Tag Archive | Encouragement

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*

What Are You Doing For Others?

Just imagine you’re on traffic and you want to join the next lane, but this person keeps on blocking you from joining his lane. Annoying right? Well your mind goes on an overdrive, “*throws some curse words their way* stingy blocker, they just don’t want me to prosper.” That’s what runs through your mind, no? At least that’s what we say about the people who just can’t bare seeing you ahead of them or successful.

Then, there’s this person that just paves the way for you. You indicated that you want to join his lane and he just gives you way struggle-free and life moves on. Not that you deserve it, they’re either just generally courteous or they felt that desire to momentarily put their needs aside and give you a hand in handling yours. Sometimes you’re the road hog and you think that your business is more important than the other persons’, or that you are more deserving (which means, at that moment you think they’re not).

We forget to then that reason we get through a couple of circumstances is because someone somewhere paved the way for you. Not necessarily giving you way in traffic, but that counts too. Like going out of their way to make sure that you’re sorted out if you had an issue; taking time out of their tight schedule to be there for you, it could be through a visit, a call, a text saying “hi” or simply, liking their Facebook status; finding out what disturbing your friend/acquaintance and giving them your ear even if for a moment; biting the bullet for your team-mate and walking with them through a tough situation.

This may go unnoticed. Actually, in most cases it always does, at least by the public, but it makes a humongous difference for the person directly impacted. You that feeling when the person in traffic paves way for you and you want to; get out of the car and shake his hand, or wave frantically, or give them a big “THANK YOU” shout out. Now imagine if we generated that kind of feeling in all the places we grace or the people we rub shoulders with?

Kawi Snippets, Paving The Way

Doing something for someone (small or big) without necessarily expecting recognition or a return of the favor, but just because you want to see them ease-up and smile, even if for a moment. Those are the things that keep me awake at night. Most of the time.

Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Go For It. Even When It Seems Impossible.

“Sometimes we forget where we forget where we’ve come from, until someone reminds us”.

Ever been in a situation where someone tells you “if someone had told me this when I was your age, things would have been different?” My folks told me that a lot and for that reason, I always remember. It’s a pity statement, but it has so much impact. It says you have potential that no-one bothered to tap. Sometimes we need that drive, you know someone to tell you, “Go for it” or “You can do it”, simply because you can. It’s so easy to lose hope in yourself and in things around you when you’re faced by an obstacle.

The folks, they didn’t have it easy in their time and they made that very clear. There was no one to give them tips on how they should go about handling the different situations that faced them. Be it school, profession, dating, marriage, parenting … you name it. They always told me that they followed their instincts on whatever felt right and if it turned out wrong, you just work your way through it, alone. There was no one to tell them how to do what they did, there were barely any mentors or even people to motivate them, like we do now.

Tweet, Empower, Youth, Mentorship

The thing that amazes me most about them is that they never forget where they came from. They look back and see what they lacked and they want to make it different for the next generation. They tell us the stories, but they don’t dwell on them. They tell us so that we can be better than they were and do better than they did. They tell us that we have greater opportunities than they did and that we’re better off because we have them to guide us. Your folks have so much knowledge it’s ridiculous. If you say you don’t have a mentor, turn to your folks, your uncles, your aunties, your older friends. They might not be billionaires but they have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can help you become that billionaire that they didn’t become.

Why do you think they ensure that you go to good schools, that they check your report forms and performance in school and bash you when you’re not doing so well? That they want you to figure out what you want to be when you grow up early enough so that you can work towards it? Now it hits me that the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was not asked in vain. It comes in handy when we’re chasing our dreams. Dreams are built from a tender age. You might not be what you said you want to be, but at least it helped give you direction. I wanted to be a chef, then a doctor, look at me now, I’m a content girl.

Does that mean I haven’t gotten to where I wanted to be, I don’t think so. I cook some delish food and I’m still learning. I make home remedies and take care of anyone who’s unwell in my presence. But the fact that I had something I wanted to be, had me working hard even if not to be that, at least in the end of it, I found out what I was passionate about. My folks, they didn’t drill me into it. They guided me, and allowed me to be. But with guidance and constant check up’s on how I’m fairing in whatever I delve into. And for that, I really appreciate.

What made me actually think of this, is my baby sister and the tweet up there. She called and told me how school is just tough and draining, the exams, and how she’s scared of ever failing or not getting a first class honors because that would be letting down the folks. This made my heart sink a bit, because I was once in her shoes, same size, color, texture. Exactly the same.

School was tough. Heck, from primary school, secondary school, undergraduate, postgraduate and certifications. They were all so tough. I’m a last minute person (very bad trait) and I work best under pressure, so sometimes I would end up trans-nighting for exams, because failing wasn’t an option. Oh, I burnt that mid-night oil. School is just school, it never gets easy and you never get used to it. Life, life is also tough, the challenges are in excess. Sometimes I look back and the fact that I got through a certain stage, just makes me smile. Because I realize I’m actually stronger than I think I am and most times, more intelligent than I think I am.

School can make you under-rate yourself, life can make you under-value yourself. But if you encounter and engage the right people, people that empower you, they change how you perceive yourself and you become an over-achiever.

When you feel it’s so tough, because it was tough, school is not the end of the world. Many times, I did an exam that was so hard and I saw stars, but when the results came, I hadn’t done that bad, that made me feel better. Pressure is good, really good, because it give you a push, but don’t succumb to it. Don’t let pressure get to you, you get to it. This also reminds me of a time I was clueless in my programming classes, I just didn’t know how to code. But somehow I cracked it, but I was feeling like I just can’t do this anymore.

The folks, the ones who bash you when you feel like school is just crap, they were there, they just sat beside me as I did my project, asked what the system does because that’s all they could do to encourage me. That alone, gave me psyche to learn, to ask my friends for help, to do better. Let me not blow my trumpets but it went uphill. When work sucked and I just felt like I’ve had enough, the folks talked to me and told me of their experiences and that of their friends, and boy! Did I feel much better? People have gone through worse. Your case is just representative of a fraction. And they, those people they tell you about, those people that went rock-bottom, plus themselves too, they pulled through. You will pull through too.

So today, I just want to tell you, “Go for It, Even When It Seems Impossible. Simply because you can.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

It’s Just Material Stuff

I had a rather interesting week last week. Interesting in both a good and bad way. It taught me some tough lessons, which instead of breaking me, have made me rather stronger. I experienced the much told “Nairobi Experience”. The one about the pick pockets in public transport. Yes, they do exist. I was living in a bubble, thinking that would never happen to me, how now? That was a tell-tale to me. I mean how can someone just steal from you under your nose and you don’t realize? You feel so stupid, because when you look back, you see all the signs that you just let pass or all the things you did wrong. I couldn’t even sleep that day as I kept thinking of all the what if’s.

What happened you wonder? I took a matatu like I always do. Only on this fateful day, it was properly loaded with pick pockets. My innocent self went ahead to use my phone, I mean I was safe in the moving vehicle (note that I’d been warned of this behaviour so many times). When time came to pay my fare, I removed my wallet, got the money and paid, though the guy next to me was really looking into it. I was in my little happy-go-lucky bubble. I mean, life is beautiful, what is there not to be happy about? I put back my wallet in my rather “open” bag. It didn’t even cross my mind to make sure that it’s tucked in well. I go ahead with my business, but clearly it was our business.

Along the way there were funny signs where the dude from behind says he’s lost his sim/memory card and the good person I am, helps to search. All the while the guy next to me has rummaged my bag to get my wallet. Then when I’m about to alight, the guy in front of me, tells me to keep my phone safe because it might be stolen. And guess what I do, of course I put it back in my bag. Thinking, this people do care about my welfare. Not, because as I put my phone in the bag, this other dude was on the receiving end. Like they deserved my phone and wallet more than I did. I didn’t realize until I alighted. That shit *excuse my French* makes you disoriented. I couldn’t believe I’ve been played out like that. You feel like searching every corner and crevice for your stuff, you feel like those people should know how much you’ve worked and struggled for the little you have. That they should have some Mercy and at least return the essentials (you know, your ATM cards, ID, Medical Cards, Access Cards). For the phone I had accepted its fate (but next time insurance is my friend).

Then it dawns on you, these are thieves. The last person they care about, is you and your petty essentials. I kept telling the boyfriend to try call them. You know maybe they will pick up and tell me to pick my stuff up from somewhere. And he used my words on me, “that’s just material stuff.” If I’ve ever told you that, I know the pain of those words even better now. You think of the cost of your phone, wallet, ‘essentials’ and the materials bit, just doesn’t cut it. True to those words though, they’re just material things. They’re replaceable, some as soon as possible, others in the near future. As long as you’re healthy and alive, how you got them once, you’ll get them again. Even better. That was a set back in more than one away, but such a minor one. If you’ve been through the same, believe it’s a minor set back and you’ll strike back bigger and better.

That was just one of the lessons. Besides that, I also learnt that I need to be aware of my environment. Not everyone in this world is nice, not everyone is genuine and not everyone cares about you, tough love. So I need to in certain circumstances, if not all, put my safety first and always be careful and most of all trust my judgement, good or bad. After all, the judgement is mine. Such experiences should just toughen us. It was a sore and painful experience but such an eye opener too.

Material Things

While at it, I discovered that some friends have walked in your shoes. So they know what you’re going through or what you’re feeling. Somehow, they find ways to make you feel better about your situation because they’ve been through the same if not worse. And after sharing my story, I came to realize mine was not an isolated case. This has happened to so many of my friends. Sometimes you know all the rules to the games, but since you’re on the play-field any way, the thugs use the same old tricks on you (some which you were aware of, but you’re caught off-guard) and they win. That’s just a small win. Eventually, you have the big win because you can play better next time now that you’re more aware.

Have yourself an amazing week. When you’re about to have a bad one, just think of someone else who is in a worse state than you, and yet they can afford a smile. Then look deep within and dig out that smile from the hole it’s buried in. Blessings lovelies.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Outgrowing Them

I have become good friends with my tailor lately. Why, you ask? No, we don’t have much to talk about, unless it’s about how he’s going to adjust my clothes to fit me. The manufactures actually leave some allowance for that, I found out. It’s funny how I can’t see the weight I’ve gained or rather I’m ignoring it, but my clothes, well, they are just becoming tighter, you can’t beat that. It’s like trying to ignore a kid screaming to your ear as you try to sleep. It’s in the extra inch on my hips or thighs or chest or waist. I’m outgrowing them. I don’t want to accept that. I’m the kind that still wears clothes from 10 years ago, believe it or not, I don’t change much. But I am growing and I can’t stop my body from shaping itself. This also means a dent to my wallet because I find myself having to either adjust some clothes to fit or just buy some new ones.

Source

Source : This looks like me when I decide to fit clothes I haven’t worn in a long time. The disappointment.

Adjust, because that attachment with the old clothes for some reason comes on strongly when you realize you can’t wear them any more. While before, they would sit in the closet gathering dust . Some feel like vintage, and they are getting into fashion once again. My suit pants *wails*. I discovered that most of my suit trousers don’t fit (tight on certain areas), the coats fit perfectly but the bottoms, good Lord. More depressing when I think I have to get others while I have this ones (this is where my good tailor comes in). The needs becomes greater when you realize you need to use them for certain “official” occasions.

That’s just me and my clothes, but we outgrow so many things. Some of which we even don’t know ourselves. It could be material things, people, work, name it. It gets to a point where you cannot stay as you were. It’s like you’re transforming or being morphed into something and it’s either you adjust those things to fit into your life or just let go of them so that you can acquire new things that fit into your current state. Such is life.

Don’t struggle to fit in where you’re not fitting in, into clothes too. It’s not a must you fit into everything, even life won’t let you, that’s asking for a bit too much. When times comes for you to move to the next step or size, get with it, that’s what living is about. It’s about allowing yourself to grow, to become a better version of you, one that you are comfortable with at every stage. After all, it’s for your own comfort. And what’s life without comfort, lemons perhaps. Bitter as it gets. With comfort, it’s lemonade on the go or a shot of tequila with the said lemon and salt to loosen you up, much better. I kid, don’t drink, I kid again, one shot is good, just one!

Outgrowing

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Caring Too Much … Perhaps?

Sometimes you care so much even when you are not meant to. Not that caring is bad, caring is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone. To care about someone, to be cared for, best feeling in the world. If anything, caring is synonymous to love. When you care about someone and someone cares about you just as much or more, then that’s love, genuine love. Or at least that’s what I choose to think is one of the basics components which constitutes love. Caring is selfless, something you give not because it’s an obligation you’re supposed to fulfil or because it’s a duty assigned to you, but because you feel the need to and that the person you care for deserves at least that from you, they are that special.

care

I know you’re wondering where I am getting to with this, I am too. Was just trying to show you that caring is actually good, until it becomes bad. We people are known to care too much. Caring too much even for things and people who don’t really deserve it, people who don’t really matter to us, people who don’t really care about us and neither do we about them. We care about the wrong things from those people, we care not because we actually care for or about them, instead, we care what they think about us, what they say about us, what their opinion of us is or even whether what we do or say pleases them or captures their attention and if they’ll have something good to say about it or us. We even create the illusion that for us to be happy, we must please these people who we don’t really care about by doing or saying things that we normally wouldn’t do or say. We are not ourselves around them in the aim to please them, an extra price to pay for something you don’t need to do in the first place. Sounds familiar?

Not once or twice, I can say that I have tried to please those people who don’t care about me. Saying things I wouldn’t normally say, doing things I normally wouldn’t do, basically going completely out of my way not to be myself, all in the name of trying to make someone else happy. Someone who doesn’t recognize how much effort you have put in whatever it is you’re doing to make sure that they are happy or comfortable. Not being you bites you in the back when you’re very unaware. It’s the same people you try to please who will talk smack about you in your absence, who won’t be straight with you, who will be quick to say what’s wrong instead of what’s right to other people besides you. It’s like throwing a curve ball, you think you’ve scored a goal after a super strike only for it to come back and hit you in the face.  I must have reached a point in life I figured it’s always been about the people I care for and the people who care about me and no one else. The rest usually fall into place, they settle for what the ones you care about get.

Sometimes you want to carry all the weight of the world, but (un)fortunately you have only two hands with some inspiration from “Avicii – Wake Me Up”. I bet God had that in mind when he gave us two hands, you can’t start operating like an octopus. Basically be who you are, do what’s in your ability, be honest with yourself and to those around you, say and do what you feel because those who care about you or matter will definitely not mind and those who don’t care about you or don’t matter … well does it really matter now that they don’t matter? I think it’s a notion we have in our heads that everyone should like us for we who we are. Unfortunately now, the universe doesn’t play easy, so those one who don’t matter shouldn’t bother you, because eventually, they fade away. Difficult one but for an easier win, just know your people!

Care

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

China Utensils and Fragile Hearts

Remember when we were kids and there were special china utensils tucked away in a locked cabinet? With the fear that your butter fingers could have them tumbling down with just one touch. Which was the case anyway. It’s like kids had magical powers, instead of the “midas touch”, it was more like the “break touch”. These utensils would only be unleashed when visitors and I mean important visitors are coming over. This is after you’ve been given the subtle warning that you are not to use those dishes. Just use your usual ones even when the visitors are busy clinking them away with forks, knives and spoons. Thank God my mother wasn’t that kind though. Or maybe it’s because well our plates were ordinary but they looked pretty in the cabinet which was never locked, you could pick whichever tickles your fancy. We also had this ‘bad’ habit of calling dibs on utensils, “That’s my plate/ mug/spoon” because you thought it to be really pretty.

Glass Heart

Sometimes in life we look at things and deem them fragile and you try to keep them away from anyone who has the possibility of breaking them. Not knowing that those things that we look at with so much fragility, have their own inner and outer strength enough to protect themselves.  Not giving them the opportunity to be admired by others or offer their services to people who would really appreciate them or whose presence would make them feel special. Sometimes we lock away the best of ourselves somewhere in our inner cabinets and save that for the people we think deserve our best not knowing that those that we think don’t deserve also do. Expose the best of you to people closest to you because they’re the ones who will appreciate you most. They know how fragile and delicate you are and will treat you as such. Unlike the other people who know and feel like they deserve the best of you but don’t know anything about you.

Basically, given the chance, be the best that you can because that person you’re locking inside and saving for an opportunity to display is dying inside and getting wasted when they could be out there being recognized for who they are, beautiful, delicate but strong to handle anything that comes their way. Ain’t it? And no more hiding china’s in the cabinet, let your children use them, let them have that confidence of using fine things without being instilled that fear of breaking them. Let them break them in case their butter fingers are slippery, punish them a little, and teach them how to handle the fragile things. With that, they’ll learn to respect people and their fragility. They’ll know that they’re also special because they are exposed to the same things that special people are exposed to. Let them know that china utensils can be broken and bought but hearts cannot be re-bought once broken.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

You got this

What are you up to over the weekend? Mine’s wedding things, one of my friends is getting married and I am on the line up. It’s been a long time since I was on one, so will definitely let you in on how it goes. Tomorrow is a HOLIDAY, thanks to our Muslim brothers and sisters. This post was done in a hush hush…lol have a blessed day. Work has to be done now. *Excuse me if there’s any grammatical errors, to be corrected.*

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*