This one is for YOU

I wrote this 4 years ago and recently discovered it when Gloria asked if I ever shared it on my blog.

I decided to post it here. May it remind someone, today that they are never alone.

 

This one is for the girl who can’t sleep at night because her father is coming late yet again with woman number five, six oops she lost count

It is for the single mother who raised her daughter but has only gotten insults and lies in return, tales she can’t recount-

This isn’t for the ‘perfect family’ that goes to Sunday brunch or spends their weekend in Zanzibar

It is for the ones who don’t know where their next meal will come from because daddy is always in the bar, mummy’s pennies hard to come by-

For the girl who lost her youth to chores and fending for her younger siblings when she would really like a day off, okay maybe that’s too much. How about an hour or two just for her?

 

Here is one for the man whose father abandoned him as a child and still wants nothing to do with him many years later –

The daughter who did not get to meet her parents, unsure if they are proud of her wherever they are

The son whose dad and mom left just before he achieved his dreams

 

Today isn’t about the curvy confident girl who walks with an aura of splendour

It is for the one who is uncomfortable with her sexuality

Lesbian, asexual, transexual-

 

That girl who often hears words like fat, plus size, overweight, weight loss, exercise, gym bla bla bla gosh, when does it all end? So, I love juicy chicken, sue me.

But ooh, that isn’t all; the ‘small’ girl isn’t safe either. She is skinny, she is dieting, and she must be anorexic. Do you ever get clothes that actually fit? they ask. You must be spending all your time on fashion magazines, they add. Have they ever heard of genes? I guess not-

 

This one is for that boy who was bullied throughout school and thought the world would be more sympathetic

But all he has got is cruelty and thoughts of suicide. Surely everyone would be happier without him

It is for that girl who lost her self-esteem as a child and is still waiting for it to somehow grow back. Mummy can you hear her? No, wrong selection, it is she that took it away in the first place.

It is for the boy who doesn’t belong

Who stands in the middle of a crowd and feels all alone

It is for the girl who wants to know God

But can’t take the first step

The one who tried to walk the path with Jesus

But had no one to hold her hand through it all

 

This one is for the wrongfully accused that still serve sentences

The individuals whose existence is questioned because of their resemblance- to this tribe, that terrorist group, no matter how unrelated-

It is for the virgin who was shunned by her partner

The repentant thief that was judged by an angry mob

The girl who was abandoned after her last abortion

Even if she did it to please the man she so dearly loved-

The mother who held her baby for the first time and smiled

Blocking thoughts of the father that fled-

The girl whose little angel didn’t make it to her first birthday

The boy who only hears stories of birthday cake

 

It is for the broken hearted man who swears to stay alone forever

Because the love of his life said she would never leave but sort of meant;

I will never leave you, Mark, James, Earl and pretty much every guy that comes my way

It is for all the smiles you put on another’s face

Even as you weep profusely thinking about your life-

 

This one is for the hidden truths

The silent cries

The secret lives

The unspoken pain

The broken families

The poker faces

This one is for you…not the ‘you’ that the world sees but the ‘you’ who battles every day;

The real Y.O.U

 

lonely

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Not tomorrow. Today

“Live each day like it’s your last.” Are there human beings that are capable of this? Let’s think about it for a minute. If today was your last day, what would you do? Gather all your loved ones in one room, travel the world in 24 hours, tell that special someone you love them, face your worst fear?
Of course if we look beyond the literal bit, it is basically a reminder that we should live the life we desire because we only get one chance. Unfortunately, being a mortal comes with its shortcomings.
For starters, how quickly we forget!
About a month ago, I made a decision to seek out friends I had not met in a long time. For some of them, it was a case of bad timing, others had been distant and for some, I could not even explain what caused the ‘disappearing acts.’
Each time I noticed I had a free day or clear week, I tried to reach out to at least one. Some sessions had us pick up where we left off and for others, we were reminded why there had been any distance in the first place- we had simply grown into different people. I also accepted that it’s healthy to admit that time changes and people move on. When the time comes, by all means, let go.
Yesterday I met Penny. We had planned this rendezvous for months and something always came up on either end. Last week, I gave her a date and time and mentioned I would be there whether or not showed up. She made it, albeit late and paid for the meal to make up for it. Yaay! *If I had a meal for each time someone kept me waiting, I’d have saved enough for my future daughter’s Ivy league education by now*
As we spoke about life and relationships, we both agreed that platforms like ‘whatsapp’ confuse you into thinking that you have met your friends and spoken to them yet in fact, all you do is chat.
I have chatted with several people almost daily, and we say we are ‘fine,’ only to meet and realise there is so much going on that neither of us actually disclosed. It is much easier to click the ‘dancing lady in red’ emoticon than give a written account of the depression you are going through, don’t you think?
We both admitted that sometimes ‘busy’ did not really mean busy but rather “ I shall not make the time.”
Penny’s solution was that she would cut off everyone she had not seen in 6 months who was ‘comfortable’ chatting online but never available for a face to face.

regret
When I got home, I received a phone call, a free spirit I knew had passed on. I was broken. Earlier I had heard of a teenage girl who had lost her life in an accident the same day. I was left thinking about the fleeting nature of life.
As it was approaching 10pm, I received a call from *Lucy.* I am generally ‘afraid’ of night calls so I picked up hesitantly. She asked me for the deceased’s phone number. I went silent for a while. What was happening? Did she know? Was she in denial? I asked Lucy if she had heard the News. She said she had but she did not believe it. She had left her phone at home and needed me to send the number so she could call and speak to her friend. The conversation just became more depressing from hereon.
I did as she asked and she later told me the phone was off. Lucy was mad at herself. They had made plans to meet and it hadn’t happened. In her words “ I meant to check in but you know how you keep postponing because you are tired all the time and think that whatsapp suffices…”
I could feel the agony in her every message and we ended up talking till after midnight. I understood what she meant because she is many of us and if we do not do something about it, this will be the story of our children’s lives too.
This young lady left behind a beautiful son. One of the most recent memories I have of her is that each time I asked about him, the next messages would be several pictures of him. She loved him to bits.
For her family and friends and those that have lost their loved ones, I can only offer prayers and heartfelt condolences and hope that, one day “It will be well…”
We certainly can’t all be in several places at the same time but we can do our best to be there for our loved ones before we have to settle for the paltry, mostly insufficient “RIP.”
This quote stung a bit when I read it last week but that can only be because admittedly, it had some truth to it.
   “Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than  gratitude.”

 

Find time. Make time. Make love. Apologise. Create memories. Travel. Show gratitude. Celebrate life. NOW.
Regrets are inevitable but who says we can’t make love inevitable too?
X

Me, myself and I

Someone once told me ‘never to start’ if I wanted to live with my loved ones peacefully.

In her view, if you know you aren’t going to do something ‘till death,’ it is better you do not start it at all.

Here is an illustration;

If a man is courting a lady and pulling out as many tricks as possible out of his bag, he should be ready and willing to maintain them when she finally says yes.

That means if you opened the door on date number 1, you should keep this up even on date 762. If you used to tell your wife you loved her ‘curves and edges,’ after her third child, you better be ready to continue complimenting her figure.

If you do not intend to then simply ‘don’t start.’ Now does it make sense?

We had a good argument about this. I explained to her that some things are possible ‘now’ and might not be in future so you need to maximise the opportunity while you still can. If you are wealthy, your children deserve to have the best life you can afford. In the event that something goes terribly wrong, and you become bankrupt for instance, at least they have good memories. Would you regret the ‘good life’ they had or wish they had gotten used to rugs in preparation for this time in their life?

Nevertheless, there are times when her reasoning comes to mind and actually makes some sense.

A few weeks ago, I received a rather ‘hilarious’ text from Kate. It was 8.30 a.m on a hot Monday morning and I was figuring my day out when I noticed light flickering on my phone. My day’s first message- “I can’t believe you have also forgotten my birthday,” it read. *Meanwhile, other people were waking up to ‘Good morning beautiful’ texts…but not me*  I digress.

I was flabbergasted. I was not even dressed to leave the house but in this person’s head the day had already ended! I had actually planned to call later that day and wish her a happy birthday-fail!  After giving it some thought, I figured out the problem. She was so used to receiving a message or call from me at midnight so to her 8.30 was too late.

I really wanted to give her a nice long lecture but I thought it would probably make more sense on a different day. How do I ‘forget’ her birthday and also ruin it by trying to pump some sense into her head? I tried to delicately tell her not to ‘attack’ anyone else because people have ‘real’ problems that do not include the day of her birth.

Alas, a minor investigation a few minutes later proved that I was not the only one who had been grilled for ‘forgetting.’ At this point, I decided to laugh it off instead because it was quite ridiculous.

One of the most glaring characteristics I have noticed amongst the human race, over time is egocentrism, in all shapes and sizes. It starts small and then quickly spreads like a bad rash. Worst of all, we practice it with friends and foes, alike.

After satisfying our selfish desires, everyone else can go hang.

Kate didn’t care if I was okay, where I was or how I had been for the past month that she hadn’t checked on me. It was her birthday and thus the world had to stop and pay homage to her royal highness.

“We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve.”

I see it begin in simple ways. You are late for a meeting because something important came up but when someone else is held up, World war III must erupt. God forbid another person has an excuse! You are the only one who is entitled. Your lateness was understandable but theirs must be deliberate.

The boss makes little mistakes that cost the firm their reputation and maybe even some clients from time to time. The moment an employee even dares to think about almost, kind of, getting close to such a blunder, they will be insulted in tongues and reminded how worthless they are (Imagine the irony if this employee’s photograph is pinned on the wall as ‘employee of the month’ amidst all this drama)

It is more ‘acceptable’ coming from a superior but our peers are often the biggest culprits.

One day, you are ‘bffs’ and the next you are an adversary simply because you did not live up to the standards you set. <<The universe and its mockery.

The other day I overheard Michael complain. His very good friend owed him money and had taken weeks to pay it. “It is only 1 million shillings but he makes it seem like 20 million,” he added angrily.

It took a lot of self-control for me not to turn my chair around and wash his dirty linen in public.

He of all people would, idyllically be quiet on matters pertaining to money and debt but NO…one must show the world how ‘able’ he is.

See, Michael had been in those shoes not too long ago. He too owed money for months, much less actually.

During this time, however, he purchased a new phone, tyres for his car and even gave it a paint job.

You know those people who get potbellies when they owe you money and you are there chilling with your ‘one pack?’ >>>Michael is the poster child.

In all his wisdom, he saw it fit to share all this ‘good news’ with his creditor even though he had failed to pay up. Of course, his car’s paint job was more urgent than paying up his debt!

I really hope when his daughter tells him her school fees is due, he won’t reply “but sweetie, can’t you see daddy is still working on the swimming pool at home?”

I have been guilty of this selfishness too, we all have but can we at least make an effort, slap ourselves out of it when we notice it creeping in?

DO UNTO OTHERS IMAGE

 

Be yourself. No, not like that

Do you choose your friends because of who they are, what they do or where they come from?

I get disturbed when I have a conversation whose path I can clearly tell is headed for a stereotype or two.

Some of our parents (and most of  their generation) find these conversations ‘normal’ and sadly there are many of us who have caught the bug. I will illustrate.

I met a lady I know who is  in her early 60’s and this is an excerpt from our dialogue.

Her: Where are you going?

Me: To a friend’s wedding meeting

Her: Oh, that’s nice. What tribe is her husband?

Me: I don’t know

Her: How long have they been together?

Me: About a year, I think

Her: He must be rich then

Me: I don’t know

Her: Is your friend pregnant?

Me: No

Her: What does he do?

Me: I have never asked

Her: What do you know?

Me: That they love each other and that is all I need to knoW

Even if I had answered the questions ‘correctly,’ she would have found fault if she wanted to.

What followed was a semi-fight. She lectured me on the perils of marrying someone from a different tribe and went on to give me several examples of everything that could go wrong. I told her  all the things in the world that could turn a marriage sour which trounce your spouse’ tribe.

Of course the conversation ended up being about me and why I was taking my time. “Leave that charity of yours and find a man before it is too late, people will even start to think you are the problem ” she said. “People will talk no matter what I do, at least let them talk while I do something I love,” I replied.

I know for a fact that many people think like her but they don’t always get to speak their minds. When they do, be sure to stuff a nice round object into their mouth and then give them a piece of your mind. Okay, that’s a bit much, but you get the point.

society 1

Have you ever met those people, who ask you for advice only to do the exact opposite of what you said?

Anne is just like that. She asks. “Which works better, the blue bag or the red one?” You respond with all the reasons why she should actually carry the red one. Shortly after, she walks out happily with the blue one.

A few weeks ago, Rachel called me at about 1:00 a.m. She sounded so heartbroken. She was sick and tired of her job and simply wanted to quit. Her passion has always been music and she figured now would be a good time to pursue it.

I was really excited for her because she sings beautifully and there are few things more amazing than the joy of waking up to follow your passion.

She told me about all the issues she had at work and how depressed she was.

We spoke at length but I was later quite amused by some of her worries. Even if she called me out of everyone else, (maybe because I quit my job to follow a dream with nothing. No?)it seemed her intention was to actually convince herself that her life is great and needs no alteration.

She explained that she could not face her parents whom she lives with after making such a decision (‘Oh my God Esther, how did you manage? They will kill me’) *No, they won’t but hey that is just me.*

She further told me that her ‘image’ needed to be maintained because she is smart and from a good family of professionals so ‘people’ will never understand the change (Erm…)

“My goodness, how will I survive without a monthly salary that always comes on time, on the 28th?There is no way I will miss a shopping spree or vacation because I quit my job.Also, how does an adult even live a life of uncertainty, not sure when the next big break will come? *Yes, how do those adults do it?*

This back and forth went on for almost an hour till I realised that she did not want to hear the  “Follow your dream” speech. She wanted the ‘blue bag’ that she would pick whether or not I shared my opinion.

There will always be someone who drives a better car, has a fancier job title ,makes marriage look easy,gets all the acclaim, goes to all the great vacation destinations (and takes even greater photographs)…….*insert that which you most desire*

And yet, there is a certain comfort in humble beginnings, stupid mistakes, crazy ideas coming to life because you dared them too.

I guess it is ‘okay’ to want a good life and do everything possible to get it even if it means maintaining a dead-end job as you wait for the next best thing or getting stuck in certain relationships because the other party is of the ‘right’ tribe and has the ‘right’ kind of status. Whatever it is, do it for you, not society because not only do they not really care, they also do NOT matter. (unless you let them of course)

society 3

Against all odds

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 

 

A confident 30 something corporate lady walked into the board room at an investment firm. She was one of four short listed candidates for a top job.

She was asked several questions among which was the popular, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” She didn’t hesitate. She explained that she could not see that far and would rather discuss the ‘now’ because it is more realistic. She went ahead to add that her past five years had been filled with impulsive decisions that made her who she was today and she would rather not play the game as it should be but rather re-invent the wheel. Her job experience was impressive and her eloquence matched it. The panelists exchanged looks and promised to call her back as they parted ways.

She was the last interviewee and upon her departure, two out of the three panelists scoffed and sneered. In short, she was not traditional enough. Only one defended her ‘out of the box’ thinking.

Yesterday as I was filling an application I got into a similar mental dilemma. I was asked for my 5 year career plan and I quickly filled all the dreams I have for 40-40. I re-read the question and realised it was personal. That meant my replies needed to begin with ‘I’ instead.  As if that wasn’t enough, the next question was “What is your long term career plan?” I am sorry, 5 years was not enough? I closed the page and moved on to other things hoping I would later be inspired.

It is about 8 months since I got out of gainful employment and it seems there is no limit to what can possibly be learnt about people and life in general. I have had to ‘cram’ responses to questions like ‘What next?’ because to them what I am doing is temporary and I should soon snap out of it.

On Saturday a close relative said to me, “ Why don’t you go back to school and do something with your life, you are not Mother Theresa, you know? ” Hehe,  the comeback for that one took a little longer than usual. However, yesterday poor Mother T (rest her soul) ‘came back’ for me. A concerned well wisher asked me what I wanted to do to grow career wise. We discussed options before he remarked, “I understand if your purpose in life is to be Mother Theresa and inspire people. I shall not hold it against you.”

He must have wondered why I burst out laughing after. It was just a weird coincidence that she had come up one more time. Is it strange that I am discomforted by this ‘association’? I haven’t even sacrificed 0.000000001% of what she did for the poorest of the poor. This is not even up for discussion (shakes head), let’s move along.

Why do we have to label everything? Why can’t someone just be who they are?

You are single or married, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, a believer of God or an atheist. When are you just you, a human being?

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” 

Joy, is 36, unmarried and more independent than anyone I know. She has had a series of bad relationships, the most recent being the most peculiar seeing as guy X ran away with several household items because he was apparently broke. She has more money than she can spend so this not so wise gentleman might as well have swallowed his ego and asked. No? Theft works better? Yes? Okay.

Before that she went from one guy to another simply to ‘fit in’ wit the married lot but she has decided to take a well deserved break.

She has reached the peak of her career, takes annual vacations and has pretty much anything money can buy. Is it her fault that she isn’t ‘settled’ yet? What is settling any way?

Society does not want to know her past. This person called society is more concerned about the ring-less finger and her poor ovaries. How shall she manage? Bambi..

Eve, on the other hand, played by the book. We graduated from University at about the same time. Months later she got married to her High School sweetheart and has two adorable children. This is how it should be done, right? She is settled and ‘knows what she wants,’ yes? So how come her and Mark only appear at church and parties together but don’t share a room in their own house? Why does she want to get a divorce but is afraid she will not get custody of her children? Is it her fault? Did she not do what she was ‘supposed’ to do?

Joy and Evelyn represent a world of women and men stuck in situations that are not new or surreal. It is just life being life and male, female, millionaire or pauper, we all have a story and it is even more beautiful if it is uniquely yours!

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 

You, dear reader, know countless stories of people that are living a life that is not theirs, heck you might be too. The decisions you make are entirely yours to deal with. God knows all the mistakes I am constantly making are copyrighted. I shall not let anyone take the blame let alone consciously blame them!

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

The business executive who might not get the job because her responses weren’t conventional enough sleeps a lot better than the rest of us who walk with our heads up high because we are conforming to society’s idea of who we are or must be.

I can’t emphasise enough the value of being true to oneself.

If you find people struggling to label you, to explain where you belong or even ‘force’ you to belong somewhere because it will make them feel better, make them understand you or worse still make you just like them, that will be a good time to slowly walk away.

The road to the top is lonely and also narrow, you decide what or who gets to take it with you.

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” 

be you

Behind the Scenes; The power of friendship

I took a nap on Wednesday afternoon and kept the phone in silent mode as I usually do. When I woke up, I found about 8 missed calls, 3 text messages and endless whatsapp interactions.Logged onto facebook and even more buzz in the inbox.

I thought nothing of it (It is when you are away from the phone that it usually goes crazy so I know better than to be moved by that) until I started to read the messages. There actually was a mini-emergency regarding our Saturday event Hoops for Grace IV. I had to get up, get dressed and find a mobile money outlet that had enough ‘float’ for at least 1,000,000 shillings so that a couple of service providers could actually begin to work. One friend sent a message ” It is not like you to go quiet for this long without letting us know.” I replied and explained to him that I had taken a nap and asked if I should be informing people that I am going to sleep.  Believe it or not, he said yes!! I laughed and realised that sometimes 24 hours are indeed not long enough! Life has to move on whether one has an ache, sleep debt, emergency et al.

Fast forward to Saturday, D-day. We had done our best regarding planning and marketing the event, we prayed  about the weather and everything else, surely things were going to go according to plan, right? Wrong!

I hardly slept the night before and just as I was beginning to find peace, morning was upon us. I got up, took care of a few chores and then loaded mum’s car with merchandise to use at the event, left space for one person I was to pick and then got in to start the car.

Alas, it had no plans of moving! I could hear it sing “No, no,no!” (Amy Whinehouse voice) The battery had gone to sleep. I laughed! After doing everything on time, this is what fate had decided? Obviously ‘star ta fa’ but only because of the amazing team that I belong to. In ten minutes, some friends who were heading to the event to ‘work’ passed by, we pushed the car, jump started it and then it was ready to move 🙂 Phukes!!

When we got to Bush Court, it was difficult to do anything, the first few minutes were characterised by an argument that ‘we were late for.’ After standing around staring-trying to make sense, of it and failing, we started to off load the materials and set up. We were doing great on time, *see the positives*

Then suddenly everything was ready but the players were only strolling in casually in ones and twos, not the complete team. Looking around there was even a team that had branded shirts, with their name and hoops for grace written at the bottom, eh, people can be prepared!!

Eventually, the games began and things were running ‘smoothly’ but you know it can never be perfect, at least not behind the scenes.

 

Several things still needed to be bought and while I was lamenting that I needed a ‘loose 200k’ (albeit half serious) to take care of some bills, my friend said she had something to give me. Believe it or not, it was 200,000UGX!!

Suddenly our ‘ poor gate collectors’ were being bullied by over 6ft tall muscular beings who did not want to pay a measly 3,000sh for entrance, then those who said they were actually players got to registration point and decided they weren’t ready to part with the 10,000sh for players. In fact, some pretended they would not play then somehow sneaked onto the court (God is seeing you) It was so frustrating but the 40-40 team still managed to keep calm. It stopped making sense to remind people that it was for charity not our benefit.

I joined my friends at the drinks section and we began to switch the cold drinks to the top and warm ones to the bottom. Some not-so-gentleman found me and yelled “Stop laughing and give me a mirinda!” I was speechless and gave him his Mirinda..all the while thinking, just because we are asking for help does not mean people should be rude. I had to be fine. Turns out several other arrogant customers haunted the poor girlies (and later guy too) who were at the ‘bar’ especially when change ran out or the ‘fresh’ drinks took a while to get delivered. They still stood strong

You still had to smile and act like it was all okay. Voices were raised when the delays occurred especially amongst the team but we are all human you know. If yelling is how one deals then so be it.

As if that was not enough, the car key decided to disappear yet the DJ’s laptop and turn table were ‘chilling’ in there.
I was afraid to call and stress the mother for a spare key so instead I made myself busy. MC’s announced the missing item but still nothing. I decided to keep myself occupied so I would forget but every two minutes someone innocently asked ‘Did you find the keys?,’ #Fail.

I decided to accept the reality and make that call. I could tell that I had woken her up and the response seemed to suggest mum didn’t know where her spare key was so I had to either find this one or…find it!

My friend’s 8 year old cousin asked me what was wrong. When I told her she gave me a big hug and said “Don’t worry, you will find the key.” I fell in love with her all over again. Bless her.

I later went to sit by the merchandise table and think of a break in or plan C, only to have another member of the team tell me she was going to hunt the key down.

Five minutes later, she was holding it up after finding it ‘hiding’ in a random polythene bag (kavera) that I must have carried at some point.
Ululations happened 🙂 (We are set to marry in December :D)

My mood lightened up and suddenly, nothing could make it bad again.. or could it?

Expenses kept coming out of nowhere to the extent I had to go and ask members of my team for 10,20,50,000 because I did not want to ‘touch’ the event money . None of them asked how or when I would pay them back, they just gave it to me, one even checked her wallet to give me 10,000 and only found 3,000 🙂 Team work is a beautiful thing!

Everyone was fighting some sort of battle to make it work- carrying,counting,climbing to put up the screen, driving back and forth to purchase items,pay service providers, insisting friends should come e.t.c and make it work they did!

People left after the movie ended at about 9.00 pm and the team still stayed to clean up,pack and up and deliver property that wasn’t ours. By 1.00 a.m we were home, exhausted to bits but still, happy!

 

Well, it even seems more worthwhile now with a surplus of  5,204,000 going to dormitory construction (our main goal) after investing 2,840,000  and making 8,044,200 at the event, one can only say the efforts really paid off!!

P.s; I deliberately left out the names because each and everyone played a huge role and it was team effort indeed!

To say I am proud and honoured to be part of team 40-40 would be a huge understatement.

:)

🙂

 

Thank you to everyone who had a hand in our success no matter how small.

God bless you forever and a day more 🙂

The power of simple words…. and actions

This morning I decided to send a few text messages to my aunts( both blood ones and those who have been there for so long, it would be weird to call them by name or any other title) The texts did not say much, simple greetings, letting them know I think about them and pray for them.

One of them, who lives in Nairobi called me excitedly soon after I received a delivery report. The conversation was in Kinyarawanda but I can loosely translate it as follows. “You have made my day, that message just spiced up(added kamulali)  my morning.” While I was still smiling, trying to think of a reply, she said, “I love you.” and hang up.

This is probably one of the reasons why  I was in high spirits today before the dark forces decided to rain on my parade.

I have always believed that when one is feeling low, they should try to spread love and cheer to others (only if you can muster the courage) because in the end, it sort of comes back to you, at least in my experience.

I extended courtesy that I did not even feel in my system and someone miles away was ecstatic. In that moment, I genuinely felt loved and grateful too 🙂

Love is an excessively used term. Most don’t realise that it is a necessity to succeed in this world. The most powerful expression of love must always come through actions not words.

On a different note, I have always been a firm believer in “Actions speak louder than words.” You can tell me you love me everyday and it shall mean absolutely nothing if not coupled with actions to match your declarations. I do admit though that sometimes, it helps to just hear someone tell you “I love you and everything will be okay,” depending on their role in your life.

Growing up,with all the romantic novels and movies, it seemed that those ‘three magic words’ were the icing on the cake for any relationship. Once a man told the woman of his dreams he loved her, for the first time, fireworks exploded and they lived happily ever after. Except in the real world, sometimes those we love the most never utter those words or when they do, it is never enough Vs those who might be a little too generous with them while totally failing on delivery. C’est la vie.

Where was I? Yes. Use the phrase sparingly unless you really mean it, that should be fair to everyone, no?

I have a friend who always uses me as an example when referring to all things mushy and emotional. I must admit I am guilty as charged but there is such a thing as exaggeration on his part. *smh* That being said, even in all my ‘mushiness,’ I do not throw the word love around. If I do not mean it, chances are I will not use it but on top of that, because of our society and all its ‘deep thinkers,’ it isn’t very easy to use the word in a platonic sense without it being ‘read into’ a little too much.

Bill and I have been friends for a couple of years. If you woke me up in the middle of the night and asked me for a list of my ‘ride or die’ friends, his name would probably be in the top 5. However, with all my ‘action oriented beliefs,’ it had never been in my plan to mention that I love him because it was obvious. Could he not tell from our conversations, sacrifices and everything in between?  I had never even thought about it because it wasn’t a topic of discussion, it just…was.

Well, one evening we said our goodbyes and as we parted ways he said “Goodnight, love you,” in the most casual tone. In my mind I was thinking I must be hearing things, so I let it go. However, when he did it again and I noticed there were no ulterior motives, so to speak, I began to respond accordingly. Needless to say, it was a bit of foreign territory to me but it was not a bad thing so I learnt to adapt. There aren’t many males in my life that I can freely use that phrase with so for them, they will have to judge from my actions till further notice.

“Words provide a voice to our deepest feelings. I tell you, words have started and stopped wars. Words have built and lost fortunes. Words have saved and taken lives. Words have won and lost great kingdoms. Even Buddha said, ‘Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” 

When it comes to kids, however, I believe we should shower them with compliments and I love yous till we run out of breath.  If God forbid, anything happens to you as a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc- the best thing a child can/should remember is how much love you showed them and also how many times you said it, in case the actions slip their mind.

I know for a fact that my late grandfather  and several other parents of that generation ‘taught’ through ridicule. How?

You come home with poor grades and you are told ” This is why you shan’t have anyone asking for your hand in marriage, you are stupid! Why can’t you be like the neigbour’s child who is beautiful and brilliant?”

You get my drift? Words like these can bruise one’s esteem so bad. In the end, the actions shall be constantly compared to these harsh words and the message shall probably get lost in translation, especially for a child who is still trying to digest all these situations in his/her little mind.

“Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.” 

The next time a loved one does something special and you are itching to tell them how much they mean to you, go right ahead.

You can’t possibly know how much good it will do for them, or even for you 🙂

“Words! What power they hold. Once they have rooted in your psyche, it is difficult to escape them. Words can shape the future of a child and destroy the existence of an adult.
Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind.” 

love u

xoxo