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Irreplaceable Values in Friendships

I have been silent, guilty as charged. I’ve also felt it. It wasn’t by choice as the other areas of my life were seeking pretty much a huge chunk of my attention. The remaining 10% of which I could have stolen a chance to write, mostly in the evenings, I dozed off, watched a movie with the mister (which means, dozed off) or hosted friends over for dinner (which means, mini-party). However, I’m 100% well, which I’m thankful for, and so are the people dear to me. It feels like we should say AMEN already.

In other news, remember the What Next post. Well, I’m planning to make sure I have answers to your ‘what next’ questions about my life plans. You know things like, “when’s the wedding”. Now that we’re starting on the traditional bit, that’s some good progress. Truth be told, I never imagined that I’ll be thinking such big things (like marriage and a wedding) this soon. I smile every time I remember that we have a wedding to plan, yet I have no clue how to go about it. But that should never be a bother, we have a wealth of experience around us – to think we already have a designer and wedding planner in the family.

I remember the mister once telling me that I was the 1st girlfriend to actually take him to a wedding or traditional wedding (ruracio). Sometimes I have goldfish memory, but that one stuck in my mind. For once, when he told me (I must’ve just aww’ed then, however this is the real feeling), I felt like I have made a difference in my partner’s life. In an insignificant way to me (because to me, it was just another traditional wedding or wedding) but in a significant way to him (because to him, it’s something he’d always wanted to do but an opportunity had never presented itself). On the upside, at least he never got an old person poking him and telling him “you’re next”. Now, he has a person to point to if that questions ever comes his way.

Just before you wonder what I value in our friendrelationship, let me tell you just one before I drop down a long list. He was my first cooking and now baking buddy. He taught me how to grill (or basically use the oven) – at least I’d mastered the pan, so food-wise he was sorted out. We also baked our first cupcakes together – Google was the teacher. No pans or sufuria’s have been thrown to the other in the process so far. That’s a good thing, considering we still cooperate even when the recipes get confusing or when one thinks they can do it better than the other but figure how to accommodate each other’s expertise.

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That got me thinking of values. Do you ever think of what value you add to the person(s) you meet or the people you spend your days with? Because what’s friendship if you don’t add some value to someone? If you don’t feed off each other? Yes, friendship is a symbiotic relationship. I usually say that if I meet someone and we hit it off, at least let us have a conversation that will somehow build each in one way or another, even if for humors sake. Like leave someone laughing their guts out or happy about themselves or what they do.

What makes someone irreplaceable is not who they are or seem to be as individuals, but the value they bring to your life, even if for the moment you interact with them.

There are people you meet and you feel like they’re sucking the life out of you, like you’re offering too much of yourself yet you’re getting nothing in return. While there are others you meet that speak life into you and the moment you part ways, you feel reenergized, and given a chance, you’d not want to let them go. What are those things you value in your friendships?

Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

You’ve Got To Start Somewhere

The other day I bumped into one of my childhood friends and as we were catching up, we start talking about how it is living on our own. I’m slightly older than she is so I’d been out in the woods a little longer. This got me thinking of my journey, because I just didn’t wake up one day and find myself where I am today, I ain’t no rocket.

I started somewhere. That somewhere sure wasn’t the top either. You know how we sing along to that “started from the bottom, now we’re here” song in the club, it pretty much comes to perspective. I haven’t reached there yet, but at least I believe I’m on the right tangent that’ll eventually lead me there, my own house.

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Back to where I started, she asked me about my 1st house. First, my 1st house was like a miracle, because I looked for it out of desperation. I wasn’t being chased out of home per se, but my parents were moving to a place that was going to be a little too far from my work place. Plus, I was going back to school, so the commute would have taken a toll on me. Basically, the only other solution was to get a place and move out. I honestly never imagined that moving out would require such little convincing, I thought my dad would flatly refuse. I searched around and through my mums network I was directed to an SQ at Ngumo. I liked the house despite it having its shortfalls – water issues, the bathroom was outside (gave me the creeps a couple of times), zero natural light into the house, overnight rent inflation, non-refunded deposit and so on.

How I furnished the house, I recall, I didn’t get everything at once, but I had saved enough to pay my deposit, rent and shop for necessary items. I also had my little monthly income (weh, that was an experience on learning how to manage the little you have…lol). I worked with a list that indicated things in order of priority. For instance, I sat on cushions and watched movies on my laptop the 1st few months (so a couch and TV were bottom on the list). I got some “hand me downs” from my mum, while my dad played a huge role in sponsoring and ensuring that I acquired the things that were flagged *important* especially those pertaining to food – his biggest worry was that I should be able to cook and store my food when it remains, so for him a cooker and fridge were top priority (it’s funny when I think of it now).

All the same, I loved my little first house, I made it habitable. Time came for me to move out of there after a year and some months when my landlord experienced some issue with the main landlord (rental house issues). It was unexpected, and looking for a house is no easy feat. I prayed about it and voila, asking around, my friend linked me up with an agent in Kilimani who showed me a house that I fell in love with at first sight. It solved all the problems I had with my first SQ. This one was an extension with water than never run out; normal internal bathrooms; signed agreement – no rent inflation and deposit is refunded minus maintenance; excess light, with a sun roof in my bedroom, it’s like the landlord was going green; much bigger, everything fit perfectly.

Somewhere along the way, in as much as I loved my little light haven, I felt like I was growing out of it. Like I would like to move in to a bigger space, that’s not within someone’s compound, an apartment. I respected my feeling and urge to look for another house. After a few searches here and consultations there, a prayer and some more, I found the house I now live in. It’s just what I wanted. Now the next feeling, I sense it from afar, is to own a house.

Just like I found my way around different houses that meet my growing needs, or just like I progressed from one stage to another and learnt along the way, that’s how life is in general. My inner being nudges me to grow in the different spheres of my life and pushes me to seek for more even when it almost seems impossible. I believe that’s how you #ChaseYourDreams. With dreams, they don’t come easy, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Kawiria Writes – Let’s Dream

This season we’re talking dreams, it’s all about chasing your dreams. This got me wondering what my dream is. This is some serious *excuse my French but…* shit. I don’t know what my Big *Everest* Dream is. Or rather I can’t say it out loud to anyone, which simply means, I don’t know. I have small goals, you know the 3 year, 5 year, 10 year plans – that cater for my lifestyle – career, family and status things. I know where I want to be and at what point but what’s that thing that everything I do, think and say, guide me to?

On giving it a little thought, I think it has something to do with writing or better yet blogging. I love it and enjoy it while at it. My mind wanders, and then settles. Writing takes me to some place, my little piece of nirvana, as I’d like to call it. It’s what I’d like to be identified with. Kawiria writes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to write a book. I am pathetic at sticking to a story line that’s longer than blog post, unless of course I have a blogook – A book that will be a collection of all my “to go” posts. But honestly, my unpackaged dream is to inspire through my life lessons, or life lessons learnt through others and put them into perspective. I may not be the most exposed or experienced person on earth, but I believe that there’s a reason for my existence don’t we all.

Blogging, Dream, #ChaseYourDream

Now what I need to do is package that dream into something that’s appealing and that I can say and make some sense out of. Something SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. Right now it’s very vague. So Kawiria writes, writes what? Let’s work on it, that will be my personal assignment in April. To figure out my Big “Everest” Dream. Maybe I’ll be on a TED Talk telling you about my journey to realizing my dream. A girl can dream, so let’s dream #ChaseYourDream. Have you figured yours out yet?

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

This Year…

There’s some internal inexplicable excitement that comes with publishing a new post on a New Month, better yet a New Year. Ask any blogger. However, sometimes trying to figure out what to write about can be brutally taxing or you can even know what you want to write about but you’re unable to put it into context. Problems. Makes me think of more money, more problems. In this case, more ideas, more problems.

I had an amazing “jumping of the year” time. We actually didn’t have a solid plan so to say, because we were both working on the eve. The least we knew is that if all else fails, we have each other to entertain. But nothing failed. We started with going for dinner and as we made our orders, our friends coincidentally were also coming to have dinner at the same place. The more the merrier, we ate, chatted, laughed, damn! The food at Peppers is annoyingly delicious and overly satisfying. Then after that, it was to dance the night away and have a good time. The Kenyans who weren’t at the Coast or Naivasha, were at K1. It was amaze-balls. Good music, good people, lots of dancing (those who know me, know that I barely sit when at the club). For me, it was the perfect end to the year and start of another. Thanking God for the good time and asking him to bless 2014.

The following day, we got to spend it with my folks and the baby sister. I had really missed them because they had gone upcountry for the Christmas holiday without me (due to work). Nothing beats catching up with them, that feeling, that feeling is contentful, or if there’s no word like that, satisfying on the extreme. Just seeing them happy, makes my heart glow. Anyhow, as I was doing my random internet rounds, look what I stumbled upon. A fun way of setting goals for the year, quite plain and simple. At least it doesn’t have you racking your brains.

A bad habit I’m going to break: Snoozing – I get lazy to wake up early even when I’ve run out of sleep. I’d rather just close my eyes and imagine myself asleep.

A new skill I’d like to learn: Bake. I’d love to bake those delish cupcakes and spongy cakes. I really would.

A person I hope to be more like: Let me do me. I still have so much potential to be a better me. I haven’t played my best version yet.

A good deed I’m going to do: Give back to my parents. Not pay back, just give back, I can never pay back. It’s immeasurable . The much they’ve done for me, they will always more than deserve it.

A place I’d like to visit: South Africa – Table Mountains and Sun City. I got there but I did a half-baked trip. I didn’t manage to go to all the beautiful places. Closer home – Turtle Bay at Watamu.

A book I’d like to read: Any book written by Richard Branson. Perhaps I could start with “Screw It – Let’s Do it”. I feel mature enough to read his books now. Did anyone else feel like that? Like Branson was coming to hard and you were not ready? I did, but now I want to go for it and I need some motivation.

A letter I’m going to write: To the mister. I will, sometime. I haven’t done that yet so it’ll be a good first. Plus, with all these technology, there’s something about hand written stuff. I’m always curious about people’s handwriting’s.

A new food I’d like to try: I have never done sea food. I secretly would like to try it, though I cringe at the thought of it. How do guys feed those slimy things? “Molluscs (octopus and shellfish), crustaceans (shrimp and lobster), echinoderms (sea cucumber and sea urchins)” -> Eek! They remind me of my high-school biology, those classifications and terms make them sound inedible.

I’m going to do better at: Keeping my word. I say much (to myself and to others), I’d like to do just as much. Even those things that I say and I’m not able to do for one reason or another, I’d still want to have it in my to-do list and strive towards keeping my word.

You could also try it out and share. Feels like an easier and more fun way to almost summarize things that occupy your mind. List to this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCaNfQry8GU. Have a lovely day and I wish you the best.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Letting Go Of 2013, To Let In 2014

I’m the kind that forgets easily. It’s good to know thyself. I forget my milestones, the thing that made me extremely happy for a moment, then I moved on with life. Its joys and struggles all together. I guess having been given 2013 to live life, maybe I didn’t do it to fullest because many times I’ve held it down because of well, maybe I thought I should’ve planned it, budgeted it, I had work the following day or now that the cops introduced AlcoBlow (a device that checks your alcohol level and if you’re caught, be ready to part with 100k, such a party popper but almost good because no drunk driving).

Generally, 2013 has been good to me, no complaints whatsoever. Anything that went wrong was a lesson learnt or just to show me that “hey Kawi, this is the world we’re in, it’s got its obstacles so don’t get too comfortable”. There were thorns, but at least they didn’t poke me too hard. Just a few scratches on the surface that taught me how to handle the rose better and in a more gentle way. At least the scars faded.

2013 was my rose

Thank God It’s Friday

A walk through 2013:

  • What a better birthday-mate to have than the boyfriend? Makes everything so much easier, yet so harder because you have to make plans while he’s making plans, buy a gift while he’s buying a gift. The 1st was great, at least we discussed what we wanted to do. Can’t wait for the next one, because no telling. The first we were still getting to know each other.
  • Graduated from Graduate School – Completing that thesis made me feel a lil’ bad ass. It was so frigging involving. I got so stressed sometimes to the point of tears, lecturers can really frustrate a students. Something straight-forward can be so twisted.
  • Had mum finally travel to the States to visit my cousins. She had spoken about it for far too long and it was about time it happened. Really glad it did and she got to see her nieces and nephews. Boy, do we miss them.
  • Saw my dad start and complete building his (our) house upcountry. It’s so beautiful. It was his untold dream, he didn’t tell, but we knew that’s what he really wanted. Now we have a place to go  when we want to go out-of-town and have some R & R. His success, our success and vice versa.
  • Got a new job at the bank, totally unexpected. A great opportunity, with some really cool and amazing colleagues, thank God. That new girl feeling was so short-lived, now it’s like I’m at home. Also made some good friends from my previous work place. It always feels like you’re leaving one relationship and jumping into the next one when you move jobs. It’s an “ouch” feeling, but one’s got to grow. At least for the friends you made, they’ll always be there.
  • Took the boyfriend home to officially meet the folks. Of course he’s met them a couple of times before but there’s something about them knowing what you two are really up to. I found that really admirable and respectful.
  • Spent the 1st Christmas without my family. Felt a little (that’s being modest, a lot) out of touch, damn! But works got be done. The boyfriends family made some really good family time too.
  • I have some really awesome friends. You know those who make you so random. They make you laugh when you feel like cringing, that make you go dancing when you thought you’d be at home asleep. They are for keeps!
  • I had an incident, where I had my essentials stolen (wallet and phone). A bullet through the heart, those are the two material things you feel like you can’t live without. Those thugs got me a good one, but none of that carelessness again.
  • I cut my hair short and I don’t look hideous – thank God. It’s something completely different, no one would do something that extreme. It showed me that I don’t have to be attached to things such as hair, it grows back anyway.

In 2014, I want just basically want to be a better person, better than I have ever been. I want to let go of the rose, because I want a flower garden. I think I’m now ready to handle couple of roses and other flowers. I want to be able to achieve most of the things I have been saying I want to do and have in 2013. Better yet, I spoke a lot in 2013, in 2014, I want to make it happen. What do you want for yours?

In case I am not able to do another post before next year, because I’ll be having so much fun jumping years, may you have a blessed and prosperous 2014. Lets make it happen together #CozWeCan’tStop (Miley Cyrus clearly featured heavily in 2013).

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

A Little of Everything…

The other day, we went to pick my mum up from the airport. The anxiety, the joy within, was just in excess. I couldn’t wait to see her stroll out of the arrivals entrance. The boyfriend must’ve been tired of hearing, “I can’t wait to see mum”. I mean, we woke up at 1 in the AM to go see her arrive. My dad was in awe I think, he’d even called beforehand to confirm that I’ll be there or it was just excitement (read ‘cheap talk’). He would have bet there’s now way I’m waking up to go hang out in the cold. You’d think she was away for years, but she’d been away for just one month. Just one month and we were all thinking or rather feeling that she’d been away for too long. Wouldn’t want to imagine if she’d gone for any longer. My baby sister, who likes her space was feeling mum-sick, she would call me and tell me how she misses her. My dad who’s purported to be the “hardcore” was calling her up everyday and when he doesn’t, he texts to check up. I didn’t over do it, like the other two, but if I wasn’t talking about her, I was sending her some inbox messages, telling her how much I miss her. We wanted her to enjoy the trip and for my cousins, aunty and uncle to have a piece of her as well.

The whole experience was ridiculously amazing and an eye opener too. We all discovered how mum is important in our lives. And for each of us, it was different because we had our own reasons. But at the end of the day, it’s her presence that matters(ed) the most to all of us.

You know that saying, “you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it”? Well, you don’t have to wait till you lose it. You can know the value of what you’ve got while you still have it. Strive to retain that knowledge of how much value that thing brings you and appreciate whatever it is while it’s still here.

ION, remember me hoping that I bag it, I did bag it *whoop whoop*! It’s a great opportunity in an entirely different sector. It’s more than exciting, but let’s keep it together. Who would’ve ever thought I would work in a bank? I swear, that thought had never ever crossed my mind, I mean, they wear suits everyday. To the extent that when the opportunity presented itself at first, I was sceptical about going for it, plus the thought that I had no banking experience whatsoever. Then the opportunity presented itself a 2nd time, people had faith me (more than I did in myself), and it made me think, if they do, why not? I gave it a thought, read it through it and saw that what they were describing was what I do and what I’d love to do. God sure has  a way of surprising us, when you least expect it. I think it’s his way of showing us, he runs this world. He can put you in a place you least expect, he can make you cross paths with people you never thought you would.

The hardest part in this new experience and change, is that I’ll have to completely change my wardrobe. I only wear suits for interviews (which come once in a blue moon), but now they’ll become a daily wear *cringe*. Monday through Friday, someone shoot me now. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I’ll have to go shop, which is not one of my favorite pass time activities. Can you imagine, I really don’t like shopping . There, I said it! I only love shopping when it’s impulse or when I’m sad because then I’ll buy the most fancy but irrelevant things. But when I have to do it, with a purpose, it’s devastating. I don’t get what I want or I have search endlessly to get it. I need your prayers or better yet, your help in shopping or new hand me downs (size 8 going 10, the food is settling in)  LOL *wink*. For real, any takers?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Steve Maraboli, Encouragement, Monday

One of those to take or talk you through the week as we go through our different situations, good or bad. May you have an easy breezy one. Happy Birthday to all November baby’s!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

The Big Chop

I chopped my hair. All of it. Ok, not the baldy-like chop, but more than 3/4 of it went down. I had been thinking about it for the longest time. This is me when I want something, I talk about it, like really talk about it. I talk about it to anyone who’s willing to hear. I create scenarios, see the pros and cons, get opinions (not that I take all of them in, but I listen) and all that comes with talking about it. It kind of helps me in making my decisions (good or bad, but I believe most are good). You know someone might know something I don’t, and I’m there plunging in to the same hole that they’re stuck in. Well, shows I’m not quite the risk taker, I try to mitigate them as much as I can, then take it up – different strokes for different folks. While at it,  I also talk about it to those who are close to me, to sell the idea even if it comes out vaguely. Then once I feel like it’s sold even without their knowledge, boom! Decision made – I do it. It’s good to know thy self.

black hair, chopped hair

Chop…chop…chop…because what’s a selfie-collage without a duck face.

Anyhow, with a different look, comes different questions. The first thing my hair-dresser asked me when I told him I’m booking an appointment for us to deal with my hair is, “have you been dumped” and “are you going through something bad”. Not knowing, that’s what everyone else will ask or imagine. I feel like I have to defend my hair chop. While the only reason I did it is *drum rolls* so that I can stand under the shower and have water run through my hair – true story. Plus I mean, I get to reduce on the ridiculous amounts of money and time I spent in the salon. It’s such a relief, you’re allowed to envy me.

Of course this whole process got me thinking about what the big deal in hair is. Now I can say, if only you asked me my opinion of hair a few months days actually back. It’s just hair. You cut it, then it grows, thank God. That’s a great gift by the way. The value or fear we put in our hair lengths is amusing. I was cringing at the thought of how I’d look in chopped hair. I was even saying if it backfires, my plaiting lady should be on stand-by then she could braid me long enough to conceal this look. I searched for my head shape and how people look when they have short hair I love my forehead. LOL. They all looked lovely, I think the thought of wanting my hair chopped had blinded me by then. Even on the streets, I was already seeing so many women with short hair do looking lovely, my mum topping it up.

Well, I feel good, really good. At least it felt good standing under the shower head and my hair touching water without me wincing. For those who know me, this is BIG, such a BIG and strange change. No one would have ever imagined me in short dyed hair, me too. It’s good to surprise yourself and others (waiting to see my folks reactions, my sisters was priceless, my boyfriend, he had to come to terms with in a very smart and loving way) once in a while. Now that the thought (which was becoming more of a burden and I was tired of carrying it around) has been executed and it doesn’t look bad, at least in my books. I can continue thinking and talking of other strange and unbelievable things I want to do, then they happen.

black hair, chopped hair

Rocking it short and natural!

PS: A tick off my unwritten bucket list.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*