I am sad

I am angry and sad. Reason being I just cannot seem to understand my family. Every time I get a call mum has something to complain about. She will rant and rant about the same things about how my grandma is annoying her and how she cannot stand her for a minute. Trust me when you grow up hearing about how your family hates each other and how there will never be a day when you all could co-exist under one roof without alarming neighbours with raised voices and hullabaloo of tantrums and quarrels, home is the last place you want to be.

Mum has been making the wrong decisions anyone could make in one lifetime. She recently got divorced and remarried a 27 year old young man, my age. Currently, as I am in school doing my bar exams, this young man is sleeping in my tiny bed, the only bed in the house. Mum doesn’t normally live with us but somehow she decided to return for Ramadhan and like a handbag on her shoulder, she carried her young husband with her despite knowing there is no place to sleep. Somehow according to her, it is okay for this young man to sleep on my tiny bed and room and make it his own in my time away. I don’t know about you but I cringe at the thought of a man sleeping in my bed. Infact, I have never shared my bed with anyone since I turned 12. You can imagine how hard this is for me.

Why would mum make life difficult for me? Why has she made selfish choices without considering my wellbeing? Why has she been acting this way? I don’t know. I am respectful of everyone’s boundaries. I never impose on her despite the fact that she is my mum and she should naturally accommodate me and make me part of her life. Whenever I visit her place she would start going off about how I use the space and control my movements around the house. She would start speaking crazy about her young husband and carry him as if he is fragile made of eggs. Whenever she gets close to a man she doubts him and everyone around him, including me. She could just as easily think the neighbor is cheating with her husband or her husband is coming onto me. It has been like this every time she married someone, and that is almost a hundred times now. I wish she could just grow up and make better choices in life. I wish she would prioritize her family over her own obsession with marriage.

Life has not been easy whenever she is married. She takes on a whole new obsession for her mate and she could send a five year old out to the market or shops at night just to prevent sending out her man, in fear he would meet with women and cheat on her. I cannot count the many times she sent me out when I was a young girl late at night to the shop while my then step dad would be warm and cozy watching TV. In fact, she would even let him stay in all day and not go out to work just because he could meet other women outside. Now she is doing the same to my younger sister. She just told me how her young man is lethargic and tired when he fasts and cannot go out to the market to get groceries so she sends out my younger sibling who is barely nine years old to run her errands. I immediately went berserk on the phone and told her she just can’t do that. Our village has not been safe recently and kids go missing sometimes. I didn’t have a choice but to reprimand her. If God is listening right now, can he please protect my little sister?

I feel like crap honestly. My heart is aching. I cannot not go back home. It is my home after all. They are my family, even the young man is too. I just know that what awaits me there is quarrels, tension, suspicions of being involved with her young man, fights between her and my grandma who is now old, frail and bones. If I meddled I would face even more fire and my mind and body just can’t take any of that anymore. I pray that everyone who is stuck in a toxic family environment is rescued. I pray that God has mercy on me and sends me a way out of there as fast as he can. I pray that I have my own peaceful home and stay far away from my mother as possible. If possible I could take my grandma with me and see that she has peaceful rest of her remaining days. If there is a God out there who cares about his people, I beseech him to rescue me and give me a new home and a loving family.

Our Comfort Zone

It is hard to step out into the wild. Cats will tell you how cold or hot outside is. They absolutely love and enjoy the attention and home we provide. Outside is tough. Everyone knows that. Even Will Smith.

However, what if I told you, everything you desire is found outside your comfort zone. The freedom, the adventure, the love of your life, the achievement and success you so very much desire. All of these things and more demand of us to let go and step out of what we have already known and grown comfortable around. Think about it. Had you been happy and fulfilled where you are you wouldn’t have these dreams about a better life and a happier lifestyle. Trying to cling onto your space or your habits because you fear the unknown is only going to make you stuck and reduce your options.

I lived like this for a while, refusing to face anything new or uncertain. I believed the world outside to be unsafe and anything new was scary. Especially if it was something which required me to move from my own space and venture into the new and the unknown. I held on to the life I had known for dear life. What is interesting to note is that I was so miserable in that version of life. I was unfulfilled and stressed. I would be sad and go into depression which lasted for weeks if not months. I would feel stifled by the stagnation and the lack of new prospects. But still the fear of leaving that familiar hell was daunting. At that point I should have known that anywhere else would be better than where I was at the time. Only after I had made the brave choice to step out of there did I realize how miserable I had been. I wish I had left earlier.

The universe will push you out of your comfort zone if you refuse to step out voluntarily. I believe life doesn’t want us to stagnate. We must keep moving and growing by challenging ourselves this way and that until we shed what no longer serves us and realize our full potential. One such instance which happened to me was when the place I used to work at turned so toxic that I was dying. That is when I knew staying there wasn’t an option any longer. I had to move on. Prior to that, I had found joy and excitement in the work I was doing and the new stuff I was learning but once that place served its purpose in my life, once the people there had served their purpose in my life, it was time to face bigger challenges and grow in bigger ways elsewhere.

For this reason, I find that nobody should hold onto anything for long. We should learn to read the sign when the time is up and move along with the flow of life. Resisting change will only cause us pain and undue suffering. Life is constant motion and we are part of that movement.

A Second Chance

Today marks the first day of Ramadhan. To be honest, spending it while doing bar exams is not the most ideal situation for one will rarely know whether to read for the ever-elusive examinations which see only about 80 students out of 2000 pass or to pray to the ever-present and generous God who will be the reason you succeed with or without the exams. The smart choice is clear.

I used today to pray and meditate, giving gratitude to God for all the blessings I have been lucky to receive ever since I was born. I still felt some tension in my body after the incident which happened on Friday afternoon last week when the school decided to raid our rooms in our absence to recover plastic which supposedly kills oceans life and destroys the environment. This made me realize had I made a smarter choice not to engage with the whole circus I would be happier this weekend. Anger takes a lot of time to leave my system. Stress as a result of it takes even longer the more time I spend getting overworked about it. I listened to Mary Kate as she made me relax and let go. Touching my whole body with my hands helped me feel so much better. Finally I am in my own body again. Present in this moment. I let out a sigh of relief. Our bodies are magnets which pull energy and stores it. Bad or good depends on your discernment.

I proceeded to go about my day and remembering I would need food to break my fast I order some to be delivered. A friend of mine recommended a place that delivers Ramadhan food packages of a main meal, juice, a few dates and snacks at an unbelievably low price I couldn’t refuse. I said well, at least God didn’t like how the school cafeteria treated us and he is giving me an alternative after he heard my vow that I would never eat there again! ( Don’t play with my privacy)

I signed up and paid. The guy was particularly sweet and said the food would be delivered 6:30 PM on the dot. I couldn’t be happier. Except a few hours later, 6:30 came and went. I looked at my watch and it was almost 7:00PM. Now I don’t know if you are familiar with fasting the whole day and not break your fast when you are supposed to eat and drink to your fill because there is absolutely nothing to eat and the food you are depending on is late. I felt instant anger coming up from somewhere I didn’t know existed. I heard my mind saying how this is just unacceptable! My fingers proceed to switch the phone off and I had decided I wasn’t gonna care about the food. Might as well have them eat it. If it is late I don’t want it!

Just then, a little voice tells me “Give them a chance.” Somehow it was convincing me that if I was so rigid with timelines, would I like it if someone cut me off when I didn’t make it on time for something? What is interesting is, it wasn’t even a conversation but more like a sudden wave of awareness which came all at once in a second. Suddenly my attitude shifts and I am all positive and forgiving. I could give even my worst heart breaker a second chance at that point. I switched my phone back on got some instant tea and warmed my now sore belly. I got up prayed and waited some half hour later before the food came. It turned out the price was such a bargain because I got tandoori chicken with two naans, a minute maid, a bottle of still water and some dates and potatoes with steamed vegetables all at 350 shillings. I think I would have regretted it had I shut my phone off. I enjoyed every bite of it with glee and while I was eating I remember thinking to myself that I needed to give people a chance. I needed to relax and just wait. Some things are worth the wait. And some people are worth the chance.

Phoenix

I am transforming big time: not that I was cognizant of the fact before. It took a series of many events and happenings and my reactions towards them which made me realize I am handling things better and better everyday.

Life is a school so they say. I couldn’t agree more. So far I will contend that I was tested from the moment of my birth. We all still are. Never has a day passed without some event meant to teach us something. Some of them are horrible trust me. For example, today as I walked from the exam room all positive and believing for success, praising God on my way back to my dorm room I had no idea the lesson waiting for me. I stepped into my room and instantly noticed a few things missing which made me think I was insane for a moment. Perhaps the bar exams have finally taken their toll on me. How could two plates which bid me goodbye on my way out in the morning suddenly vanish into thin air? We use electronic key cards to access our rooms, had someone with a master card perhaps been to my room while I was away?

My heart starts skyrocketing in an unpleasant beat which made my head want to be anywhere else but here with me. I hadn’t eaten since yesterday and all the fat in my body was burnt in the exam room as my brain raked for answers among the cobwebs there. The back of my neck feels as if it took a punch from the Hulk from all the straining I did during the exam. Had you seen me, you would think my head was trying to take over from my fingers my pen and write the answers. I always knew my head was heavier and bigger than others’. Today my neck needs another neck to support it.

Who could have been to my room? I spend the next one hour tormented about it. My intuition kept saying just let it go but my brain had already started that engine, it wasn’t gonna stop now. Down into the rabbit hole of anxiety I spiralled, my mind thinking of all the possible suspects. I think I have been watching too many true crime documentaries on Netflix I am going insane!

The first suspect was the school cafeteria. These people had been treasure hunting for their plates you would think they were made of Gold. They are mere plastic plates costing about a dollar each. Is that how much my privacy is worth? Preposterous!

A minute later I hear a knock on the door. There stands the person the universe sent to teach me something vital. Something which made me wish I hadn’t opened that door. She starts by commenting how my room was disorganized and dirty. My heart immediately traded places with a volcano about to explode. Here was a woman, the assailant, the suspect, the accused, the privacy breacher of the season, the reason why people hire security guards for their homes, the reason why people put passwords on their doors, who had just come freshly from the scene of the crime, with hands still bloodied and the murder weapon used to assassinate my pride and dignity still in her hands. She is calling me a trash bin. My room is messy. Who gave her the right to barge in uninvited. No thank you to the unsolicited advice. My room my business.

Somehow between us, the heat emanating from my blood was warming us both in the chill weather. I told myself let me die if I will but I am not keeping shut. I looked at her right in the eyes and burned my intent deep into her soul. If eyes could kill she would be dead. I declared myself and made her know her behavior and attitude are unacceptable. What she did today was against all the laws I had learned and there was no contract that would justify invasion of privacy. I am a lawyer for God’s sake and this happens to me in a law school? How? Just how?

Need I say more? On the bright side of things, that 555 I kept seeing around on my way was surely a warning of some shocking experience which this was. Yes I was shocked beyond belief that the law we learn remains on the books and never in the system. I sincerely believe even if Jesus was coming he would tell me. Apparently they went around breaking and entering into all the rooms on the pretext of recovering plastic plates. Precious plastic plates!

The lesson is clear today. She and her energy wasn’t worth my time. In fact now that I think about it I could have just excused myself and closed the door on her face. Or simply just said yes ma’am sorry ma’am to everything she said like the goddess she felt she was and save myself a ruined aftenoon. Maybe I should just stop reacting and be the bigger person. One thing is clear though, up until the incident, I could swear I was transformed into an angel of positivity. On my walk back, it seemed nothing could faze me. The universe probably said, “Can I test the theory?” And like always, the phoenix returns to a tiny chicken in a storm.

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