The Sadness That Lingers

I am lying in bed, contemplating my options or my excuses it is cold and raining in Nairobi. I could call in sick which would seem the most plausible to justify. I don’t look sick, not in the physical sense of the word.My sickness can’t be seen as cuts or wounds. It can’t be measured by a thermometer or felt by a hand to the forehead. My sickness lingers in my head or my heart or maybe even my soul. I don’t really know where but it lingers like a heavy overcast in the sky.

My alarm goes off again and I let it.I am too tired to shut it off. I  am unfathomed by its perpetual shrieks. It rings as background noise in comparison to my running thoughts. Thoughts of school, of work, of people and of life run rampant in my head, weighing me down into defeat.I just want to lay in bed, in the predictable warmth of sheets and blankets.

I will get up though, eventually because today is some irrelevant midweek day, not the weekend. I once knew the days of the week, when they were significant enough to be distinct from each other. Now, they just mesh into a single blur of existing and surviving. Life isn’t hard though, not in the ways the news tells you it could be about NYS ,Health scandals and many corruption scandals hashtags. I don’t have it that bad, I tell myself as I slowly get out of bed.My morning pep talks are more guilt driven than motivation.

I should be okay; I might even have everything whatever everything is. An objective outsider could analyze my life and conclude there is nothing wrong, but my feelings are in direct conflict and I loathe that.I agree with the objective outsider. I am well aware of how lucky I am.I am  have things that most of the world doesn’t. I should be happy, but  ain’t I.

My sickness is my sadness. There is no substantive reason for my sadness though, unlike others. I have never experienced anything traumatic, lost anyone significant or faced some other life-altering event. I am  just as average as they come with enough fortune to deem an acceptable good life.

I try to fight it.I count my blessings as the cliché dictates. I even start a gratitude journal and write listicles of my good life. But gratitude isn’t the antidote to sadness. People like me are immune to any of its remedying effects. I read the lists of blessings and only see more reasons to feel guilty, immersing back into the trap.
I might see a doctor and he’ll ask for my symptoms but I don’t really have any that match his list. I linger in bed sure, but I eventually get up.My thoughts are weighting but nothing equating to harm.I might be a bit reserved but I still have friends and family I see regularly. I ain’t the poster child of sadness and the doctor sees this. He’ll dismiss me in ignorance; tell me it’s nothing abnormal from the norm. If I insist, he might appease me with some prescriptions. I might try them initially but eventually throw them out too.

Maybe their side effects were too strong or my illness really wasn’t that severe medically. Regardless, I give up and my attempts to fix myself cease.

My sadness remains unexplained and that’s what makes me feel worse. It’s the morning dread that extends into an all day affair. It’s how my feet drag, how my head lays low and how my eyes avoid contact or stare into abyss. It’s listening to people talk but not understanding a word because my thoughts are louder. It’s the façade of being a yes person, accepting social invitations which I  always regret when I would rather be in bed. It’s the tiresome effort to keep up with life’s charade that eats at me slowly. It’s seeing irrelevancy in everything and everyone and never knowing emotions of the contrary.

​What you don’t know about the Doctor’s Strike

Truth is, negotiations over compensation arrangements always involve legitimate self-interest. The seller of services (in this case a doctor) attempts to obtain as much compensation as possible, while the buyer (Government) attempts to obtain the service at the lowest possible cost.
That is why there needs to be an updated nation’s estimated fair market value for every profession at any point in time. But before we get to that, here’s a major problem we have as Kenyans:
Simple Math
In the new demands, the proposed minimum basic salary is Ksh.107,730 up from the current Ksh.35,910. That’s a 200% INCREMENT not 300%. The 300% reflects the proposed pay as a percentage of the current pay NOT THE INCREMENT! Including allowances, the proposed minimum gross pay is Ksh.325,730 over the current Ksh.127,910. That’s a 154.65% INCREMENT and NOT 300% INCREMENT with 254.65% being the proposed gross pay as a percentage of the current gross pay.
Since we’ve cleared the air on the math, basing our arguments around the 154.65% Total Pay increment is utterly misleading. The argument should instead be centered on whether the basic salary the physicians are asking for reflects their fair market value. We need to take note of the fact that the 154.65% basically indicates the deviation of the current pay from what the physicians perceive to be the current fair market value of the profession.
So do the pay demands reflect the fair market value of a Physician in Kenya? This should be the basis of the discussion.
The Fair market value in this case is determined by several factors but I’d like to bring one obvious one into the spotlight: The Patient Demand. According to a recent article on The Star on a recent study by KMPDU, the survey revealed that Kenya has 3,956 doctors in the public sector but the number drops by the month as more doctors resign, having already lost over 2,000 of them as a result of poor working conditions. 3,956 doctors in public sector means Kenya is a nation with an estimated doctor: patient ratio of 1:17,000 against WHO recommended ratio of 1:1,000.
A ratio of 1:17000 mathematically means that each physician does the work of relatively 17 physicians ceteris paribus. That’s a mathematical projection of the current patient overload on an average physician in Kenya. Cuba, on the other hand, with 70,000 trained physicians, currently leads the world with the lowest doctor to patient ratio of 1:155 as per 2012; it’s probably at 1:140 or less by now. Clearly the lowest patient overload in the world~ Just in case you were about to bring Cuba Physician pay into the picture.
India on the other end has doctor to patient ratio of 1:1,681 as per 2016. South Africa: 1: 1,298 against a minimum gross pay of about Ksh. 370,000 per month. Do not forget that the average Consumer Price Index of South Africa over the past 3 years has been around 120.5 while Kenya’s at around 161.
So what does this data show us? Kenyan Physicians are overworked. And more importantly, the market value for a physician in Kenya is approximately over 10 Times higher than a physician in South Africa or USA for instance. Sad story.
Ok…enough with the pay and the suffering of these poor doctors.
Money is a sensitive issue. Definitely why the other more important demands in the CBA are easily going unnoticed: Review of physician working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions and training, addressing under-staffing of medical professionals in public hospitals, availing of appropriate Medical Equipment, Medical Research facilitation among others.
The truth is, the realities of public hospitals in Kenya are horrible. With the implementation of this agreement as it is, we can project improved services in public hospitals especially for the average Kenyan. We don’t need any more of us struggling with finances to get folks to India or South Africa.
A study of the confederation of Indian Industry in 2005 put the annual number of Medical Tourists at 151,000 and projected the figure to rise by 15% a year. Current estimates put the numbers at around 500,000. About 60% of Kenyans who travel for medical care go to India, with South Africa coming at a distant second with slightly above 15%.
Studying these two countries, their major Health Industry Strengths are: Better doctor to patient ratio, Better working conditions, Better medical equipment and Medical Research facilitation. These, among others, generally translate to better services in public hospitals.
The same is possible for Kenya with this agreement’s implementation. Besides access to quality Health Services for an average Kenyan, Kenya can become a hub of medical tourism in the East Africa Region. According to Pathway CEO in a recent article on Nation, every month we get up to 2,000 patients coming to Kenya Hospitals from the greater East Africa region. We can triple this numbers every year.
But our government simply wants to trade all that with a 40% pay rise just to silence the doctor’s strike.
This is a government that allocates only Ksh. 60.4 Billion to Health, 2.43% of the 2016/2017 budget. The same government has lost over Ksh. 600 Billion to CORRUPTION, 24.2% of the 2016/2017 budget. It’s a shame.

Think about it. And don’t stop.

A Prayer For The Days You Feel Broken Beyond Repair

Dear God,

I come to you with every part of myself shattered. I come to you with the person I used to be so far gone, I can hardly remember him. I come to you with honestly, nothing.

Because I not only have lost my way, but I’ve lost myself.

Today I looked in the mirror and I didn’t recognize the reflection. There is an ache that I can see in my face, in the lines around what used to be my smile, in the hollowness of my eyes.

Father, I’m sad. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been hard on myself. I used to be so strong. I used to be so happy. Life used to bring me down, but never this far. I always had the strength to rise again.

But now, I don’t know what happened.

Maybe I’ve strayed too far from your light. Maybe I let people pull me away from your mercy. Maybe I’ve trusted my own feet to guide me, when I should have been following your footsteps all along.

Maybe I’ve been trying to do this all alone, when what I really need to do is let go and give this pain to you.

See, God, I’ve been aching for too long now. My heart feels broken. My eyes feel heavy. My legs are like dead weight, dragging behind me with every step. I’ve started to see the world differently. I don’t open my eyes and smile into the sunshine. I don’t laugh easily at the silly jokes of life. I don’t look at strangers, or listen to the birds, or pet puppies when they pass by me on the street.

I’ve just been ho-humming through my days. I’ve just been wishing every second away. I’ve just been dreading, and plugging, and existing. I haven’t been living. And I want this to change.

Lord, I need you. I need your grace. I need your forgiveness. I need your love to lift this heavy weight from my shoulders and help me begin again.

For too long I’ve been carrying this burden. For too long I’ve been letting my heartache determine my fate. For too long I’ve been looking in this mirror and only seeing the cracks, the brokenness, the faults, the flaws.

And I need to see you again.

Lord, I ask that you come back into my life, that you flood me with your holiness and happiness. I ask that you come to me in my brokenness, in my undeserving, sinful nature, and remind me that I am always forgiven, always loved.

Please remind me who I am. Please remind me I am yours.

Please take these shattered pieces of my heart, these tired hands, these crying eyes, this lonely heart and turn my face to you, Lord. Show me how your forgiveness has healed me, and will continue to heal me, every single day. Show me how your mercy will lift me from this place of despair.

Show me that I do not have to live like this anymore.

And brighten my days, bring a smile to my face. Teach me that when I feel irreparably broken, I can always turn to you and you will make me whole again.

Remind me that I am never alone.

And remind me, when I look in the mirror, that I need not look for negativity, for faults, for all the pieces of me that are imperfect. Help me to see happiness again. Help me to see a Son of Christ, beautiful because of His love for me.

Amen. 

Valentine’s Day

​How did Valentine’s Day begin and who was St. Valentine? The real story, facts and history behind February 14

Many of us associate the ‘most romantic day of the year’ with flowers and cards, but what’s the real reason we celebrate?

It’s renowned for being the ‘most romantic day of the year’.

And many of us use it as an opportunity to show affection for our loved ones with cards, flowers or chocolates.
But why exactly do we celebrate Valentine’s Day and why does it fall on February 14?

Well I’ve trawled through the history books to find out the real reasons so you don’t have to – and the background casts a very different light on the holiday.
How did Valentine’s Day begin?


Valentine’s Day chocolate treats

Valentine’s Day is an old tradition thought to have originated from a Roman Festival known as Lupercalia, according to History.com.
It was held on February 15 as a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
During the celebrations boys would draw names of girls from a box and the pair would be partners during the festival.
These matches often led to marriage.
The festival survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St Valentine’s Day.
Chaucer may have actually made it all up Geoffrey Chaucer might not look it but he’s Mr Lover Man, sort of Chaucer, as in The Canterbury Tales writer, may have actually been behind Valentine’s Day. The medieval English poet took quite a few liberties with history. He’d drop his poetic characters into real-life historical events leaving readers wondering if that’s what really happened.
There is no actual record of Valentine’s Day before Chaucer’s poem in 1375. It’s in Parliament of Foules that he links the tradition of courtly love to the St Valentine’s feast day – the tradition didn’t exist until after his poem.
The poem refers to February 14 as the day of birds coming together to find a mate. “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he wrote and maybe invented Valentine’s Day as we now know it.

Who was St Valentine?


Saint Valentine

The St Valentine that inspired the holiday may have been more than one man.

The saint officially recognised by the Roman Catholic Church was a real person who died around AD 270.

An account from 1400s describes Valentine as a priest who was beheaded by Emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed.

The emperor had banned marriage as he thought single men made better soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair so he celebrated marriages in secret. When the emperor found out he was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.

St. Valentine the international man of mystery

He may also have been Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome. There are similarities between the priest’s and bishop’s stories, which leads people to believe they are the same man.

There’s so much confusion around St Valentine that the Church stopped veneration of him in 1969 – though he is still listed as an official saint.

“Valentinus” is from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful, and was a popular name between the second and eighth centuries AD meaning there are several martyrs with the same name. There are actually a dozen Valentines listed and there’s even a Pope Valentine. The actual day we celebrate is known as St Valentine of Rome to set him apart.
What does he really have to do with love?

Valentine did help marry couples in secret, which is arguably very romantic. He is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy among other things..like the plague, fainting and travelling. That doesn’t stop people calling on his help for those romantically involved. He’s now also patron of engaged couples and happy marriages.
Why is his skull kept in Rome?

Yes, that’s right. St Valentine’s skull is housed and adorned in flowers in Rome. It’s actually on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
It was found when people were excavating a catacomb near Rome in the early 1800s. The skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St Valentine were dug up. It’s the norm for these to be split and distributed to reliquaries – places that keep relics – around the world. If you wanted to see other parts of the saint, he’s on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.
Why do we give Valentine’s cards?

Another idea is that when he was sent to prison, he sent a letter to a young girl he had fallen in love with and signed it “From your Valentine”.
It’s thought this was the first ever Valentine’s Day greeting.

35 Valentine’s Day cards and funny quotes you might not want to read on February 14th
Why is always celebrated on February 14?

Some believe that Valentine’s Day’s is celebrated mid-February to mark the anniversary of St Valentine’s death.
It’s thought to have happened in the middle of the month around 270 AD.
Others maintain that the Christian church decided to place St Valentine’s feast day at this time of the year in an effort to ‘Christianise’ the pagan festival of Lupercalia.

Why are roses associated with Valentine’s Day?


Roses have been the symbol of love since the early 1700s when Charles II of Sweden brought the Persian poetical art known as the “language of flowers” to Europe.

Throughout the 18th century, ladies loved their floral dictionaries, which listed the symbolic meanings of different flowers, according to YourTango.com.

The red rose was believed to be the flower favoured by Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, and has therefore come to represent that.

Why cupid?

Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, affection and attraction. He is the son of Venus, goddess of love, and war god Mars. Cupid in Latin is ‘amor’, which means love.
When did Valentine’s Day become commercial?

This is so not who I wanted a card from…

It wasn’t until the 18th century that Valentine’s Day took off in England. Lovers began to send trinkets, cards and flowers to their loved ones. A huge amount of printed cards would get sold, then in 1913 Hallmark Cards in Kansas City began mass producing specific Valentine’s Day cards. Now about a billion cards are sold every year and it’s the second biggest card sending time of the whole year.
Why do we sign cards anonymously?
It was the Victorian that started sending roses – thanks guys

Apart from the embarrassment, there was an actual tradition started by the Victorians. They thought it was bad luck to sign the cards with their actual names. It was also the Victorians that sent roses as they were Venus’ favourite flower.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2017

I Still Care About You Deeply, This Is Why I Ask You Not To Close The Book

“You and me got a whole lot of history (oh)

We could be the greatest team that the world has ever seen

You and me got a whole lot of history (oh)

So don’t let it go, we can make some more, we can live forever” – One Direction

You and I have an extensive history. We had great times. Me being the hopeless romantic I am, I am still the one who adores you. I go through my days thinking about you. I go through goals that I accomplish and I wish you could be there. I go through sleepless nights and thinking to myself, “What if she comes back? I know it won’t be tomorrow or next month, but eventually, what if She does?”
Well, what if you do? I would definitely be shocked, but even more grateful.  I would embrace you with open arms and an open heart. Right now, you turned the page – away from us. But please remember this page. You and I have memories, smiles, laughter, plans, goals and aspirations that YOU AND I made together. You and I – our stories – were popular with my friends.

You know I talked about you. How could I not? When you are so important to me, I could go on and on about you. You made me smile, laugh, you made me thrive. You were my reason to grow. I grew into the confident young guy.

Friends told me, “Oh, she is not worth it. Do not worry about it. she is missing out.” I disagree with PART of that.

You ARE worth it.

I worry about it. I worry day in and day out. You stood by me through hard times. But now, no one gets me like you do; no one compares to you. So yes, I worry.

I do agree, however, that YOU ARE missing out.

I cared about you. I loved you. I supported you. I was there for you through anything and everything. You are missing out on how much I care. I highly doubt you will find someone who cares for you more than I do.

I have plans of my own that will go with me to my grave. Will you know these plans? When the time is right, then yes, you will. You are you. You will always know what is up with me and my life. I cannot leave you behind, like you left me.
YES, I JUST SAID THAT. You left me. You gave up. And as I type this, I am crying tears flowing back . Saying that out loud is absolutely heartbreaking. Admitting to myself and coming to terms with the fact that you gave up . . . it is like a thousand needles piercing my heart.

See . . . I cannot give up on you. I refuse to give up. You know why?

Out of all my friends, ONE supports you and I. And it is he, who gives me that reminder to follow my heart. My heart says to hold onto our memories because they will one day flourish once again. My friend roots for you.He thinks we would go perfect together. He was like, “Don’t give up. I can see you two together. I support you two.” HE SUPPORTS US. HE ROOTS FOR US. I swear he got the chills when I told him about “us”.
I CARE ABOUT YOU. Always have, always will. I believe in you and I. That is why I ask you to not close the book. Do not close it, simply bookmark it. You know I will always be here.
“Please don’t tell me

It’s the end of the story

Don’t close the book on me

Oh don’t you close the book on me

We’ve gone our separate ways

We’ll meet up on another page

Don’t close the book on me

Oh don’t you close the book on me

You bookmark this page

In time you will see

If you have no to turn

You can turn back to me

You can turn back to me

Turn back to me” – Honor Society
You and I were C-Squared. THAT is what I hold onto. So go live your life, please do. I will live mine. But NO ONE can ever take YOUR place. So, when I am still single, if and when you turn back to our page, then do not be surprised. I will live my life. I will go after my dreams, my goals, and my ambitions. And if and when you come back, then I will happily welcome you with open arms, an open heart . . . and open doors to our empire. 

Dear God — I’m Coming Back To You

I want to stop declaring that I am lost, that I don’t know what to do or where to go. I want to stop saying that I have no time, or that I have time but I want space. I want to stop thinking that I can do things on my own. That I can survive without you. That I can breathe on my own.

I want to stop whatever the hell I am doing with my life and start doing it Your way.

I want to wake up and grab my Bible before I even grab my phone. I want to rise in the morning and be excited to hear Your word instead of hearing the world. I want to have a meaningful conversation with You first thing in the morning rather chat my colleague or my boss. I want to tell You how much You mean to me and how much I love You before I close my eyes to sleep rather send someone a cheesy text message.

I want to praise You and mean it. I want to worship You and be true in it. I want to say words that bring glory to You and actually mean it. I want to sing songs and deliver the lyrics genuinely. I want to raise my hand for You and know that it is for You, that You are the only thing I am thinking about, the only thing I am fixating on.

I want to say, “God, You are my everything.” and realize that I am hollow and deserted, that I am undoubtedly nothing without you. I want to utter prayers and be certain that they are profoundly from my soul, not empty words, nor empty promises.

I want to please You, and not the world. I want to do things for Your glory and not mine. I want my life to be a book of blessing, a prism that will radiate Your light.

I want to turn down the world and turn up Your word. I want to stop listening to what it wants me to be and start listening to what You want me to be.

I want to quit dwelling in my past, in my sins, in the things I regret doing, in the things that wrecked me. I want to forget all of those and remember Your goodness, Your glory and Your mercies which are new every morning.

I want to free myself and be lost in YOU. I want to be on fire for you. I want to be as excited about You like how I’m excited about the holidays and even more. I want to be as passionate about loving You like how I am passionate about writing and even more. God, I want to say ‘I love you’ and know deep down that I do, that I ultimately adore you.

I want to love You more than I love myself, or the people around me, or the world for that matter. I want to put You first, before my issues, before my personal desires. I want to build my life around You, and not around my career or my love life.

I want to aim for things that will make You proud of me. I want to pursue people that will draw me closer to You. I want to chase things that will honor You.

I want to come back, God.

To You, the only Man who ever loved and loves me relentlessly. To You, who forever claims me as His very own Son. To You, who treats me as His precious possession. To You, who, despite how far I ran, would always wait for that sweet moment I come back. To You, who, when the storms and the seas are raging, will always be there holding me still.

God, I just want to be back. For the longest time I know I’m there; praying, reading Your word, attending church but am I really there? Am I really present? Am I really listening? Maybe. Maybe not. The thing is, I just want to be present and be definite that I am. I want to be in Your presence. I want to be in Your love. I want to be in Your arms. I want to be revived. I want to be new, away from who I was yesterday.

God, I just want to be back.

​The Beauty That Comes From Suffering

The teeter totter of life seesaws us between joy and angst. The manic shift between the two occurs without our deliberate permission or willful desire. Still, life happens and we get hurt. Pain is a necessary reality of living. Wounds scar the psyche and remind us we are fallible yet growing. Growth comes from pain, from learning, from moving towards our potential.

Growth is designed to hurt so we never forget the lesson of the pain.

Monsters are not created in the shadows, but in front of innocent eyes forced to label the unthinkable. The blade pierces the heart when we realize the monster also lives within. I am a monster too. You cannot see the monster inside me because I would rather suffer with my story than let the truth be known.

Pain is an inevitability we cannot escape nor should we try. The painful experiences of living contain the precious lessons and blessings we seek when we question our existence, our path, our reason for being. These lessons are the pearls we seek to better know ourselves and our fellow inhabitants on this hurling rock called Earth. Pain is the connection to our collective humanity.

Yet, we do not seek out pain—or do we? We grasp for notions like happiness or cling to a belief in necessary suffering. We ignore our wounds while praying to forget our sadness. We hope to see the world as good and right, but our mind cons us into believing we are unlovable, worthless, and flawed as we try to fit into society’s current version of “perfection.”

So, we choose suffering because it is often easier than facing the truth. Our wounds are necessary for our survival. We must experience sorrow and agony so we may find joy and kindness. We can never know good without bad, right without wrong, success without failure. The yin and yang of living is not a battle between good and evil, it is an acceptance of pain. We have been looking at the continuum all wrong. Pain is a friend and foe.

Asking for help does not imprison us as helpless. These stories are wounds, which are reminders of the pain we are capable of inflicting upon ourselves. These are lessons which honor the challenges of living in the torrential waters of life. I am not a fraud shielding my inner monster from view; I am just a flawed human who is learning to accept my lessons as blessings.

Our wounds do not automatically intern us in suffering. We choose suffering just like we choose happiness. Suffering is the acceptance of victimhood. Suffering traps us into believing we are weak and frail. Suffering is the acquiescence to pessimistic judgment while choosing to ignore the brilliance of imperfection. We are not born perfect. We will certainly die the same way we arrived.

If suffering is indeed a choice, then we also have the power and authority to seek a different path. The only barriers keeping us from joy are our thoughts and attitudes. Let’s reframe our pain from fiend to ally and recognize our wounds as unique plots in the story of life. These are lessons and blessings we can sincerely share with our fellow spiritual travelers. We can revert to our ancient storytelling ways like our ancestors huddled around the sacred campfires espousing the virtues of a meaningful life.

Our experiences empower us with a story, a lesson to share. Our pain is a gift which has the power to transform lives. Stop being selfish. Stop wallowing in a choice. Find meaning in your stories and your wounds will not only heal your soul, but also others as well.

Dear God — You Are Good Always

You are good, always. Even when the days aren’t as sunny as I thought they would be. Even when my expectations are totally different from reality. Even when I wake up and my back is hurting, you are good. Even when my life isn’t as luxurious as I want it to be, even when Your provisions are just enough for the day. Even when I hold my chest and I swear I can feel my heart breaking, you are good.

You are good, always.Even when the promises made for me can’t seem to find me as of the moment. Even when I am losing hope and can’t seem to find the right track for me. Even when I spend my whole life searching for ways to overcome with You, you are good. Even when obstacles flashflood and the sun never rises and the land suffers from a constant drought. God, I believe You are good.

You are good, always.Even when I’m not. Even when I’m stubborn and disobedient, even when I sin against you, even when I always fail to follow Your word and fall short. You are perfect in loving me, in caring for me, in being there for me, in helping me out. You are perfect in all of your ways, even when I’m not, even when I’m never.

You are good, always. Even when I don’t understand anything, even when I’m sitting in the lowest point of my life, even when my daily task is to fight, even when my eyes never run dry.

You are good, always. Simply because you love me. You love for who I am. And your love, it’s the kind that doesn’t care how dark and ugly and horrible my past is, it’s the kind of love that’s interested in getting to know me deeper, why I am that way that I am. It’s the kind of love that knows all the bones in my body, memorizes all the composition inside my own universe. The kind that knows all too well how my heart pumps blood throughout my blood vessels, the kind that knows why it pumps, who it beats for. It’s the kind of love that never gets tired. It’s always new and fresh, every morning, every evening.

You are good, always. Even in my brokenness, you love me with an unbroken love. The kind of love that protects and sends me to the rock bottom only for me to discover that You are the rock at the bottom. The kind of love that allow circumstances in my life, circumstances that sometimes I don’t understand the background, but is sure that all of it are in the purpose of making me a better person. The kind of love that lets me fail a job interview and lose a battle just so I can delight in a better, brighter and louder future. The kind of love that inspires and motivates me when I am dwelling in a sea of hopelessness. The kind that knows how imperfect I am but loves me despite.

You are good, always.

You show me the way, You guide me.

You know what I need, You permit me to lose people and hurt over relationships because You know exactly who I need. You release all kind of fear and assure me that I can ride the waves with faith. You ruin all other bad things in my life and hold my heart in freedom. You push me to strive harder and above all You acknowledge that I am trying. You are good, always. And at times, I cannot even expound Your goodness using the best words, nothing is ever enough to cover how much Your goodness and love shield me.

You are good, always. Simply because You were there and You will always be there. Simply because You, who began a good work in me will always be faithful enough to bring it into a magnificent completion in Your appointed time. You are good, always. Simply because despite of all the bad things in life, You are still here. And all these dreadful things doesn’t cancel Your existence. Not in any way

To love is to suffer

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.

I’m going to write you out of me, but the wound, the wound I’ll keep. I’ve been searching for closure, for a reason, for the answers to all the questions my aching heart still sings, and I’ve come to discover something in my pursuit: we should not pine for closure.

Do you see these scars? They tell stories, they carry memories, and they are my whole life. Without the heartbreaks, the mistakes, and the misgivings… I would not be who I am.

Instead of walking slowly to my fate, I am able to swim in the ocean created by all of the tears I have shed. Instead of searching for words out of empty lungs, mine are filled with endless amounts of love I wasn’t able to give. Instead of carrying pain into the unknown future, I am armed with thicker skin from these marks. Instead of fearing love, my heart is dripping of hope for the dreams it has not yet reached.

I have been searching for a way to stitch these open wounds from my last love, but there’s a certain beauty to them now. They are raw and they are real. They are proof of how hopelessly a hopeless romantic can feel. They are the evidence to emotions that pulse through our veins. They are the love stories that are not yet over.

I’ve realized that I don’t need you to heal me. There’s a certain beauty in being broken. It means that I am not invincible. It means that I am not afraid to fall. It means that I am willing to give up my heart for yours. It means that someone else’s broken pieces may eventually compliment mine imperfectly.

I’ve realized that I don’t need someone to save me. There’s something gorgeous about someone whose eyes admit they can be weak. It means that not only see the world, but also really feel it. It means we don’t fear it because it’s already broken us. We are resilient simply because we’ve learned to function in our brokenness. We’ve found happiness in the empty crevices of our puzzled hearts.

I don’t need you to tell me why you left me, if you’ll ever find me again, where it went wrong, when you thought it was right, or any other 2am thought at night. I need those memories, the epic fights, the moment I fell for you, the moment I first hated you – I need them all as a reminder of the women I have become.

But I am not perfect. I am scarred and I am bruised. I am damaged in the best way. I have lived life enough to get hurt. I have hurt enough to grow. I have grown enough to find beauty in the remnants of a storm that tormented my heart. Now there is no symmetry to my heart, but is there truly ever any symmetry in art?

I will write you out of me – I promise you, but this wound I will keep. I will continue to carry my heart on my sleeve. It’s a badge of honor that I will carry with a plastic smile. It shows that I am not afraid to love. It shows that I am not afraid to fail. It shows that I stronger in pieces than I am whole – because I know what it’s like to put myself back together.

So keep your answers to yourself when you wake up with regret. My search for closure has ceased. Instead I’m looking for adventure to fill in the empty spaces. Instead I’m searching for the pieces of me I have not yet found. I go on this journey wounded – but do not get this confused with pained. I am proud of my sensitive heart. It is my biggest weakness and my biggest strength.

I am as fragile as paper, but alas, all the best love stories are written on them.

New Year!!!

I’ve asked myself many times throughout last year, “What have I accomplished?” without actually being able to think of an answer. 2016 has flashed by and I found myself being unable to manage with what was thrown in my way last year. After days and days on reflecting on what went wrong for me, I finally got an answer. That was why I was utterly helpless in the whirlpool that was 2016 that swallowed me up and spat me out. It has dawned on me that in order to make 2017 a better year, changes have to be made. I told myself that in 2017, I will no longer be a lad. I will be a man, and not just any type of man, but rather, a true gentleman.

“Chivalry is dead.” That is how most articles providing guidelines to what a gentleman should be usually begin with. However, being a gentleman transcends just merely being chivalrous or gallant. As the title of this article suggests, we are no longer living in medieval times.

I drew out certain qualities to acquire in order to successfully make this transition in my life, a type of resolution of sort. So, this is how I intend to live my life in 2017 and these are the 8 ways of the 2017 gentleman.

1. Be genuine in both words and actions.
In order to be a true gentleman, you have to make sure that you ditch the masks and facades. You have to want to be a gentleman for yourself, without having any ulterior motive. Have this any other way and this outlook will just be another mere layer to your costume. And so, rule number one of being a gentleman is to be a gentleman solely for yourself and not to alter the way you behave to change the perception others have on you. To be a gentleman is to be genuine and to be sincere. Say the things you truly want to say and do things you truly want to do. Forget about any judgmental eyes watching you. At the end of the day, you only have yourself to answer to, not anyone else.

2. Be a generous listener and a well-spoken individual.
Many people confuse listening with merely hearing. The ability to listen needs to be developed. It requires a deeper level of comprehension than mere hearing. The art of effectively receiving information and connecting with others as well as to communicate your message across to achieve its underlying purpose tactfully will take some practice. Think before speaking and choose your words carefully. Even words with similar meanings are open to different interpretation. Always keep that in mind. Words are cheap and yet, more often than not, they are sharper than blades. Think before you speak and you will save yourself from being in one misunderstanding after another.

3. Take pride in yourself.
A gentleman should really take pride in the way he looks. Get a haircut or change your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to experiment with something new. Of course, tread lightly and avoid fashion’s cardinal sins. Go ahead and pamper yourself with a facial from time to time. Hit the gym and make the effort to get your ideal body. As clichéd as it sounds, the rationale behind this is simple. When you look good, you feel good. This brings us to point number 4.

4. Be confident.
Confidence is a quality that all gentlemen should possess. The belief in his own ability to succeed in whatever task he is faced with. In the bleakest of situations, it is the belief in yourself that gives you the strength to say “Screw it”, grit your teeth and soldier on. More often than not, against the odds, the result may just show you that you are indeed stronger than you think. Ask yourself what you would do today if you knew for a fact that you would not fail. Then, go out and do it.

5. Be driven.
Nothing is more attractive than someone who is focused in pursuing his dreams. It does not matter if it is that promotion at work or losing 3 kilograms by the end of the month, a driven man will never go out of style and results will eventually, show. However, this comes with a warning. While focusing on your goals are important, never neglect those around you because of it. You may just end up losing the very source of motivation for your drive. We all know how those stories end…

6. Be independent.
A gentleman should be able to stand on his own two feet. Be able to support your lifestyle in a financially responsible fashion. Yes, everyone needs some form of emotional support from time to time but a gentleman should not overly rely on this. Instead, he should be strong for the people around him. A gentleman must be able to stand tall should the world around him crumble and fall. This independence translates to stability and security. Life throws us curved balls from time to time. Being independent makes us more able to adapt to these situations when they arise.

7. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve.
Be someone who isn’t afraid to express yourself. If you are unhappy about something, let it be known. Don’t bottle it up. Think you’re falling for that beautiful lady in your life? Go ask her out. Bare your heart to her. And if she sends your heart back your way, don’t beat yourself up over it and neither should you ever allow yourself to wallow in self-pity. Sure, it sucks but there is a silver lining to every cloud and the best thing for you is still out there. You have no regrets for doing all you could and furthermore, it is her loss to have let a true gentleman go. If she sends her heart back to you instead, then taking that risk of opening your soul to her was well worth it. Always treasure her for baring her soul to you as you did to her. It is just as difficult for you as it is for her to do so.

8. Have fun!
Lastly, and probably the most important of the lot, is to have fun doing what you do. Life is not always such a drag. Make time to just relax and have fun. Put your worries aside and reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in. Do things you enjoy. Be adventurous. Try something new. Pick up a martial art or hit the club with your mates. Life is short. Enjoy it. Smile and be happy. Do not let your worries weigh you down. Live a little!

“How does it feel to be finished with school?”

Immediately following college graduation, this is the question that I  always count on to be tossed around during conversation. It is rhetorical, mostly — no one really expect any sort of genuine, reflective answer. And this is a relief, because I have no reflective answer to give. I know that being an “adult” (used very loosely when describing the early 20’s) normally involves rent, work, and an early bedtime. When that question is directed toward me, all that really comes  to mind are logistics. Losing school meant gaining a calendar.

A little more than  6 months has passed since I sat for my last paper. Surprisingly, during the time since, the most striking transition has not been  waking up before the sun. Instead, it has been losing the reliability of upcoming change.

Leading up to this moment, school had segmented life into scheduled chapters. I’m sure you remember. Each year would bring in a new set of people, experiences, and lessons. Like clockwork, I could count on the expected turnover to provide new challenges. If I was feeling stagnant, I could simply number the days remaining until the next adventure would begin.

I never understood how much I relied on the predictability of transition until it was gone.

I can no longer depend on school’s scheduled rhythm of newness. One option now is to cross my fingers and wait for change to happen to me — unexpected life shifts are bound to strike at one point or another. But I have found that there is a certain dissatisfaction with waiting on fate to bring you something new. Slowly but surely, I have begun to understand that if I want to ensure continual growth, I need to start actively writing chapters for myself.

When I first realized this, I panicked at the ambiguity of it all. When is the right time to shake things up? How do you decide to try out a new job, city, graduate program, or stage of a relationship when nothing is forcing you to do so? How do you discern complacency from contentment?

I must confess, I have yet to answer these questions. However, I have eased my panic by finding a useful framework in considering them — a framework that you might find useful as well.

1) I first (try to) graciously take stock of what I already have

The practice of gratitude for my current situation helps to focus thoughts of change on striving forward towards the horizon, rather than running away from what’s behind.

This Forbes article entitled “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude” describes one asset that I find particularly useful when considering change:

#7. Gratitude increases mental strength.

Consistently giving thanks has been proven to increase resilience — a crucial tool to have in your arsenal throughout this process.

 I define what I want to learn

This helps narrow down which type of change I am seeking. I try to dig for an answer that presses further than just “to learn more about myself”. What specific part of my life or my identity do I want to push?

 

I accept my limited perspective

There is no way to know what exactly a change will lead to, or what a lack of change would have resulted in. But as Steve Jobs reminds us in his Steve Jobs’ Famous Speech at Stanford University,

“You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

I just recently made a huge move to Nairobi city. After after all that  years in Nakuru, I left the sources of comfort that I had relied on my entire life — friends… family… consistent weather… My first thought , “What have I done?” Yet, slowly but surely, I have started to realize that this move might just be one of the best things to ever happen to me. More than anything, it has shown me that I am stronger than I once thought I was.

That being said, I still do not know how this new chapter will fit into the grand book of my life. But recognizing this limitation is liberating as much as it is uneasy. With its embrace, I can become one step closer to relinquishing my desire for control long enough to continue to take the risk.

Grounded by gratitude and armed with a strategy to chart my own life toward my own goals, I am ready to appreciate –even amidst my uncertainty– just how many chapters of my life remain unwritten.

Time to keep writing.

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