Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Sometimes I do amuse myself. I shall be the first to admit that life sometimes does get overwhelmingly boring. You eat the same thing, work on the same things and life goes quietly along with no sort of humdrum whatsoever. So occasionally, and these moments are usually quite abrupt, I go out of my way to amuse myself. Just me. The other day, I had decided to take a me day. My phone was off which was no fault of mine. I was also dressed slightly like a hobo, again no fault of mine. So off to town I go to run errands and put my affairs in order. Right in front of me is this girl in a gorgeous mini. It was quite. Colour blocked and slightly short for a working day. But it was a me day. I was not out to judge or think of anyone but myself. Coincidentally, we were both undecided as to where to go and turned to the same street at the same time. That is when it came to me. Today is gonna be a good day. So there I am, slightly presentable and super focused on my purpose. Stalking this well dressed confused girl through town. So I followed her. Close enough for her to actually think she was being followed but far enough for her not to be too sure. So down one street we went. On the second street she started like really rushing. Like in a panic. Her legs were twisting on her heels. She was starting to do a girly creep run-jog. I also decided to quicken my steps. I was committed to the cause. It may not have been a noble cause but hey! About 2 more streets down, she finally cautiously looked behind. I almost hissed "I know what you did!!" but I didn't. I looked at her directly in the eye and then abruptly changed direction. And off my merry way I went to get my toes did. Those 15 minutes may not have been a useful way to spend my time but I enjoyed every second of it. Now I can cross 'Be a Private Investigator' off my bucket list.
Friday, April 19, 2013
I am older now and I have moved on with the my life. Somehow, all the things my mother has ever said make alot more sense now. They never made sense when I was 23. They made alot less sense when I was 13. But now, she has become my endless well of wisdom. I was reading through the bata_kenya blog on lessons from mum and it made me think....ALL MOTHERS ARE THE SAME!!...almost! They may have been raised from totally different backgrounds but motherhood has bonded them with a common language. Almost like this: My mother is a very talkative woman and a very forceful one at that. You wouldn't tell that from first looking at her. Just slightly over 5' and yellow as a banana. There's something about light skinned people that make them look less harmless! She is a slight woman. She has exercised everyday since I was born. Probably everyday since the day she could walk. But with all her height and body constraints, my mother has been a very big presence in our lives. She is both the biggest critic and the biggest supporter. Here are a few tips from this small, banana-coloured woman: 1. Mind the shillings, the millions will take care of themselves: She told me that she got this little tit bit from my father. It has made my family a people of miserly qualities. We look for the cheapest bars, we carry food to work (and when we forget, we starve), we save lose coins in large jars in the house, not to mention the multiple accounts where we save little amounts of cash. I don't think I consciously go around singing this mantra but subconsciously I do end up doing much more with my money than I would have. :-) 2. Buy good quality clothes, Fashion will always come around: My mother has always been a meticulous dresser. She only shops at this 2 stores in town. Its only once or twice a year but those clothes can be passed on from generation to generation. And fashion does come around. I now wear her suits and borrow her handbags. I knew brands like Tahari from her and how to tell good leather bags from fake ones. She has taught me colour co-ordination and that simple straight lines never go out of style. We may have conflicting styles when we come to my casual wardrobe but the rules of fashion shall remain: quality quality quality. 3. Be the best employee you can be, you are there for a reason: I have complained bitterly to her about previous jobs and past bosses and useless payslips.
My dad zones out from such conversations (I can tell from the filmy look his eyes get). My mum is a woman of faith and she believes that there is something to learn from every place of employment. 'Be the best there and God will take you to a better job' she says, 'Work as if for the Lord' she says. I have to say, her method seems to be working quite well even though I sometimesmost times I am unable to follow it.
4. Marry your best friend: 10 years from now you want someone you want to talk to. She used to push me to marriage, that woman, then suddenly, that took a turn of events. Maybe she got reconfigured in Y2K, maybe its the grandkids, maybe its new wisdom with old age. I don't know. Her advice is that you need to get someone who calls to find out where you are when you get late, who understands your problems and holds your hand, who still makes you laugh 30 years down the line. However this piece of wisdom comes with a rejoinder, 'if you meet that man, it is not your moment to run off to pursue your masters in Timbuktu. Men are not as patient as women. They have a clock too. Marry him first then go follow your dreams!'
5. Always smell good: No respectable woman walks around smelling on themselves. There are much better smells out there. However keep them subtle.
A few more things I have learnt that I had refused to learn before:
1. Have a life outside your family. When things are thick, that other life will save them.
2. There's nothing wrong with being a wife and mother.
3. It helps to learn how to cook. Restaurant food will not be that great the 3rd time round.
4. Men are old fashioned. So pick up a few home- making skills.
5. Do not drink too much or wear skirts too short. You send the wrong message.
6. Be yourself. There's nothing to apologise for.
7. You are stronger, brighter and prettier than you think.
8. Live a healthy life. You never grow old if you live a healthy life.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Someone once said "No one ever wrote a book on ordinary people." I think Dr. Suess added by writing "Why blend in when you were born to stand out." Two quotes, similar meaning. I haven't written in a long time. I haven't even thought of writing in a long time. Not because I have been stuck in a hole or I am going through some ridiculous experience that does not allow me time with this keyboard I so love. Quite the opposite actually. Life has become.....ordinary. It's become blegh!!! I am blending in. And with that, life has become normal, lost its inspiration, dried up juice and I am afraid that it is my fault. A song will never be written about the girl who wakes up, goes to work and comes back home. A book will not be published about curling on the couch, seeping tea and watching mindless TV on a Saturday afternoon. Of course, that is if you don't look beyond the content of modern day reality tv where anyone anywhere withe the excitement of a dead lizard can participate. But my point remains, ordinary does not inspire creativity. It does not stir any loins, it creates bland and unfortunate fodder for story telling. I do like my life now. I like my job. I like my flat. I even like my routine. But as I go through my daily routine of eating, sleeping and working, I wonder if I couldn't be letting myself down. I don't want to LIKE my life, I want to fall deeply and madly in LOVE with it. I can brush my teeth everyday but I can only get butterflies every so often. I can curl up on the couch seeping tea all day long but I can only fall in love once, maybe twice in my life, I can experience ironing clothes twice a day if I wanted but I can not experience an adrenaline rush every single day of my life. Those are the things worth writing about, they are the bits and pieces that turn boring existence into beautiful life that gets me up in the morning rearing to go. I miss the intensity. Learning something new and exciting, having intense emotions about someone, free falling through space and time. Sometimes I even miss the heart breaks (I was never as hard working or as inspired as when I was heart broken). Sedentary is great and content but it is not life. It is not euphoria. It is not the memory you want to tell the grand-kids about. Its not a story you want to hide from your children.It does not inspire oohs and aahhs around the fire. I think I shall actively chase after life for a while longer before I finally give up onto the couch of sedentary and normal living. Find a muse, become an expert in something awesome, fall in love with a new place, arouse my taste buds with new experiences. I'm chasing life. I'm chasing something worth writing about.