These Boys Following You Around Just Want Sex…

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You might think of the village as friendly and supportive, with a wholesome, slower pace of life. The village offers an appealing contrast to the city, which might be more exciting but can also be a place of loneliness where everyone is a stranger and the hurry up-and-go lifestyle often leads to stress and anxiety. Perhaps you even dream of retiring to the village later in life. Someone anonymous would always say, ‘When I retire, I shall be deep, deep in the village”. And we’d laugh. We associated their excitement to spend their retirement days in the village with the fact that they were never there for the better part of their lives. They’ve spent many years studying and working abroad. So, we understand them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the village a lot.  While some of the small-town stereotypes can be true, there exists the village underbelly too. Us Nairobians (P.S that’s the name I go by at home, Nairobian) we might take impromptu trips to the village, and eat all the githeri and guavas we can find. Literally, all fruits grow in the village. So, I would say that anyone who’s looking to go on a healthy eating lifestyle should just relocate to the village, once and for all. Forgive my lame jokes. In the village, we can just live a carefree life.  Similarly, people can also feel trapped with little to no way out; they often long for anonymity.

Consider ‘Quinny’, a teenage girl, living in the village and studying at a small local day-school. She is experiencing life and going through life just like any other adolescent growing up anywhere. Quinny’s grandmother who lives with her does not understand why Quinny has suddenly changed. She likes boys more and her company is becoming a little ungovernable. “You will fall pregnant.” She tells her, “these boys following you around only want one thing from you…just sex.”

Quinny struggles with her thoughts and thinks of finding a ‘mother-figure’ to talk to but the nearest is her friend who is one class ahead of her in school and is also probably three years older than her. Not only is she scared and worried that the friend doesn’t know better to be a mother figure to her (the friend also struggles with the same issues as Quinny), she’s also embarrassed that people will know her business. Like so many adolescents who never had anybody to talk to about life, Quinny ends up suffering in silence and secretly trying to figure out life on her own.

Quinny’s story reflects the distinct psychological challenges confronting most adolescents, who live in the village, unexposed and enclosed. Topics such as sex, periods, body changes, and boys – no one tackles openly. Besides, what’s learned in school, I’m not sure anybody sits the girls, or boys down, back at home, and talks to them more about such topics. There is a profound shame that still exists about teenage pregnancy and even periods. No one talks openly about these topics, in some families.

The issue of period stigma and shame is especially heightened in a rural setting. For someone like Quinny, she is just advised against having sex, but no one teaches her how to protect herself. She’s left to figure out life, provided she doesn’t fall pregnant along the way. The reality is Quinny might be worried about so many things, and sex is probably the least of them.

I have seen teenagers who have decided that they are going to run away from home the moment they find out they are pregnant because they didn’t want their parents/guardians to think they were a disgrace. These are some of the concerns that demonstrate the struggles of a girl child growing up in the village with no one to do life with. Given the circumstances that Quinny is living in, village life might not be conducive for her maturity as a young woman.

Indeed, lack of proper care for teenagers who have no one to talk to about certain issues might help explain why most teenage pregnancies have been reported in the rural areas as opposed to urban areas, and also why the teenage girl growing up in the village may need special attention and care from their caregivers.

That is if any such privilege is available – in many households in the village, it simply isn’t there. For Quinny’s case, for example, she doesn’t have that. Instead of having someone to look up to, Quinny finds herself frequently figuring life by herself, literally. Or she tries to make sense of this confusing phase of her life alone.

Quinny’s situation is compounded by a lack of support and guidance from her grandmother and guardian. Obviously, it is next to impossible to enjoy life when all she has playing in her mind are tormenting warnings; ‘Don’t have sex’; ‘You cannot fall pregnant in this home’; ‘Life ends for you when you fall pregnant’…. At that time, her mind is crippled. Throughout her adolescence, Quinny has never enjoyed the luxury of having to talk to someone about this special stage of her life. What effects will this have on her adulthood? Definitely, there will be adverse outcomes.

I feel like female reproductive health and life skills should be a subject on its own in schools. Or maybe it is. Support for disadvantaged adolescents like Quinny is vital.

Thankfully, I have been able to meet Quinny. And our relationship is growing steadily. Given what she’s been through, I completely understand when she can’t trust me with every issue, sometimes. But I’m pitching myself as a figure that is reliable at all times. My goal is to offer Quinny the platform to voice her issues, boldly and unashamed. To encourage her to talk about her issues with me, in real-time.

I take it as my responsibility to expose her and introduce her to a side of life where she’s free and confident to be a young woman. Although it is always dangerous to implore adolescents to explore life, I offer her the opportunity to do just that, because I believe she is capable of being responsible for her own life. I speak to her about birth control options and contraceptives. She needs to be exposed. This is necessary. It is not a taboo.

Like most teenagers growing up in the village with no one to hold them down and guide them, Quinny and all these teenagers deserve a taste of life. Adolescence is not all scary. It is meant to be enjoyed. She will not have to fall pregnant because she knows better – she needs support and knowledge about her body and the options that are available out there. No one deserves to struggle in adolescence. Quinny deserves access to proper knowledge about her body, boys, sex, pregnancy and also, contraceptives, and all the privileges and facilities that an adolescent living in the city is exposed to and can easily access. However, until you and I make it our responsibility to take one or two girls under our wings, teenage pregnancies in the village will stay a reality.

Life Is One Boundless Learning Experience

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I was working at a job that I loved at the beginning. I say this because I felt like it was my calling. It spoke mostly to my soul and what I had dreamt to do, career-wise. So, one evening I went back home and my brother asked me how I liked my job, I joyfully replied, ‘I love it’.

Just the other day, I was reminded of an ordeal. It was one eventful afternoon. I had just had a great lunch with a friend earlier and planned so much stuff that we were gonna do for the weekend when we get to hang out.  I was in a good mood. Nothing could bring me down. And then it happened. A customer stopped at my counter and demanded to be served. Yes! Demanded. And not that I had refused to attend to this particular customer. No. Not at all. I will never be able to explain what exactly was happening with the particular customer. So, I gave her the ‘eye’ but served her anyway. I was just doing my job, only to realize that I’d offended the customer by giving her the ‘eye’. I hesitantly thanked her for choosing our services and wished her a good day. People have bad days all the time, right? No, big deal, right? Or that’s what I thought. But as I called for the next customer, I heard a voice cluck, “you don’t have good customer care skills, do you?”

Shit.

I tried to ignore the sound of the words in my brain.

Am I unprofessional? Am I incompetent?

All of a sudden, my mood and my afternoon was crushed. And by a complete stranger. Was I unprofessional when dealing with her or maybe she was just having a moment? Maybe she actually said I was good at my work? Have I been unprofessional all this time with every customer I’ve ever served? I should have said sorry. Crap, I’m so rudely unprofessional, how could I not think to say sorry? I feel so terrible. Then again, maybe she was just having a moment?

I was ruminating…

Rumination is a series of cyclical thoughts that involve brooding over an offsetting scenario or feeling; by focusing on the discomforting encounters, rather than on the good side of things – which can be compulsive, or even damaging to one’s well-being.

Oh, I have been ruminating. For me, it is a chivvy, tormenting feeling of, I think I flopped; or sometimes, I think someone else flopped. I’ve spent hours, days, nights, weeks, and months thinking over situations such as the very last texts I sent to someone before they ghosted me and never texted me back, or how distant I’ve been to someone, to mean things I’ve said at some point to anyone.  Some of these scenarios have taken up more brain space than others. But when all is said and done, over-thinking won’t undo what’s already done—and it sporadically makes things nasty. If I could be honest, there have been days when rumination has momentarily stopped me from going about my life or dulled my days, making me want to retreat to bed where I can run over and over all the thoughts why life is unfair.

I believe it is safe to say that all humans ruminate. At some point, we have all spent time dwelling on the past or flustering about the future or things that we can’t control. This I know because I shared with a friend lately, who confirmed that rumination is a pretty common behavior among many. As much as it could be “helpful” at times, rumination can also be a huge interference to one’s life. That is, when you constantly curse yourself out about situations that you can’t really change, catch yourself returning continually to vindictive or traumatic episodes in the past, you should maybe talk to somebody.

Rumination can feel overwhelming, but I know better to say that it doesn’t have to take over your life. You could be gentle with yourself. It helps a lot. Speak to someone about it. Life is one boundless learning experience. We can always get over bad days and move on to the next step.

The Liebster Award

This lockdown period has been filled with both incredibly tough moments and promising steps forward, for me. I have been doing what I have to do to ensure I’m safe and healthy. And you? Today’s post is a bit new. The Liebster Award post!

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The award is a way to be discovered and also connected to other bloggers out there. And I think it will be interesting to read what other bloggers will be posting and to pick at least one or two bloggers to follow.

RULES OF THE AWARD.

Thank you, Flavian, for the nomination. I’m excited to connect with fellow bloggers on the internet and even offline if possible. This is an opportunity to network and discover so many blogs out here.

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Answer the questions given to you.
  3. Share 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-11 bloggers.
  5. Ask your nominees 11 questions.
  6. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

ANSWERS TO FLAVIANS QUESTIONS

  1. What keeps you going?

Prayer. Meditation. Journaling. A long good bath.

  • Do you have any ‘skeletons in your closet’?

Almost everybody does haha…

  • What if you could say a sentence which the whole world could hear, what would you say?

You don’t have to be a religious person to show kindness and love to your neighbor, but living in love and kindness is pretty much like prayer and obedience to God.

  • What’s your opinion on fate?

I think fate is normal and unchangeable, and I tend to believe that everything happens just the way they are supposed to. But it somehow is confusing especially when it comes to loss/death, it can be a bit too hard, if not puzzling to wrap your head around why fate exists in the first place. But all this confusion can (once and for all) be solved by acceptance. Once something has happened, accept it as part of the plan and move on.

  • What’s your lucky number and why?

My lucky number is 19. My Mom’s birthday falls on 19th January. And for some reason I just associated the number 19 with luck because Mom always wants the best for us.

  • When scrolling through social media, do you prefer posts from celebrities or from your best friends?

I prefer both.

  • What made up word would you incorporate into the English language if you could?

I don’t know, but I’ve just been currently loving the word ‘snatched’. I mean, I get what it means but the other day my brother made us chapatis and I was like ‘the chapatis were so snatched’. I know its wrong choice of words but that’s how much I’ve been loving (read misusing) the word.

  • What makes you happiest?

Knowing that my parents are proud of me, ‘cause their opinion really matters to me.

  • What do you regret most and why?

I regret that back in varsity I wasn’t the most receptive person. I feared getting too close to people and making new friends (weird right? I know). I feel like I was friendly but not friendly enough so I ended up blocking so many best friend potentials away. I can only imagine a whole village of friends I would be surrounded with right now, had I behaved differently

What’s the most memorable book you’ve ever read?

Educated by Tara Westover.

Do you know how to cook chapatis?

I’m a professional haha.

11 FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I am the youngest in my family.
  2. I am named after my grandma.
  3. I studied Political science in varsity.
  4. I can sing.
  5. I can braid my own hair.
  6. I have lived all by myself in a foreign country.
  7. I like intelligent conversations.
  8. I am actually the sweetest and nicest person ever, when you get to know me.
  9. I hate frustrations.
  10. I don’t like spending my money.
  11. I’m a night owl.

I NOMINATE:

  1. Agie
  2. Phenny
  3. Christine
  4. Jude
  5. Nelson
  6. Solomon
  7. Rawder Kidula
  8. Mary Wanzuu
  9. Asira Nelson

QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES

  1. How are you, really?
  2. What are you proud of?
  3. What weird things do you do to fall asleep?
  4. Which book have you read and loved recently?
  5. What’s your challenging aspect in writing/blogging in general?
  6. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
  7. Are you finding time to read or even write during this season?
  8. It seems like everyone right now is raving about ‘Insecure’ season 4, have you watched it?
  9. Would you purchase anything online, especially right now?
  10. 5 things you want to tell the police?
  11. What else do you wish I’d ask about?

Thank you for stopping by…

P.S  Are you new here? Catch up with my previous post about social distancing from your hair, and this post about what I do.

Also, don’t forget to share with your friends, family and in your whatsapp groups, its better that way.

Interviews – June

1. Tell me a bit more about June? Wow that’s quite an ambiguous question who is June? My name is June Bosire, an only girl in a family of five, graduate of political science from Maseno, born again Christian who really loves the Lord .A sanguine with choleric characters, a friend to anyone and everyone, very passionate about serving God and man, still figuring out my niche into serving but I am definitely trying my best to give it my all while serving God through children.

2. How do you suggest people go about figuring out what they’re really passionate about in life?

The dynamics of figuring out what you have been called to do are different for each individual whole another may see something at the split of the second he/she will know that is what they want another may be like a person walking into a clothes store until you figure out what you want you will not settle for just any other cloth or shoe you will fit in all sizes till you get your match and walk home a happy soul .passion to do something grows with time. I believe in praying and listening to God about what you want to do , the deeper inner conviction that that is what you are to do,  it’s good to listen to people around you and watch yourself  too what excites you ,what  is this that won’t give you rest till its accomplished, what are people saying around you and most importantly what is God saying to you about yourself, we are called to lead with Jesus thus being passionate is not enough if Jesus is not in it.while passion has a lot to do with an individual ,   life has taught me that  knowing what you are passionate about involves three things key aspects  relationship , partnership and leadership.

 What is the relationship between you and that which you feel passionate to do or in other words in what you are called to do, where is the place of Jesus in it?

Partnership: God has called us to partner with Jesus in advancement of his purpose here on earth so   partnership involves having God to work through you in that which you feel called to do.

Leadership: this means you are called to lead with Jesus through influencing your circle or sphere through mentorship or just offering leadership.

 3. What are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to so many things  at the moment I am looking forward to my graduation from post grad school, I am looking forward to being a wife some day and a mother, I am looking forward to just see what God has in store for me “the bible says what he has no eye has seen no ear has heard of it so I definitely have no idea what his plans are , all I can do is only looking forward to them since  I know they are all  good things in store.

4. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?  Leave life not holding onto baggage’s take it to God and go to sleep above all value friends and friendships.

5. What have the women in your family (more especially your mum) taught you about life, God and beauty? my mum taught me how to pray, she is my to go to person when I hit the rock and when I am high up above the roof my friend once said June God loves you don’t ever forget that and true to this day the greatest reassurance I have in life is that of God’s love its incomparable to none.

6. Have you dated? What are the big 3 lessons you’ve learned from your relationships?

Yes Love is a beautiful thing I must say.

1. Before you say yes pray, when you say yes pray and even in the yes Pray

2. Love is built in friendship not on coffee

3. Trust is key &Forgiveness is part of life

Self-care

6. What is self- care to you?  Positivity all the way me taking care of myself (body mind and soul) body by sleeping enough, trust my intuitions my mind is my safe heaven it all begins and end in the mind” whatever is true whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praise worthy think about such things (Phil 4:8), and when I am feeling overwhelmed I get out of that state through prayer. Prayer has always been my go to place anytime.

7. What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? Sleep, sleep, sleep. Hahaha I’m still learning to spend my weekends in the company of friends over a good meal and a good laugh

8. What is your favorite routine or ritual to feeling your best? I value my sleep ,I love my series too  ( Hawaii 5o , prison break  seal team ), I like them investigative and drama oriented ) ooh  my kitchen  I can cook on unending then later on start wondering whose going to eat all the food.

9. Can you describe your night routine? I am a nocturnal I work best at night all my energies  are excessive in the night  I eat dinner at about 9pm depending on how hungry I am , 11:00- 12:00am it’s my time to do my devotion and pray ,from 12 onwards, I read  then  finish up my assignments if there is any pending , watch series I have no specific hour to sleep I can sleep as early as 9:00 pm and as late as 6:00 am  and still be wide awake the entire day  like nothing happened.

10. What is your morning routine like? On most times  I wake up at 8:00 am hahaha sounds lazy right , prepare for  my day depending on what I have to do  and where I have to be { realize I am busy in the night than during the day ) 5;30-8:30 pm daily I have classes. And that’s how my day is done

11. Any life hacks?  Just be you. I smile a lot it gets me off a lot of trouble  on most occasions

12. What are you currently reading? I have three books, blessed in the darkness by Joel Osteen, the purpose path by Nicholas Pearce, and Christian apologetics by Rueben Kigame.

13. Let me just ask you – how are you dealing with everything lately? I choose to take one step at a time , no one was prepared for COVID 19  so  my escape  from the pressure of this   is just praying my way out,  and watching movies , for an extrovert staying indoors has been one of my greatest struggles ,I miss so many things Going to town , going to the malls to just seat in some corner at Java take coffee and go back home, I miss  my friends and family, I miss waking up randomly and boarding the next bus home  to see my parents and come back in time for my classes , I miss that I can’t be physically present for my friends and family ,I miss hugging  my friends  or even visit ,right now I do more of calling my friends being a pastor on training  in this season I have learnt to intentionally reach out to friends and family  pray over the phone and just  reassure someone that they are not alone in this .  Psalms 94; 19 is my verse in this season like David when anxiety overwhelms me I get my joy from the consolation that Jesus is in, my boat. And then when I am afraid I put my trust in God he is all I have.

 Lesson in this season value every little thing,  those tusmall little  fun filled coffee dates with friends at java, the  house visits and most importantly that  when you meet in church  open up your heart to worship you never just know when next the church doors may be closed on your face.

Musings

14. What’s next for you?

Finish school; probably proceed for my PhD in research and public policy someday.  I believe with this knowledge I will serve my generation and the body of Christ better wherever I will be. What is June currently working on?  Currently I am a fulltime student at pan Africa Christian University MA Children and Youth Ministry and also serving in ministry at my Church as a Sunday school teacher…

15. Your favorite photo?

16. YouTube channel, blogs or Instagram account you’re currently favouriting?  Blogs Rawder Kidula Kedaha, YouTube there are too many I can’t put a name to a specific one

17. Pet peeves?  I have many

 People who slop tea with their mouth…you know like chewing with loud noise…

 People who tell lies and you see it through their eyes.

 People who watch videos in public places without earphones.

 People who keep me waiting.

Self-righteous persons.

People who take offense from my posts on social media and literally call to complain when I didn’t even realize the shoe fit them that much.

18. Do you have a secret talent? Hmmmmm maybe singing, and writing

19. People don’t know this about me, but I’m emotional yet I can really present myself with a lot of courage in a crisis. I have no idea how I do it

Social Distance From Your Hair

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I wanted, so bad, to start this post by saying that I AM A UNIQUE

I’ve changed my hair and tried many (read not so many) hairstyles since quarantine began. Well, let me take you back in 2019; I shaved off all my hair, I was bald. I never felt so much boldness and freedom. I let it grow a little then dyed in ginger brown. I wanted to go grey/white but then I was unsure if I would grow in love with it in the end, even though my heart really wanted a white head. A few weeks later, I dyed it black again. Then I would alternate between rocking my short hair and my wig which, surprisingly, my boss thought was my real hair. His reactions every time I didn’t wear the wig to the office versus when I wore the wig, were hilarious.

And now, a few weeks into social isolation/quarantine, I have tried two-strand twists with fluffy kinky, rocked back my TWA, temporary locks. Who is this busy girl? I have been remodeling different hairstyles, if I do say so myself.

I know I’m uniquely lucky if not gifted. Growing up with my sister and my two brothers, my mother would speak her blessings upon us depending on what we were good at. For example, I was good at hairdressing, I would do her hair and occasionally, she would let me practice doing cornrows on her hair. She said, “I can’t wait to see you open a huge beauty shop.” We aren’t there yet, but when Mama prays, good things happen. God’s yet to do it.

I don’t mean to be sarcastic but most of our sisters who don’t know or have never even thought of doing their own hair, now may find themselves under a unique train. (the word of the day is unique, so you’ll meet it a lot throughout out the post) Salons are closed, as are most drug stores – but that doesn’t hurt anyone, as we no longer wear lip stick, right? We are wearing masks now. How unique?

You should have listened to my sister the other day when she called to rant about how she tried to braid her hair and failed epically. I laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to see a picture to verify the extent of the struggle, unfortunately there was nothing to show for it. She had long taken it off before she called. If it were not so, I would have shown you. (Sorry Sis for laughing at you. I couldn’t help it.)

“I have seen you braid your hair, and have rocked different hairstyles since quarantine. And you made me convince myself that I was just as capable of anything.” She said

Well sister, it’s a lot of work than you think, and a little burdensome. But it’s liberating to know how to do your hair. Anyone can learn how to do their hair and nurture it.

“I almost wish I didn’t take down the previous hair I had on, because I’m like, now I have to sit through this quarantine with raggedy looking hair. If you were here, you could work some magic on my hair.” She added

We shared a good laugh and were reminded of a funny scenario when we were younger. It was Christmas holidays and my sister and I had relaxed our hair. We could tell by the look at my Dad’s eyes that he didn’t like our hair relaxed and straight. He was like, you ladies look like black Indians. He didn’t like that hairstyle at all, even though the hairstyle gave my sister and I a sense of confidence and joy, from being able to change our frequent short hair to this glamorous look for the holidays, at least before school opened.

I’d like to think that most of us have been compelled to think of different DIYs to do at home, as far as hair is concerned. Though, I haven’t seen people doing the most to their hair during quarantine. Most people just have cute bonnets on.

Depending on where you were with your hair journey when the outside world shut down, tell me quarantine hasn’t had you imagining crazy hairstyles you could do by yourself at home? Even though you are unsure, you have imagined something, right?

I know I have imagined a lot of cute hairstyles on me, even with everything, I recognize I am a unique and I will have whichever hairstyle I can imagine on me. I have the skills and what I’d call a starter pack. And I think, by the time the lockdown is lifted I’ll have perfected my hairdressing skills.

This is the time for me to get more creative and adventurous. I am yet to try new hairstyles that I may have liked on someone else that I never even thought would work for me.

And hey, if by any chance quarantine pushed you to the edge, do everything else but don’t touch your hair. Just don’t even think of cutting it. Social distance from your hair.

And before I finish, there is someone I want to shout out. @itsanyango aka Nywele Chronicles aka the queen of DIY. I think she is amazing and beautiful. If you follow her, you will catch yourself appreciating your hair more. She’s always making videos on her YouTube channel showing her different DIY hairstyles. Check her out

What It’s Like For Me: The Things I Do

In the pre-corona era, it was a popular culture to brag about being busy, cancelling plans and rudely ignoring your friends and their text messages for all the wrong reasons (including to get their attention). Why? I get it – these are games people play, because apparently you can’t make yourself too available all the time. I am a proud member of the “Introversion Party”; I relish my time alone – but I also looooove socialising. I thrive when I’m around people.

Now, everything is cancelled.

We have all the time to be busy. Instead, we’re bored and tired of this state of not doing anything. Now, we have no choice but to find tasks to keep us busy.

Since all these started, suddenly no one is busy anymore. Someone like me, (if I could speak for myself) is free basically all the time.

Suddenly I have all the time to read, write, watch movies, learn new skills, connect with friends, mend relationships. The list is endless.

The lockdown has also forced me in a de-facto long-distance relationships; with my family, friends and colleagues. Until the lockdown lifts, meetings with these people will remain virtual. Frankly, sometimes I crave sharing the physical space with these people so much, as sometimes I just lack the energy to engage in digital conversation and just wanna meet up and get it done with. But, because you care about your people and friends, you want to adhere to all the guidelines to protect each other and to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

Here are the things I have been doing to help me feel calmer during this lockdown.

Reading the word

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4 He will cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I will find refuge; His faithfulness will be my shield and rampart. 5 I will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, not the plague that destroys at midday.

Focusing on our business

The last few days I’ve spent time going through our IG business page and just marvelling at how much progress we have registered over the years. Through practise, we have somehow perfected and mastered our craft and still going strong. And that’s one thing I choose to be grateful for today. Today, I’m spending this morning scrolling through our page and other pages, Pinterest for inspiration and other new ideas of what we can try out. We have so much ideas and designs in our heads about what we can do to improve our business.

As you maintain social distancing, keep it cool, relaxed and positive. Things will be alright. Here are pictures of some of our pieces. Enjoy and if you love the pieces so much, please shop with us. Contact +254708595055 to place your order.

Practicing this 30-Day mental health challenge that I got from Pinterest

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Having regular or frequent virtual interactions doesn’t necessarily mean that your mental health is at a better state. You still need to look after your mental health.

Reading a book

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“For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your uniques story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.” – Becoming Michelle Obama

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“And so, you, my sweet, patient, understanding reader: Sookie made me promise to tell you not to act out of fear. I can only add that you can be scared to death, as I’ve while sharing these stories with you, and do the thing you need to do anyway. Take care of yourself.” – Gabrielle Union, We’re Going to Need More Wine.

Blogging & Journaling

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Have you been keeping up with my posts?

How are you feeling?

A chance to delight in your accomplishments.

No one understands me.

What I journaled before corona.

self care.

I also enjoy having random calls with my sister at totally unspecified times (because we’re both free almost all the time). Revolving conversation headlines: how we’re coping, new bag designs we’re thinking of trying out, new recipes we’re trying out and how to stay calm and hopeful during these frustrating moments. It’s kinda become a ritual now. And a lot more therapeutic. It’s so nice to have a moment to look forward to with loved ones you can’t see.

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Stay safe!

P.S  Are you new here? Catch up with my previous post about how I’m feeling, , and this post about useful survival tip while out there in a new environment.

Also, don’t forget to share with your friends, family and in your whatsapp groups, its better that way.

 

HOW ARE YOU FEELING?

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I have been learning a lot from this social distancing or quarantine (if you may) situation we’ve been forced into. I’ve been sanitizing, washing my hands and rocking my face mask for weeks now. I have also been spending way too much time within the confinement of my house, only stepping out when I need to throw out trash or when I need to busk in the morning sun for my vitamin D. Here’s why I’m mad though; nobody told us that more time at home means more time in the kitchen and a lot of eating. A few days ago, I had enough food to push me for a couple of weeks. But guess what, it’s no more. And I can’t explain where it has gone. Nobody told us we’ll have to deal with sleepless nights and lack of motivation (majorly) through all this. I have become the person who just wants to stay up all night doing nothing but scroll through social media, if I’m not reading a book. I wanted to share this part, especially. For the past weeks, I’ve been into reading (beautifully written articles and books). I still feel like I haven’t read enough (yet), but I’ve consumed a plethora of content. It’s been comforting, enjoyable and fulfilling. That’s the good part.

And for the ugly part, I’m not sure if I want to dwell too much into that. Of course there have been the ugly moments, which if I’m being honest might have outnumbered the good moments, but I don’t have any desire to torment my peace by dwelling so much into it. A lot has happened. Let me just put it out there, quarantine/social distancing (I’ll use these words interchangeably throughout the post) has turned me into this human being that I don’t even recognize. The realization of who I am right now, is confusing to me.

Before COVID -19 the future was brighter, if I could say so. One could plan their day, week or even a whole month. Now nothing is certain. Everything’s been cancelled. No one knows where to go from here; where the economy, education system, political system goes from here. Where does the church go from here? There are just so many questions, I guess every single person is silently asking themselves right now. Lifestyles have changed. Most people have been forced to stay at home during this crisis and try to work, even though they are convinced they are working from home. Meetings are mostly virtual now. It’s not all bad, I must say. Because we have been told severally to control what we can and let go off what’s beyond us. And I think, even though times are tough right now people have learnt to make peace with the situation that we’re all locked into currently and instead have resorted to make the best out of it. People are only doing what they can, while trying not to go crazy, and so far we seem to be managing well. Don’t get me wrong, if we had a choice, I’m sure there would be a group of individuals who would have opted for a different path all together. Unfortunately, theirs is only one way and we all have to do what we can to survive.

But through all this, one question I have been constantly asking myself is; will what I valued before social distancing/quarantine be what I value after Corona? Because I can already feel that a lot has changed significantly.

I have tried to explain severally to my confused self why I suddenly started waking up very early or too late (sometimes) and finessing my love for cooking, creating, cleaning, dancing and pampering myself. It’s so hard to understand, let alone explain. Because, it’s not that I have way too much time now on my hands, I had enough time before the pandemic but I was not doing all these. Frankly, for cooking, cleaning etc, I don’t think I do have extra time. It’s more of my coping mechanism – my desire to process and feel better during this tough season.

I’m spending too many hours on the internet, but I’m also complaining about my inability to be in control over my excessive consumption of the internet. Thoughts of what I could be missing while I’m offline get me all the time. I’m viewing and liking every post online, even when I don’t agree with the caption, or when the picture isn’t as great. Often times, everything seem okay and normal, but the reality is, it can be draining and too much.

When I’m not on social media, I’m reading or writing, dancing or singing, creating or taking lots of selfies. Sometimes, I’m just so over everything; sad and bored about the current state of events that I just cry. I miss walking freely, without the face mask suffocating the life out of me. When can I breathe with my mouth again? You can’t even have an innocent cough in public anymore. I miss hugging people. I miss cancelling plans…

The other day, I went to the shop for a quick grocery run. Everyone was in masks with different colours and material. I sensed grief and just sobbed. There’s uncertainty in the air and we don’t know who’s caught it or not, who we’re gonna loose tomorrow, our friends and family members have had their job security compromised or have been laid off. But somehow, life has to go on. My prayers and thoughts are with everyone out there, and especially to the health workers who have somehow had to compromise their health and that of their families to be there for the sick in hospitals.

And so: I have never prayed this much, and I have never lost it and felt so defeated. These are the circumstances we’re forced to live in now, and no matter how longer it may last; this too shall pass. But, maybe if you hear from me that there are times I have lost it and even sobbed, then you can use this season to learn to control what you can and leave the rest to God. Then you can enjoy one day at a time, because nothing ever catches God by surprise and He will deliver us from this. We will come out of this. Learn to trust in Him and don’t forget to show yourself compassion.

P.S  Are you new here? Catch up with my previous post, about useful survival tip while out there in a new environment, and this post about creating a space in which your mind is at peace and healthier

Also, don’t forget to share with your friends, family and in your whatsapp groups, its better that way.

An Algorithm That Works On Multiple Levels For New Environments…

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Photo by techradar taken from google

It’s been a little strange to log on each day in this period where everyone is seemingly exceedingly online, posting about their home workouts, cooking hobbies, trendy tik tok challenges and many more tips on how to (effectively) work from home. There are days when I wonder if I’m doing myself a disservice by not jumping on the bandwagon. But I’ve realized two things can be true at once – some people (by some people, I mean Me) are only meant to enjoy watching these fun activities that people have adopted to combat boredom, from afar and not attempt them and others simply need to do whatever they gotta do to stay sane and keep positive during these moments. For me, writing, is one of the activities I have been doing to help me process and feel better during this tough season.

Several years ago, I visited, and even vacationed in Dar Es salaam, Tanzania. A stranger – who later became my good friend and we’re still good friends to date, told me something that has stuck with me all these years. She said, “In a strange city use (especially) your ears and eyes more.”

*Ears

*Eyes

This is an algorithm that I have fervently adopted in my life. For new environments, new jobs, I’ve found, it works on multiple levels.

On my macro level, and I hope I won’t embarrass my biology teacher, the ear works in, what I’d say a dramatic manner. Here’s how the ear works:

*courtesy of google*

Sound waves from the environment are gathered and transmitted into the ear canal and sets the eardrum into motion. Sound vibrations travel through the ossicles to the cochlea. Sound vibrations cause the fluid in the cochlea to move… the auditory nerve sends signals to the brain where they are interpreted as sounds.

On a micro level;

We are all in sets where we are expected to listen. I know someone who even takes supplements to improve her listening ability. We all have found ourselves in situation where you beat yourself up because you simply didn’t listen when certain announcements were being made or when your phone rang, or even when someone shouted your name out across the streets. And tell me if this is you, and it happens mostly at the bank, when the voice machine is calling out people to be attended to and it addresses customers with their codes. You’d be seated there only to realize when your number had been called and ten others. Where do you start? How do you explain that you didn’t hear the machine call out your code?

This once happened to me and this is how I played it out. I simple walked to the counter and insisted my code was not called out. Luckily the teller was also confused and apparently mixed up as I was, and he agreed with me and even apologized, dabbing it an error on his part. He attended to me instantly and I dashed out. But I knew the truth. I lied.

So here’s a survival tip while out there in a strange neighborhood, office or country, use your ears and eyes more.

 

P.S  Are you new here? Catch up with my previous post about creating a space in which your mind is at peace and healthier and this post about being ready to let go of anything or anyone that is not aligned with your inner truth and destiny.

Also, don’t forget to share with your friends, family and in your whatsapp groups, its better that way.

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A Chance To Delight In Your Accomplishments

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Pic by health line, taken from google

Hello there,

I’ve been enjoying long sessions at my study table trying to brainstorm possible ideas for articles during this lockdown period. And I have been meditating a lot. Meditating is something I often take for granted and even forget to do, especially on days like these, when I find myself a little too anxious and overwhelmed about everything that is happening. There are two ways I’ve gotten through my days lately: 1) writing down everything that comes to my mind and feeling proud of myself for not dwelling so much on the negative side of things, or 2) acknowledging that I am tired, maybe a little confused and bored but still attempt to go with the flow. Anyone else?

I’ve realized that, in the midst of both these thoughts is the battle between what I think I should be doing versus the reality of events behind the scenes – and I feel like there should be no shame in feeling confused or tired during such times. On todays’ article, I set out to write about how the state of current events have been tempting my state of mind and how I have been attempting to find my way around it.

It’s been a tradition of mine for some time now: Every time I am happy or sad, my house has gone through a wild roller-coaster ride of a makeover, from total mess to sparkling clean and back again.

Most of the time, my bedroom looked like a hot mess (for lack of a better word), the floor is strewn with bras, t-shirts, shorts, newspapers, books, my coffee cup, my chargers and extensions. There could be more than enough empty plastic bottles in there, but I thank God I don’t drink soda. My happy moments mean that I am in the right state of mind, with the right spirit and energy. This are the moments when I feel good about life, about family, friendships, my job – the goodness of God be running after me when I am happy. During my happy moments, I’d clean my bedroom top to bottom. I try to do this gradually as I take my time to connect to my inner being. Because sooner or later, my mood tends to fluctuate and before I know it my mood will be back to the darkest tunnel than wouldn’t be imaginably explainable to me. Sometime I lose control of it all and before I know it, my mood will be off again and I’d be sad all over again. In other words, I measure the state of my mind by how clean my house is. When its sparkling clean then I know the Holy Spirit visited.

But this past weeks, a strange thing happened: for several days, I think with everything that’s happening, too much anxiety was building up and my house looked outrageous, just so messy cold and dark. What madness was this? I was losing my mind because I knew, what is happening throughout the world is pathetic and scary enough and my house was not doing me justice in terms of helping me stay in the right state of mind to pull through this.

If it hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t take it as concerning enough to seek help from a friend. According to my friend, the first step was to discover what sets my mind up and running. Then all I needed to do was to keep it up and never slack in it. For the longest time, without even knowing I’d been setting myself up for depression and this sense of doom and gloom – and while it took a while, it seemed that eventually, it was time to stop. It was time for things to change. According to my friend, the trick wasn’t just in tidying up, it was developing a routine to keep the energy going. Below I share some of the tips that I learnt from her.

  1. Set your purpose

You need to stay motivated and know exactly the end point before you start cleaning up. For someone like me, of course, cleaning up was supposed to boost my mood. Therefore, I needed to visualize my house being clean and associate that with my happiest self. And did I want to be happy? Of course, yes. So every time I decided to clean I knew things were going to be smooth and pretty. I had to keep that in mind, always.

  1. Get to work

Once you’ve figured how you want your house to look, now it’s time to stay focused on it and not let anything distract you. Start by decluttering. Go on a huge purge; are there clothes that need to go? What about those countless bras? Could it be that you have way too much phone chargers lying around? Newspapers that need to be sold maybe?

Once you have cleared out the stuff that you didn’t need, now it would be time to arrange everything that is left back in a way that makes sense and sparks joy.

  1. Repeat

That would be it. Now the hardest part will be sticking to the habit. After all’s done, celebrate. Cook yourself a tasty meal and indulge. Catch up with your favourite movie or some good music as you enjoy your meal. Queen, you have conquered.

  1. This is a chance to delight in your accomplishments

Always remind yourself that you are worthy and deserving of cleaner spaces. The fact that your house was untidy does mean that you are a slob, or lazy. You are capable of cleaning up, you are responsible for your own mental health. Remember that. Instead of feeling negative, untidy, funky and embarrassed about seeking for help, you can just get up and motivate yourself to straighten up and create a space in which your mind is at peace and healthier. Darling, God has carried you through countless bad moods in the past and He will carry you through once again.

P.S  Are you new here? Catch up with my previous post about being ready to let go of anything or anyone that is not aligned with your inner truth and destiny and what I journaled before Corona virus.

Also, don’t forget to share with your friends, family and in your whatsapp groups, its better that way.

No One Understands Me

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I feel like no one understands me.

I remember this line from my younger cousins going through adolescence and they thought they are adults and wanted to do everything their own way. They forgot that, that’s only a dream especially when you growing up in an African household. Most of the time they never got what they wanted and they would complain, “we feel like no one understands us”

That was just a throwback thought that crossed my mind first thing I thought of the line, “I feel like no one understands me.” However it’s completely incongruent with what I wanted to write about today.

There’s a part of everyone’s success journey that nobody likes to talk about. We celebrate all the achievements we are recognized for; we laugh and cry about all the bullets we dodged and everything in between.

But that’s not even the hardest part. There are so many success stories that no one likes to tell. For there might be some truth to the saying, “you are the average of the five people whom you spend the most time with.” That being the five people you spend the most time with at your current stage in life. At least that how I understand it. But then what happens to your childhood peeps whom you’ve since grown apart with, not because they weren’t good for you, or were toxic but because life dictated that you spend your lives differently – owing to differing career lines or parallel life choices. Probably, others weren’t just privileged enough and never got anywhere in life because there was no one there to hold their hand through it all. And now you are stuck with this group of five individual whom you have been forced to spend 80 percent of your time with, simply because you work together or went to the same college. And for some reason, you have been left with no choice but to name them your friends.

Dealing with yourself is certainly a whole drag, but having your old friends watch you achieve all the things they’ve dreamed of (and not attained) themselves is a challenge on a whole different level.

Sometimes the hardest part about growth is not the challenges you have to face on your own. It’s the lifestyle, connections, social circles that you may have to leave behind because some people fall behind; because you have passed so many hurdles and trials in life; that your outlook of this life shifts.

I still remember saying to myself “I feel like no one understands me”, when I was about the same age as my cousins. At the time, of course no one understood me. In fact, no one is supposed to understand you. Because Honey, you’re in a headspace that nobody else can be in. Only you can see the picture. Yeah, I know I cannot be entirely right. I can’t say teenagers are always right, though. I only use the world of a teenager as an example, because it’s the best way to adequately describe what I am trying to say.

As you grow, sadly there are a few people who you will be forced to leave in the past. Considering where you are and where you want to be, you will form a new reality based on a whole new target or goals that (according to you) will help you be whoever you want to be in life. And you will work your hardest to smash your goals, no wonder anything OR anyone that will try to get in the way will have to be done away with. This will be your season of self-sacrifice.

Now I’m not talking about abandoning your friends or people closest to you. Don’t get me wrong.

But you’ll need yourself more than ever to stay motivated. To tell yourself that you are ambitious, strong and that you are doing well.

And with all the conviction, you will go out of your way to do what you always thought you’d never even get close to achieving. Of course, you will excel in it. And you will be hella proud of yourself. But, do you think everyone will be happy for you and celebrate with you? Do you think your milestone will make others uncomfortable or jealous around you?

I’m here to tell you that you should never bother at all what people think. Because, trust me, the only reason they feel some type of way that you are growing out of your shell, succeeding and doing something substantial for yourself is because they were too afraid to take action. It has nothing to do with you. But you have to bear in mind that you are now a constant threat to them. Be aware of that.

Every time you work hard to get that lifestyle, freedom, money, asset, happiness (fill in the blank) and people are not happy for you, don’t even stress about it. Don’t even stop. Move on even faster, because that’s how you know that you have been doing something great and you are finally reaping your fruits of labour. Don’t worry about them, they will adjust.

But the good thing or the biggest lesson that you get to learn during such moments is that, people are triggered to watch you thrive and glow. And the more actions you take, the more you get out of your comfort zone, the more uneasy they get.

This will be the perfect time discern those who are for you or against you. In your quest to live in your authentic truth, you will automatically feel the need to surround yourself with people who support you and ‘understand you’. When it’s time, it will feel right to let go of anything or anybody that is untrue to you. You will have to understand that it is not anomaly that you are where you are currently in life.

Guess what, this where your growth happens. When things start falling in place for you, so will your real friends. It’s not about feeling proud about your life achievement and leaving some people behind. It’s about accepting that when YOU change, your circles inevitably change too. You will start to attractive new friends. And that’s not about being “too good for anyone”, it’s about dropping the ingenuine people who you used to be involved with. It’s about making space for people who support you and cheer for you. Likewise, you change to support those who support you.

Therefore, always be ready to let go of anything or anyone that is clearly not aligned with your inner truth and destiny. Then you will accept that it is true, “you are the average of the five people whom you spend the most time with.”