Saturday, March 30, 2019

This Chic: The person you create

The person we create.

I had a bad beginning this morning.
It was one of those mornings where you want to turn around and go back home.
Nonetheless, I love my job because as a INFP personality, doing something purposeful is enough motivation to get up when the alarms go off at five like a stringed instrument orchestra.

But most times I would rather take a Math test than go to work.
If I had a tunnel that could take me directly from my house to my desk without having to smile and wave and talk about Equinox I wouldn't mind it one bit.

Trying to muster up a happy, open  and cheerful countenance is harder than the work I do actually.

I managed to get through the first hour but at Midday I wondered why don't I just ask to leave?

At lunch time I decided to watch some BBC Sitcoms. I munch up BBC sitcoms like oat biscuits, Black Books is a fine one and I relate to every character. Though when I need to laugh thoroughly I  watch Jeeves and Wooster.

It gave me energy to face the three deadlines staring back at me from the screen, and of course it is at such times when the computer decides to reduce its pace. So of course I didn't beat the deadlines.

On my way home I made up my mind that I would go straight to bed. I would feed the cat, brush my teeth and sleep.
I would not even check how many like my Instagram post got.

I deserve to be unhappy

Quite hysterically I run things in my head that have gone wrong or not worked out and how unfair life is and what's the use of trying too hard when nothing works anyway?

All day long I had been trying to make a huge decision and didn't know it was affecting my outlook.

There are never clear cut decisions and you only know if it was good or bad after you have made it.

When I got home I heated water, took a bath and as I was drying off my brain was making a calculation of the vegetables in the kitchen.
"I need and onion, ginger and carrots,,,  "
Automatically I had started to plan what to cook.
OK, so I'm having supper after all.

I would not have my supper cold. I was going to make a proper meal and serve it on a proper plate and eat it with a fork.

And I really smiled at myself because that is the person I have created.
No matter how hard I push against her she will bring me back to common sense and make me do the things That need to be done.
After a long day, common sense dictates you take a bath, eat right and rest.

I cooked and after I had eaten I started to read about manna in the Bible, because I had been thinking about manna all day long and how collecting manna in a bright orange karai might have worked on some Israelite men's masculinity when they had been used to working hard physically to provide.

Husband: Honey, usipike, nakuja na supper.
Wife: Na hizo umeokota wapi?

I spoke to my friend about it. She laughed and asked so what's the manna you've been picking up?

Anyway the conversation went south after that but I was ready to sketch.

Because sketching has become part of my daily life

When I started it was simply to create good regular habits.
But now it serves two purposes . It forces me to write all the stories running through my head.
It also makes start something and finish it to the end.

Taking a bath
Eating good food
Daily Bible reading
Communicating with friends
Cleaning the floor, clearing dishes

All these might start as habits but then they become part of us.
(I don't always clear dishes but it's one of those long term goals)

The person we create will ensure that we stick to them. They become automatic and even on a bad day, you don't sleep in your work clothes just because.

The person we create pushes us to do better. To try harder even when we really feel like crap.

We are born creators, we can create an image of ourselves for the world to admire and applaud.

We can also create a significant human being inside who may never be applauded or even seen, but the job he does for us,,,, wacha tu.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Dairy Farm Diaries: Finding peace behind the house

Two countries can be peaceful towards each other but not in unity coz they re not working towards the same goal"

In my family, we always had this saying:
'Caria thayū.' (Search for peace)
When one of us kids would be annoyed at something and probably hiding behind the house sulking,
The grown ups would say
Tigana nake aambe acokwo nī thayū (let him/her alone until he/she regains their peace)

I guess I came to really appreciate having peace, feeling at peace and basically having peaceful conditions.

When we prayed we prayed for peace in the country.

And when all of us were in a bad mood that prolonged for long,  as it might happen in any normal family or more in a not so normal family.

Someone would say,
Hgh, ta mūndū nīagerie gūcaria thayū wa ngoro
( better each one to try and find peace in their hearts )
And that would break the ice somehow.

I guess it brought us back to our senses to realize we were not doing  ourselves a favor by being grumpy.

Peace of mind, peace in my heart
And best of all, the peace of God which I have had plenty of during tough times.

I've had wonderful days. Two wonderful weeks of real connection with friends, two weeks of actively purposefully living.
I even went dancing.

 We hardly talk about the happy moments of our lives.
The moments when each step feels like you're walking on some Air Jordan's  with Gregory Isaacs in your ear.

Days when you get away with doing what your head wants to do because all the Planning and early mornings have bought you more time to draw.

Times when you know things are tough but you are able to look at those tough situations in the face- I guess like a horse runs into battle.
Because either way, life goes on.


And the little bits of sanity that can be grasped must be treasured and welcomed as big moments would be.

And in the midst of all these, the bad the good the frightening moments and the occasional periods of rest where life might even seem boring-

A constant thread has held me together -

It has a name.
The peace of God.
Peace that gives you freedom
Peace and that gives you courage to be brave.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

How to cook food: An incomplete and shallow guide for cooking rice, flour, meat and vegetables among other basic meals

Lesson 1: Fried Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Pork Contains:

Sweet Potatoes Contain:
Vitamin A&C

How to buy pork

Unless you  are going  to barbecue or roast the pork, ask for skinless.
It's better for frying. They will ask you to add some cash but only like 50bob.

How to get pork ready for cooking

Wash the meat
Measure the pork in a cup
1cup of pork=3 cups of water
Add half  a teaspoon of salt
Grate two table spoonful of ginger and add into the pot.

Boil until the meat is tender, the water should be gone then.
This could take 25 minutes in low fire.

Add 1 table spoon of oil
Dice one big onion and throw it in while you stir.
Cut up two medium sized tomatoes and throw them in
(The ten bob ones)
Keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
If it seems to be sticking on to the bottom sprinkle some water with your fingers.
Cook for 10 minutes.

Sweet potatoes
Wash them, boil them
Peel them, dice them, add a little salt and boil until tender.

Did you remember to buy Dhania? Cool
Cut up the dhania
Serve the pork and sweet potatoes onto your favorite plate, sprinkle it with dhania.

Total cooking time 1 hour.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The needy unsatisfied nut that I am: The Hair Salon

I have two least favorite places;
Hospitals and hair salons
I also hate having my picture taken in a studio.

Whenever I have to go to the hospital I get a bout of anxiety and my mood just drops to subzero and nothing, not even a cheerful lab technician can make me feel otherwise.
I hate being sick to the point of having to seek medical attention in a hospital.
In the last weeks I've had the unpleasant pleasure of being in all he three places.

The hair salon experience went thus:

scene 1
(Enter woman of middle age, she is talking to someone on the phone. She has her index finger raised to emphasize a point)

Cecilia: I will come at 3 pm and all I need is a blow dry, but I need lots of conditioner.

Scene 2
(Scene changes to the salon reception. It is both a beauty shop and salon. A girl comes to ask if the middle aged woman wants to buy something)

Cecilia: No I'm here for a blowdry I called earlier
Girl: Ok, let me find out
(She walks into the next room and comes back with two middle aged women)
Woman 1: Hannah left earlier but you can have your blowdry

(Cecilia panics. Should she leave right away, should she fake a phonecall and never come back?)

Cecilia: I want you to wash my hair with cold water. I have put egg and avocado in it

Woman 1 throws a look at woman 2 and states:
Why don't you wash this hair for me?

I must mention that I have clearly come in at a bad time in the day. I can tell they are tired and ready to go home and don't want to be bothered about pre-poos and wet hair patting.

So I panic again
The wash is fine and once it's over I expect conditioning then combing.

Cecilia: Did you put any conditioner?
Woman 2: She will put in live in.
She says sit on that chair and wraps a twice used towel on my head.

Woman 1 comes and connects the blowdryer.

Cecilia: Will you not put any conditioner?
Woman 1: (To woman 2) I don't put conditioner because it slides

She's starts to tag and pull at my hair. She is pulling it so hard I can feel the roots coming out.

Cecilia: (To self) Think happy thoughts . Si ni wewe umejileta? Ebu sit and go through with it.

Then the blowdryer comb jumps out and falls to the floor.
She takes some live in conditioner, 10ml, spreads it on her palms then touches bits of my hair with it.
Cecilia: (I roll my eyes)

The blowdryer comb drops again. Woman 2 comes over to assist.

(The madam of the salon has been on an international whatsapp video call since I came in. She is on loudspeaker for our benefit. Now she tells the other person to hold on because something has come up)

Madam: Aaah ... Angines, you can't do this hair like that?
(Takes the blowdryer and starts to tag my hair backwards) If you blow it upwards it will puff and you'll never get it straight.
Customer, did you comb your hair before you came?
Cecilia: I wanted to put...
Madam: Uuuui, Kwani you had just undone twists?! Angines, see, see this twist.
Woman 1: Did you comb your hair?
Cecilia: I told you to let me brush it before you started with cond...

Madam: ah ah ah, conditioner is not the reason. Me, I know such kind of hair. You don't need  conditioner.

Cecilia : (all of you are crazy and I'm going to walk over into that sink and wash off this straight hair this minute. Cecilia calm down, think of Saturday)

So now three women are standing around me.

They have no idea how claustrophobic I am feeling right now.
Can they all go away!

Madam: Customer, you don't have to use avocado and eggs, they're nice treatments with even onions.
Cecilia:(Why would I want onions in my hair)

So anyway, I leave the salon looking excecutive enough but having lost quite some length of my hair.
I'm shocked to see full hair cuts inside the following day.
Who puts heat onto natural hair without conditioner?
In 2019?

I don't really mind hair a lot because for me it grows even without products. But I can't believe that after two years and eight months of staying away from salons I still go on and get the same rough, untrained, experimental, unpolished experienced.

Like, why would someone assume that just because I didn't waltz in in an Afro my hair is automatically knotted?!
There is a difference
There is knotting (kushikana)
Then there are curls (kwībīra)

And in this age, the customer knows what they need done on their hair.
A week later I can still feel the tug and pulling of my head.

Scene 4
(Family gathering.)
Mother: You combed your hair. (Calls her sisters) Come and see she brushed her hair. Niaracanūrire njuiri.
Cecilia: I brush my hair
Aunt 1: Wow you look nice
Aunt 2: You were blessed with hair.
Cecilia :

(It's easy to love me now
Would you love me if I was down and out?
Would you still have love for me?
It's easy to love me now
Would you love me if I was down and out?
Would you still have love for me ?

So anyway,my salon experience was no better than when I went in 2016.

But then I began to think that maybe I am  unsatisfied in many ways. Too high expectations from the wrong service givers.
So I went and had this picture taken. I hated every minute of it.
 I complained the entire time the guy tried to edit it, and when he was done I asked him why he was taking too long.

Next I will write about my hospital experience: Social bias, absentmindedness and the assumption that you find in public hospitals.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

This Chic: This is not a prophecy but it seems highly likely to go in that direction

And then I will turn 37, single and will start to shop at Al Noor Exhibition.
Expensive clothes from Turkey
But not very good looking.
They won't make me stand out in any way.
Because they are just clothes
Meant for the hard working people who live on Thika road
I'll probably live on Thika road too
And drive a BMW
I will be a front office assistant
Dealing in bit coin on the side.

I will also have a TV
To watch the financial news.

On  Saturday afternoons me and two other spinsters will meet in one of the meat roasting places and eat Choma  na tufungiwe kila mtu kilo ya kubeba.
Or  my nephews and nieces will be dropped off at 3 to greet their aunt, and I will take them to TRM for skating and ice cream.

Then I will bump into that bro I had a crush on seven years ago. He will say hi and say, 'this is Cecilia we used to work together.' To his wife who is a bit large width wide. She has a wig too, it's too neat to be a weave.
He should say, we used to work in the same building but oh well if we worked together, we worked together.

The husband will ask ' so how have you been,' with a smile making the large wife tense up.
But then the nephews will reappear, I will notice the wife has relaxed so I will excuse myself and set off to the popcorn stand with a small boy in each hand.

I will be very pleased with myself for wearing these new Adidas
Because there is nothing worse than meeting an old crush on a bad shoe day.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

This Chic: Do I have any Standards Left?

What kind of atmosphere am I promoting in my home?
What kind of conversations am I having?
What quality of work am I producing?
What kind of food am I cooking?
What kind of prayers am saying?
What kind of love am I offering?
What kind of relationships am I keeping?

What kind of clothes I'm wearing in the house when I'm alone?
If someone decided to drop by unannounced would they confuse me for
the local crazie?

How clean is my house?
How kind am I?

Do I gossip?
Do I put off people before I hear  their story?
Do I prefer some people?
Do I have standards?

I am on a rampage
And it all started with that Sufuria scrubber pictured above.

When I was old enough to be sent to Nyeri Town by myself to do
household shopping, my Shushu would give me instructions.

When you get into the supermarket, get the Sufuria scrubber in a box,
not the one in a paper that makes noise.
"Ūrore wega karīa ke na gakotoni"
It was more expensive but it was the best, it stayed longer, it didn't
crumble into little wires and for that she didn't want any other.

And that was the way she ran every bit of her household.
We would go to the hardware to buy a new panga and spend one hour,
scrutinizing what was available. She didn't read, but I remember we
always got the Great Britain make.
How she would describe it:

"It's darker. With four lines near the handle."

On Sunday evening she would have her personal time alone. She would
make Mandazi in our biggest Sufuria. So my uncle and I would have a
snack to have with tea through the week. Other times it was green
boiled maize.

So many times when we had girl relatives visit, when their visit was
complete Shushu would say : I am going to wash those dishes myself and
I don't want anyone to do them for me.

Reason, the visiting relation  perhaps did not wash under the handles of
the cups, or under the fold of the plates.

Yeah. It was a bit extreme sometimes, and at my age I didn't see the
need for all those procedures.

And then I moved into the city and money was hard to come by so I cut corners.

Why do I have to buy prepackaged rice when the other one is just rice as well?
Why should I wear a belt with this dress when I don't feel like?

So somehow I started to let things fall below standards even in
important areas of my life.
And then one day I woke up  wondering I even have any standards.

Then I watched this Ted talk and realized auuui.

I've been fine for a lorng time.
'The thing with being fine is that it is genius. You tell it to
yourself and you start to believe it because, then you don't have to
do anything about it.'

I can't afford a manicure but I'm fine?

I haven't visited my Shushu in six months but it's okay, she'll understand the hustle is real?

Is that the family I wanna have when I finally have my own? One that
doesn't check on each other often?
What pace I'm I setting for my future household?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Embracing vulnerability, embracing the low self esteem kid

This low self esteem kid likes to show up at my door.
I used to let her in and let her lay on the couch mourning about this and that
But now whenever she checks in
I bolt and disappear down the fire escape.

Because I am:
A positive
Self Assured
Good natured
Happy person.

That is the aura I excude
And I don't need this kid hanging around.

But she follows me everywhere
She was there with me when he said : but we are not really dating

She was there when the boardroom asked why I didn't get a job when they knew very well my color didn't allow me to get a job in their country.

She was with me when my cat disappeared and I couldn't sleep blaming myself for giving him away.

She's come along when I have settled for low income just because I got to pay my rent when I'm worth more...

So I devised a plan. I left her name at the registry, and whenever she checks in. Her name lights up on my phone and it's just enough time for me to take off.

And I ran from her again yesterday but when I felt her feet dragging on the floor. I couldn't bear it, I came back up and opened the door.

She had been crying
She was eating dextrosal.

I lifted her up onto a high chair and handed her a cup of tea.

Then sat beside her and talked to her.

I'm sorry you never got to speak you mind often enough to say what you meant.

I'm sorry you had to make up an imaginary name for a father you didn't know to satisfy your classmates.

I'm sorry about that times when the adults wanted you to take sides. You them both, it was unfair on you.

I'm sorry for the fear you felt when you were told you would be packed into a package addressed to the owner.

I'm sorry you felt you had to work hard, trying too hard to earn love..

Would you like another cookie?
I'm sorry about the times you got blamed for lost things.
I'm sorry you were never good enough
Coz you were
You were a good enough small human being.

'I want to run away'

You don't need to. Just wait. One day you are gonna be big enough
You will have a house full of books and all the cats you want.
Now you've got to stop showing up like this. Unless it's to bring me flowers.

Now run along and find some flowers to pick, chase some butterflies and kick pebbles. You are just a child.

And she left, quickly but with a smile on her tiny dark face and two chocolate chip cookies in her pocket.

I vow to always lift people up
I vow to always point out the good in people
I vow to not make anyone feel less than they are.

#positivity#vulnerability#notesfromyourtherapist #emotionalmaturity #healing #healingjourney #mentalhealthawareness #childrensbookillustration #childrenarethefuture #artoftheday #childsketch #sketch #oneminutesketch 

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...