Monday, 28 October 2013

Guest Post: Growing Up

Free spirit. Smart (Intelligent). Cavalier. Those are the adjectives that best describe my guest blogger; Mwende. She sent me an email that said: "Incase you ever host pieces on your blog, here goes... I wrote this in the last 10 minutes... just cos I felt like." When I first got this email from her, it took about five seconds to understand what she was on about and then once I figured it out, I was  excited - mostly because I didn't know she writes. Still not sure if she does.
I met Mwende through my sister in 2008 at the Red Cross Kenya offices in South C. It was just after the 2007/8 Post-election violence. The organization she and my sister worked for were volunteering at the Red Cross Kenya offices to help load and off load donations intended to assist the victims of the violence and I am sort-of my sisters' hand-bag. I thought she was fun and funny. I got to know her a bit more through social media where I realized how similar we are... She has OCD and cannot step on/outside the line of a box/curb. She counts her steps as she walks. She thinks for a living. She has great taste in music... But, up until she sent me this I didn't know just how similar we are. She recently flew out to pursue her Masters and I highly suspect this post was inspired by this new-chapter of her life.
Enjoy it and comment if you wish (and I hope you do).
P.s. The only thing I have changed is the Font. I am particular about font type and size.

Growing up means different things to different people….Growing up for me has meant a lot of things, some significant and some small still and subtle….I share 10 of my favourite growing up lessons J
1.       That God is the center of my life…I enjoy waking up in the morning, kneeling down in prayer and listening to worship music. I am not forced by mommy to go to church as it was a few years back…more often than not I want to go and I want to be on time. I don’t run away from the Pastor because I think he has psychic power to see my transgressions, I chat with them, I tell them what is going on in my life and they pray over me and this has made a huge difference.
2.      Family is a very important element of my life, don’t get me wrong it always has been….and just because we have our peculiarities and fights, doesn’t mean you the outsider can contribute to this madness, be sure I love them all to bits and I will hurt you if you hurt them. It is true what they say blood is thicker than water.
3.      Friends ….they came and went in my early 20s and the ones who remained are those I am willing to invest to keep for a long time. Let’s face it friendships are expensive, time consuming and I can’t be close to everyone so I won’t punish myself for those whom I have not spoken to for some time…..or the ones who still ask haiya wapi bwana na watoto?? Aaaarggh.  This circle of exceptional people is now my mini-family. It’s also means that don’t  need to second guess the people I can go to for just about anything…It’s not just stories for clubbing and hopping from one city to another, it’s about happiness, memories, goals, being challenged, holding each other accountable, praying together and for each other, dreams and realizing there is only one life to live. Right now is when I am making choices that will determine my future.
4.      I have strong opinions sorry very strong opinions; you don’t have to agree with and trust me it is okay, despite what my over piercing eyes may want to communicate….It’s ok, you are entitled to an opinion too, maybe even a silly one like KDF had a right to loot during the Westgate operation. I overanalyze a lot of things….that’s just the way I am and I’m perfectly fine. I guess this means I love me for me.....There is only one me after all. It’s not about perfection, its acceptance and striving to be better
5.     I know my limits…..I know the crap I can’t handle and sometimes it’s important to know what your bottom line is….Just by knowing my limits, I know I can’t party as hard as I used to and I know when it’s time to go home, I’m not competing for first one in and last one out of the club anymore. Knowing my limits also comes with knowing my motivation….and what I want out of a career and it’s not just a paycheck…..
6.      I enjoy cooking more….I enjoy trying out new dishes. Loved baking as a child and the kid in me is back!!! Never let the kid in you die….
7.     I am fine with my past…..I can bump into an ex-boyfriend and be cordial. I can say things like congratulations on the new job and on finally hitting the gym, I wish you a happy marriage and that fatherhood will be ever so thrilling for you….without thinking to the left to the left and how irreplaceable I am. It just dint work out and that’s ok, you live and learn.
8.       Music….it’s become one of my greatest forms of expression. Sultry, deep, meaningful music.
9.      Health….this should probably be way up there….I eat my vegetables, I walk, I try and be healthy more importantly I limit my addictions. 
10.  I have learnt what love is and what love is not….1 Corinthians 13. That’s love! Be grateful when you find it….I know I am J 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Butterfly Explosions

I had a familiar feeling in my belly today
It was the feeling I got when you would randomly hold my hand
The feeling I got when I was supposed to meet you
The feeling I got every time you gave me a peck
It was the feeling I got whenever you'd break out in laughter or offer me a smile

I had a familiar feeling in my belly today
It must be the explosion of ...
Butterflies and love
Butterflies and expectations
Butterflies and happiness

I was overwhelmed with a familiar feeling today...

But twas a feeling I felt in my dreams before my alarm snapped me back to reality

*Thank you alarm clock*

Sweet dreams are made of familiar tummy feelings. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

50 Shades of One

"Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful the experience is, if we lose hope that is the real tragedy." ~Dalai Lama~

I have restrained myself from writing this post ever since the #WestGateAttack happened. At the time when words flooded my mind, I was too sad to write. Too heart-broken to write. Too overwhelmed by the love and support Kenyans showed each other. The solidarity. I suppose I felt unworthy of penning down my thoughts. I wanted to do more than just write. I wanted to be able to turn back time and prevent it all from happening. For those few days, I wanted to play God and take everybody's pain away.

The #WestGate Attack was a sack-full of disaster. Death. Destruction. Despair. Desperation. Darkness. Heart-ache. Trauma. Shock. Inexpressible grief and sadness. It was really the last thing we needed as a country as we celebrate turning 50. But the #WestGateAttack also revealed our strength as a country. For four days and nights we were one, we were all Kenyans in the face of tragedy and despite the damn terrorists cowardice attempt to divide us along religious lines, we remained one. 

Then,  like the leaves of a tree respond to the wind and sadly, true to the Kenyan form,our 50 shades of our oneness began to appear...

This is how we are one in this my beloved country

#WeAreOne before political talk finds it way in tragic events
#WeAreOne before #KOT become political analysts and CSI agents 
#WeAreOne before the tragic events of West Gate become a class issue
#WeAreOne while giving out press statements but not when sharing blame... Hence the NSIS-Police-Army circus of tossing this hot-potato to each other
#WeAreOne before a church is torched and a Muslim Cleric is killed by gun-men
#WeAreOne if our neighbor is not of Somali origin
#WeAreOne before going for elections but 42 when results are counted...

I could go on and on about our various shades of  #WeAreOne... Or I could dream of a better country. 

This is not the country I dream of living in. A country where no matter how tragic events, politics, class and conspiracy theories of individuals with brains the size of a grain of sugar take precedence over the grief that has affected so many of us - directly or indirectly,

I dream of living in a country where political discourse will look beyond our politicians and focus on policies that will solve our problems
I dream of living in a country where our unity has only on shade. White. Not Grey. Where our unity is as sure as the rising of the sun
I dream of living in a country where social media will be used to build and not destroy things
I dream of living in a country where we can be Kenyans all year round... Tragedy or no tragedy.

We clearly haven't gotten it right within this first 50 years. I hope and pray that we will get it right for our kids within the next 50 years...

We should remain one because if the tragedy of #WestGate, politics, religion, class and conspiracy theories do anything else rather than unite us, then we will have failed as a country. We will have compounded to the problems facing our country.

May the departed souls rest peacefully... May their loved ones have a forgiving heart, learn to smile again, learn to laugh again. Learn to be whole again.
May the survivors be healed - physically, emotionally and psychologically. May their memories of that day be deleted from their minds.
May our heroes find peace. May they be the reason we aspire to be truly a nation. May they always be honored in life and death. 
May our nation heal from this pain. May we never forget 21st September 2013. May we never know this grief again. 

May we never lose hope... Hope that we will one day be one!

May our next 50 years be one shade on one.....