Twenty twenty how much?

Never dreamt about walking down an aisle on any “big day”. It’s not on my bucket list. And nothing makes me feel more nauseous than thinking of myself in a wedding dress, walking down an aisle, with far too many eyeballs [the “Trini watch”…eyelash to boob to stomach to bum to fingernail to split end to lipstick shade to toenail to the comments “ooh gooood like ya put on weight Darlin, doh mine”] rolling up and down, to sit through speeches about the bride and groom growing up (cringe) and then have people drunkenly fling my dress up and down while “brown girl in the ring” plays. I cannot…I WILL not do this. Also, I will die before anyone puts me in a circle and sings about me being brown or in a ring. Sorry mum and dad. Is there something wrong with me?

Yes, I paid a witness. I paid someone to come and sign some documents for us while we got married. This is the level of private I wanted this day to be. The day before, we were still looking for a second witness and by some miracle a very great friend came to the rescue the night before – else I would have literally rolled someone off the street. I enforced a strict no-pictures policy and the ceremony was short and cute and got to the point. In and out in half an hour – no stress, no paparazzi, no facebook or instagram pictures circulating, no dress, no worries. A few weeks later though, we got a framed picture delivered to our flat. It was a SNUCK picture of us saying our “vows” where you can kind of see small pieces of our faces lol… what a friend 🙂 A candid, genuine snapshot of that absolute crazy shit we did after knowing each other for a year. Covid brain?

“I can’t believe we did that”…followed by hysterical laughter is the only reference we have towards that day. And that’s all we need. It helped that it was on April fools initially because when we told my parents the night before, they were like “Ha-ha-ha April fools”… and it eased in the…”Um no but really um…we are dong this tomorrow…” and then the “STEFFI MARIE GALT what the !@£$%” that came after.

Of course, similar to the ultrasound situation, nothing stays a “secret” in Trinidad for long. Slowly but surely the news (gossip) spread like covid throughout the family (the ones we want to tell things to…the ones we don’t but we have to because we are family) and then we felt obliged to tell the people we love because “really it’s a positive thing” bla bla bla and now it isn’t a secret anymore so here I am writing about it. My little “muffin cup” (first born human child not to be confused with “Bunbun” who is first born dog child – you will get into a lot of trouble if you mix these up) sat the most still I have ever seen a child sit, and listened to the words that we said to each other that day we got married. He remains the voice of reason when we tell each other off. “Mummy that’s rude do not dare speak to him like that” when I’m being a B -word and “…you will have to go back to Trinidad if you say that again eh” if husband plays up [DAMN STRAIGHT] – which makes everyone laugh and usually ends the argument.

Children are gems. My son for example, is a diamond. He is HARD. So is yours and so is everyone else’s. Whoever says that their kid is anything less hard than a diamond you need to stop lying to yourself. It’s okay, we are all struggling because they are all hard and test our patience secondly (if that’s a word) and make us question things like… “Why didn’t my mother WARN ME PROPERLY before I did this to myself…” and “God why would you do this to me”…but then you find a video they secretly made on your phone singing soca and putting on a Trini accent (because now he sounds a bit Bri-ish mate) with his hair slicked down and hear yourself in that same video screaming like a maniac the background that it is bedtime – and you feel a rush of guilt and love all in one. And this is the crazy that lives in your head forever now.

Twenty twenty WHAT. This is how my son counts… “twentay-one, twentay-two, twentay-three” and it is just so precious. I cannot believe it’s 2022. It’s like Covid wiped two years straight out of our lives – I’m not even sure what happened but let me tell you, England is over it. I can only speak for England because we have been caged here for the entire time and we are all DONE with covid.

The mountains of 2020 and 2021 have ended and scarred some of us for good. Descending 2021 was even harder than getting up 2020. Why? B-U-R-N-O-U-T. The crazy addictive exhilarating nights I have talked about before – being a vet in ECC. Well… I hit the brick wall. I cracked. Burned out. And I cannot do it anymore. One shift, 12 in-patients, 1 GDV, 1 vet, 1 nurse 1 animal care attendant. Another shift, 6 patients waiting, 2 GDVs at the same time, 10 in patients. It is extremely important to have this experience in your career but it is not sustainable in the mental or physical sense. So before the plot gets completely lost and I end up in a big dark hole, I must leave.

Covid brought too many pets for too little staff. Too much stress for too little reward. Too many complaints, too little gratitude. One by one, the team started leaving and I tried and tried to stay. Switched positions, tried something new. But the clinics continue to be relentless, continue to bring too many patients, too little staff. Clients continue to scream F’s and C’s in your face. Continue to disrespect you. People say “Oh, you’re a vet what a lovely job” – if they only knew (!) how hard this profession is, then we would be in a much better position to be a much better respected one. With loads of memories, some funny, most traumatic 🙂 I am officially saying goodbye to ECC and moving onto a new chapter. I hope to instil a culture of psychological safety. Of mutual respect. Of honesty and genuine passion for doing what we love to the new clinic. To the public – STOP abusing vets. You might be the last straw that pulls the trigger for someone going through personal hell. This job is emotional, it’s intellectually and morally challenging, this job is long hours, it’s average pay. This job requires us to know enough about every single topic that there is. Please I beg you, show respect and kindness. We are only doing our best.

Let’s hope that the biggest mountains are behind us. 2022 you can be a savannah, undulating plains, you can be an entire region of hills… but please, please do not be an unclimbable mountain.

We all need a little break this rounds.

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