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She is like a wild flower; strong, unconventional, free and captivating with a not-so-refined grace but beautiful nontheless. She is full of soul, love, passion;like a candle that lits up everything around her.

He is a bit tightly wound; always playing it safe. He never knew what it meant to let go; to just be. He stays on the sidelines, it has a sense of security with it; he argues. He goes by the book; he always has. One can never go wrong with that; he reminds himself.

With her and for the first time he is alive. For the first time he is not a puppet doing his master’s biding. He is liberated; his world now in techni-colour. Fascinated, carried away; he hangs on her every word. Her mind like an incredible maze; a great puzzle he wishes to solve. With each experience better than the last; he lets her in. She drives him to the very edge of vulnerability; revealing his scars and wounds as she does.

She awakens all his senses and with her he unlocks and embraces his own darkness. He is unafraid; unashamed.

She challenges his mind, his heart; the very things he stands for. With her he is filled with this longing , nay, this need to push the limits just a little bit more; to navigate uncharted waters.

He relishes the electricity of it all; it is the wildness, the freedom that draws him to her each time. It is all he can do to not get lost in her. At every turn his heart chooses to chase after this hurricane whilst he can always have the calm waters.

Like everything else; this too must come to an end. The rollercoaster stops and its time to get off. The thrill simmers down. The excitement only a memory now. He can never go back though; he’s been born anew.

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He looked at her, for a moment their eyes locked. Naked, exposed she turned away fighting the demons of her past.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

What do you do when you have given everything?

When there’s nothing left to give?

What do you do when you feel drained?

What do you do when you go against every fiber of your being?

What do you do when all you want is to be selfish?

What do you do when you have loved and there’s no more love left?

What do you do when you feel depleted, when there’s no more fight left?

What do you do when you want to keep on keeping on but for the life of you, you just can’t?

When everything feels alien, what do you do?

When what you’re doing is all wrong, yet feels oh so right, what do you do then?

When there’s no one to fight your battles but you, yet you can’t do it, what do you do then?

When you feel lost and confused; yet you do not even want to be rescued, what do you do?

What do you do when you look in the mirror yet can’t recognize the person staring back at you?

what do you do when you already know what to do but you’re too chicken to do it?

Does anyone know? What do I do?

I once remember reading somewhere that once you graduate from college you are old; irrespective of you’re age at the time of graduation, once you’re done with college, you are old! I remember that at the time of reading said statement, i had just completed my final year examinations and i was awaiting graduation. I also remember brushing it off and being very certain that the writer knew not what he wrote.

How could he? I was 21 and although i had just finished my degree, i felt i had more time to party my head off randomly at any day of the week, bum around the whole day watching movies in my sweat pants and eat junk food without  a care in the world. I mean that part of my life couldn’t possibly be over, at least not so abruptly and without warning….

I was blessed enough to graduate with a second class honors, upper division, and after basking in the after glow of the celebrations for as long as i possibly could; i had to jolt back to reality. My reality, however, was a far cry from what i had initially thought it would be.

Now i hate to admit my previous naivety but i reckon the writer was right. Allow me to paint you a picture. Not too long ago i was in control of how i spent my time, the route my day was going to take, whether or not to attend class…basically everything. Now i spend my days cooped up in an office from 8 to 5. They will not tell you what to wear, no, they expect you know just the right amount of skin to show; and as a rule of thumb, save the tiny skirts and dresses for the weekend. Life now is about meeting deadlines, reaching prescribed goals, racing against time itself for that all too important salary to land in my all too empty pocket.

Recently one of my girls asked me and i quote, ‘are you getting old on me?’, after cancelling once again on a party she’d organized. After a not-so-great attempt to explain to her that all i needed after a tough week of hustle was a quiet Friday night watching my favourite sitcoms and eating nothing but junk, she shrugged and said ‘Its official, woman, you are old!’

Sure it is a nice feeling to have a job and a career and do not get me wrong, i am truly very grateful, but i find my self looking back and wishing i could have just one week of that life back.  Oh, the things i would do! I look at those skimpily dressed college girls wearing purple hair and i get a bit nostalgic. It goes without saying, i wouldn’t be caught dead in purple hair and that is not my point at all, i just miss the freedom.. freedom from worry, job anxiety..the works.

On one of those slow days, i troll the internet and find myself learning some pretty interesting things (very serendipitous). So recently, on one of those days, i began reading on mindfulness; the daily practice of it and all that and from what i got it is all about being in the present. we’re all too wrapped up in trying to cater for our tomorrow’s, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, we almost always end up to live and enjoy the moment. We forget to stop once in a while to just smell the roses; we forget that it is not about the destination it’s about the journey.

So yes i miss my days in college and i especially miss all the free time but you know what’s the one thing i would do if i could go back? I would appreciate everything, i would smile through the tedious workload, i would relax even when i didn’t know what i was going to have for supper because i carelessly spent all my money on that cool leather biker jacket, i would live through and experience the hopelessness of a failed romance instead of re-running a whole season of ‘How i met your mother’ while going hard at that plate of fries just to mask my pain. I would enjoy my college days because i appreciate that it wont last forever; nothing ever does. I would spend less time wishing i had some fancy ass job and instead i’d enjoy the stage i am in life.

I can’t help but feel that if i actually had lived in the moment back then, that i wouldn’t be yearning to turn back the wheels of time and go back. Guess we’ll never know. So i am letting go of it all and instead do what i can right now. Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different. It’s about enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will). It’s about being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be that way (which it wont) ~James Baraz.

That’s my grand plan! What do you think?

 

The journey to finding my Zen

It has been way too long since i posted anything but no matter I’ll just pick up where i left from. I was going through my last 3 posts and i could not help walking down memory lane. I’ve got to say it is quite amazing to note how much i have changed since then.

Not so long ago, i had big dreams, that is not to say that i don’t now. I wanted money, success, power and all the pleasures this life had to offer and i was willing to do anything for it really, if the situation did arise i would have sacrificed a limb (i am trying my hand at hyperbole) I equated the realization of my goals to happiness but really who could blame me? since childhood it was beaten into me, and yes literally, that i could only be termed successful if i achieved the fore mentioned things. But that is a story for another day.

I wanted (and still do) to be a revered writer, one of the greats, a true visionary like Shakespeare or Ngugi wa Thiong’o or even Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye.I had envisioned my future and i had planned every single step, down to the last detail. Nothing could stop me. I was going to finish my degree with first class honors (fingers crossed on that by the way), then i was going to get an awesome job with one of my favourite magazines and i was going to work my butt off to climb to the top…..i could go on, but by now you get the picture.

Flash forward to 2015, i am done with my degree (yaaaaay!) and i am awaiting my graduation this November. I got a job its not much but it should hold till i know what next. I have to admit finishing school and ‘going out into the world’ is not all its cracked up to be. Not even my OCD induced planning shielded me from the confusion that awaited me. Let me back up, in my last semester in school i applied for numerous internships and i eventually landed two of them, without much hustle if i might add. One of the internships was with one of my favourite women’s magazines! I automatically chose it over the other one, i mean my life was falling into place just like i had planned. And oh wow, what was not to like about the place? Everything about it was just like i had imagined. I was in awe. I remember walking into the office on my first day, meeting and interacting with my favourite writers who were now my co-workers. Yes, this was the life!

This didn’t last long though, i soon discovered that i enjoyed reading the magazine much more than i liked being in its editorial team. So i quit. Luckily for me, the other internship offer was still open and so i took it and soon i got a permanent position. Awesome huh?

The four months that i have been out of school have been one crazy roller coaster ride, i have had to re-define a lot of things in my life. I had just quit on a job i had been dreaming of for a long time and i was no longer sure what kind of a writer i was.Just a while back i had been so sure of who i was, what i wanted in life and how i was going to get it. But here i was unraveling, asking myself the most basic of questions; who am i? what is my identity as a writer? Suddenly i was not as passionate about my goals as i had been. Were these really my goals? Is this really how i wanted to live my life or do i need to dream anew?

Recently i read an article on the Standard, the writer spoke of her five-year journey that started when she was 25. In the piece, she spoke of how she had worked so hard and cut down on her expenses just so that she could afford a trip to a luxurious island on her 30th birthday. However, that is not what really resonated with me. She described feeling utter peace and calm within her. After years of build up resentment and baggage she let go. She forgave all who had wronged her, she forgave herself.She felt her anxieties and fears melt away into oblivion. Most importantly though she found happiness, not the happiness derived from good food, watching a good movie…no,none of that. It was the kind everyone chases after but only a few of us are lucky to experience. And although she did not say it, i remember smiling and saying ‘she has found her zen’.

A few days later a colleague of mine asked me what i wanted from life; i smiled, looked at her straight in the eye and just like what a young John Lennon once told his teacher i replied, “I want to be happy”. Yes that is my life goal, i want to be happy and share my happiness with those around me.

For so long, i had focused on being the best version of myself; which meant building my career, gaining loads of success and eventually settle down with a good man and have a white picket fence – or at least the Kenyan version of that. There is nothing essentially wrong with wanting any of these things and yes, i still dream of my name being up there among the big ones. So watch out! My mistake, and i think i speak for a lot us, was equating these things to my happiness.

What i have discovered, is that i only wanted these things to be happy. After a little research, i learned that i could only find true happiness and peace within. I am learning that my focus should be seeking internal peace and happiness and treating people including myself with compassion.

Zen preaches compassion, understanding, forgiveness, letting go, simple living….an admirable philosophy to live by. Now, for the first time in a long time i actually feel calm. I admit it is a bit unnerving to re-define one self, but it is a journey i am willing to embark on. I’d like to find out who i am without that carefully thought-out plan, rookie mistake? I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Granted i am only beginning my journey thus i cannot profess to be an expert,but i believe if i learn to incorporate all these things in my life, i will be able to achieve happiness that is far much more greater than success, money or power could ever yield; inner peace! My Zen!

BEING ME…

Being me means believing and never loosing hope. It means holding on when every sane part of me tells me to let go and run. It means not bolting when every part of me tells me I know better. It is seeing the light shine in total darkness that makes me who I am. It is seeing the positive side in every situation. It is hoping for a brighter and better day when the world seems to be tearing down around me.
Being me means crushing and burning and rising up again. It means falling down countless times and still having the strength to get up on my feet again. It is rising through every melt down, every tear and every disappointment. Somehow I always find a way to smile through my problems and somehow, no matter how bad the fall is I always find my way again.
Being me means being a flight risk. It means questioning every move I make. It at times means second guessing my decisions. It means living every day with the fear of falling and the fear of the consequences of my actions. It means looking at the philosophy of YOLO from a much different angle. Some call it responsibility others cowardice and others might think of me as uptight. I call it self-preservation, cautiousness, being safe…
Being me means giving a hundred percent. It means striving for perfection. Some argue perfection is nothing but an illusion, I say perfection is the epitome, the peak of personal effort, it is the result of giving all one has into what they are doing and it cannot be measured. It means that if am not going to do something to perfection I’d rather not do it at all. Being me means being passionate. It means never quitting on something until it’s done. It means finishing what I start.
Being me means always finding myself in mischief. It means always finding myself in trouble no matter how much I steer myself clear from it. It means finding myself in compromising situations where the very principles that define my being are questioned. It sometimes means telling little white lies to get myself out of sticky situations and then getting caught half of the time.
Being me means trusting easily. It means getting hurt most of the time. It means always seeing the good in people and never believing the worst in them. It means being taken advantage of every other time. It means believing that people have the capacity to be sincere and treat others as they would like to be treated. It also means getting heavily disappointed.
Being me means finding pleasure in the little things in life. It means appreciating the tiniest of gestures. It means putting a lot of importance into the two most ignored words, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’. It means appreciating people’s efforts and not expecting much from them. It means spending my day taking a walk in nature and feeling like I had the time of my life. It means I am a very easy person to please.
Being me means valuing the people in my life. It means appreciating the fact that they see the real me and still think me worth their while. It’s appreciating their love and support through my ugliest and lowest points and also through my high points. It means loving them back with everything in me and spending every chance I get in trying to prove myself worthy of their love.
I am a bird that’s learning to fly and I am getting better every day. I am imperfect I make  a lot of mistakes. I am a very peculiar psychological phenomenon but in all of that I realize that that is who I am and in my imperfectsion I realize perfection! So this is who I am, I wouldn’t change a thing about it because I love myself; warts and all!

579 words for love

Sometimes it’s so hard to see what’s right in front of you. We try so hard to look for answers for our problems, solutions to our puzzles and we look everywhere else but right next to us. I have no intentions of sounding like a broken record but this is my story.
I have always been a believer, always believed in the power of destiny; that the person reading a Dan Brown novel or humming an Avril Lavigne is my ticket to a happy ever after…my one true love. I have had a fair share of disappointments and epic failures in this thing we call love but I have never stopped believing. i have never stopped waiting for ‘the one’, I have pictured his dreamy eyes in more ways than one…he has swept me of my feet and hell I even got serenaded! I guess this hope, this belief of the universe and all its mystical ways having set aside a special someone is what has kept me holding on disappointment after another, heartbreak after another.
When I was little I had this fantasy of meeting a gorgeous man, who understood me in all my complexities and loved me non-the less. I wanted a friend, i wanted a man who would look at me like I’m the only thing that mattered….i refused to believe that there wasn’t one good man out there even though evidence suggested otherwise. I wanted so, so much but above all I wanted a soul mate. It sounds cheesy from every angle, but secretly isn’t that all what we yearned for? Didn’t we all want to go frolicking and waltzing off to the sunset with the love of our life and have a happy ever after as beautiful (and oh so romantic) as Romeo and Juliet’s?
Well here’s a sad fact; its bullshit!!a total scam….call it whatever nasty names you have hidden up your sleeves but I can tell you this, there is no such thing as a happy ever after, there are no mystical forces working in your favor to get you closer to your one true love, want to know why?  There is no such thing as ‘your one true love’. There are no northern stars pointing in a direction where your epic love is waiting. Love is a sadistic and pathetic attempt to engage people in a futile pursuit for something that is just but a fantasy.
Would it not have been so much easier if this one true love really did exist? I would have wanted so much for this unconditional and self-giving love to be true, this all consuming and passionate love to mean more than just a game for two, to mean more than just great sex. Then again life was not designed to be easy….
So this is what life and love is; an endless series of broken promises, shattered dreams, heart aches, tears, back stabbing, deceit….you name it, because I can go on forever. Well if this is love then I don’t want it, I have had the rest of love and now I want the best of it and if that isn’t possible then I don’t want it; it’s all or nothing. There is no in between. I have my eyes open now and am experiencing an awakening, poignant clarity if I may and as of now it is safe to say that I’m no believer and wishes on a star? Well those never come true.

Abyss

This life can kick you around, make you feel as though you are walking in a dark alley struggling to see the light…any light but then there is nothing, nothing but a mass of darkness. Well that’s where I am; groping frantically on the walls trying to find it…anything that can rescue me and take me back to a place I once knew.
I look down at my hands and I can’t see them but I can feel it…I can feel it all slipping away; all I used to believe in, all I stood for…it’s lost! I have lost everything in this labyrinth of confusion, in this never ending abyss. I stand helplessly and watch it all trickle away little by little till there is no more…Life hands us many things and all we can do is take them, these are the complexities of life.
My mental buzzer goes off and I’m in a panic, a great dark cloud of sadness envelopes my being and I feel drained and overpowered. There is suddenly too much on my plate, my mind is overwhelmed and I need to do something…anything! This can’t possibly be how it ends! What about my happy ending? I wallow in self pity, how could I not defend what I had when it was all I had? What does that make me?
I drop down to my knees trying to get back what I lost…I grope around the rough ground, my hands are bruised but I cannot.…I will not, stop. I am bruised and wounded and the pain is swearing to devour me but I keep on. They say the most dangerous man on earth is he who has nothing to lose. I need to keep on searching whatever it takes I will do it, even sell my soul to the devil himself if need be. I am the textbook definition of desperation.
A gush of wind blows in and I freeze momentarily, paralyzed with fear. As I stumble back I can’t help but wonder if all my efforts will blow up on my face fruitless. I feel my strength slipping away; fear creeps in, my spirits are weakened and any hope of a brighter day is clouded. Somewhere in the midst of all this, a voice! A voice in my head urges me to snap out of it….am on my knees again more energized than ever.
I have got to find it before it all fades…before another color turns to grey. Voila! A shimmer of light! I hold on to it like it’s everything I’ve got but then again, isn’t it?
So I’ll hold on, till I get all the pieces back together again and get out of this darkness. For as long as it takes, I will find all what I lost…all what we lost, I will find us again and little by little I will piece us back together again my love, take us back to where we belong…where we once knew; our paradise.