Twelve of 2018

On my life, sharing insights into 12 areas of my life. What it has been like for 2018

Health and fitness –I finally started working out lightly in October after over 2 years hiatus. I am also retracting on junk food and really enjoying my kitchen again. One thing that has been consistent this year is water intake. On average, I do at least two litres in a day though more or less on select days. Major would be doing 10KM during stanchart marathon and I had zero muscle pains after.

Intellectual life – I have read less books than I anticipated mainly because I have read more journals and academic books than I thought I would have. Excel has become my friend and so glad of the new things I am hacking. I also did 40 hours of Mathematics this year and I finally enjoyed differentiation, a topic I NEVER attempted a single question on in high school because I just refused to like and learn it well. Looking forward to learning more about data and its uses on customers a well as digital branding

Emotional life – Growth is all that I can scream. I   have been very keen on my feelings, a bit more expressive and intentionally pursuing happiness in all aspects of my life. Trying to find a balance is not easy but honestly working out helps a lot as much as some episodes of PMS throw me off cliff completely.

Character –  This is an interesting one. I like it a lot when I see people work together, people succeed and some counting on me and I deliver. However, at some point this year, I started to heed my pastor’s advice. That we cannot always give and never receive. You need to replenish by accepting. Choose what you can give, where you can be a pillar and what to run away from. It is draining at times . Though it all, I am for the truth and justice.

Spiritual life – I have not read the bible as much I did last year. The best part of spiritual life this year has been that I have found listening to sermons so enriching either at church, radio, Telly, online or podcasts. I have a bit more perspectives on many issues.

 Love relationships – I fell in love. I got scared and ran. That is a very good space to be at. Love is beautiful. Someone who shares your values and makes you happy. I have learned not to underestimate the power of having someone you can talk to everything and anything. I think I would like to experience it again soon, without reservations.

Parenting vision – I still have very big doubts about me as a parent. But I think I will make a very good guardian

Social life – Going to events solo can be very interesting. Easy to make friends . Going with your friends and/or family is awesome because of the memories you make. I am hoping Ruth & I will actualize some traveling soon

Financial life – Has had a good one on me in a not so good way. No new intentional saving. May not happen for a while as I try to stabilize a few aspects. But I think I have  super cut down on impulse buying

Career – I did not anticipate how my career turned out in 2018. Roller-coaster is an understatement. I am looking forward to seeing my ROI for marketing in 2019.Coca Cola Marketing department remains my dream place to work at .

Quality of life – Live on a farm , in an expansive cabin , driving an off-road  preferably double cabin and be able to frequently do road trips . It would be nice to wake up and get everything for my breakfast for the day from the farm . When the sky is clear at night, I want to lie on the grass and stare at the sky.

Life vision – Continuously grow and be the best version of me than I was the previous day , to make a difference to those around me and be a blessing to someone who did not ask for me to do anything for them

 

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J

Three months ago, I was just running my normal mischief on some streets. Normally, I would get too cheeky, enough to make those around me comfortable then when the mischief window wears off, I would get back to my normal cocoon and live the dormant period. So this time round I kept on pressing the mischief buttons. You would think a guru like me would know better. That there are packages of mischief that you actually evade and never keep on flirting with. Shame on me! I never saw the holes being dug in my high walls. The walls remains intact but the holes were through my foundation and trust me, they were properly shaken. The digging on the foundation was rhythmic that I mistook them for my some beat. I danced to it. I felt so light that my feet felt floating in the air that I did not stem on the foundation to realize how fragile it had become that I was caving in. I just kept on dancing. The beat moved from the light taps to the deep rumbles and I kept dancing. I felt so safe because the high walls were intact and the darkness gave me a sense of security that I still was in control of everything that was happening.

During the period however, there  was a day when I stood in the cold shower for the first time in three years after the first morning work out in the same period that I felt something was amiss. I stood under that shower at around 5:30 am and I felt my foundation shake. I do not know why it took such a long time for me to realize what was happening. I was so scared that I broke down. This was because of two things; positively that I actually needed that part of my foundation destroyed so that I could get that wake up call that I have needed for the past 22 years. More so, I really needed someone to shake the recent 9 years in me. Gladly, that was done. On the negative, just like a house, when a foundation is destroyed, you are susceptible to any negative force which will definitely send you tumbling down. This for real sent me tumbling. The worst bit is that I was drowning with no straw in sight. Free falls are not the best.

My health has not been in the best shape in September and partly October. I really wished that it would only be for the physical bit but I hate the fact that I had to go down with so many things at one. I would at times look back at how much August was the best month I have had in the longest time possible then think about what I was going through and never imagined I was the same person. I think the worst was this day I woke up feeling dizzy and spent the WHOLE day walking in wavy lines, blurred vision and throwing up. Silently I thought I was not going to make it the following day. Despite this, I was still battling my now clearly destroyed wall. The supposed light after the walls collapsed got me off-guard. The light was too bright that I was blinded. The only good thing is that I was in the moment. I felt every little thing through that process.

Funny enough, I have unable to really write what I feel. I cannot journal but I think I am in this process where I am having a lot of flashbacks. No regrets but I think I am somewhere when I really feel there are pieces to be picked. The feeling to do a lot of self-forgiving is there. Unlike forgiving your enemy, I think most people have no idea how hard it is to forgive yourself. There is a lot of self-inflicted pain that the thought that you let yourself go through it make you so mad and you derail the process of self-forgiveness. This mischief phase has come with another baggage. One that I really pray to get over and make peace with. I cannot lie that it has caused me so much pain with fragments of good moments. The best part of the mischief is that it has helped me open a lot of conversations with myself. It has broken the walls that I thought were permanent, it has shaken the very foundation I thought was the best. It has opened me to a very new world of starting afresh. Scared I am, heartbroken from whatever I did not anticipate I am, determined to forge ahead I am. I cannot promise that I will not make the same mistakes but I am certain that I will be more sober with my mischief phases.

This is a tribute to J. For making me see that being vulnerable is okay and that sharing does not make one weak. This is for reiterating that, ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCT  and that though a hyena may laugh, it can never be a human being but just that, a Hyena

BETWEEN A LEAP

I have been thinking a lot lately. About me. This was triggered by a testimony at a thanksgiving church service where someone shared about his goals. I rarely do periodic reviews of my Yearly goals. I do it at the end of the year. Then that day, I went home and looked at my goals. Guess what? I had even forgotten that I had traveling to specific countries on my list . One was Rwanda just because I really wanted to experience the real world where Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza . I had forgotten I have it on my goals. It was heartbreaking that I really had a achieved this goal but never went to tick on my list or that when I was planning for the trip, I hardly knew it was a goal I was to achieve. I have one more so I am really crossing my fingers that the next 69 days will be kind enough to make me tick it off my list.

1Between a leap, moving from a place to another emotionally, physically, mentally, socially and financially is where I am. I really purposed to leave and live this year. Leave behind a lot of things as much as it has been hard to some extent. Live as in be in the moment. Kind of be in the moments. So today, as you may have seen on some other established blogs, I am sharing my stock taking as at today. I got these questions on living purposefully now

  1. What act or gesture of kindness did I do recently?

Being there for someone who is not really close but had no one yet they really needed someone then.

2. What is one thing I can do today that will stretch my heart a bit wider?

Go for a run for sure. I woke up today and I really just wanted a very good run yet it was raining.

3. What does a meaningful life mean to me?

My family and I being happy and healthy

4. If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?

Relocate from Kenya to pursue Marketing academically and professionally in the UK.

5. What if my biggest fear came true? Then what?

My biggest fear now is to be a mom. I honestly do not know what I would do.

6. What would I regret not doing at least once in my life?

Do sports journalism professionally again. As a correspondent or sports blogger

7. What would I die for?

Any chance to see my mum okay and happy always ( though I guess then I have to stay alive)

8. What am I most proud of?

Though I have fallen so many times, I still got the strength to be on my feet again and again. And that I am determined to run

9.How would my friends describe me?

That I Love sports, Bossy, Hard worker and committed. I think they would also say I am very emotional.

10. Who is one person I can always count on?

My dearest Mother

11. If I could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

Serena Williams

12. What am I grateful for?

Good health. The last two months have been something I have never experienced before and I could never be more grateful just to wake up pain free.

13. What is one habit I want to break, and what is one habit I want to create?

I want to stop procrastinating. I really wish I could trust more

14. What does “god” or “spirit” mean to me?

I believe in God, so much. I do believe that I could never be without God.

15. How do I feel when I look up at a starry night?

At peace. I love the sky , it makes me believe in beauty of the word , and all that is in it.

16. What does nature mean to me?

Nature is a way of God reminding me that he can do everything. He had the ability to create, allow destruction and even restore.

17. What are my biggest lessons in life?

This world or people do not owe me anything and that however much I will broken, there is something beautiful that will still happen.So I have to stop and allow myself appreciate all the good amidst the storm

18. What legacy do I want to create?

That I dared to dream and lived my dream

19. What does it mean to be enough?

To be at peace with whatever you give and whatever it is given to you

20. When was the last time I said “I love you” to those I care about? To myself?

I actually chuckled at this question. I say to mom almost always after hanging up that call but face to face, should be a couple of months ago, on my birthday. To myself, A few days ago.

DECISION MAKING

How do you make decisions? What time do you feel that you need to make the big decisions? Do you make the decisions always out of will or out of sheer self-convincing that it was time a certain decision was to be made? I don’t know about you but I have a weird feeling when I am to make a big decision.

A few months ago I found myself with this too much time on my hands that I have not had for a while. I felt so excited that finally I could do everything I wanted during the breaks at work, evenings and weekends. I knew that I would now be able to do the very many coffee dates that I have pending, the short and long trips on my list and generally enjoy the whole networking thing. For sure this happened, but only for the first month. I took all in and went all out with EVERY single aspect of my life. I really enjoyed the thrill as much as I did the sleep-ins on weekends and the lazy brunches. It was everything I have been looking forward to for a while.

With time, I realized that as much as I have been doing all these things, there still existed a void. I felt I was doing things, I was embracing days, I was expanding my network but my soul was stuck. I felt that I was not really being true on myself. I was maybe trying too hard or taking too much. I was trying to relive me three years ago. I wasn’t twenty five anymore which means there are things that have changed. I was in denial that some parts of my life had changed. I wanted to get thrills in the things that gave me satisfaction three years ago. That was really weighing me down. Thinking through, I realized that over the few years, there are aspects of my life that I completely ignored because I was so focused on career growth.

I really admire Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg, Hillary Clinton and the likes of Condoleezer Rice. Over the past four years I have obsessed myself with these women. I took their work experience literally. PUTTING IN THE HOURS. Never did I internalize their stories to get the strategic aspect they have so perfectly mastered. See, the first time I read Lean In, all I picked is Sheryl checking mails while on maternity leave. I always give a reference of Marissa going back to work two weeks after delivery. I even refer to Caroline Mutoko talk about never using menstrual periods (unless clinical) as an excuse at work. I was obsessed in what I thought was relevant.

A few weeks ago, during a baby shower, a friend of mine asked me how far I was with listening to Pastor Steven Furtick Sermons. I had only done two I think. I have seen so many referrals on social to his sermons but I was always like, Another celebrity mob thinking” . The following week, I downloaded almost every sermon as at then and listened to them nonstop. Even at night, I would play them when asleep. I have listened to almost if not all of those sermons. Apart from the spiritual aspect, my mind has been opened to a lot of thought provoking teaching. There are things that I subconsciously shut out. I refused to knowledge a lot of things that the sermons have made me feel them for the first time.

Something funny, most of these things are not about sin. These are things about me as a person. What as a human being, I just let myself not have a feel of, lost a sense of and ignored that they really do matter. The decisions? This I have always made I think when that thought is too much. Yesterday for example, I decided to have a nap during the day. I always do when I have free time. But this time, I had one of the worst sleep paralysis I have had in a while. Unlike any other sleep paralysis that I would cry and scream Jesus, this one, I was just scared. I was so scared that whatever I was going through, I would not survive. I was helpless but I did not scream. I muttered Jesus but I did not scream as I would. This transitioned to a lighter on where I felt that I knew who I was scared of but did not see the face. In the paralysis, I knew who it was but I have really tried to remember after I woke up with no success. When I woke up, I had this thought so strong. It has been on my mind for a while, triggered by one of the sermons about Habits of a Healthy Heart. I was scared. I am still scared. But just like in May 2013 I woke up one morning and made what still is one of the best decisions I made as adult, I knew it is time I make another one. As much as this need timelines, need support, I know will not be easy, one thing I am very clear about is that there comes a time when man has to do what he has got to do. For me, sleep paralysis is always a sign that I really need to make a certain decision. Mostly stop something, cut off some ties or retract on certain things. I was one on the people who really never wanted the Moi day break but looking back at yesterday, it was deliberate. I needed it for the push.

I don’t know how you make the bid decisions in your life. But I know every one of us know when it is time to make one. Even when a fortnight ago a doctor told me that I really needed time to think things over, especially about my life, I thought I was just another doctor talk. When I had this big urge just to see my mother and be vulnerable, forget everything and just be okay for a minute, I thought it was just the hormones. When I added so much weight and stopped being attentive to what I eat, I thought I was now grown enough to embrace my love handles. When I went for a road trip and lived a little, I thought I just needed it after a very strenuous first half of the year. When I sometimes had outbursts that I regretted immediately, I thought it was the strain. When I refused to acknowledge the changes that were happening in my life, when I put my trust in people and their words, I thought it was just human as much as I was so shattered when their words never lived to see the light of day. When I put in so much and got so little, I felt it was the norm because someone else was experiencing the same. When I went out for strolls during the dark hours of the nights because I felt I was suffocating in bed, I talked myself down from having too many expectations. When I went for days without feeling hungry, I was finally relieved that I was losing weight. When I complained a lot, I knew that I was justified to because I thought I was the right thing to do. When I went on those solo dates and lied to people who wanted to accompany me, I felt that I was entitled to my space. I could go on and on about this year so far about how the nine months have been the most emotionally challenging months yet.

Nevertheless, I believe that there comes a time when you have to stop. Take in the long breath, call yourself for a meeting and be so honest to yourself. As long as you are in denial, you will never have a chance to feel and appreciate what is happening and you may never make those decisions that you really need to. So today, no matter what you think, hold close to your heart or love, be real and fair to yourself.

SPINSTER DIARY

Being single, especially if you have ever been in a relationship is HARD! I know just like me, there are a lot of self-sufficient women (and men alike) who trash the obsession with being relationship. I do. Relationships are overrated and more than 90% of the time I do not see what value they would add to my life. What I (we) do not share is this 10%. This percentage that is sometimes a thorn in the flesh.

I haIMG-20160926-WA0008ve been single by choice for a while now. I would say properly for almost 6 years and how you choose to look at it, for the past three years. It has been journey that I have both enjoyed and loathed. Being single is liberating. You get all the time that you would have spent on partner to spend it on hobby, family, friends and self. You get less of accountability partners, you have less people to argue with, mostly no human to show you how jealous you can be. However, here are the few (many things maybe) that I miss about dating properly. By properly I do mean the intentional type. Forget the little “kalongolongo” that always happens here and there

I would top my list with sharing meals especially picnics. Trust me; a girls’ or friends’ picnic is nothing close to a picnic with a partner. I love making smoothies, burgers and toasts for picnics. And of course looking forward to what bottle of wine will be picked for that date. I would literally spend a week planning for what to cook, what to wear, what new music (Hic! My worst chore) I would share. The last at arboretum was a chess match picnic. I lost the first game in a record time as fast as I gobbled the burger then had second match last almost three hours (Master 😂😂😂) . Either accompanied by a walk thereafter or watching the sunset ( Ngong hills still remains my best in Nairobi) , or a lazy drive (or biking) around where you are (Nairobi is very beautiful at night), that kind of experience is different from what I have had with my friends or relative.

Then comes the feel good lies .Don’t get me wrong. I hate liars. However, having someone that will be on your side when they clearly should not then make you see the sense afterwards is so good. There is this one time I was to meet a client on behalf but first confirm on mail. My sleepy ass dozed off and forgot. So the following day I show up unannounced and the client is pissed of to say the least. Calls up the boss to complain about how unprofessional I was. My little lying self has said that my comp crushed with everything and was ashamed to confirm yet I stayed up all night working. The boss backed up my story. The client bought it but bowed of the deal. I still can remember the “talk on professionalism” to date. One of the incidents that has really made me improve on communication. I check, then confirm and double confirm.

And of lures, one of THE SEXIEST thing I find in a man is someone praying for me over the phone. It is something I learned like 4 years ago. This however means that you have to date someone you share faith with. What then happens if you date someone out of your religion? You have to be open to converting to their religion, have a talk of them converting to yours or find a balance for each to continue practicing their own which honestly is a very delicate situation. Having someone you can talk and learn about God together is so good. It is especially a plus if you both on the same level or partner is stronger. It makes you want to learn more. I have been on both sides of the coin and no matter how good you are, not being on the same page faith wise will bite you faster than you think

Other things that I miss include sharing hobbies. Trust me to is easier to get abs when your partner and you share the gym. It is fun to do the things you love together. For me that would be sports. You know you have someone who will catch what you missed. Also making new friends .Partner comes with their own social circle that you have to get along with. This circle is a gem. Do not be too uptight in accommodating their friends. They may just open that door that has closed for the longest time. I am a witness

I cannot forget THE hugs, yes, the proper hugs- Hugging a friend of the opposite sex it tricky. Hugging your partner is different. You let go and just enjoy the moment. I know for are fact that a hug is enough to make up something broken, to make the most rigid person break. It increases levels of trust, creates a sense of security. A hug is what the doctor recommended.

Disclaimer: Do Not Date Because You Miss Certain Things.  Date Because You Are Ready To Welcome And Accommodate The Other Person In Your Life Without Regrets. If It Is A Forever Situation You Are Lucky If It Won’t Last, You Will Carry The Best Memories Of What You Two Shared. That Is Me. I Have So Many BEST Memories That I Never Have Regrets.

N/B: Doing book reviews and chasing sand (desert or beach) should heavily feature in the next one 😉

 

WORK ANNIVERSARY

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At Genocide Memorial Centre- Kigali

I am 6 year old at my work place today! Let me take that again, S.I.X years! It has been 6 years of 8-5 set up. This not only shocks me but sure enough those who have seen me grow up. My mom would cheekily refer to my brother & I “Chausiku” when growing up. This is because we would always come home late whenever we went out for whatever except if it was her errand we were running. I was a restless kid. I barely could concentrate on something for more than an hour. If you realized I was quiet for long, I would definitely be asleep, even in school. That played largely on my decision to pursue journalism. I do hear statements like

“Who never dreamt of being a doctor or engineer?’

Answer: I DID NOT! I always wanted something communication.

I have always wanted to be a journalist since I was in class two. Thought a bit about law in high school but not that close. When we filled university forms in High school and was required to have four choices, I selected mass communication, law, environmental science and Education in that order.

Fast forward in 2012 after my journalism training and having made a decision that I was cut for sports journalism, I got internship for three months somewhere with nothing sports journalism. What followed is six years today! The years have been filled with a lot of learning and growth that I cannot thank God enough for. I am grateful that even though I am still STRUGGLING with 8-5 routine, I have worked in a space where my bosses have allowed me to be creative and innovative. I have been challenged, thrown into the deep ends but being trusted with such has only made me a better person all round.

Here are a few five (5) things I think about my career going forward

  1. Growth – EVERY single day, I wake up grateful to God for a new day and ALWAYS purpose to grow. To set trends and be better than whom I was yesterday. I am not sure why I actually do not have a role model per se but I am motivated by Serena Williams. Recently she confessed that she is the best because everyone plays against her at their best so she always has to be better. That’s my mantra. Always better
  2. Knowledge – Read, learn, listen, watch,,,,,, whatever audio, visual or literal material I consume, they should teach, motivate, guide, challenge me. If it is purely for entertainment, it should make me happy. Garbage in will always be garbage out
  3. Intentional living I am 30 years old in approximately two years. I can say I existed in the years between after high school and now. I merely went through the days. I am looking forward to being in the moments including work. I want to know I am growing, learning and changing. I don’t want to take stocks at the end of periods but rather be part of it
  4. Draw boundaries – Those who know me would tell you I invest so much personal emotions in career and work. It breaks my heart not to be on the same side with colleagues I consider friends. Too bad that the bitter truth is that, career growth is VERY PERSONAL. Treat it as such
  5. Be more open , receptive and aggressive for a space at THE TABLE! I want it too, I want it all

And in these an much more, I trust GOD for everything !

Bad Neighborhood Between The Ears

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We are born, and the first thing we do is cry. There are many explanations as to why babies cry but for the sake of this piece, I think its like a premonition of the life ahead. The growing up bit. It is the uncertainty of what lays ahead. Many may think bad experiences are the worst thing as you grow up but I think not. It is the MIND. The more you grow; you allow so many things into the mind. Others are just shoved and while the remainder is just the ability of the mind to recognize and harbor stuff. To quote Chester Bennington in one of his interviews, “this place in between my ears, is a bad neighborhood. I can’t be here by myself.” He continues and says that, “when am in it, I just wanna get out.”

This is very familiar to many of us, to me. It does not have to be suicidal but there are so many thoughts that I elevate. The saddest part is that for everything I have kept on thinking for a long time, I cannot stop thinking about it right now. When you are out, meeting people, working or at school, everything is so fine. It is like things stop and you are in the moment. I remember reading the Saturday Monthly pull out, Superstrikers, and when Makena was in the Zone, he was a magician in the pitch. The same zone is highlighted by Ronaldinho in his players Tribune article, a Letter to my younger self. In the zone, you feel liberation, power, support and ability to do much more than you can imagine. In the zone, you are so happy and successful. The zone exists in life too. When you are in it, the bad neighborhood between your ears does not exist. You are just you doing your thing.

However, the zone is not eternal. For some, its ends because it has lived its time. For others, something or someone triggers you into reality. When my zone outlives its course, I think I am usually prepared for the next course. It might hit me hard but I always manage with mostly withdrawing from public, lots of worship music and literary talking to God throughout the day. In a PSV, at work, along the streets, just everywhere. I don’t stop. I don’t lament at all but I keep on reminding him how great he is and how grateful I am for everything he has done for me. I also keep on submitting. I don’t fight. I let him take the wheel. There are instances though when the zone has been cut short by someone or a situation. These are the moments I just can’t stop crying. If it’s an event, I most likely will avoid it or the rest of my life ( that’s why I stopped watching Single Ladies. I got news of losing some people very close to me when I was watching season 1 & 2 respectively). If it is somebody, I would rather have us talk about it which will include lots of tears. If not, in a few minutes, I will have cut contacts forever and if we ever talked again, things WILL never be the same again (I lost a friend because I knew she was pregnant without her telling me  and treated her special. She got so mad. I still laugh over this). I sometimes look back at the various situations and I cant say the number of times I have asked God t give me a deeper understanding of such. I still do and pray that one day, I will get it.

Times out of the zone come with so many things that if not careful, you might push a little too hard that it will hurt. There is mood swings, loss/increase of appetite, shopping sprees, extended hours of sleep and total withdrawal from public. That is fine. I think mother monster is Insomnia. That thing is the biggest, saddest BITCH ever. You close your eyes but the mind is working overtime. You think everything you don’t want to. Somehow, the mind will only stop when you start thinking of the way out. It kind of calms down. It is usually the shortest way out that works magic. Always, I have NEVER let me think about death. The experience at different morgues has taught me that death is not pretty. My own life experience with death has taught me that it is never a choice out. I have learned to think about sports bikes and houses by the beach. The thought of traversing Africa on an off-road bike for months then coming home to a house with gigantic windows by the beach. It is  a dream that keeps me sane and alive. It awakens the the desire in me to go out and be a better version of myself.

I know this may sound petty to some people but listening is very good. Whenever you meet someone, listen more, and then do it a bit more. Ask questions why they make some statements, show interest and they will be receptive to open up. We (am not exempted) make judgments about people yet if we listened a bit more, we would have treated them differently. We would have understood them, we would have helped them. I tell my friends that I live for good hugs and cuddles. I know for a fact that if someone trusts you in their space, they don’t have to be good at hugging or best at cuddling, it just comes naturally. You can feel their soul into it.

This is to everyone out there with the bad neighborhood, find something that will always give you a reason to submit and look forward to tomorrow. I found God and the bikes.