Journey Back to Me

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I’m trying to trace the way to the loo according to the directions I was given. I meet the calf again and it’s staring at me. Being the girl I am, I’m tempted to go all “awww such a cute little thing” but I pass by simply admiring its black and white hide. Maybe I hoped it would flash a smile or wink at me like the dog in the previous homestead. No, I wasn’t seeing my own things, that dog winked at me! Well maybe it was warding off some fly from its eye.
I walk on and realise the path to that toilet feels like one of those escapades knights or princes take while saving those girls trapped in towers. It’s a narrow path  with towering stinging nettles all over. I get to the wooden structure and can’t figure out a way to close the door. I’m holding my breath and hoping the pieces of wood acting as a floor wouldn’t give way. The hole underneath is like a million feet deep and I’ve heard too many stories of people dying after toilets collapse.
I make it out alive and head back to the kitchen. I finally discovered why people here have such good skins. Those kitchens are perfect saunas! The heat is enough to open your pores and the cold outside completes the cycle. I’ve had more than enough tea today; it’s the accepted way to welcome guests. This act of love is something I’m starting to enjoy; so tea=love, that’s the equation.
Yeah I’m among the millions who travelled upcountry for Christmas. This for me has been a journey of finding myself. No, I’m not some spoilt city girl or one of those brats who only go home once a century to collect enough photos for instagram while exclaiming enough “OMGs”.
I’ve been trying to piece up things. This whole feeling of not belonging has been hanging like a cloud around me. I always felt like I never really fit in anywhere. It wasn’t because I was from two different ethnic backgrounds. It had to do with practically everything. 
Somehow, this trip has been very significant. All through the journey, God kept reminding me that this is my land, these are my people and I belong here. There has been a lot of emphasis on the value of family. We are not supposed to walk alone. God intended that we all have places where we belong and where we find love and acceptance. Sadly, that’s not always the case. 
Maybe it’s the reason why God has been keen on reconciling me to my people. It’s the reason why I feel this peace and like my heart is at home. I’m rediscovering love in ways I hadn’t noticed before and joy in being with people. This has been beautiful and I can’t wait to bring my friends to see this place. Not only for the breathtaking landscapes but the wonderful people.

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Embracing the New

​In this whole quest to make my heart less like Alcatraz (yes, the maximum high-security federal prison), I decided to explore some of the lessons I’ve been picking up this year. One that stood out was the reality that in a bid to guard our hearts, Christian ladies had turned into a whole other thing. Our interaction with men became less and less, the more we read those blogs or books by the ladies or men who we are faithfully following on social media. When we interacted with guys, it would be through the lense we developed while praying for the husband we desire. Suddenly, most guys are scrutinized initially to see if they could be the one or not. If they don’t match our list, they’re promptly locked up in the friendzone or worse, the brotherzone. The cycle continues with most guys we meet.

Then somewhere along the way, God graciously gives us wisdom to do less of that and patience to wait. So we decide to enjoy staying hidden while we wait. The problem becomes, we get too comfortable waiting or while hiding, we peek through the blinds eager to see who the one is. Any date we’re invited to is either turned down because we don’t want to lead a brother on or because we were taught how we’re not to date but only be involved in courtship.

All these good intentions become marred by the tendencies we pick. Ultimately, this leads to very unhealthy interactions with men. We either put up crazy security systems around our hearts or start treating most guys as potential future husbands. This of course leads to disappointment or heartbreaks from all the guys we think led us on.

I attended an event recently where God used a very unlikely person to remind me of basic things. First, that not every coffee date is the beginning of a courtship or any romantic relationship. Dates should be made less complicated and the pressure reduced. At times we make guys feel like after one date, he’d better be window shopping for a cute ring. Dates should be easy platforms for people to simply get to know each other. Not every date is a romantic one.




Secondly, it is not a crime to interact with guys freely. Assuming ‘the one’ is out there (not that you have only one person marked to be yours and yours alone), how will they get to know you if you’re that locked up? Or busy scaring every guy away with your crazy expectations to be married after a few dates? Be friends with them, be easy, be yourself. Yes boundaries are necessary but do away with the maximum security fences.

Anyway, so in the attempt to be less rigid and interact more, I agreed to meet up this guy. We met at an event and I knew him or about his existence, some years back but we’d never talked. He asked for my number and texted me the next day requesting to meet me. I thought about it and decided that meeting up should be just that. Plus I love getting to know new people.

It went quite well and it was a pleasure getting to know someone new. It gave me the freedom to be relaxed and be myself. It was refreshing to be out having conversations and savouring my favourite treats. There’s something about meeting new people that helps you rediscover yourself and interrogate notions you hold. New people at times aren’t like us and we’re made to review ideas we hold concerning people.

So now I plan to exercise more wisdom and appreciate the unlearning that I’ve been experiencing this year. I’m going to allow myself to maintain the lovely relationships I have with the guys in my life and give new ones a chance. Hopefully, I’ll get to remind a few of us to do the same. Take some of that pressure off the friendships you have and simply enjoy them for what they are.

How we Got Here

A recent interaction with my ex led me down memory lane. The entire experience was a reminder of everything I had walked away from but was still available to go back to. I knew it was completely out of bounds albeit a very tempting ‘out of bounds’ situation.
Which had me thinking of why I left in the first place. This was one of those break ups where none of us fought, disagreed or had any issue whatsoever. It wasn’t also one of those, “it’s not you, it’s me” kinda break up.

I remember explaining on phone how I was going through a spiritual journey which I had to do alone and couldn’t drag him. That was me trying to sugarcoat the actual reality; I was reconnecting with God and I knew dating a non believer wasn’t going to work. He said something I never forgot because it’s a perfect example of how chivalry is alive: “I am the one who asked you to be my girlfriend and I agreed to do it for better or for worse. This is one of those worse situations, so it’s okay…”

The tears that followed were mainly because I felt horrible. I was the girl who agreed to date a nonbeliever knowing well that it would bring problems but I was feeling betrayed by God and Christian men in general, at that time. I felt it was unfair to have built something only to rip it apart. I had made promises which I ultimately broke when ending the relationship. Most of all it felt cruel to break up with someone while he was out at war.
Which begs the question, why did I even date him in the first place. Well, in that period, I witnessed 3 relationships that I esteemed highly, break up. They were Christian men who I really respected and one of them was used as an example of the type of guy I’d actually want. Then all 3 crumbled at around the same time. All 3 had gotten to the level of engagement and one was even a month away from the wedding. The common denominator was that the men were the ones who shattered the hearts of the ladies involved. It left me feeling cheated. I asked God why I had been waiting patiently for such men if they were going to turn out just like the unsaved guys or the ones who were in church but not serious. This was the first thing that set the stage in motion.

The second one had to do with a guy I’d been in a situationship with. I told you about the radio presenter and how that ended. So this happened still within the same period when the 3 break ups occurred. I was hurt and looking for a way to get over him. I took advantage of the fact that he’d travelled outside the country for business. The only problem was that every time I was on Facebook (which was a lot of times! Blame it on free WiFi), his name would be right at the top of the chat list. We’d grown accustomed to talking practically the entire time we were online. So now I had to figure out a way to survive online without yielding to the urge to initiate the conversation.

Then just when I needed the distraction, my ex said hi. I didn’t know who he was at first and would have automatically ignored him because he didn’t even have his photo posted. He quickly introduced himself and I realised he was someone I knew from 5-6 years ago. I was excited to reconnect and thus began our chatting. He was coming back to the country and we planned to meet up.

Let’s just say I was blown away by the man he’d become. I enjoyed hanging out and talking. That’s when I started asking myself why I’d say no to him in case he asked me out. I liked him and the only objection would be the fact that he wasn’t saved. Suddenly, everything happening around me worked to his advantage. I told God that if Christian men were that disappointing then I didn’t see why I’d turn down a guy who wasn’t saved but still knew God. After that, I deliberately refused to discuss the whole thing with God. I knew what He’d say and I didn’t want to hear it.

That’s how on that last Sunday of February, on a lovely evening, he went down on his knee to ask me to be his girlfriend and I said yes… Well, that of course didn’t last long. He went away less than a week after that and God caught up with me immediately. The rest was well documented on this blog (Lol).

I regretted dragging an innocent person through such drama but all the same, I don’t believe in coincidences. I gave my heart at that time and had one of the best practical lessons on how to be loved. It was the first time I got to grasp the concept of unconditional love. Well, not that the relationship gave me exactly that but I saw how it’s possible for a flawed person to be loved and the said flaws be something someone else actually liked.

Persuaded Pressured?

We met at a Bible trivia competition; he was one of the two who were best in their team, I was one of the two best in ours. We were both very social. It felt like a beautiful match.

We met again soon after as he joined campus. Conversations were priceless, we hit it off from the word go. Long walks and long conversations always get to me. He was good at both. He had a way with words; his texts were quite poetic. I was hooked.

He had a way of saying the right things and noticing the smallest of details. He once said he liked how when I smiled, a slight dimple would form on one of my cheeks (finally someone noticed the dimple!!). He’d been a former bad boy and after getting saved, he vowed never to take advantage of ladies. Instead of breaking their hearts and esteem, he’d help build them. That’s why he was sincere with his words and never withheld the compliments.

Soon enough, the chemistry was undeniable. However, there was one problem: he insisted that he didn’t deserve me. Goodness, what was wrong with this guy? I was the one getting someone way out of my league; there were countless ladies that would give anything to be his. So I decided to do my best to persuade him until he realised his value. I kept telling him that just because gold was covered in mud, didn’t mean it wasn’t precious.

I don’t know whether he gave in to the pressure or he was persuaded enough. A week before I was to leave for campus, we started dating. I was sure this is what I had been waiting for.

In my head, we’d be the lovely Christian couple, doing all the right things and showing people how it should be done. We’d date through campus and I thought marriage would probably follow maybe a year or two after that. I was willing to walk with him that whole time. It would also be perfect because nobody would disturb me when I joined campus; I’d be off the market.

Well, that probably lasted for a month. In less than a month, our relationship was strained. I’d be busy during the day so I wouldn’t do prompt replies anymore. By evening he’d probably be tired of my antics and so conversations became brief. At some point I thought because he once made a comment that he feared I’d meet an amazing lawyer guy in campus and ditch him, therein lay the problem. We tried talking things out when I came home a few weeks later and agreed to revive things. Needless to say, that relationship died a slow death.

Looking back, I realised how selfish and self centred I was. That guy really put up with enough of me. I feel like I’d pushed him into it, all in the name of encouraging a man to do that which he actually wanted to do. I should have listened to him and let things stay as they were or allowed him to move at his pace; but no, this Missy liked having her way. An innocent guy probably got hurt along the way. I wished I’d sit down and talk things over; get to hear his perspective and apologize to him. I thought about it this year and tried getting his number but I wasn’t able to get any contacts. Maybe I should let sleeping dogs lie; it might do more damage if I resurrect the past. Maybe I should have done that the day I had him come and emcee my graduation party. Maybe… but maybe I’ll never know.

The HTC Guy

​It’s April 2013, I’m loving the break away from school. While my classmates are busy attending classes and reading for C.A.Ts, I’m having a splendid time at a Trainers workshop. A lovely room all to myself and sumptuous meals daily; I feel adequately spoilt! 

I can’t remember at what point during the week I first noticed him. Well, as laid back as he was, somehow, for me he still stood out. Maybe because most of the other people were either far older or not the usual lot I’d be found hanging out with. I think the first time we talked was during a session when we happened to sit next to each other and we were required to draw the person we were seated with. Needless to say, he drew a stick (wo)man with the biggest head I’ve ever seen, Lol. I should have been offended but we laughed it off. At least we both had a sense of humour.

I became more fascinated with every interaction and every glance. I wanted to hang out with him a little more. The perfect opportunity came on the day before the workshop ended. I was asked to go buy gifts for the facilitators since one of them was leaving. I quickly suggested I get someone to drive me and of course suggested his name (should’ve seen how I tried to politely reject some other guy who was offering to take me).

So finally I get to have him take me but before I get all excited, he somehow strings along this beautiful lady from a neighbouring country. Sigh, all that effort only for me to end up being a third wheel!!! 

Anyway, long story short, before the workshop ended, we exchanged numbers. As fate would have it (nah I don’t believe in fate), he forgot his HTC charger there and I happened to be the only person he knew would be in that area. I was attending a wedding there so I was delighted to be called to do that. Well, he somehow managed to eventually come over and we went to look for the charger together.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. We became friends and would talk daily. I loved the long phone calls and as expected, a crush developed. The more I knew him and the more we talked, the more I liked him. I wasn’t too sure how he felt.

You see, with him, I kept picking mixed signals. When I’d retreat, he’d look for me but this felt like a script right out of the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’. Apart from the one time we met and did a drive to some random place and talked until past sunset, he’d always seem to have a reason not to meet. I’d never understand how we were in the same city, talk daily but we wouldn’t meet.

I eventually got tired of feeling like I was being a little too much. Tired of feeling like I was forcing myself and feeling like the picture displayed was one of a desperate girl. My natural disposition to shower people with too much affection and attention, was beginning to look like an act of desperation. That’s where I began holding back.

To end the story, by the end of the year we’d stopped talking. For a long time I’d feel so stupid and foolish. I kept replaying all the mistakes I made. I started hating the person I felt I’d become during that year. I eventually got completely over him and all emotions faded. Thankfully, a friendship or pseudo friendship remained and we talk once in a blue moon, mostly about business. I didn’t remain with any bitterness against him; I probably was bitter against myself for a long time. But now I can sincerely laugh about it; maybe because I got over everything 2 years ago.

Well, the experience taught me a lot. That was the first time I discovered what emotional intimacy was and effects of that. This became one of the best lessons in life! Yeah, I still had other emotional intimacy experiences before and after that but this was the first time I’d paused to really think about it. I also got to know who an EUM was; an Emotionally Unavailable Man, and how I was easily drawn to such.

So yes, this probably counts as a notable event in the journey back to my heart.

PS: I should end this with a note to the guy featured… Hey, I probably should have told you all this a long time ago, Lol, I truly intended to! It was to be among my initial posts in 2014. Sorry for springing this surprise, but I will buy you coffee and laugh at all this πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

Journey Back to My Heart

​I’m not sure at what exact point this morning, my current reflections began. What I do remember is feeling very heartless and cold. I think I was trying to justify why I didn’t feel like doing a certain conversation. The excuses would be similar at different occasions: uh-uh, we’re not at that point where you know me well enough to be acting like we’re BFFs… I’m not sure I should be this friendly with you, we don’t want you getting the wrong message… I’m not sure I want you becoming more than an acquaintance, you don’t fit the description of the kind of friends I like… the list grows longer or simply gets adjusted accordingly in each situation.

Goodness, the arrogance, conceitedness and selfishness displayed! I was mortified when the mirror was placed to show my current state. Yes I’d noticed the telltale signs- being a little more impatient with people, being a lot more irritable and enough selfish actions. When confronted with such reality, I’d tell God how bad I feel for acting that way but that I honestly felt my love reserve was empty. Then things would be easily forgotten until the next incident.

So this morning while in bed and coming to terms with reality, a certain line from a song popped up in my head. “How did my heart become so lifeless and cold…”

I decided to put the song on replay until I felt something. After awhile, I figured I should embark on a journey, down memory lane, as I revisit moments that probably took bits or chunks of my heart. Maybe this will help me discover how I started losing my heart or if that heart actually existed in the first place.

This probably will translate to a series of posts (oh yes, I’ll flood your Reader or Timeline with stories). I choose raw honesty because I’d rather feel the pain than stuff it in some dark closet only for it to keep resurfacing at unexpected moments. Laying myself bare is petrifying and will probably reveal truths I’d never told those involved or the ones who were close to me. Either way, I think it’s a necessary journey.

Who’s at the end of that line?

​A few days ago, during a conversation with this guy, I mentioned how I’d noticed that I’ve been talking to my ex a little more frequently, in the recent past. You should’ve seen how quick he was to tell me how much trouble that was. He insisted that the only thing I was doing was rekindling a fire and building false hopes. My argument didn’t hold water. I tried explaining how all I wanted to do was ensure there was no awkwardness between us and I mean, who said we had to be enemies with every ex? (Lol, a dying (wo)man sure will clutch at a straw)

Somehow a conversation on how we usually string people along, came up. This is something too many of us end up doing! Let’s explore a few scenarios and see if you relate:

There’s this person you’re friends with, nothing romantic but you simply happen to have such interesting conversations. Anytime you need to talk or just enjoy some entertainment, they are your go-to person. Your conversations can be deep and you like how they get most of the things you discuss. They flow with your jokes, they speak your kind of silly and basically, you rarely get bored while with them. However, there are times you ask yourself if probably you may be sending the wrong message. You keep brushing that off ’cause if that were true, then you’d have to cut down several things. There’s no way you’re giving up what you guys have; I mean, as far as you’re concerned, the other person should understand this is pure friendship, right?

Then there’s this friend you have who you discovered, might be feeling something. Again, like the above situationship, you can’t imagine sacrificing the amazing friendship you have. The perks of being ‘just friends’ can’t be surrendered. They’re good enough to be your friend but not good enough to date. Alternatively, you think dating them would be too weird, eww! 

The other person is the one you already have pet names with and is the one you drag along to go try out new food joints or check out the newest events in town. You guys talk your hearts out most times. Well, you’re just friends, that’s what you tell anyone who asks.

Of course the last category involves the ex or someone who told you sometime back, that they like you. You keep tabs on each other, in the name of ‘not allowing things to be weird’ between you. 

Now let’s flip it around: you have this person who makes you laugh, totally gets you, great conversations happen or long phone calls are involved. Somewhere along the way, you fall for them. You can’t tell them because you don’t want to lose them. You keep hoping that they feel the same or mutual feelings will come up. It eventually dawns on you that you’ll never be more than friends. You try retreating to mend your broken heart and heal your wounds but this person keeps calling. 

When you’re on the receiving end, it hurts badly. So why do we do the same to others? It is not fair and it scars people. However, we knowingly or unknowingly keep doing this at different points in life. Take a closer look around you, who are you stringing along? When you do find that person, do them a favour and cut that line. It will hurt now, but the damage would be greater if you go on.

PS: now that we’re celebrating independence day today, don’t you think it’s the perfect moment to set some people free? (Wink)