DEAR YOUNGER ME

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Dear Younger Me,

I do not know where to start. I don’t know what to include or what to leave out. I don’t know whether to make this a poem or a simple letter. I am so full of life and contented right now. I wish there was a way you’d hear or see me right now… See the current us.

If I could just tell you everything I have learnt so far, you would be so far ahead. You would not don your pillow in endless tears every night. You would not direct angry prayers at God, and forget His promises. You would not sit and wonder if God went back on His Word, and spend more futile hours reminding yourself that He couldn’t ever get to that.

If I could tell you all I have learnt so far, you wouldn’t look for comfort in meaningless things. You wouldn’t turn to human beings for answers. You wouldn’t spend resources and time on Google looking for answers about life, and its meaning, and your purpose. You wouldn’t question your existence or your purpose or worry about your future.

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If I could tell you all I have learnt so far, you wouldn’t be so bitter about those hurtful times. They still replay in my mind. I remember so very clearly how each one felt. Worry not, I can never forget them. But if I could tell you about now, you wouldn’t be so bitter. You wouldn’t wish people ill. You wouldn’t block God’s call for forgiveness of others. You wouldn’t wallow in all the sadness.

If I could tell you all I have learnt so far, you would be one step ahead of everything. You would rejoice in the storm and remain positive. You would look to The Maker of All and Him alone. You would remember that even when you don’t have your life together, there exists One who put things together. You would be happier and fuller of life.

If I could tell you all I have learnt so far, Younger Me, I would tell you I am proud of you. I would tell you I am grateful for the amazing bold steps you took. I would tell you I am happy for the mistakes you made. I would tell you I regret nothing. Because without that life you shaped, I would have learnt nothing. I can’t wait to meet The Future Us.

With all love,

The Older You

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A LETTER TO MY VOTERS

I toyed with the idea of being a politician for a while. Then I decided it was the right choice to make. I sat and thought about it, before approaching my most trusted people. Some told me I was stupid, but the braver ones told me it was worth the risk. And so, my journey began.

We strategized. What would be my slogan? Which seat would I vie for? Which area would be best suited for me? My ideas were fresh. Very clean and forward. I could change this country. The minute people heard about what I had in store, they would wish I was vying for a seat in their region. I had faith you would love me. I was a threat to all “bad politicians” out there. When the time came, I approached you with all humility. And you honored me with your votes. Here I am now- your Lord Commander.

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Hi. My name is Politician.  This is my true story.

Forget my gender. Forget my race, tribe, back-ground, social standing, hobbies, or whatever else you may think you want to know. Forget any and every other question you wish to ask celebrities and popular people. It doesn’t matter. Rub it off. All you need to know is that I am a politician and you are a citizen.  I make the rules and you follow them. I am supposed to do stuff for you, and you’ll pay me in return via taxes. I am your leader, you’re my followers.

I wanted to change this country. I wanted to see a better country, with better leadership. I wanted to see a country where the citizens loved most of their leaders. We can never love all, yes? But to get that, I needed to have a good strategy. Okay. I call it strategy, but, in truth, it is selfishness. The seat I vied for would have to be a seat I would have utmost influence. The region I chose would have to be one I was certain the people would love and accept me. My political party had to be the party with the greater influence in my region of choice. My slogan and objectives had to capture your attention and remain on your mouths.

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I had to leave a legacy. Not for a better country, but to have myself used as an example. Sorry. Plans changed. I didn’t even realize it. Now I fight to survive. No, I fight to remain relevant and in power. I must do everything and anything to bring that to life. I’m sure you understand. You fight, too for your job, yes? I have to show you all the wrong things about my opponents, you know? I have to throw in a few harsh words here and there. I haven’t lost my humanity. I always apologize to them when we meet for lunch. Sometimes, I have to steal, too. We are making our region better, right? That’s what the money is for. I have to use force sometimes, too. Even the bible says “the violent shall take it by force”.

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Bu here is a secret. I blind you, and you’re very kind to remain blind. You are blind to the fact that it is you who holds the power, not me. That without you, I am nothing. That power is never permanent. And I must rely on where it falls at any given anytime. For that, I thank you. Let me not reveal more. You need to learn for yourself.

PS We must remain united as a people. Before they finish us. Will you join me, my people?

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Sincerely,

Your very humble, most able politician who’s not your friend.

Photos: Courtesy

MOTHER, MOTHER

Mothers’ Day happens to be one of the greatest celebrated days on social media. We all want to show off our mothers and shower them with praise and admiration. For the first time since I joined social media, I did not put up a post or photo of my mom. I logged on to Whatsapp and texted her, with guilt burning my insides. It wasn’t guilt of not putting her up and all. It was guilt of just how much we wait for birthdays and Mothers’ Day to celebrate our mothers. And when we have ran out of WCWs to put up that week.

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It is particularly hard for me to write this. I have battled the pros and cons of uploading this post. But I feel it is time we embraced the truth, confronted the shortcomings at hand and started finding solutions for them. The elephant being, our relationships with our mothers are not as glossy as we want to show the world, and we are doing nothing about it.

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The relationship between our mothers and us is one of the most fulfilling relationships we can have, yet can be the most frustrating most devastating most draining relationship. I do not refuse that we love mothers- no, don’t get me wrong. But if we were to be honest, most of us are struggling in their mother-child relationship.

Growing up, I feared my mother. Greatly. To me, she was a teacher and a trainer. I approached her every time I had trouble with my homework, and she trained me when it came to public speaking. If ever I was struggling with anything, I would approach my dad with hypothetical questions while out watching stars or in his study poring over books until I got answers. But of course, whenever he sensed something was up with me, he’d tell my mom. And she would ask me hypothetical questions in turn.

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My mother is an amazing caregiver. Anyone who knows her would testify to that. I greatly admire her. Raising three daughters she begat between ages 22 and 29 hasn’t been easy. She didn’t know how it is growing up around alcohol and boys and super exposure. To me, I don’t think she even knows how to handle a broken heart right on. She is a very good counselor. But most of those things she did not go through, you know?

So she sheltered the girls. Probably with the thought that if she protected us from the outside world, we wouldn’t need to face some difficulties. Her childhood? She couldn’t talk of boys and sex and alcohol. Oh, such promiscuity! She married her first boyfriend. A pastor who adores the life out of her even to date, 28 years later.

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See, our Kenyan mothers mostly have aspired to be the BEST MOTHERS instead of being the MOTHERS WE NEED. That is the void we are trying to fill. We have overly strict mothers who may make it hard to talk to or to approach when things are wrong or ish ish. In other cases, we have mothers who are just toxic to their kids. (Yes, I said it) But are they the ones who we should blame? Should we even blame anyone for how we were raised?

Our generation is in a time when things are just crazy. We crave for parental figures who can be our friends as well, where we can run to them first before Google and before our friends. The void we have, the void we hope our mothers could have filled is still open. And we walk through life looking for SOMEONE who could fill it.

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I believe that the best gift we could give our mothers this year is reconnecting with them. Quit waiting for the time you need money or you’re travelling home to talk with her. Let it be a relationship you need and wish to nurture as much as you nurture your relationship with your crush. Next year, as you put up that post and call her your best friend, let it be true.

You have a mother or step mother who’s been cruel to you? Forgiveness is key. Easier said than done, but it is crucial. “Ephesians 6:2-3 ‘Honor your father and mother’- which is the first commandment with a promise- ‘that it may GO WELL WITH YOU and that you may ENJOY LONG LIFE on earth’” You don’t have to love them. You only need to honor and obey them.

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For the mothers out there, let us try to care for more than just the physical wellbeing of our kids. They need emotional health too. This year, try reconnect with your kids. “Psalms 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him.” Don’t waste this gift.

Photos: Courtesy

OUR TRUTH

 

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How’re you?” Is most probably the greatest sentence we misuse. It has become so routine, so much a greeting, that we have forgotten to actually pause and think about the weight of those three simple words. Do we really want to know how that person is? Do we have the time to listen? Do we even care?

And just like that, we answer “I’m fine“. Because that’s what we should answer when asked how we are. We have learned that that is the appropriate answer: even when we don’t mean it. So we crush and suffer and rot inside because we cannot bear to let the world in on how we are. Shame, pride, even fear… these have become more important than truth.

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We are all liars. We ask questions we don’t want answers to. We answer questions in ways that mask the truth. We mustn’t lose our image, we remind ourselves. People must see that we are social and caring enough to ask how people are doing. They must see we are strong enough to keep our lives in good order and have everything fine.
So what happens to that person who wants to actually tell you how they are? What happens to that loved one who wants to let somebody -you- in to their story? Their pain… their fear… What happens? Are you ready to hear them? Are you ready to listen to their story? Are you ready for their truth?

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My name is Shredded Innocence. And I know for a fact that none of us is okay.

OF KNOCKING ON WRONG DOORS

There are childhood memories, then there are childhood lessons… lessons that will forever reverberate in your system. One of those I remember was a stern warning from my mom, “Valia slippers!” Though an obedient child, I defied her. You know, those moments you really believe in your abilities to be careful, that you don’t see why people are making a big fuss out of everything? So I jumped outside, hop-scotching around the compound and joining my sisters for a game.

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But the Devil paid me a visit; where and how a jigger got into my toe, I have never understood. All I know is that somehow, my little toe was in dire need of itching. And Mother Dearest made a banquet out of my stupidity. “Siku nyingine ukiambiwa uvalie slippers, utaskiza.” To this day, I believe she intentionally exerted more pain on my little toe as she scratched that jigger out with a hot needle. But isn’t that how we learn best?!
Growing up with a very stubborn younger sister, I came to appreciate the “It is fine. Do it if you feel it is the best idea” philosophy. I understood that sometimes, it is okay to allow people to learn from their mistakes. We warn them, and if they don’t listen, we ought to sit back and let them carry on. Afterwards, we should be there, to correct- not ridicule- their mistakes/choices.

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Remember the warning about knocking on closed/wrong doors? And how it makes us not see the open doors? Haha. Let’s be honest. We’ve all knocked on some wrong doors at least once. And today, I choose to laugh at my stupid choices. They made me who I am today.
If I was God sitting in heaven and watching human beings, I’d freeze the earth for a day, just to rewind to those scenes where people were just so stupid. Then I’d laugh and laugh at them. But I ain’t God. I’m a human being who’s made plenty of stupid mistakes. I knocked on wrong doors and kept knocking, until some of them opened. Then I’d brag about how persistent I am. (@#& *&%$!!!!)
We are the products of our choices. The difference is what product we choose to be… a bag of bones just existing in a not-so-functional-body, or a people who have embraced their mistakes and made something positive out of themselves.
Bottom line is we will always encounter doors. None are labeled “The Right Door. Please Enter Without Knocking”. We MUST knock. But will you keep knocking until it opens, or you’ll move on to the next door?
PS. I do not know where the line between “being persistent” and “forcing issues” lies. All I know is that some doors, we ought to knock and move the hell on. It isn’t giving up; it is being realistic and smart.

Photos Courtesy