Every time I have an ‘interesting’ encounter with a boda boda rider, I document it, it can be in form of a facebook status, or perhaps a note in my book or phone that I shall probably look at in the future and smile.
From the perverts to family men, engaging them often leaves me yearning for a longer journey that would in turn mean the conversation can carry on.
Over the years I have found that the one thing they usually exclaim about before we become acquainted and begin to swap tales is my ‘genuine’ interest in talking to them at the same level. The more shocking bit for them is that I am female and ‘young.’
I will share the most recent experience. It was at the beginning of the week and I had to take a boda boda so I could hitch a ride home, after the few pleasantries and no bargaining, (This particular route, I have a standard fee, take it or leave it) I sat on the bike and started to make small talk. Before long we were speaking about the economy and believe it or not, the power of God!
I had had a particularly long week and it felt extremely comforting to pour out my grievances to a stranger in the ‘dark.’ He would probably never recognise me and vice versa. Mid-conversation, however, he asked me where I come from. I shall try to translate this.
” Where do you come from? In all my years as a boda boda rider, I have never had a passenger who is a ‘girl’ speak so politely or even speak to me for more than a few seconds. They are always so rude, showoffs (bepanka, how do you better translate that?) and sometimes they even take us to places and disappear without paying”
The mere fact that I have heard similar remarks meant I did not have to linger on this issue so I mumbled a thank you and quickly moved on to another subject.
He later blessed me and said he hoped things work out for me as I want them to. You know what? That was the highlight of my day even after a ‘fancy’ meal and several laughs.
I certainly don’t think highly of myself because of this incident but it got me thinking.
When I was younger and probably to date during moments of weakness, approval from the people I value(d) the most meant success, no matter how small but we need to know better (berra :P)
You do a piece of work to the best of your ability and then after the boss scrutinises it, it ceases to look like something you even worked on. Several changes later and your time might as well have been spent watching paint dry.
On a different occasion, after you have clearly done a good job, said boss just thanks you for sending the report on time and moves on to distribute it and use it as the default template. No, you will not get an applause. If you think that is too much, you shan’t even be commended for a job well done, not verbally at least. You know what? Deep down you know that the layout was superb, you need to teach yourself to accept that your thoughts and dedication are ‘enough.’
This works for so many other aspects of your life. You pick out that smashing dress that you got during the week. The one that made everyone in the boutique compliment you and almost drool when you finally got out of the dressing room. With just the right amount of makeup and comfortable heels, you get to that dinner. You expected your friends to ‘woo’ like they usually do to show appreciation but no, nothing. Daisy even helps you pull a thread from your hair,quietly; Janice asks if those are the earrings you bought together but that is all you are getting that night.
Wait, no, that is not all. The men seem to love the outfit, they can’t get over it but because you believe they have ulterior motives, or you just wanted your friend’s approval, suddenly you do not feel ‘hot’ any more. What changed? You were gorgeous when you bought it, you accessorized it perfectly as you smiled at your reflection in the mirror. Suddenly, you are not beautiful?
You certainly are!!! You just DON’T need to hear it from friends who
might be jealous in the first place. You simply need to be comfortable and accept that you are ‘ENOUGH,’ with or without the consent of those most important to you.
Who am I kidding? This is impossible. Well, you know what? It isn’t, in fact nothing is impossible. *ignore all cliches, will you?*
Whereas opinions should matter, they should not constitute 100% of your decision making or esteem for that matter. Love of self begins within and ends…within.
I have grown to accept compliments or criticism from strangers or near-strangers a lot more than remarks from people who are ‘supposed’ to know and understand me the most sometimes. This isn’t to say that I do not listen to their advice, it is just that you can’t know what their ulterior motives are and in some cases, they do not even realise that they are toying with your feelings.
Our sad selfish lives have made it even worse, now because we are unhappy, everyone else should be? NOOO!!
Mum told me about this ‘friend’ she had in college. She picked on the girls who hadn’t fully discovered style or self worth. She convinced them to trash their clothes which she then wore and went on to ‘eat life’ without any remorse.
I have met this lady. I would hate to link her current state to her ‘antics’ from back in the day but it gives me more conviction, to give credit where it is due and only share discomfort with genuine reason. Of course I stumble and fall but hey, what are mistakes if we do not learn from them.
I realise now that my themes have gotten jumbled within this story but I hope there is some sense left.
*Your opinion (and God’s) about your life should be at the very top. Bosses, nosy neighbours, over achieving guardians, unsupportive spouses, relatives or friends are all secondary-
* Listen and speak to people from whom you expect nothing . It is quite possible they will leave you with nothing indeed but when they ‘give back,’ it counts for a lot.
* Oh and boda bodas are very dangerous but when you do take them, make a friend 🙂
I had more to say or rather write, I know it..but let us stop here for today.