Am Changing My Story

​I’m trying to change my story. I’m trying to change my narrative. I’m trying to change the voices in my head.
I’m trying to tell the world another story about myself. I’m trying to make it a story of hope, faith and success rather than a story of struggle, despair and failure.
I’m trying not to paint myself as a victim anymore. I’m done blaming my parents, my school, my friends or my culture for all my setbacks. I’m working with what I’ve got. I’m finally figuring out the right path for me. I’m finally driving in the right direction. I’m finally learning that it doesn’t have to be a sad story with no destination. I’m finally learning that I can still change the ending. I can still make it a happy one.
I’m trying not to associate my age with everything.Why I’m not rich or why I haven’t traveled to all the places I wanted to visit. I’m changing my hopeless questions to one simple answer: faith. I’m changing my story from being hopeless to being faithful. I no longer think everything in my life was ‘delayed,’ everything was right on time, everything came exactly when it should have arrived — not sooner or later because now I have the wisdom to appreciate them, the strength to endure the obstacles on the way, the stamina to fight harder for what I believe in and the gratitude to be thankful for the whole journey.
I’m changing my story from loneliness and darkness to self-love and light. I’m changing the tone of negative self-talk, of feeling inadequate, of being afraid of missing out, of being too attached to the minor things in life, of being too concerned about what people think to simply letting go of perfection, of deadlines, of expiration dates and expectations.
I’m human. I’m still finding myself. I’m still trying to understand life. I’m still trying to define what happiness is. I’m still trying to understand what kind of love I’m looking for and I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself just because I don’t have all the answers.
I’m done trying to make my story all about answers, I just want to enjoy reading it, I just want to enjoy living it. I just want to try to make it a good one. Even if it means having more questions than answers, even if it means not getting everything I want.
I’m not going to change the essence of the story, I’m changing everything around it. I’m changing the way I tell it. I’m changing the way I write it. I’m changing my voice, my tone and my speech.
I’m taking my pain and heartbreak and turning them into something beautiful. I’m editing my story, sometimes we forget that it’s still a draft, not the final manuscript and we can always go back and change it. It’s not over yet

A Love Letter To The Non-Believer

Dear You,
I know what you’re thinking. I know you already have your guard up, your metaphorical blanket wrapped tight around your shoulders, your eyes a little squinted at the screen. I know you’re wondering who the hell I think I am writing to you—as if I know your life or what you’re going through, as if could even begin to understand the depths of your trials, or the aches in your heart.

I don’t. I’ll fully admit that.

But see, I’m not writing to you from a place of perfection. I’m not writing to you from a high horse, from a chair of confidence, from this all-knowing stance, or from any ground other than the one you’re standing on.

I’m not writing to you because I think I know who you are or where you’ve been, or because I think I could ‘fix you’ or that you’re even in need of fixing.

I’m writing to you in my brokenness, in my failure, in my fear and insecurity and sin and mistakes. I’m writing to you because I am you, in so many ways. I’m writing to you because I want you to know you’re not alone. You’re heard. You’re noticed. You’re loved.

See, there’s a big misconception about my faith—that we’re people who think we’re better, that we’re trying to ‘save’ people that need saving, as if you aren’t capable of helping yourselves. But that’s not what Christianity is about. It’s not about telling people that they’re damned and sinful. It’s not about trying to act like we’re better, just because we believe in the unseen.

I’m writing to you, not because I think you need help, or because I think I’m in a much better place, or because it’s some moral duty of mine—I’m writing to you because I care. I’m writing to you because I used to be you. The person who was fine on their own, or broken and alone, or just swimming through life, attempting to find my own direction.

And I want you to know you don’t have to be lost.

I want you to know that life is all ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll feel incredible. Sometimes you’ll wake up and know that you do this on your own. And sometimes you’ll be totally able to.

But then other mornings you’ll wakeup and stub your toe on the cabinet. You’ll be out of milk for the cereal you just poured. You’ll be late to work and have your new car rear-ended at the stoplight. You’ll strain your back lifting groceries from the trunk. Your significant other will break up with you. The list goes on—you know what I mean, don’t you?

Sometimes life just gets out of our control. One minute we’re fine, the next we’re flat on our faces on the concrete, wondering what the heck we slipped on. And that’s where faith comes in.

Faith is trusting in the unseen and knowing that there is a God, a God who loves you all the time. Not just when you’re ‘perfect’ or ‘good.’ But not just when you’re broken either.

Faith is knowing that this God gave His son, His everything for you. For me. For us. So that we don’t have to face this craziness alone. So that when we’re up, we can celebrate. So that when we’re down, we can hold onto Him to guide us through.

See, this is why I’m writing to you—because I want you to know that love, to feel that love soak into your pores, to understand that no matter what happens or where you wander or how many times you fall short, you are forgiven and loved.

I want you to know that even though you don’t believe in Him, God is here. He’s waiting for you, and He’s guiding your life. He’s sending you miracles and signs. He’s blessing you. He’s calling you to Him when nothing else in life is going according to your plan.

I hope you listen.

And I hope you understand that I’m writing this because I care, not because I want to shove my beliefs down your throat, not because I have biased intentions, not because I think you and your way of living is ‘wrong.’

But because I know my God is a good God, a wonderful God, an incredible God—and I want you to know Him.

So please, know that you are loved. Know that you are strong. Know that you are beautiful and wonderful and complex and made by a God who will never leave or forsake you, no matter how much you push Him away.

Know that you don’t have to face this world alone.

Know that someone is fighting for you.

Know that my God cares, and I care.

Know that it’s okay to be skeptical, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to wonder and ask questions and be angry. But know that the anger you feel in your chest can be released. Know that the pain pulled into a tight knot around your heart can be untied. Know that the bitterness can be let go of.

Know you can begin again in His love.

So I hope you let your guard down, just a little. I hope you read these words, and then re-read them, just to know His heart a bit more.

I hope you know my door is open to talk, as is any Christian’s. And I hope that if and when you’re ready, you’ll reach out—to us, to Him—and know that you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

All my love,

Cliff Ochomo . 

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.

If You Don’t Think You Deserve More, You’ll Always Accept Less.

It’s a general rule in life that if you don’t think you deserve more, you’ll always accept less and you’ll always settle.

Because people have a tendency to sell you short, they have a tendency to give you just enough to get by and they have a natural tendency to depreciate you.

It all starts with what you’re okay with, with what you let people get away with, with the way you let others treat you and how you respond to those who do you wrong.

If you don’t think you have the right to ask for a raise, you’ll always be overworked and underpaid.

If you don’t think you have the right to ask for what you want in a relationship, you’ll never get the respect and appreciation that you wish for.

If you don’t think you have the right to know where you stand with someone you’re dating, you’ll always be left in the grey area wondering and waiting.

The irony is that recently it seems that asking for more, asking for your right or just asking for answers is frowned upon especially if you’re right, especially if you’re strong, especially if you’re aware of your own value.

But here’s what I learned about settling and staying quiet when you should speak up, it doesn’t win you any more friends, it doesn’t make you a likable person and it doesn’t make you a cooler person, it only makes people take you for granted — it only makes people think it’s okay to hurt you because you don’t get mad and you don’t confront anyone.

It’s never a bad idea to ask for more, to know your worth, to stand up for yourself even if you secretly don’t think you deserve any of it, because your mind can trick you into thinking that this is what you truly deserve and that asking for more is greedy or wrong or selfish.

But it’s not.

It’s not selfish to ask for more when you’re working hard, it’s not selfish to ask for commitment when you’re loyal and it’s not selfish to try to know what you mean to someone when you’re in love with them.

What’s selfish is playing it safe so you don’t have to worry about the consequences, or settling because you’re afraid of losing someone when they’re not afraid of losing you and it’s selfish to have a strong voice and not use it.

Because the only thing that’s stopping you from getting what you want or what you deserve is you.

Perseverance


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

They say it’s not how good you are, but how good you want to be.

They say it’s all about will power.

I agree.

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try one more time.”

Hope. Man’s greatest strength and weakness at the same time.

People used to believe in the power of intelligence when it came to success in life. IQ was believed to be the determinant factor in the quality of one’s life. Then it kind of changed. Emotional intelligence was found to be more important.

Recently, though, we are beggining to understand that hope is what truly makes the difference.

The ability to believe with all your heart that your fortune will change, that you will become who you want to be, regardless of your situation today, regardless of how you’re feeling right now.

The ability to do what’s important, even when you don’t feel like it, because you hope that you’re efforts will pay off sometime in the future.

“Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.” – Robert Brault

You are reading this post because I have been writing for almost 3 years. You are reading this post because I spent 2 of those years writing by myself, with no one to support or encourage me.

Actually, everyone (friend) told me to quit.

They told me to be realistic and just do what normal people do.

What do normal people do anyways?

They give up easily? They settle for less than they desire? Less than they deserve?

I don’t know, but if that is one of the components of being normal, call me whatever you like, but I am glad I’m not normal.

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

When I first started writing, someone told me that I was either 19 or a retard. They said I’ll never make it as a writer.

A few more said kind of the same thing.

And, yes, I was 19 years old, and, yes, I was writing crap.

But guess what?

I didn’t give up.

No matter how hopeless everything seemed, I kept on going.

Even if it meant the end of me, even if it meant me starving to death, writing stuff that no one would ever read.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott

I failed and I failed and I failed. And I keep on failing. And I keep being told “no.” And I struggle to write, struggle to gather ideas, struggle for inspiration or motivation, and there are days when it seems as if all is lost…

Days when I don’t feel like writing. When I feel bored or lonely or whatever. Days when I feel depressed, tired, suicidal.

But guess what?

I laugh inside at all these feelings. Because underneath it all lies something, some force, some part of me that know it’s invincible.

A part of me that will never give up without a good fight.

Be Something – An Instrument, A Means, An Advocate, An Inspiration!

A kid no more but still a kid in heart with big dreams and aspirations.

Once a selfish human but as life challenges him and shows him  that compassion and love are all that matters,he then aspires to be of great use for the betterment of the world. But right now,he is still lost; does not know how and where to begin. How will he turn into reality the dreams he has for the children and the poor; the oppressed and the weak?

At 21, his desire of achieving  his goals becomes stronger.He may still have not done anything, taken any action, yet he believes that encouraging everyone is still something to begin with.

So,he encourages everyone to dream bigger than living in a mansion someday, having fancy stuff, getting all those material things.He encourages everyone to dream not only for oneself but also for others (especially for the children, the poor, the weak, the oppressed).

He encourages everyone to live a life of purpose; a purpose that will serve equality, justice, and peace.

Let’s be something; an instrument in living the words of God.

Let’s be something; a means in helping the future generations not to live in a world with war and chaos.

Let’s be something; an advocate that serves a good purpose.

Let’s be something; an inspiration to others. For them to start dreaming living in a world where there is nothing but love, happiness, and peace.

Be something – an instrument, a means, an advocate, an inspiration.

Do something in living those dreams.

For those who do not have their ways yet, he is too. Nonetheless, it does not stop  because he has something that move him; PRAYER.

Pray for world peace. Pray for a world where children are not dying but laughing and playing. Pray for the hungry and the poor. Pray. Pray that God grants you the will; that He makes you His instrument in changing the world for the better, always.

Then when we have the means in serving our purpose, let’s start the change we want to see.

Be something. Do something

​Live A Life That’s Filled To The Brim With Excitement

Live a life that has you filled to the brim with excitement, a life that you’re enthusiastic about when you wake up in the morning. Live a life you can’t get enough of, a life that makes you smile for no reason when you think about how lucky you are.
Live a life that is filled with your kind of excitement. A life where you don’t feel like you’re obligated to do something, that you don’t feel like you’re only doing something because it’s required.

Live a life that makes you feel like you have a purpose, a life that makes you filled with happiness because you can’t wait for all the fulfilling moments you’ll experience that day.

Find something that fills you with excitement and never let it go.

 If it’s painting abstract art become a painter. If it’s sitting in a bookstore that brings you pure joy, go find a bookstore. If it’s writing articles and you’ve been rejected 20 times, keep submitting, keep improving, but don’t let your dreams die because you get rejected, use it to inspire you to be greater and dig deeper.

Find something that makes your life feel like you found your purpose and never let it go.

Live a life where you are genuinely thankful for what you have, not a kind of life where you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. If you can’t find thanks to give in your everyday life take yourself out of your comfort zone. Spend a night sleeping on the streets, go on a mission trip and see how other’s live, feel empathetic for those who truly have nothing. Change your perspective and realize that you are truly lucky and that you are thankful for what you have.

Live a life where work makes you feel completed and like you’re doing something good. Don’t work a job that pays the bills just because, take some time out of your structured life and just let it go.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself if this life is making you happy, if this life is filling you with excitement and if the answer is no, change something.

Change your job, your routine, your diet, or your relationships, but change something. Make it better. Never stop improving.

Live a life that you are proud of. Live a life that makes you feel happy to wake up every morning and be able to start the day. Live a life that makes you smile for no reason.

Surround yourself with people who make you genuinely happy, not people who you pretend to like. People who make you a better person, that make your heart grow bigger, people that fill you with the utmost love in this life.

Live a life you are obsessed with, a life that is filled with your type of excitement and happiness. Live your best life, after all you’ve only got one shot to make it count.

Live a life where you don’t settle, live a life where you can honestly say you’re happy, live a life that brings you joy and live a life that you are excited about.

Find something you love and never let it go. Inspired by Lone Felix ,Youth Leader and Ruth Ambogo Director Kenya Young Women Leadership at Writers Guild,Writers Centre Nairobi.

#Own_Your_Purpose