Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dating outside of your culture - what's the big deal?

I recently wrote a post for .Ghana and just wanted to share it with you guys. Thoughts and comments welcome of course! 

A friend of mine recently asked the question “Saadiya, would you date a white guy or a guy who wasn't Nigerian?” If I had been asked this question a couple of years ago I would have, without a doubt, answered with a confident ‘no!’. Surely dating outside of your culture could only lead to confusion, arguments and unnecessary hassle. Why put yourself through that when you can find someone who understands you and your culture from the get go?
Fast forward a couple of years, and this question has really stumped me. Would I date a guy outside of my race or culture? And I don’t just mean black and white or African and Jamaican. There is a whole spectrum of matches here; Black and Asian, Chinese and White, Nigerian and Ghanaian, Egyptian and Indian... er, you get the idea! How would it work... in the long run of course – the ultimate goal for any two people in a relationship is marriage, and a long-lasting one at that, right? Dating outside of your culture or race is an issue I am sure, many of us have faced. We could be here for hours discussing the pros and cons of the situation but this is something that has been playing on my mind for a while now. The reason for this is, after graduating from University, I now think dating a guy outside of my culture would not be as big an issue as I once thought. I am not opposed to the idea. But, I think it depends on the person. I have met some people from all sorts of walks of life who have understood me a whole lot better than people I have met that are of the same race, culture and heritage as myself. So, just like all things, you just can’t generalise I guess. If the relationship is serious, then you're not just thinking about yourself anymore. It’s the impact it will have on your future children and those around you; family, friends and colleagues. People will always try to find a way to make your relationship their business for whatever reason. It simply is not though! I say simply, because it is... well, it should be. When families get involved, it seems like the issue is out of your hands entirely! While I understand that, especially in African or Asian homes, marrying outside of your culture seems to be the road less traveled down.

I wanted to get a wider perspective on this issue so I asked a couple of my friends the same question, and the results I found was just as varied as I had expected, but also quite positive. Everyone played the middle ground – ‘they would… for the right person’ and that is the key; find the right person. I find it comical how people have ‘checklists’ when it comes to potential partners – it's something that can only restrict you, especially when you're young. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to have standards to keep by when dating, but there can be certain things that can also be compromised on. Besides, people are complex; they can’t be listed, checked off and placed in boxes.
Interracial couples or marriages can work, for the right person, and if both sides are willing to respect and compromise. I think that is what it all comes down to eventually. There should be nothing wrong with dating interracial, as long as the other person can truly understand, respect and compromise on important issues. Believe it or not, people are capable of doing this.
So I go back to my original question; would I date a guy outside of my culture or race? I would, for the right person. But they better be worth it!

Monday, 8 October 2012

'I am full of light, I am full of wonder' | Musings

There comes times in life when you realise you have to change something about yourself, or improve a part of you. Like maybe you want to start eating healthier, give up smoking, or work on your confidence or get a place in University.
You're not changing because you are trying to model yourself on someone else, but simply because you realise that, for you and your well-being,  it's the best thing to do.  But it's so hard isn't it? I'll use eating healthy as an example because that's something I'm working on right now, i.e paying attention to what I eat, cutting out all the unhealthy food and generally eating more healthy and useful foods.  I genuinely thought to myself one day that I gotta take this seriously - the foods I buy, cook and eat are so important I should start paying attention to them. It's one of those things that is so easy to put off till tomorrow, till someday. 'We're always waiting for our lives to begin...' but if you think about it, in a year's time, you would wish that you had started today. It's about just taking that first step. Even if you give up or give in halfway through, as long as you know how to make that first step again and again... and again, I reckon it'll be alright.  

It just has to start with you and only you; changing someone else is damn near impossible if they have no interest in it. Change is such a hard thing and as human beings it's so easy for us to get stuck in our ways without expanding our horizons and just opening our minds to endless possibilities, as cheesy as that sounds!!   I love the idea of that though, being so optimistic about certain things that you have such a strong 'get up and go' attitude about life and what you can do. Obviously life isn't full of sunny days and rainbows but it does pay to keep optimism alive, give things a go and literally just do it. Just do it. As soon as you've made the decision to lose weight, or give up smoking or get into uni, it's done; you have made that decision so it's up to yourself to pull through.  

I wanted to share with you guys Emeli Sande's new song (well, it's Naughty Boy ft, Emeli Sande) I've raved about her material before and I love that she is releasing new music, it's so inspiring and refreshing to hear her songs on the radio. What do you guys think about the new song?

'This life is contagious, go, go tell your neighbours, just reach out and pass it on'

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Interviews | Rant time

I hate interviews. Like really really really really hate them so much so that I would rather take another 3 hour law exam or something. Somehow I think that would be less pressure... Obviously, interviews are not supposed to be appealing, or exiting, or enjoyable; they are meant to test you and draw out the best in you so the company knows that they are recruiting the best of the best. I get that. But some take the mick.

The most recent interview I had lasted the whole day and consisted of a maths test, a sales test and a competency based interview. Oh and group work (I'm SO bad at group work it makes me want to cry...) The job I was going for must have been pretty big though right? Right? Ha ha haha ha. It was for a call centre where literally you sit there, people call in about their broken down washing machines and you help them with their problems while secretly trying to sell them some insurance. An interview I had before that was pretty much the same and it was also for a very very very basic job.  To be honest, their more 'assessment days' than 'interviews' because their so hardcore. What really annoys me though is when you ask for feedback on how you did (if you didn't get the job) and all they say to you is: 'we're sorry but, due to the high volume of interest, we cannot give individual feedback.' Oh well I'M sorry but did I not just spend ALL day in YOUR office doing YOUR tests and answering YOUR questions and pretending like sales was the best thing in the whole world?! I know they are a massive company and I'm just another unemployed graduate to them but it's a bit... belittling when you literally jump through hoops for a job that is only meant to 'get you by'  and you can't even ask where you went wrong.

Interviews in general are hardcore, I understand, but really, what are they looking for? Perfection? Well it doesn't exist man!
Meh, rant over.

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