Friday, September 21, 2018

Embracing Vulnerability

What is life?,
If help is gotten,
From the rear,
And oneself,
Sinks into a deep ocean,
Never to be recovered,
A rare commodity,
Bought by the fearless,
Sang by the high,
Mighty ones,
Dream it,
If pushed by inheritance,
Then I guess my heritage so poor,
For all I know,
When they seek to aid themselves,
I scheme to get the aid,
On my side,
If only walls could talk,
I'd let them know of my dire need,
To secure a place with strength,
If only windows could see,
I'd show them my vulnerability,
Standing up for myself,
I just cant,
Maybe my world is cursed,
The choice to be otherwise,
Is not an option in my book,
With the world in my case,
I am nothing but
If this is not perfect timing,
Frustrations coming in,
I dont understand,
When is,
If I go on,
In this way,
The battlefield maybe clear,
But the vineyard,
Just a saying,
By the successful,
Where there is a will
There is a way,
Where there is grumpiness,
There is a roadblock,
Where its gregarious,
There is a deep surface,
I need rescue,
For I know where I will it
I can have it,
The strength,
The power,
The courage,
To do my own,
Without owning,
Other soul's power

by MaryAnn Olalo

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Socializing the introvert: Hugging

My classmate in high-school had a big sister so she was already well socialized by form two. I wasn’t but before I decided to move seats and be a back-bencher (one term before I tried to quit the whole education business) she gave me two pieces of advice. She said:

“If ever a boy asks you out on a date, you must not order chicken no matter how tempting it might be. How will you work that chicken with a knife and fork you have never used before. My sister told me you only ask for a samosa. You can eat Samosa without getting it all over your face, but remember t take small bites.”

 The second piece of advice was;
“My sister told me, if a boy hugs you, you should bend forward so that his hands go on top of your shoulders and nowhere close to your boobs. Boys just wanna feel your boobs.”
I don’t come from a hugging family but when I got into high school I learned that people hugged their parents instead of the handshake I had grown up with.

When I wet home and tried to hug my shush she said;
“Aii.Ni kii?”
 And when I tried to hug my aunt who is very short she asked me ‘kai uratuikire wa idi?(Independent church of  Kenya)
But we made a shoulder dance out of it and she said  ‘tukundereza’.
My mother gave me a look that said- ata usijaribu.

 Back in school, we were given the lesbian lecture. Any closeness between two girls was thus uprooted from us who were ironically only just interested in Nyeri high school teenagers. So I really never got to practice hugging.
When I became a young  woman other young women started to peck my cheeks, I didn’t like it. I would submit to it thinking like the kid in….diary of a wimpy kid when his aunt kisses his cheek and all he can think of are the germs now spreading all over his face . Especially if someone with thick make up on.

 I developed a firm handshake
 But then again in college I met the sweet sweet Motswana people that take body contact a little too far but oh well it felt really good to be held for a few seconds by someone you like, both men and women.
“Come here you Kenyan girl, one classmate used to tell me when I tried to wriggle out of a hug by stretching out my hand and pretty soon I would be enveloped in a crushing hug.”

Years after this, I found out that I had actually changed the way I relate to people.  I was initiating highs and even expecting hugs from people I see every week. My workmate surprised me one day by asking can I have a hug please? I didn't know you could let yourself be as vulnerable as that, knowing and letting a third person know that you need a hug (cringe)
 In 2017, someone gave me a groping hug that left me feeling quite defiled like, well, it was like what next after all my senses are now awake?

I told my friend I had just been groped and the disgust in my face told her everything else I didn’t need to say. This catapulted me right back to the beginning, handshakes and waving people from afar and Faith’s word coming back in my subconscious… ‘boys just wanna feel your boobs’
So I googled types of hugs.

The London bridge
This is the awkward one when you guys didn’t know you are expected to hug so you just kinda lock arms

The dead lock

The rag doll
This is kinda cute, it’s a big brother giving a hug to his sister.

 The pat
I dread the pat. It’s the kind of hug someone gives you when you are at a funeral, which is alright but when someone gives me this in any other setting I start to wonder. Kwani how bad do I look today?

The pick pocket
This is for people who are very tight, like your boy bff that you grew up together but don’t have feelings  for each other?

The sneaky hug
This is on a different level of cuteness. But only ifnyou are very close to the other person.

And the floating hug
This is a Girlfriend boyfriend hug. The one on the left.

And I will add my own

The chest attack
Ever met someone you know but haven’t seen in a while and, speaking from a woman’s point of view, the next thing is you feel your chest has just crushed onto a man’s chest and you would like to scream and tell them off but this is supposed to be a happy reunion  so you just thank the heavens that you are wearing a padded bra? Yeah.
The opportunist
I think people who give this type of hug didn’t grow up hugging like myself. So now that the opportunity has arisen they take it in full force? Laying on your chest a few seconds too long..?
The facial approval
I’m not sure if this counts as a hug but many times people will grab me and put their cheeks too close to mine, then end up by putting my face in their palms and shaking me approvingly. I’m not six! But it’s ok

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