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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*

Why I Love Google Maps.

Technology never ceases to amaze! Nearly everything around us is automated, check yourself, you could be too. But really, how many times are we presented with a gadget only to use it to the bare minimum. We only use it for the functions it’s built for, yet it there’s so much more we can do with it. I’m a statistic here. I don’t know, call it laziness, lack of curiosity or maybe contentment with what you can do with it in the present – despite you not fully utilizing its other functions.

What’s made me talk about this? Google Maps. All these years, I’ve struggled with directions. I suck at them and I’m in no position to deny that fact. In my mind, when I’m giving the directions they sounds so right and obviously direct, only for the person on the other end to completely get confused by what I’m trying to say. I want to say “turn left” but instead, I finger point the direction and say, “go this way.” I don’t know if it’s a chic thing or not, but that’s how it is in my case. Is your daughter/girlfriend/wife like that? I won’t ask her because she probably thinks she’s a pro at giving directions.

With Google Maps, there’s no more drawing directions on papers, it’s about spotting your location on the map, dropping a pin there and sending it to your visitors via text in the form of a link. They in turn just click open on the link and it takes them directly to where you live via Google Maps. There’s no more arguments or disagreements in the car because the lovely lady on the other side of the phone (app), will tell you what to do –> in 200m turn left. I love it when she does that.

For a long time, we struggled. We would be invited to a place we don’t know of and we would spend a good amount of time trying to figure out where it is on phone or arguing which turns to make or not to make – it’s consuming – energy-wise and time-wise. Especially how directions arguments eventually become an accusation at some point –> “But I told you it’s not that way”, “I told you it was that way and you ignored”, “you just missed the turn”, “just concentrate and look for that bill board/post – co-driver looks down for a second and the board is a far distance from the rear mirror.” The struggle is real.

One day, our lovely friends (The Ngigi’s) introduced us to Google Maps. They dropped us a pin – via text. It was in the form of a link and we were absolutely clueless on how to go about it. We opened it but then what? So we of course didn’t manage to use it. We got lost, argued along the way but eventually got there. Not knowing the directions can make you change your mind about visiting a place. For that reason, on arriving, the first thing we did was get some Google Maps 101 from our friends. How the hell do we use it this frigging invention? It’s a driver’s little heaven on earth, and the co-drivers sigh of relief.

From then on, we’re Google Map evangelists. It’s quite simple actually. Let me show you how to use it in 5 simple steps:


 

Step 1: Go to Google Maps on your phone Menu.

Google Maps, Google, Kawi Snippets, Technology,

Step 2: Under search, click on the arrow that looks like a direction beside it. This is so that it maps your location (My location).

Google Maps, Google, Kawi Snippets, Technology,

Step 3: Enter your Destination point – where you want to go.

My Location - GM

Step 4: Activate your GPS (it’s right next to where you adjust your sound or activate Mobile Data and WiFi). This is for it to map the path from your location to your destination, like below.

Map Location - GM

Step 5: Start Navigation (see that arrow on the image above) – then let the lady on the other side of the app take you where you want to go. Apparently, most if not all our roads are well mapped, so even if you want to go to up country or off road, you’re good to go (these are very layman terms by the way).

Google Maps, Google, Kawi Snippets, Technology,


 

God forbid that we never have a phone without Google Maps, because the reliance is a bit too much now. On that note, we established that Google needs to do some user education on the use of some of their applications. They seem easy once you grasp the concept, but before you do, it’s an uphill task. One that we humans are at first too skeptical to take, until we realize how much it’ll save us. And that’s why I love Google Maps!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. It’s just out of the appreciation and love of it. Evangelist things!

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*

My Best Reads

Tagged by my good friend and old neighbor – Wanja Kinyanjui on Facebook  to list the top 10 books that have touched and stayed with me. I’ll break the chain and do it on the blog because I think I’ve posted too much on facebook already. Then I’ll tag YOU my reader. You can leave some of your best reads on the comment section, I might just get a couple for my next read.

Good Reads, Books

 

Wow, I have read a couple of books in my lifetime, mostly school books … lol. But there’s no way in good heavens I am putting those up of course. Thing is, I’m not a complex reader and I came to accept that fact. So I wouldn’t touch a book that’s difficult to decipher or even read – hence why I was unable to do documentaries. I tried … I really tried to be the cool kid with huge books at one point in my life. As well as try read sci-fi’s and ish – you know the Harry Potter’s of this world. If it’s not real, I feel wasted, because I want to relate. Hmm, let’s see my list, here goes:

  1. Little women – Louisa May Alcott – Got it from my mum’s shelf, way back when #beingateenager. I was looking for a book to read and what a better book for a girl growing up than this one. Louisa captures her life story together with that of her 3 sisters. How they balanced their personalities and roles within the home setting. I took ages to read because it was an almost slow book, but interesting because you can relate to a lot that they went through while growing up even if in a different setting.
  2. Captivating – Unveiling the mystery of a Womans Soul” – John and Stasi Eldredge – Gifted by Mum for my birthday. It was about understanding myself as woman. Which got me to write two review posts: Every Woman’s Desire and What Defines A Woman, I was that touched.
  3. Alchemist | Aleph – Paulo Coelho – I bought them. I love symbols, I love interpreting stuff in a way that I understand best and this book allowed me to through the mind of another writer.
  4. Family Album| The Wedding | Safe Harbor | family ties | 2nd Chance | Big Girl – Danielle Steel – I stole most of these Danielle Steel books from my mum’s shelf, she’s a huge fan and so am I by extension. She writes about life experiences ranging from personalities, family, marriage, love, relationships, and careers. I don’t know if she imagines these stories or they are true stories, because they pretty much sound like just what happens. I could read her books all day, errday.
  5. Half of A Yellow Sun | Americanah | Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Adichie – I have a girl crush on her writing. She’s such a storyteller, I love it. When I read her books, I direct a movie in my mind. I even imagine how her cast looks like in my mind and how the scenes unveil. And well, after watching Half of a Yellow Sun, I’m so damn right, or rather she got it right – the movie met my expectations to the dot.
  6. Eat, Pray, Love | Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert – I loved the 1st book, so I got the 2nd . I liked how she was able to openly express herself through her writing. If I was to write a book, I would almost do it like her, but now in my way. The Eat, Pray, Love movie didn’t quite meet my expectations though, a lot was axed in the movie.
  7. There are so many books I’ve bought on the streets of famous writers, the likes of Stephen Frey and his other genius writer friends who are best sellers. Read them but unfortunately I can’t remember their names or their titles. That happens to me A LOT, in movies I’ve watched too.

But just so that you know a little more about my reading life,

“I love books with a storyline. I don’t like motivational books. Especially those that tell me what to do or not to do with my life, I think we all know what to do, we just need some inspiration – tell me a story instead, I can learn from it and derive my inspiration from your experience.”

Terrific Tuesday lovelies.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Of Treasures and Girlfriends

It’s been crazy but beautiful. I’ve been working, working really hard, like the good girl I am *toot toot*. So you can imagine when I want to write a captivating post and well, the only thing going on is work and the personal life I pick up over the weekends. I have come to that point where I look forward to the weekend like never before. It feels very well deserved with just 2 days to live it out. There should have been a day slotted between Saturday and Sunday, someone slacked on the day naming job.

However, I’d like to tell you about a treasure I found. Late last year when I did my big chop (aka BC, I’ve become one of them already), my excited friends led me into a series of groups that would induct me through my natural phase, lest I relapse. Kidding, but I guess they knew how natural kinky hair needs a lot of TLC as well as a couple of girlies that have your back when the mane gets tough.

That’s how I found this group of beautiful online girlfriends called “Kurlly Diaries”. You know how you end up loving people you’ve never met, because somehow even as you communicate virtually, there’s some realness that manifests itself. And it’s through that realness, that they’ve managed to play an important role in my life. Such that even when the notifications are in excess, I open them gladly in my free who lied and told us there’s free time? time, just to see what someone has to say. I learn a lot of girl stuff from them – especially when it comes to managing my small mane – hair and body products, and referrals on where to get legit and affordable stuff.

They come up with challenges that sometimes I’m too lazy to take up but one thing I admire about them is the effort they (some ladies) put in their day-to-day operations to better their life and that of their loved ones. It pushes me to stop being lazy and get going too. From health & beauty regimens, fashion, DIY’s, food, to financial & time management. They share information, help each other out & let you be. They think of fun ways to make these difficult tasks manageable. They encourage each other with every step made to achieve the task or challenge presented and at the end sometimes even give small rewards to the most engaging person.

The one that recently caught my attention was “emptying your stash”. The idea is to take a picture of the stash you have (whether full or half way done) and then aim to first finish them before purchasing others. I’m the kind of person that can purchase a product just because … someone told me it works great, serves a purpose I intend to achieve even though not necessary/urgent or it looks good, it’s affordable and I can own it.

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With this challenge, I now feel the need to question the necessity and relevance of things before I purchase them. To the extent that I have the good against evil conversations with myself at the store, and talk myself out of an unnecessary purchase. To make sure I make use of what I have first before greed gets the better part of me.

“If I don’t need it, then I don’t buy it. If there’s something else that serves the same purpose, does it well & I still have it stashed, then I don’t buy it.”

It’s now as simple as that. That so far has helped me become more conscious during my purchases, which will in turn help me save a shilling or more in the long run.

On the same note, just after claiming how clueless I am about weddings, which I really am for real, not kidding, I got some girlfriend offers from Flo Ngigi (she could possibly be my twin), Wangu Yann (mentor in my teen years, now big sister), Njeri Olang (new God-sent friend) and Elizabeth Njeri (my best of friends, she must’ve been a wedding planner in her other life, she reminds me of 27dresses) – telling me they want to be there for me. I shall use up that offer, so don’t withdraw it, but the thought, just that feeling of wanting to be there for me, that counts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you’re my treasures.

Signing off ~~~ *Kawi*

Where Did You First Meet?

Have you watched the video by Train – Marry Me? The 1st time I watched it, it made me look back at how I would tell our story. And boy, don’t we all have different stories to tell? They make beautiful memories.

It’s one of those questions you can only escape for so long. Your friends always want to know the story. Even when you feel it sounds boring and you’re tempted to spice it up a little more. There are people with really interesting stories though, truth be told. Some met in a bus or a flight or on transit; others were high-school or campus sweethearts or neighbors or church-mates, while others in random places like supermarkets, barbecues or Facebook (and other social media channels – Instagram, Twitter … name it). Most of these are usually by chance, the world does the magic for you and your lucky stars are aligned for your paths to meet (or cupid for those of you who believe there’s a chubby kid shooting love arrows around). There’s some awww’ness in the versatility of these stories, from the simplest to the complex ones.

I think with our busy schedules these days, it’s possible to miss these chances that used to be our rather obvious ways to meet. I don’t know if it’s because work is more than it used to be or it’s because that’s the kind of life we’ve chosen. But, for some reason most people are too preoccupied to open their eyes and look out for those kind of connections. It doesn’t stop there, someone out there noticed this gap and developed a platform for you. Innovation I tell you. An online dating platform, yes, you heard that right. I know what you’re thinking, I thought that too.

Dating, Relationships, Online Dating

I have always thought online dating sites to be dodgy or for lack of a better word just creepy. We all have that ↑  negative perception about meeting someone online. Plus after watching “Dates from Hell”, you forever have second and third thoughts about ever being on a blind date. Anyhow, back to our dating site, it’s a Kenyan one by the way and the 1st of its kind. Ian Isherwood (Kenyan, born & raised in Mombasa), the founder of the DateMe Kenya, says this idea came about when his friends complained about how hard it is to meet like-minded people in Nairobi when you’re juggling professional responsibilities. He’s seen it work in the Western countries (America and Europe), so why not in Kenya? The site aims to provide an exclusive, hustle-free platform for busy professionals to meet compatible partners and experience quality online dating in a safe, secure and private online environment.

Personally, I still have my reservations. Let’s blame the movies. If I was not taken, my timid self would still stick to the traditional way. I must have either known you or met you somewhere (either by my own means or through friends) but a blind meet, nah nah!

What’s your take on this kind of platform? Do you think it’ll fly in Kenya? Would you be open to meet or search for “your person” online? If someone told you they met their spouse online, what would you think? Do tell.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Do You Know What Happiness Is For You?

It’s been all things Foundation all day, everyday. For that reason, I hope that you’re coming for the walk this weekend 22nd March at Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary from 8:00am.  It’s going to be some good fun, we can really hold it down. Come for it, then let me know if you had a good time. If you don’t have fun, you’re probably boring *joke*. On a serious note though, the one reason I love this #SaveAMum initiative is because I can’t imagine a life without my Mum. I really can’t. She’s molded me. My baby sister and I are mini-her’s.

Foundation - Blog

I remember when I was growing up, we had our differences. She would deny me permission to go certain places and totally side with my dad on the NO’s. Although she did try to cover me up a couple of times when I fell off the wagon. Or make a big deal if I didn’t clean up my room or help the house-help clean up, to the point of waking us up after going to bed *or pretend to*. She was the morning alarm “Calls out Kawi. Once, twice … Footsteps! That was it,  I would be up before she twists open my door knob because, war!”. She would ask me about school, my dad was worse though, because I had to justify that I was reading and not just busy socializing with friends.

After those wars, she was my bestie. She’s the one I’d run to if I had problems in school, if I had an ache or itch (anywhere…lol), if I just wanted someone to rant to about anything and everything. She would always give me a listening ear. She knows all my friends even without ever meeting some because of all my stories. Through it all, she remains our root. She taught me and influenced the values I hold today. Of course I attribute it to my dad too, but her presence made it easier for him (especially that we’re 2 girls). I would like to #SaveAMum today so that another child can experience this kind of relationship, it’s heavenly.

#SaveAMum, Chase Group Foundation, World Happiness Day

Apparently, today is World Happiness Day. Who knew there was that one day we devote to happiness? These “World Days” never cease to amaze. Well, I’m not the happiest in the brood, but at least I don’t have a reason why I should not have a smile randomly plastered on my face, I’m blessed. No one has clearly pointed out what happiness is yet. Is it a state? Is it a moment? It’s got to be something. When you Google it now, guess the 1st thing that comes up? Yes, Pharrell William’s – Happy. His video shows a picture of happy, I would also be happy if I was in it.

Even if we don’t collectively have an answer, at least we can think of what we feel when we think we’re experiencing happiness. Some of the things that make me get that feeling I would say is “my happy” are:

Writing a blog post

Inviting family and  friends over to hang out or vice-versa

Love, light and peace around me

Accomplishing a goal

Eating delicious food

Good “Upbeat” Music

Beautiful Scenery  (give me a house at a beach front, I’ll be happy forever, promise!)

Lot’s of color on objects

Chatting about everything under the sun

Sharing a good laugh

Catching up with old friends and meeting new friends

Comfort in my space

Problem solving

Selfies

Nothing complicated really even the beach front. As long as these things happen, whenever and wherever they happen, I feel that dash of niceness. However, I think happiness is more internal than it is external and it’s experienced best when it’s felt and shared with others. Happiness can be anything you want it to be, as long as it brightens your soul and it helps you brighten another persons soul.

Signing Off ~ *Kawi*