What I Learned From My Carnival Fail

I failed so hard at Carnival but in the end, it helped me.  It’s story time.

Before I moved to London I heard so much hype about Notting Hill Carnival.  I’m not a super soca girl but I can give a whine and party when I get in the mood so I said if I ever get a chance I would experience Carnival in London.

Two weeks before the big day I asked my one of my 2.5 friends if I could go with to Carnival with him and his crew.  This was my chance to see the big CARNIVAAAL and I was low key excited.

The weekend before the big fete I asked friend how the day going to pan out and he gave me a very go with the flow response.  That should have been my clue.

don’t forget to pin this!


Leave it to a man to make plans.  The day of Carnival arrived and there was no meeting spot, no set time, no concrete anything.  When I plan something, best believe its planned but I convinced myself to try this thing called go with the flow.  I had a feeling the day would not end well but I was committed so I made my way to the tube (and let me tell you, I do not take the tube) where I endured weed being blown in my face and my butt awkwardly pressed against some stranger’s junk, all in the name of we gon link.

And then…and then….I arrived too far away from him, he was too far away from me and our final phone call ended with “This ain’t gonna work.  They’re pouring Henny.”

At the sound of Hen- I decided to take my ass back home.

Maybe I should have stayed and try to wiggle my way to a new group of people but I was irritated with the lack of planning, that I had an unwanted contact high and the fact that I could have been relaxing in the comfort of my home.

These were all legit reasons to be irritated but I realized I was super pissed at the reality that Carnival was showing me I needed a sista circle.

Sista Circle – a group of friends, usually women but not limited to, who support you, have your back, wait for you at Carnival and gives you all the lovin.

Here’s how Carnival straightened my natural edges:


I’ve been doing this solo ish too long

Let me make it clear, I am not one of those women who takes pride in having zero girl friends.  It bugs me a lot.  A lot, a lot.  When women say “oh I don’t do female friends cause they jealous of me ya see” that’s a red flag.  You’ll never hear me say that’s why I don’t have friends.  EVER.

I’ve always been a loner; in my adult life, I’ve only had friends at two periods in my life.  In both of those situations, the friendships ended because of life circumstances and not because we wanted them to.   The older I get (no shame in my game, I’m in my 30s – but for brands, I look like 20s…joking, or…am I?) the harder it is to connect with people.

Also, I am awkward as fuck.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m confident in a lot of ways but when it comes to friends, whew I’m a mess.  I will straight up look you in the face and question why would you want to be my friend.  I will ask it outloud and make it super itchy cause that’s my specialty.  I specialize in AWK.

Walking along the streets of bougieville I thought here I am by myself, walking to an event by myself again.  All those girls around me have their group, their gang, their squad and I had – me.  It’s tiring.


Sistas understand you in a special way

Not taking away from guy friends (cause you can totally have that special connection with them), but my guy friend wasn’t it ya’ll.  I was rolling there with a group of girls who got me, we would have jokes, we would be dancing every three steps, having moments of AAAAAAHHHH and AAAAAYYYYYE and we’d be poppin.

The sistahood just gets you.

Recently I’ve gone through so much emotionally and I have been forced to keep it inside.  I do have a bf but she lives in America and even though we chat it out, there’s something about having a squad in your city.  Being able to call a friend to come over or meet at a coffee shop, it’s special.

I’m also 3% (or more like 100%) afraid of having to create those friendship links all over again.  Just as dating is hard, starting a friendship is hard.   You have to learn a person all over again, you have to let someone into your space.

Even though that thought is terrifying, if I can put myself out there for dating (lord) I reckon I can do the same thing for the sistahood.


Henny over heauxs?

My bestest, bestest friend is my real sister and when I think of all the ways I put her first (and I’m not saying this in a rude way) I realize that’s what friendship is about.  That boy put Henny, actual piss water, above meeting up.  If he wanted to he could have found a way, but as I clicked off my phone I realized a friend and a sista wouldn’t let me go back home.

Think about it, when you go out you are always on the watch for your friends and you always keep them in the front of your mind.  I’m at a stage in my life where someone picking Henny over me is silly but that action was the final girl you need to get your friend life together moment.

I’m not mad at friend because I don’t expect him to give that same level of I got you Olli to me.  If I did, I don’t now!  Plus he gifted me something super dope for Coco Creativ so he made up for that epic mess.

Life says I should be upset but I can’t be bothered being angry; in his own typical, oblivious guy way he did “a great job”.  Plus, Carnival coming back so I could try again next year.


So what do I do friendwise?

To be honest, I freaking don’t know.  It’s hard to make friends in the UK (or anywhere) and I’ve kinda given up while still remaining hopeful.  Does that make sense?

Since moving here I have constantly seen campaigns about loneliness and I get it.  Even though  I have flatmates, they’re not my friends.  We talk but we’re not invested in each other’s lives.  Aside from my flatmates, there are days where I don’t have deep conversations, I don’t have chats – I don’t have squawk fests laughing at something only me and the other person would get.  It’s not fun but it’s my life.

Everyone has their circle here and I’m just…me.  Awkward, anime awkward, sailor moon awkward, hates winter awkward and always broke awkward.  Yep. Awk. WArd.

While I’ve gotten used to it, that fail made me understand I don’t like it and I want more for my life.  Like I stated, if I could try dating this year I think it’s time to start making friendship connections too.   I really don’t know where to look but I will try.

I will not let my Carnival fail be in vain.  Next year I’m going with a squad, matching outfits (at my big age, I’m joking) and making sure we all enjoy the Henny.

Maybe I’ll document my friendship search…Is finding friendship easy for you?  Let me know below.

What I Learned From My Carnival Fail

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  • Ran
    September 20, 2018

    First off, I love your site’s layout! It looks so sleek and polished. Secondly, thanks for this super entertaining and relatable read! I can empathize well with you, as a pretty awkward person myself. I do enjoy traveling a lot by myself, which forces me to be social with other people, but other than that, I find it hard to connect with others. But I’m trying! Just like you, I’m looking forward to future opportunities! Oh well, good luck to us!

    • Olli
      September 26, 2018

      Hi Ran, thanks for the compliment about my blog, that means so much to me. I am saying good luck to us too. I think the most important thing is saying I don’t like this situation so I’m going to fix it. Hopefully I’ll be able to share my adventures in finding a friend on the blog. Thanks for reading!

  • Rachel Hart
    September 20, 2018

    Great read! I totally understand where you’re coming from! Pretty much my entire life I’ve only had one best friend (besides my actual sister) and we’ve had our ups and downs. During our downs, like during parts of high school, I had a very select few of other “friends” but none that compared.
    Now we’re in our late twenties, thousands of miles apart, she’s married with kids, I’m married with my first on the way, and honestly we just hardly talk at all anymore . It’s hard.
    I haven’t made any new friends where I live now (been here for over 2 years). It’s just me and my hubby here. And while I love him and he really is my best friend, it’s not the same as having a best girl friend, ya know…
    Maybe I’ll find some good friends…maybe I won’t. Idk.
    Anyway, I hope you find the group you’re looking for!
    Good Luck!

    • Olli
      September 26, 2018

      I hope you find those friendships, I think what you’re describing sounds exactly like what I’m facing. I’ve been living here for two years now and I don’t really have those friendships. My bestfriend is thousands of miles away and luckily we have that relationship where we just pick up and talk but there’s something to be said for having someone nearby who won’t choose Henny over you. Good luck to you too Ray!

  • Melanie
    September 21, 2018

    I’m so sorry he turned out to be a bum, but “this won’t work, they’re pouring Henny” is one of those lines that goes down in infamy.

    • Olli
      September 26, 2018

      loooooool trust me, I’ve said that to him about three or four times since then. I have to agree, it’s a pretty dope line when I think about it.

  • Arteria
    September 21, 2018

    I honestly felt reading this. I can relate to a degree. I always felt isolated when I was growing up too. Sometimes I would he very quiet and keep to myself and sometimes I can be very social it all depends on the vibe. I would always have groups of friends but many of the friendships were not genuine. One of my best friends confessed her feelings for my boyfriend and at the time she was dating my brother. I have trust issues. As I got older I still tried to keep friends but I felt like people only came around to use me. People love to be around me but I’m never sure if it’s because they really like me or they think they can benefit. So it is hard I do get jealous to see a group of friends sometimes because I wish I had it but when I did have it, I never experienced a sincere friendship. You can meet Friends thorough your blog at least you know you are meeting likeminded people. Try to spark conversations with people. You don’t come off as awkward to me. But even if you are so what. What is normal? I hope you find what you’re looking for in friends. It is hard.

    • Olli
      September 26, 2018

      Lol well I’m glad someone is seeing past my awkardness. I think it’s one of those things where I’ve always come across as super confident, and then people get to know me and they realize I’m a dork butt and the shit they thought I had going on – well I don’t. I love my awkwardness, I celebrate her all the time but it’s just harder as an adult to translate that into friendships. I’m sorry you have trust issues, and I can understand why you would based on what you shared. Hopefully you can meet people who don’t take advantage of your trust and respect the boundaries of your friendship.

  • Natonya
    September 25, 2018

    Olli you and I are just alike it’s so real! I wished we lived in the same country because we would be hanging out 3x/wk. 😂 So yes it’s hard for me to make friends in person. Yes I have ‘friends’ on social media but in real life, I’m so awkward. I come off kind of distant perhaps cold because I’m such an introvert.

    I like to think I’m super nice and approachable person. I become so self-conscious and I think too much, which makes it harder for people to want to talk to me because I appear distant.

    I haven’t been on a date with a guy in over 10 years, probably because I appear like I don’t want to be bothered. I declare next year, I will be going on a date and make at least one new friend. Thanks for this post Ollie, it really motivated me.💖

    Natonya | http://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com

    • Olli
      September 26, 2018

      I’m glad this post motivated you! I really thought the awkwardness was in my head but I asked henny guy am I awkward and he was like…you are beyond awkward lol. I asked my partner if I’m awkward and they said they wouldn’t have it any other way. But both agreed it’s a cool part of my personality but it can come off like I don’t want to be a part of what’s going on. I’m going to try a meetup and maybe document my quest for friendships. It really sucks that we don’t live nearby for real though, I would love to sprinkle my awkard black girl ness all around you!!

  • Jenna
    September 26, 2018


    I struggle with friends, it is difficult for me because people do stuff that rub me the wrong way. I judge people off how I would act, I expect people to treat me how I treat them and I always find myself at the short end of the stick.
    My best friend is my brother and we are super super right. My female circle consist of my female family members. I am open to meeting new people but I have a feeling that they are going to fail me, so I am always ready to exist stage left.

    I guess we just have to open and not expect too much from people’ but still give them a chance!

    Jenna |xo https://jennasworldview.com/2018/09/23/post-break-up-travel-series-dsd-special/

  • Jasmine Burke
    September 26, 2018

    I am also such a massive planner, and with something as big as Carnival, having no plan and no meeting point would have stressed me out so much omg! Also, all the things you said about finding friends was so honest, I really loved it! I would love to read all about your journey with that, and can’t wait to see you at Carnival in those matching outfits, joking or not 😉

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

    • Olli
      September 27, 2018

      See!! I knew I wasn’t overthinking!! I believe in the power of a plan and girl, I was itchiing as I made my way to Carnival. If I had planned the day we would have known who, what, where, when and how to finesse some alcohol. Alcohol that was not piss water.

      I think the journey for friendship is going to start in the new year and hopefully I find my squad to wear our loooool matching outfits.

  • Shayla
    September 26, 2018

    Girl I’m about I’m to pack up my life and come be your friend! We are literally the same damn person on the opposite side of the world. I have the hardest time making friends and I want them but I’m awkward. Henny is awful and people that drink are sketch🤣🤭 (my fiancé drinks it… he used to be a sketchy heaux 🤷🏾‍♀️ Theory still works out..) anyways I loved this post and I love you! That guy just sucks but the way you write is so enthralling and interesting I was just so moved the whole time. It gets better and I hope you find some quality friends to kick it with. It’s hard to make friends as an adult. It’s possible but tough. I’m rooting you friend! I volunteer to be a friend in America as well if you ever need to talk my DM’s is WIIIIDDDE open.

    • Olli
      September 27, 2018

      Well me and guy worked it out and he gifted me a very expensive plugin for Coco Creativ so he is slightly forgiven. I’ve just come to realize we put some people in categories they’re not ready for. Even if I wasn’t super besties with someone, I’d never leave them hanging like that. Maybe I’m just old school…anyway, I can laugh at it now. I constantly laugh at myself and that’s how I know through it all, I’ma be okay.

      Pack them bags boo!!

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