We are friends, the ground and I…

A journey begins with a single step.

Or a crawl.

For me it’s mostly a crawl.

Like a friend asking you how that book you are gushing about is going. What book was it…? Intimacy with God by Joyce Meyer? Yea that book, how is that going? Well it wasn’t going anywhere because I had paused reading it because I was tired of firefighting, you know, when you are trying to cope with life that ISN’T going your way? Yea.

But you know, like all good friends, in many words they called me an idiot for stopping because if I hadn’t stopped I wouldn’t be so tired. After this statement I resolved to continue with the book, only to open the page where the bookmark sat neglected and read the title topic: ‘Intimacy with God requires commitment.’

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Well book! Thanks! Thanks for REMINDING me that I am in this runt because I lack commitment to God!

You know, I am so tired of going to church and participating in life that when the associate pastor described the symptoms to my disease, I was so tired I didn’t get up to go to the front and have myself prayed for. Yea people of Eagle’s Faith (eagle’s have faith? Or do I just don’t want to practice discernment?) Christian Center! That was ME! But God is faithful, things fall perfectly into place even when we are morons in our dealings with life.

*cue dramatic music*

Side note

So I quit drinking and it was a good month or more until I had to support my cousins in mourning, and in our clan, we mostly drink when we are in mourning, or happy, or bored, or hakuna lights… we just drink. With purpose. But this one was top priority. So now I am back to a strict no alcohol diet. But you don’t tell mum these things to which the consequence is her going, ‘AMEN!’ when the associate pastor says, ‘ladies, do not be drinkers of wine! Be sober!’ (tell that to Jesus…).

Now mother NEVER says amen out loud because she is Mama Conservative so trust you me, those around picked up on the fact that I am [was] a drinker of wine. And other substance.

Mothers…

Back on track

And that has been me. Basically. Working to be at rest, whatever this rest looks like.

And telling God, ‘I don’t love you, I don’t feel like pursing you, I don’t really feel like anything right now, but because following my feelings would be stupidity of epic proportions, I will chase after You, in a crawl. Then a walk, then a run, then a full marathon, and then, You will know I desire intimacy with You. Because I do, there just isn’t, like a large percentage of Christians, a lot of bothering.’

So fellow crawlers, let’s do this!!!

 

Cheers.

The ‘rape probability’ game

If you are like me, female anatomy and all, you spend much of your life going for activities that will not get you raped. For example: you won’t go ‘turn up’ in Mathare because there’s a ladies night with great offes on your fave liquor. Or even attend a kesha in one of the churches then dare leave at 4 am to catch a matatu home.

It’s particularly frustrating when the males in your circle don’t get this ‘rape culture’ hullabaloo just because they aren’t rapists. *narrows eyes*

I am writing this post to bring the devil on my back to light, burn it (no, no glittering here) and set myself free from these oppressive thoughts that govern my actions.

When my friends in campus were taking matatus to go party in the city I was perplexed. Call it paranoia because nothing happened to them but the idea of walking in town at 4am didn’t sit well with me. It’s happened twice in my life, one nearly resulting in my bag being snatched as bystanders watched me screaming on the ground. This incident made me realize that someone could easily harm me and no one raise a finger because ‘What are you doing in town at that time?’ That’s why a ride is a requirement for my night activities. Live the OLX SOMA Awards. 5hrs of my life I’ll never get back. What the hell was that??

And so I avoid alleys. I watch what I wear when going to certain parts of the city. I watch my water bottle. I put on a #BRF. I watch how much I drink [past tense]. I refuse to live in just any part of Nairobi. I double check the doors are locked at night when we slow down to a questionable place. I don’t sit next to certain looking people on the bus lest they drug me. I avoid down town because I don’t quite fit in. I don’t go for night events without a guy friend. I look at the ratio of men to women before I board public transportation to an unfamiliar route etc. etc.

I don’t live.

I am restricted because a mother somewhere failed to raise a son right. Because a father wasn’t really there or not at all. Because traditions insist female are a lesser species. Because the media has made it okay to talk about sex at 7am on the daily with a break on Sunday because… It’s Sunday. If sex, as a man, is on your mind 24/7, thrown in lack of morals and a shrewed consciousness, what’s stopping you from raping her and not bating an eyelid?

But there’s one thing I don’t understand. I was at a funeral some years back and there was a photo of the deceased in her youth on the back cover posing with her husband and some of her children. That stunning photo was in black and white but what surprised me was the length of her dress. My word. She was seated and a third her thighs were in full view. That’s what they used to wear back then (upgrade from only having the baby exit covered) and no one thought anything of it!

Today! A good number of men will leer. The rest would be otherwise distracted.

This outpouring ends with these words to my male friends, relatives and acquaintances: you are men, you might understand the psychology behind this madness better than we do. What needs to be done to right this injustice?

If one thing CARE’s programs have taught me is that you can’t empower women without engaging men. So this is me reaching out.

PS: If she wakes up in the morning confused, in denial, cursing out and/or has no recollection as to why she’s woken up next to you because she was visibly quite intoxicated, it’s rape. It’s not a ‘What do you expect?’ moment. Everyone has a right to get as drunk as they please and black out without someone feeling entitled to their whole entity just because of their gender.

Side note: Did you know that rape is also a weapon of war? I mean, when did the vagina become so disrespected?

Sigh.

Beyond shoes and clothes

Recently I was looking out the window as the matatu was leaving town for Thika Road and I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that nowadays you can hardly tell who comes from what background. In the past you could tell a girl from the village and one brought up from a town and in this category, what class they were in. You could also tell my mum was not native to Nairobi by how she influenced my style during my early childhood. I have burned photographs because of this.

Most times all we have are first impression. Sitting preferences aside there is a reason you’d sit next to one person in a matatu and not the other. I have noticed ladies who dress as though they ought to appear in the social section of a magazine are regarded differently from the rest of us who rock clothes that lead others to believe that they are still in campus and couldn’t care less to keep up with the latest trends.

My face does not invite small talk with strangers during social gatherings so I’ve always thought if I looked tip-top (to compensate for by BRF), the said stranger would feel more open to start a conversation with me. This is not to imply that I am looking for new friends, I just find that such interactions add depth to one’s life.

Side note, intellectual conversations about life stimulate me. That is why I’d rather hang out with my non-believing friend who offers a different life perspective (not necessarily to deter me) than a Christian friend who seemingly lives a two dimensional life.

Anyway, back to my point. My job situation is in God’s hands, but while it was in mine it was asking me to prepare to stay home for a while till my next job in the not-so-foreseeable future. What was I saying… oh yes! Now for this reason, I can’t just go shopping and buy these clothes that I think will give me an edge in society. That depressed me for a bit during this particular day I was ogling tops, skirts and shoes. And then there are friends like Trezer Oguda…

As we were getting onto the highway at Koja I had an epiphany in the form of a question:

‘You can’t buy these clothes. So, what will set you apart from the rest?’

And that marks the beginning of my journey that starts with this realization:

‘It’s easier to work on the outer person than the inner one.’

Clothes isn’t what will lead to new interactions but rather the work God is doing in my life that will transform my character as well as bestow a glory upon me. I mean, the inner me is a mess. The inner me doesn’t even want to look at me because of the shame and the hurt. The inner me doesn’t want me to touch anything because disinfection hurts. A lot. But you know, God is working.

Yea! That’s where I’m at!

Cheers folks.

PS: I wrote this article a few days ago and just got round to posting it. I have always known this but we humans do really capitalize on small things. We’ve unexpectedly lost an uncle and are all in a state of shock.

There is one question I have been trying to answer for a while now and it is this, ‘What am I on earth for?’ and surely it isn’t to fuss about my job and clothes. Sigh.

Doing your little thing

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That’s what we had for supper on Monday.

When I was serving that ugali, spinach and fish in Swahili sauce I said to my younger brother, ‘What am I about to tell you is not an exaggeration and I really do mean it.’ Because he knew it was something mooshy coming he grunted and continued looking as the TV. ‘Every time I eat your food I am happy to be alive. It doesn’t matter how I feel, I eat food you have cooked, and I get a glimpse into why God created me.’

Or something like that, I was intoxicated by the Swahili sauce so I can’t remember what I said word for word.

That moment of utter joy and glee made me realize that everyone has that one thing they do that makes the world alright for someone, even for a little bit. Take acting, when you are watching a movie you like, you get so lost, the world stops and everything that is not right in your life becomes irrelevant. Now those are people doing their little thing to make YOUR life better within a certain space and place in time.

As I ponder further, it just occurred to me that our little thing is our purpose. For some strange reason we identify purpose with singularity when it shouldn’t. You can be an actor who juggles and designs airplanes. However, for the sake of simplicity, that one thing you do excellently should solve someone’s problem, albeit temporarily. So if being a spectacular jerk is your thing, find something nicer.

Amid all these thoughts I realizeI need to start doing my little thing. I mean the #mylittlething was cute and all, but is it something we do daily, or is it something we SAY do until another hashtag comes up?

Sure, my brother (a chef in the making btw, schooling and interning at a big hotel and all) doesn’t cook often for whatever reason, but when he does, I am at peace. I am happy. I feel alive. And it may seem like an exaggeration but nothing beats food cooked with love and passion.

So I will try to write, and forget to write until a while passes, and I remember to write, and I will write… and this will continue until this little thing becomes a dependable little thing, that when someone is seeking answers or simply an escape, comes here, gets lost in the words and exhales

I know the words don’t feel entirely right in this post because I am overwhelmed by what this means, but I do hope you got the point.

So, what’s your little thing? Are you doing your little thing?

Cheers.