Featured

Life has no manual

This is the post excerpt.

Advertisements

It is true ,life has no manual.There is no particular correct way to live.So live and let live.Sometimes what maybe a storm in a tea cup for one person maybe a tsunami at the shores of some people’s lives.Some people have been through so much their threshold for pain is in a whole new level so the normal scale of one to ten for them is just not fitting.post

Redefining the tribe

pexels-photo-853168.jpeg

As we go through life we meet all sorts of people. We go to school , make friends and as the years progress we discover ourselves more and more. We grow into ourselves. As i grew older I realized i was not everybody’s cup of tea,same way i did not get everyone i met, they were people who just did not get me either. I realized it is possible to live with people and interact closely with them, even live side by side  but yet they will not quite get you no matter how long. There were people who were my friends but our friendship never quite deepened it remained casual, just on the periphery of our beings.

There are  people I have met along the way and after getting to know them for a  little while i feel that they  truly get me. I express my ideas and they understand. They share their ambitions and I get why they want to take a certain path and not another. Sometimes its people you meet online who remind you of yourself. Sometimes you join online groups , where you meet like minded people whom you share and understand their struggles.When  I write I do not expect everyone to connect with what i write. I started journal ling when I was about ten years old. There are blogs I follow because I get what the writer talks  about.  Even following on a blog can become your tribe.

I was born a Kikuyu , in central Kenya. That is my tribe but when i talk of tribe here I do not mean being a Kikuyu. There are people we meet who we connect with ,they do not demand we stop being ourselves. They do not tell us to stop being weird , or unusual. They are not okay with our quirkiness ,they celebrate it because they have made peace with their own faults. They see how these unusual things make us unique . A tribe am talking about here means people we connect with that take us  just as we are. These may be people from  any race, religion , anywhere in the world. It is not a blood line thing. It is people with common interests, people with shared values and ambitions. It is like when you join a Sacco or a chama. You do not ask which tribes others belong to. Your interest is savings and  credit facility.

Finding a tribe is a life transforming thing . Everybody deserves to have such people in their lives.They are not just people you go out partying with. They are people who you go hiking with, join in book clubs, go see the world with.They are people who give you a sense of belonging without demanding you change or be different . A tribe to me  are  people who help you become the best version of myself.

In a country like Kenya which is heavily divided by politics i think it is good to rethink this tribe factor. I am not saying we let go of our culture but rather embracing  our humanity  and appreciating that it is not necessarily among our tribesmen where sense of belonging springs from. It is people with whom we have common aspirations and dreams, people who share the  same values as we do. People whom when we are together they make us feel at home, irregardless of our dialect, skin color or personality.

 

 

what is to know someone ,I wonder?

 

PERSONALITY

What is to know someone, I wonder?
Is it to know their children and their kin?
Is it growing up together as children?
Is it to sit in the same space all day?
Is it to sleep in the same bed,
Is it to wake up and see their face every morning?

What is to know someone,I wonder?
Is it to know their name?
Is it to know where they go to church?
Is it to know what they eat for lunch?
Is it to know what they did last night?

What is to know someone, I wonder?
Is it to bump into them daily?
Is it to share the same faith and believes?
Is it to hold their hand as they let you see their tears?
Is it to listen to their confessions of vapidity of their lives?
Is it to lend them money and have them pay back?

What is to know someone, I wonder?
Is it to eat together?
Is it to be mad together?
Is it to get drunk and throw up together?
Is it to go skinny dipping together?

What is to know someone ,I wonder?
Is it to read their paparazzi stories?
Is it to read their autobiography?
Is it to follow them on twitter and like their Instagram?
Is it to watch them daily on TV?

What is to know someone, I wonder?
Is it to love someone?
Is it to be comfortable in their silence?
Is it to be trusting of someone?
What is to know someone, I wonder?

 

Unlearning

 

unlearn image 2

As we grow up and get older there has been a lot of learning. Learning new things can be fun, adventurous and sometimes hard and challenging.Unlearning  on the other hand can be quite hard. Sometimes we need to change the bad habits we have had for ages. These habits are hard wired into our minds and   subconscious so changing them takes a lot of effort, both mental and emotional.

Here is a simple example;I used to have this habit of biting my nails. I tried to quit the habit so many times .I turned thirty while still biting my nails. I did finally quit but it took a lot of effort.Imagine quitting thinking habits, it takes a lot of mental and emotional effort. Shifting from a certain way of thinking to a different way of thinking. Here are a few things I have been unlearning in no particular order.

1.There is no formula to happiness, growing up the standard formula sold to our young minds was work hard in school so you get a good job make money ,get married ,have kids get rich and be happy. That was the standard and normal path.
2.Live and let live. Humans do not come with a manual. There is no standard way to live, going against the grain can be a way of life if you choose to.  Sometimes people will find that which you naturally are just plain unacceptable. Let people be, let things be stop imagining everything can be controlled and fit into your own ideals.If everyone likes you something is wrong with you.I can not connect with everyone.
4.”It is the wearer of the shoe who knows where it hurts” this is an African proverb. Two people go through the same experience to one it is a storm in a tea cup to the other it is like a  tsunami. Some people have been through so much their pain threshold has been expanded such that their two in a scale of one to ten maybe a ten on the same scale for someone else. My interpretation of experiences and situation is sometimes very different from someone else and it is perfectly okay.

5.Labels ;this has been a hard one .All my life I have grown labeling everything people, experiences,things.It started simply with good and bad, right and wrong Today everything is being labelled and we have certain associations in our mind that go with each label. It is like we simply cannot function without the labels. I need to label you first so I can even make an attempt to try and understand you. You are black, white,atheist,gay,feminist,Christian,Muslim,learned,rich and list is quite long.

7. How people react to what I create does not reflect on my worthiness. oh boy this is not an easy one.Whether it is posting articles like this, painting, giving a speech. We live in a world of likes on social media. Unlearning that not everyone opinion matters. People will have an opinion on everything and they are titled .So am going to light the candle in my corner of the world and if it makes a difference to one stranger well and good.

8.Death will happen to all of us. None of us is getting out of here alive anyway. I was brought up in a community with so much fear of death.It was a taboo to talk about death growing up.I have had to slowly but progressively let go this idea that talking about  death is not a  taboo . I have had  to imagine what kind of eulogy my family and friends would have for me.

 

You can not fry a degree and eat it?

“You cannot fry a degree and eat it”

When I graduated from campus, before I got a job, I tried selling different things from clothes, panties, and second hand shoes. My aunt used to own a small clothes shop at Soweto – Kayole and she gave me the idea of selling second hand shoes.

I would stay with her family at Kayole – Saika, sleep on her couch in the sitting room and in the morning we would go to her clothes shop at Soweto. I used to get my shoes from Gikomba  .I would buy them at Kshs 100- 200 and sell them at price of 250- 400.I would display them on her shop veranda.

My mum friends would meet me at Gikomba (second hand market) buying the shoes and would be shocked. They would later ask my mum whether the girl they saw at Gikomba is the same girl they just got from the University the other day. Don’t forget when you graduate the whole village would come to get you. According to my mum, some thought it was degrading business for a graduate. When it rains in Gikomba the place looks like shit, muddy ,smelly and sewer lines start leaking.

My mum adopted this response to shut everyone up,” But she must eat and clothe, you cannot fry a degree and eat it”.  This unbeknown to my mum became a source of courage for me to keep selling the shoes.

That was six years ago and I think the unemployment problem has only gotten worse. I get so many people telling me to help them get jobs. The number of CVs dropped at customer service at my work place is quite big. Even those of us who are employed are looking for better opportunities. I have read and keep reading so many articles on how to get that dream job? Why you are not getting a job interview?  However, this one from my mum is one which had quite an impact on me when I was looking for a job.

So here I am putting it out here, maybe it may change a job seeker attitude.

 

My flirtation with happiness

Growing up,I heard over and over again that good grades will get me a good job which will in turn help me get a good job,make a lot of money and then I will be happy.It was supposed to be as simple as that. I did get the good grades and studied what i was told was a marketable course. During college , and in between before I got what I would call  a good job there were chances to learn that the formula for happiness was not necessarily correct but I did not quite learn.I tarmacked after campus with the idea that I had to get a job,a husband and children to be happy.I  got fired in my first job went through a depressive phase of feeling lost.I used to sleep on the floor in a tiny room with shared bathroom at Mlango kubwa and the job was not secure ,people got fired all the time.I was anxious most of the time.When I lost the job had to move to a relative house and started sleeping on their couch.

During this phase I started selling second hand mitumba shoes from Gikomba as I looked for a job. Here I started learning a lesson life seemed to have been teaching me for a while now.Good grades and a degree were not equals a good job or money.Even when I had the job the fear and anxiety denied me peace. I met a man during my stay with my relatives who introduced me to spirituality. He made me understand that religion was not spirituality. One could be spiritual yet not religious.This new knowledge shifted a lot of things internally. I have had dreams come true,I could tell things about people just by looking at them or spending time with them.This he made me understand was a gift and unknowingly i started to figure out this happiness business slowly.Discovering myself became a source of joy, it replaced my pursuit of happiness. peace and  good health became  very important to me.

The first time i would say i fell in love and got my heart broken however marked a whole new beginning for me. I  had a job that catered to my need so money was not an issue at the time .Yet the pain of heartbreak was so excruciating that I realized no amount of money in the world could take away the pain. The feeling of being rejected brought me face to face with a demon that i felt had  inhabited in me for a long time. Not being good enough, I felt I simply was not enough this too was not something money could heal. This lead to a lot of soul searching with the fundamental question being who am i?

My second job, I simply grew to hate it.It was not about the money it was the fact that I found it routine and mentally just dull,no challenge whatsoever. The job after that was a sales job and I spent a lot of time in the field .Despite the salary being low I enjoyed the fact that I spent a lot of time outside. Today I have a more stable job that allows me to live a life i enjoy .I however find that I have periods I have peace, joy, sadness but happiness I am yet to figure out what it is all about. I still find myself thinking if this or that happened i would be so happy but deep down i know it is just an emotion that never quite lasts.

I no longer live in pursuit of happiness, I want a better life. I want to tour the world and that needs money so i will strive to make more. I want to drive myself to work currently I walk to work , i want to live in a  comfortable and secure neighborhood and these things cost money.These are facts of life, if and when opportunities arise to make more money I will be sure to take advantage. These things though I understand are not a guarantee of happiness.

I must find things that give my heart joy and my mind peace. These things sometimes have nothing to do with money, some are things that are simply about me just being me. I like to travel, new places, new faces,foreign cultures they are things i enjoy to do. I like writing, journaling, I read books because I enjoy these things .These things make my everyday life, the feelings they generate inside of me may not be one of happiness am not sure what I would call it, maybe inspiration. I have also discovered there will always be a streak of sadness inside some of us no matter where we are in life.