The air was a lot heavier for a while.

Dense.

Thick.

Binding.

It’s interesting because as things start to fall into place naturally we begin to breathe out. With relief and usually it’s a sigh we’ve been holding in a thousand moments longer than we realise.

What I forgot is that for things to fall into place. Something has to give or move or simply dissolve. But that’s unnerving and admittedly I’m still adjusting.  It’s been 7 months now that it’s just Sans and I, in our little 1 bedroom flat. It’s also our first summer just us two. It’s been incredibly rewarding and also incredibly tough.

Maybe I think to highly of myself but I want more and expect more of me. There is something that I only touch upon because the hippie in me feels like giving it energy allows it to gain momentum. Yet ignoring how I feel about it hasn’t helped much either. So now after some much needed calm I can say being poor is stressful.

Nearly half of all single parent families live in relative poverty. We’re twice as likely than our two parent households to experience this. Which makes sense as two incomes are better than one.

It’s such a paradox because this time a month ago Sanaa and I were in Panama, having the time of our lives. What I didn’t share was the phone call two weeks prior; where I tried to cancel our vacation with BA because I couldn’t afford to go. Luckily due to some incredibly generous people in our lives we made it and had an amazing time.

Yet in context choosing what bills are the most important or wondering if there’s any expenses unaccounted for is part and parcel with being a millennial. Being a millennial mum, it’s a whole different ball game.

I have already had a pity party so this isn’t that.

I’ve already laid down in a pool of shame because my bank balance has been unreflective of my abilities.

I’ve already given myself tuts under my breath and head shakes for not planning better.

I have already exhausted every possible avenue in my head of ways to provide for our family of two.

I have already given myself a stern talking to and said you chose to become a parent so suck it up and make it work.

I have already watched my daughter sleep and thought about the impact my choices may have on her.

I have already vowed that no matter what happens next summer this one will seam a world away.

Like I said I have already had a pity party so this isn’t that.

I’m currently looking for a job. I don’t care what it is, after 30 minutes learning on Google and Youtube I can do anything. The truth of my life is pressing upon me with great speed and force.

Not only do we need to be okay. We have to be. They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but they didn’t factor in a mum on a mission.

Things within my career have began to flourish. I’m being given ample opportunities to write and speak about my experiences. It’s something I’m forever grateful for particularly as most girls where I’m from in my position, don’t have creative outlets or people cheering them on near and far.

I’ll never take for granted what sharing my life in this way has allowed me to do. But until it pays me rent money or something close, I have to look elsewhere for our safety net.

I do believe in myself enough to know it will happen and of course Sans is the BEST motivation. Also what successful person doesn’t have a few wild stories and hard times to grow from?

This is absolutely apart of my making. I know this too shall pass. This is another step in my journey, but I always go back to my essence. Honesty is the strongest pillar upon which I share my craft of writing with you all.

So my absence has been me regrouping and also hustling.

It’s been because there was a stuck feeling I was finding hard to shake.

For a moment in life.

The air was a lot heavier for a while.

Dense.

Thick.

Binding.

 

 

Recently, my life has started to look different.

It’s almost become an out of body experience at times. Particularly because when I left home at 17, I was green to the world. I was also very naive to what independence meant. In the interim of what it could be to grow up, I had done it. The years of 16-18 for me weren’t the spare time to figure life out.

The circumstances under which I left home weren’t great (I’d had a very messy break up and an abortion), but it was my choice. Most of us know that ANY life decisions we made at such a young age probably wouldn’t have been in our best interests. This is possibly the first time I truly understood the class system as well. Now a days, this goes in my favour because I am aware of my freedoms. How funny is that, I’m a black woman speaking on her privilege; slim they may be. I learned a lot about the art of blagging. Not that we all must do this but for me it was instrumental in maintaining the false sense of security I had lulled myself into.

I was poor. My official living status was homeless.

Picture this my room was at a hostel for families, (nothing like the hippy ones I spent wondrous nights in South America partying in 3 years later) it had a rather clinical feel to it. My bedroom was also my kitchen and there was a shared bathroom down the hall. It was about 10 x 13 so the size of a large double room it, wasn’t very much but it was my own space.

I used to turn my oven on so I had heating, mental I know. I also used to buy a box of 40 ramen noodles to last me for a month 1 pack a day was sufficient. They were the tastiest things in life to me, now I eat them and get nostalgic. I had way too much pride to call my parents for help as I knew this was a life I had chosen.

In comparison to my life now I don’t understand how I managed, this is my truth. I just don’t know. What I do know however is that I supressed a lot of my feelings at that time so this whole piece is being written from an objective even logical stance. The level of humiliation I personally put on myself was a catalyst for my dogmatic work ethic (when things started looking up work was a brilliant distraction). I had been 7 months away from teen motherhood of twins, a role I wholeheartedly didn’t want until after my abortion. I didn’t know how to move through my experience and aftermath of the “adult” situation I was in. It’s interesting because the regret that consumed me was silent. My heart was silent, I was silent. Isolated and poor what a combination!

Yes, poverty was upon me in the most private way, I was on benefits and I see no shame in that statement. I did, I did for many years but now I see reality. I mean it wasn’t like the government had set me up so my head was above water but I wasn’t going to drown any further. For this I am eternally grateful.

I was emotionally spent back then not tired, not sad, not feeling much really just spent, my cup had run dry. Tired of being me in this life I didn’t understand. You know as a young person from around 13 years old we are fed a narrative of the big wide world. The narrative of my world was filled with less opportunities and more circumstances. We only allow ourselves a certain amount of pain before we switch off.

During this time I would dream of the days when I could buy a thicker winter jacket and not because I wanted one but because I needed one. I thought about sleeping in a double bed again.  I even hoped for the days I could speak of being in an over draft because my credit rating was high enough to even have one. I wished for my emotions to return to me tenfold and for the sorrow of my soul to let me be free. For the self-disconnect to stop. For the regret to flee. For my nightmares to be kinder to me.  I thought of better days.

These are those days. While I know that I’m no lady of leisure now I understand how far I’ve come. I’m stable enough that I can go and do what I need to have what I want.

Now out of choice being broke is apart of my brand. For me wealth looks different than it does to others; so I will never try to live above my means in an attempt to mask my actuality. Its a temporary state subject to change, like most things in life what you put in is what you get out. I know now that better days are always coming and the worst were a part of my making. To have achieved the standard of living I have now…. God, I’m so proud of myself.

It took me so long to switch back on. But when I did I made a pact with myself. One that still feels a bit silly but has been very valuable. Remember who you are. Simple, but its a constant for me.

I will forever be the girl of my past, the being of my present and the woman of my future.

Remi BBB (65)

I did an interview with the girls over at Motherhood Reconstructed, about what a day in my life is like. They made me sound so cool, thanks girls. 

 

REMI SADE TAKES US THROUGH AN ‘AVERAGE’ DAY AS A YOUNG MOTHER STUDYING AT UNIVERSITY USING CREATIVE MEANS TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE OF BEING AFFECTED BY DYSLEXIA AND DYSPRAXIA.  REMI STUDIES ALONGSIDE A CUTE SIDE HUSTLE DESIGNING AND SELLING INSPIRATIONAL POSTERS, SHARING FASHION INSPO FOR GIRLS WITH CURVES AND BLOGGING!  YES ALL OF THIS WHILST PARENTING, I NEED A LIE DOWN THINKING ABOUT IT!

Remi BBB (12)

PHOTO COURTESY OF POOKS AND GOOKS PHOTOGRAPHY

 REMI HAD ME DROOLING WHEN SHE SAID SHE HAS SEASONED BAKED BEANS AND PLANTAIN WITH A COOKED BREAKFAST TWICE A WEEK.  PLANTAIN IS LIFE AND SEASONED BEANS ARE A GREAT COMPANION.  GUESS WHAT I’LL BE HAVING AT THE END OF THE WEEK? (END BECAUSE I AM WAITING FOR THE PLANTAIN TO BE JUST RIGHT RANDOM Q, DO YOU PREFER YOURS BOILED OR FRIED?).  OK BACK TO REMI 👀! REMI HUMOUROUSLY TOUCHES ON THE PUSH AND PULL OF HER 2ND GENERATION CARIBBEAN CULTURE, BRITISHNESS, STUDENT LIFE THROUGH BREKKIE (YES FOR REAL 🙃) AND UNIVERSITY BEING A MEANS TO CHANGE THE SOCI-ECONOMIC STATUS.  OVER TO YOU REMI…

You can find the full interview here.

As always happy reading x

Happy Valentines Day!

I’ve written a love letter, it was an interesting one to create. It’s also one of the most moving and personal pieces I may ever share.

I’m sending big thank you to the girls over at Mama Tribe for letting me put this out on your blog.

Hey you,

This is going to be a tough one but long overdue. Do you remember her? Did you find her? Let me ask you this… was she the same? After all the time has passed and words have rested on deaf ears was it all worth it? Can I be honest, you always talk about honesty.

You can find the full letter here.

As always happy reading.

Remi x

Happy new year. I hope your year is going well… all 9 days.

So, I think it’s time to reintroduce Books, Baby and Back. What started as a place for me to share has become a part of my life unto itself. Firstly, the blog has gotten a makeover. She scrubs up well don’t you think? I like to think of my blog as a she because well, it’s an extension of some of my most personal moments.

When I started thinking about BBB I wrote a post on Instagram where I said: “After we have our girl I’m going to make a series of posts whether it be a blog or vlog. I can’t commit to more than around 10 (I’m rubbish at sticking to things), but we’ll see.”

Next month my (other) little baby: this blog turns one. I cannot believe that its gone from strength to strength. The community that I have found through sharing my writing and honesty has become pivotal to how much I have learnt. Watching this blog grow for me has been a personal triumph. I will continue to be open to whatever may come of this platform, seeing as “around 10” posts turned into nearly triple that.

A new feature of Books, Baby and Back is that there’s now a shop. Printed locally here in London. For the time being there are 5 prints on sale and all are customisable free of charge. I hope you like having a look at them and deciding where they’ll hang. I’m also offering a commission print service please contact me if you’d like more info. You can find the prints by clicking here.

A bit more about the new year is that it means my birthday is soon. This year I feel will be a good one, I always look forward to getting a year older. Yes, I know I maybe wishing my youth back in many years. For now though, a year older is a year wiser (that’s the idea anyway or maybe I just love a good celebration).

My motto for the year ahead is no excuses. Of course, I’ll still try and make some but my level of productivity will need to match my objectives. I have 3 months left of university too and then I’m off on summer holidays with Sanaa. Which I’ve hardly any plans for except one big one.

Save the date: Tuesday 12th of June 2018.

I’M HAVING AN EXHIBITION!!!

I decided a few weeks ago that this digital age we’re in has repelled the physical aspect of being a writer slightly. So, I’m bringing it back for one fun evening, it also gives me a chance to share some new work with you all. Once tickets are on sale I shall let you all know.

You have all been so kind and supportive of my BBB journey and I can’t say thank you enough. It’s been a great start to the New Year so onwards and upwards from here.

Don’t forget to check out the prints.

Take Care Remi x