Remorse

(Stumbled upon this piece written quite a while back)

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered what on earth you saw in them? Looks aside; I mean who they really are.

When their presence no longer elicits joy but they become more of an irritant. When the things that captivated you are no longer enough to mask the things you can’t stand. When staring at them brings to life all the regrets and disappointments.

When friends become acquaintances and lovers become strangers. When loud silence is all that exists in your encounters; encounters filled with enough awkwardness to resuscitate the Dead sea. When people who spent hours together suddenly can’t last minutes around each other.

Wounds keep getting deeper with each interaction. Bitterness grows. Contempt becomes the new norm. Arrows are shot frequently in defence and offence. Words thrown around carelessly. Bragging about new conquests is done often enough to make a point.

Time together leaves you with a bitter taste. Regrets always follow interactions. You can’t comprehend why you keep them in your life but for some reason are unable to cut them off completely.

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered?

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Me At Your Expense

Have you ever found yourself playing second fiddle in a friendship, situationship or relationship? When the other person takes centre stage and everything is mostly about them?

So there was this situationship. The guy is used to being in the limelight and has a fair share of ego. He looks good, a go-getter who always gets what he chases, ambitious guy executing his dreams, social, used to plenty of attention from the ladies and basically has a nice life revolving around what he wants.

Enters me. The sanguine who is used to attracting attention wherever I go. Only daughter of my parents (well my brother is the only son but this is not about him, lol). Girl who used to top her classes and was well known in all the 7 schools I went to (not counting the 4 institutions of higher learning). You get the picture; I’m a little selfish and I like having the world revolve around me.

Now the problem is when two such people meet and both are stubborn, there’s bound to be problems.

I hadn’t noticed how I was taking the background until recently. It occurred to me that I knew so much about him and he knew little about me. I’d be the one supporting his ideas and being there for his projects yet he was never in mine. Conversations were mostly about him, his plans and issues. If we talked about me, it always had something linked to him. I knew his background and a lot to do with his ex; I doubt he can retell anything about mine.

One day, something in me just snapped. I found myself being there in the background in the name of supporting something he was doing. I reached out just to let him know only to realise I was ignored. It was obvious after adding 2 and 2 that I was probably being shoved aside not to interfere with his spotlight.

I was pissed off! Here I was trying to be a good friend only to be treated that way. Then I remembered how it’s never been different. I was to be a non-entity at the back. Not even a shadow because that can be seen. The stage was only his and God forbid anyone knew I was anywhere around it.

I found myself asking why I stay. Friendship is mutually beneficial and so should be any form of relationship (including situationships). My friends know how amazing I am even with my many flaws. They see my value even as I see theirs because I’m surrounded by such incredible people. We sharpen each other. Adjust each other’s crowns and show the world how proud we are of each other.

So again, why would I be in a place where I am not seen as anything? Where I am not worthy to even be shown to other friends. Where nothing I do is good enough unless it serves the other’s pleasure. Where I’m made to feel like I’ll never be good enough. Where I’m forced to second guess myself.

My guess is as good as yours: this is not a healthy space. I’ll leave you with this profound quote to ponder on:

You must find the courage to leave the table, if respect is no longer being served. ” Know Your Worth- Tene Edwards

Mental Health Conversations

In light of all the #MentalHealth conversations coming up especially on #Depression and #suicide…
Sometimes these things don’t bother us and don’t make sense unless you put a face to it or it happens to someone you know or hits you personally.

Like many people, I used to think depression was one of those #WhitePeopleProblems. Something spoilt brats or weaklings or lazy people use as an excuse. So what if you were feeling sad? Life is hard enough on everyone but you don’t see the rest of us sulking or refusing to get out of bed.

Then third year happened in campus. In first year I was one of those very vocal people in class. I was actively involved in CU and very active in a few school clubs. Second year, I even became better. I got out of the slump I was in and went back to the fashion loving person I was. Heels and dressing up became the norm. I was happy and free.

Then third year happened. I started feeling a little more sickly than usual. Stomach issues from Timbuktu and back became a daily affair. I missed more classes than I could count. I also started locking myself in my room frequently. I had very close friends but I’d also cut them off. The number of times I’d cry or binge watch series just to survive!

People said I was being lazy and loved sleeping too much. That I liked skiving classes and the few I attended I’d walk out of half way. What they didn’t know is that I’d wake up each day (late as usual) and I’d be set for class when suddenly after breakfast, all hell would break loose. What I didn’t know was that my journey with depression and IBS had just begun. Last year is when I finally discovered the truth.

From then on, things pretty much went downhill. Countless moments where I’d feel too paralyzed to function. Moments where I’d break down and cry till I was numb. Too many times I’d be overwhelmed by everything going wrong. Enough times of isolation. Cutting friends off. Feeling like a constant disappointment and a burden.

To say that depression sucks, is an understatement. It’s a monster that doesn’t discriminate between the black or white race, rich or poor, weak or strong, fat or skinny, sick or healthy… anyone is prone to it and nobody chooses this.

I didn’t think this was serious until I lost someone to suicide and had a very close friend have a psychotic break because of depression that pushed too hard. From then on, I’ve heard from countless people in the same boat.

To those who are directly affected, hugs to you dear; you’re much stronger than you know!
To those who stick by people affected, oh darling, you have no idea how amazing you are.
To those who are starting to take interest in this and are trying to learn, please keep at it, you have no idea the difference you’ll make.

Petals Among Thorns

Let me begin by saying: being sick sucks! Anyone who’s been sick knows how uncomfortable and inconvenient it is. I don’t think there’s a single person who simply enjoys being unwell.

That said, I’m stuck in the house AGAIN, for the third day. What started as an annoying sore throat turned into tonsils and a flu. It got worse and I bought some drugs which worked until they suddenly didn’t. I figured since it was a public holiday, some sleep and plenty of concoctions would be everything I needed. So I slept and drank hot water with everything; lemon, ginger, honey and fenugreek.

Then the second day came and I was still sick. Fatigue and sleep came in plenty. I thought I’d rest a little then get working. Well, IBS had a big surprise prepared. I’m guessing all the concoctions plus the infection triggered the IBS.

Oh boy, I don’t even know where to start with this one! IBS is one of those things you don’t wish even on your worst enemy. Picture a life where every time you eat something, your tummy reacts. Bloating and countless trips to the loo. Muscle cramps and random chest pains where you can’t tell if it’s a heart attack or just your tummy acting up. Then my favourite is the depression.

Sigh, how our brains connect with our intestines, is one of those things I marvel at and equally frown at. Imagine having anxiety and depression just because your tummy issues flared up. And then experience the opposite where anytime you are anxious or stressed, your tummy reacts instantly.

I must say, depression has to be the worst part in all this because you can’t predict when it hits. Granted, now I comprehend things much more, so I handle it better. But even with that, it still sucks.

When it’s mild, you can go about life as usual, only that you feel like you’re carrying this heavy load that keeps slowing you down. When it hits hard; you’re crippled. There’s little or nothing you can do at that time. Your world stops but your brain goes on overdrive. Suddenly every little failure and anything that’s not working is highlighted. You feel like a wreck; like you’ll never really do anything right. You cry over the normal life you’ll never have as you remain overwhelmed by all other issues.

Thankfully, that doesn’t last forever. You hit rock bottom pretty good then you come back to life. But that cycle can easily break you; it chips at you deeper and deeper each time.

Nevertheless, I must also say that I’m grateful. Walking around with a body that often misbehaves has taught me plenty of grace. You have more compassion on others and on yourself. I have learnt to be kinder to myself and to choose peace always.

Learnt that it’s okay to have days where you seemingly do nothing; rest is essential. That it’s okay to go at my own pace and not compare current me with the me I’ve always known or with other people. That life is different now and it’s okay to take things slow when I’m not well. I have also gotten to know the importance of support systems and relaxing techniques.

Yes, I wish life was different. Yes I still believe God heals and have experienced that personally. Yes I’ve prayed countless times and had crazy faith. Yes I’ve cried enough times asking God why on earth He thought I’d be able to handle this. Complained enough about Him not taking this away yet He has the power.

But I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m loved insanely and that God doesn’t always calm the storm but calms His child in the storm. Because ultimately, storms not only leave us much stronger but there are beautiful lessons we’d never learn if life was all nice and smooth.

The Enemy I Loved

The hardest part about moving on in relationships (platonic or romantic) is the comparison; when you compare what you had versus what exists now. Where best friends become strangers, the happiest of couples break up or situationships turn into a complicated mess.

You’re left to deal with the memories of the wonderful thing you had but struggle with reconciling it with what you’re left with in the present. You look at someone who you shared life with, had spectacular moments with; someone who you opened your heart to and left your soul bare. You look at the way you treat each other now. The awkward moments when you meet, the deafening silence between you two, the cruelty that replaced care and affection, and the vast space in between.

You have numerous moments when you reminisce on the good times. More than once, you find yourself wishing you could go back to the way things were. You miss them terribly.

But then you remember what got you in the place you’re currently in. The changes, mistakes made, character flaws, harsh words exchanged, cold treatment, lack of effort to reconcile… the list is endless. Suddenly you recall the darkness and the coldness.

You sober up and realise that things are better off this way. It’s hard mostly, it sucks big time and it hurts most times. But you know deep inside that there’s no returning to where you once were; that ship sailed.

So you pull up your big girl/boy pants and drag your feet. It’s time to embrace goodbye. Time to truly move on. Yeah, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Wondering Wanderer

You know things are pretty bad when not even YouTube helps. Yes, I’m at work trying to gather every ounce of motivation I can muster just to get something done. I started with actual work but just the one that’s nowhere near urgent and will not be required anytime soon; all the urgent ones are busy staring at me. Then I figured replying to an email I received from a friend over 3 months ago would help. Well, it felt great writing to him again but that still hasn’t gotten me back to work.

Super colourful cute desktop wallpapers have to do, right? Sigh, that hit a dead end faster than I could finish hitting the refresh button. I guess I’ll be sticking with my current baby:

06_2017_wallpaper_desktop_quote

I began flipping through playlists that normally have me all excited and ready to take on the world… that also failed miserably. I knew writing would be good for me so I posted on my Facebook page; something pointless with a touch of humour. Well that worked for about 5 minutes and I was right back to square one.

The funny thing is that my state today kinda relates with the state my life has been in lately. I honestly can’t tell you where I am precisely because even I don’t know. I’ve been wading through so many unfamiliar things, mistakes, setbacks and unexpected personal growth that I no longer comprehend anything.

Have you ever wondered who on earth the person you are staring at is? You look at yourself and cannot recognize the person you currently are. Yeah, that’s where I’m at currently. If someone told a younger me that the 27 year-old me would be where I am; I would never believe it.

The mistakes I have made are countless! The detours I have encountered are innumerable but the growth has also been tremendous. So yes I am still not settled, no financial stability, no guy and my career has become quite the adventure in that I have been in a very different place each year.

Would I trade it? No, not at all. A “normal” life would have bored me to death. I guess God really knew the sense of adventure He placed in me and figured I’d appreciate all the curves my life has taken and will probably keep taking. After discovering that I am a Multipotentialite  or what Barbara Sher calls a Scanner, I finally made peace with the fact that I will never really be settled in one place because my numerous interests and abilities have to be utilised.

Emotionally, let’s just say I am yet to ace things but I truly like the woman I am now. I have learnt: how to refuse to take crap from people, how to enforce boundaries (oh I am still growing in this), how to say no without feeling guilty (okay, maybe just less guilty), how to like someone and not be bothered to do something about it, how to recognise that rejection simply means I am not the right person, for only THAT specific task or person not that there’s something wrong with me, how to love people but within healthy boundaries and only to give my all to the people who can handle it and most of all, how to not make apologies for who I am.

So yes I remain flawed and yes I feel like a wanderer most days but I guess that’s what makes life life. I may never figure it all out but I may as well enjoy the roller-coaster ride.

Becoming My Own Sun (Guest Post)

Today’s post comes from someone I love in ways I can’t even express! Someone who probably knows all my secrets and walks me through the mess that’s mostly my life.

And boy can this lady write!!! I’m not even being biased here; her pieces are intimidatingly beautiful. I read this particular one and I’m yet to recover. Trying to collect the pieces of my heart while hoping that these tears I shed will somehow be the glue to patch me back together.

Savour this one, you’ll absolutely love it!

BECOMING MY OWN SUN

Dear Hez,

I love you.
God I love you.
I love the way you make me laugh, at the most stupid things, in the most inappropriate of times. Or the vibes we share when around other people who cannot see through it. And have whole communications without words.

Or when in the middle of me laughing, I will stop and catch your stare. Serious, and warm. But definitely a stare. Like you just chanced upon a masterpiece.
I love how we will have built conversations from the most mundane of things. And how you notice the smallest of details. Like how a conversation made me uncomfortable, and you take time to get back to it and see what you could have done differently.

I love how you kiss me. As if nothing else, nothing else matters. And you affirm me and tell me I am beautiful. That you are lucky to have me. And how you, tender and caring, want to know, every second minute whether I’m fine.
As if you will change the weather to suit my wants, but you still ask. I totally dig that about you.
I love how you take care of things. Make sure everybody is fine, that they are home safe, especially when you don’t have to.
I love staying with you, anywhere. You almost always feel like home.

Then we have had pain. Even in the midst of all these stars in our path.
The first time you stabbed me was that September in 2011. I had just left my other relationship and was finally ready to date you. And when we talked the night I knew I was ready, I did not see the pain lunging towards me. You said you were concerned, that I was going to cheat on you. Because I had just left my relationship and had been crazy about the ex.

I remember I was in a new bed in a new campus, in our new house. I muffled my sobs because I didn’t want to wake my new roommate up. And I had hung up. Every word had felt like this sword you were driving into me, into my heart. You had never had me hung up on you and it made you get upset. I didn’t want you to hear me cry, my dignity was already mopping the floor.

Then after I hung up I had cried. I cried so hard that night. I wondered how someone who knew me so well would be so mistaken about me. And I wondered whether now that I was available I had become less attractive, another person’s old toy you did not want part of. And I didn’t want to talk to you again after that. It hurt too much. Our relationship became stilted after that, we talked, but it was once in a while. And we took some time.

Three years later, in 2014, after I had finished school, come to Nairobi, we started off again. This time there was less drama. And we were at different places in life. I was starting my career while you were clearing school. We had a thing. You would come over, I would cook. We would have a good time, and we would talk, endlessly, watch movies. We hung out with mutual friends. No one knew a thing about what was happening between us.

Then one day, I asked that you commit to a relationship. And you jumped ship. You couldn’t do it, you said. It wasn’t the right time. There was too much going on. And this time, I didn’t want to stick around and start rebuilding my heart again. So I asked that we break the situationship off. And we did not really speak for a while. Till January of 2015. Here you said, that you had been seeing other people this while. And I remember being awake as you slept, wondering what it is about me that said, I could be treated that way.

Now you are back, again, three years later. You have a bag full of apologies.
You say you miss your friend, that you realised we had a good thing going. That nobody gets you encouraged like I do. You speak about caring for me, being my man.

But you don’t want hard conversations.
Whenever I bring up your history of hurting me, you say, can’t I see the apologies you have made? And you ask why I want you to walk on eggshells.
And now we are here, fighting. Fighting too much to even talk through things.

And now you cannot talk to me. Because you have clumped up. You are convinced somehow, that I am not a big enough person to forgive you. And I am tired of this whole shebang.
And all the fighting we are doing, it doesn’t help me or you. It all hurts me and you too.

You are here, and just like always, you don’t know what you want this time as well.
I guess to you I am a thrill of a chase. Then when the chase dies down, so does your appetite. Someone to keep you happy, sometimes warm your bed, take care of you as you figure things out.

And now that I am tired of being that for you, a high, a temporary place holder as you chase more tail, you don’t want to talk anymore. You I intend to keep punishing you for things you have already said you are sorry for. Because sorry is a sap that should stitch back together the trust issues you have so intricately created.

As if I should by a magic wand, let all the hurt you have caused fly away, and give you clean slates for which to pour your still undecided self. As if I haven’t nursed wounds from you for months on end. Waking up to oil the wounds, keeping them from the sun, crying in silence at night while they bleed.
I am tired.
I am sorry.
I forgave you. I did.
Take the pain and shove it, you say.
Forgive me because see, I am very sorry.

But the reason I’m sorry, is because I I’m not that girl anymore.
It’s not enough anymore for you to come in and leave my life as you please.
It’s not okay to be the one receiving bread crumbs, the girl you have a life with but don’t introduce as yours. The girl you are okay telling she means the world as long as the world doesn’t know.
I’m sorry.