Picture this, you are in a loving flourishing( or at least you lied to yourself that it was flourishing)- relationship. You are happy, he is everything that you ever dreamed of since you became aware of boys. He might not be the prince charming you read about in those westernized princess stories, but let’s be fair, there is nothing like a prince charming in the real world but at least he is considerate, shows up at the appointed times, buys the necessary gifts, and yeah, he is alright!
Your relationship is going on well until he stops texting and you frantically try to reach him to no avail. First you assume that he was hit by a speeding motorist (the poor soul) and he might be lying in a hospital bed fighting for his dear life. Then you chide yourself for thinking such grime thoughts about your beau. Then you excuse his behavior by telling yourself that he is busy and he cannot find time to return your calls or texts. Finally you force yourself to face the cold reality that he isn’t responding to your texts and you stop blowing up his phone with your texts and leave him alone. You reason out that if he is serious and he is the a grown-up that he professes to be, he will pick up the phone and call you, better still he knows where to find you. You bask in your own confidence telling yourself that he needs the space and sooner or later he will come back after realizing what a great woman you are!
Only this time round he does not come back and after almost two months, a friend of a friend of his confides in you that he is getting married to another woman! You are a woman of great sensitivity, so you hold your head high and your dignity up and you do not break into tears but inwardly you are shocked and you can hear the little pieces of your heart crashing inside you like porcelain. You never did anything wrong to drive him away or did you? You did everything there is to sustain this relationship. You did not nag him even when you wanted to just do that, you put up with his weird habits and sexual fantasies- things that you swore to yourself you will never do. You showed up when he needed you when you’d rather be holed up in your house with an interesting book to read.
As you sit across that friend of a friend of his, you search your mind and you cannot find anything that you did or did not do to warrant this break up without prior notice of even a slight indication of it(I think people should give notices when they break up, something like “hey Betty next week we will be no more” Every woman can handle that). So you nod along as the friend of a friend of his describes his new girl and you wonder how people can be so insensitive. But wait a minute, this friend of a friend of his does not know that he was dating you! So you hold your horses and she goes blabbing about the wedding committee and the cost of the wedding and so on and so forth. During all this you are thinking of the future that you carefully planned with him, the house you were going to built, the children you were going to have and the ever happy life that you had even prepared for, emotionally. Somehow during this emotional internal turmoil and the blabbering of this friend, you get to know when and where the wedding will be and you begin your shrewd planning.
At first you resist the idea of revenge because God knows that you were brought up in the church by your mama and mama preached forgiveness, forgive your enemies so that your father in heaven will forgive your sins. That is what the holy book says. As much as you would want to respect your mama and live by the words of the Man above, you are hurting and this man does not deserve to go scot free. He deserves to know that you deserve better and at least he should have had the dignity to tell you that the relationship was not working. You finally make up your mind that he deserves to know that you were not happy about his leaving you out in the cold, without a word. You reason out that you deserve at least an explanation after four effing years of dating. Your challenge though is how to exert that revenge. You think of going to his place and pouring tomato sauce or soup on all his clothes. you think of trashing his house but wait a minute, you do not have a key to the new place that he had moved into a few weeks ago. You planned on getting the key but his silence coincided with the time you were supposed to get that key. You think of showing up at his place of work and giving a piece of your mind to him but you know that this will not work well. After all you are not that kind of a loud person to cause ruckus. Again you fear that people will likely mistake you for a mad woman and again you have never really been a woman who loves the attention, public spectacle disgusts you and you hate being the center of attention, and after all you were really never married, you were jut dating, but still you feel aggravated.
Weeks and days go by and his wedding day approaches and so does your rage boil. Eventually, you decide to show up for the wedding just to check out whether the new woman- his wife-to-be is hotter than you( how that is important at the moment does not register). Right now your mind isn’t working well, but you pray and hope she is uglier than you… how are you are going to tell that is difficult because everybody appears beautiful on their day of wedding thanks to the invention of make-up. A few days to the d-day an idea wedges itself on your mind, instead of showing up and making a spectacle, why don’t you send a present (gift) to the couple, a subtle gift that will remind him of your presence, of the future that will never be, of the broken heart that you will carry around with you for a while?
You carefully go looking for the healthiest looking rose flowers you can find, the white ones. He and you know that white roses are your favorite flowers. Once you find them, you let then dry and carefully place them in a gift box. A note of course has to accompany your gift, placed carefully inside. The note may read…May the fruit of this union wither like these roses…Cheers! You carefully wrap your gift and wait patiently for the wedding day. You will arrive early at the venue and sit quietly following the proceedings and as they declare their I do’s, you will smile secretly knowing that when he and his new wife sees your gift he will forever think of you or not!

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The road to heart-break in 7 steps

I

The glance across the room. No strike that. An ordinary meeting. I do not remember where I first met you, but I remember becoming aware of you. Becoming aware of your maleness, of the rawness of the feeling that was to follow. The glance that should have been was a DM, that was our glance. A thousand silences and longings transported through the nerve brain that is social media to you, my object of desire.

II

Joy; of the newness of it all. I smile at that flickering light on the screen. A text. I live for the late night calls. I hold my breathe. I cannot contain my disbelief. You wanting me? That is a joy beyond this universe. We steal away, lock ourselves once so often. Who are we to deny what we feel? Our joy is stolen from those who are dear to us.

III

Love, euphoria; The philosophers, the poets and practically every human being has tried to describe and understand it for ages. The feeling of losing control, of wanting a rupture. The desire for the abandonment of body.Love. To stand outside of my own feeling, watching, waiting, yearning for the other, for you. Waiting for my flame. I sit in this dark space thinking of you, questioning whether love is worth the trouble.

IV

Pain; A deep sadness that engulfs you. A feeling of falling through an abyss. An invincible force squeezing my heart little by little until no breathe is left. Until I choke. Pain is the sudden realization that you do not care a whit about me. It is the waiting- for 6 hours- for you to steal away from your busyness and show up at our rendezvous. Pain is the sudden smack on the face of what I have always suspected.

V

Heartbreak; I want to cry. I want to howl like a dog. But I cannot. I have this irrational fear that if I let that scream out, or even open my mouth slightly, I am admitting that I lost you. That you are gone.Instead, I hold it in, it chokes me and I listen to my heart as it crashes beside me. I watch as tiny translucent pieces of my heart, of the love that I have carried these three years disappears. I extend my hand to touch. Nothing. Like the love that you never had for me.

VI

Memories; of what it was, a construction, a doll’s house, a figment of my imagination. A haunting of the absurdity of ‘I love you’. I am becoming. I am moving away from it all, from the memory of you, from the construction of Love. I blame myself. I did not love you enough. I did not give enough of myself to you.I was a nag. I always wanted more of you when I clearly knew you could only afford a few stolen hours, from your work, from them. Stolen kisses, stolen moments, stolen memories. They are not our memories anymore. They are mine and they haunt me through out the night. Till morning. Then I face the reality. I  am alone, you are gone and life goes on.

VII

Finality; closing the book, the final chapter, the final page that you  have left open for too long. I thought there would be second chances, second guessings, you thought we could recapture, but your busyness betrayed you.  There is no closure. It is not necessary. This was all in my head. Time will provide the final closure. Three years of euphoria, joy,  pain and memories will all be forgotten, for tide waits for no one. You left, I loved you, I lost you in your busyness and in my pain, life goes on.

A bump in the Head

I have just finished reading Liane Moriarty’s What Alice forgot. The story is about a  39 year-old stay at-home-mother of three kids who knocks her head during a spin class and forgets the last decade of her life. Before she transformed into  a-well dressed-thinly emanciated- actually- well-toned and actually physically fit-mom who is overly involved-in her kids after school activities and the surrounding community, Alice Love was a shy-self-concious-29-year-old-who-could not stand-up-for herself. So when she wakes up after that fall, she thinks it is 1998 and she is newly married to her husband Nick love who she loves dearly. The book explores Alice’s emotional state after she learns the facts of her life that she seems to have forgotten such as: She and her husband Nick are about to get divorced, She has three Kids who she doesn’t remember giving birth to, her sister Elizabeth is aloof towards her and apparently she had a very close friend who died tragically and whim she has been grieving albeit with alot of anger.

This story got me thinking, what if I forgot the last ten years of my life? What would it be like? If today I woke up and  my mind is stuck in 2007, what would I feel? Would I be happy? How would I react to the news of what my life has turned out to be now in 2017? Here is a list of those things that would really puzzle me about my life in 2017!

1. I have a job!

 My teaching job! Well my 2007-self is in college, third year trying to finish a Bachelor’s degree in Education. I guess I would laugh at myself for thinking I could conveniently escape the classroom! Something I thought I would do easily ten years ago. Again, jobs are a hard thing to find here in Kenya, so I would be pleasantly surprised at this.

2.I am still single! 

This would be the biggest surprise of my life. Ten years ago, I thought I had all the time in my life,once I finish college, to date and do all that stuff! Little did I know that, men don’t grow on trees and good men at that- with minimal baggage- will be a rare breed in 2017!

3 Those two relationships that have failed.

I think this would be a memory I would wince at when people remind me. The idea that I have tried and failed, that I have not been afraid to put myself out there,  that I had the courage to step out and try, only that it was not successful would be a bitter pill to swallow. 

3. My grandmother

I think I would be saddened by the fact that in 2017, my grandmother is battling memory loss. Ten years ago, she was the epitome of health. Busy regaling me with stories about the village fools.

The sad reality is, nothing much about me has changed in the last ten years, only that I have grown wiser. Unlike Alice who wakes up having forgotten the hatred that she has for her soon to be ex- husband, and awakening to the reality she is dating someone new and one her children have  behavioral problems at school, I would calmly walk back to 2017 without much fear and apprehension.

What if you forgot the last ten years of your life? How would that play out?

Mistresses

Medicine is my lawful wife and Literature is my mistress; When I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other” Anton Chekhov

I tend to think that each of us individuals placed on this earth have split lives; what we normally do and what we actually enjoy doing. The lucky ones are those who have successfully merged what they normally do with what they actually love and adore doing. The other denizens are like me: trying to juggle our wives with our mistresses. Like a man who is cheating, we will leave all the dirty laundry:the soiled shirts, the tantrums,the silences and smelly socks( I really do not know why I have included this one here)to our wives and head over to the mistresses, clean shaven and pristine with a big smile. I really do not know what I am talking about, seriously! And for the few minutes of whatever it is that the man goes looking for in the mistress- adventure-something he feels he cannot find at home,we will bask in those few blissful moments before we head back home. This post is not about men nor mistresses per se. It is about careers or whatnot.

This space here is my little mistress, the second one actually! How much can one be unfaithful? Some of us harbor thoughts of the grandeur of being writers but we do not have the courage nor the fortitude of getting into the trenches of actual writing. We therefore, take a detour to blogging hoping against all hopes that as we explore our thoughts and ourselves, we will finally come up with a strategy to finally write that story that has been pushing to be written.

My wife is teaching- teaching kids how to communicate using a foreign tongue, trying to mold their mother-tongue infested lips and tongues into shape such that they can communicate to the world- never mind that most of them might not see a world outside their village. I take my wife very serious because of course my survival as an individual and my ability to pay my bills depends on my herein performance with my so called wife(no pun intended)

My main Mistress is Literature- like Chekhov. Sometimes I swear to myself that I will leave it for good, but during those nights when the thought of waking up tomorrow and showing up to work plague me endlessly, I crawl onto her shoulders and find the comfort among the many pages that she has to offer. Early this month, in my one of those crazed bouts against my wife, I registered for a very demanding course that will take me(at least) the next three years! I feel overwhelmed. I am second guessing myself and doubting my ability to deal with it but because money( from my wife) has been poured I have to stick with it. I am guessing that my second mistress- this space will suffer a lot but I promise myself and to my mistress here that I will show up regularly and satisfy the need to tell a blank page my thoughts and fears hoping against hope that one person in the vast blog-sphere ocean will read this!
So this is to all of us juggling different mistresses in whichever version and face they come in! May we find the adventure that we are looking for!

Why I Blog

I have been meaning to revamp this blog. Revamping here means deleting it completely and starting anew. I have been shopping around for someone to revamp it for me unsuccessfully, because honestly, I do not know any shit around here!

It turns out that these IT gurus charge an arm and a leg for doing any work on a blog. I now regret why I walked out of that IT diploma course way back in 2004 and walked into a degree program to learn how to teach grumpy teenagers how to read and write in a language they might never use in their life! I knew I should have stuck with the damn computers!

As I was going through the old posts and rummaging through the WordPress site to see whether I can do the revamping on my own, I began thinking about why this blog exists in the first place. Why did I create it? Did I feel anonymous three years ago and decide to put my life in the public? Or was it vanity? Why do I keep writing here? Why do I keep wishing that I had a better looking blog? and why do I grow restless when week after another week, I cannot come up with a meaningful post?
I knew I wanted to write, but I did not have the gust,the patience and the focus needed to write a full story in whichever form-I think I will have to do it before I die-It is in my to do list.
Here are the top five reasons why I keep worrying about this space:

1. Those few loyal followers
I remember the feeling that I had when a notification came in that someone had followed my blog. I was elated, I was also terrified, would they love what I had written? would they find it trashy? Will they comment? The comments never came but I got one like! Once I stopped doing my happy dance, I realized that someone had liked my writing! That was my motivation for the next post

2. For Introverted Me
I am an introverted 30+ year old who cannot for the life of me interact socially. People freak me out and social places are a NO-NO. Talking to stranger is tantamount to having a tooth extracted. This little space serves as a place where I can talk to myself – probably. It is public but it is also intensively private, like my own cubicle!

3. I cannot stop thinking
when you have so much thoughts whirling in your head and you do not have any place where you can keep them, then a blog would be a safe place to do so, or so I thought. I constantly have these random thoughts that need to be released and where else can I do that other than here?

4. When you read too much…
When you grow up reading too much, you have this inclination to write but if you are cowardly like me, you postpone your writing until one day while you are absentmindedly browsing the internet, you accidentally create a blog and then you are inclined to post into it because you cannot have an empty blog or can you?

5. self discovery
If you are me, and you spent your whole life afraid of your own shadow, afraid to open that door that stands in front of you lest you find out what lurks behind, then a blog- conceived probably because of (pre)mid-life crisis is not a bad idea at all. Here I can absolutely open those doors- eventually that is when I get the courage to do so.

This post was supposed to be about who I am and why I blog. I am not sure whether I have talked about that but who said life is a linear story? I will get there eventually.

Of friends and Buddies

When you are stepping into the real world you are elated, you look forward into the reign of your independence, of the many activities you will engage in and possibly the many friends you will make. For some people, making friends comes easy but for others, it takes time. That is just the way it is. Five years ago, I embarked on a journey that I didnot know where it would take me. Luckily, I had that certain type of fear that propels you to face your biggest challenge or demon. I arrived here, in this strange  land where I never thought I would fit in. I was welcomed and it took me  quite  a while to embrace my new life. When you are in a strange land, some people make it their mission to remind you that you are an alien, an alien in the sense that you do not speak their language or identify with their culture. However, there are other people within the same place who make you feel welcomed, who embrace you within a second and make you feel at home. They constantly prod you to come out of your shell, to look outside the window and see the sunshine beyond the misty horizon of the July Coldness.These are the people whom you celebrate years later when you are no longer a stranger, when you have blended into the landscape and neither the coldness of the weather nor the strangeness of the language remind you of your initial uneasiness.One of those people who welcomed me with open arms is John. I do not remember meeting him on my first day at work, but I do remember the person who introduced me to the people I have come to love and cherish. Well John or Kama if you like is a fun loving guy and soon enough after my hibernation was over, he took me to my first hike together with another stranger in the name of Kerry (even though I prefer Christy). That first trip signalled a friendship that would last through rough seas. Kama made sure that every stranger who arrived here was given the best this place could offer, be it a ride through the forest for a nyamchoma session at Kirasha-Flyover, or just a tour around the dams in the forest, but only if you were in his good graces. Rarely do you ever meet a person who gives all expecting nothing, selfless, considerate and above all someone who truly cares, not because of anything but because it is his nature.

Christy joined me in the strangeness of things. She became a good friend and a shoulder to whine on when life didnot go well. She is a great storyteller and one of those people with the most infectious laugh in the world. Some people are sullen, others have Sunshine in their eyes. Christy has that sunshine that brightens even the most sullen face in the world. She is everything that I am not. She is gracious and courteous, will get along with even the tiniest tweep,I am sullen most of the time, impatient with every one and most definitely not gracious. She has tact, I blurt out my thoughts, but amidst all these differences we found love.

You can call us the three musketeers.If there was a plan to be implemented, Christy  would take care of the  details, Kama would be the implementor and I would be…well I would be there to enjoy the plans!  Someone has to enjoy the outcome of the planning. If there was an excursion, Christy would take care of the food, Kama transport and I the drinks- never mind which types! It was a strange dynamic and of course what brings close friends together is not what they have in common but the dynamism of each member that pulls them together. 

Over the years, these two buddies have stuck in my life through the good and the bad. We have binge-watched series countless times to the chagrin of our neighbours, we have laughed at the idiocies of life. We have drank tasteless wine and once in a while a very good one. We have fought over silly things,we have made plans that were never actualized. Sometimes, we stayed away from each other, sometimes we pursued different things and sometimes life got in the midst of our friendship but in the background, these buddies stand sentinel to the greatest friendship.

Sentinels of friendship

    
Even though we might take different turns and focus on other things like families, careeers, or move to other boring areas of residences without any explanation, we will forever keep the memories we made and the hands we held and the many splendoured things we treasured alive and above all we will treasure eath other.

TreasuresTreasures

This thing is huge, let me try a piece!!
Who will be the first one to dig in?

Aging

2016 was  a bad year period. It didnot deliver on its promise but I do not complain about that, nobody said living would be easy. But sometimes I wish- and I am prone to wishing-that something just goes right for once, such that when I look back, I can smile upon that one event that went right. But no, 2016 ensured that it will take away  every tiny bit of happiness out of me. But well, I just have to accept it as it is.

Normally there is that one person(s) that you know and believe that they will always be there for you. They might not actually do anything but their presence makes everything better and normal. That person might be a friend or a family member. For me, my tower of strength, my anchor has always been my grandmother.I would stay away from home for a while wandering here and there but I would be sure that the moment I get home and see my Granny, everything would be just fine. She was that constant in our lives. Granted that in her yester  years, she was a drama queen but in the late nineties she became that person I would always look forward to  spending time with her. She was our memory, through her, I got to meet the other half of the family tree that I never actually met. She was my link to the other world, always talking about my great grandfather and all the departed souls as if they just lived yesterday. Through her, I got to know my late grandfather better, though dead these last 16 years, she would always talk poignantly about him- a man who was aloof for most of the years that I knew him- she would humanise him to a point I would wonder whether she talked about the same man that I knew. That was the joy of meeting her every time I went home. Her stories. Her memories.Our memories. Her mind. Clear as the day she lived those experiences.

Now, December 2016. She sits across from me but my heart breaks into tiny little pieces. She does recognise me and every other member of the family even the new additions but that is about it. Inside her head, confusion reigns. When you sit with her and you remember who she was a year ago and listen to her wanderings, a mind that is jumbled up, and a spirit that longs for a rest, then realization hits you that she is no longer the person you knew.

When you sit across from her, and instead of listening to the greatest storyteller, your job is to sieve through all the disjointed wanderings and bring her mind to the present, and when you look at her and you see the sadness that is etched in her face because of all these faces  that are clammering for her attention, faces and sounds only she can see and recognise, strangers that she feels she is letting them down because she cannot attend to them, then it dawns on you that she lives in the past, a past that is her present and there is nothing any of us can do to pull her from that confusion.

My grandmother is no longer the person  I used to know  but as much is it makes me sad and breaks my heart, I have to learn to love her the way she is now. The joy of hearing her call my name, the thought of her presence still here with us makes me love her the more.The confusion might eventually overwhelm her, as the doctor predicts but she will always be that one person who I love wholeheartedly, the one person who taught me my roots. 

As 2017 rolls by my only prayer is that she lives in good health, Alzheimer’s aside and that she doesn’t loose that tiny grasp of reality that is remaining.

Rediscovering Reading

I picked up my reading again. This is such a big deal! After going through a rigorous literary course for six years, the last thing I would have picked would be a book no matter how light the reading would be. This, coupled with settling into the job market, and going through the first years of my teaching career meant I had such workload that I could barely cope.
In addition the digital world namely social media and movies have completely disrupted my reading to a point where I have repeatedly wished that I was 15 years old again spending all my time buried in a thriller and dodging my Mum to avoid being given house hold chores.
I made drastic changes in my life this July, or rather I was thrust into an emotional turmoil early in July that neccesiated that I immerse myself into reading in order to cope.
I picked a book that I had picked up early in February but could not progress through it then.
But nhen I picked this particular book last month I not only discovered my love for reading but I also managed to channel all that emotional turmoil into reading this amazing book.
My reading is usually the fast type so within three days I had finished the book and I picked a lesser emotional one and finished it within two days. 
This post isn’t about the number of books I have devoured so far but about my rekindled love for reading and also a snippet into a review I intend to do on that one amazing book that brought the awesomeness of reading back into my life.
This discovery taught me a very key lesson about reading, that it can get me through an immerse emotional turmoil, and the more affecting the book, the more effective it is. Let me explain: in July my two year relationship went kaboom.That threw me into a very intense emotional turmoil and  luckly I picked up Markus Zusaks The book Thief. Halfway through the over 600 pages, I knew I was halfway through my heart break. That book made me forget about my pain for it deals with so much pain that we humans inflict on our fellow humans. That is all I will say about the book for now.