Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Adulting 101: Grabbing at life's neck before it chokes you


Life has a way of grabbing you by the shoulders and telling you ‘like it or not,

 this is what I need you to learn so learn! Upende usipende.

And at first I didn’t get it and would get so shaken and silenced, then run away and hide, cancelling myself before anyone else did.

But you do get to the end of the earth literally and have no place left to run and you just have to stand and fight or listen or let life beat you up until the steam is out.

Left with such grim choices,  I became the tamer. I learned to turn around and grab life by the loose skin on its back and tell it ‘ebu sasa show me those teeth.

Show me your teeth. And when you are done showing me your teeth, I need an option I can work with.’

The result has been that I learned that however sharp life’s teeth might be,  like a feral cat, it can also be cornered.

To corner life you need a certain degree of umang’aa.

There is no way around it. You also learn to bare your teeth.


But even as you do so, you must restrain yourself from taking a bite.

Umang’aa means you are being rolled downhill in a Rocky Mountain but you are watching out not to bump on a rock your head and when you reach the bottom you have a bunch of brightly coloured mountain flowers to take home.

It’s also about looking people in the eye until they tell you what they mean by that snort.

Standing in front of someone until they give you back the thing they’ve been keeping because ‘ they assumed hukuwa unaitumia.’

It’s making that trip to see someone who will not appreciate it.

Someone who will probably be thinking, you've come to see me with that one packet of milk, nkt. Si ungetuma hiyo mia tano.

It is sending someone soo mbili when they tell you they have a job interview coming up and you know they’ve been out of work for so long and might need the fare but their pride can’t let them ask. So you send even though you are 100% sure they will say- you didn’t need to-

It’s also looking at people with open faces.

There are too many dirty looks being thrown about.

Mainly because people don’t want to leave an opening to themselves so they

Don’t want to get taken advantage of / seem too naive / msizoeane / so that their wives don’t think there is something going on.

I’ve learned, on a good day, to grab at life with both hands and tell it ‘ I’ll take what you got.’

And on such days life surprises you. Kumbe you just had to ask.

Those are the times I get three new hair clients booked, when someone calls me out of the blue to do some editing work. Those are the times my Siz in law passes by with two bags of unga. Ya chapo na ya ugali.

Yes, life is a threat to all of us still breathing. 

Yet life can be trained to sit, stay and rollover.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Haba ba Haba Hujaza Kibaba


Synchronization can be distracting

Both The Shawshank Redemption and The Big Lebowski bombed. If “bombed” means that during the first few weeks, no one went to a theater to see them. Since then, tens of millions of people have seen and talked about these movies.

Tommy James’ first record also failed, because no one played it on the radio for months. And then, one party promoter in Pennsylvania started playing it a lot, and it became a hit. He went on to make seven top 10 hits.

We are primed to pay attention to things that happen in a thunderclap.

But the events that change our culture often happen over time, distributed across parts of the population too small to notice.

The Grateful Dead were the #1 live touring band more years than any other… and yet they only had one top 40 hit. Connection was worth more than wide and shallow sync.

The first challenge is finding the focus and patience to work on the asynchronized adoption of important ideas. And the second is to not sacrifice the larger goal in a frenzied hustle for the big break.

Drip by drip makes a wave.

This is a repost from my favourite content creator

Seth Godin

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