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Courageous Conversations

There are weeks, like these past 3 or 4, when I'm navigating minefields in many of the conversations I'm having. From colleagues who feel entitled to favours to those who don't communicate well with peers. To business partners who want to dictate how and when we  carry out our obligations to those who like to triangulate. To my nephew who wants designer socks when I'm struggling to meet back to school expenses to friends who make promises and don't deliver. Once upon a time, I would rather have broken out in hives than air it out and is grateful along life's  highway I learnt to be overcome the fear and discomfort. Somehow, though, the mental gymnastics prior to each conversation is painful and exhausting. Does anyone out there have a remedy?

Life

Every now and then, I wonder whether to continue with this blog or not. Especially at times when I want to write but do everything else but. Sure I'm not the only one who repeatedly avoids to do the one thing they actually want to. And should Then I go through my old posts and it buoys me. I hope as I share these snap shots of my life, it reminds you of our shared human experience. That this life is beautiful, messy, hard and easy. We all have weaknesses,baggage, regrets and wounds. And victories, strengths, trophies and heart. In a time when picture perfect and envy inducing lives abound, many of us are smack in the middle of the battle field and/or healing from old and fresh wounds. For those of us in the trenches, you are not alone. There is indeed a season for everything and I pray you find the resources for whatever season you're in. And your tribe(s). Everyday I'm grateful for mine, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for them.

Battles

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         Happy new year. How are you doing? and I mean, really how are you? I left Uganda on 20th Dec and came back a month later on Wednesday last week. My one month in Kenya has left me refreshed and heartbroken. 5 of my close friends are reeling from and dealing with traumatic events from 2020. 3 miscarriages, 3 breakups, 1 stage IV cancer diagnosis. It's been a hard year. Among the many Covid losses, is the inability to gather and comfort. In previous non-Covid years, I'd travel to Nairobi on average 6 times a year. Plenty of opportunity to have walked with some of them during these trying and difficult times. Thankfully, they know my heart and is holding space for them;even from a distance. These conversations remind me of the quote; Be kind. Everyone is fighting a battle you nothing about. In your 2021 battles, I wish you strength, peace and faithful companions.

Sad times

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    If was in Kenya, I'd have attended 3 burials this week. Then I learnt of a fourth death this morning and was shattered. We're overflowing in this boat, thanks to the Grim Reaper,  and don't have the words to capture the heartbreak and pain experienced this year. Sabstone, Nikki, Captain, Sam, Kinuthia, Uncle Mbugua, Isabella, Muciru, Ken, Anne, tens of  friends/relatives of friends and acquaintances. May they rest in peace May God comfort their loved ones May they find strength and support systems to navigate their loss May we who've been left behind be grateful to be alive May we live May we extend grace and love to those who are mourning

Covid life

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    It was in March when WhatsApp flooded with Covid-19 videos and conspiracy theories. The good old days when we all thought Africans were immune and Madagascar's Covid-Organics   gave us a sliver of hope. Once upon a time. With roughly 7 weeks left in 2020, many of us are heavy laden from the pandemic and wondering where time went. I resumed work  yesterday after  being in self isolation for 10 days. 4 out of 10 colleagues tested positive 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, none of them had serious symptoms. It was tough and now, fear and anxiety are hanging around the office. I know tens of people who've died since April , 2 being close relatives and it's hard to be optimistic of the coming days. Especially when many, including myself, are flouting the Covid guidelines- sanitise, wear a mask, social distance. I yoyo between paranoia, despair, gratitude and yolo-phoria. How are you holding up?

Motherhood penalty

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  Of course I've heard of it. The theory that there's a price mothers pay in the the workplace for well, being mothers. I'd never thought of it till recently. My daughter and nephew came home after schools were closed in Mid March and I'm the sole parent. Five and a half months later, they travelled to  Kenya and are now staying with my sister and her family in Mombasa. In the five weeks they've been away, I have attended a 3 day off site team retreat and visited 2 branches for 5 days. I am typing this from a hotel room, on a 3 day field visit to a 3rd branch. The only way I am able to travel this extensively and for long periods is because I no longer have care giving duties. I'm lucky that my remuneration isn't directly tied to these field trips. Millions of working mothers aren't and have to make difficult choices. My heart aches for all of us.

Shame and Love

 I finally admitted to myself and the world that I want love. Which was harder than expected. And this gem of a post made me realise one of the important reasons why. The dominant residue feeling from my past romantic relationships is/ was shame. She hit the multiple nails ob the head for me and my girls. Tonnes of shame have been lifted off our shoulders  Here's some of the Bull's eyes: One of the saddest things about growing up in our culture is that we’re taught to associate unrequited feelings with shame But when situations get murky and confusing, women are usually the ones who helpfully soak up all the ambient shame in the room. So stop soaking up all of the ambient shame in the room. Picture it rolling off you onto the floor. It doesn’t belong to you, so it can’t stick. If you want to love and be loved, the very best thing you can do is to stop looking for feedback from others about how lovable or shameful you are, and build your own religion around how you dese