Strange firsts

It is an unusually busy time at school. Everybody has a deadline here, a draft to submit there and of course there is the daunting task of the pending dissertation. Conversations have grown shorter and and everyone is always rushing somewhere. Linda feels the pressure and constantly looks for ways to take a breather once in a while. This morning before heading to school, she chose to visit a colleague on her floor who has been missing in action. Someone might be battling depression in their room while life continues for the others. Luckily, she found Patrick alive and well. He was in the process of making an omelette and in high spirits. They chatted for a while and she said her goodbyes just before it got awkward. “Do I offer her my omelette? Do I make her another? Wait, I am out of eggs…, how does this work?” and other such mind boggling questions.

When Linda realised she was running out of time. She considered using the tube (underground train) which is much faster, or settling for the slower paced, and considerably cheaper, bus option. She settled for the latter and would later be strangely satisfied with this decision. She got onto the bus and immediately went upstairs for it presented a better view of London. Even if she kept seeing the same sites on this route, it was still better than the cold, mostly unfriendly, tube rides. It wasn’t long before a foul smell hit her. She noticed the further she walked, the worse it got so she settled for another seat. One lady whose first language was probably not English exclaimed “smell!” and Linda nodded. She left. Linda waited for the next stop so she could also move downstairs.She thought the bus would stop for a while but it started without warning and then ‘walala!,‘ she ‘flew from the first step to the bottom and hit herself hard on the ‘wall.’ For a second, she didn’t know what had just happened. Breathe.Stay calm. Get up. Thankfully, she only hit her body so the head was ‘safe.’ A gentleman by the steps asked her if she was alright, and went on to talk about how dangerous those stairs were <“Is he really talking to me?”, she kept asking herself>
After all the cold stares, and false smiles she’d grown accustomed to in London, a short conversation with a stranger was definitely something to write home about. When she thought people had ‘forgotten’ about the loud thump, she walked over to a lady who had a free seat next to her “Do you mind?,” Linda asked and the lady moved. “Did you hurt yourself?,” she asked, concerned. Twice in one day? Something strange was certainly going on.

The bus was quiet again until a lady *not Mzungu* who’d only just got in stormed towards the bus driver “There is a terrible smell in this bus and I want to get out, now!,” she yelled. The poor old man got up and walked around the bus. H explained that he had a cold and as a result could not smell anything. She asked for a ‘new’ ticket and said she’d get on another bus immediately. He obliged. Now that they could ‘openly’ talk about it. The sweet old lady in front of Linda remarked, “I can’t smell anything.” Sweet old lady on the right responded “You are lucky.” Linda went on to explain that it was much worse at the top and that is why she had moved. Sweet old lady number 1 was so giddy. “I am having a lovely morning, people are usually so mean and angry, I am just glad we can all get to talk.” Linda’s sentiments exactly. She told her ‘new friends’ how she dropped her grand daughter at school three times a week and always found people to be in too much of a hurry. “They are texting and knocking everyone without even looking up,” she complained. She turned to Linda and masked a whisper “I always tell my Bell to wiggle her legs in the stroller and when they look up I’ll say, Sorry I guess you didn’t see us coming.” This naughty Jajja was too sharp 😀 The two old ladies realised they were both going till the last stop and would have to withstand the smell Linda was almost at her destination. “Is anyone still at the top?, old lady number 2 asked. As if on cue, a gentleman and a lady walked down looking disgusted. “It’s the smell, isn’t it?” she asked. They replied in the affirmative. It is a wonder they had stayed that long. The debate began on if it was urine or the smell of a corpse. *It seems imaginations run wild in places were people rarely talk to each other*

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Linda had actually began to enjoy this random kaboozi, in a random setting with even more random participants. When she got to her stop, she wished them a good day just as sweet old lady number one called out to her “We can see you are running away!”

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Humps ahead

Temperatures are now as low as -2 degrees in London. A normal person would probably succumb to flu or cough at most, but no, Linda had to go and attract some other bugs.

After an almost ‘too good to be true’ fortnight, the universe decided that this lady needed to calm down a bit, thereby sending some ailments her way. Unfortunately, she had sped past the sign so all of it came as an unwelcome surprise.

humps

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Monday was deadline day for an important assignment. 5,000 words can seem like a small novel, especially when it is on topics that don’t exactly include one’s interests.She started to feel sick but could not let herself accept that this was happening at such a crucial hour. Denial it would have to be, until further notice.

All the pain and discomfort was put on hold until she clicked ‘submit.’ “It is just fatigue,” she thought, and went to bed with the hope that everything would be okay the next morning. Unbeknownst to her, she would not be able to leave bed the following day.

It was finally clear that Linda would have to seek medical attention but possibly the next day. She freshened up and went on to fix herself the first meal of the day at 6p.m. In the kitchen (that also serves as a common room), sat the excitable , Jack. “Would you like to sit down and have a beer?” he offered. She declined, trying to seem as ‘normal’ as possible. Upon reaching her room, she realised that more people had been streaming in and music was starting to get louder. She had lost count of the parties these undergraduates held every other day. At first, it seemed like a weekend thing but gradually grew into a ‘when we feel like’ tradition. She tried to watch a movie to pass time until she received a message from her classmate. The list for people who handed in the assignment was out and Linda’s name was not on it. Talk about bad luck! She checked the email and indeed her name was not mentioned. Too disturbed to comprehend the situation, she decided to shut out the noise and find some sleep.

She thought of the people around that she could confide in about her illness but did not want any of them to have to leave work for her sake. She decided to send one message to one of the scholars, her new Kenyan friend, Grace. She hoped Grace would offer to accompany her to the clinic. Plan B, would be to ask her out rightly and if she was busy or unable, plan C would be to find it on her own. After sending this text, she closed her eyes.

Morning came as early as 4a.m,Linda  tossed and turned as she awaited daylight. The plan was to stay in bed till enough strength was amassed. At about 9 a.m, she heard a knock at her door. Still groggy and clad in pyjamas, she opened to find a concerned Grace. “I took a shower and came as soon as I read your message,” she said. Phew! Linda felt a huge sigh of relief. Grace consequently left to make them breakfast as Linda got ready.

They both didn’t know the location of the clinic but it was that much better getting lost as a pair. Linda was dizzy by the time they arrived. It turned out seeing doctors was only on appointment except for walk ins that began at 2p.m. They had over two hours to kill but at least there was comfort in knowing they were in the right place.

Time moved slowly until Linda started to notice the students who were coming in. Those registered needed to only mention their date of birth and the receptionists would find them in the system. One by one they walked in “July 2nd 1995, November 30th 1998…”
“Whhaat?!” The ladies began to muse at all those ‘babies.’ Linda played a game where she guessed the years as soon as they walked in. Some looked pretty young but others could fool anyone as being closer to 30 years than the 20 they really were. Time moved faster with this exercise.

Finally the hour came and she saw a nice doctor who understood her condition. Armed with a prescription, they found a nearby pharmacy. She thanked God she had carried emergency money because the bill brought semi-squints. She made a mental note for the 1000th time not to convert to prices to shillings.

They decided to take a bus back and look out for sites on the way to their residence.

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Grace heated up some food for Linda upon arrival as she dashed to her room to make a call to her husband and son.
All Linda could do was thank her endlessly for sacrificing most of her day to take care of her.

This morning the other two Ugandan scholars showed up at Linda’s doorstep. “We have heard the News,” they yelled. She could only laugh as she questioned their sources. “Bad news travels fast, they replied.” C’est vrai.

Grace later joined with a cup of hot chocolate for Linda in tow. The ladies shared tales of their experiences on this journey so far.

Linda found out Racheal had spent Sunday night crying because she missed her son terribly and kept promising him goodies each time they spoke. The son’s father walked out on them last year. Jane’s bosses were not paying her salary for the period she’d spend in London but she was still grateful for the opportunity.

When they left, Linda was immersed in deep thought about everyone’s journey and how nothing is guaranteed. She was reminded for the umpteenth time, how blessed she was.

Although this sickness had come at a bad time and slowed down the pace of her progress, she knew deep down that a testimony was unfolding before her very eyes. All she needed to do was be patient.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Listen

I do not know what you are going through right now. Quite frankly, no one does except you.

I know this because no matter how much of yourself you actually share, only you can truly feel some things, if you get my drift.

If I had never been rushed to hospital in the middle of the night, in an ambulance, I would not know what it feels like to stare death in the face.

If I had not been raised by parents who opened their doors to everyone, giving would probably be a chore.

Had I not dreamt a dream bigger than me, I may never have had the opportunity to witness the beautiful souls of human beings Vs the extremely callous.

See, a big part of who we become is a result of our experiences. It is simply sad that for many of us, our sad past means ‘punishing’ the world when we ‘make it.’ Moreover, we often reward good with evil.

Like many years before it, I started 2015 with great hopes of a better everything. It started out rougher than I anticipated which made me rethink all my mantras.

When I wasn’t lost in my own little world, I was out there pretending everything was okay. Sometimes, I did both-half day locked up, the other half smiling with the world.

Do you ever have those days when you tell your loved ones just enough for then to feel like you have let them in while still holding on to the details that matter? Do you find yourself more worried about worrying them than about that which keeps you awake at night? Well, it all occurred and then some.

Time did not wait. Life continued.

A couple of days ago, on a dimly lit road, something happened. Right in the middle of nowhere as my ‘chauffeur’ glued her eyes to the front and I sang along to Jennifer Lopez’s waiting for tonight. I felt an inexplicable joy in my heart. Everything was still for a split second and I thought to myself, “I am alright. I am okay.” It was at this point that I started reflecting on the past few months and realising how far we had come. Yes, we. My soul and I.

I thought to myself, perhaps sharing this tale with someone will give them renewed hope, so here I am.

Truth is, not very much has changed but it is also not very easy to achieve complete nirvana.

Something will always come up whether it is trivial like why the sales girl is always dressed better than you yet she earns a quarter of your salary or serious like sitting through your mum’s chemotherapy session wondering how much longer she will be with you.

I have categorised the things that trouble me as follows;

-Things I cannot change

-Things I can try to change, keeping in mind other people are involved (hence it isn’t 100% up to me)

-Things I can change

In this regard, I actively play my part and acknowledge that things may or may not work.

I know it is difficult to keep hope alive when everything around you is telling you the exact opposite, do it anyway. While at it, allow yourself to fall, breakdown, yell,cry, and roll in the mud. That dramatic stuff can scare your troubles away :P. I kid. Bottom line, after all that, stiffen that upper lip and show life what you are made of. Musical interlude: *I am tiiiiitttttaaaaannnnniiiiuuuummmm! *

So, what I really wanted to say is; Listen.

LISTENNNN

Whether you are in an unhappy relationship or unemployed, lacking in motivation or balance; sick physically and/or emotionally. Listen.

The voice of reason will find you if you let it.

That whisper saying “Stop the self-pity and take a few risks” shall be heard. Heck, it may even come to you on the dance floor!

Allow yourself to listen. Allow yourself to breathe.

Live!

 

Plan A is always…YOU

“You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.”

I received a call recently. The lady spoke so fast and I could barely make out what she was saying. Whatever it was, she needed it fast.I told her to slow down so I could actually listen.

She finally introduced herself and  I realised she was someone much older,Maggie,* whom I struck up an acquaintance with in the past. I also eventually managed to make out the ’emergency.’

There were some foreigners in the country who were leaving soon and needed to visit an orphanage ‘ASAP.’ She asked me to be available the next morning to pick them from their hotel, take them around and then safely return them in time for their workshop.

I explained that I had plans and it was short notice so the best I could do was offer them an hour and a half. “What could be more important?” she asked. “Well, I have a team building with the people who actually ensure work is done so yes, they are more important. I have to be on time” “No, you can be late for that, these people will get you funds.” Maggie responded, completely oblivious of the weight in her words.

Fast forward to that morning with the said ‘visitors.’ They were not only impatient and arrogant but also very unpleasant. Almost every sentence  they uttered was said to shame Ugandans oh plus a few condescending remarks.  I was quite agitated but made sure to respond as calmly as possible. There was no way I would stoop down to their level. (Although I must admit I inwardly counted to ten several times before responding)

When I returned to pick them up, they asked something that caught me off-guard. “How come the administration of the home says they do not know Maggie and have not received support from her?” I probed further. It turned out Maggie had made it seem like she had been giving aid to the children through 40-40. Never mind that she can’t even pronounce it in full.

Sadly, I have reached that point where this scenario is neither new nor shocking. My only issue now is that people have so little tact. Okay, that isn’t my only issue but, moving on…

Since when did it become anyone else’ responsibility to find solutions to our problems? Why is it exciting to hear that someone of fair skin is interested in your enterprise yet you can neither sell it to your own people nor hire them?

One in two people shall ask me”Why aren’t you targeting international organisations?” before I have even fully explained what we do.

When I mention that up till now we have achieved some milestones with limited resources from young people in Uganda who are far from wealthy, it isn’t because it is something to brag about. It is something that should be a challenge to the listener but more importantly bring a sense of pride, knowing that homegrown solutions are not simply a myth.

In the event that foreign donors come along, (as they shall), wouldn’t it be much more meaningful if they found strong structures that already exist?

If you haven’t already, please read up on Fitclique256, a women’s only gym in Bukoto that allows women to freely express themselves and love their bodies while having some fun along the way.  It offers different classes from yoga to dance to encourage a healthy lifestyle in a comfortable environment.

Before Mildred Apenyo began this gym, she had gone to gyms which were mostly filled with men who weren’t always pleasant to the fairer sex. Why not have a space free of distraction and judgement, she thought? Voila, the dream was born. It has also taken her places I might add.

The Medical Concierge Group is another great example of a company addressing local needs. They provide accessible and affordable health care using seemingly effortless methods that were hitherto not applied.

If these enterprises get international recognition, (as they have) it is obviously great. However, the onus is on us to appreciate and support them even more because we are the ‘real’ beneficiaries.

A few minutes ago,I looked at a list of all the things our office needs. Some are out of reach at the moment, others quite attainable.

Instead of looking for solutions outside, I decided to ;

1. Write this blog

2. Start finding solutions after writing this blog.

Okay bye.

“You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence”

we can do it

Life; Live it-Love it!

I once watched an episode of Grey’s anatomy in which a patient was diagnosed with lung cancer.
She was  against the idea of surgery because she was scared of death.
That was not all, however,she had spent her entire life trying to do right, follow the rules, be good. She had never smoked nor sipped an alcoholic beverage and yet here she was, battling lung cancer.

The possibility of death made her realise she needed to ‘live more.’ She began to eat a lot of junk, drink herself silly and slept with a stranger, among other things, to make up for the years she ‘lost.’

Whereas I have lived a life I am mostly happy with, I could relate with this feeling. *Never mind that she was a fictional character, blonde and what not*

Just this weekend I wished I was an alcoholic or at least a social drinker. I needed a ‘quick fix’ to the disappointment and pain that lurked within my heart. Perhaps a few drinks would give me the ‘forced joy’ I badly needed. However, when you have a conscience as loud as mine, you think about these things, maybe even say them out loud, then you take a bath and go to bed.

“Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?” 

You do know what I mean, right? Sometimes you think; ‘There’s gotta be more to life.’ Of course each action has its repercussions but hey, if it is for the right reasons, I guess it is worth a try.

I have been thinking a lot about all the things I have always wanted to do whether simply for fun,adventure or outright curiosity. I can start to consciously ‘chase’ each of those in my power. Why? Because no one else will do it for me.

“…No– but ours is a journey into ourselves, a walk with God every day! Ours is a book that we write, a smile, a love, a tear, a lust, an awakening, a learning, a joy, a laughter, a memory, a dream, a vision, a love, a love, a love and a love. Our life is now. And Heaven is always there, but this life isn’t always there, but this life isn’t always here. Heaven is always there for us but this life is a gift to us!

When I quit my job three months ago, I completely had no plan. I mentally gave myself till December to decide what I wanted to do with my life. It was a bold and perhaps stupid move, but it was my decision.

I have always believed in making my own mistakes. For example, I would rather get a job on my own where I am paid peanuts, rather than have a hook up by a brother to my friend’s dad. In the event that I mess up, or excel for that matter, the boss should be able to blame/praise me not whoever was the middle man.

It was this conviction that made it easy for me to respond adequately when ‘concerned parties’ asked “What next, How can you quit without a plan?” and other related queries. Those who understood, however, knew that for me to walk away from something, I must have good reason.

I digress.

All these months later, I have managed to somehow survive. I am pretty sure if I put my mind to it, I can last several more months.

My point? If you have an option, do not stay in an unhappy relationship, sad work place or failing business. Work towards a plan to walk out, to survive after you move on, to be happy with your choice, and ensure the life you are living is yours; not so  your spouse, boss or family can be happy but so you can be happy.

Everyday really is an opportunity to start over.

“Existing is going through the motions of life with no zeal and feeling you have no control; living means embracing all that this large world has to offer and not being afraid to take chances. The beauty of living is knowing you can always start over and there’s always a chance for something better.”

I have a list of those things I want to do, some have timelines others don’t. In case yours is somewhere at the back of the mind, try and write/type it out.  Tell a close friend or two. Once you are done, begin to organise it; what can be done now, what should wait, which one needs savings, company etc. It helps.

I will use an example from my life. This year I did not make resolutions, just a few goals and promises to myself.

Not all of them became reality but some did plus I have one month to tray and fulfill the rest.

I love to travel, I have several dream destinations. I ‘live them’ through photographs, movies or my friends who have been there. Maybe I will visit them one day, maybe I won’t but in the mean time, why not tour my very own Uganda?

It is as easy as navigating google, having a few conversations or even reading travel pieces/guides.

This year I have taken a few mini holidays on a tight budget. Even after everyone said Gulu was such an expensive town, I found my unemployed self managing to stay over for several days and not being imprisoned for failing to pay for drinks and a meal.

There have been weekend getaways with friends to Jinja and Entebbe, oh plus Bule island off Ggaba. Small and affordable but they brought me so much joy.

I know people who earn three times what I used to earn that are envious when I share tales of these escapades. This is simply because they have not tried.

Some individuals and companies have made it their business to make travelling a whole lot more convenient and accessible in and around Uganda. See Sabili and Roundbob. These are just the ones I know.

Don’t be afraid to ask or indulge 🙂

“What’s the good of being alive if you don’t do anything?”

In semi-related news,I am skeptical about receiving ‘gifts’ in  form of grand gestures, heck I even raise my brows at small ones, especially if they are directly ‘for me.’ Although I am comfortable when it doesn’t benefit me. Once I see it coming, I sometimes think, ‘What is this person’s motive?’ ‘ How will I repay them?’ It is wrong but you know, I can’t help it.

The irony is that I am often in people’s business, trying to know how and when to help/jump in or whatever it is called. Yes, it is a flaw that I am aware of.

So, in a bid to practice what I preach, I am going to try and be more welcoming of these displays of affection, whether small or otherwise and just..you know, ‘go with the flow.’

“You could continue to repress and think about the life you could have had or you can take what you want from life and see that the world finds that person infinitely more irresistible…

If it is a new expensive phone(that you can afford) which will make you more cheery and keep you busy, walk to that shop and buy it without remorse, If the girl you have had a crush on for years is in a failing relationship, go ahead and tell her how you feel. She might never leave the douche, and you may not get a chance but what good is keeping this info bottled up when you are not certain about tomorrow?

“I don’t want to be that kind of person…so afraid of making a wave that I never swim at all.”

 This reminds me, must swim too! 😉

ocean

I have always been terrible with taking risks, in a way, I still am.. However, this year has taught me to follow my heart even when I know it will get bruised..but then again, to also have the wisdom to withstand a small cut on myself instead of inflicting a full-bloody wound on someone else.

The trouble with life is not that it ends too soon, it is that we take so long to begin it.

Oh and before I go, I urge you to use your skill, it might not be direct like a beautiful singing voice or magic with the paint brush. Maybe your laughter is infectious so you need to continue lightening up the mood of those around you. Perhaps you are great at bargaining and can use this to be a shopping buddy to those that need it or better still become a personal shopper for them..Maybe you make great business decisions and yet tonnes of people around you have money saved up without proper direction..<Insert relevant skill/talent> The list is endless and you know what? The time is now!

“Every year I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing, and which shirking pain, misses happiness as well. No one ever yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime ‘let out all the length of the reins.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To love, hold and lose..

Growing up means many things, maturity, responsibility and several wrong decisions plus lessons that you may or may not take from all the experiences you encounter.

Your elders will warn you about what to expect and recount their stories as many times as they can but none of it saves you from the reality and  neither does it prepare you. Once in a while you shall echo their thoughts and mirror their reactions but the more likely option is that you will fall flat before you ever have the chance to sit and think “I made the wrong decision.” Either way, you have to do it your way to realise.

It is great to put your heart on the line, to give till it hurts and leave no room for remorse but the repercussions can take away all the joy of trying and bring you to a point where you wish you hadn’t bothered in the first place.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” ― Charles Bukowski

Loss comes in many forms from distance to denial and the ultimate, death. Come to think of it, why do they all begin with ‘d?’ I digress.

I believe to lose something or someone who you shall never see again is perhaps easier than the tormenting loss of a friend, former lover, member of the family who is so near yet so far.

It could even be a job you gave up everything for and had to leave under unclear circumstances or a place you called home suddenly transforming into a prison that you cannot bear.

Denise dated James for 5 years. She knew very well that her parents did not approve of their union but somewhere in her heart she knew she would fight for him and win. Little did she know that his own family was orchestrating a ‘master plan’ of their own behind her back. Before either of them could comprehend the situation, James was betrothed to Liz. A few weeks later, a traditional wedding was organised.

Denise was devastated and James, well, he was helpless. He tried to explain that it was beyond him but she was too broken to even listen. “He should have tried harder,” she thought.  As such, there is one more unhappy couple in this city and a mad black woman on the loose who is not only incapable of commitment at the moment but also lacks the passion and excitement for life that she once had.

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.”
― Paulo Coelho

Lately, I have been trying to deal with a special kind of loss myself. The kind where you can almost see, feel, touch and smell that which has been taken away from you but you can’t.  This loss is almost inexplicable to an untrained mind and perhaps beyond consolation even by those near and dear.

“Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.”
― Roland Barthes

It is one thing to hear that ‘Everything will be okay.” but actually believing it can seem like mystic universe yet to be discovered by the world. The sad reality is that when people notice you are grieving, their immediate reaction is to reach out to you and yet sometimes the questions, advice and comforting phrases take you back to the same place you are trying to run away from, the picture you are trying to erase…the shadow that you can’t avoid.

You want to sit still, alone, shut yourself from the world, except you can’t. The world won’t stop for your pain. Music will play on and new lives shall emerge. You have to make a choice to suck it up or get sucked in. Sometimes it is both, other days the distinction is clear.

Loneliness makes it worse yet being around people is just a ‘more crowded’  kind of lonely. You feign laughter and exchange hugs, share an old joke or a meal but the reality whispers “You can’t pretend forever.” and indeed after a few odd hours of beautiful lies, you are coiled in your bed, with only your mind and heart each racing and prancing about in your system, oscillating between whispers and shouts  of voices,images you can’t exactly make out and pain that you don’t question.

Yes, your body has caught on too. If its blood is boiling, the mind pacing and the heart unstable, surely you don’t expect it to function ‘normally.’

You know that dawn is a few hours away and that you can’t really bother anyone at such a time, but even if you could, what will you say? They want to believe you are healing. You want them to believe you are healing but since none of that is happening, perhaps it is better to share your feelings with your pillow for it can neither judge nor respond.

Finally the morning comes and you promise yourself a new journey, a happier ending. You even believe it for a bit but secretly you know that you shall disappoint yourself once more. You can’t utter such negative thoughts! “Be positive, you tell yourself.” The cycle continues….

Here I am contemplating the beauty of ignorance from that which we have never experienced versus the bliss of enlightenment that comes and changes your life but is later stolen  away in the dead of the night.

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”

―  John Steinbeck

It is one thing to give your utmost love, care and devotion to a person,job,project and the like but an entirely different thing for it to be reciprocated in the same measure or even anywhere close.

Loss does things to people, it transforms them. You might be lucky and come out stronger but deep within lies that hole that only you can see and feel.

Some people do not recover, they can’t see the world in the same way anymore. They remain numb with the hope that they shall relive the last moment when they could have held on to a love so dear but sadly, the clock never really turns back, only memories remain.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

Who knows how it will all end or which people you shall meet that will get into that broken heart and try to make it whole?

You don’t. The future has an unwritten story but first, you need to open up the book of your soul to the first page so the story can be written or rewritten.

“So that’s how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that’s stolen from us–that’s snatched right out of our hands–even if we are left completely changed, with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to the end of our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.” ― Haruki Murakami

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xoxo

Yup, That friend…

There are times in our lives when the people who know us the best are the ones who understand us the least..if that makes sense.

Sometimes you know a friend of yours doesn’t like something but you do it anyway. You know they will pull their hair out slowly if you keep them waiting but either it is beyond you or you think “Surely, what is the worst that can happen. After I say sorry, we shall enjoy the evening.” There are other people who do not even give it much thought.

See, the thing about human nature is that we want what is best for us, to be in our comfort zone to be well, happy. Sometimes, it comes at the cost of hurting other people but well, it is okay..as long us we get what we want. .right? Not.You realise eventually that you can’t expect to receive 90% for every 100% you put in. In fact, you shall be lucky to get a little over 50..but do not despair, you will also give another close person 40% when he is at a comfortable 95% for you. It isn’t tit for tat, but you get my drift.. Sad, isn’t it?

We are all different and thus it is unfair to gauge people based on others and yet it is simply inevitable. Deep down we want to be appreciated the same way we appreciate others…as a matter of fact, we want even more. Selfish,yes. Human? Double yes!

I used to ‘grade’ my friendships based on (mostly) trying times. Have they been there for me? Do they call? Are they interested in listening or simply hearing? Do they care what I am saying or they simply can’t wait to add this to the rumour mill? The list goes on.

It got exhausting.  Love is about accepting each others differences. If it is worth it, you fight for it. If the fights are more than the laughs..erm, no prizes for guessing what happens next. Along the way you get to find out where each of ‘your people’  lie. If you are lucky, you will ‘guess’ right. Sometimes though, you will ‘sleep with the enemy’  whose left hand is holding  a nice sharp dagger under the pillow while her right holds you close.

C’est la vie.

friends

Here is a real life scenario which I didn’t even intend to analyse. It is quite simple but can also be very telling.

I invited some friends over for lunch recently and each of them reacted differently. Here is how;

*Do you see yourself here, once or twice? Do you now which of your friends would sit around, support or simply run? Please share your experiences, I would love to ‘hear’ them.

1. The one who called to RSVP

2. The one who never bothered to respond to invitation

3. The one who said they would come but did not

4. The one who didn’t say they would come but did

5. The friend who called to ask ‘how can I help?’

6. The one who simply called and said “I shall be there early to help,” Didn’t have to ask.

7. The friend who walked in and went straight into the kitchen to cut up some salads

8. The friend who hovered around the kitchen waiting to be given a duty/discover a way to help

9. The one who had somewhere else to be but dropped by to say hello then left

10. The person who made jokes throughout the gathering

11. The one who noticed when her neighbour was ‘going to be sick’  and followed her to the house, just to check then brought her a glass of water

12. The friend who mingled with everyone she found

13. The friend who sat quietly waiting to see someone he is comfortable with

14. The one who called to ask what they should buy on their way

15. The person who didn’t ask but carried some drinks and snacks

16. The friend who kept cleaning up after everyone

17. The friend who called to say he was running late

18. The one who didn’t pick calls because they knew they were late

19. The friend who updated me every step of the way

20. The one who kept asking how many people had come so he only arrives when others are there

21. The ones who stayed after everyone had left just to make sure things were okay

22. The one who stayed to simply…talk

23. The friend who called days later to ask how it went

24. The one who sent the RSVP after a week, because they saw me and had an ‘oops moment’

25. The friend who said he knew I had spent a lot and gave me a contribution when we next met.

Hehe, it goes on and on. What am I trying to say? I do not love each one of them any less.. I accept them as they accept me.We are just different, beautifully so.

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