eh ehm, I mean Carnival), go out every weekend, go to Miami to shop every few months, get engaged and have a massive expensive wedding, have kids…and stay married whether you’re happy, horning or otherwise. What?
And why are there so many expectations?
As a mother you are expected to be the carer, cook, cleaner, bread-winner, nurse, diaper changer, entertainer, night shifter, never-shouting-always-soft-gentle-and-loving MILF – but such a person does not exist. Although my mum is pretty close. And we know this yet we still feel guilty. Guilty that we aren’t doing enough, guilty to take a break, guilty to take time for yourself, guilty for eating McFlurrys a few times a week. What does it even mean to take care of yourself and not be selfish? This is another battle you must learn how to balance, which I haven’t learned yet either. Am I being selfish by going out? Or by wanting alone time? By spending money on myself? It’s not just mine anymore…I own a whole human now. And he’s very, very expensive. But I’m losing my shit. Must. Go. Out. Must. Have. Drink.
And as if this isn’t enough to make you lose the plot…your responsibilities as a vet are just as plentiful.
As a vet you are expected to be a miracle worker, free laborer, therapist, dog trainer, surgeon, imager, anesthetist, dentist, pathologist, available at all seconds of the days and nights…oh and perfect. Because we aren’t allowed to make mistakes!
And then a lightbulb goes off in my overworked, overthinking brain. With all of these expectations pinned on me, I can see a little more clearly – how could I have expected people in the past to have lived up to my expectations? They weren’t big ones mind you, they were actually quite simple. I expected honesty and faithfulness. But as my therapist said that time, I have to take some blame for what happened, and now I understand where she was coming from (I think).
“Expectations are premeditated resentments” – Dawn Sinnott.
Anyway enough of that – now close your eyes and imagine now that you have a screaming baby and two emergency calls coming in at 11pm and 10 WhatsApp messages about pets and a few from some friends…where do you even begin! I always get buffed for taking ages to get back to people and I feel so guilty but messages get lost along the way between running around like a headless chicken, trying to sleep for a few hours a night, working always, bathing occasionally (just kidding, I bathe each and every day) and trying to keep an entire human being alive (it’s hard, they do a lot of silly things like free fall down the stairs or eat a stone). Sometimes I feel dizzy and overwhelmed and I just want to sit down in a dark room by myself for a while. Or run away. Far, far away.
But that would be the easy way out. And what’s wrong with the easy way out, you may ask yourself. Well I’m not sure yet but my dad says that no one has it easy and that everything will pay off and be totally fine one day and lots of other people have it a lot worse. Yes, I know this – we all know this. But when you’re being irrational you aren’t really thinking of anyone else are you? And that’s the problem right there! When we are being irrational, we might be being a little bit selfish by thinking that we have it the worst and that no one understands what we are going through, and that your whole entire world is ending. And though that may seem to be true at that moment, that’s just life. So we pick ourselves up, we keep calm and we carry on. Or we remain totally off our heads and carry on (yours truly). But the point is that we carry on, and that’s the most important thing. We can do this. We are women, we can do anything.
And this is the conversation that I have with myself daily.
And then I wonder if maybe I have a lesion in my brain because this cannot be normal behavior.