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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Battle Fatigue: Loss and being courageous while walking in the Valley of Ba'ca.

 I want to fall into the bosom of a bosomy woman of fifty or sixty and sob for half an hour.

Today I felt a great sense of loss. The loss of my grandmother to Alzheimers.

My grandmother was a very clear minded and articulate woman before ALZ slapped her and took out chunks of her brain out.

 I miss being told off by a woman I respected and feared, but loved because I knew she loved and cared about my interests. I also miss having an older person reassure me. It's scary being the adult. 

Today I am wishing for a parent, or at least an adult to tell me it's gonna be okay, somehow.

 There was a funeral today. A neightbour, slightly older than me but with a wife and kids.

 He died of cancer. I felt it. Last night we sat, with his cousins, talking into the night. Talking about how we can't even hope to get to 60 these days. Our lifespan is short. I didn't tell them I've been there. I just hang around them, hoping they would not feel too alone. Because I know in grief, a familiar face makes you feel less alone.

His death, of course opened up wounds in me that I carefully conceal so as to survive this terrifying world.

Once again I am reminded of the fragility of my life and that of others, and once again I am paralysed by my incapability to help.

I feel helpless.

I don't want people to die, or leave, or get sick, or accuse me of cutting off their internet connection just because there's a cable running through my house to theirs.

Today I feel hurt and powerless.

Do you ever go through periods in your life when everything falls apart or breaks down?

I get those seasonal breakdowns at least once a year when for a few months you are fixing this, then that, then that again.

 I am also cold and didn't sleep too well.

 My phone broke down so I can't share memes and pretend the sun is shining, and if you call me. I will answer with a ringing voice and tell you I am fine. In case you called, not to find out if I am okay but  called to check on your list that I am okay so you can go on with your life. 

Is our worth more after we die than when we are alive when we are struggling/ When we are getting bashed left right and centre by situations no one gave us the skills to handle?

 I am not thinking suicidal thoughts.

It takes greater courage to live. Each day, in spite of sometimes walking through dark pits that no one can see. And I am courageous. Even through ugly sobs.

give me flowers now

sing me songs now

tell me I matter now

don't write it on a stupid euology. I won't know.

....when they pass through the Ba'ca Valley, they make it into a place of springs.

...And the early rain clothes it with blessings

They will walk on from strength to strength....

Is there any situation that the Psalms cannot fix?

 The Psalms are like the Coldplay of the Bible.

A Psalm for every feeling.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

This Chic: Opening up conversations with debate conditioned Kenyans.

 I watched a TV Talkshow last week about 'Why the modern woman cannot seem to find love'

The poll question wanted the audience to text back and say who they thought was responsible for failed relationships. Men or women?


They asked that.


I watched the show, on youtube because one of the guests is a girl from my village, Nyambura Mundia.

This girl, I met when I was probably in class seven and she was in class four and someone pointed out to her as the girl who had beat my cousin at Poetry Recitals. Or it was something impressive like that because my cousin was a boy and taking all the public speaking and recital medals home.

When I saw her the next time, I remember taking a really good look at her. I had not seen anything like that in the whole of Endarasha. 

The self-confidence. 

She walked like the whole world was waiting on her to arrive. Step by step like she had bodyguards around her. Like she had an important mission and it didn't matter that she was a woman, she was the only one commissioned to deliver it.

I should say I had goosebumps but I didn't, I was just intrigued. It was my first time to observe a person in a Zen state. To make it more interesting, she was a dark child. And in Endarasha, you were beautiful only if you were light-skinned. Yet, unless your genes came from very strong brown-skinned people, the frost in my village bit your skin until you were a nice shade of dark blue. So of course, any light-skinned person was actually, yellow yellow not just earth brown.

But I could tell that this girl had no such whims.

I met this girl, later on, 100 years later, in my estate. She had the same walk. We had never been introduced so, I just let her walk past and later on Facebook suggested her as a friend and I accepted.

She is the Host of Swaiba Podcast, an open space for women to discuss issues that matter.

As the TV show proceeded, I kept thinking to myself. Is anyone listening to this woman? Can't they follow her flow of thought and realise that she is simply opening up the conversation?

My friend once commented that Kenyans lack conversation skills and I wondered 'ai, what do you mean? Kenyan's love to talk.'

Yes, Kenyans love to talk and hear their own voices, but it's rare to find a Kenyan who listens.

I guess that is why we have a had time discussing issues like mental health, relationships, violence, career and even finances.

Every topic is turned into a debate.

 Every idea is contended.

Very few people are willing to just have a discussion and let the conversation take any direction.

"I must win."

Is probably what some are thinking whenever a topic arises.

Why can't we just, have conversations? Where if you are right it's okay, if you are wrong it's okay but let's keep talking.

But if we continue to base every chat on our past beliefs and experiences, we lose out on so much because the dialogue is blocked.

As an infp personality type, I crave deep conversations and connecting with people on a mental, emotional and intellectual level. An achievement of that is at the top of my Maslow Hierarchy pyramid.

I wish Mwari wa Mundia all the best in her next session, may you remain as calm as you have.

You are welcome to join in the random tea chats I have on Instagram from time to time. 


or  HERE

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

My Happy Large Content World: Choosing Happiness

 In a year of isolation and social distancing, I have come to appreciate what the adults in my life did to make life enjoyable and full of surprises. I’m thinking about my grandmother frying mandazi on Sunday evenings so we would have something for breakfast the following week. 

Or my mother saving up to take me to the park, or my uncle planting a new tree in the middle of the farm and one day calling us to go see when it flowered, or when it had ready fruits. Like the guava tree he planted in the middle of the Napier grass fields, and the surprise we got to know that we had guava on the farm.

As an adult, an adult living alone. It is very easy to get into monotony and life can become quite saltless.

And I have had to use my brain to make it exciting for myself even after being indoors for a week, two weeks.

It doesn’t take much, but I have realized that even simple morning routines, evening routines, taking a different route when I take walks, cooking a meal with my whole senses involved, take the monotony out of life.

Having live chats with my friends and family has proved to be the best way to get to know my friends and acquaintances better.

I am learning to make life intentionally interesting for myself. I know someone who buys herself flowers and I think that is cool. I don’t, I pick wild ones. But I take myself out for tea, at least twice a month.

Are there things you do, as an adult living alone or with cats do to maintain the surprise element in your life?

Friday, April 30, 2021

How to Successfully Excel in Mediocracy

 A step-by-step guide to accomplishing everyday tasks in the most mediocre style.

You will also learn how to set up your own achievable mediocre worksheet,

and how to ensure mediocrity in every aspect of your life.

We will also learn how to bake salted brownies. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Embracing Vulnerability: Knowing my worth

Have you ever felt like you have been waiting your whole life to be picked?
I know I have.
No Sorry, I don't mean being picked by a guy.

I mean by life.

Like you are just over here behind everyone standing on tiptoe trying to see the front while frantically waving
your arms  saying 'Pick me! Pick me!' But your turn never comes?

As last year was coming to a close I started to think about how life picks us to show us off on a platform.
I also thought about how people pick each other to be present in their lives . And things that determine how the picking will be done.

By default, sometimes there is a pecking order.
But in my life I have noticed a pattern.
I confessed to a friend that while I was busy trying to be picked by some people I expected to be in flow with, Kumbe I had been picked elsewhere.
Kumbe there was a whole Ciss clan surrounding me, speaking my language and having the same taste in stirfried spinach as I have.

And this has brought a huge positive enthusiasm into my life.
I have been thinking about this since I finished reading 'The Joy Luck Club' by Amy Lee. 
Then when my friend posted this picture on her status and asked people to say something nice about me, it got clearer.
@himbz took the picture


When I started  to see the comments  it hit me that:

This is profound so listen carefully.

It hit me that:
1.  I may have been spreading myself  out too thinly.
2. I really really need to know my worth.

In the search for solid relationships with people, I have often ended up spending just a little time with too many different people that I don't spend enough time with those who have picked me as well.

How do you know someone has picked you?
They ring you up and ask if you managed to make anyone's hair this week.
They send you memes
They respond to invitations to have chips mwitu by making definite plans.
They respond to your texts and not leave you hanging for two weeks wondering - did I say something dumb?
They tell you they are praying for you.
They see your status and send you a laughing emoji.
They come to your house and wash vyombos after eating rice ndengu.
They meet you in town to pick up their deliveries so you don't have to spend extra cash.

And I did more thinking and thought that maybe oh well life picked me but maybe by my breeches.

But now how do I know my worth?

In the book, whats-her-name- is given a jade pendant by her mother and she's told, know your worth. But her mother dies without explaining what that means.
She thinks it probably means she needs to try harder in life because she has it in her.
When she was young her mother made her learn how to play the piano but she hated it, and when her mother stopped forcing her to practice and told her' you could do it if only your would try.' I felt like I know exactly what the mum meant.

Not to give up too easily.
I know I have. And my Shush once told me the same.

I had got a big writing gig and put my heart and soul into it then in the middle of it my laptop crushed and I cried for a few hours.

'The problem with you is you give up quickly.'

It's  true. I crush with all my disappointments.

But I also get up again and again and I bet that's where my strength lays.
That's where my worth is.
That no matter how many disappointments come along. I get up again. As soon as I stop crying.

Maybe my worth is in how many times I am willing to try.

I have the attractive option of crawling under my bed to die. But I fear I would get hungry and gnaw on the wood.

So it's  better to just keep getting up.
Keep discovering what is my true worth.
How many carats I am.

And I will keep picking those who pick me.
Those who drive to my house on an early morning to check why there is fire coming out of my computer cables, those black ones over there. Mimi sijui nini mbaya nimeona tu zimeanza kutoa moshi.

Those who let me record my experiments using their expensive gadgets.
Those who don't let me dismiss the question 
How are you?
Because they want to hear the answer.

Perhaps I am not waiting for life to pick me.
Perhaps I got a better deal.
To choose the life that works for me