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.

As You Wish Inconceivable

The day itself dawned painfully unexceptional for the unfortunate happenstance of Youth Nature’s folly. Still my friends honored our morning traditions in a way that tethered me to the simplest of joys and was a happy foreshadowing of countless thoughtful gestures of appreciation.

It was a beautiful day, a harmonious balance of sunshine and moderate temperatures until mid-afternoon when its started raining. It was a quiet day with simple pleasures and good company with the first ever birthday gift, thanks to “nani”. Still, if I tell the story of my gratitude I am conveniently excluding the complicated pieces of my truth that undermine the complexity of an internal uncertainty.

Perhaps it is better to draw only on the positive, to edit our narrative for our mistakes that we might be remembered for our best.

It’s always nice to have high expectations, to tell myself that the next year — hell, the next decade — is going to be the greatest time of my life. But I have to understand nothing actually changes when the calendar switches from.

The only thing that might change my mind-set. And, honestly, that’s all I needed.

If  continue to dwell on the past, to chase after hearts who are wrong for you, to allow myself to be walked over, to surround myself with the wrong people, to mope about how much I hate my life, next year  is going to be exactly the same as yesterday. Nothing is going to change. The next ten years are going to be exactly the same as the last few years.

It’s up to me to change the behaviors that aren’t happy with me, to dump the people who are bringing me down, to walk away from the situations that are causing me more stress than happiness, to reinvent myself and revolutionize my world.

It’s up to me to decide that I cannot keep living the way I’ve been living lately. It’s up to me to take risks when it comes to my career, my relationships, and my happiness. It’s up to me to say I deserve more than what I have been getting, I deserve more than what I have been telling myself all these years. 

It’s up to me to start exercising more, start studying more, start traveling more, start socializing more, start dreaming more, and start hoping more, start doing more of whatever it is I wish you’ve been doing all along.

It’s up to me to take a look at my surroundings and admit that I am not exactly happy. It’s up to me to figure out what needs to change, what I need to do in order to inject excitement back into my life again. It’s up to me to find happiness, love, satisfaction, faith, or whatever it is I feel like I’ve been lacking. It’s up to me to make my life feel like a blessing, not a punishment.

It’s up to me to make the next year the best decade of my life, because if I keep doing the same things I’ve been doing, then nothing is going to change on its own. Nothing is going to get better without my help. Nothing magical is going to happen as soon as the ball drops. There isn’t going to be a change in the air — but there might be a change within me.

I can never let myself forget I in charge of my own destiny. It’s up to ME to pave a path for myself and follow it toward my dreams. If I pour my effort, time, and energy into creating my ideal life, then the next decade is going to treat ME well. But if I continue to make the same mistakes as I’ve been making throughout this past year, then nothing is going to change. I have to be the change.

I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.

The world might be sunny-side up today.

The big ball of yellow might be spilling into the clouds, runny and yolky and blurring into the bluest sky, bright with cold hope and false promises about fond memories, real families, hearty meals sitting on a plate in a world that doesn’t exist anymore.Or maybe not.
Maybe it’s dark and wet today, whistling wind so sharp it stings the skin off the knuckles of grown men. Maybe  it’s raining, I don’t know maybe it’s freezing it’s hailing it’s a hurricane slip slipping into a tornado and the earth is quaking apart to make room for our mistakes. I wouldn’t have any idea.
I don’t have a window anymore. I don’t have a view. It’s a million degrees below zero in my blood and I’m buried 50 feet underground in a training room that’s become my second home lately. Everyday I stare at these 4 walls and remind myself I’m not a prisoner I’m not a prisoner I’m not a prisoner but sometimes the old fears streak across my skin and I can’t seem to break free of the claustrophobia clutching at my throat.

I made so many promises when I arrived here.

Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m worried. Now my mind is a traitor because my thoughts crawl out of bed every morning with darting eyes and sweating palms and nervous giggles that sit in my chest,build in my chest, threaten to burst through my chest, and the pressure is tightening and tightening and tightening.

Life around here isn’t what I expected it to be.My new world is etched in gunmetal, sealed in silver, drowning in the scents of stone and steel. The air is icy, the mats are orange; the lights and switches beep and flicker. It’s busy here, busy with bodies, busy with halls stuffed full of whispers and shouts, pounding feet and thoughtful footsteps. If I listen closely I can hear the sounds of brains working and foreheads pinching and fingers tap tapping at chins and lips and furrowed brows. Ideas are carried in pockets,thoughts propped up on the tips of every tongue; eyes are narrowed in concentration, in careful planning I should want to know about.

But nothing is working and all my parts are broken.

I’m supposed to harness my Energy,It’s  said. Our gifts are different forms of Energy. Matter is never created or destroyed, the said to me, and as our world changed, so did the Energy within it. Our abilities are taken from the universe, from other matter, from other Energies. We are not anomalies.We are inevitabilities of the perverse manipulations of our Earth. Our Energy came from somewhere,they said. And somewhere is in the chaos all around us.

It makes sense. I remember what the world looked like when I left it.

I remember the pissed-off skies and the sequence of sunsets collapsing beneath the moon. I remember the cracked earth and the scratchy bushes and the used-to-be-greens that are now too close to brown. I think about the water we can’t drink and the birds that don’t fly and how human civilization has been reduced to nothing but a series of compounds stretched out over what’s left of our ravaged land.

This planet is a broken bone that didn’t set right, a hundred pieces of crystal glued together. We’ve been shattered and reconstructed, told to make an effort every single day to pretend we still function the way we’re supposed to. But it’s a lie, it’s all a lie. I do not function properly.

I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.

Events have collapsed at the side of the road, abandoned, already forgotten.  I’ve taken up residence on a bed of eggshells, wondering when something is going to break, when I’ll be the first to break it, wondering when everything is going to fall apart.I should’ve been happier, healthier, sleeping better, more soundly in this safe space. Instead I worry about what will happen when if I can’t get this right, if I don’t figure out how to train properly, if I hurt someone on purpose by accident.

We’re preparing for a bloody war.

That’s why I’m training. We’re all trying to prepare ourselves to take down The enemy  and his men. To win one battle at a time. To show the citizens of our world that there is hope yet—that they do not have to acquiesce to the demands of The Reestablishment and become slaves to a regime that wants nothing more than to exploit them for power. And I agreed to fight. To be a warrior. To use my power against my better judgment. But the thought of laying a hand on someone brings back a world of memories, feelings, a flush of power I experience only when I make contact with skin not immune to my own. It’s a rush of invincibility; a tormented kind of euphoria; a wave of intensity flooding every pore in my body. I don’t know what it will do to me. I don’t know if I can trust myself to take pleasure in someone else’s pain.

All I know is that The Enemy ’s last words are caught in my chest and I can’t cough out the cold or the truth hacking at the back of my throat.

You have   no idea that The enemy  can touch me.No one does.

He was supposed to be dead because I was supposed to have shot him but no one supposed I’d need to know how to fire a gun so now I suppose he’s come to find me. He’s come to fight. Happy Mashujaa day.

Perspective

For everything you have missed, you have gained something. For everything you gain, you have lost something else. It is about your outlook towards life. You either regret or rejoice.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life’s simply a matter of perspective. Everyone’s fighting a hard battle, every single person we meet has lost someone they’ll never get back. Each and every one of us wishes for something that, most probably, we’ll never have.

But what we think about all this is crucial.

I’m going to be honest. When I think about the whole half-full/half-empty glass thing, I’m usually the one who thinks of himself as being without a glass.

And it’s not about envy or greed or whatever, because I don’t like to compare myself to others. It’s just that I have this grand vision of who I should be as a person, and most times I fell short of that. I always see myself as I really am when I look in the mirror, and yet I can clearly see who I want to be.

And the two are not alike.

Funny thing, but those two are never alike. What we choose to do about it, though, is what really matters.

Do we panic? Do we give up? Do we make ourselves miserable?

It’s not about the destination, but about the journey. It’s not about reaching a place, but about realizing that the long road toward that place is, in fact, the place itself.

There’s no pursuit of happiness. There’s no reaching for something.

It’s just us and the long and winding road.

It’s just us and life.

And the way we choose to see things.

But maybe it’s worth remembering once in a while that we never see things as they are. Our vision is distorted by who we are. We perceive everything around us through a lens composed of qualities and flaws. We compare and we remember and we analyze.

The things that no longer are will always be compared to what is. Or what could be. Or what will be.

We try to make sense of things. To find meaning.

But let me ask you a question: do you think that “meaning” is something to be found? Or given? Created from all our previous experiences?

Do you think that we find who we are after years and years of wandering or do we create that self?

What I’m really trying to say is that how we look at things is how we look at ourselves. What we see around us is what we see inside us. If there’s no beauty and magic in the world, you’ll never find beauty and magic in yourself. Or happiness.

The Naked Truth About College Grads

Graduate college, they said, It’ll be fun, they said.

They also said that you’d walk across that stage and opportunities would start knocking and kicking and scratching at your door. That you’d smile for that cheesy handshake photograph and hold your fake certificate (Sarcastic)  and all of a sudden you’d feel like (and simultaneously become) a full-fledged, accomplished, educated, real-life, ducks-in-a-row adult.
But anyone who’s graduated college in the last decade knows that’s not the reality. You don’t shrug on your cap and gown and suddenly feel responsible, suddenly know how to file taxes and pay off loan debt. You don’t finish your last final and suddenly realize what you’re doing with your life. You don’t even know what you’re doing for the next six months.
Here’s the harsh reality about being a college grad right now: you’re caught in limbo.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve accepted a job and you’re set for the temporary now. You have some sort of plan, but without job security, without tenure, and with a highly competitive market, you’ve been trained to not trust in the permanence of anything. Cynical? Maybe. Truth? Definitely.
Here’s the harsh reality about being a college grad right now: you’re caught in limbo. Suddenly, you are too old for college parties. That doesn’t mean you can’t attend them (by all means, do you boo boo) but suddenly your mindset has changed. You need to job hunt, you need to wake up early for the crappy part-time gig you’ve taken in the months between graduation and getting a ‘real career,’ and you have things to do that doesn’t include getting wasted on a Monday night. But you want to go to college parties. 
Your friends are either still in school or have graduated, left town (or not), started their lives (or are pretending to start their lives) and you’re desperate for someone to pregame with,  go out with. So you cyber-stalk all their social media , wondering who they’re hanging out with, who’s all at that party, and if they’re missing you.
But then there’s that part of you that scoffs. You’ve matured, you’ve changed, and you’ve left that college scene. You had your fun. Obligations, priorities, mature fun, and things that you could never afford or even dream up when you were that broken, tragic college seniors.
But still, you’re caught in limbo. There’s a laundry list of expectations that you’re supposed to live up to. You’re supposed to get that job, move, work, make money, be successful, date, marry, have children. Or something along those lines. And you’re nowhere near. (Which is okay, by the way. As long as you’re trying to get yourself together.)
Then there’s the realization that this is it, this is life. And you’re excited about the possibilities, the places you could go, the jobs you could take, and the potential significant others that are gallivanting around somewhere on this planet, wondering about the potential you. The future is limitless. But terrifying.
You’re caught between the familiar and the new, the comfortable and the unknown. There’s the person you’ve been for the last four years, and then there’s this new you—this post-grad you, this adult you—Are you the same person? Suddenly changed? A mix of both?
The post-grad world is strange. You’re not sure who you’re expected to be, and not really sure who you want to be. You’re trying your best to figure it out, to get that dream job, to find a place and a home and a future to claim as your own. But the naked truth about graduating college is that it’s not this paved, golden road. Yes, your education is valuable. And yes, you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips. But that doesn’t make it easier.
Graduating college, just like being in college, is another journey. And with any journey, you need faith, perseverance, hard work, a map, and your heart for when you throw your map out the window.
You’ll make it eventually. It just takes time. And a period of crappy, rough, who-am-I months. But at least you’re leaving on first food anymore, right? 

​Know Your Worth And Always Believe


I’m feeling inspired to write a post today as the cold is slowly trickling in this part of the Rift Valley . Since the December is fast approaching, I think it’s important we take the time to reflect on our selves, on our year, our accomplishments as well as our challenges, as we look towards 2018.

I think sometimes we get caught up in the fast life where we’re constantly being pressured to perform better, compete with others and trying to live up to impossible expectations. Sometimes we forget about the things that make us happy, the passion and pure love we have for them because we unfortunately live in a society where greed, criticism and hatred thrives. It’s that vicious cycle of low self-esteem, lack of motivation and inspiration, self-doubt and failures. Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to even see any success out of constant set backs and so what a lot of us do, is we run. We quit because we can’t handle the pressure. We think quiting is the only option.

But… what if I told you that quitting isn’t the only option? What if I told you that perverseness and hard-work can get you anywhere you dream and you’ll one day be truly happy? Would you believe me?

The thing about that is it’s also a quite naive idea because nothing in life comes easy. Nothing in life is ever linear. We’re trained and educated to think linearly. But that’s not reality.

In truth our lives and the world we live in is so nonlinear it sometimes feel we’re being thrown in different directions.

The past  year of my life have definitely been the hardest but my outlook on life has completely changed, and for the better.

 I’ve met and heard stories from people alike and people different all with different perspectives, experiences and ideas. But what made every single story and person so empowering was the idea that in spite of tragedy, loss or hardship, the power of the human spirit and the inner strength and resilience that can be built amazed me. I no longer looked at myself as a lost cause. As someone not worthy of love or happiness. Grief didn’t define or control my life. I didn’t have to be ashamed of who I am.

 I was going through growing up and experiencing so many new and overwhelming things for the first time in my life and that  made me very fragile and vulnerable. I struggled with wanting so bad to be normal but trying to grasp that this was reality and the hard challenge of coping with this .

And trust me it hasn’t been easy and I know that I still have so much more to discover and grasp about my loss. But I got a whole lifetime and heck if I learned this much in a year I wonder where I’ll be 10 years from now?  And yes, if you haven’t noticed already I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful and very cliche person but all that I’m sharing is from experience.

And finally, I simply just want to live. Live ,to finished school, follow my dreams and be apart of change in the world. I want anyone out there who may be struggling, I want you to know that you have a purpose. There is only one of you and your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful. You don’t have to conform to society’s social norms and stereotypical boxes. You don’t have to feel pressured be like anyone else or live up to any standards. You set the standard and the goal for yourself. You know your ability and limitations and don’t ever let anything hold you back.

Lastly, remember your story and your voice matters. I’ll leave you with this question: Now, what would your story be?