If I was a Bible character, I’d probably be a pre-Red Sea Moses. Oh, that’s too far. I’d be the Moses at the burning bush. The one who gave God all the reasons why he was the wrong guy for the job. Moses did such a perfect job talking God down that the big guy got him a mouthpiece.
I relate to that story like the guys in Kondele relate to the riots in Minneapolis. The Kondele peeps may seem calm, but deep down they want to be chanting “Haki Yetu” down East 38th Street in Powderhorn Park.
There was an owl hooting that night. And I hated hearing an owl hoot. I was convinced someone I love is going to die if the owl hoots too close home. But I wasn’t home.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped telling my husband that I loved him. After almost 9 years of saying ‘I love you’ every day and sometimes several times in a day, I just stopped.
It’d be nice to tell you that I visited Rogi Yaman and spent a couple of months with the Sages of Sivana in the Himalayas. I’d like to tell you that I went through a serious phase of soul searching, yoga and mental detox.
I’d like to be a real hero and take you through my journey of self-discovery and the ’15 steps to Renewing Yourself and Your Marriage’ seminar that I attended. That the seminar was hosted by the renowned Mark Gungor of ‘Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage’ seminars.
All that would be nice to say, if it were true.
I have been working from home, writing, editing, wiping little bums and snorty noses for almost four years now. While I’ve had a tremendously fulfilling time — my payment has been lots of tiny baby bear hugs and the sweetest ‘love yous’ — I’ve also experienced some hair-pulling emotional and mental distress.
There are days when I’d just drive to Java just to see other grow-ups and not have to speak baby-language for an hour. There were days when my ‘office’ walls were beginning to talk back to my thoughts. You know you need a break when you start to miss the lizard that passes by on its way from State House.
I haven’t pulled my hair out (yet). After a couple of years, I can tell you a few things that have made me productive and sane working from home.
Understanding yours and your spouse’s differences in temperament is a major key to establishing happiness, peace and stability in your marriage.
Jackie and Musau might not be enjoying marital bliss today if they had not decided to take a personality test together. When they first started dating, the music was never too loud; the sky was just the right shade of blue and their love burned bright like a beach sunset. If Musau was the knight in shining armour, then Jackie was Queen Elizabeth herself. Neither of them could do any wrong.
And then they got married.
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.”
He lies on the cold Sao Paulo ground in the park outside the cathedral. It’s cold. I’m used to the sweltering heat in Mombasa, anything below 25 degrees is cold for me. But I’m told it’s summer here. These people have not seen the summer, I muse.
He has a blanket. Surprisingly, it doesn’t look very dirty. My host, a catholic seminarian informs me that they are supplied with blankets and food by well-meaning Brazilians. Mostly Christians because they somehow see the face of Jesus on those once clean and handsome faces.
He’s not alone, but I note with interest that most of his ‘roommates’ are men.
She emailed and said this was the kind of conversation that required a quiet corner in Java at 11 AM. Apparently, there are not many people there at such a time. She can speak without straining to not whisper, and I can tell you she whispers like a cat that saw a dog.
You don’t want to be hiding with this one in any situation. She can’t whisper to save her life.
When my baby was younger, I experienced something ‘strange’. Every day, at around 6 pm, she would start fussing. She’d just get restless and cry herself hoarse.
Unknown to me, what we were experiencing is called the witching hour.
The witching hour was like a hangnail. It drained all life and joy out of my first days of motherhood. I often was on the brink of tears. Exhausted like a donkey in Mwea.
At those time I felt like auctioning her off to the highest bidder. But I was sure none of you wanted a screaming beauty.
So we braved on. Everyday. It was like waiting to visit the dentist. You know what’s coming and you can’t prevent it. I got so used to it that I didn’t even notice when it stopped. But I dreaded it!
I’m a good girl by the basic standards. No, allow me to just say it this one time. I’m a good girl. I’ve never been drunk (does wine count?), never smoked (not even weed) and never did the walk of shame. I was proud of it all. Until I was not so proud of it.
Josh Harris is no longer a Christian. And he’s getting a divorce. I don’t know if you understand the weight of those two statements, but I can make it simpler. It’s like saying the pope is no longer catholic and he’s getting married. Although that wouldn’t be so bad.
It feels like my whole youth life was a lie. If you’re still using a yahoo email account, Josh Harris is (was) a pastor and an author. He wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. For a Christian girl who believed Sidney Sheldon was evil and never read Mills and Boons, Josh Harris was my dating and sexuality compass.
Yesterday, someone called me ‘old’.
I know him from my University days. There we were talking about children and spouses and the forgetfulness that comes with being a parent. And then it just hit us like bird poop on the head — we’re old!
Afterwards, I tried remembering the girl I was when we met. I was young, naïve, a little stupid and oh-so-thin. I was a third-year university student with a heart that was still healing and a promise not to love again for 3 years. I don’t know how I got off imagining that it takes hearts 3 years to mend. I said I was a little stupid, didn’t I?
If I met this girl today, I’d give her a long, long hug. I’d tell her to be her own best friend because people come and go. More often than not, they go rather than come. The person who’s the best friend could become a stranger who blue-ticks her on WhatsApp.
If you hope to get children one day, you should rehearse your conversations with them often. You can practice with a stone, they produce the same response.
Before I had kids, I swore to never shout at my kids. I visualized myself sitting them down for some little ‘adult’ talk about their undesirable behaviour. My speech would be smooth and chocolaty even. I was to be the calm and composed mother: the one who doesn’t lose her cool in the supermarket when they are screaming for candy and chocolate; then one who bends down to their kid’s eye level to avoid looking like an intimidating mammoth.
“It’s over, I can’t be with you anymore.”
How do these words make you feel? Desperate, infuriated, depressed, suicidal ..?
While it’s normal to feel all or some of the above at some point, how you choose to deal with the feelings says a lot about your mental state.
In life, disappointments are inevitable and more so in matters of the heart. If you find it hard to accept rejection and even toy with ideas of violence or even murder, you may be standing on emotional quicksand
Murder and suicide cases have been on the rise in the last couple of months. The Global Study of Homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2018) lists mental illness as a key motive for murder, among other factors.
In the cases where the murder was a crime of passion, many claimed that if one spends money and time seeking your affection, then you are obligated to reciprocate. But, are you?
It’s 9:02 AM. Miss. T and I have just dropped Miss. Z to school and we’re now back in the house. The heat here feels like the sun came to whisper something in our ears and then forgot what it was. So it’s hovering around scratching it’s head. And did I mention it’s 9:02 in the morning?
Miss. T is generating some other heat of her own with a tantrum the size of a mini tornado. I can’t believe such a tiny being has lungs this powerful! If the Malaysian plane hasn’t been found yet, I can bet you my yesterday’s Chapati that it’s in her lungs!
I’ve always been fascinated by the books that purport to have guidelines for dummies. Or idiots. It makes you want to pick it up because, I mean, here is someone who will dumb it down for you enough to gain entry into Punjab University.
Making fun of the people who come to Nairobi from shags has made people famous. It’s not funny anymore though, someone needs to tell the now (not-so) funny man from Ukambani to take a break on his show. This is no laughing matter anymore. Still, comedy has not yet seen what Nairobi can do to an ex-Nairobian who comes visiting after many moons.
There are days, then there are DAYS. Those days when even your coffee needs a coffee, and your masseuse needs a massage. This week was one of those.
I’m nursing a terrible hot-tea burn on my thigh. It’s hard to sleep, and even harder to wear clothes! The things we take for granted! Venezuela is struggling with having two presidents; Maraga is struggling with his sloth of a judiciary and I’m struggling with wearing clothes! But I’m definitely doing better than Venezuela.
It’s way past midnight. I’m the only soul that’s awake in my house, my office hours start at 10 PM. I’m in the guest bedroom, which used to be the baby’s room but the fan in here is undecided; it rotates like a footballer’s warming up session: Sprint, stop, sprint, stop.
I’m getting hungrier by the minute. Every word I write seems to get an ounce of glucose out of me. This article ought to be sweeter than Ezekiel’s scroll. The curtain is pink and peach, with images of Mickey Mouse smiling at me. I forgot to remove it when I switched the babies’ room. It reminds me of ice-cream which is not helping with my glucose situation.
Today I felt like a horrible mom.
And this is not because I let my one and a half year old pick pop-corns from the floor and eat – which I have done. Albendazole is only fifty shillings, why should I lose my sanity and ear drums because of fifty shillings? Eat away, Miss. T, we will de-worm later.
This is also not because I dozed off in the middle of Miss. Z’s incessant interrogation.
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?
What’s the worst that can happen?
I’m in a Uber, on my way to the airport. It’s a Taxify cab, but since all toothpastes are Colgate and all washing powders are Omo, it’s an Uber Taxify. The driver, Mr. Man, is a brawny guy, he has thigh muscles that make me want to sing, “All things taut and beautiful the Lord God made them all”.