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  • Isabella Naiduki

Identity Crisis

Those of you who follow my blog know that I started a series celebrating Fijian Women last year, this was in addition to the usual random musings I usually write. It started with very high expectations, mostly imposed by myself on delivering a post almost every week. As we all know, life happens and plans go to shit, especially if you're me thinking you're Jesus and wanting to save the world... but we'll leave that story for another day. As expected, I burnt out and my creative mojo took a swan dive to shitsville and writing every post after that was like getting a root canal. I must point out here that I may or may not have a slight overly compulsive disorder so that when I start something I have to see it through even if it means that there is no actual benefit to me. Thank god for the man who lives in the house with me, who is my best friend at the first of every month because ya know.. payday. He is the voice of reason who usually points out that, one I'm not much fun when I'm being an anal OCD prick (see what I did there.. anal prick ha! I digress as usual) and two I'm not as big of a deal as I seem to think that I am, truth be told.

So that brought me to an inevitable crux point, what exactly did I want to do with my blog? Was this to be just a hobby? Who exactly was my niche audience, did I even have a niche audience, most importantly, did I even have an audience to begin with? I mean I'd be pretty sad if I found out that it's just my Dad reading through these random ramblings of mine because I swear a lot so that would mean double the prayers at church and lord knows with five kids he has enough prayers to say as it is. The other thing I had to consider was what type of blogger was I? Was I a parenting blogger, I don't even like my children, who does? Just kidding... but really. Or was I an army wife blogger... Pass. No offence to the army wife bloggers out there but majority seem to have a negative connotation attached to their theme and that just doesn't sit right with me. I get it, it's tough being an army dependant, but it's not all that bad and we are not really selling it to the public by making ourselves out to be a bunch of cranky twats who need to have sex because hello... high-strung - there I said it. Next one up on the list was, because I was black (shock horror, did I just say that out loud) - before you go off on me and say I'm in denial of my melanin goddess skin, let me just check you there boo - Pacific Islanders don't exactly refer to themselves as black. The colonisers came over to us after getting fobbed off from Wakanda and divided us into Melanesian's, Micronesian's and Polynesian's and so instead of colour we refer to ourselves as one of these. I prefer saying we're Oceania people and as I say it I tend to have Christine Anu's song - My Island Home playing in my head as my background theme because you know, I come from the saltwater people...FOCUS ISABELLA FOUCS ! You've made me digress again but it was for good reason to clear the air on that dry joke I made about being black. Anyway back to being black - there's a Black British Bloggers community which I am grateful for because it creates a space for Black (and Asian, Minority Ethnic under which being a Fijian and a minority ethnic living in the UK, I would fall under) British bloggers to share their work. While it's all good and well to have this space I feel it also works against us because it confines us to this network and so we tend to produce work within the ambit of this label and in doing so holds us back from being able to break into the mainstream blogosphere, but I'm generalising here so I could be very wrong also. The next option was, do I now become an expat blogger, meaning I share our experience as a Fijian expat family. Ideally this would fit into how I perceive myself to be, an expat because I still plan to go back to Fiji to grow old and die, I'm a realist like that but it was also just half a truth because my children are British so they cant exactly be part of an expat family on the premise that technically they're home. This confusing dilemma of identity was not only draining my creativity but also just making me lose the will to live because it was forcing me to become too technical with the concept of who I wanted to be as a blogger - enter stage left, the fun police.

But stay with me, the randomness does makes sense in the end, as those who know me would say, there's a method to my madness. I've realised that in addition to all the above options I've also become a humour blogger. No not a comedian, far from it and plus I don't have that skill set so it's definitely not my ministry. I've come to consider myself a humour blogger because I write and speak about topics that people are thinking but are not necessarily comfortable talking about and make it easier to digest by using humour with it. This is equally important for my followers and for my Fijian community because of the culture that we are brought up in. It's one of reserved opinions, one of turning the other cheek when wronged regardless of legal, emotional and at times even physical & psychologically traumatic consequences. It is a also a culture that is still, in my not so humble opinion filled with very elitist and archaic practices. There's so many issues that gets swept under the carpet because we try to deal with it in the way that we feel our culture demands us to without taking into consideration the law of the land that we live in or the plain fact that it is wrong to continue to do so. A lot of hard truths and conversations need to be had and being that voice that questions the status quo and bring that uncomfortable topics out in the open may hopefully allow for a dialogue to be had on topics that are seen as taboo or a no go zone. I'm being ambiguous because quite rightly so I am not sure where I would start with this. But I do know this, I want to be the type of person that stands up for what is right so that the change I effect on the world leaves it a much better place than it was before, for my children. I hope that when it does come to crunch time and I have to speak or write about these things and as hard as it may seem I am able to apply, author and kick-ass blogger Luvvie Ajayi's three principles to it - One: Did I mean it when I said it? Two: Can I defend it? Three: Can I say it with love? If my answer to all three is yes then I have to let go and let God because telling thoughtful truths on important issues that no one else is prepared to should be normalised. It shouldn't be a revolutionary act or even one that we have to sacrifice our own principles for inorder to be able to say it or sadly choose to not say it. Hopefully by doing this I encourage others to have these conversations within their own circles and if anything allow me to write authentic blog posts that doesn't feel like I'm getting a root canal. Btw - If you've made it this far in this post know that you're the real MVP! And yes, I'm wearing mustard tights because the weather is shit and it needs life.

Mustard tights: The way forward - Fijian In The UK

Peace out,

Bella x


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