If you know me, you probably think I don’t care what people think. A lie I have managed to sell for a long time. You see, I do care, more than I would want to, especially when I want that person to like me. My latest circumspection has been over my dressing.
I would describe my dressing as neither conservative nor provocative. It is simply dressing. I like style. I like looking good. And if that means donning that gorgeous black dress that is a little above the knee or that fancy top that shows a little bit of my back, then so be it.
Recently, I made some conservative friends. The kind that put on only long skirts and dresses. Since I wanted them to like me, I started worrying about the length of my dresses and skirts. I was worried that they think I am not conservative and decent enough. As a result, I made a habit of seeing them only and only when I was dressed ‘conservative enough’. On top of that, I made a couple of purchases of dresses that are past the knee long.
The tango between the desire to change my mode of dressing, which in my mind equaled being liked by my conservative friends and the desire to maintain my normal dressing, which equals being myself, started taking a toll on me. I would wake up, choose something to wear and change about 4 times because so and so would not approve of it. And if it happened that I was in my normal outfits, I would do absolutely everything to avoid them. This has been going on for a while.
Yesterday, I was reading an article (There is no formula to keep your family from sin-https://kindredgrace.com/no-formula-to-keep-from-sin/ ) on a Christian blog called Kindred Grace that completely opened my eyes. It dawned on me that what I was doing was idolatry because I was putting what I thought my conservative friends would think above my Savior Jesus Christ.
I learnt that Jesus is my identity. His dying on the cross set me free from death, sin and slavery (and I am counting being too concerned about what people think as slavery). Going back to what he set me free from is a disregard to the cross that set me free 2000 years ago.
In the light of this and the fact that salvation is not an outward sign but an inward personal relationship with my God, I decided I would not change on anyone’s account. I embrace my imperfections and acknowledge that I am a work in progress in the hands of the author and finisher of my faith; The great I AM!
My little brother and I have always been partners in crime. I still remember the morning mommy brought him from the hospital, after his birth. Mommy sat by the dining table and told me to sit down so that I could hold him. I took one look at him and decided I wanted nothing to do with him because I couldn’t believe anyone could be that tiny. I don’t remember what happened that brought us close, all I know is that one day, we were inseparable and it has been so since then.
When I was 12, he was 8 then, we developed an unquenchable interest in frogs anatomy. I can’t tell whether it was because of Nat Geo or the big McGraw-Hill anatomy books we had at home. Anyway, after our own amateur research, we decided we were going to operate on a frog.
The day of the crime was a hot Sunday afternoon. You know how lazy people get on Sundays afternoon, after church and a heavy lunch. So it was the perfect day as mommy wouldn’t be paying that much attention to us.
After making sure mommy was doing her habitual Sunday afternoon reading , we set out to look for a frog. It did not take us long to identify our victim, a male frog hopping by probably looking for food or going back to his family. We kidnapped him and ran to the front of our house which was our rendezvous crime scene. I sneaked in to the house and stole the sewing kit. We had just cut his tummy open when we heard mommy’s footsteps. We quickly gathered our incriminating evidence and ran to the clearing on the left side of the house.
“Shah… Phil… Is that you?”
“What are you up to?”
“Mhhh…. Just kicking a ball around.”
“Okay then, don’t play any rough games.”
The two minutes exposure of the frog lungs caused it to inflate. All we wanted to do was cut it open and sew it back up, you know, like people do on TV and the pictures in the books. We did not want him to die on us.
“Hold it down by his limbs to keep him still while I sew him up, okay?
I frantically started sewing him from the neck down but the lung just kept ballooning. We were now desperate to keep him alive.
“Why don’t you tuck the lung in?”
“He will die.”
“Then puncture it a little to release some air.”
“Don’t you get it? That will kill him.”
After one more failed attempt of sewing him up, I threw the needle down.
“I guess he is going to die anyway. Let us release him so he can spend his last few minutes in freedom.”
We released Mr. Frog and for a moment, sadly watched him limp away before gathering our stolen kit and headed back to the house.
We had planted maize on the shamba at the back of the house and mommy had a habit of checking it every morning before settling for her tea. The next morning, as usual, mommy went to check on her maize. We had just started on our breakfast when she came back.
“I have just seen the most unsightly scene on the left side of the house.”
She liked pausing to let each sentence sink in whenever she was telling a story.
“This frog was lying dead on his back with his tummy open and what looks like a burst lung.”
Our appetite for mommy’s delicious pancakes was gone just like that.
Photo by me
I bought the outfit in subject one Saturday afternoon from a woman in a second hand market. It was one of those days when I did not plan to buy anything in particular. I had been in the house for long and I decided to go out for a stroll when I stumbled upon a woman selling clothes at Ksh 50(half a dollar). They were that cheap because they were rejectees: you know those outfits that remain after people have picked out the best or decent ones.
I uninterestedly ran my eyes through the clothes and I was almost leaving when this black and white one piece, sort of jumpsuit caught my attention. I love monochrome, so naturally, I picked it up and tried it on. The saleswoman told me it looks good and as much I don’t trust the opinion of sales people, I trusted hers because I felt good in it. It was unique, edgy and just so me. I paid the Ksh 50 and happily walked home with my ‘sort of jumpsuit’.
Like a normal human being, I couldn’t wait to see myself in my gorgeous sort of jumpsuit. After washing and ironing it, a week later, I wore it with my black pair of sort of oxford flats and went to town to run some errands. That is when I took the photo. A couple of weeks later, my brother, who is younger than me by one and a half years and is a model other than being a student, came home from school for a short holiday. Excitedly, I showed him the photo of me in my sort of jumpsuit and he immediately rubbished it.
“What is this you are wearing?”
“It is a jumpsuit”
“I know a lot about fashion and jumpsuits and that is not it. It is ugly!”
That did not dampen my spirits though. On Monday, at the office, I showed a colleague the photo and asked him what he thought of it.
“You don’t go far from home whenever you wear it, do you?”
Next was my movie supplier. I was sitting in his shop while he was getting me my movies when I asked him what he thought of it.
“Well, it is…uum…different”
That was it! I had to defend my precious sort of jumpsuit.
I put the photo of me in it as my phone and laptop wall paper!
Ps: the original photo is actually good quality but it can’t attach in its original size and the cropping lowers the quality. I don’t know why.
Burning with vanity
And a touch of insanity
The high resisting gravity
Or the thought of being hit by sudden poverty.
Drifting in and out of stores
Seeking whatever gives the oohs
Not bothering to keep the scores
Just seeking more and more.
Photo uploaded from google.
As in told you in the article -Lessons from a ‘freshman’ in the ‘real world’, I recently left the sheltered life I have lived since I remember and I am trying to navigate my way in the world. Men there is a loot I didn’t know. I can’t seem to get over the shock of how much I have learnt and still have to learn
Some of the lessons I have recently picked up are :
You know nothing
The real world is not your school. It is not your home. It is not any of your comfort zones. It is the real world. A world which, if you have lived a sheltered life like most of us, you know nothing.
Therefore, you know that know-it-all attitude we fresh graduates tend to carry around? Yeah, that one. Drop it! Be eager, be ready, and be determined, to learn from the veterans. That is the only way you can find your way out here.
“Art of learning how to make decisions is learning how to live with the poor ones.”
Learn to stand up for yourself
Do you know who the world swallows up alive? People who don’t have the spine to stand up for themselves and their beliefs. It is important for you to stand up for you. You want something, say it! You don’t like something, say it! You have something to say, say! It is that simple and difficult.
The catch is in knowing when to be forthright and when to be smart. Because, as much as being forthright exudes confidence it doesn’t always help your course. To succeed or rather help your course, you will have to come up with creative, smart, non-forthright but totally legal ways of standing up for yourself.
I have to wish you the BEST of luck in this cause you are gonna need it.
It is totally okay not to get it right in the beginning.
It is probably when you join the work force and you don’t get the results you expected. Or maybe it is a decision or a choice you have to make. It could be a number of things that make you beat yourself up for not getting them right.
Well, stop with the self-inflicted pressure because it is all part of the process. The learning and growing process. The best you can do is enjoy the process and take whatever you can from it.
Someone wise said “art of learning how to make decisions is learning how to live with the poor ones.”
Learn the gamblers song by heart, and you will just be alright.
You have to swallow it!
Your pride, I mean.
There will be instances when you are forced to apologize for crimes you didn’t commit, things which you did that are perceived as wrong but aren’t actually wrong. In the work place you are going to be treated as KYM- kazi ya mkono which is absolutely wrong.
In short you are going to have to put up with a lot of BS. And I know, it is unfair. It is decharectarising. It goes against you principles. But if you play your cards right, it will work to your advantage.
I know it contradicts the second point, but then again, that is just how tricky the world is.
Silicon Valley is pretty awesome!
I had to get this out there one way or another😜. For tech lovers who love a good laugh like me, this is the TV show for you. You are going to be holding your sides from season 1 through 5.
Anyway, back to why I mentioned it. This show is quite educative. It will teach you a lot about how the world runs and how to successfully navigate your way in it. You will love how our Richie grows from a naïve genius to a mastermind who beats Gavin Belson at his own game.
Enjoy watching it, but DON’T emulate the language though!
As you can see, nothing is in black and white. All I can do is give you one piece of advice; learn the gamblers song by heart, and you will just be alright!\
All the BEST!
Photo uploaded from latestquote-libs.com
Good people are mostly treated like door mats. It is not how we want the world to be, it is just how the world is. You have a good heart. You have a conscience that actually works, and boom, all around you, everywhere you go, people do or want to take advantage of you. Your family, relatives, friends (or not) colleagues, fellow church members….the list is endless.
The worst part is that you get nothing tangible. On the contrary, you seem to lose. People see you as weak and that is frustrating. Very frustrating. Christina Hendricks in the TV series Good Girls said “all the fairy tales we were told as young girls, the morals were; if you are good, you don’t cheat, you don’t lie, good things will happen to you, if you are bad, you get punished. What if the people who made all that up are the bad guys? What if the bad guys made all that up so that the good people never get anything good?”
That’s something that touches a nerve. Something that when you hear, read or simply independently think about, you become tired of acting in accordance with your conscience. Or even just having one.
You look around you, there are evil people who have succeeded, gotten away with murder (both literally and figuratively), won and still winning, giving life to the maxim “some rise by sin…” Then you hunger for that. For the sweet feeling of winning. The thrill of victory. It all becomes so tempting that you consider going rogue. And nobody blames you for that. It is only human.
Each good person gone rogue, is a step back in the process of the world becoming a better place.
But look in to your heart again. What do you want most? You want the world to be a better place, right? For yourself and for everybody else. And you know what going rogue does? It keeps that from happening because each good person gone rogue is a setback. It is a step back in the process of the world becoming a better place.
So how do we do that? How do we make the world a better place? Definitely not by changing the evil people because that is not up to you. In fact it is humanely impossible. It is by doing what we do best: kindness!
There is no being kind to a good person or an evil person. There is just being kind. You know, not choosing who to be kind to, but at the same time, not allowing people to walk all over us.
Let’s make the world a better place one touched life at a time!
Each act of kindness touches a life. Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that sometimes, our kindness may be directed towards people who don’t appreciate, but let us concentrate more on the fact that the same kindness may be directed towards someone who will appreciate it. Whose life will be touched by it. And each touched life is a step towards making the world a better place.
Therefore, ( I don’t like using this word, but still..) screw the evil people. Screw their ill, crooked and selfish ways. Screw them all! Maintain that golden heart of yours. Stay kind! Stay good!
Let’s make the world a better place one touched life at a time!
Being tall is good. Strike that! Is great! From rocking long legs in the little black dress and looking absolutely stunning in a maxi dress to ‘long legs advantage’ when running for dear life during campus police party raids. From not struggling to reach for peanut butter (or anything in that case) from the top shelf to not struggling to get attention (whether you want it or not)… just like our legs, the list is very long. But like a coin, any coin, you flip it and you are presented with the other side; the not so glamorous side.
People thinking you are older than you actually are
This is especially true in my village where most people (especially the older generation) equate age with height. Back in class four, my grade teacher asked me how old I was and when I said I was 8 years (and turning nine in two months’ time which is the average age of students in class 4 here in Kenya), he did not believe me and pointedly told the class that I must be 12 years because I was taller than everybody. I have never been so hurt.
Those weird looks that you get when you run
I don’t know if I am the only one who experiences this or gets bothered by it, but whenever I run, I get these weird looks from people as if they have watched ,my huge steps swallow something or maybe heard the ground’s cry for help. I could never tell which is the why.
Acting cute just doesn’t work for us
Short girls are cute when they act cute (and sometimes even when they aren’t trying to), but for us, it mostly ends up being a cry for help. I once tried acting cute in front of some of my male friends, and they were like, what’s up with your face? Well, that put an end to this girl ever acting cute
The constant reminder of how getting a boyfriend is like trying to win a lottery
Personally, this is the most annoying one. Sometime back, I was taking a walk with my friend and most of the guys we met were commending my height (of course they were a mixture of mockeries and genuine comments). Anyway, my friend was like;
Friend X: I really love your height Shah
Friend X: But the thing is finding a boyfriend is some task
As if I didn’t already know. The worst part is that she is 5’5 dating a 6’1 guy. So unfair 😢
Your single step is 3 times your friends
However much we try taking tiny steps, it just doesn’t work for us. There was this one time I was walking in the hallway of my faculty building and I overheard one of the guys who were walking in the opposite direction discussing how huge my steps are and laughing about it. Guys, I just can’t help it 🤷.
No matter where you stand in a group photo with your short friends, you are gonna look out of place. You stand on one end, it is gonna look like an alien . If you stand in the middle, well it’s gonna look like you are going to crash them all and if you stand at the back, you gonna look like you post your way to the photo. And all these with the constant risk of ending up with no forehead.
A solo photo happens to be the best option here, but if it happen to be taken by your short sister , you my friend, might end up with an unproportioned head-body ratio.
As much as the list of challenges is not that long albeit a little discouraging, don’t fear to rock them huge steps.
Cheers to long legs and a life of being asked to reach for peanut butter or whatever else from the top shelf!
On December of last year, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Sociology which means I have spent a better part of my life as a student and as we know, one thing being a student does is sheltering you from the real world through agents like teachers, lecturers, non-teaching staff and on the very top of the list, your parents.
Then you graduate from college and where you go from there becomes the big question. In your attempt of trying to find some ground, you come face to face with the ‘real world’, and men, you are in for some form of ‘trans-world’ culture shock.
I am about 5 months in this ‘real world’ and I came up with this list of some of the lessons I have learnt.
Learn to let yourself let go
For someone who likes planning like me, this is a tough one. I like planning. I love it when things go my way , but in life, not everything goes as planned, especially when other people are involved e.g. getting a job in a corrupt countries where, apparently, you need a ‘godfather’.
In the end, to ease the disappointment and oh, the pressure, you are gonna have to learn to do your best, let go, go with the flow and see what happens. It’s much healthier that way.
People actually work!
Laugh at me all you want for not knowing this, but this came as a shocker to me. I watched my mom go to work every morning and most of the time, bring work home but in my imagination, I never thought that what she was doing was working hard. Not until I joined the ‘real world’ and started interacting with the working population while doing my own job search.
To begin with, getting a job is work on its own. You have to learn to write a good resume and make yourself more and more irresistible with each application, make a lot of online applications, drop your resume in all the organizations around you. Then, if you are shortlisted for an interview, you have to prepare like your life depends on it (and it does to some extent).
Same goes if you have decided to venture in to business, be it sole proprietorship or partnership, before you begin realizing some actual profit, you have to work, and extra hard and smart at that.
For those who are lucky enough to have inherited some family business, remember you have competitors, the most conniving ones being your family members, who are eyeing the same position. Therefore, to stay at the top of your game means working extra hard.
It’s all work! Work! Work!
Don’t expect too much from people
Expecting a lot and putting your hope on people is like putting perfectly good eggs in a rotten basket. The basket will give in, the eggs will fall and they will crash, really bad.
Now, if you don’t want to end up hating the entire human race, you included, I would suggest you heed this one.
Failure comes before success
It is said that success introduces you to the real world and failure introduces the world to you. But you know what else failure is; a prerequisite for success.
All the world’s successful people like Equity Bank’s CEO James Mwangi, Microsoft’s Bill Gates etc. had several unsuccessful episodes but that didn’t deter them from succeeding, and you know why? Because they did not give up.
Failure doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough, it just means you have to put in more effort. The trick is to take a little break after each episode, clear your mind and gather your energy before continuing (I mean, you don’t want to end up with a nervous breakdown or depression).
Eventually, you will have a breakthrough; your sweet victory and a very interesting story to accompany that.
You gotta be smart
This is very IMPORTANT! Everywhere you go people will want to use you, take advantage of your knowledge, skills, young mind and energy, eagerness to help and let’s not forget hunger for approval, all at no cost.
Take it from someone who has been a victim, you can’t afford to be naïve! Be discerning. Be smart!
All the BEST out there!
Oooh wow! This is so huge for me. Thank you so much jstlouise of the amazing Poems Found for nominating my blog SheQuotes for the Sunshine Blogger Awards. Being a new blogger, this is a good big surprise and I really appreciate it.
Since this is my first blogging award nomination I wish to share it with the following people; my mom for cultivating and nurturing the reading culture in me which in turn bore my love for writing, my siblings for the criticism which is well intended of course, Prof Olubayi for believing in me and nudging me to start this blog, my friends and those amazing writers and wonderful people who follow my blog and faithfully read my articles.
1. Display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post on your blog
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to her blog.
3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and provide them with 11 questions.
Answers to the 11 questions from jstlouise of Poems Found
1. How long have you blogged and why do you blog?
This is my 8th month as a blogger and I love the journey. I love writing and I love blogging because it gives me a platform to share my thoughts and poems with the world.
2. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself waking up every morning in a house somewhere along the beach where I will be living with my family and several dogs and sitting on a swing chair facing the wide ocean with a cup of tea (I love tea), pen and scratch pad for my thoughts.
3. What inspires you to do what you do daily?
It is the desire to live up to my fullest potential and to not disappoint my mom.
4. What book changed your perspective on a subject or life in general?
To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This book taught me that part of growing up is learning about society but not necessarily accepting it.
5. If you could impart one ultimate lesson to society, what would it be?
Love the life you live. Live the life you love.
6. What was your favorite childhood story or book?
Cinderella! Say or think what you may but I am a sucker for fairytales and a good happy ending.
7. Do you love school, think it is okay, a waste of time or what?
I do love school and I believe it provides a good environment to make friends, learn important aspects of life like cultivating good human relationships, dealing with conflicts and of course there is no better way to grow other than with your peers. Now that you mention it, I miss school😊😊
8. If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would you meet?
Are fairy tale characters included? If so that would be Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty. On a horse with a sword, he set to out to rescue the princess from a sleeping curse. What could be more attractive than that? If we are talking about real people, make it Bruno Mars. He is so talented and fun too.
9. Would you rather have privacy or fame?
Can’t I have both?
10. Who is your favorite author?
That would be Harper Lee of the famous To Kill a Mockingbird and Go set a Watchman
11. When do you like to write most, day or night?
I am a morning person. I have a habit of penning down whatever I think the moment I wake up.
Being an avid reader myself, I have had the pleasure of going through wordress.com blogs and I came up with this list of nominees. They are in no particular order but I especially commend number 6 for the many lives they are touching by talking about addiction.
1. nataliescarberry of Sacred Touches
2. Haden Clark of Help Me Believe
3. Sharon Mwaura of lifesabout2017
4. Sundhir Chauhan of @sundhirchauhan
5. Aquileana of La Audacia de Aquiles
6. Addictions Podcast of the Podcast about Addictions
7. Train Today to Reap Tomorrow of On a mission
8. Pinkpeeli of Pink Peeli
9. Ankandas of Exploring the Epiphany
10. mistimaan of Mistimaan
11. Brenda Davis Harshman of Friendly Fairy Tales
Questions for my nominees
1. When and how did you discover your love for writing?
2. What nudged you to start your blog?
3. Which one do you prefer, sketching on your notepad first or typing directly on your laptop?
4. List 5 adjectives that best describe you
5. What do you think of Game 0f Thrones?
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
7. Subtitles or no subtitles?
8. When are you at your peak of creativity, early morning, day or night?
9. What do you regret not doing in high school?
10. Fiction or non-fiction books?
11. What is your favorite post on my blog?
Till next time,
Photo by me.
Today is my birthday. I am turning 23 which is both exciting and scary. Exciting because, well, who wouldn’t be excited to be alive and scary in the sense that turning 23 takes me a step closer to 30 and if we are being truthful, we all are a little scared of getting old.
Setting that aside, when I tell anyone that today is my birthday, the question that pops up is, and quoting, “How will you be celebrating it?” The general assumption is that I will be in some club partying my way in to a crazy headache and the hangover of this ‘birth year’.
After some reflection, I decided to take a different path and celebrate my birthday asking myself the questions no one has asked me. What have I achieved so far? Are they in line with my goals? If not, why? Can I still achieve my goals? How will I do that? Is there anything else I want to achieve? What is it and how will I do it?
I don’t know how you guys celebrated your birthday or how you are planning to do so, but I do hope that this will act as a helpful guide.
As for me, I just hope that I don’t soak my pillow because of the responses to some of these questions.
Happy Birthday to me and everybody who is celebrating their birthday today!
My friend and I were discussing my previous article ‘The Pains of the African woman’ and were all sad about how women around us thought that they neither have a choice nor a voice. He pointed out that the cause of all this is the bible since it is the most popular and yet chauvinistic book in the universe.
This got me thinking about the feministic themed mentorship program I ran awhile back. The girls and I looked at the women of substance-the women who made a difference in society both in history (biblical and non-biblical) and contemporary society.
These are just but a few of the names that came up from the Bible;
Esther (Esther 2)
Esther was the one who replaced Queen Vashti as wife of King Xerxes/Ahasuerus of Persia after she disobeyed the King. After learning that Haman, the King’s advisor had asked the King to authorize a royal decree to annihilate the Jews (her people) who had been driven out of Israel and exiled in Persia, she came up with a brave plan to stop it from happening.
Being the Queen, and after fasting for three days to seek for God’s grace and favor, she asked the King and Haman to dine with her twice and on the second time, she who had hidden her faith from the King, revealed her secret and begged the King to spare her and her people’s (the Jews) lives.
Rahab (Joshua 2)
Though an Amorite, Rahab recognized the Jewish men who were sent by Joshua to scout Jericho as men of God and hid them from the king of Jericho. Furthermore, she understood that God had given the Israelite the Amorites’ land and was key instrument to the Israelites successful claim of the land.
The wise woman of Tekoah (2nd Samuel 14)
After killing his brother Amnon, David banished his son Absalom. This resulted to Joab seeking the help of the wise woman of Tekoah to convince David to lift the banishment and reconcile with his son.
The woman went to David crying and recalled how one of his sons killed his brother and the rest of her family were seeking his head. When David said that the son should be spared, she said so should Absalom. Therefore David lifted the banishment and Absalom returned home.
Abigail (1st Samuel 25)
She was the wife of Nabal from the house of Caleb. She is described as a woman of good understanding and beautiful countenance. And true to that, those are the qualities that saved her husband Nabal from death by the King’s hand for disregarding and insulting King David and saved David from blood-shed.
She placated him, reminded him that God will establish his dynasty and urged him not to have staggering burden of needless bloodshed on his conscience.
In conclusion, there is no book that has explicitly shown just how both intelligent and powerful a woman is like the Bible. So people, other than respect, I may not fully understand what else the Bible meant by ‘wives, submit to your husbands’ but one thing I know for sure is it doesn’t mean women should let their husbands oppress and suppress them.
Hit the comments box below for discussion.
Being an African myself, born and bred in Africa, I can say that I have had the displeasure of witnessing/seeing firsthand what the African culture/society has done to its woman.
Sure, I happened to be lucky enough to have a mother who made sure I know that my place isn’t the kitchen, that I can do anything and be anything I set my heart to, but that is not the case for every girl. The average African girl is brought up with the mentality that she is inferior to her brothers both young and old.
She has to serve her brothers as her masters. She has to serve them food and water even if they walk in when she is in the middle of her meal, and when they need a refill, she has to ‘pause’ eating and refill their plates. She doesn’t have a ‘name’ until she gets married and gets her husband’s name thus making marriage her biggest dream and highest achievement. Therefore, she learns how to be a ‘good wife’ from as early as she can walk; she learns to cook, fetch firewood, balance a pot full of water on her head cause, these are the qualities the man’s family will look at when the time for marriage comes.
If she falls pregnant while still in school or before marriage, she gets ostracized by everybody around her, while the boy, who made the same mistake as her, is treated with some sort of reverence because he has proved that he is a ‘man’.
When she gets married, she becomes her husband’s property. She is expected to just be seen but not to be heard. She can’t make any decision regarding the children, the family or even herself except what they are going to have for breakfast, lunch and supper. If the husband turns out to be violent, she is expected to receive every beating graciously because, well, there is no better show of ‘affection’ than a beating from your husband.
If the husband starts cheating and going around with other women, she is expected to stay put since men are not meant to be monogamous and after all, it’s her job to keep ‘her house’ together. If she keeps on complaining then she is told that she is the problem; she must be doing something wrong, otherwise, the man wouldn’t be looking at other women.
In the cases where the husband abandons her and the children, raises her children but at the end of it all, it’s said that the children belong to the man. If one or a couple of them end up ‘not doing so well in life’, then those are hers cause its assumed that they must have got it from her or she simply didn’t raise them well.
Video clips of cats drowning while trying to rescue their kittens, or dogs getting hit by a car or pleading faces of street kids begging for food are as sad as hell, but there’s nothing as heartbreaking as watching an African woman going through all this and so much more with a brave smile on her face.
I have always had the habit of holding on to the things I no longer need or that are of no use to me. But today, immediately after breakfast, I decided to go through all my stuff and got rid of all the unnecessary ones; clothes, books, shoes, name them all.
This led me to thinking, how many of us hold on to grudges, past mistakes, toxic relationships etc only to get weighed down and held back from possible love, happiness, friendships and general success?
If you are one of these people, let’s do things differently this time. Start by closing 2017 on a clean slate. Apologize to those you owe apologies. Accept the apologies of those who apologize. Following R. Brault advice-Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got, accept the apologies you haven’t and probably, will never get. Analyze your relationships and get out of all the toxic ones, they are only holding you back.
When 2018 comes, love yourself first, then you will be able to love others, after all, as someone said, you can’t serve from an empty vessel. Love until you feel like your heart is bursting. Give, but give until it hurts. Laugh and smile more. Forgive more. Define your own gravity-get out of your comfort zone and take more risks.
Worry less, especially about money keeping in mind that the best things in life including love, laughter, family, friends, hugs and kisses are free. Hate less, fear less, frown less, hold no grudges.
Spend more time with your family and friends. Give more hugs and kisses especially to your mom and remind her you love her every day. Bring joy and laughter wherever you go.
Embrace your imperfections because they are awesome! Forgive yourself for your mistakes and for those you find hard to, laugh them away until you do. Get that body that you have always wanted, you will look amazing! Love the one you have, you have never been more beautiful! Frequently treat yourself to nice things, you deserve to.
This 2018, fall and stay in love with being alive and when the year ends, you will look back and thank God for the choices you made.
HAPPY 2018 Y’ALL!
Growing up, especially in my early teenage hood, I wanted to be a lot of things. My dream list went like this: a great actress like Sarah Hassan , famous musician like Michael Jackson and a super model like Ajuma Nasenyana but I ended up being a writer like,well,no one but me!
We have all gone though that at some point in life. Wanting and working towards being like someone else and it mostly backfires on our faces. Because, let us face it, the only person we can successfully pull off being is a better version of us.
I am not saying that having a role model is bad. On the contrary,it is good. It kind of gives us a push towards whatever we want to be.But it is creating our own paths and finding our own voices that will get us there.
So I encourage you, to find that which makes your heart race and make it your own wonderful unique voice.If it is painting, let each stroke of the brush on the canvas be uniquely yours or if it is fashion,then make each design show the world why you are different from another design. Whatever you do, let your voice be loud and clear.
Osho once said “Nobody superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique,incomparable.You are you, I am I.” That which makes you you, that which makes you unique. That is your voice. Find it.Develop it.Be it! The world can’t wait to hear from you!
You make the first call
He did not pick up the phone.
After two minutes, you call again
Now, you are worried.
Something is definitely wrong!
After 5 minutes, you call again,
For the third time!
Still, NO answer!
At this moment, your imagination is out of control.
He is with another girl.
(And yeah, he probably is and calling him won’t stop him)
So you call again and again and again.
You stop at the 47th call
And wait for him to call you back
(Which you should have done after the first unanswered call)
But deep inside, you have concluded he is going to break up with you.
And yes girl, he definitely is.
You see, boys smell desperation
(The way a cat smells a rat)
And they often use it to their advantage
That’s before they dump you.
So a piece of advise,
Just be cool girl!
It is attractive!
The room is dark
I can’t see
The air is musty
I can’t breath
The room is small
When I stretch out my hands I can touch the walls
The floor is wet
I can’t sit
My mind is clouded
I can’t think
There is no door
I can’t leave
I can’t escape
I need to call for help
But I can’t make a sound
The walls are so high
I can’t even see the roof
I am trapped!
And the only light I have
Is the hope that somehow
Someone will rescue me.
I saw this calf today on my way home from work. Some little kids were playing with and really bothering him so he kept on threatening to knock them down but not actually doing it.
I told them to stop as he might actually hurt them. They ran away. I started taking photos of him. He was intrigued by the flash from my camera. He started moving towards me as if wanting to discover more. A step back by me led to a step forward from him.
He is such adorable little thing.
I am a fan of these little affirmations. They make me feel better. They keep me going. They calm me when I fail by reminding me that what matters is that I tried. But you know what? Reading these affirmations won’t get you what you want.
It’s your hard work, determination, relentlessnes, discipline, commitment and finally, trust, hope and utter faith in God that will get you where you want to be.
You can’t expect change by doing nothing, you get change by waking up from your slumber land, getting out of your comfort zone and doing everything it takes.
After all, faith without work is dead.
We have come to the end of a year that has been anything but boring. From interesting memes to the ‘unakufa’ slogan. From the deportation of the Chinese who had some racist things to say about us , to the latest Imenti house scandal. On a sad note, we have experienced; political chaos and the threat of another 2007 post-election violence which gladly, was calmed down by the famous “handshake”, the unexpected deaths of promising young lives. Then there is the arrest of some of the leaders and public officers for allegations of corruption and embezzlement of funds.
Blog-wise, I have had my moments too, my ups and downs. I have written articles that I am proud of and those that I am indifferent towards. I have suffered through a number of different degrees of writers’ block and came out the other side sometimes a little wobbly, sometimes better. Some of my personal favourites are:
Personally, it stands to be my top 3 creations. Although I always write out of passion, I think I had a little too much of it while writing this one.
Walking down memory lane brought this interesting short story to life. The naughtiness, the curiosity, the innocence that accompanied every inch of curiosity and the wide-eyedeness that accompanied every revelation as a child . Oh, how I miss those days!
After being in this world for a couple of decades and having bitter lemon juice forced down your throat, you just end up with such articles. All in all, I am proud of the person I am today.
There was a lot of sunshine in me,as is always is, when I was writing this poem . Prompted by one of the last ‘The Daily Post” word prompts “Forest”. I miss those guys. They unlocked some creative juices in me.
I must have been feeling very naughty that day. Don’t get me wrong, I love every inch of me.
What good is a writer if he/ she doesn’t use his/ her writing to shed light on issues like these?
Celebrating the not-sang-enough heroes in the world; the women behind many a great men and women in the world. Women like my mother.
Having a conscience that actually works and having people taking advantage of that simply sucks. We all need encouragement to keep doing the good deeds.
My attempts of sharing what I have learnt in the real world with my fellow recent graduates.
10. Little Bird
Who doesn’t love a nice short poem about birds? To me, this one radiates lots of sunshine, beautiful songs and love.
To wrap it up, this has been comparatively, a good year. I have learnt and grown a lot both as a writer and as a person. Thanks y’all who have tirelessly read and shared your thoughts about my work.
I hate being left alone with my thoughts
When fear and doubt cast a dark shadow
Sneaking in their friends through the crevices
For a pity party and depression for the host.
I don’t mind being left alone with my thoughts
When joy and peace are all sunshine
Inviting their friends for a tea party
And words of encouragement and affirmation for the host.
This is a wonderful Sunday surprise from the sweet Stephanie of makingjoyahabit.com Thank you dear for the early Christmas gift; I am very honored to receive this Award.
The Rules are quite simple:
- Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award
- Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you
- Give 11 random thoughts about yourself
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination
- Ask your nominees 11 questions.
- Include a link to the official Liebster Award page on your blog: https://theglobalaussie.com/liebster-award-2018/
Stephanie’s Questions and my Responses
What do you write/blog about?I write random thoughts be it; poems or short stories or inspirational articles. I have realized that it is very easy for me to write in the mornings when my mind is fresh. Therefore, whatever I wake thinking about in the morning, that is what will end up in my notebook; it might not end up in my blog but it will definitely be in my notebook.
If you could go back in time to 10 year old you, what advice would you give yourself in 3-5 sentences?I am very beautiful the way I am. I wasted most my time crying and exchanging words with classmates who were bullying me for being too skinny.
What is your favorite childhood memory?My mom playing with me whenever there were no kids to play with. We had lots of fun times!
What is one talent you don’t have but wish you did?Singing. Definitely singing!
If you could make ONE food have zero calories, which food would you choose?Carrot cake!
Who inspires you the most (dead or alive)?Rebecca Lolosoli the founder of Umoja Village. This woman has created a safe place for women who have been through domestic violence, early marriage and worse.
What’s your favorite “dad joke” to tell?This one is not my original but it always gets me laughing.
Today, my son asked “Can I have a book mark?” and I burst into tears. 11 years and he still doesn’t know my name is Brian.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?The power to get rid of people’s problems. Whenever I see a street kid my heart breaks. These kids have no parental love, their fierce protection, guidance, the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and education. If I could have a super power, it would definitely be to make everything right for them.
Which way do you put your toilet paper roll?The open side to the wall as it is easier to roll that way. What is your biggest goal for 2019?
To grow in knowledge of God and to constantly walk with Him.
If you could pick a theme song for your life, what would it be?King of my Life by T-Bone featuring Natalie Larue. This song always makes me gay for my Lord God.
11 Random facts about me
1. Apparently, according to my siblings, I sound better when I sing in any other language other than English and Spanish.
2. As a child, Romans 4:1 was my favorite verse because I thought that had the writer finished the word shall, my name Shalleen would have been in the Bible.
3. According to the 16personality.com personality test, I am The Architect.
4. I am very germ phobic, I sanitize my hands countless times a day and I can’t eat anything that someone else has touched with their bare hands.
5. I am a little OCD with shelf arrangements and my laptop desktop arrangement.
6. I can’t leave the house without my watch but the second thing I remove once I get home, after my shoes, is my watch. It just feels weird on my hand in the house.
7. I was born a week or so before my due date.
8. Growing up, I was so skinny that my classmates used to call me Dragonfly. How I hated it!
9. My childhood nickname was Wasp because of how I used to react to things I don’t like.
10.My 3 favorite books are: to Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington by David Swykert and The Ordinary Princess by M.M Kaye.
11. I find the movie ‘The Confirmation’ so interesting that I have re-watched it severally and I have never deleted it from my laptop since 2016.
My NomineesMy nominees in no particular order are:
1. Tim McGee
4. Artisan X
6. Cosmic Wonder
7. Sonia Stalance,
8. A.P. Christopher
8. Nyar Okungu
9. jstlouise of Poems Found
10. Thunder and Tea
11. David Palethorpe
Questions for my Nominees1. If you could be a writer in the 18th century, who would you be?
2. Which planet would you like to visit most and why?
3. What is your favorite Sci-Fi Movie/Series?
4. What is your favorite food combination that other people find weird?
5. What is your favorite 2 ingredients recipe?
6. Still on food, what would you eat all day every day without growing tired of?
7. Celebrity crush and why?
8. What are the top 3 things you are proud of?
9. Are you a morning person? How ? 10. Sweetest thing your sibling has ever done for you?
11. Who is your best high school teacher and why?
I hope y’all enjoy the questions.
Yours truly, Shalleen.
On gravel deepening the scars
No drink strong enough in the bars
To soothe the throbbing scars.
Expedienting to spars
Nothing better than the fastest cars
For that temporary illusion of healed scars.
I am not a big fan of the Swahili proverb “lisemwalo lipo, kama halipo laja” translated to “Whatever is being said is true and if it is not yet true it’s about to be true,” especially when it comes to rumors. But unfortunately, that makes me just one among the minority of the population. Even more so women.
A lady friend told me that someone bad mouthing a girl and spreading malicious rumors about her is either a man who can’t have her or a girl who can’t be her. Which I fully agree with.
What is even sadder is that no matter who started the rumors, whether it’s from the mouth of a boy who can’t have her or a girl who can’t be her, it’s always us girls who do the spreading. And we say it with so much conviction that anybody around us, even the victim herself might start believing it.
We rarely stop to think what if I was her? How would I feel if this was going around about me? What if she was my sister? What if she was my mother? What if she was my daughter? Would I want this to go around about her? How would I feel?
Words are powerful. It takes someone who has been a victim of malicious rumors to know just how powerful and destructive they are. And it takes a really strong person to rise above them. Therefore, the next time you open your mouth to bad mouth someone, stop and think!
Let us stop giving meaning to the common misconception that women are their own worst enemies!
Recently, I felt the urge to talk to a certain beggar I usually see on the main street of my home town. On a hot Saturday morning, after stepping out of the supermarket, I walked over to him and sat next to him. I had it all planned out in my head but once we exchanged greetings, I found myself speechless.
I started fidgeting with my bag before blurting out “why do you sit here?”
“Because I have to get food or because I am poor.” Something similar to that.
In my young mind, I thought asking him about his family was the appropriate next question. So I did exactly that. In a piteous voice, he told me all his family depended on him. I had nothing else to ask or say so I made my apologies for the intrusion, lots of them, deposited some money on his hand and left.
Even though deep down I knew it was no fault of his to be a beggar, I found myself quiet annoyed with him for feeling sorry for himself.
It hit me then that the couple of times I have used self-pity (lost mother card) to get what I want (discounts), I must have annoyed the salespersons . I made a mental note to never do it again.
With that, I am leaving you with: