Thursday, 16 November 2017

Compromise/Dealing with rejection

Good afternoon or whatever-time-you-are reading this, I am Edwina  Mapenzi and I have your daily strike update. Daily is pushing it, but just flow with me. Cue whatever music score that comes with a news bulletin. No news from my campus as yet except these snide, "There's class next week" emails but a couple of campuses have had their exams postponed indefinitely. My major concern is a great majority of comrades are pretty much done with coursework, while we, and when I say we, I mean the university that was closed for the better part of October, hint, hint have barely scratched the surface. What kind of tomfoolery is this?

There is still a smidgen of hope that I cling to so firmly, my knuckles are going pale. Of course its amount, less than yesterday's but it still lingers. I stand my ground, a lot can be covered in five weeks, give or take.

Today let's talk about dealing with rejection, a big, fat, no just hurled straight at you as if to mimic a bulls eye. The older you get you realize there are more variations to rejection than just the traditional no.

In my teens, it was mostly boys. Their No stung the most. So powerful was their sting the whole school had word about it, sometimes the grapevine went all the way down to the school administration;principles, vice principles, everyone. Of course, while nearly everyone in my circle had boo-thangs I wouldn't dare to so much as dream of having a 'little friend'. Not with the reins my mom had fastened around me so that's a No I am no expert in.

If there is a No I remember a little to vividly for comfort, would be the rejection letter I got from Africa Leadership Academy(ALA). I think I still have the print-out lurking somewhere in my room. I still remember the first line going something like, "With the competition pool so stiff this year, we have had to make some hard decisions..."They had the audacity at the end of that email to tell me to continue to strive to be the change that Africa needs in the  future, now how was I supposed to go off and do that if they weren't going to have me on board. This is pure bitterness talking by the way. Of course, as the years went by, the wound has healed and whereas even talking about it would have me feeling like an emotional wreck, now I go the extra  mile and even laugh about it.

The night I got the email, I distinctly remember waking up in the middle of the night, a school night for that matter and trying to distinguish whether it was indeed reality or just a really poignant dream.  Of course I bawled myself to sleep and woke up with a headache, I felt the pain of rejection as a heaviness in my throat and chest, a stiffness in my legs and the zoo in my stomach. I put in the work, yet I would have nothing to show for it.

Getting to the second round of the application process, high key, still remains one of my greatest achievements. Ironically, in as much as seventeen-year-old me wouldn't dream of saying this, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

That just goes to show that there is life after rejection. Of course, in the moment being buried alive is a pretty viable option. Once you get over that hump like I did, you realize rejection besides being a part of life is a rite of passage.The next year I reapplied and got rejected in the first round. Not the happy ending you were expecting at least, not the conventional type but this time round I just moved on as if nothing happened.

Over the years, I have been rejected from so many things I would run out of fingers just counting them for you. Some sting less than other but all of them have come with a valuable lesson in tow.

Right now, I am looking at things from a whole new angle. For instance, whereas I think I have arrived when it comes to the writing game, I may have only just punched the ticket. This may just be the Universe implying that there is so much more to learn before I get my big break,a break that I will be undoubtedly ready for when the time comes. It could also be the wake up call that reminds me that feeling ready and being ready do not mean the same thing. So whereas I feel that I am ready to take on the world, the world may just show me whose boss when push comes to shove. Or, where I think I can be a sponge no more I haven't quite swelled up past capacity.

Here I am wanting the sun, moon, stars and whatever else the solar system has up for grabs yet I can hardly handle what's on my plate. Up until yesterday I mistook complacency and satisfaction for settling. When in reality it's just appreciation. Sure, I don't smile from ear-to-ear when I go into a work neither am I just an absolute delight to work with, although I don't believe that for one minute, but its comforting to know that I have a firm base of financial support. I have to focus, keep my eyes on the prize of graduation and not just moving the  tassle from one side to another but graduate with the best attainable grades. A little birdie tells me stability will be a major boost. But I still wouldn't be mad if I got that Google internship, *nudge,nudge*.


Then comes that pesky word, compromise. It gives of the vibe that you are taking an L and it sure as heck feels like it as well. So, what, I got rejected from the school of my dreams, the experience of being with such vibrant young minds, as corny as it sounds, is a worthy compromise. No feedback from my dream jobs, I still tried anyway, no what-ifs here. Paths of unchartered road still lay ahead, if I am being Positive Patsy all good stuff just waiting to be discovered if I am being a realist, the good,the bad and don't forget the ugly.

Where do we go from  here? Embrace the space and keep trying. You can only get so many No's until eventually that one Yes comes all the way through and the feeling it comes with is inexplicable. For now, why don't you say we cushion the blow of the No!



Have a good one!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

I prayed and I stopped and I started again


Strike update; in as much as we are in academic limbo there's still hope. Today, we are smack dab in the middle of November, I am no academic registrar but we can still work some semester dates around the five weeks left of 2017. If last year they had the bright idea to schedule exams up until Christmas Eve, surely, a repeat of history wouldn't be so much trouble. Understand that I am not coming from a place of academic enthusiasm but more from a frustrated stand point. In five weeks, classes that are taught through group presentations, which by the way I have come to loathe while we are on the topic, can tear through a great chunk of the course work. The old school lecturers, who want to teach the syllabus from A-Z, if they are going to work day and night as affirmed by the union, five weeks is more than enough to ask for all the make-ups imaginable. Sure, make up classes aren't music to my ears but my frustration supersedes any type of comfort at this juncture.

On to today's post.

If you aren't already on the 40's series that Biko has got going on, your missing out. Yesterday's was about this one guy barely in his forties who seems to attract death to every one he loves; first his first born son, then his wife, his mother, second wife, another one of his son's . Biko asked him something along the lines of his relationship with God, how it has affected him,how he kept the faith.The simplicity of his answer was quite striking, "I prayed and I stopped and I started again. At some point you just let Him do what He deems best. "

A few posts ago, I had mentioned how with the lull that has followed my "countless" applications, picking up my Bible for my Daily Devotion is not as easy as it was. Up until now, I didn't realize how self-centered I sound.Here is a man whose lost two wives, two children and a mom yet he is still reminded of the presence of God in his life, then there's me. I get no response from a couple of job applications and I have pretty much subjected God to playing second fiddle in my life.

Looking back on the past couple of days I can barely remember when I sat down for some purposeful time with God. Earlier this year, I discovered the difference  it makes to write down your prayer as opposed to just having it sit pretty in your heart. For one your head space remains centered and you are able to decipher what you really want God to do for you, besides, pen and paper have always been really humbling. It requires from you time, energy, effort and focus. Looking at my Bible journal the last prayer I wrote down was in the first quarter of 2017.

There's a sense of desertion I feel. All of 2015 I religiously prayed, read my Bible and went to church. I was your model Jesus freak. I was also broke and employed which may explain my borderline desperate relationship with God. At the time, I didn't know it but I was pretty happy, even in my unemployment and financial disparity. May I reiterate that my academics were looking up, relationship with God was A1, I had nothing but time, organic free time on my hands which I used to read countless books and write three times a week on this space. My health was good but this was also the year that I got hit by a bad case of tonsillitis, so bad in fact, it shut my airway around the throat area, I still remember the look on the doctor's face of sheer disbelief that I could even swallow. Other than that life was looking up.

When I had finally met my financial windfall, it's just an alternative way of saying that I got a job and  subsequently a steady pay in my heart I knew I was deserving. I had done my bit; prayed, fasted, read my Bible the works and finally God had come through for His faithful servant. I am afraid that also came along with a share of entitlement and over confidence, so much so, I was under the impression that no bad things were supposed to happen to me, God was forever indebted to me. The level of conceit was undeniably well above and beyond the roof.

Like the tower of Babbel it all started to go south from there. The debut Working Girl chronicles pretty much sums it up and so does Surviving College from late 2015 up until now.

Round about this time my pattern when it came to relating with God mimicked the title of this post, "I prayed and I stopped and I started again" except this process was on repeat, on again, off again. I would flat line for weeks on end, maybe even months then out of the blue you'd hear the unexpected beep of a pulse. Sometimes the beep would be consistent and other times it would be a lone beep and all that would be left would be its echo.

More than that, I think I lost the one essential ingredient, faith. The guy in Biko's post went on to say that, "At some point you just let Him do what He deems best". Call it optimism, I call it faith from a deep founded trust.

Over the past two years I have let anxiety take center stage. When I do pray, I only let go and let God just a tincy wincy bit otherwise I am as clingy as they come. By nature, I am pretty worried over even the smallest thing. However now it's amplified to a whole new level, stewing within on the slow cook option.

In my current state of mind, which unnecessarily works overtime overthinking the simplest of things, given all the feedback I haven't gotten the future according to me is pretty bleak. An average life is what seems to be in store; settling for an okay job in a sub-par, by my standards, law firm, settling for someone who is not even my type(for some reason, this is the one that aggrieves me the most) and just falling into the rest of the protocol that's expected because of the surrounding circumstances.

Maybe, on the other hand, it's just your classic glass half full, half empty type of deal. Maybe all the feedback or lack thereof is a subliminal message to embrace where I am now. Maybe there is a sneaky opportunity for growth or this is a much needed lesson in learning satisfaction. Maybe the constant clamour for the next best thing is not so much ambition as it is greed. Maybe I have my heart set on the wrong thing and should divert my devotion to appreciation, acknowledgement but less desire. Maybe I should just let Him do what He deems best.

I feel that I can now return to my devotion with the right soulset, less expectations at least played down expectations for starters and these can be my stepping stones from here on out. The goal is to keep at it, if I stop then, I start again.

Have a good one!


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Make, share, make, share, make, share, make, share

Update on the strike, it's still on. We are also in that limbo stage; is class on? Has it been cancelled? When are assignments due? Do they still stand or I'm out here breaking my back over nothing? Thank God for class representatives and their zeal of confirming whether a class is on or not.While I am on the topic of industrial action, maybe just maybe, if the initial strike(January) had lasted longer, even six months but the union had had a take all deal; the 15 billion, negotiated the 2017-2021 CBA and the allowances and arrears, we wouldn't be in this ridiculous pickle of on again, off again nonsense.

 This whole year academically speaking, has just been a wasteland. It sucks that a few hundred thousand people have to bare the brunt of the government's transgressions. My understanding is that a CBA lasts four years, how long does it take to be implemented? That's a mystery to me given all the industrial action we've seen this year alone, need I remind you, doctors, nurses, lecturers, tea farmers. Regardless, within those four years negotiations and implementations only happen in the last year of the existent CBA. Of course, only after a jibe is thrown towards the government, the jibe being full on strikes, complete with a three week notice.

Answer me this, there is 60 billion readily available for free secondary education but not 5 billion for striking lecturers?

But that's an aside. On to today's piece.

Yesterday, I came home from work and began my usual night routine. I  changed from my 'work clothes' it's really just jeans and a tee and into my PJs, there's no better feeling like it. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to have my laptop on. You guys already know my poison, Youtube. I watched a bunch of suggested videos and then of course shifted base to the big dawg himself, Casey Neistat. Yup, I may have graduated from just having a slight obsession for Casey's content to whatever is above a slight obsession.

The click bait is what got me. I honestly thought that him and Candice were getting a divorce. Turns out, spoiler alert, they were on their way to therapy, couples' therapy and were thinking about starting a podcast where they would talk about their marriage and call it, 'Therapy'. If you ask me, which by the way, he did source for feedback, I really wouldn't care for it. If I so happen to be bored out of my mind or I am looking to pass the time or  on an expedition for white noise while doing a major school assignment then maybe I'll give it a listen. But, being a religious listener and tuning in once every week, I hate to be the wet blanket but no, not my cuppa.

Once I got past the click bait there was a video within the video. A collaboration with one of his friends, Shantell Martin and Samsung. Casey, Casey, Casey racking up dream sponsorships left, right and centre. Shantell of course is no rookie to master collaborations having done one with the G.O.A.T himself, King Kunta, K-dot, Kendrick Lamar. Is there even the slightest possibility of topping that?

Shantell is an artiste. Her instrument a pen. What she creates isn't your usual, it's more  contemporary,modern, urban. The type that some may have to squint and tilt their head to the left to make sense of it. On first impression, it looks like large scale impressionable doodles. Her work is on murals, shutter doors so long as it's a white background she can make it work. It's the type of thing, because of its simplicity makes it stand out especially in a world of color.

So anyway, in the said video she asks, what's the point of making art? The point is to make, share, make, share, make, share, make, share. She moves to New York after finding her groove in Japan, which was her runaway destination after being told not to apply to art school because she probably wouldn't get in.

She knows she's an artist. She has successfully curved a distinct niche for herself, so successful is her artwork it's easily identifiable to be hers. This, was a process and with all processes come time, over time she's built her art, her name and all through the simple process of make, share, make, share, make, share, make, share.

Then there's me. I make, make, make and make. You notice the difference?

I have never wanted to label myself as a writer. The title is pretty heavy, reserved for heavy weights like published authors, Jackson Biko, Magunga Williams, Sharon Mundia, Caroline Njung'e people who make and ultimately, share.

Back story to how this blogging thing came about. I had just finished my Diploma circa, two years after high school. I spent countless hours on Biko's blog, was it High School? He referred to us, his readers, as  Gang. Not so long after, came the rise and rise of ThisisEss, she stood out for a couple of reasons, her looks (might as well have that one be the first one out of the gate), quality pictures, she went all out and hired a small time photographer at least back then he was, Victor Peace and  her way with words. Come at me all you want, so yeah her style was good and Victor was a big help as well, but come on, the story behind the outfits and even none fashion posts still had us hanging on to her every word.

I figured if they can do it then I sure as heck can, yup, so did everybody. In that period alone I can bet nearly everybody with an internet connection had gone on a rampage living links to their websites and blogs anywhere and everywhere you can think off. The sharing line was far from blurred, it was full on crossed, a good majority of folks were just leeching over other people's success and that was the last way I wanted to come off. Instead I made, made, made, made and occasionally shared.

The most I shared was on Google Plus which is barely sharing considering, who even uses Google Plus. At some point I spread my wings on to Pinterest which was an unsuspectingly bringing in a healthy number of readers.That, was the epitome of my make and share process, no more, no less.

I would like to say I have upped my game since then, but I have done just the opposite. I am not sharing on Google Plus, Pinterest, nada. In the past, when I would do my version of self-promo, my friends would actually follow the link to this blog and read an article or more, I guess because I am on a lot of their mailing lists so Google is just out here touting my business. I say that with shock yet what did I expect them to do, eat the link, smell it?

Today, I took yet another dive into the deep end. The post that went up yesterday, I put it up on my Instastory for all and sundry to have a read. As dull as the story was, I didn't even sneak in that the link was in my bio, it was a baby step. Am I proud of it? Not really but I made and I shared.

As I write this article I have since come to the conclusion that I have or had a flawed perception of sharing. Blatantly put, if you weren't a whose who in my books then it was just you looking for some self gratification. Now sharing emotes all sorts of reactions it can be inspiration, entertainment, new discoveries sometimes irritation Njoki Chege for a while took the cup at the latter. Sharing can gas you up and take your creation to a whole other level. Imagine if Kendrick just kept his bars to himself in some room up in Compton, we wouldn't have T.P.A.B not even Damn, that's a parallel universe right there

I guess I'll take a shot at this, I already have the first half down, sharing is just a matter of pressing a few buttons and bada bing bada boom we are in business.

Have a good one! 

Monday, 13 November 2017

What they don't tell you about working in your late teens/ early twenties

I remember it just like it was yesterday, nineteen year old Edwina, fresh out of her first year of university. Exams were done and dusted and just in case you were wondering, those were my stronger academic years, my results were above average and I was basking in the glory of my academic success. The long awaited long holidays were finally here, four months of no school. I was ready as the last few months leading up to this were one hell of a roller coaster.

Hit the rewind button one time. 4 months of no school sounds good when you say it, when you see it written down on paper and when you can nearly smell it when you are writing your last paper. What it actually means though, your parents aren't sparing any expense towards you outside of the bare necessities, so that means you are tethered to one spot, home. The same four walls day in and day out. Unless of course you have a stash of a few shillings to ferry you from point A to point B then just ignore that scenario I painted out up there, or better yet your parents are how do I say, liberal? Regardless of whether school is on or out they make it a priority, no, their priority to make sure that you are well taken care of, inclusive of wants and not just your basic needs.

Want to take a wild guess of where I was not too long ago? If it isn't obvious by now I was the miserable, same four walls day in and day out chap. Oh, the misery.

These were also the pretty naive years of course more naive than I am now, at least one thing has changed and I believe my mantra at the time was, "If I don't like something then do something about it". So what did I do you ask, I went on a job hunt. Every morning after my sketchy morning routine I would sit cross legged, put some Mtv Base on and watch Too Fat for Fifteen while scouring the internet for part time jobs, internships, volunteer programs anything that I could sink my hands in. That year,I found two internships and one job, the current one I am at now.

 The Jeffersons had nothing on me, I had moved on up and I was finally going to get a  piece of that pie.

Except my vision was clearly blurred, the irony. What no one told me about joining the workforce this early, was the sacrifices I would have had to make. I was purely geeked out over the money that I would be making. A regular flow of income, my money, not my mom's, not my dad's, not birthday money or graduation money but money that I went out, on my own and got. I was imagining shopping trips, buying my dream phone, going for live concerts, oh, the joy.

I've talked about the sacrifices here before so you can go to town on that article.

However, the more I sit behind this desk the more jealous I am of all the cats who I see on the other side who still look to and can rely on their parents for financial support.

One time, I was on the bus on my way to work just minding my own business, when I looked out the window to see one of our regulars, early twenties guy comes to my place of work when he is on break from school. I am  horrible with cars but the seats were a cream, maybe, off white luxury leather seats and the body may have been of a Mercedes but with me all cars are a Mercedes. Sitting back left, earphones in and just looking on to the distance. His life, so far removed from mine. He was probably in an Uber, I was on a bus. He had his afternoon to himself, I would be working a six hour afternoon spilling over into the evening shift. Our worlds couldn't be further apart. It bothers me that I am jealous. There's a small part of me that thinks I'm as deserving of that lush life  as they are yet I'm stuck here.

Yet another pity party is thrown when when I log in to my Instagram Saturday afternoon and I catch what my agemates were up to Friday night, you know when the feeling's right. Hair did, freakum dress on, turn ups before the turn up and that's just before they hit the club. These guys work the regular and favourable 9-5 or are creatives so when the weekend peeks its head around the corner they were born ready for it and its shenanigans.


Sure, I could take the risk one Friday to paint the town red and party into the small hours of Saturday but I like to get a decent amount of sleep before my 9 a.m Saturday morning shift, think responsibility trumps lituation.

Go out Sunday then, that sounds like a logical enough course of action, right? Look, I work a six daysout of a seven day week I think I deserve just the one day to stay in and be a bum. The truth is I read the week's paper while taking a late breakfast, like a sixty-something year old whose learning the ropes of retirement.

The two times I tapped into the last of my energy reserve for the week was for Blankets and Wine which you can read about here and here. Although I come out beaming complete with an adrenaline rush it takes nearly a week to recover from a mere few hours of having me a grand old time.

If that doesn't do it for you, more times than one I have opted out of going for a concert because I had no one to go with. An aspect of independence has developed or been introduced, probably introduced. You got the job and have now acquired a new found financial status that none of your peoples are on, congratulations, you played yourself. In as much I am a strong, independent black woman who need no man in her life and all that mumbo jumbo, that is not to say that company will get old. As liberating as it is going for concerts alone going with friends just tears past the roof.

Your heart has to be in the right place, so does your mind, if you are embarking on this thing called employment. The most valuable lesson that has come with the jealousy and sense of entitlement is allow yourself to feel, the faster you feel even the slightest pinch of jealousy feel it,soak in it a while then move on. I always like to take comfort in the hopes that my work is not all in vain but my future kids can have the life I coveted so much, then they can be the envy of the kid behind the desk.

Have a good one!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Three weeks in

If I had to say, the business, my business, Summer Oddity is three weeks old. Three weeks and not a single sale made. Yesterday, I was on the brink of tears in my weekend safe haven, the kitchen sink. I can hardly begin to describe the pent up frustration that nearly erupted last evening.

It wasn't so much the giving up in the business that wore me down but it was the jab it was taking on my character. Quitting just three weeks in would undoubtedly define me to be a pussy. The investment I made was okay, decent...arguable but not so much that would see me facing some sort of financial strain.

When my sister offered to buy one of the pieces, which was a kind gesture, it still is, but the plan was to run this as a legit business not a lemonade stand where your parents are your first consumers in a bid to give you that gentle push, I felt insulted. In the back of my mind I knew and know that I have faith in me.

Besides my character being compromised, if I made a premature stage left exit, it would also be giving up on a dream. Not my dream, it's not owned, it's more a frequent daydream. It's no secret that I have a slight problem with Youtube, I watch too much of it but it's not all a lost cause. I do take away something from some of the videos I watch, a lot, a whole lot. I know that at one point in my life New York is a destination that is on my bucket list, thanks to one Mr. Casey Neistat. I want to hit the dollar pizza spot, experience Times Square, figure out SoHo, live in the city, within the city, in the summer with it's sewer smell that engulfs the Big Apple and  in the winter with Snowmageddon.

 I've  also learnt a thing or two about thrifting, in fact, the amount of 'Come Thrift with Me' and thrift hauls I watch are unhealthy. I did discover though that there are high end thrift stores. They fit my aesthetic; a wavy, punk look in some and others just scream lush and opulence. I like to call it dignified thrifting. A cool space, solid ground, changing area, curated selection, security. So, yes, I am just describing another fashion retail store but with only unique finds. Read that to mean, you wouldn't see every other girl on the streets with your exact outfit. More than that, if you need to find a basic, like a plain black tee or an over sized cozy grey jumper maybe even an ugly dad sweater or a pair of mom jeans, you know where to find it, an in  and out job. Now imagine a shop like that in Nairobi. Yeah, the feasibility is wanting but the thought gives me literal chills, chills of pure excitement.

Calling it quits this early in the game would be tantamount to giving up on this dream. If I couldn't run an Instagram store who is to say a brick and mortar store would be any better?

Then, the panic started to set in. This time next year if all goes according to plan I should be picking up my cap and gown, adding graduation to the list of my accomplishments. That also means that I would have to quit my job, i believe the more accepted term is resign from my job...long story, but three years was the goal I set for myself and wearing out my welcome is not an option. May I mention that the joy of quitting this job reaches above and beyond the moon; it will see the return of having the last half of my day all to myself, no more anxiety just pure bliss.

Bliss with a healthy helping of financial uncertainty. Back to the scrub life of only buying the bare necessities and being cooped up in the house out of circumstance. I have been there, it's not pretty and there won't be a repeat of that piece of history if I can help it. Panic settled in quite fast, just the thought of having to stay at my job longer took a lot out of me.

With that revelation I immediately swooped into action, mentally at least. The logical course of action would be to get me a smartphone; in case you are wondering I have been robbed twice of my phones and since then I foster a deep bitterness for smartphones, phones in general. I am going to go ahead and throw in the towel and purchase a phone and try a couple of things different; follow more people (that's the only thing that is working so far), posting at different optimal times, posting a story or two and do all of this until I have the perfect pattern going. I also plan to document this "adventure" with a diary just to have a medium to unleash my pent up frustration, learning what works and what should be kicked to the curb.



While being my own cheerleader I need to constantly remind myself that I have nothing to lose.

Have a good one! 



 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Sorry Not Sorry

If you're reading this...it's too late. That's another dry Dad joke for you, what I actually meant to say was, if you're reading this the strike is still on. Update on week two of the strike; it's lasted two weeks. Duh, however that's how long the last trike lasted which I believe was the shortest period yet, at least out of the three strikes this year. The longest  lasted roughly three months, between January and was it March?  The dons are talking big, they are in for the long haul. On my way to work, I was  deep in thought as to what I should do over the supposed  "long haul", quotes because between you and me I don't see it lasting very long. I could be wrong. I do see it having an insane ripple effect like having the school year spill over into a good chunk of the festive season, say, the third week of December when everyone is getting their Christmas spirit on. More than that, I am almost sure that that means first thing next year we will be neck deep in exams anywhere within the first three weeks of January, which means that the one week off for Christmas break will really just be code for study leave.

The expected course of action is, well, to get some studying in, group work compiled and out  of the way and begin and finish the dreaded research paper. I should probably make myself some sort of schedule if at all the intention is to realize these academic goals.

On the other hand, I really shouldn't exclusively box myself into academics, even with my situation as dire as it is, gradewise. Besides writing everyday,  I would like to, drum roll please, read a book a week. In the words of Stephen King, "To be a writer, you must do two things, read a lot and write a lot". What good would it be to write a bunch of posts if I'm not putting in the work towards them.Mine would just be tunnel vision, using the same idioms, vocabulary, writing about the same thing from a different perspective. If I am going to get my 10,000 hours in, it might as well be 10,000 quality hours.

However today's post is something that has been on my mind since last evening. I would love to tell you the genesis of it all but it involves me eavesdropping on a conversation, maybe I heard right, maybe I heard wrong or maybe I'm just making a mountain out of the slightest of molehills. Either way, I took away a couple of valuable adulting lessons.

It's always important to take a step back and look at the problem from the offended party's point of view. I am still learning that apologizing isn't a sign of weakness. When my name popped up on the eavesdropped upon conversation you best believe I was up in arms ready to defend myself but the more I listened the  more I realized that, it's never that serious. Not everything is a fight.

Saying sorry and being sorry is not the same thing. This may sound  harsh but you don't always have to be sorry but it's more therapeutic for whoever is offended to hear it from you. More often than not, once you understand what the offense  is, you will be sorry giving sincerity to your apology.



You don't have to empathize if it's not any fault of yours. Morally speaking and from the Christian point of view, it's expected, but the reality on the ground is everyone is bogged down with their own dose of problems. Let me speak for myself here when I say I am on to the next one even before there is a next one, I guess this is my wake up call to sometimes stop and get a strong whiff of the coffee.  I still hold my stance, just because you are going through it doesn't mean you have to drag as all along with you.

But the most important take away and the most fitting way to wrap it up would be a quote I saw from tumblr last night,

Self care isn’t always pretty , it’s not always candles and a bathtub full of roses , sometimes it’s forcing yourself to get out of bed and dragging yourself , sometimes it’s the pep talk you give to yourself or the quick cry in the corner . sometimes it is convincing yourself to do all these things you should be doing but you have no will whatsoever , sometimes it’s cutting some ties no matter how precious they were , sometimes it’s the bitter medicine you need to give yourself .
Self care isn’t always pretty but it’s so worth it .
—  Kriti.G

Have a good one!   

   

Friday, 10 November 2017

Stranger for a wife

The plan is, so long as the lecturers' strike is on, ol' girl over here is going to write everyday. Come what may, rain, sunshine, flood you get the picture. As such, I am writing this at work with a few minutes to spare before closing time. I wasn't playing when I said come what may.

I've been thinking, if there was one person I would like to write about me, it would be Jackson Biko of Bikozulu, Mantalk in the Saturday Nation pull-out, that article on Msafiri which my dad makes a  point of picking up even if he already picked up the same issue on an earlier flight. I bet he has more under his belt besides the three I've mentioned, like that short-lived premier East African men's only magazine, Adam, but that's enough to have me swooning over anything he writes.

He is doing this 40s series, hyping himself up for the road ahead, his forties. Some, scratch that, all of the articles have been brilliant; he's had a guy who was comfortable with his wife bringing the bacon home, a lady who would host prayers in her house at three bloody a.m all in the name of praying  for a husband, another lady who was living among cannibals for nearly an entire year and lived to tell the tale-there's really no describing it, it was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever read- the most recent in the 40s series is about a 44 year old man  whose trying to figure out this thing called sexuality.

Biko, besides having a way with words, he has this unique ability of figuring out people before they figure themselves out. Just a table between him and his subject and he peels the layers to your very being.

In his most recent article, about the bi-guy? Something struck a cord with me. All his articles strike a cord with me, I am just hella lazy to pen my sentiments on them. The line went something like, when you're a few years old, sitting in your backyard, newspaper in hand  the kids have made nests of their own and a stranger for a wife or was it a wife for a stranger...either way, that tore my heart into pieces.

Earlier in the interview, Biko asked the guy whether he was happy in his marriage, whether he loved his wife. I don't remember his answer but there was no straight forward, 'Yes!' there was a lot of she is a good mother, a good woman, how his kids make him happy but none of the  'I love my wife'. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the motions of life; birth, school, graduate, get a good job, get married, have kids and whatever comes next. I am afraid this is where this guy is stuck except of course the road he travels is ridden with far more roadblocks, speed bumps, potholes than yours and mine combined at and this is a road followed by many.

The idea of finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, a companion, someone who completes you as whimsical as it sounds, to me, it's a tall order. Yes, I am writing this at the peak of my twenties which Wendy Williams calls your selfish years where you should be "dzipping and dzoing it" but think about it, a question that pops up a lot on reality shows is, "Is this someone you see yourself spending the rest of your life with?". Well is he/she? Will you stick around when the weight piles on for one reason or the other be it carrying your children or letting yourself go, when I have that week before my period when I'm super catty or when I am just going through it. Will you hang in there if I am having trouble wrapping my head around this thing called submission or when my spendthrift ways catch up with me, when menopause hits. Can you keep up with my ever complaining ways for the rest of your life (which I am working on by the by) or my silent treatment because I am unfamiliar with this whole wearing your heart on your sleeve trend. And these are just my current shortcomings, looking from the inside out.

So, imagine dealing with that not for a prescribed time, but your entire life. If that isn't enough, as years go by, things change, people  change whose to say that you will like this person and what they have become that far down the line.

It takes two to tango. The stranger dynamic is pretty straight forward, you only cease to be one if you introduce yourself or in the case of couples reintroducing your new found self to your significant other.


But then again, what do I know I am just a naive twenty something who thinks she has life figured out. Food for thought though, sleeping in the same bed back to back, living in the same house, breathing the same air with a person who has been demoted from love of your life to simply having the title of father of your children, husband because the state says so and the guy who you split the bills with. There is no way we will retrogress into housemates.

There was this series, Parenthood, that I was super in to not too long ago. In it's second to last or last season the matriarch of the family was rediscovering herself. I feel like she had taken a turn for the artsy type life, painting and what not. At some point, she wanted to go on a trip to either an exotic or oriental destination. It was just as Biko had painted it; their kids had left the nest and they spent their days being grandparents. She had nothing holding her back from going on this trip but the most fetching thing about it all, is her husband felt some typa way about her going , you want to know why? Well, if you've read this far I guess you do . It was because she didn't ask him if he'd like to go with her.

That's what I want, I want you to want to spend time with me well into our sunset years.


Have a good one!