The Unconscious

My dearest readers, I am here again, well thanks to some Eureka moment which I found myself in from watching, “Devil in Ohio”. And no! This isn’t about the Devil. It is about me and my struggle to understand the effects my childhood trauma has had upon my life. While deliciously mysterious with a strong start to it, the limited series is more about our childhood traumas and how we cope as adults than anything else- atleast to me.

Somewhere in the series, Dr. Suzanne is taking the step we all must take at some point of our life, especially if we had had a less than favorable childhood- seeing a therapist. She finds herself seated before a brain-picking genius of a therapist who spoke to me just as much as she spoke to our Dr. In that scene, she tells her that the reason she wants to save everyone even when it is not convenient for herself or her family, is because she wasn’t saved as a child from an abusive stepfather and a complacent mother. She has three amazing daughters, the last of whom she adopted, if you didn’t count the newest member of her family, an abused run-away girl from a satanic occult group. Apparently, according to the therapist, our Dr. would have saved every lost and unloved child in the universe, if she could. In that moment, when the therapist looked into her eyes and said these simple albeit powerful words, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Dearest reader, I don’t know why exactly these words struck me so deeply. Could it be because, I, like Dr. Suzanne, feel compelled to save others who appear to be in need of saving? Could it perhaps have anything to do with why I am drawn to help little abandoned kittens who have nobody to help them? Is this also why I am scared of being abandoned myself by family and friends? Also, why I am afraid of venturing out into the scary world outside my comfort zone and safe space?

For this reason, and many others, I find myself afraid of anything new. I want to stay with what’s familiar as long as I can, maybe, forever. I don’t want to break free if it means having to leave my safe space and face the uncertainty of the world outside. Outside is not safe. That is what my mind tells me. Nothing is guaranteed I might regret my decision to leave home if things don’t work out wherever it is I would be. I feel like Rapunzel, except if she were offered a chance to flee, I would instead choose to stay in the familiar, safe prison.

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.

Growth Is Painful

I am crying my eyes out right now. It is not because someone broke my heart or backstabbed me, No! I am crying waterfalls because I just realized growing up can be so painful.

I have been someone who cannot stay put in one place, job or interest for long. I get excited about someone, something or someplace like a little girl’s first trip to disneyland but this ecstacy soon fades away like melted cotton candy. If it was upto me, I would spend the rest of my life excited about the next new experience and the next without a care in the world. I would not be committed to anything too difficult or monotonous and I would jump, like a frog, from one thing to another until my last breath. But I can’t.

The choices I made bound me mercilessly like some prisoner on a life sentence. I chose law, graduated after almost being sure I wasn’t going to. I then took a break from studying under the excuse of getting work experience, when it was really me quitting this whole legal business and hoping to land a job doing nothing legal. I landed that job, but it was everything to do with law. So law became this clingy ex-girlfriend who couldn’t register the fact that I just didn’t want her anymore. I gave up fighting and just when I was starting to enjoy my job, it turned out it wasn’t interesting anymore and work became too boring and stressful to even try. Plus, it didn’t help that my position was only temporary lasting only until the project I was working on was completed. So instead of waiting to be bid good bye, I tensed up and made another dumb attempt at making up with my ex, by going back to advocate training program. It was something only couples who break up and make up a gazillion times would understand; no matter how many times you make up, it would not delete the reason why you broke up. As long as it is the same people involved, there is always going to be that elephant in the room; we are just not compatible! And that is me, with my girlfriend, law.

To be honest, my girlfriend is not bad at all! There were moments I felt guilty for resenting her the way I have. She is someone many people admire as prestigious and noble. Some of the people I know, secretly wish they had had her. It is an ego boost just to be connected to her and her status. Only those who are seen as smart and intelligent can claim her, but why do I feel so smothered by her? Why am I crying because of her? Well, it is simple, she might be all of that to everyone else, but to me she has been like A Nightmare on Elm Street; my worst horror movie experience when I was a child.

She has demanded many precious years of my life in what seems like an endless race to the non-existent finish line. She has forced me to stay up and read uninteresting and tasteless statutes which sucked the life out of my creativity. She challenged me to face exams after exams after exams. Even right now as I write this, I have to suffer rising levels of panic and anxiety for oral exams, which is all everyone in school talks and freaks about. That is why I cry. I cry because I have to suffer my worst case of anxiety and depression since I was born, for something which does not even tug at my heart strings; something so rigid and bland like frozen carrots. I could be elsewhere right now, writing my first novel, making and acing reading goals where I read dozens of books I ENJOY every day of my life. I could be spending my days, inspired by that fresh and salty sea breeze sweeping across my face on the beach or that calm rippling of the sea, with a playful swoosh swooshing back and forth of the peaceful waves breaking by the shore. I could be somewhere writing about ideas and philosophy of life, describing the other-wordly feeling of being in love , or sharing jewel pieces of wisdom from my own experiences in life. I could be taking pictures with my Sony Handycam of everything and everyone that spiked an inspiration for a feeling or an idea and went with that for my next blog and the next. In those lucky days where I could travel, I would write about my adventures abroad and hold them dear to my heart.

Why am I here instead? Watching myself become more and more miserable as I lie to myself each day that today will be better, today I will get some reading done on that daunting pile of statutes or law books, which already gave up on me a long time ago. Is keeping on going like this, what is referred to as growing up? Is this what it means to take responsibility for my life, and for all the money my dad spent to take me through school? If pushing on despite the urge to give up is what growth means, then it is indeed painful!

Not My Jam But Here I am!

It began with an invitation. A harmless group of girls and firm mates in my class wanted to hang out and “put the face to the voice,” as they called it. Since I joined law school, we have only heard each others’ voices over teams so everyone was eager to meet. But I wasn’t!

Four months ago, I made a decision that would change my life. I decided, after waging several coup de tats over my will, passion and everything I was, to go back to school. This is no ordinary school mind you, it is Law School; that final race to the finish line of becoming a practicing advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

To every other lawyer, Law School is not only expected but accepted. To me, how do I put it? Let me just say, I was prepared to get cast away to a small island in the middle of the Indian ocean where the only source of food was coconuts, than to have to go to hell, I mean, Law school!

So believe me when I tell you that it had to take a pretty desperate, no-choice-but-to-go-back-to-school kind of a situation, to make me acquiesce.

Everything was all well and good the first few months, since learning was online( thanks to Covid, but no thanks) and I did not have to leave my comfort zone to move two cities away just for the sake of school. I was trying to avoid having to surrender familiar surroundings, for a cold stranger’s land, in the middle of a rich suburb, that had no compassion for poor students living in subsidized student hostels. Honestly, the fact that I would have to live with only two options for food for a year:Maizemeal and ramen, was only an excuse. The real reason I wanted to stay home was deeper than that; I have a hard time accepting change. I fear the worst. Always.

If I was that apprehensive of change, why am I bowling with strange girls and having so much fun?(I was the champion of the day).The old me would do everything possible to avoid hanging out with the girls. She would rather spend Sunday alone in her hostel room, trying to think why at 27, she is still single and miserable as hell( and also wondering if it is not too late to leave everything and go back home. The world is brimming with lawyers, one less wouldn’t kill the profession!).

So, long story short, four months later, as I write this piece, I am happily housed at the student hostels in the school , which I previously dreaded with my heart and soul. I find this whole experience very exciting, the city, everything I have wanted and dreamt about. If the Law of Attraction had a home in Kenya, this would be it! This is the land of manifestation of desires, angel numbers, signs and synchronicities. I am not alone. I am not a stranger. I am home. And this is where I want to be for the rest of my life!( And yes, I love bowling!)

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