I had a glass table once. I smashed it to pieces with a cup full of tea.
For a long time, I struggled with anger that would strike like a thunderclap headache. I lost many cups and plates to these fits of anger. But the day I lost the table is the day I knew horse-manure had hit the fan. Something had to give.
I searched for outlets. I joined a women’s study in the church, Wisdom for Mothers. This study exposed my heart and helped me grow. But it also gave me wonderful women who became my closest confidants. There’s very little I can’t tell this crazy bunch of wonderful women.
Before the anger outbursts, I had grown increasingly uncomfortable in my ‘situation’. I was a stay at home mom. Each day when Mr K went to work, I was left feeling like I made the wrong choice. Like all I’ll ever be is “Mom.”
I battled with esteem issues and FOMO. I could barely enjoy my baby because I was seeing all I was missing out on. Until I swept broken pieces of a table I’d saved up to buy. At 1 AM.
I’ve since lost a phone to the anger, but I’m now much calmer. That one was deserved. 🙂
I avoided making too much of the new year because I’m terrible with consistency. Like, I-need-therapy kind of terrible. I hate monotony and regimens. The only thing I do daily without fail is sleep and wake up. And I’m sure there are nights I didn’t sleep. I’m not even consistent with breakfast.
I know I’m supposed to pray and read my bible every day, but I’d be a pharisee (Or Sadducee, I’ve never quite differentiated between the fellows) if I told you that I have done that every single day since I got born again.
There are days I glide through screaming for the mercies of God, which are new every day. Because if we are rated by how well we consistently read the scriptures and pray, oh boy, I’ll be damned. But I’m never damned. Because Jesus.
I don’t know if this is a 30’s thing but I feel free. I feel like I’m on the “I don’t care” floor of life. Opinions, comments, stares, gossip — I have literary given societal expectations the middle finger. Which, I’m sure if I read my bible every day, I have been told not to do. It must be somewhere in Ecclesiasticus — thou shall not flash the middle finger.
I love this season of my life.
At the beginning of this week, on Sunday, I started jogging. It was purely by chance. I know I’m supposed to be exercising, even my doktari told me to move my limbs more to ease a swelling on my left foot that he can’t quite explain. Lakini mnaona doktari hapa?
This is how it went.
I call my honey supplier who’s my neighbour to replenish my honey stock. I’ve saved her on my phone as ‘Honey Block 4’. She mentions she’ll be jogging at 5:30 PM so I need to get it before then. I jokingly say I should join her. She calls me at 5:30 and informs me she’s downstairs, can we get going?
I feel so good after that evening jog that I don’t need any encouragement Monday Morning. I drop the kids to school in my jogging gear and off I go. I start walking and just keep going. Before I know it, I’m at the beach.
If you haven’t been to the beach in the morning, your bucket list is incomplete. You need to see the beach sunrise. The ocean glimmers like God poured a tank of glitters on it. This has to be on the bucket list, right before smoking weed at least once in your life.
At the Kenyan beaches though, you need to activate your compound eyes. There are people who have smoked weed more than once in their lives lurking under the palm trees. One guy who looked like he needed an ice bucket challenge to wake him up from his stupor offered to walk with me. I doubt he could have even crawled if leviathan emerged from the sea in front of him. I sprint away like I saw an NYS scandal cat-calling me.
Further along, the beach boys are setting up their ‘shops’. There are makeshift changing rooms covered in cloths that were once proudly bedsheets or curtains in some middle-class home. They were probably thrown out when the owners decided to glam their homes and discovered curtains rods.
Now they look like they’ve been through Sonko’s pockets. Extremely dirty. One bedsheet looked like it had seen generations of births. Both human, rodents and insects. I’m pretty sure a baby mouse was welcomed into the world on that bedsheet. Right after baby cockroach learnt that he too can fly.
When I get home, my Adidas running App tells me I had been on the trail for two and a half hours. I had clearly over-exerted myself. My head is throbbing. It feels like Susanna is shaking what her doctor gave her inside my head. I sleep. For hours. On a Monday.
On Tuesday, I don’t want Susanna on her worst behaviour in my head. I take a shorter route. This time, I go to Bamburi nature trails. I’ve always wanted to run there but I may have watched too many horror movies. Bad things happen to good girls in the woods.
I decide if I see any menacing thing or person, I’ll go all Kipchoge. I run through towering eucalyptus. Or trees of the eucalyptus family, I can’t really tell which one. I see an occasional waterbuck browsing. I keep my fingers crossed, I love nature but don’t want to meet a legless reptile today. Not when it’s in its natural habitat.
Did you know juvenile snakes are more dangerous than the big, mature ones? A mature venomous snake can bite a human being and not inject any poison. Because they can tell you’d make a horrible dinner. So they’ll bite you to scare you so they can scamper to safety and to more edible creatures.
But a juvenile snake doesn’t know that. Everything is food. They bite you, they rain all the poison into your veins. Don’t joke with baby snakes, they are little monsters. Mama and Papa snake are more reasonable.
Luckily, there are no snakes in Bamburi Nature trails. The management captures them and takes them to Haller Park instead. There may be one or two strays but they will eventually be captured.
I discover a world I had not imagined inside those trails. A world of quiet and clarity and crickets. A world untouched by the Mombasa heat. A world of artificial ponds and ferns and waterbucks. Tree canopies under which you hear your own thoughts and all your life ducks fall into line.
Mahatma Gandhi lives on those trails. I hear him. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When I emerge from the trails into reality, I have just one question in my mind: Why in the name of the pope have I never been here?
I work from home, which means I have time to jog in the morning. This is my season. I feel like it’s ending soon since Miss. T is now in school. I can feel the ‘What’s next’ bug buzzing around my ears. It may bite soon.
But did I waste this season? This was the perfect time to jog in the morning. To read a mountain of books. To learn how to ride a bike or be a swimming lifesaver.
For the last almost three years, I’ve not had to sit in a traffic jam and sweat my brains out. I’ve not had to rush back home before the babies sleep. I’ve been to almost every school function, save for a couple of times I was out of the country. I’ve had time for my babies. And husband ( subject to confirmation).
I plan to devour this season with the feisty of a malnourished baby who found milk. I’m ticking boxes on the bucket list like there’s no tomorrow.
What season are you in? Single? Married with no baby yet? Mother with toddlers you want to swallow back into your stomach? Married with teenagers who suddenly have attitudes larger than the London eye?
Are you riding high on the corporate ladder but wondering if this is all there is to it? Struggling with a start-up? Soaring on your entrepreneurship journey?
Are you complaining? Dying for it to be over? Trudging along begrudgingly and giving God ultimatums?
Find your trails. Pause at the Vita Parcours and take in life. Take a selfie and don’t post it anywhere. It’s just for you, this time.