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The Traditional Ceremony

I came back from my leave. It seemed long at first, until the days flew by and the next thing I knew, Sunday was here and I was putting my work things together – the handbag I mean. When I get off work, I always throw it in some corner in the house and forget about it – it sort of symbolizes the work – home switch. It sure did feel like opening day when I was resuming on Monday morning. Your brain has to adjust to the environment. However, I totally enjoyed having both a mental and physical break. Sometimes your body and mind need some R&R to restore your mojo for everything.

We also had our Ruracio. You know, the traditional ceremony. Just a sneak peak of what it’s all about. The man’s family first visits the lady’s family, for a formal introduction. In Meru, during this formal introduction, miraa (khat, whether in its physical form or cash) symbolizes the booking of the lady. After this, no other man can come to the lady’s house and declare interest. It also helps that you both no longer have the awkward “this is my friend, good friend” conversation with your parents & relatives every time you meet. They know he’s the man you intend to spend your life with. Then once the introductions have been done, the man’s family is then told what the dowry entails and they’re meant to negotiate for thee lady (me in this case). Traditional ceremonies are fun, but of course when you’re on the spectator part of the field, not when you’re the man in the arena. At that point you’re tense from your hair strands to your toes.

So once the man’s family has negotiated with the lady’s family, comes the 2nd meeting which is the Ruracio. They present part of the dowry to the lady’s parents in the presence of the relatives. Apparently, the dowry can’t be paid all at once. It’s an act that’s done over a lifetime, it’s a relationship that has just began. And that’s how you become traditionally married. It’s no longer, the man’s family now but the in law’s – in love’s perhaps. I’m traditionally someone’s wife now. And the question everyone is asking, is what next? “have you set dates for the wedding?”, “have you gotten a dress?”, “what’s your theme?”, “have you settled on a venue?” No one gives you a break to even absorb the fact that you two just made what was possibly the biggest decision (i.e. a lifetime commitment to each other) in your lives just yet.

But we’re not complaining, we’ll definitely need to be bound by law and make that covenant before God and man. And that’s coming soon to a garden near you. Gadamn! How grown up have we become already?

The ceremony was a small one. With family and close friends in attendance. We invited some, others we forgot, important ones, but it was nothing personal. When you have these events – especially if you’re not an events person or quite the planner, your memory tends to be obscured by the event, that’s all you think & dream, the last thing on your mind are who the guests will be in attendance. While we’d have loved to have everyone on board, it was virtually impossible. There are constraints like; their availability, hosting capability, pressure to deliver, and so on that exist. It’s quite an interesting road to pass through because it opens your eyes and it makes you understand why people do things the way they do.

It’s definitely a story worth narrating another day, and using it to encourage others who are going through the same process. We got a lot of support from family and friends. From our friends, I learnt that sisterhood and brotherhood does exist – that your friends can be there for you, even when you haven’t asked them to be. They volunteer, just because. There’s not a day we lost sleep over how we’ll get some things that were expected of us, despite us being clueless about how to go about getting them – from BIG sufuria’s, leso’s, honey and much more. We got so much encouragement, we shared stories and experiences, we laughed, we ate and we celebrated together. But even better, friendships got sealed & our families got bigger. To us, that’s what mattered the most.

To those who wished us well, we are grateful. Lots of love & light!

Ceremony, Ruracio, Traditional Ceremony, Marriage

*Funny, I barely took any pics with my device, the ones I did were a blur. When I get the some good pics soon (from my baptized photographer of the day), I’ll be sure to share.

Signing off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

When Impressing Becomes Depressing

I get inspired by songs, who doesn’t? I’m the kind of person who loves a song first because of the beat – upbeat, slow-paced, dance-able, catchy tune, gets me distracted, gets my current mood, I can hum along (I never remember lyrics, so I don’t bother, I just hum away or catch up on the bridge) – but even more because of the lyrics (just because I don’t remember, doesn’t mean I don’t listen to them – with a very keen ear by the way). If the lyrics makes so much sense, that artiste wins my heart. I’m that easy to please.

Colbie Caillat, is just but one of the reasons I love country music. I’m more modern than I think I am, at least based on the kind of country music I like. If I gave my mum to listen to her jams, she’ll be like, “that doesn’t sound like country”. Her country is the Kenny Rogers kind.

As I listen to her song “Try”, it speaks ear loads to me and what I see around. So many times, we want to be seen as who we’re not just to please others. You know the “fake it till you make it” kind of thought process. For example, someone gave this example a few years back explaining it, which I found too hilarious. Your dream car is a Mercedes and you can’t wait to make it (of course financially) so that you can get one. But your current state is that you don’t have a car or well, even better, you drive say a Toyota (I don’t why this one would make you feel any lesser than the person who drives a Mercedes). This thought process is such that you carry a Mercedes-Benz key holder with your Toyota keys or with your “imaginary car” keys so that the people you interact with can think you drive a Mercedes. Apparently, they say the faking it is a declaration that enables you to eventually achieve your dream – or pressures you to go get it. There’s some truth that rings to it, I mean you’re being aggressive and declaring your wealth…Amen! But why not be aggressive while accepting the stages of life you’re in – it’s a growth curve.

Why fake it? So that you can impress someone? So that someone can like you better? For some reason, we feel like we have to be some type of way or act some type of way so that someone (funny, it’s mostly people who don’t give a damn about you) can like you. And if we’re not their type of way, we feel the need to go around doing things that can get us to be their type of way or have them validate us. And while at it, we lose ourselves, because we become someone we’re not. Someone who’s driven not by their own passion or desires, but by what they want to prove to others they are, while they are not.

I think the saddest thing would be losing yourself by trying so hard to be whom you’re not, that being who you are or who you’re supposed to be, becomes a mammoth challenge.

It’s a complicated world already even when you’re yourself, so why complicate it further, by trying not to be yourself? Funny that those people we try to impress have their battles too. They may not show it, but they do.  Battles that we don’t even know about, but we feel like when we get their validation, life will be better. Life feels better when you do you, and are good at it – it gives you contentment, a sense of satisfaction even when you have not achieved all that you’d love to achieve just yet.

I usually say this jokingly but I always mean it, “If I don’t have it, I don’t have it. That doesn’t incapacitate me, I’ll work towards it. If I have it, good for me. On to chasing my next dream, because dreams never die.”

Also something about dreams – I imagine that my dream will never be someone else’s dream – you can share goals but not dreams. Even if we all dream to be presidents (whether of the country or a corporation), chances are that we dream of doing it differently and we will do it differently. I’m pretty sure when God made our finger prints different, he made our thought processes just as different too.

Just be you, it might not impress everyone, but it’ll definitely impress someone without making you step out of your skin.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

#ThrowBackThursday: Campus, Groups and Lessons Learnt!

Today, as I was busy doing my work, minding my business and sipping my water – from a KOR Water Bottle brand placement much, a very random thought crossed my mind, campus days! Not the fun times we had, because we had a lot of those – I treasure my campus mates for that experience. I’m talking about the tough times. The ones that make you wonder why you were studying what you were studying in the first place. I did Business IT in my undergraduate and there are some really difficult and unnecessary courses we did – ethics, computer graphics, programming, business accounts … it’s a long list, those are just a few of which I can remember as I write.

The tough times, really, were managing groups and the complications that come with being in a group. From the selecting members that will be in your group, availability of those group members, handling the assignments, the art of utilizing everyone’s strength within the groups and equally identifying their weakness – because that could be what takes you down, overcoming the group mentality and the solidarity in results.

Selecting group members

This must’ve been the lectures favorite part on the first day of the semester, “now get into groups which you’ll maintain for the rest of the semester.” It must also have been the students’ worst part, because woe unto you if you land into a group you don’t dig or don’t get along with the members. One has to be smart about the people they select to be in their group (if given the choice), else the struggle becomes real. Sometimes you realize you’d rather not select a group based solely on friendship – same concept with business.

Availability of those group members

So you have the group, good stuff. You have a plan as to when you’ll meet, but there’s a conflict of interest. Others are not available, others are not willing to sacrifice a little good time to attend a boring group meetings about assignments. Sucks when you have a group of 6 but only 2 or 3 are available – at all times. It’s very non-progressive.

Handling the assignments

So the 2/3 who meet decide, “Let’s peruse through the assignment and assign each group member a part”. I mean, their contribution is necessary, if not mandatory. You send the assignment and responsibilities to each member and give a “deadline” preferably a few days before due date so that you can work on the correction and formatting. Sounds perfect huh?

Art of utilizing everyone’s strength within the groups and equally identifying their weakness

Very important. When you’re in a group, you need to accept the fact that everyone is not the same, we’re absolutely different. Sometimes you might think, “If I can do this, why can’t he/she do this? “ Well, because he/she is not you honey. This is a tough lessons that many can attest to. If you’re not good at it, you’re just not good at it. Chances are that someone else is, why not support this person.

For example, we had a programming course, most of us loathed it. I know loath is a strong term, but that best explains our emotions towards that course. Unfortunately, it was a compulsory course. The lecturer happily gets us into groups of 6 and we’re assigned a project. The projects involved designing, developing and presenting a system. Presenting it to him the same way you would a client – including the manual.

Remember the part we loathe programming, that was 3 ½ of the group members. One (Valentine Wambui) loved it and she was the IT girl when it came to coding. The ½ (must’ve been Christine Were or Jean Opiyo) liked coding but wasn’t really good at it. The rest (Janice Muringo, Julia Wanjiru and I), don’t mention coding. Well, coding was just a part of the project, albeit being very important. For the project to happen – we needed to come up with the concept, design the interfaces and the database, code the system to being and then document the manual. Some parts like designing and developing the concept, interfaces and databases, you have to sit and do together – like one big happy family, that we did. However, someone had to take responsibility for each part, to make sure it’s done & well inputted or recorded. I love documenting, so if memory serves me right, I must’ve done the manual.

That’s the one time I saw the power of group work, because we aced that project – it was a Wardrobe Management System. Plus I had so much fun working with them and see the project materialize. I don’t know what happened to it, because that was way back in 2006/2007, when we used diskettes for storage.

TBT, Throw Back Thursday, Diskette

Group mentality

Perfect not! When everyone in their mind decides, “Someone will definitely do it!” Who’s that someone? Considering everyone in the group has a name. Once you overcome this mentality, chances are that you’ll thrive. Put a name on it. Have a group leader and let them distribute the work load based on who does what best and what can be done together.

For instance, we had a naughty group member who never participated or contributed towards any group assignments, but on the d-day always appeared concerned. So after bitching A LOT, we (Thuku Ndung’u or Rodney Senga, seconded by the rest of us) decided for that semester, he would contribute to printing and binding of the assignment, and any photocopies we would need during presentations – that stuff was expensive – given that it was campus with our ever eluding little pocket-money. He was moneyed, identifying strengths, no?

Solidarity in results

Whether you participated in the group assignments/activities, or not – you all get the same results. If it’s an A – y’all get an A, if it’s a C – y’all get a C. Unless you rat someone out, the lecturer looks at the group as 1, not as 5 or 10. When in a group, you’re fully responsible or in change of your group members’ success, and your participation is what will let them prosper.

Today, I am thankful for that throw back, because it has just made me realize that for the rest of your life, you deal with groups – whether it’s at home or at work. And campus was the best stage of life to learn that important lesson, because it’s brings into perspective the saying, “Man is not an island.”

Happy Diwali!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Say No To Hoarding!

Being a self-confessed hoarder, I was recently struggling with the case of having so many clothes but on the contrary, no clothes to wear. It’s rather disappointing and annoying to a great extent. When you have 3 wardrobes, with all hangers full, and clothes almost bursting out of them but when time comes and you’re dressing up for an occasion or even on a normal day, an emptiness lingers. You feel like you own no clothes. Sometimes you can picture an outfit you want to wear but you can’t find bits of it because it’s hidden somewhere between the clutter.

That’s was a clear indication that there was a problem. A problem that needed to be deal with accordingly. The thing with hoarding, is that you feel the need to keep the things you don’t need. Your mind tells you, “You’ll need this someday, just keep it.” Even when the day never comes, you look at it and you’re like “the day is still coming.” Sounds stingy, no?

Say No To Hoarding

I thought my cousin was crazy when one day “something got into her” she emptied her closet and only remained with the clothes that she constantly wears – which were a handful. She gave out the rest to people who she needed them more than she did. I was one of the proud beneficiaries – I fancied her style. Remember when hand me downs were a common phenomenon. It mostly happens when you’re in your teens. You know that stage where your parents can no longer keep up with your growing self and changing fashion style. So they stop buying you clothes and you don’t have money to buy clothes – because well, your income is the pocket-money they give you. For some reason it’s never enough. It’s at that point you become a “hand-me down” charity case.

Well, whatever thing got into her, eventually got into me. I was done with the myriad of clothes & shoes that were not doing it for me. Whether new, old, fitting or not-fitting – considering that I got some of those clothes out of peer pressure, others I’ve out grown, others I just don’t feel the style anymore. Is that what we call maturity? I finally made a conscious decision to just go and bin (give away) those clothes, which is like ¾ of my wardrobe. Someone else needs them more than I do. There’s a teenager out there going through the “hand-me down” phase. On the upside, I have less clothes, which means less stress during dress-up, less organizing, less complaining and more space. It helps more that I know what I have, what I don’t have, what I need and what I don’t need. Considering I’m not a big shopping fan (I must be the only girl who isn’t, hence this post, and this post), this makes planning for it easier and more targeted.

But honestly, it felt like a load off my back and mind. I’m sure my wardrobes feel a little lighter too. Such a liberating experience. Maybe you should try it out and Say No To Hoarding! I could possibly be an activist, and that my cause. Isn’t it a social cause? It’ll save someone and also save you some more.

Long weekend around the corner for my Kenyan peoples. Happy Hump Day Lovelies!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

God Gave Me You.

Sometimes you need a little country to get you going. Blake Sheldon is such a legend, in my books though, so don’t slaughter me just yet! But he killed it for me with “God Gave Me You.” Also, his wife is so adorbs! It’s amazing to have someone who’s with you through your ups and downs, because truth be told, we all have those moments and you never want to deal with them alone.

It’s one of those situations that are inevitable. In as much as you never want a “down” to be there, it’ll be. It happens so fast that you’re left asking yourself, “How? When? Where?” Next thing, you just have to deal with it. So when it happens, there’s comfort in knowing there’s someone who’s concerned, and will at one point or another hold your hand, pat your back or give you a big bear hug and tell you, “it’s alright, we’ll work through it … wait for it … together.”

Nurture your relationships, it’s worth it. The person closest to you is just as good to you as you are to them or vice versa. That’s the peculiar thing about human nature. If you treat me good, I’ll feel compelled to do the same. If you treat me badly, I’ll pull out my defense mechanism and it varies for different people – the same way it does for animals. A bee would sting, a lion will eat you up, and a python will swallow you alive.

The thing about relationships, is that, they’re not easy. No, it’s never a walk in the park, life doesn’t quite allow it, though I wish it did. It always has a way of bringing in scenarios, situations, differences, tests, trials and such like things that put you in a position that makes you wonder, *what the hell?* But you love this person next to you, so you brave it and deal with whatever it is.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, we all have emotions, different emotions, and at different times. Emotions are like a roller-coaster, one time you’re here, the next moment you’re there. It couldn’t get any more difficult than that. Because emotions can be the hardest things to deal with. They can’t be controlled from an external source, it can only come from within – you’re the only one who can tell yourself, “I want to be happy” and actually make yourself “happy”, if I told you to be happy, you’ll probably just look at me with a blank and extremely irritated face.

The difference of emotions though, that could be a hidden advantage that we all need to tap in to, to make things work. It’s not as easy as A-B-C, but I just figured that must be a quota of the trick. When one is on a high and the other is on a low, don’t go on a low too, just maintain your high – even if it’s as you do your own stuff, the other person might come around. And welcome them when they do, don’t punish them … it’s a good place to be, the high, even better when you’re at it together. So goes with other emotions, always strive to be the bigger person; to be the person who keeps things going, when the other person is on empty; the person who flashes a smile, when the other person is sad; the person who opens up a can of stories, when the other person is seeing blanks.

Relationships, Love,

“The reality is that, there’s no perfect, just imperfect (read I’m Perfect). So you have to sift through the imperfect to find your PERFECT without the IM” ~ I said that ;-)

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Dealing With Problems: Some Mistresses Here and Some Scandal There

Have you watched Mistresses, the U.S version? I love it. Anyhow, I was feeling a little on the down low yesterday (let’s just blame it on female hormones) and I decided to watch something. And what better than a series with lots of females with female problems in it…lol. That’s atrocious but it’s such an entertaining distraction. I’m on Ssn 2 Ep 13. I can’t wait for it to continue, too much drama up in that space.

The thing with movies is that there’s some level of truth in them. There’s always something to learn from them. Especially those that try to demonstrate a reality of sorts. I believe that the writers and directors didn’t just imagine some of these things. The scripts are derived from another persons story, personal experience or an observation, even if to some extent exaggerated to make it juicier.

As I watched, I got to the part where Karen (one of the “Mistresses”) experiences a health scare as a result of her bar-hopping, bed-hopping phase. One of the men (Ben) that she had had “bad manners” with was diagnosed with AIDS and there was a possibility if she didn’t use protection while they did the deed that she had also gotten it. Thing is, she couldn’t even remember. Problems.

While she shares her problem with one of the girlfriends, Joss (another of the crazy mistresses. Oh! This one’s on a different level of crazy, she ditched her fiancé for the sister’s ex-hubby as he waits for her on the aisle at the engagement party cum wedding…if that’s not complicated, I don’t know what is), well, she tries to console her. I really like how she did it though. And that’s what informs my post today.

Mistresses, Life, Life Lessons, Series

When you have a problem, chances are that you don’t need to someone to tell you what to do to solve it. That could be why shrinks don’t tell you what to do, because you already have it in you. Chances are also that, they (the shrinks, your friends, your family) don’t even have the answer to your problems, or even if they do, it’s their solution, not yours. Naturally, somewhere within you, you know what you should do about it. You just need someone to speak the reality to you and give you a gentle push towards believing in what you think you should do.

So as they chat, Joss asks her what she does when she’s feeling overwhelmed. She says she prefers to go to the beach. Why? Karen answers, “because when you’re at the beach and you’re facing the ocean, you realize that your problem is so small compared to the big ocean” and it almost fades away, the problem that is.

Sometimes we magnify our problems and make them look so HUGE. To rub salt to the already existing wounds – that are the problems, we dwell on them for a minute, making us even more sore. They overwhelm us and eat us up. While in essence, as is the case of the ocean, our problem is equivalent to a grain of sand on the shore/beach. How small is that? As we think that the world is against us, the world is going on with its business. Sad reality, but goes to show us that problems, they come and go and those that stick around we can handle them. We all have some “Olivia Pope” in us. If you have a problem, you fix it, you handle it how you know best.

To cut story short, she eventually went ahead to get tested, which is what she wanted to do from the beginning but was scared of the result. She wanted to be ready for the results, whatever they were.

In other non-related news, I’m currently reading The Fault in Our Stars. I don’t know what to feel just yet. My baby sister told me the movie is really sad, so I’m not watching it till I finish the book. I’m on chapter 3 and I’m like, God, thank you so much for good health. Cancer is such a bitch! Will tell you how that goes.

Now that I mentioned the beach, I definitely need a vacay. Having a better week than mine I hope :-) Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Curves and All

I read this article on Bev’s blog. Like she had advised, I clicked on the original story, and I was touched by what I read. That’s what informed my post today.

Meaghan Kausman, Curves

Meaghan Kausman’s photoshopped image is above; the untouched photo is below. Credit: Instagram.

In our society, size is a weighty matter. See what I did there. But it is, for everyone really, regardless of your size. “You’ve become skinnier”, “you’ve gained some weight”, “there’s no clothes your size”, “try a size bigger”, “maybe you should try sit ups, press ups or planks”, “you should eat some more”, “no, just eat less – more fruits & vegetables, some protein and less starch”, “don’t eat past 7pm, digestion doesn’t take place”.

I’m pretty sure you’ve encountered some of these random statements in your conversations, if not all of them. And boy isn’t it exasperating. I use them too, so I’m as guilty as charged. How does it make you feel? Well, it makes me a little more conscious about how I look. It makes me think, maybe I can do something about it, like I can make myself shrink instead of expand superpowers. Even when really, it’s nature organizing your body for you. Curves and all.

There’s also this belief that petite people shouldn’t talk about weight, because well, they don’t have weight to talk about. But funny enough just as anyone who’s not petite is affected by weight, so are the people you see as petite (which is relative by the way). So it’s awkward when I tell my friends I’m feeling like I’ve grown a little bigger, but they cannot see what I’m talking about. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t too – it could depend on what I’m wearing, what I’m eating, and other times, just hormones – those that make you feel like you don’t look as hot in the present or as you envision yourself.

The other day, I found myself thinking, “Damn, my clothes are definitely tighter”. My once flat tummy, is not so flat anymore, there’s that bottom bulge. My hips, oh well, they’re shaping up, like they weren’t already. Considering I’m not a big shopping fan. You’ll find that I still have clothes that I used to wear way back in campus which until now still fit. Until one day, I’m finding myself having to jump up and down for them to fit. I’m in disbelief. In all honesty, if I could stay the same size I would, but then I’d have to starve or gym myself to skinniness. Nah, I can’t deal. So I try to keep fit by doing some housework here and there, skipping,  planking sometimes, but mostly, just trying to eat healthy.

One thing I told myself is that, I ain’t 22 anymore. I’m aging and growing and it’s not only the age number that  increases. The height and weight too. Remember, Body Mass Index (BMI)? Remaining the same size will be a little too ambitious, although some people make it happen – genes, regulated meals, some serious work out.

I feel that there’s some alluring confidence and sexiness that comes with embracing your body, as is. Also, not everyone can be a size 8, or a size 14, the world would be a boring place. God knew what he was doing when he made us all different, but still in his image. Rock you, as you are! However, that doesn’t mean you let loose and care less about your appearance or size for that matter. It means don’t look shabby, actually, never look shabby. Always, take care of yourself, look and dress pretty, keep healthy. Don’t Photoshop your body either. When you love yourself, even the people around you accept & love you just as you are, because you are a beautiful petal.

Embrace your body, curves and all.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*