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.
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.
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:
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!
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 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?
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.
1. 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.
Yester-night, I listened to my little 19 year old brother finding it hard to accept that the people who he thought would always come through for him disappoint him.
A little background information: we were raised by a single mother who loved us fiercely, provided for us in every way, put our needs before hers, protected us fiercely and who sadly died last year after a short illness. I had just turned 22 and in my final semester in varsity, my little brother was 2 months shy off 18 and in his final year in high school. Her death left us hurt, alone and confused but despite all that, he passed his final exam, secured a place in a good university (he studies Bsc Computer Security and Forensics) and I graduated with a B.A Degree in Economics and Sociology.
My little bro arrived home this week for a 4 months holiday and being smart as he is, he has secured an internship in a Tech Company at the capital. He needs a place to stay during the internship so logically, he started making calls to people he knows there. As you can probably guess, he got either negative feedbacks or no answers or no call backs and text backs. This is excruciating and difficult for his young mind to accept and that is probably why he kept reassuring himself that they will come through for him. This of course means I am caught between the rock and hard place of whether to tell him the truth about how most people are or letting him learn it himself and praying that he has the strength to handle whatever he learns.
It has been a year and seven months since we lost our mother and in the ambiguously short and long time, I have matured a lot, learned a ton and wisened up a few years. I have learned that some people are very big-mouthed at making promises and tight-fisted when it comes to delivering them while others don’t make them but surprise you when you least expect them. I have learned to just smile beautifully when someone makes a promise and how not to take it at heart as that leads to disappointments. I have also learned to shut my mouth when I am about to make a promise and only surprise that person when I can as un-kept promises lead to pain and resentment.
I have learned that as much as no man is an island, we don’t need people to succeed. Who we need is God; to fully trust and hope in Him. What we need is to know that people are not reliable. That we can’t depend on them and if we do, we get hurt which might lead to hatred. That is not heathy now, is it? That the only person on this earth we can really depend on is ourselves. That constant self-improvement and resilience are the top recipes for success.
I have learned that everybody is busy living their lives and jumping over and stumbling on their own hurdles. That is probably why they are unreliable. Therefore we can’t hold it against them. Hypothetically, if this person is your grandfather or a very close relative, you have to cut ties with them to save your precious little big heart from their toxicity *wink wink.
I have learned to be my own strength, my own hero, to be my knight in shining armor, to stand up for myself, to be my own happiness and to be my absolute BEST SELF.
Above all, I have learned to treasure those who go hard for me cause that’s a rare beautiful thing.
Keeping all these in mind is freeing, peaceful and opens greater paths to success.
*I originally published this on Medium using my real name but made some few changes here.
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!
I am a planner. Not just in the sense of planning for my next meal or break. I am literally a planner since I have been training as an Economic planner. As a planner, we do projections for up to the end of the century, plan for 1, 5, 10, 22 years from now. In short, we worry for everybody. We like getting ahead of time.
It is not surprising that I carry this same quality to my life by worrying a lot. I worry about what I will put on tomorrow at work, on Saturday when going out, on Sunday at church, what I will eat for dinner or breakfast tomorrow, what I will be doing 5 years from now. What about 30 years from now? I worry about everything and I tell you, it is exhausting. Both mentally and physically.
Today, while I was walking to work, I was worrying about the town service I will board or I think the amount of airtime I had on my phone, what I would tell so and so…..well it was about a lot of things. As usual, I was exhausting my brain even before getting to work. I started watching my steps, how I was putting one foot forward at a time. I challenged myself to just focus on my next step and nothing else. I did exactly that for the next two minutes. I felt the tension on my muscles subsiding, my shoulders relaxing, my mind freed, a smile on my face. I felt so good.
It is then that I made up my mind to adopt “crossing that bridge when I get there” type of mindset.
After all, Jesus asked His disciples in Mattew 6:27
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?