Opinions of a murri woman...

Opinions of a murri woman...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My country...

It’s been 10 long months since I last step foot on my Dulguburra Yidinji country… The place where the green grass grows on the side of the basking hills, where the rainforest sings with its gentle sway and where the fig tree’s sit and watch the world go by. Dulguburra Yidinji, my home.

Burruburru is my bush name, given to me by my Aunty Syb, representing the water gum tree in my Yidiny language. The tree is a messenger tree, a tree that sits on the banks of the creeks and rivers and when it’s time, it flowers its bright yellow flowers, signaling that you’re now allowed to eat what’s in the water. Burruburru is a healing tree, it is my lore and my responsibility to my family, my bush name, and my connection to my Dulguburra Yidinji country no matter how far I might roam.

I grew up with all of my cousins and my family on our country. I swam in the fresh water creeks of Far North Queensland from the moment my mother dipped my head under the freezing mountain waters as a new born. I have played on the farms next to the cows, walk through the rainforest, got told the stories of my mother’s up bringing, those of my grand parents and great grandparents and those before them. I grew up walking the same country as my ancestors and was raised with Aboriginal pride and passion. North Queensland isn’t just a place, my Aboriginality isn’t just a title or percentage, it’s a way of life and it’s who I am.

Since I moved away from home at 17, I have been out on my own and have travelled around the country and the world. I have met different people of difference cultures and races and visited some of the most amazing places on the globe, but nothing compares to my own Dulguburra Yidinji country. Country to a blackfulla is a part of our soul, it’s apart of who we are and what we represent. Our bloodline is the oldest in the world and we belong exactly on that piece of land.

Life gets in the way and reality means I have to live a city life for opportunity but even though I travel near and far, my country always calls me back… I hear it speak to me in my darkest moments; when I sit quietly on my own in the city, I hear and feel my country calling me, giving me peace. See when the world gets too much, I have a place; I have a place in the world where I can go and recharge my soul, my life source where I can go and feel good again. Standing on country after so long away is always emotional.. When I arrive back home after months away, I take my shoes off, step out of the car, take a deep breath and walk on to the patch of land where my ancestors have walked since the dawn of time, the place where my bush name was given to me…Burruburru…. I belong here.

In the sways of the Kauri pine trees at Lake Barrine, I stare up, touch the bark of these elders and feel my mother and great grandparents and ancestors spirits with me. I feel their eyes watching me from the surrounding rainforest. I don’t speak, I just listen and feel. After months of chaos and stress, of money issues, of work, relationship drama and life’s daily grind, all is forgotten when I step foot on my country and all of a sudden, I feel my cup slowing filling back up.

See my country isn’t just a tourist destination on an Australian map, it isn’t a place I grew up and left; it’s a part of who I am, a place that calls me back even when I’m a million miles away from it. When I visit, I feel like I’m visiting an old friend, my country is always waiting for me. When I see my country again, it greets me with open arms, with it’s warmth and love and tells me everything is going to be ok. My Dulguburra Yidinji country takes care of me, it’s me who I am; burruburru Dulguburra Yidinji bunya.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

You know you've grown up as a black kid in North Queensland when...

1. Salty plums, lemon and salt, green mango, tamrind, and vinegar brew are your version of 'lollies'.

2. You check any toilets, especially public toilets for green frogs before you use them during wet season.

3. You know the best place to get salty plums in the far north is from Lee longs store in Gordenvale.

4. You get flogged by your black mum/dad if you don't come home before it gets dark.

5. You're frightened of your own shadow thanks to too many black ghost stories told to you by your elders! (Hairy man, small man, half man half horse, feather foot, egg man etc)

6. Your mum or dad had a chillie bottle filled with birds eye chillies in a brew to add to food or to give you if you were being cheeky or if you ever swore.

7. You know the best creek in Far North Queensland is Harveys Creek.

8. You always wished cyclones would come or rivers would flood so you could stay home from school.

9. You got take away food only once a fortnight (only on mums pension week)

10. NAIDOC week at school was the bomb because there would be kap mauri feeds and members of your family would come and give talks and make you look popular.

11. You have these words in your everyday vocab:

-Which way
- You fla
-up ya
-in ya
- jurda
- big ol
- moonie
- moiyou
- truuueeee
- TG
- You lie
- frick
- La
- there la
- dawg
- yowal
- auntyyy, unncllleee

12. Your group of friends at school were all your cousins.

13. You got that one cousin who could play professional football but doesn't go cause he'll get too home sick!

14. When you go to a family party and your aunties cook the following standard dishes:

- chicken vermacelli
- coconut curry chicken
- damper
- rice
- bully beef
- blachun

15. You hardly date any black boys or black girls because they might be your relations!

16. You were made to have afternoon sleep with your mum or aunties because THEY Were tired!!!

17. You grew up listening to Yothu Yindi, archie roach, kev carmody, coloured stone, midnight oil, cold chiesel, van morrison, dire straits, paul kelly, creedence, bob marley, Kc and the sunshine band, allan jackson, george strait, brooks & dunn, lionel richie, michael jackson, whitney houston, mariah carey and 90's Rnb and hip hop

18. You got flogged by your black mum/dad with the follow items:

- shoes
- belt
- cord
- broom
- wooden spoon
- bamboo stick
- plastic egg flip spachelor
- hand
- anything in their reach when they're chasing you!

19. You got flogged more for crying about getting flogged the first time .... Mum: 'Gonnneee, keep going, I'm gonna hit you again you keep crying!!!..

20. You'd hide your money at school or else someone would hit you up for loan and scab money for tuckshop off you otherwise.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The C-Word (Commitment) 'Lets just be friends'

In early 2012, I came up with a mantra I like to call ‘Replace faith reality’... It’s been a line I’ve used when dating men for the past few years. It’s a theory that is based on truth; as a woman, being truthful to yourself on the types of men you allow to enter your life. 

For those who know me, they know my ability to show affection and feelings towards men are near to none. I’ve been described by men in my past as being ‘cold, distant, aggressive and unaffectionate at times’ just a name of few. Why is this, probably due to the fact that I have the ability to read men well, a skill in which I have gained over the years of bad luck with men I have met. These days, I couldn’t care less, I don’t care about playing any games, about easing off and playing it cool, playing by the ‘dating rules’, or not showing enough affection... The thing about me is that I’m just that; me... I am cold, I am heartless at times, I can be aggressive, and I am unaffectionate, until you know me that is. The thing I find though is that no one ever sticks around long enough anymore to go deeper than the surface stuff with people of the opposite sex.

Commitment is something that is hard for many people to come to terms with, me especially. Other people find it easy and can fall in love at the drop of a hat and commit themselves to a person solely based on the way they feel. I on the other hand have a fear of committing to one person or task. I’ve been living in the city for a year now and still haven’t even unpacked my boxes. I don’t like to make a choice on anything, movies, what I’m going to eat, what I’m wearing today; I hate committing to plans and even friendships. Why? It may be the fact that I am a gypsy and love my freedom too much. I love the recluse life and love my own company. With my commitment issues in life in general, it’s no surprise that I would then have commitment issues when it comes to dating men.

As each year goes on, I can be honest and say I lose faith in more and more men; the good ones, the bad ones and even the ones I would never go for. I am sick of friends telling me ‘Go for the good guys, stop choosing the bad guys’. I have tried dating the good guys, tried to date the bad guys and I can honestly say that all men have the same complexities and issues that a lot of woman have when it comes to dating and a bit part of that is commitment fears. I’ve worked it out that it’s not about me chasing a different kind of man, or not having faith in men, it’s about me being brutally realistic with myself and the types of men I let into my life and it’s about my inability to trust and take men seriously.

Not all men are the same, I know this, just as we women aren’t all the same but one thing that a lot of men I have met share is their inability to commit to a good woman... Note I said good woman. The type of real woman who holds her own, treats him well, shows him that she’s different from the others he’s met in the past. So what happens when someone like me meets someone with equal amounts of fear to commitment like I have? Nothing of course. Instead we ignore the feelings we have for each other and run away, to the point that we push the other person away, all because we can’t commit and settle with the fact that we might have found ourselves in that other person.

Some people in life get to a certain time in their relationship of getting to know each other and have the dreaded ‘where are we going with our relationship’ conversation and some work out fine and then others crumble and end up as nothing. The nothing outcome is where I usually end up, hence why I am single I guess. Commitment issues are usually the reason behind it for both parties involved. 

Here is where commitment issues affect two people who are dating... There’s one line I can almost guarantee that every man or woman has had said to them or they have said it to another person at least once in their life and that is ‘let’s just be friends’... You know that conversation after you’ve been getting to know someone for a while, dating and hooked up with. It goes a little something along these lines, ‘I really like you, I think you’re great, I like hanging out, but I think we should just be friends’... 

I’m not gonna lie, I have said this to a few men in the past all because I was too afraid to tell them that I wasn’t interested in them and didn’t want to commit and equally I have had men pull the friendship card on me too, but in terms of ‘remaining friends’ with that person, this is where it gets complex... 

Now ladies, men are pretty simple creatures, they will tell you as much as they think you can handle and believe it or not, they don’t always tell you the truth. When a guy says ‘I like you, but I think we’re better as friends’, here’s what you can pretty much break it down as; I like you but I have commitment issues and I feel like I am getting to close to you and I don’t wanna get to close to you because then I might have to commit and actually grow up and stop playing this single game. ‘I like you but I also wanna keep sleeping with other women and have a few on the go at the same time, you included, let’s remain friends while I make up my mind and play around for a bit, if my other options don’t come through, then you have yourself a deal’. Straight up, a lot of men like to start something they never intend on finishing with a woman and when it all becomes too much, they run away or push the woman away with excuses... 

Here is how most men will word a text to a women they are trying to run from: ‘You’re great, you’re smart and nice and I love hanging out, I just want your friendship for now’ (even after they’ve gone out on dates with you, hooked up with you, told you things about themselves and invested time getting to know you)...  
Most women who aren’t aware of men and their game playing will usually have their hearts crushed at this moment and will usually reply with, ‘Yeah sure, I will hang out with you still, I will be your friend, let’s be friends, no worries’.... They do this because they are afraid to be alone, afraid to lose this man out of their lives and will tell themselves this line, ‘I’d rather be his friend than nothing at all’ all the while knowing damn well he’s not ‘just a friend’ to her. Women reacting this way to a man’s request for friendship after they’ve already been dating usually equates to them getting strung along by the male who really just has commitment issues. 

The downfall of women is that we let our emotions get the better of us, we agree to be his friend and keep him around; it’ll go on for weeks and months and even years if we let it. A loyal woman plays ‘the friend card’ for the man’s benefit, all the while, that same dude who said he feels nothing but friendship for her, will still send her mixed messages, will still give her false signals and act like her boyfriend without the commitment, because women allow them too and simply because he can. An emotional woman can’t always separate feelings from friendship from a guy she’s already previously dated, but she will pretend she can all because she doesn’t have the strength to do the right thing by herself at the time by cutting him off. Instead she will wait around for him to change. 

Personally when I am thrown the ‘let’s just be friends card’, it’s at this stage that I will usually feed men a bit of truth. I like to see myself as a realist and my theory of ‘Replacing faith with reality’ kicks in when someone tries to ‘Friend zone’ me after we’ve clearly made progress with our emotions well into dating each other. I won’t go into it word for word what I usually say to these men, but what I usually tell them is that I’m not a pretender, we’re not ‘just friends’, we didn’t get to know each other as ‘friends’, from the beginning we got to know each other based on the fact that we went on dates, that we sent sweet text messages, that we’ve gotten to know each other, told each other things, kissed or shared a bed; alas, we are not friends, because friends do not do these kinds of things with each other and we got to know each other from the start with the intention of being something more than just friends.

The thing is, you can lie to yourself and say ‘oh yeah, let’s just be friends until he’s ready and he gets to know me more and then he’ll come round’, or you can face reality and realise that he will never change and once you’re friend zoned, that’s it, nothing else will come of it. You can stay in it and continue to let the feelings grow, all the while he treats you like his buddy and sleeps with other girls and plays out his single life in front of you, or you can say to yourself,’ well no, in fact I already have a lot of friends and I prefer not to fake a ‘friendship’ all because you don’t want to fully commit. 

In my experience, it’s at this stage that you should cut all ties with this person and wish them well because in reality, you’re both ultimately on different levels and aren’t matched up at this moment in time. Stop faking it, you’re not friends, you’re two people who have reached the point in their dealings with each other that requires questions about the direction you’re both going in. Don’t sling the ‘Friendship card’ into it, just be honest and say what you want, all or nothing, there is no middle ground, and that’s not being unreasonable, that’s being realistic. Let me make it clear, you aren’t real friends, you’re a little bit beyond that so again stop pretending, cut them clean or risk a lengthy process of dragging yourself through an emotional rollercoaster. Only you can stop that process, and if you allow yourself to do that, you only have yourself to blame after this stage, not the man.

 My ‘cut them clean’ option is the option I have found to be the most successful for me. I have been able to move on quickly from men and have experienced less heart ache that way. Even though I may not be in love with that person, the friend zone card is still rejection but you can either face it and accept their decision and deal with it and move on by cutting them and wishing them well, or you can play their game and drag yourself through the mud for weeks, months and years if you want too? It’s your choice at the end of the day.... Replace faith with reality!

99.9% of the time, when I cut men off, months later, they always seem to try and make their way back into my life. It’s like the act of cutting them cold sends them wild and all of a sudden, you’re the one that got away and they need you in some capacity, even if it’s a text saying ‘hey’. Well here’s the truth, I didn’t get away, you just pushed me away, instead of you telling me the absolute truth about your commitment issues and reading too much into a situation that was uncomplicated up until you started feeling things for me and then wanted out when you couldn’t face it like a man.  

It’s all about who holds the last bit of power at the end of the day. Remaining friends with someone who you’ve been dating and it hasn’t gone in the direction you both thought it would, barely ever works. I am not a pretender and deep within myself, I can never bring myself to play that game. This usually results in me becoming colder and colder as I cut off more and more men who tend to have these commitment issues and pull the same old lines and games on me.

 My dating life in this past year alone feels like I have been going to the Royal Easter Show and been playing the shooting ducks game in the arcade. I feel like I’ve been holding the gun and shooting one duck after another trying to win that big prize, but instead all I end up with is the shitty novelty prize in the form of another brick added to my ever growing wall I put up in front of me.
My ability to move on from men as quick as I do these days is probably not healthy. I missed out on the female gene where I should cry for weeks and months and never want to date again. Instead, I cut men, move on quickly and meet other people and do my own thing. 

Despite all the emotional crap I cop from men who walk in and out of my life, I still manage to keep an open heart and know that a lot of the time it comes down to just bad timing. All you can do in life is be yourself 100%, be honest, be straight forward and wear your heart on your sleeve. Have no regrets and when it doesn’t work out with a member of the opposite sex, at least you know you tried and you can walk away with your head held high. The thing about life is, when one door closes, another always opens.
As I always say, too many jokers out there, not enough kings. Until next time, staying single till I know it’s real...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The difference with dating a black man is...

When I was growing up, I never looked at black boys... Why? Because growing up in my small town, I either grew up with them and knew them too well, or there was a big chance we'd be related, so naturally, I always opted for the 'White boy option'...

My dad is a white man and my mum was Aboriginal. Without touching on the intimacies of their relationship, I will just say that it wasn't all roses... My dad is a scotsman hailing from Mary Hill in Glasgow Scotland, migrating to Australia when he was 18 years old. He has gypsy blood, having traveled around Australia more than once and overseas in his younger days. He's opinionated but he's also very placid at times.

My black Aboriginal mother on the other hand was a firey, opinionated, loud, black woman. She had no problem telling the average person exactly what she thought about them or a topic, her temper was short and her wit was quick and fierce, she could cut down fully grown men with her smart come backs and this would often play out in our house hold when it came to her and my father. 

I grew up with my mothers side, my Aboriginal side, so I don't really identify strongly with my scotish side as much as I do with my Aboriginal side, naturally due to growing up around all of my black family, therefore I refer to myself more as a black woman than a white girl (not that I deny my white side, I just identify stronger with my black side).

I remember my mother telling me as a teenager about men. I remember her telling me black men let her down and that they will probably let me down too and she hasn't been wrong there. I remember her and my fathers arguments and the burn she had felt from the black men in her previous relationships before her relationship with my father.

I often wondered why my mum and dad chose each other and why they chose to stay connected as they fought a lot. My dad would often say something or do something, or my mum would say and do something and wouldn't get the reaction she thought from my father so they would fight. Either way it would end with my father often walking away while my mother would blow up in a fit of absolute anger. Beyond the fighting, they seemed to know each others strengths and weaknesses but overall, my mothers dominating personality over ruled and often my father's only choice was to just get out of the house and be away from my mum when she would go off. Basically, he would never win an argument with my mother, and why is that? BLACK WOMAN TEMPTER OVER RULES. Underneath it all though, they had love for each other.

I moved to Townsville in North Queensland when I was 17 years old straight after graduating year 12. I had a couple if white boyfriends when I was at high school, silly school crushes but nothing serious. I remember turning 18 and going out clubbing in the ville with my friends and all of a sudden, I was getting attention from men, black men. This had never happened to me before growing up in the town that I did. At first I didn't know how to handle this new found attention. I would have girlfriends telling me that someone they knew was interested in me or wanting my number etc. I didn't know how to talk to men in that capacity, because I was shy and never thought I was the type of woman for anyone. I was a tom boy and lacked self esteem.

With age I started to grow confidence and started to talk back to these black men and noticed a huge difference that I could do with them that I couldn't do with the white boys I had previously dated, and that was be myself 100%...

See the misconception that occurs with white and black men is that it's not about who's better in the sack, (that's a myth) but for me, what I find was that it's about who I can talk to and be myself around 100%, no boundaries. It's about me as a black woman being able to say the black things I say in my every day vocab (like gammin, up ya, chooch, good go, not even la, which way etc) and having a man understand me from the get go without getting a weird look and having to explain what the words or sayings mean. Culture is a huge part of my life, it's who I am and to have someone understand that and my ways from the get go is why black men have the advantage when dating me.

There is a level of comfortability I get with a black men that unfortunately white men won't ever fully give me. I know if I bring a black man home, he is gonna understand my family commitments just as I will understand his. He will understand my black woman temper, just as I understand his short black man fuse. He will understand my cultural knowledge and commitment and I will understand his. He will know that I will have an opinion on a topic or politics and he will probably think the same and will let me have my say.

I am a lot like my mother, I have a short fuse, quick wit and sarcasm. I'm not a girly girl as I grew up with a lot of my brother boys. As black women, we are brought up to be loyal to our black brother boys, our uncles and our community. I was brought up to know that behind every black man, there is a strong black woman who is there to support him and guide him.

I have dated black men for years now, often going back to white boys when I've had enough of the heart break from black men. Even though black men in today's society seem to have a lot of commitment issues and continuously seem to break my heart, (fact lol) I am always drawn back to them as I know, they are the only ones who could probably ever handle me and my ways.

In saying that, white men are fun. They are nice, they are often polite, will pay for things and aren't afraid to tell you how they feel emotionally when they need too. They on the other hand have no idea how to handle a black womans ways, especially when she's mad. The positive thing I find with white boys is their commitment to trying. If they argue with you, they will try their best to sort it out and won't ever push you to you're absolute limits like a black man will, but that's both a blessing and a curse because on the one hand, I like the no drama that white men can give you, but then I also like to be challenged and hate being able to put it over someone. I am a dominating personality and the only men that have ever been able to challenge me and bring out the best and worst in me is black men.

Love has no colour though, I can admit that, but as I am growing older, I am all about knowing what I want and don't want in a partner. Above everything, when I am involved with a man and want to get serious about him, I ask myself these vital questions:

-  'If I bring this man home to my family, what will his reaction be like if I cook bully beef and rice up for him'? 'Will he know what it is? Will he love it or hate it?

- Can I say the word gammin around him without having to explain what I'm talking about?

- What will his reaction be when one day I lose something and fly off the handle like I usually do in that situation; will he freak out on my black woman temper?

These basic questions will determine what kind of man I will have in the future, if any... Of course I'd hope that there would be more to it than that, but I am who I am and these questions are the basics to me being myself 100% around a member of the opposite sex, whether he be black or white.

At the end of the day, I feel more comfortable around those who are from a similar background as me. I am appreciating black men in my older age, but I'm working out more and more what it is I want out of a relationship from the men that come in and out of my life, whatever colour they may be.

Dating a black woman/black man should come with some type of hand book, with the rules and regulations of black woman and black men because I believe there are huge differences culturally when it comes to dating someone of Indigenous race. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what colour the person you're dating is, but just a heads up, if you're thinking of dating a black woman/man, you're gonna need to know the basics and why we are the way we are. Tempers and firey personalities and all... And lastly, good luck with that, you're in for an emotional ride ;)

Until next time... Staying single till i know it's real ;)

One love, one life

Cee x