Autumn Skincare Essentials

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Please note, this is a collaborative post with Panasonic

Whenever I get compliments about my skin, I always laugh to myself and think if only they knew. It has literally taken time, trial, error and money, just to get my skin where it is today. I have now become a product junkie because of this, but hey such is life. Anyway, now that summer is over and Autumn is here, it is time to switch things up in the skincare department. I decided to share with you some of my Autumn Skincare Essentials for 2018, you can thank me later.cb738f8dd23ef5d86a425f1a794d6950

  • Facial cleansing brush £129 – £199

During the autumn I use a facial cleaning brush up to 3x a week, as it cleans 20 times better than handwashing. These handheld devices help to penetrate further into the surface of the skin, removing any dirt or oil built up during the day. If you are new to the world of facial brushes, check out skin care UK Panasonic as they offer a great range of facial cleansing systems that use state of the art technology to create the best facial cleansing experience.

  • Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask £2.99

My T-zone can become very musty and dusty if I am lacking in moisture. This face sheet mask from Garnier helps to revitalise and hydrate the skin in just 15 minutes. The instant boost of the radiance to my skin is the probably what I love most about this mask. I plan to start using this for #FacemaskSundays this autumn season, just to give my face that extra shine and glow.

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  • Sanctuary Spa Classic Body Scrub £6.50

I like to make sure that my body gets just as much TLC as my face in the Autumn. This gel- scrub from the Sanctuary Spa will polish and exfoliate the skin helping to remove any dead skin from all over. It also helps to enhance the appearance and texture of the skin. It also has a long lasting sweet detectable floriental fragrance that lasts over 12 hours.

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  • Vitamin E Night Cream £14

I have to admit, I used to think night creams were pointless. But that was until I tried it out for myself. Now as someone who has suffered from Eczema for most of my life, moisture loss in my skin has been my number one problem. This Vitamin E night cream uses all of its goodness to replenish the skin and prevent moisture loss during the night. I actually use this as a day cream from time to time in the autumn, because it is so hydrating and leaves the skin feeling silky and smooth.

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  • Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Oil Swivel Stick £2.95

I do not know about you, but dry chapped lips will not be my portion especially not in this autumn season. This little gem of a lip balm works wonders because it is infused with Coconut oil which adds the extra moisture needed to keep to the lips hydrated. The Palmers Swivel stick keeps the lips smooth, eliminating any potential lip crust. It is impossible for me to get through autumn without this swivel stick, this is a must have for me.

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  • Peppermint Reviving Pumice Foot Scrub £7 

I am not a fan of feet but that does not mean that I do not like to keep my feet in good condition. In between my pedicure visits to the nail shop, I use this soothing Peppermint oil scrub to keep away any hard skin building up on my feet. I love that this scrub has volcanic like rock granules which help to give the feet that extra softness. What I also love about this scrub, it is infused with Peppermint which is a calming agent for the skin.

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  • Miaroma Sweet Almond Oil £4.95

Cold press essential oils have so many great benefits, I personally prefer almond oil above the lot for my skin. I do not use this on my face, but for my entire body almond oil is like liquid gold. In the colder seasons like autumn, I tend to drop some of this Miaroma almond oil in my moisturizer for my body. I find that this wonders for soothing dry skin, but you would have to use it in moderation because it will ruin your clothing if you overdo it with the oil.

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My skin has definitely come a long way over the years. I developed Eczema as an infant and then came along mild Acne in my teens. If that was not enough I have had to combat hyperpigmentation in different areas of my skin. I and many people of colour face this problem and it can be very difficult to manage. For me, that has been the most challenging part of my skin care journey. But, all of this has allowed me to learn so much about my skin and discover what works well for me. I still think there is room for improvement but for the most part, I am happy with my skin.

Anyway, thank you for so much for reading. I am always open to trying new things, so if you have any Autumn Skincare recommendations, do let me know in the comments below.

Please note, this is a collaborative post with Panasonic. 

All views are my own

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Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/dark-skinned

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Growing up my beauty and skin complexion was heavily celebrated, especially by my Dad. As far back as I can remember, he was the first person who ever told me that I and my Dark skin was beautiful. On a regular basis, he would proudly proclaim in his raspy Jamaican accent yuh Black and pretty just like yuh Mumma’ or my personal favourite, Mi likkle Black Beauty’.

Whenever he would shower me with praises about my skin, you would always catch me with a face full of smiles. My mum too and as I grew in age, I became heavily accustomed to both their praises. After a while, I started mimicking my parents by showing love and appreciation to my skin all by myself. I guess you could say that their mission to teach me how to love my dark skin was accomplished. My confidence and self-esteem were built off the back of this and at four years old, I became comfortable in the skin that I was in.

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Inevitably, I soon came to learn that although my skin complexion was celebrated at home, it was not desirable by some on the outside. Racism is just one horrific example of this and sadly in 2018, darker skin being seen as ugly or less attractive is still a thing. My parents did not sugar coat anything for me though. I was bluntly told to expect this and possibly discrimination because of my dark skin complexion.

As harsh as this was my parents had every right to prepare me for what I might be faced with out there in the world. But I was reminded that no matter what people thought about my dark skin or said, I still had to love myself. Looking back now, I find it very heartbreaking that my parents even had to sit me down to tell me something like that. Sadly, even with the prior warning, this was something that I certainly was not ready for. So it was not surprising that I found myself swimming in a pool of confusion at 13 years old when I got my first ever real taste of colourism.

Colourism is where an individual is discriminated against or treated differently based on their skin colour. Those who take part in colourism usually value lighter skinned people more than those with darker skin.

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No matter how many times I heard my parents share their own experiences of colourism nothing really could compare to my own. The incident occurred right after I moved to from Brixton to Streatham. Two boys from my new area did not waste time in letting it be known to everyone exactly what they thought of me.  “She is pretty for a dark-skinned ting but dark-skinned tings are just not our thing”. EXCUSE ME? First of all, I did not know that I had even auditioned to be somebody’s dark-skinned ting.

So the unnecessary feedback truly caught me by surprise. It was very cheeky. I did not take it as a compliment and I certainly never took it to heart. But I was slightly embarrassed only because I felt like I had been singled out because of my darker skin. Now they may have said that I was pretty but that was beside the point, I felt very insulted. One of my younger neighbours clearly must have read the embarrassment on my face, because he turned to me and said, “Jenna, they don’t know what they are talking about”. I will never ever forget that because he was right, those boys simply did not have a clue.

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My little neighbour knew better and so did I. There was no way I going to let these boys and their words hurt me because their views meant absolutely nothing. I had to decide at that moment and every moment after that, that I was not going to let any negative thing said about my dark skin ever affect me. I may have been only 13 but the words of my parents and my beliefs were so deeply rooted inside of me. It was simply impossible to convince me to accept or believe in the idea that dark skin was ugly.

I managed to brush it off because even back then I knew that beauty had nothing to do with complexion. I was so sure of that and I was not going to let these two boys blindsight me with their foolery. Unfortunately, this was not the last time I was to be told that I was pretty for a dark skin girl but my stance always remained the same.

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I quickly came to discover that the notion of darker skin being associated with unattractiveness is actually still very common. A recent 2018 study by Jean Jaures looked into the impact of face skin tone on perceived facial attractiveness, results found that overall participants preferred light-skinned faces over dark-skinned ones. Again, this is not shocking because these type of findings have been relatively consistent for decades.

I know some people do not care too much for research or statistics but it would be ludacris to just dismiss such findings. It clearly tells us something and that is Colourism is alive and well and in 2018 and too me that is very concerning. I can only imagine what type of impact colourism could have on young impressionable people, both the victims and perpetrators.

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Another thing that I find very irresponsible is when people try to pass colourism off as personal preference, as opposed to what it really is, colourism. I totally understand that everyone is entitled to like what they like. But for someone to think that darker skin is ugly, for me that goes beyond just preference or what someone prefers. I love dark-skinned men, but that does not mean that I think Lighter-skinned men are less unattractive or ugly.

My Husband could be light-skinned for all I know, but I am yet to meet my husband, so I really do not know what he will look like lol. In my opinion, it is very possible to have a preference that is not built on the poison that is Colourism. Sadly you would think something like colourism should not exist. When in fact if you were to take a closer look you will see that it can be found almost everywhere. The media, the entertainment industry, institutions, the workplace and sadly the list goes on.

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One thing that you should know though is that colourism happens between racial communities and sadly within them. On Black Twitter where some use the hashtags #teamdarkskin and #teamlightskin as a sign of unity within their own group, there are others who abuse this and use it as a way to keep division amongst the two alive.

Sadly the issues between both groups were well established before the birth of Black Twitter. Issues stem from as far back as the days of slavery. Where dark skin slaves were kept out working in the fields and lighter skinned slaves were kept in the house. Lighter skinned slaves were treated fairly better than darker skinned slaves. Reportedly this is just one of many factors that contributed to feelings of superiority amongst those of a  lighter skin tone. The big issue for me is that both groups were slaves and personally I find nothing positive in that, but each to their own.

Some may argue that this superiority is still around today and it continues to feed colourism within the black community. It is very important to know that colourism is not a one-way street though, it affects both dark-skinned women and men. Even those of a  lighter skin tone can fall victims to colourism too. In this day and age, you would think we would be so further away from this.6a87683bb26df9d7e939f9a07eff4653--black-models-black-art.jpg

I feel very blessed that I was able to fall in love with my dark skin from a very young age. By the time I was fully exposed to some of the negative perceptions out there in the world of darker skin, I was unshakeable. I have my parents to thank for that because things could have been very different for me.

There are many dark skin women out there who maybe did not have someone to teach or show them how to love their dark skin. So it is not surprising when faced with negativity about their dark skin, they end up internalising it and it then manifested in other ways. Colourism can be very toxic and damaging to its victims as it can impact everything from self-esteem to mental health.

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Famous actresses such as Gabriella Union and Lupita Nyong’o have openly discussed how they both battled with self-esteem issues because of their complexion. Both extremely beautiful women, who believed that their dark skin was ugly because of the constant negativity they were led to believe. Sadly, there are thousands of other dark-skinned girls and women who have been led to believe the same.

One of the most damaging things has occurred as a result of this is skin bleaching. I think for me this is probably the worse one of them all. It has now become a worldwide pandemic that has many physical side effects as well as psychological. People are going to extreme lengths to change the appearance of their skin, despite knowing the dangers.

Bleaching products are so easily accessible all over the world. I could go online or walk into any black hair shop owned in London and start my bleaching skin journey. I seem to believe if people were openly selling crack cocaine in these local hair shops, the UK government would go to extreme lengths to shut that down. I just do not believe enough is being down to crack down on this. If bleaching skin products are getting through the cracks of the system, then someone is not doing their job properly.

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Things do not stay the same forever and nowadays thing appears to be heading in a positive new direction. Especially within the entertainment and beauty industry concerning dark skinned women. More and more dark-skinned women can be found on covers of international magazine covers like Vogue. Dark skinned women are now leading major beauty campaigns and landing themselves in lead roles in tv shows and films.

Opportunities like this for dark-skinned women were literally non-existent many years ago. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell have paved the way for models like Leomi Anderson to be to able to do what they do. Representation matters and by young dark skinned girls seeing women who look like them in the media,  it is possible that this could have a positive impact on their self-esteem leading to a better self-image.

Dark skin women are now taking centre stage and creating their own narratives instead of being phased by the plague of colourism. It still exists, but more and more dark-skinned women are determined to embrace all of their dark skin chocolate goodness regardless. There is now a strong sense of self-love and pride that oozes from dark-skinned women especially on social media platforms. Everyone appears to be loving their dark skin and they are being unapologetic about it. Again this is amazing stuff as it only helps to uplift those within the dark-skinned community.

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Sadly on these same platforms, there are trolls who work just as hard to keep colourism alive with the constant bullshit they put in tweets and memes. I pray that those who use these platforms positively will develop a zero tolerance for colourism and anything that is associated with it. In today’s society, colourism should have no seat at anyone’s table.

It helps no one and this idea that dark skin is ugly or less attractive needs to come to a swift end. It is complete and utter nonsense and this is me being polite. Dark skin like any other skin tone is beautiful. I can only hope that those who think the opposite comes to know the truth.

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To you, my reader whatever complexion you are, I urge you to be proud and love the skin that you are in. Try your hardest not to be impacted by the mean or hurtful things that people say. Especially on social media if someone talks craps, educate or block them, do whatever is easier for you. We are all equal in Gods image, no one is superior to anybody despite what people may think or promote.

I do hope that this post was insightful to you in some way. I know that is a little different from my usual context but this baby blogger is out there spreading her wings.

If you have had any experiences of colourism or if you want to let me know your views on this post, let’s chat in the comments or you can hit me up on Instagram or Twitter @Jennasworldview.

PS: I have a special skincare post out on Monday 17th September 2018 and I can’t wait for you to read it. Make sure you are signed up to my email updates. All images above were found on good ole google.

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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Slaying in all my dark skin goodness in Barcelona – August 2018.

Connecting the dots in Costa Rica

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During the months leading up to my trip to Costa Rica, I stumbled across a powerful message from Pastor TD Jakes. The words “Nothing just happens” jumped out to me, and grabbed my attention. I pondered on it and began to reflect on my own situation. As a result, my perspective on the break-up did a complete 360. The message went on to say “nothing just happens and anything that does happen happens for a reason”. The funny thing is, I heard this message months ago, I was just not in the best place to receive it. Like Drake, I too spent a lot of time being in my feelings and was unable to see the bigger picture.

Time really does heal all, because I no longer saw the break-up as something negative, but necessary. In a weird way, I found closure and comfort in Pastor TDJakes message. It silenced all of those ‘what if’ questions that had taken up residence in my head. I now found myself at a true place of acceptance. Acceptance of what was, what remained and what was to be.

If I had not been so resistant, I would have been able to check out of Heartbreak hotel a lot sooner. But in life, nothing ever happens before the appointed time. By changing the way I looked at the break-up, it allowed me to give birth to a new me. I was no longer the victim that I had allowed myself to become. The best feeling in the world is when you arise from the dust that once consumed you.

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Things quickly turned around for me as I went on to enjoy one of the best summers of my life to date. I truly lived my best life making the most of my summer days. I was on a roll and did not want to slow down. My trip to Costa Rica was at the end of the summer and I promised myself that I would recharge once I got out there. But not before I ran two last laps at the London Notting Hill Carnival. It was a great way to kiss goodbye to summer. Especially since my brother and I unexpectedly landed a live TV interview on Sky news during the parade. O M G – I never imagined something like that would happen to us, lol. Check out the interview below.

Catch flights, not feelings

Running on 3 hours sleep the day after carnival, I set off on an 11-hour flight to Costa Rica with my cousin Aaliyah. I was so excited because I had never been to that part of the world before and it was our first ever trip together. Spending two whole weeks in Costa Rica does not come around often, so we were both determined to make the most of it.

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After surviving my first 11-hour flight, Aaliyah and I checked into Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica in Guanacaste. As we arrived, we were welcomed with a champagne/cocktail reception. You know I have a slice of Boujee in me, so this type of welcome was right up my street. I was all smiles because, within a few months, I went from passing out at work due to the stress of the break-up to sipping champagne in Costa Rica. What a way those tables turned and my oh my it sure did feel good. Our hotel had all the trimmings, 24-hour service, spa facilities, Wi-Fi, 4 restaurants, entertainment, two pools and an on-site photographer. We even had access to the sister hotel across the street.

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There is no such thing as a coincidence

During our first few days, we wasted no time getting comfortable. We spent most of our mornings by the pool, chilling, snapping and sipping on our favourite cocktails. Aaliyah and I had become very popular at our hotel because of our distinctive British accents. The staff loved us and always went above and beyond to ensure that we were well looked after. Things were only about to get better once we discovered a Black Travel group had checked into our hotel.

We were super hyped to see a group of Black travellers and wasted no time finding out who they were. I love meeting new people on holiday, so I was happy to go mingle with the new guests. Aaliyah and I walked right over to the tallest person in the group, Ricky he was as tall and brown as the bear from Bear in the big blue house. Ricky who was the group’s leader, was cool, calm, loved our British accents and invited us to hang out later to meet the full crew. img_5913

Every year for labour day weekend, the crew who are based in America travel to a new country to explore and party. SAY WHAT NOW? this blew my mind because out of all of the places in the world, we all ended up together in Costa Rica. What was even crazier was that Aaliyah and I were supposed to go to Aruba but somehow ended up booking Costa Rica instead. Now if you have followed this post break up travel series you already know, that there is no such thing as a coincidence when it comes to me, lol. With the arrival of our new guests, it was clear that our time in Costa Rica was about to be lit.

Within 24 hours it was as if the hotel had been hijacked. Everywhere you turned, all you could see were our melanin faces. One thing I love about being Black is we always tend to flock together come rain or shine. It was such a beautiful sight to see and felt even better to be a part of. We truly brightened up the place and it caused other hotel guests to want to be down with the clique, lol. I had never experienced something like this before. I loved it, plus everyone in the group treated Aaliyah and I like their little sisters since we were the only two people in their 20s.

Our day parties by the pool were literally some next level shit. Just think of the pool party scenes in the ‘Juicy‘ music video by Notorious BIG. It was such a vibe and every day our laughs got louder. The atmosphere was just filled with good vibes only, nothing more and nothing less. I remember getting messages from people back home on snapchat asking me who these people were lol. Overnight Aaliyah and I had been sworn into this new travel family and they never left us out of any of the fun. We hung out during the days, had dinner in the evenings and partied throughout the night. It seemed like my plan to recharge was taking a detour. But that is the funny thing about life, it always turns out better than the way we plan.

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Chase the adventures 

Our hotel was literally in the middle of nowhere, so we made plans to do things off the hotel complex. We hopped on a local bus into one of the oldest beach communities in Costa Rica, Playas de coco. When I ran out onto the beach and saw how beautiful the scenery was, I became very emotional. I realised that in order for me to be where I stood, I had to go through all that I did. I had come such a long way and even though I did not understand why the break up happened the way it did. I knew that it served a greater purpose.

This just reiterated the Nothing just happens message that I heard a few months earlier. Sometimes in life things may happen to you and you may never know why. You just have to trust and believe that things all things will work together for your good. I don’t know why but in Costa Rica, everything just seemed to make a lot more sense to me.

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Costa Rica is known for its tropical beaches, wonders of nature and Caribbean influenced culture. Aaliyah and I wanted to make sure we got to experience it, so we spent about $300 each for three days of excursions. One of my Jenna’s Travel philosophies that I truly live by is there is no price tag on experience, so spend whatever is necessary‘.

The first excursion we did was the open Catamaran Ocean tour. I love ocean water because it has so much healing benefits and I always feel a sense of peace whenever I am around it. Sailing along the gold coast was refreshing. It is not something you get to do on a regular basis, so I took the time out to really enjoy it. I channelled my energy and took in the natural views of the ocean. It was peaceful, but very short-lived because I was eager to get my body into the water and go snorkelling. You already know that your girl is unable to swim, so I had to be accompanied by an instructor. There is no shame in my game though, I put on my protective gear and went out into the water like a G.

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Feel the fear and do it anyway

The next stop on the list for Aaliyah and I was a day tour at the Vandara Hot springs and adventure. This included a 10 lap Zip-line tour, horseback riding, waterslide and the Vandara Hot Springs. Unknown to Aaliyah I secretly planned to skip the ziplining. The truth was, I did not think I was capable of doing it. But I did not want to tell my little cousin that I was feeling inadequate because of self-doubt. The break-up had bruised my confidence and as a result, I had been questioning myself and my capabilities. I somehow convinced myself that the failure of the relationship was a reflection of me. Now I do not know how I came up with that bullshit, but there I was, lol. I had internalised the break-up in such a way, that it made me forget who the fuck I was.

There I stood tweedling my thumbs, feeling petrified and contemplating whether or not to go through with it. Aaliyah took one look at me and said: “Jen, you have come too far to turn back now boo. You have nothing to be afraid of, you can do this”. There were no lies told because she was right, I was capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. The break-up did not define me and I had to stop letting what happened in my past, stop me from moving forward. I had to start undoing the damage and this moment was the perfect opportunity to make a start.

I thought to myself it is what it is at this point, let do this. So I strapped myself up and completed 10 full zip line laps. It gave me an instant adrenaline rush, that boosted my energy as well as my confidence. I was so proud of myself for going through with it. I proved my self-doubt wrong and I felt like a Baddie. People can encourage you, uplift you and tell you that you are capable of doing great things, but if you do not believe it for yourself, it means nothing.

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God makes no mistakes

I spent the rest of my time in Costa Rica reflecting. I thought about the girl that I once was and I thought about the woman that I was becoming. I felt inspired more than ever to get my blogging journey off the ground. I told myself that I when I got home, I would create a website for #Jenna’sWorldView. Costa Rica spoke to me in many ways and I really wanted to share more about my travel journeys. I also felt very eager to go out into the world to seek new experiences. Travelling has opened me up in such a way that has changed my perspective on myself, life, love and the world.

I never thought that I would ever end up visiting Costa Rica. I never imagined that I would be single at this age either, but hey life comes at you fast. My post-break-up travel journeys were filled with many highs and of course some lows. I travelled to escape my reality. Yet, with every country that I visited, I had no choice but to face it head-on. Most people say that after a break-up you must take time out to go find yourself. But the truth was, I was never lost, I just needed to be broken in order to uncover the hidden layers within me.

Anything that happens to us in life will never be wasted. Everything and everyone serves a divine purpose that only pushes you further into your destiny. I have no regrets, hate or anger in my heart because I now understand that in order for new things to come together, old things must fall apart.

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Thank you to my vocal and silent readers for keeping up with my Post-break-up travel series. When it all started, I had no clue about how it would all play out. Giving you a glimpse into my past challenged me in ways that I never imagined. Although the wounds have healed, the scars still remain. I no longer hide them because I wear every scar with pride and gratitude.

Many times, I questioned whether I made the right decision bringing this series to light. I have now come to know that although it was painful, it needed to be endured, in order to be shared. Use my experience as an example, take from it what you will remember God knows best and life GOES on.

To follow the full journey from the beginning, click below:

1. Intuition: A blessing in disguise!

2. The Aftermath

3. The wall that came down in Berlin

4. Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

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I live for a good picture backdrop baby!!

At the end of The wall that came down in Berlinthings looked promising for me as I made the decision to break down the wall of disappointment and start the process of moving on after the breakup. It was an unexpected heart to heart with one of my good girlfriends Lola that gave me the push in the right direction and I thank God it did.

There was a 3-month gap between my trips to Berlin & Santorini and in that space of time, things got better. I would not say they were great but things did get better. With each new day that came, the memories of the relationship did not hurt as much. I spent less time replaying the trauma in my mind and more time trying to catch back my rhythm. I had no other choice but to purge my ex out of my system. The crazy thing is, I did not realise just how deeply woven he was into the fine details of my life until the time came for me to eliminate him. From my Netflix password to the passcode on my phone, everything had to be changed.

I finally reached the ‘it is what it is’ stage and when a woman hits that point, there is no going back. Think of Angela Bassett in ‘Waiting to Exhale‘. Now I did not burn any clothes or cars, but I did sale the remainder of his things in my possession on eBay and disposed of the rest. I slowly morphed into a  new me. I kept my hair and nail appointments on the books like clockwork. I stayed busy, revived my social life and slowly got myself back into the groove of things. I even started to wear red lipstick, something I vowed to never ever do, lol. Putting your life back together after it has been scattered is never easy and I made sure to have fun with it. My glow was not back in the full effect just yet, but baby it was on the way.

I have to keep it real with you, when I told Aunty Lorna that I was going to Santorini for a party holiday, I am pretty sure she was convinced that I had lost my mind. A whole Jenna going on a party holiday? The same Jenna who can only manage two Pina Coladas? It sounded like a major risk on my part and it was definitely out of character for me as I have never been on a party holiday before.

I heard about Supa Dupa Fly x Santorini through Astra, who just happens to be another one of my big sister figures. Astra came into my life when I was 15, as the girlfriend of my older brother. Astra is the girlfriend your brother brings home, the whole family fall in love with her and even after their relationship ends, she still remains a part of the family.  Yeah, that’s my Astra, so when she told me about her plans to attend Santorini for this festival, my intuition sent me signals that I just could not ignore.

Supa Dupa Fly host the number one throwback RnB and Hip Hop nights in London. Throwing the hottest parties all through the year. Three years ago the team took their magic to Santorini and the rest is history. Astra, me, Kerry, Frankie & Liz attended SDF in their second year of residency on the island.

All the girls were aware of my breakup so everyone was determined to make sure that I had the best time. We departed from London on an evening flight, then stopped in Athens to hop on our connecting flight to Santorini. For the record, I despise layovers, but we had no other choice because our original direct flight got cancelled, lol

As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was welcomed into Santorini by a beautiful sunset and I just felt a calm sense of peace. I gave myself a little pep talk like  “Jenna you are in Santorini boo, you deserve this. Forget about the last few months baby girl it is time to turn up”.I was determined to enjoy this trip and make the most of it.

My first thoughts on Santorini were that it was authentic and untouched in most aspects of appearance. I did not fall in love with it at first sight and I ignorantly asked Astra where were all of those blue and white buildings I had seen on Instagram? I did not do much research on the place so you could imagine the shock I felt when I kept seeing Donkeys on every street. But, I thought to myself it is what it is if I have to ride on Donkeys for the next few days, then so be it. I was thousands of miles away from my comfort zone and I had no choice but to bite the bullet.

This was the first thing I saw when I jumped off the plane!

From the airport, we went straight to our serviced apartment, which I must say was absolutely gorgeous. It was better than I expected and I am a hotel junkie who is very hard to please. We stayed in a local area, with a tight-knit community that was ideally close to everything we needed. Once the rooms were sorted, we secured our Quad bikes, sourced some food and patterned things up for our first night in town.

We attended the Welcome party on the first night and it was such a vibe. No one’s face was screwed up, everyone was bubbling and smiling. The drinks were flowing, the video cameras were rolling. People were snapping and the crowd was losing their mind to whatever song the Dj was spinning. I was surprised to see such a mixed crowd of people, but no-one I recognised, so that was an added bonus.

One thing about me I love my music and although I am not a party girl, I am a dancehall Queen who is always in and out of retirement. It did not take long for the girls and I to find one corner and start getting down. Supa Dupa fly are known for 90s RnB and hip-hop music, so when I heard Vybez Kartel ‘Fever‘ ring out inside the place, it was game over lol. Astra took one look at me and said “Jenna your time now” anyone who knows me should know what happened next. Dancehall queen Jenna came right up out of retirement.

I had to catch a 5min breather from all of that dancing, so I went outside and started to cool off with my signature fan. As I stood outside, the scent of sweet cologne smacked me right in the face and awakened my senses. It did not take me long to find out who was behind the scent. The stars in Santorini must have been aligned that night because what I saw snatched the little piece of edges I had left.

The mystery man that stood a few steps away from me was about 6ft 4, dipped in Chocolate and glistened with all kinds of sauce. I scanned him from head to toe in under 8 seconds flat and then happened to notice a festival wristband on his left arm…BINGO lol. 8 seconds turned into 30 and just as I was about to take my gaze off him, our eyes made four. Whewww Chile…..

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We both smiled, I looked away and then he swayed off into the crowd. JENNA why did you not say hello???? I asked myself in frustration. Then I thought, even if I did say hello, what the heck was I going to say? I did not get a chance to answer that question because before I knew it he reappeared and I went for the plunge and said ‘Hiiii’.

I am so glad I did because he turned out to be really lovely, much older than me and he certainly was not from London. Mystery Chocolate was from the states and he lived and worked in one of my favourite cities. The more he told me about himself, the more I became impressed, especially when he mentioned that loved to travel. Now I won’t spill all the tea due to these new GDPR changes lol, but we did exchange our details and jokingly said that we would try to do brunch before our time on the island was up lol

Now I know you are thinking OMG and you probably did not see that one coming, but neither did I.  However Astra on the other hand, saw the whole thing and came rushing over to me once he slipped away back into the crowd. “Tell me everything JEN” Astra insisted but, honestly there was not much to tell. I saw a guy, our eyes made four, we chatted and exchanged details. It was no big deal, but  I was so proud of myself for being a bold baddie and saying hi.

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These party holidays are hardcore stuff you know. I partied all night and got back to our apartment in the early hours of the morning. I missed breakfast and woke up just in time for brunch, left with only a few hours to enjoy the day before I to get ready to party through the night and do it all again. Lucky for me, I managed to get a beach day in and boy it was truly worth it. I visited Perissa Black sand Beach, which is famous for the red and black volcanic pebbles that lay across the shores. I had never been to a beach of this kind before, I only ever head about it in songs.

I decided to take a walk across the shores of the Perissa beach, play my favourite gospel song at the time and pray (see video below). Water is purifying and I always feel the presence of peace whenever I am around it. Between you and I, I released old layers of myself and life in that prayer that day. It was not planned, but I guess it just had to happen. After my prayer walk across the beach, I sensed that something greater was coming my way because whenever you release, you always gain.

It was halfway through my trip when I met two sisters from London Chanel and Chloe. Now I remember spotting them on our flights, but we did not end up speaking until we found ourselves dancing the night away side by side in a cave on the island. Chloe and I clicked instantly and she revealed to me that she and Chanel spotted me at the club on the first night getting my Life to Vybez Kartel, LOL.

We exchanged details promised to link up before we left. On that same night, I met so many people. It did not feel like an I was in a rave, but more like a large scale networking event. I established so many divine connections in that one night, I will never ever forget my raving experience in Santorini. I strongly sensed that I was right where I was supposed to be, just like in Berlin. So I vowed to keep my eyes and ears open because I was sure there was something that I was supposed to receive on this island.

The rave in a Cave!

Party holidays are like a yo-yo, you party day and night and the cycle continues until it is time to fly home. I did get a chance to meet up with Chanel, Chloe and Mystery Chocolate again. It was these two link-ups in Santorini that made me start to look at the breakup in a whole new light.

After an evening of raving, everyone was scattered across the strip trying to buy food. Now I do not know how this happened, but I got lost and could not find the girls. One minute they were there and the next they were gone. So I made my way into a Chinese shop and low and behold I came across Chanel and Chloe.

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I immediately sat down and ordered food to their table. You know how Women can be we start a conversation about food and then end up talking about Men and that is exactly what happened. Before I knew it, Chanel and I were exchanging war stories about our past relationship. If you have learned one thing about me by now, you know that I am not afraid to tell my story.

The conversation that I had with the sisters that night blew my mind. The girls and I spoke for nearly two hours and I truly felt empowered by these two sisters who were complete strangers to me only a few days ago. Chanel was older than me and Chloe and before I left to go back to my hotel, Chanel looked me dead in my face and said ‘Your ex-did you a favour. The betrayal is actually a blessing and I know that you can’t see it now, but when you do you will never be the same again”. Those words sent a chill down my spine and she was right I did not understand it but I knew that the time would come when I would. I went to back to the apartment, sat on the balcony and let the cool breeze of the night soothe my soul.

As for Mystery Chocolate, we kept running into each other at the parties, both still in limbo about when we were going to pencil in this brunch. It eventually became a running joke every time we saw each other. Eventually, we did get a chance to catch up to enjoy a lovely stroll in perfect sight of the Caldera View.

Our link-up was so refreshing, he was an educated Black man who knew his stuff. I told him a bit more about myself and how I had gone through a really hard time after my break up. We talked about the ups and downs of relationships, the music business, the welfare system in the states, Obama and the rap lyrics of Notorious BIG  lol.

Before we departed ways he told me to take a good look at the remains of the Caldera. So there I stood snapping away on my phone and he begins to tell me about the history of Santorini. MC begins to tell me how the existing Island of  Santorini is the remains of a bigger Island that was destroyed by an explosive volcanic eruption in 1646 BC.

The Volcano left nothing but this big blackened rock that I was awkwardly staring at.  As I gazed on, taking in the view, he turned to me and said: “the result of the eruption created five separate islands including Santorini and from an explosion, beautiful things are able to be created”. I stood in awe as I  let those words penetrate through my entire system. WOW, I thought to myself I just received another piece of the puzzle.

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Santorini will always have a piece of my heart, nothing more or less. I went there with the intention to party hard and have fun. However, I received more than I expected, as I danced through each day and night. The people that I met and the conversations that I had helped to guide me through to the next level. Things were finally coming together for me and I was ecstatic.

On the plane back home I thanked Astra for letting me hop on the girls trip. Astra laughed and said ‘anytime Jen, you know I  got you. You did good girl, I could not believe you were able to hang in there”. I laughed because I could not believe it myself. Astra went on to say this and I quote. ‘you’re doing well Jen, you took that fall and you got back up, everything happens for a reason and remember Jen, karma is a B*&^H, so we keep our noses clean. 

I gave Astra the biggest smile and rested my head back on my seat. I was more than ready to get back home to London and start living my new life to the fullest. Summer 17 was soon approaching and I was not going to let the skeletons of my past hold me back anymore.

Love you Astra!

The last stop in my post break up travel journeys will be Costa Rica. I might as well go ahead and tell you that the hurt and heartbroken Jenna that you have read about during this series did not make it to Costa Rica. Sit tight because the Jenna that I am about to introduce you to will have you screaming YASSSSSS from the top of your lungs, lol

One last thing: Make sure you sign up to my subscription list so that you never ever miss the drop when I post new blog content. Also, if you missed the memo Jennas World Views Glow up that was planned for Monday 6th August 2018 was put on hold until further notice. There were some difficulties behind the scenes and although I still wanted to reveal my logo (which is amazing btw) I decided NOT to.

In addition to that, the Post break up series must come to an end before I transition into my new look. In order for me to sow fruitful seeds into #JWV I can no longer mix the old with the new.  As soon as things are back on track, you will be the first to know.

Thank you for your patience, time, love and support.

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

The Black British Travel Meet Up: A JWV review

GUYS!!!! Your girl spent the day at Facebook Londons HQ and it was nothing short of amazing! The Black British Travel Meet Up team hosted their Summer All Dayer and it was certainly filled with nothing but good vibes. For those of you who do not know, the BBTMU was founded by Travel enthusiast Doyin & Hannah. Two friends who were complete strangers just a year ago (wowza Look at God).

Both ladies decided to come together to create a community for those who look like them, share the same love and zeal for Travel. BBMTU celebrates Black travel, culture and creativity, hosting workshops, events and trips for the travel community. Not to brag too much but the ladies bagged support from the Black @Facebook London Family, who are all for the BAME community getting a seat at the table.

I found out about the BBTMU through Twitter and I made sure to attend their previous event last month at the Flying Dutchman. It was far from a disappointment, so I made it my duty to come back for more. It gave me the opportunity to meet most of my Travel blogging siblings in person and connect with a few new ones. When you spend so much time speaking and reading each other’s content online, it feels a like a bit of a daze when you actually link up in person. I am fairly new to the Black British Travel community, yet I  feel as though I have been welcomed in with open arms.

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The excitement was too real for me from the moment I stepped foot in the Facebook HQ. Unlike many people, I still use my facebook and I love it, judge me if you must, lol. Our party space was filled with limitless drinks, sweets, freshly prepared food, a live DJ, games and of course, we had access to the FB rooftop. The turnout was amazing and the melanin in the place was definitely popping. Everyone was buzzing and you could certainly feel the positivity flowing through the air.

The best thing about attending these kinds of events is everyone gets a chance to network with one another. I most definitely lost count how many times I pulled out my phone to follow someone on the socials. I attended by myself for the second time because I want to get as far away from my comfort zone as possible. The BBTMU allows you to do so because you have no other choice but to break the ice and start up a conversation.

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If I had to play this game for a first class flight, there is no doubt I would have won lol!

The BBTMU events are well known for their games and let just say things did get a little wild. Shout out to the Fun Factor by Folly Fresh who provided games to keep us entertained. When the games got started, most peoples moral went straight out of the window. You would think that being inside of the Facebook HQ would have had us on our best behaviour, but that was far from the case.

Our host with the most Lola Jagun advised us that there were great prizes up for grabs, so we better be in it to win it and everyone took her by her word. It was on from there, and when we started playing human bingo all hell broke loose in the place. All I can say is I regret not polishing up on my shaku shaku, but hey better luck next time. I did not think I was that much of a competitive person, but that all changed once I got into the groove of things.

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Sadly, I did not win any prizes, but I enjoyed being a team player. I am sure everyone heard my wild distinctive laugh roaring through the room at some point. I could not keep my laugh in or my composure. Especially when it came down to the Karaoke face off finals. I completely lost the plot when Genesis and Abi (#Flightsandfeelings) went head to head for the winning crown. You really had to be there to see it first hand to understand just how dope it truly was. All I will say is Rick Ross & Vybez Kartel better give Genesis and Abi the accolades they deserve, LOL.

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I truly enjoyed my time at the Facebook HQ and I am so grateful to the BBTMU team for what they are building for us Black British Travellers. There is power in numbers when we all get together and work on one accord. The Black Travel movement in America had a heavy influence on me when I first started my Travel blog. I remember spending hours on Insta looking at my brothers and sisters across the pond taking their love for travel to the next level. The amount of pictures that I have in my saved list on insta is peaking into the hundreds. The Black Travel movement in America is inspirational and I commend them for what they have built so far. However, I am glad to now have the same community growing on home soil.

Please check out the BBTMU on the socials and be sure to follow. Do not wait till you see them blow-up and then come running back with regrets boo. Show them support and even if it is not your cup of tea, then tell a friend to tell a friend. Bringing together a group of like-minded Black people is far from easy but Doyin & Hannah make it look like a walk in the park. I believe that the Black British Travel meet up is only going to get bigger and better. I, of course, will be sticking around to watch them grow up and so should you. The ladies have created something special and I am definitely excited to see what comes next.

Check out this bomb ass chocolate drop of a picture some of the travel sisters took on Saturday, we outnumbered the Men for sure, lol. There are too many beautiful ladies to name and, so to find out who these lovely ladies click here.

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

The wall that came down in Berlin

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FINALLY, the first blog in my Post Break up Travel series is here! Sorry to keep you waiting for so long Boo, but the timing to release it just hasn’t been right, until now. Before I dive all the way in, I hope you have read Intuition: A blessing in disguise and The Aftermath because they are the starters that you need to digest before getting stuck into the mains. DO NOT start this series if you are yet to read them. Catch up, and then meet me back here so I can give you the 411.

When I decided to start my post break up travel series, I did not plan to tell you how I ended up there. I mean it’s not easy airing out your dirty laundry for others to see. However, something did not seem right about starting this series so abruptly with no backstory. So it was only right for me to give you some substance behind it, even if it that required me to show you one of my biggest scars. The first stop of the journey takes us to Berlin, the capital of Germany, full of culture, history and politics.

Enjoy x

At the end of The Aftermath, I let you know that I took Lola up on her offer to see Drake perform on his Boy meets world tour. Since the opportunity to see Drake had presented itself to me a second time around, I felt heavily compelled to pursue this concert. At the time, I was constantly chasing the highs, so this trip just seemed like the perfect hit. Sadly, for me with the highs certainly came the lows and I was going through a crazy cycle. I committed to things that gave me a buzz without a proper thought, then abandoned them when it was time to follow through. I won’t begin to tell you just how much money I wasted on Eventbrite, buying tickets for events, to then never show up.

Everything felt like an effort for me and I had adopted a nonchalant attitude to life in general. I practically looked and felt like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, plus I wasn’t doing myself any favours, because paperwork on my ex-was still coming across my desk. I know, I should have been turning it away, but you know what they say about curiosity killing the cat, lol. Seeing pictures of the ‘happy couple’ with my ex-smiling like a Cheshire cat wearing the clothes that I paid for, was enough to send me over the edge. I have to keep it all the way 100 with you, in the early post break up days, seeing them together made my blood boil. My ex- had given me bun without cheese plus tax and VAT. It was VERY painful for me to see and that added even more fuel to my hurt and confusion.

I can confidently say that I experienced every emotion known to mankind, but at that point, the Anger in me reigned sovereign. I should not have been concerned about what he was keeping up with, but again it was a struggle. I still found it hard to let him go and it only added more salt to my open infected wounds. My ex- appeared to be living his best life, whilst I wasted away in the dumps. By the time it came around for me to head off to Berlin, I didn’t even want to go. However as I was in so much despair, the desperation to get out of London was real.

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Can you believe this was my luggage for Berlin?

Prior to Berlin, I had gone MIA. No whats app DP and minimal activity on the socials. People were trying to see me but I honestly stopped replying to most messages. So when it was time to fly out, I reappeared on the scene as if nothing had ever happened. Human beings are funny. We will go above and beyond to convince others that we ‘are ok’ rather than actually being ok. I spoke about this in The Cost of Living a lie but my reasons were only to disguise the true depths of my turmoil. In the process of trying to convince others, you end up convincing yourself. Sometimes the lies feel more comforting than facing the truth of your situation.

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Stepping on Berlin soil, honestly felt like a breath of fresh air for me. Lola and I stayed at the RIU hotel in Alexanderplatz in Mittie, one of the busiest places filled with shops, restaurants, cinemas and popular attractions within walking distance. We arrived just after 12pm, checked into our hotel and then decided to hit the streets. The concert wasn’t until 9pm, so we had enough time on our hands. Being in Berlin was definitely an instant mood lifter for me. I instantly fell in love with the place and I felt like I was in my own world.

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I loved being in a new place and that feeling of being unknown was soothing. Back home in London I had been feeling very suffocated, not to mention exposed. The breakup lifted the floorboards up off the relationship with my ex, which required me to open up and let in my family and friends. Everyone now had a voice which came with an opinion. It wasn’t like this in Berlin though, there were no loud voices or opinions anymore. For the first time in a long time, I could actually hear myself think and I started to tune back into my own frequency. Lola and I spent a few hours in the town, we shopped, we ate and spoke with the locals. After a while, we headed back to our hotel to prepare to see Drizzy.

Lola is another key player within Jennas World, our friendship started at secondary school but flourished throughout our 20s. My Lola looks fabulous, you would never know that she is actually 3 years older, but she is and she is one of my Big sister figures. I really commend Lola because dealing with a friend with emotions that changed by the click of a finger is not easy. Even flying to another country with me in the emotional state that I was, was a huge risk. I was a rollercoaster of emotions even before the concert but somehow she managed to keep me in good spirits. Lola knows me pretty well and she knew that if she put a camera in front me, I will perform, lol. Please see the evidence below, I even managed to snag some bomb ass selfies too.

Some of you may say heartbreak looks good on me because my pain is undetectable in these snaps, lol. I can assure you, I did not feel as good as I looked. After taking photos for nearly an hour, we headed out to the concert which was located in the Mercedes Benz Arena. It had started raining, we were running late and I felt a meltdown coming on. I started to hyperventilate and think of all the worse things that would cause us to miss this concert, but thank God we made it on time.

We managed to secure standing tickets, I remember when the doors to the Arena opened I became ecstatic. Suddenly, I  looked around and began to see so many people, I instantly felt a buzz, that sent a sensation through my entire body. As if things could not get any better? Popcaan was the opening act, this being a surprise to me, sent me into a frenzy. I know I probably messed up many peoples snapchat videos, but I got my entire life. I was beaming on an instant high and I couldnt stop smiling because it honestly felt so good. I had not felt like this in months, so I just held on to it and lived in that moment. I even made friends with randoms. Drakes performance sealed the night and I left that concert in a much better way than I came in.

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I came to Berlin with one goal and one goal only, to see Drake and go home. I wasn’t interested in doing much sightseeing. We both just wanted to see the Berlin wall and eat dinner at the TV tower, but things did not quite go to plan. Lola and I started to get ready to head out and I don’t know how it happened but we ended up having a heart2heart. We stood side by side in this black tiled bathroom, Lola was doing her makeup and I was doing my hair.

It was like one of those Big sister, little sister moments that you see in the films. We had a deep heart-wrenching conversation that I didn’t even know I needed. There were no tears involved, just home truths that spoke to my soul. There are some words that will be spoken to you within your lifetime that will leave a lasting impression on you. For me, that conversation will certainly be one of them. Something in me was moved by the words of my friend in that moment. After months of repeated conversations with close friends and family members, the wall finally came down. I knew that I had to accept things for what they were and even though it was not going to be easy, I couldnt continue on in my current state.

I believe God works in mysterious ways and I feel as though he set me up and lured me all the way to Berlin just so I could have this conversation with Lola. Think about it, Lola and I could have had this convo over some wings of fire at Satay Bar. It wasn’t a coincidence or by chance that this trip happened. It wasn’t even about seeing Drake. It was about me getting away from the noise back home in London to be able to recognise that it was time to look ahead to my future. I did not plan for that nor did I see such a revelation coming, but life is such a funny thing, we never know what is coming around the corner. I am thankful that somehow the words of my friend when I least expected it was able to pull me up out of the floods.

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God knows who to send into your life, you just have to trust him.

After an eventful day filled with therapy, sisterhood and soul-searching, we finally made it out to the Berlin wall. Most of which has now been removed, but we managed to grab a few snaps of the remains. Check it out below.

Whewww Chile, the controversy!!! LOL

We didn’t end up making it to the TV tower for dinner, instead, we wandered the streets of Berlin until the day turned to night. Together we explored the city, by taking in the views, speaking to locals and moving to the beat of our own drum. By accident, we came across a lovely Thai place and had dinner and cocktails. Sadly I can’t remember the name of that place, so I can’t share the deets. Our dinner sealed the evening and although the day was far from what I expected, I am glad that everything came together in the way that it did. To watch a mini Vlog of my Berlin Trip, check out on my Facebook page it is nothing fancy, I tried a thing, lol.

Berlin was a turning point for me, things appeared as though they were looking up but do you think I was able to keep the same pace by the time I arrived in Santorini?

Click here to find out what happens on part 2 of my post break up travel series.

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Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

The Aftermath…

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I am a 90s baby, so I grew up on Toni Braxton, Monica and of course my Aunty Mary J Blige. I was singing about heartbreak and infidelity before I knew what it meant to really go through it. I could recite lyrics and belch every high note with raw emotion as if the heartbreak was my own. In my mind I was no stranger to it, I had read countless books about cheating couples (shout out to Brenda Hampton & Omar Tyree). I watched Tv shows and films over the years. I even knew all the words of the iconic heartbreak film Waiting to Exhale. It was all fun and games when it was make-belief but nothing could prepare me for the pain I felt when heartbreak became my reality.

Now I know that I dropped a bomb on you in my last blog post Intuition: A blessing in disguise. I was really touched by your response and I now feel braver than ever telling my story. Before I crack open my post break up travel series I need to take you a bit further behind the scenes. From the break up until my trip to Berlin, a lot had taken place in my life. I turned 25. I developed an elaborate and impulsive spending habit and I experienced everything from hair loss to depression. Dealing with a break up on top of trying to navigate my way through life was crippling and I couldn’t manage it. The break up was the straw that broke the Camels back and sadly for me it knocked me right off my feet. There was so much to process. My family were in my ears, my friends were in my ears. Everyone including me was trying to make sense of the madness.

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I was embarrassed, ashamed and I felt dirty. To make matters even worse, the word had started to spread and the people were talking. An old acquaintance of mine was so desperate for an exclusive, she texted my phone with fake concern in hopes to catch the tea. But this wasn’t tea or breaking news via the #shaderoom this was my real life. All eyes were now on me. Every move that I made was being scrutinised, so I wasn’t going to give the spectators, my ex or cousinbae the satisfaction of seeing me crumble. Even though I was half dead behind the scenes, lol. The show had to go on, so I kept up the appearances and made sure my Instagram uploads stayed popping.

The more I acted as though life was grand like a thousand pounds to the outside world, things were taking a turn for the worse. It got so bad that my mum sat me down and gave me some home truths. Mummy was blunt and told me that I am not the first girl in the world to get cheated on and I won’t be the last. I need to walk with my head held high. One day it will all make sense why I had to go through this. I can’t stop or give up, I just have to keep going. My mum tried the nice approach at first but in true Aunty Lorna form, she likes to leave an impact with her words. Mum made sure to remind me that I came from a long line of strong Black Women, who have been through ‘this’ before, so I have to pick myself up. Mum then went on to say and I quote “if you feel like you are going to mash up yourself over this Jancro boy & his dutty family, you have another thing coming”. In translation, this was a warning to get my shit together.

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You see, I heard what my mum said, but her words were not hitting home. Nothing anyone was saying to me at the time was. I felt like a victim and found comfort revelling in the pain of the breakup. I truly lost my strength and was I embarrassed to tell my mum that I was struggling to push through. My confidence was bruised. Ever since I was a child, It has been drilled into me that I have to grow up to be a strong Black woman. Life was going to throw some horrible things my way and no matter what happens, I have to keep it moving. Even if it hurts. Even if it’s painful. Even if I don’t understand it. I was raised and trained to be resilient. If I fall, I must get up and if I cry it shouldn’t be for too long, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t look or feel like the strong Black woman my mum raised me to be and this had a major impact on my confidence. I was unable to demonstrate all that my mum had taught me because I was crumbling.

Over the years I have been able to live up to this reputation as a ‘strong  Black woman’. I  have served as the friend, who many have called on. At one point in time, I even held a PHD in solving man problems for my girls, lol. Sadly, the tables had turned and the strong Jenna that everybody once knew, was now unrecognisable. The stress completely took over, I started isolating myself from others, my hair started to fall out and I wasn’t able to sleep at night. I remember feeling like someone cast an evil spell on me because everything that was happening to me just seemed unreal. I was declining, but I couldn’t do anything about it. The break up was an eye-opener and it made me realise that my ex-wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be. I thought that I knew him, but I didn’t. It made me feel as though everything that we had shared together was a lie. This was the worse part for me because, in my heart, I truly felt like we had shared something real.

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My ex- was the first guy I ever exchanged I love you with. The first guy who knew all of my hopes and dreams. From the age of 17, he watched me blossom into the early stages of womanhood. How could I just forget him? How was I supposed to erase the last 7 years of my life? I felt like I didn’t have anything to show for the relationship. I wasted my years and my time being his lover and the damn secretary too. I couldnt bear the thought of letting go of the relationship and to make matters worse, I was still attached to him(please don’t cuss me). It was so overwhelming for me to the point where I couldn’t even think straight. There was too much noise going in my head and I just needed to tune everything out. The break up was already taking its toll on my mental health and I knew it. As a first-class psychology graduate, who at that time wanted to get into Clinical Psychology Doctoral training. I knew the signs and tried my best to disguise it from my family and friends.

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It wasn’t only until an incident took place at work, that would soon reveal the true impact of the break-up. I collapsed at work and was unresponsive on my office floor for 5 minutes. As I regained consciousness, I noticed my wig was halfway across the office floor. My colleagues were standing around in complete and utter shock. When I realised my wig was gone, I just screamed out in embarrassment, lol.  I know they probably thought I was having a panic attack but unfortunately it was the shame of my wig abandoning my head at such a crucial time. Everyone believed I had suffered a silent heart attack until the tests came back normal. My iron levels were fine and no I didn’t have a stroke. Numerous tests were carried out on me but nothing could explain why I collapsed. The only thing the doctors could conclude was that stress had a major part to play. I spent two nights in the hospital and was advised to take it easy because next time I might not be so lucky.

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It was obvious from that incident I needed to get a grip on things but I just didn’t have the strength to get myself together. So I did what I do best and blocked out the problems by slipping away into isolation. I didn’t want to hear what my family or friends had to say anymore. I didn’t want to think about my ex anymore. I just wanted to soothe my wounds. I needed to make myself feel better and I was desperate to fill the pain with something other than the voices of my family and friends. So I kept spending money and boy did it feel good.

My aim was to get away from London and even further away from everyone’s voices. I was so desperate for a change of scenery. So when my girl Lola hit me up about Drakes Boy meets world tour in Berlin, I was all over it. Something about this concert just made sense to me. If you read JWV’s Top 10 things to do in Miami, you would know that we missed out on seeing him the previous year. I strongly sensed this was a rare moment of fate presenting itself and I needed to pay close attention. Without any additional thought, I booked those Drake tickets and Lola & I made plans to set off to Berlin. Little did I know, that this trip was going to be the starting point for my restoration & healing.

Click here for part 1 of my #PostBreakUp Travel series

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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