A quiet, shy and conservative girl. That is what I was; and what I still am. Having such a personality, making friends wasn’t easy. And the few that I had, well let’s just say relating to them wasn’t easy. See, all through life, my friends have always been a lively fun-loving group. So mostly I just sat with them and listened. Not that I’m complaining… I love listening. With such a situation, what do you do when you need to talk to someone or get something off your shoulders?
I chose to write. I didn’t really choose, it just came naturally. Being born in a generation where TV watching was a main source of entertainment (much as the parents said television fries our brains), I enjoyed watching TV and wanted to become a screenwriter or a director. Then I discovered novels. I guess these are the only books I read without being pressured or watched. I even got in trouble reading them during class. After these I started reading articles in the newspaper and literature class was my favorite of all. And that’s how I got into writing. I started with daily journals, tried poetry and short articles.
Most people tell me I over think… which is true. But that is what makes me who I am. I like looking at people and wondering what are they thinking? And how special they are in their own different ways, whether they know it or not..? I source my inspiration from the occurrences in my life, the people around me and the world as a whole. And that is what I intend to bring here. I also do a bit of photography. Therefore I will use some of my work in this blog. Let’s have fun as we walk together in this journey called life.
Photo credits:- Joy Njeri.
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I broke my walls down
In turn they broke me
Tore my heart apart
Laid waste to my being
So I shut down
I shut out all who offered any kind of affection or love
I shut out all who were interested in who I am and how I live
I thought I was protecting myself, keeping my heart intact
But all I ended up doing is barricade myself in
Impenetrable armour that even I could not break out of
A room so cold and empty
So convinced and sure of my ways was I that I did not take heed to what the rest had to say
And slowly but surely, I lost my way
With my ears having lost their purpose and my eyelids blocking out all the good in the world
I moved on alone
I walked far and fast
But in the wrong direction
See, at this point… Everyone had given up on me.
No one gave their opinion, no one corrected me, no one cared.
This is not what I wanted though
I did not want to be left entirely alone
I just wanted a friend
One that’s trustworthy, loyal and supportive
Numerous attempts at getting such having proved futile, I gave up
I shouldn’t, I now realize that
But is it too late??
Have I become so numb to emotions, so dumb in relations that I cannot be a friend leave alone find one?
They tell me that all you have to do is let someone in
It’s that simple… Just open up
Open up what exactly?
My mouth; to tell you my secrets, my fears and my aspirations?
My heart; to show you my scars and the scared little me in the corner?
My mind… to give my opinions about the different things I observe and how I’d prefer they were?
What part of that is simple?
Are you willing to listen?
Every time I close my eyes to pray, I ask for one important thing
Teach me, teach me Lord to surrender it all to you and to give in to your will.
And now I add one more thing
Teach me to open up.
The journey of a lone ranger is lonely and disheartening. I no longer wish to walk this path
Will you walk with me, despite my shortcomings
Will you push me on, even when I tell you to stop
Will you correct me, when I think I know it all?
Will you hold my hand, and never let go??
Will you show me that I can trust you?
Will you be a friend? My friend…
My life is boring. And I think I know why…
No, it’s not because I’m single (although at one point I was convinced that this was the reason). For the past 10 weeks or so, we have been doing this book ‘Mizizi’ in our youth church. For it to be successful, we had to be divided into smaller groups and I ended up in a wonderful group which we later named ‘The’ GANG’ 😎😎. So what happened is that every Sunday after the service we would meet to discuss about the week’s reading. We always started with how our week was. I would listen to people and think, “wow, that’s great!”. But then it came to me and all I had to say was, “My week was fine, nothing much happened”. And that really bugged me…
All through life, I have always had a thing for adventure. I like to travel, hike, walk in thick forests, climb ropes to challenge myself, row a boat yet I don’t know how to swim (I’m guessing this is more reckless than adventurous but nonetheless I enjoy it). In short, I love adrenaline charged activities. I also enjoy art in its every form. Be it music, drawings, poetry name it all. And finally I like a bit of sports. So with interests in all these things one would not expect me to get bored, at least I didn’t expect it.
But I had nothing that made my heart cartwheel in its place. What was I passionate about? What would I do in my sleep? What is it that I’d do early in the morning without being grumpy? It is questions like these that led me to the ultimate query… What is my purpose in life??
Someone once said that a man has two important days in his life. The first, is the day he was born. If you don’t celebrate your birthday, I suggest that you start doing so. The second, is the day they find out why. Now, I already know when I was born but I do not know why yet. The funny bit is, everything that’s happening around me right now is about my purpose. Have you ever felt like all forces of the earth are conspiring to send you a message, but you don’t have good reception? That’s me right now.
But I did get a little information from the message. After a lot of effort I decoded a few kilobytes as follows:- 1. What are you passionate about?
What is it that you love doing?? What sets your heart on fire? It probably is something that God meant for you to be doing in and with your life. He wouldn’t give you a purpose that would bore you or make your life devoid of joy. 2. What bothers you deeply?
Do ever look at a situation and think it should not be that way or you feel like it needs fixing? Chances are that you already have the solution. If something grieves your heart then it’s your job to fix it. Don’t stand aside and think that someone else will do it. It may not be disturbing them as much as it’s disturbing you. Your purpose may lay there. 3. What are you good at?
We all have talents. Some of us discovered them early in life, while the rest of us are late bloomers 🙄. So find out what it is you’re good at. If you don’t know yet, try asking the people around you. I believe that God likes His work done well. So He must have equipped you with the skills to carry out your mission. I mean how would He send you to battle without full body armour, a sword and a shield? Not that we’re going to war or something, well you get the point.
When asking yourself these questions, it’s important to go back to the creator and ask for instructions. A wise someone once said that ‘When purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable’. I found that the best way to discover your purpose is to go back to the manufacturer and get a user manual. Let God be the one to reveal your purpose to you. Besides, He knew you before you were born😊😁…
I am on a journey. I’m yet to answer the above 3 questions. But I thought I should share this. Some may already know their purpose, others might be pursuing it but they didn’t know it and some may be at the starting point like me.
Find out your purpose and pursue it.
That was just an introduction. A friend of mine, after hearing about my struggles shared these links with me:-
For those who may not know, I write short musings and thoughts on Instagram @alfie_ciru_the_blog every day. So what I do is just before I sleep, I note something down then post it in the morning. So yesterday night, when I was about to sleep, I had the idea to write something short. Few words that carry a lot of weight. The last time I had this thought, here’s what I came up with:-
This time round, the words that came to mind first were “Love me”. But before I noted them down, a memory knocked on my brain like ‘hello, do I mean nothing to you??’. So naturally, I had to pause and rethink the whole thing. Due to the endless election break, I watched the entire Harry Potter series. So imagine me putting my face in a pensieve… In case you are not a die-hard Harry Potter fan, this is the silver basin/bowl that Dumbledore had in his cabinet in which he used to review his memories (I sound geeky, I know😊). Now, in my memory, I was walking with someone in the arboretum garden. I do love and enjoy long walks of nature. And on this particular day, we found a few guys staring up into the trees and talking with this concerned look on their faces. One of them was a police man. Of course my first instinct was to stop in my tracks. I prefer to stay away from the ‘boys in blue’ as we used to call them in our primary school English compositions. But the person I was with was a curious one and wanted to know what was going on. Luckily, before we got closer, one of the guys walked towards us on his way out of the park. We stopped him and asked what was happening. I had a few expectations of what his answer would be. They had found drugs stashed somewhere in the bushes or someone was running away from the police and ended up hiding in the trees.
But the answer he gave was not one I had anticipated.
They had found a man, well dressed in a suit and nice shoes, hanging on a branch.😯😯. Even right now, after writing that sentence, I just froze like I did back then. I mean what do you say after hearing such news?
The society shuns the idea of suicide so much that the person doesn’t even get a proper burial, or even mourning. The family feels disgraced and disappointed that they almost disown the person. But do we ever pause to think about the real issue here?
I mean can you imagine just how sad a person has to be and how lonely they must feel to think of just ending their lives? For example, that man in the park. From the way he was dressed, what huge problems could he have had? He must have had a good job to afford to be smart. But it’s not always about material things, now is it?? After that day at arboretum, there was a lot of talk in the news and talk shows about suicide. I don’t know if it was just a coincidence or I needed to hear it.
For someone to get to a point of really going through with suicide, they must have mulled over the idea over and over again. They must have reached out for help either directly or indirectly. What am I trying to say here? Be observant of the people around you. When you hear them say “I’m tired of life…” Or “I could just kill myself…”, really ask them what is going on. At times people take their own lives because they feel that no one would miss them or that it wouldn’t make a difference whether they are alive or not. But they don’t say the grave is the richest place for no reason. Each and every one of us has a purpose and were created for a reason. Being there for our loved ones and making sure they know it is the first step. In this day and age, parents know close to nothing about their children. I have even heard of a situation where a mother drove her eldest daughter to suicide out of neglect and indifference. A child takes his/her life and the parents are left in shock. They didn’t see it coming. Why? Because they have no relationship with their kids. Apart from “have you eaten? How are you performing in school? What time will you be getting home?”, there is no personal relationship between the two parties. Which is quite sad if you really think about it.
I always say my base, my ground zero and where I go back to ‘rejuvenate’ is back home with family. What if one doesn’t have that? What do they do? Whom do they turn to?
Another important thing is, in order to get help, you must be ready to take the risk and ask for it. Trust me there are always people ready and willing to offer it. They may not understand what you are going through, but just by listening they could make all the difference. If you can’t find solace at home or with your friends, try your place of worship or even a guidance counselor. It doesn’t have to be someone you know. For more information on that check out https://www.befrienderskenya.org… they might be of help.
I think it’s high time we see the situation as it really is. At times it could be a mental illness of some sort and other times it could just be hopelessness. Depression should also be taken seriously. Do you know even children get depression? It takes a whole community to battle this. We should not stereotype people who consider suicide as their way out as being too weak to face the world or strong enough to take the difficult way out.
It all comes back to LOVE. You are loved!!!
Let no one tell you otherwise!!!
I would love it if I got to hear your thoughts about this through the comments🙂. I may not be a professional, but I like to listen and help where I can.
Do you have times or moments when you just wanna tap yourself on the back?? I do.
I remember sometime last year I was at a bad place. Nothing serious or anything but I really felt a weight that held me down like an anchor. Only I wasn’t in need of it. Yes I did need an anchor, everybody does. Something that keeps you grounded, something that reminds you who you are, something good and not a burden like I had.
Identity is important. I did have an identity, or so I thought. I later realised that I had let other people define me. Between 2015 and 2016 I lost two very important people to me (no, they’re not dead, in fact they are alive and well… How do I know that? I see them almost everyday). Over this period, I preferred to sit by myself and mull over the occurrences that led to us falling apart. I blamed them for some time, then I blamed me and did it all over and over until my mind got tired. I remember one time I just lay on the floor, it was cold by the way, because I felt like my problems were getting earthed. The cold floor brought a cooling effect to my body and mind. And for a long 30 minutes, I just lay there. I may not be an overly-social person, but I had lost they energy to interact with people. Why would I when I couldn’t even prevent myself from hurting them?
I got to a point where I questioned my goodness. You know when you’re in a relationship and everything is going so good that you just want to mess it up?? Hehe, that’s me. It didn’t matter what the other person thought or felt. I’m guessing losing the people closest to me was like a wake up call.
But that was early 2016. Fast forward to 2017, I’m feeling much better 🤗. I’m having healthy relationships with my friends, I don’t have as many but they’re good ones, with my family, we’ve always been close😍, and most importantly with myself. I don’t let other people define me and that I can be fine being alone, not lonely but alone. I used to fear being just me, so I clung on to people who didn’t really get me. And when they were no longer there, I crumbled. In order to stifle the loud condemning voices in my head, I sought company. I never took time to deal with me and my issues, I just preferred to ignore them.
But now, I feel like I can rule the world!!💪 I do fall back into old habits once in a while but the improvement is massive. I exercise regularly, I have gained healthy weight 😄 ( this was a struggle), I give myself a lot of me time, I go for things that I want and could better my future and my first goal is to make me happy, the rest can sort themselves.
I know who my master is. Right now, I’m trying to find my mission, my purpose. I’m making sure I grow as a person before inviting anyone else to share this rollercoaster of a life with me. I am making my future brighter for my sake and the sake of my future generations. I have always wanted to make a difference in the world, doesn’t matter if I only manage to touch one person’s world. Above all, my aspiration in life is to be happy (stolen from Beyonce 😂)
Of late I was of the mind that I actually am not an introvert. I had written about my personality in past articles. But now everyone was saying how I made friends easily, how talkative I am and how easy to talk to most people found me. For a moment there I started to believe that I was an extrovert of some sort. (Baby extrovert maybe)😃. The symptoms convinced me so. I got excited around hype crowds, I exhausted my quota of words for the day… I mean I drew energy from being with friends. I grow happy even and become low when I was alone. Does this mean I got high on being with people??
But with the lecturers strike and the events I had to attend or plan, I ended up staying in my room doing a lot of nothing not being able to go home. Just watching movies and reading a few articles here and there. As I had stated previously, I have a habit of overthinking and overanalyzing situations especially when I have a lot of free time. This time was no different. I even got to thinking about my purpose in life, what activity do I do that gives me joy and if I could do it as a career. I haven’t yet gotten the answers, but that’s a story for another day.
Whenever a friend knocked on my door, I kept thinking “I hope they haven’t come to stay for long”. Not that I do not love my friends or anything, but I came to realise something… It takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot to hold a conversation. A lot to think of what to say, how they will react to it, how to make sure I don’t kill the conversation. I remember attending a few talks and conferences and almost all the speakers insisted on being able to stand out, to speak your mind. That your network is your net worth. To create a network, one should be able to speak to people confidently and frequently. One should be able to spark a conversation with almost whoever they sit next to. But I think all through my life this has been the most difficult thing to do. How do you just walk up to a stranger and say “Hi, I’m Alfie…”? What does one say next? Do you ask them their name.. what they do.. or do I tell them what I do.. or why I even have an interest in talking to them? I did not want my introversion to be the reason I miss out on opportunities. So I pushed myself to say what I think, to show what I can do. To put myself out there.
I found out that I sleep best when I get home from a social event. Why?? Because I used up all my energy interacting with people. I don’t draw energy from crowds, I use it on crowds. Probably why I hate unfamiliar crowds. But even the ones I know still take a lot from me. I do enjoy the company, Lord knows I need it… But sometimes it just drains me. Some people mistake introverts for antisocial beings. We don’t hate people, we just prefer being in our own company. We’re made to feel as if it is disadvantageous to be quiet, yet we are told to listen more and speak less. When I am quiet, I am either thinking or listening. Do we have to change ourselves in order to fit in or to stand out?
The irony is, I don’t like being alone. At times I like the peace and quiet and to be left to my thoughts, but most times when the thoughts become too much or too dark, I crave companionship. At this point, I go to a friend or back home. To familiar people with whom I am comfortable to be myself. Because they understand me. I am a lively person with lots of love to dish out. I guess that’s why my classmates and friends tend not to believe it when I say that I am an introvert. I have a lot to share and say, it just takes time to feel free around other people. I am capable and talented, I just don’t show it in a hype manner. Maybe all others have to do is observe me and not judge…
Her weekend was long and uneventful. She had gone home on Saturday and to church on Sunday. What was it the preacher had talked about? Running your race?? She had drifted off immediately the word ‘running’ was mentioned. Thought about that guy who had run off on Friday. Rosita knew she had seen enough of him to recognize who he was, but it seemed she had hit her head pretty badly. Monday came and she couldn’t wait to go back to school. Not that she enjoyed the classes or anything. First period ended and she still had no clue as to who was at the door that night. She was staring straight ahead when she walked out of class, at the rails along the stairs.
Then she saw it… It looked exactly the same.
The hand that had a green watch around its wrist. Rosita pushed through the crowd trying to get to him but since she was short, it wasn’t easy. Then she had grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him back so hard he fell. In less than two seconds she was on top of him holding his collar like she was ready to mess up his face. Before she could say anything, the gravity of what she had just done weighed heavily on her. She stood up, her head hanging. At this time, everyone was either amazed by her guts or laughing at her stupidity. Her legs were her best friend at the time as they carried her off to safety far away from her embarrassing moment.
So on this morning, she could not believe that of all people, she had to bump into her lecturer… After almost beating him up black and blue. He calmly invited her to his office expecting and explanation. Problem is, how would she explain that she thought he was some guy who behaved like a stalker?? He offered her a seat and she sunk in the chair hoping it would swallow her. “Umh, what were you thinking last week? I had to go to hospital to get my back checked you know!!!!”. Whatever strength he’d had to hold in his anger before had worn out. When Rosita hesitated, he banged his fists on the table and stood up towering over her. He looked like akuu with his red eyes and scary demeanor. This was not going to end well. She opened her mouth to say something but she was too shaken to utter a word.
Relief is an understatement when it comes to what she felt when the door was opened and a young man’s voice said, “It’s not her fault, it’s mine”. She stood up to see who it was and just sighed. She knew there was something familiar about the figure she had seen…
Welcome back dear reader. If you hadn’t read “The Foreshadow” click here
It had been on a Friday evening. The room was empty. Everyone but her had left immediately the class was over. Rosita wished she wasn’t alone on a Friday but her friends had gone on a road trip to Nyali Beach Hotel. She went through her gallery looking at the photos they had sent her. She had really missed out on a lot of fun. School of Engineering was really messing up her life. So she decided to put on some music. With no one else around she had no need to put on her earphones. A few minutes into her playlist, she was feeling much better. Her favourite song came on and she jumped to her feet. She knew she was a good dancer as long as she had no one to prove it to. She found some space and started dancing letting the music uplift her spirit and the beat sync with her heart beat. Soon her eyes were closed with her hands waving in the air, her body moving to the rhythm. She was really feeling it.
Until she heard a sound… some movement that startled her making her turn so sharply she almost lost her balance. “Who is that?”. Before anyone could answer, she rushed to the door and pulled it open. There was nobody at the door. She peeked down the hallway and saw a figure going down the stairs. Tensed, Rosita ran after it. She knew her behavior went against everything she believed in. Every time she watched a scary movie and the character went towards the danger, she thought it was plain stupid. Right now, she was being plain stupid. But she somehow understood how one would do that. The curiosity made it thrilling, like a spy or detective. Missing a step on the staircase brought her mind back to reality but it was too late. She went rolling down the stairs and bumped her head so hard she felt her brain matter would be pushed out of her all so tiny head. Everything went black.
When she came to, the first thing she did was look at her watch. She was overwhelmed with relief to know that she had only been out for five minutes. She tried to move around just to check if anything was broken. Apart from the bump on her head she seemed fine. She took hold of the railing and pulled herself to her feet. The building was empty and quiet. So who could have been at the door? Had they seen her? And if so, why did they even run away? Why did they hide. Why did he hide? Rosita was sure it was a guy… Question is, which one? Who could it have been?
She had this feeling at the pit of her stomach. One she did not like at all. Something smelt fishy and she had to find out what…
Did you know that our senses take in a lot of things but our brain has the capacity to only process a few? That’s why we hear a lot which we mostly forget and listen to one thing that we intend to remember. Since our eyes are mostly open, we see close to everything, but take note of only that which we are interested in. In short, we hear what we want and see what we want.
This is what Rosita had in mind one morning as she walked around sleepily trying to get ready for class. It wasn’t really early, around 9 a.m. But she had gotten used to waking up late owing to the fact that she was just from holiday. See, every corner she turned, she saw a love heart shape. At first it was on the floor. Some spilt water had spread leaving a dry heart shape in the middle. Then on the table when she was pouring water into a cup and some of it formed the same shape. Chuckling, she reminded herself that she was seeing things because she is very imaginative when it comes to seeing weird shapes on floors, walls or pretty much any surface. She remembered seeing the face of Tarzan on the bathroom tiles or a skull on her soap. This wasn’t any different. It was at that time that it really hit her how lonely she was. She quickly brushed that feeling aside and started dressing up. Navy blue slacks, dark green plaid shirt and black ankle boots. She didn’t really care to look her best because she wasn’t feeling her best.
‘There’s only one thing| to do| three words| for you…| I love you’ kept singing in her head over and over again. It was a song she used to love and had not heard it in over two years. So why did it keep playing in her head like an annoying ad song? To make things worse, those were the only words she knew. Her heart seemed to be in a joyful mood but her mind did not share the feeling. And this made her feel torn… Rosita hadn’t realized she had been staring at the floor all the while until she bumped into something, or someone. ‘Ugh, now what?’ she murmured under her breath as she lifted her head to see what obstacle had the audacity to be in her way this morning. Her heart stopped, her eyes grew wider before she lowered them and her face started to feel hot. She had really hoped, prayed even not to bump into him any time soon.