Complete…

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See, a relationship is not the type of thing we go window shopping, see something that catches your eye and voila-it’s a happily ever after sort of tale. It’s more like a gamble, or better yet, a trade of common interests and values.

For those of us who love, have loved or are still holding on to the promise of love … It’s February and I feel extra on this love topic- call me cupid (ess)*. Anywho, as you all know, I recently became an advocate of the high court. Did I just lose you there? I am referring to the high court of relationships folks.. ( oopsy, looks like a failed attempt to be funny there😂). Nonetheless, welcome to my small relationship ted talk today.

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We do not look for partners to complete us; rather to complement us. How true, and yet how false at the same time. The younger me would object… I would say that we choose partners (whether for relationships or occasional trysts) who make us whole; in the sense that with and around them, we feel ‘more of what we are’, more complete, more accomplished, happier, more alive and everything admirable. The me (now) would concur. I would say that before you know who you wholly are outside of someone else, you will never find any form of completeness from another. That being in any relationship will not make you any happier if you are not already happy with yourself. My point here is that it is only when we are comfortable with who we are that we can truly function independently and in a healthy way in our relationships.

I digress…It’s a year or so ago.Not really, just a couple of months ago, when my elated friend walks over tome.

 ‘Kim, with whom am I my best version’-she asks.

Aren’t you always at your best, I tease. But deep down I get what she means and the answer she is hoping to get.

‘I ask because for this, I want to be at my best version…I need to be at my best version. She adds.  

That was then, and I felt really proud her for acknowledging that she may not always be at her best but she was ready to take the challenge to consciously bring out the best version of her.

But since then, I have thought about the question with much more seriousness. Not in the sense of my best version really: more like the feelings that other people elicit in me- whether or not they bring out the best of me. (And this is not me throwing the burden of bringing the best version of myself to the people around me. Okay that looks like it). Am I excited to be around them or am I am I weary of the idea of spending time with them. Do I feel energized after a meeting with them or do I feel drained. Am I at naturally and unapologetically myself or do I feel the need to keep a certain image. This way, I can choose where and on what to spend my time and invest in relationships and activities that make me a better person.

That is besides the point. In my ted today I ask, so what makes the perfect union? For sure, nothing; because perfection is out of this world. But I do know of elements that comprise healthy unions. Here we go!

  • Self- awareness.  There is more to self-awareness that understanding your strengths and weaknesses and embracing your flaws. It goes to being aware of the stimuli around you and taking charge of your proactive and reactive manner. It’s learning how to give yourself the ‘I know this has offended me, and I need to let my partner know about it in a constructive way. So rather than giving them the silent treatment or getting distructive, I will let my annoyed-self calm down and pick it up from there. It is being aware of the consequence of your actions and words to the people you love and being conscious of their human nature as much as your own.

  • Empathy…. Stepping into their shoes and letting yourself experience the situation from their frame of reference. Easier said than done. Like how many times have you looked at your partner in absolute dismay thinking to yourself >>>‘who does that’<<< 😏😏or …>>>’you are beyond redemption you, I can’t even’<<<… 🤨But at the end of the day, you come to the realization that you are two separate individuals, and your point of view is not necessarily the right or accepted point of view.
  • Adaptability… Any great relationship has a degree of compromise and deliberate effort to adapt to your partner’s needs without losing your individualism. The simplest case scenario is tuning yourself to your partners love language and consequently getting to love them the way they would like to be loved. Adaptability is much of finding a fair balance between blending your similarities while respecting your differences.
  • Consistency. In my opinion, there is no bigger challenge than consistency. One, because we demand consistency from people who are not even consistent with their own selves. (neither are we consistent with ourselves- how many resolutions have you already broken since the year started?!)….and two, because we do not live in isolation. We meet partners in the course of our ordinary life, probably with running relationships, maybe dealing with previous relationship baggage, mostly in the midst of the chase and the dating haze. At a time when you barely know what you want with your own self, let alone with another. (Btw, in this relationship life, there is no bigger challenge than a third party/divided interest. Yaani, mashida hutokea tu mahali and suddenly you feel like this type of problems cannot be solved…naona tu tuachane). Piece of advice, take your time! No one is chasing you into a relationship, or is there? But once you make that choice, accord them the loyalty that they deserve.
  • Check in- fully. Be wary of the ‘almost relationship’ trap. You may or may not be familiar with the almost relationship zone…It could be that you are there, with a partner that you see no future with. Or in that grey area where the relationship never moves to the next level. Or most commonly,  either of you wants to keep the options open while the other wants exclusivity…
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  • Now here, I honestly cannot say much because the balance between a good relationship taking time and the danger of sitting on the unsure edge too long  is a concept I personally struggle with. That notwithstanding, be sure to communicate your expectations; and have the grace to know when to hang on or walk on.

That’s all from cupid-ess’ desk today. Ps. There is no greater calling than to love and to be loved-unconditionally…

Sunny side

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Happy 2019!

I have (finally) figured my way around the wordpress blocks :-)… And so here I am, making little steps as I try my new knowledge in this maiden post!

Between my last post in October last year and now, I traveled to the moon, passed by hell, got stuck in my own space for a moment and now I am back on earth, back down to earth; no pun intended. (Sips tea). Okay, what I am saying in many words is that a lot happened between then and now; but that is no excuse for my inconsistency. This year, (and I like to keep my word), will see a lot of consistency from me.

Anywho, somewhere in my roller-coaster, I found myself in this heart to heart tête-à-tête. I don’t know how we ended up in the part of what we could have done differently….like if you knew what you know now, what would you have done differently.

Nothing, I said.  I think in life, there are no misplaced steps…..we need all of them; I added.

Is it? She asked, obviously underwhelmed

Yeah, my take… (and you can be sure that this was one long conversation)

But to give you my points in the least words possible; I like to lead a regret- free life. I am absolutely aware of the fact we falter and fall, we make incongruous choices, things don’t always go as planned and every now and then we go off the script. But I am also cognizant of the fact that every single choice has consequences which could go either way. The beauty about it is that we are in full control of the choices we make. I have therefore made it a habit to be look at everything I go through from the sunny side.

As 2019 starts, I thought it be nice to share a few tips on how to live on the sunny of life. Here are a few reminders…

  1. That time and chance happens to all of us. (biblical now, I know 🙂 ). I hope that you will remember that you are not early in your journey; and you are not any late either. The truth of the matter is that no one knows the journey ahead, it is a trial and error sort of thing for all of us, a step at a time, a leap in faith and a gamble in what we hope is the right direction.The secret lies in reminding yourself where you have been and refocusing on where you want to be. Ps. You can start late, be different, be uncertain and still succeed.
  1. That you should not let a bad day make you think that you have a bad life. And this is just that! No one out here has a perfect life, we do not expect a perfect life either. We may be so materially well off yet so psychologically tormented; and vice verser …
  2. That you should find a vacation every day. I hope that every now and then, you will pause, breath and remind yourself that it is not so much about where you are going but about WHO you are becoming. That you will have a moment in the craziest of days to smile at the masterpiece that your little effort over the days has given birth to.
  3. That you should remember to look alive out there, to be the kind of energy you want to have around you. To be the right company, in the company of the right people. As, Robin Sharma says and I  quote ‘It is a mark of wisdom to spend time in those places that inspire and energize you and associate with those people who elevate and uplift you.
  4. That you should aspire to live well, to be nice humans and conscious of the world around you. But most importantly, that you will work towards making your life matter. That this will be a year of significance and positive impact.

I wish you all a fruitful 2019!

Dear Daughter…

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My intention to write this is as old as time! (How cheesy!).

I have typed and deleted this post not less than sixteen times in the last three years… Unsure, unprepared, feeling ‘not good enough’ and afraid of letting the world tread into my own battles. I go through tough times and think that I should let my daughter know that this path leads nowhere, she should try another route. I go through thought provoking sessions with a nod, occasionally smiling to myself and thinking ‘Wow, I’d love my daughter to know this; it would help her’. And for every wrong turn I make as a daughter, I take a mental note for my future daughter. I somehow have always found myself in this state: of taking notes and making hushed wishes for a child unborn. But with a life as flawed as mine, I have always held my thoughts for the fear of sounding like a botch too conversant with the script, obviously trying to make up for her mistakes by defining the path for her daughter: which would be utterly unfair.

But I feel ready today, more like I feel ready now!

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Freckles

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firstTo tell the story of happy endings without the struggles and choices that ultimately lead to the happy ending is elusion at another level. To tell the story of loving deeply and believing in the promise of an endless passionate love without appreciating and understanding that young love can be tragic and heart-breaking is deception. And yet as we grow old and grow up, we learn that we cannot avoid exposing ourselves to the tragedy because  love is as much a basic need as food, shelter and clothing. While some of us are lucky enough to keep spark of the young love all the way to the alter, most of us go through heartbreaks and tragedies that, even though injure our hearts, mold the same hearts into understanding the dynamics of loving and the routine of selfless love. Of acing the struggles and challenges of our relationships and living together ever after. (Possibly happily). We learn that in love, getting it wrong is part of getting it right…

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I digress.

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There you are

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It has been a minute! For the peace of my relationship with my blog and my readers, I’ll simply blame it on procrastination. We (Procrastination and I) have been in good terms, until earlier today when we parted ways amicably and I decided to devote my time to my one true love :-)!

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I was in campus, young, aggressive and ambitious! I sat across the table in utter amazement; wondering what people did and how they did it to achieve half of what he had in twice his age. He had landed a dream job in a dream company right after his undergrad studies. And he was the type that bloomed wherever they were planted. He loved his job and his job and the bosses loved him too.
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“Are you just lucky or do the stars simply align for you wherever you go? I mean how do you manage to achieve so much, so effortlessly wherever you are…”
I asked with a slight pinch of intimidation. His success story could easily intimidate anyone.

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Politically incorrect…

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Image result for politically incorrectAnd behold we have the President of the Republic of Kenya. What a week! Allow me to take you just a few steps back, the weeks before the week!

For purposes of this post, we shall start by some quick definitions.

  1. An ordinary household– This was a household whose main political interest was either Baba, or the retention of Uthamaki.
  2. An extra-ordinary household– This is a household whose political interest was beyond the presidential ballot. One of the family members was vying for a political seat.
  3. Le famille extraordinaire– This is closely related to the extra-ordinary household. The only tiny detail I would like to add is that the person vying was independently contending. This is a family that had already gone through the first round of disappointment and was waiting for the second round with butterfly anxiety.

Please pick your household and proceed…

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The coulda boyfriend

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realIn a world of perfection, the idea would have been to meet, greet, click, date, marry, live happily ever after. But we live in an imperfect world, marred with flawed people and flawed situations.  Between the meet and  happily ever after, we swing between coulda, woulda and  shoulda circumstances. Am I sure? Can I stand this? Who does that? What kind of girls has he been dating? He is so clueless it hurts…

So the magnifying lens is prominently on the coulda boyfriend today. This is that one boy who could have been your boyfriend if he behaved right; better than he does.

He puts in just enough effort to keep you coming back, he forgets just enough times to keep your patience, he lies just enough times in the pretext that he is ‘protecting you’ to make you remotely believe that he pro’lly cares about your emotions…he keeps just enough mystery to keep you curious: to make you want to unravel the mystery for your own satisfaction. He has mastered the art of keeping his options open perfectly enough to trigger you to put in work to try close the other options. Continue reading

Diaries…of social media

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socialWhat had started  as a casual relationship with social media became something serious when I started stopping by at least one social media platform once every day at a bare minimum. I was hooked, still am. 

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In my daily visits, I made a world of virtual friends and idols. I took interest in what they were upto, and I selectively let them know what I was doing too. I liked them and they liked me too; I double tapped, and they double tapped right back. They reacted to my status and posts and I unfailingly returned the favor. I developed a special connection and interest with people I met in this virtual world and I enjoyed popularity in the virtual space. It follows that I developed a  shallow understanding of people’s circumstances that I so blindly believed.

love this girlIt is of such visits that I discovered one trophy couple: Daniel and Dannieller. But then one day I woke up to the news that they had broken up! How? Why? I felt cheated. I had looked at their life and admired it in every way. They looked happy, they went on holidays and publicly displayed their affection. He took time to appreciate her and confess his love for this woman who had taken his heart to a captivity he would gladly live  in for a lifetime. And she said he was loyal, smart, her dream come true and all the sappy sentiments a girl in love possibly could…. Continue reading

Diaries…of imperfect perfections

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fairest.jpgI met Raz back in 2003. A half Madagascan half Luyha girl with the body of a goddess. (I recently got that ‘body of a goddess’ line from ours truly).  I looked at her in adoration and ran to Winnie. “What can I do to look like her when I grow up? I want that body… hips like those, curly hair like that, same everything. But mostly the hips.  She laughed. “She’s Luyha. And besides, hips are determined by the pelvic bone. I doubt we have those genes’.  Everyone has a different body structure….She went on, but I was no longer interested in what she was saying. At 11, I had just discovered my body idol and nothing would stop me from getting such. The idea of an hour glass body became an obsession from that moment. I can’t say that boys were my motivation then; my head had not yet started reacting to their presence. I had not started getting the tingly feeling from boys’ stares which leaves your head feeling lighter and I did not even imagine that there would come an age when boys’ comments and opinion on my body would matter.  story for another day…All I wanted was that perfect body and height. I went through my teenage years and early twenties with that picture-perfect figure all in my head, waiting for the hour of body tranformation! 

But the giver of bodies had another design for me. In fact, he gave me the complete opposite of what I wanted. I grew up to be a small girl. I endlessly wished  I was taller, wider, more visible… I look back and realize that I always wanted to be more than I was. When it came to my body, I was never enough! My weight was never enough, I never left the presence I wanted to leave. My hair never turned curly, my hips never got the perfect curve I had in my head…and my height never went as high. I spent years waiting and hoping that I would bulge out. Then there was Granny who said I was sickly thin. It got to my head and I started eating like a pig. The only part of my body that responded to the heavy feeding was my fingers, they became nicely fat and evidently well fed. In high school, they teased that all my fingers were thumbs. In campus, they baptized them sausage fingers.  And they know how to stay loyal to those names: these fingers.

But it was in campus that I started learning how to accept my body. Mostly because 5-Ways-To-Finally-Get-Over-Your-Body-Insecurities-For-GoodI realized that every girl around me had a body struggle. Even the ones I thought were picture perfect in every dimension did have things they hated about their bodies. No one seemed  comfy with their body. There were those who complained of their tummies,(obsession with flat tummies), sometimes foreheads, sometimes big ears(IKR), uneven skin tone,mostly love handles, and predominantly small boobs/small hips.

Ironically, it was in campus that people would ask me what I did to keep such an amazing body. HOW?! Clearly they did not know the finer things in life if they considered my body amazing. I took the compliments on my body as blind flatters. Such is the reality. No one ever seems to be in perfect terms with their body. We are always looking for that which we feel that we are short of. Small girls crave to be big, the big ones sweat about losing their weight. There is the obsession with beach bodies, and the obsession of perfect curves. The desire to break necks just by passing by.

http---mashable.com-wp-content-gallery-famous-womens-quotes-about-body-image-oprah.jpgSo this goes to all the girls out there battling with body insecurities. When you love your body, it loves you right back…and the world retaliates in a hundred fold. All you need is to understand your body and know what to flaunt and what to keep in low key. You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. But tell you what, it is because of this that you are uniquely beautiful.

 

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