LIFE

TIME.

Well would you look at that, its November, two months left to the end of this year… Time really is flying isn’t it?

While having dinner at a friend’s house recently, one of the conversations that came up was one we may all be familiar with… of a friend who happened to leave the country for studies and unfortunately ended up getting involved with drugs, and had to drop out. Fortunately the person upon returning was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around.

However, what inspired this post was a comment my friend happened to make…

“Yeah well he wasted 5 years of his life”

But did he really? 

Obviously in comparison to his friends, he would be considered to be ‘behind in life’. I personally however do not believe there’s anything like having ‘wasted’ time in your life. Let me explain why:

Where you are in this given moment, is exactly where you’re supposed to be in order to make a difference in this world’ – Me

I started saying this phrase when some of my mum’s friends would question why I was going into university after their children, yet we started school together. The comparison used to really weigh in on me, and I began feeling slightly embarrassed.

‘Have I let down my parents?’

‘Will I never be able to make something out of myself because I’m behind?’

‘Oh no, now they’ll get ahead with life and I’ll be left behind’

These are just some of the questions that would instantly flow through my mind at the time, and honestly they are quite depressing.

However, two years later, I am appreciative of where I am and how much I have matured. I would definitely not be the same person had I rushed into university. All the people I’ve met and activities I have participated have shaped me into who I am today. In fact, this blog is as a result of me going to University when I did, I’d never have gathered the courage to share my thoughts with you if otherwise.

Same goes for the guy in the story, for him to get to where he is today, he had to go through what he did for those 5 years which people claim he wasted. They weren’t a waste as they taught him valuable lessons that hopefully could be a driving factor to his influence on the world. Those 5 years steered him in the direction he is destined to be going. He had to lose himself  first to find his calling.

The fact that we each have different paths and callings is the reason I do not believe in the phrase ‘You’re losing time’. The main reason we are so used to this is because we enjoy comparing our life to that of the person next to us; very illogical seeing as we are different in almost every aspect. Different purposes, different goals.

Next time you think that you’re losing time by postponing a major event in your life such as making the decision to go into University, Start a business or even get married, stop and ask yourself:

  1. Who am I comparing myself to?
  2. Why do I feel pressured to do this?
  3. Am I ready to do this?

I believe that asking yourself this will help you realise that this life you’re  living is your own, and no one should rush or pressure you to doing things that you do not feel prepared to do. There is a reason for everything including the fact that you don’t feel  ready. Possibly that’s not the path you should be following or it isn’t the right time for you.

Hesitation is also an answer

Recently, Ariana Grande released a song that as lyrics I believe resonate with what I’m trying to say.

The song is called ‘thank u, next

‘I got so much love, got so much patience…

I’ve learnt from my pain, I’ve turned out amazing’

Have a listen to it 🙂

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I really like this picture; The fact I could look so calm and collected when I was really a wreck on the inside is amazing.

 

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LIFE

TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS

‘ The prerequisite for spending time with people is that they will feed your flame’ – Will Smith.

Sometimes I sit and reflect on these words, wishing that I had heard them early last year;  I probably would have avoided the pain and a near-depressing episode. But when I really think about it, everything happens for a reason, you either gain something or you lose. Either way though, valuable lessons are learnt.

In this digital age, we are definitely blessed to have social media platforms which we use to share information as well as show our love and appreciation for those we consider dear to us. We celebrate them on a daily basis for being there with us.. in good times and in bad..in sickness and in health. But as with everything else, we tend to only talk about the good times; avoiding even within ourselves discussing the impact of a toxic friendship.

Its taken me months to begin scrambling out of the dark pit I found myself in after a betrayal I was not in any way prepared for. Now I’ll be honest, I saw ALL the red flags, {and they were plenty}, but as always I choose to see the good in someone and give them fresh slates all while promising myself that it would be the final one. It became a cycle, 1 and a half years, but one that had to be broken eventually.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes saying ‘You could have just stopped being friends.  You should have walked away.’ If only it was that easy. Its not in anyone’s conscience to just up and leave someone who told you they suffer from a mental disorder and has in fact self-harmed in front of you. How do you gather up the strength to ignore your conscience and leave? How do you shut off from their cries for help? How do you walk away, with the thoughts of something going wrong at the forefront of your thoughts? Reality is, you can’t do it, in as much as you may want to.. not at first anyway. You first have to fall so far down the pit of goodwill before realising that the end only comes when you have given everything of yourself and there’s nothing left.

There are some signs to look out for that I’ve picked up along the way, both from this incident and another. Hopefully they may help someone else.

THE SIGNS:

  1. Non-Supportive

Toxic friends will not support anything about you, or if they do it will be half heartedly; as though they’ve been forced

2.   Competitive

Anything you have or want, they’ll for some strange reason get it as well or tend to try get it before you

3. Will always try bring you down

Thing about this one is that it happens so subtly; can easily be brushed off as banter. The worst part is if they touch on your insecurities. This is the absolute red flag for me, any genuine friend should never; not even in a joking way bring up any of the insecurities you felt comfortable discussing with them.

4. Will only be your friend when its convenient for them

They have a problem or are bored? They’ll hit you up even when they know its forcing you to go out of your way.. because you’re the good friend. You have a problem? Yeah deal with it yourself; or even worse try convince you that you’re overreacting and whatever is bothering you is really minor even when its not.

The truth is though, everyone is really just looking out for themselves and they can’t be blamed for that. There are good people out there; sometimes you just have to experience the negative ones so that you can truly appreciate the good ones that come along or have been there the entire time.

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So unrelated, but enjoy this picture of me in my dad’s coat during simpler times.

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LIFE

Remember how as children, we’d sometimes compete to see who could hold their breath the longest?

It would all start with a really big deep breath, which was then followed by shutting your mouth as tight as possible and to avoid cheating, someone would pinch your nose.

Everything would be fine at first, you felt confident you could last as long as possible (well longer than your opponent anyway), but then slowly your chest starts tightening as your body screams for oxygen, yet there you are trying to fight the urge to give in. Four seconds later, there you are on the floor gasping for air!

How good did that taste of fresh air feel going down to your lungs? Amazing right?

  • BREATHE

I’ve recently been finding life to be an imitation of exactly that. Holding in the air is me acting as though everything is okay when it really isn’t. I’ve been pushing the truth to the back of my mind while other times I opt to ignore it and move on as swiftly as possible. I’ve managed to last quite a while (I’m talking a few years) through this. Fortunately,my four seconds have come to an end and now, I’m falling to the floor. I’m gasping for air; the tightening of my chest is immense.. I keep breaking down

  • BREATHE

Its a hard pill to swallow but its so easy to be broken to the point you lose yourself. If you’re like me you’ll give of yourself until you have no more of you to give you. You’ll find yourself giving to everyone you consider close to you; friends and family alike. It can get so bad that the guilt of distancing yourself from everyone for a while to focus on you prevents you from healing. In fact you end up so preoccupied fixing others that you don’t take time to realise that you’re also broken. The signs, they’re there but you choose to ignore them until you can’t ignore them any longer.

  • BREATHE

2018, so far has definitely been a suffocating year for me. From experiencing betrayal in a way led me towards a depressing period of my life, to losing my favourite uncle and being unable to attend his funeral, to other more personal issues that have worked hard to drain me of all my energy. I’ve been desperate for the slightest  gulp of fresh air for the longest time without actually realising it. I guess having a 4 month break from school is actually a good thing; my main distraction was taken away and I was forced to see my life as it is.

  • BREATHE

Fact is, this life we live in is filled with ups and downs. However, we sometimes have no idea of the extent to which those different moments can damage us. I’ve come to appreciate that only way to actually be present and aware of this is through self reflection; giving yourself time away from noise and distractions to be truly open and honest with yourself. This is the time to discover what went wrong and at what time, discover your reactions to that, appreciate the damage you may have caused to yourself and to others alike, try make amends where you can and then begin the process of rebuilding yourself keeping in mind that it won’t happen in a day.

Finally, through everything you go through in this life, don’t forget to BREATHE and reach out for help when you feel as though you’re struggling.

Feel free to reach out to me as well if you think you don’t have anyone to talk to 🙂 

 

‘The world breaks everyone but after, many are strong in the broken places’

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BREATHE.

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LIFE

HOME.

When asked what home is to them, a vast majority of people would respond by saying ‘Its where I live’ – a structure. While that in itself is an answer, it may not be the most accurate response. (Everyone is entitled to their own opinion).

Sometimes, your home in its physical sense is just that, a structure with which you find your shelter from horrible weather, the place you have your own/ shared place on which to lay your head after a long day, it doesn’t feel like how a home should. Instead of providing you with the taste of peace and love, you arrive there just to find a continuation of all the negative energy surrounding you in the outside world.

You may ask, what is home to you then?

The past few months have been quite tough for me. It is in these dark moments that I began my journey HOME. I don’t live with my parents majority of the year and so finding home wasn’t a matter of walking into my parents’ home to plenty of food and drink. It was a matter of finding myself, what I love and what I don’t, figuring out why I was placed on this earth, all while going about my daily life.

I can’t say that I’m home yet, but I’m definitely closer than I was when this year begun. It definitely was thanks to my trying period this year that I realised how far away from home I was. It took life shoving me straight into a storm that helped me open my eyes. When the storm finally began to settle, I decided its time to find my way home.

Some of the few landmarks that have helped me along the way include:

  • Being comfortable with myself – This is something I thought I was okay with but turns out I still need to practice it a bit more. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy; there are days I feel like I’m the sh*t and then proceed to feel completely disgusted with myself the very next day; literally less than 12 hours later. It just happens and its completely normal. As I wrote in a previous post { INSECURITY; IT EATS YOU FROM INSIDE.} sometimes those we think are close to us, can use our insecurities to try bring us down. But when you’re comfortable with yourself and your flaws, keeping in mind that no one is perfect, you won’t let this phase you and hence will be one step closer to being comfortable with yourself.
  • Liberating myself from the ‘group mentality’ – This occurs when individuals act collectively, mostly without sense of direction. I don’t think we realise how easy it can be for anyone to fall into group think; more so with those who may suffer from low self- confidence. Speaking from experience, it begins when you agree to something that deep down know you’d rather not, or when you’re made to feel that something you love isn’t worthy of attention. You’re afraid to speak out, so you just go along with it. Slowly and without realising it, your flame is extinguished and you may no longer see the need of doing what you love. One way of escaping this is learning to speak out, even when you’re afraid to. Practice this often, and eventually it’ll become like second nature to you. Another way is:
  • Spending time with and by yourself. – The best way to discover and understand yourself is to actually spend time alone. Just like you’d go on dates with people to get to know them more, so should you do that with yourself. Despite what society may try make us believe, its not weird to take yourself on dates and enjoy your own company. Most time it is what we truly need. We get to recollect our thoughts and do whatever we feel like without the fear of letting others down or feeling rushed at some place because the other person you’re with just has to get home. Other times, its best to just curl up into a ball, under the bedsheets and watch all the movies we love. One can also choose to sleep, read or catch up on the hobbies that their busy life has been keeping them away from.

‘ We need quiet time to examine ourselves openly and honestly- spending time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself  and create order’- Susan L. Taylor

  •  Finding your outlet – If you’re like me, and I’m sure a good number of you are, opening up is not easy; in fact it may possibly not even be an option. Its not that the people around you aren’t trustworthy; you’ve just secured the position of the strong one/ the one who seems to have their life in order, but you know that thats not necessarily true. That being said, it is very easy to get worn down by the obstacles life throws your way. To avoid breaking down, its important to have some kind of outlet. For me, its the gym. There’s something about pushing beyond my limits and breaking down the barriers my own mind creates that makes it just a little bit easier to breathe. Like I said above, the past few months have been somehow dark, and were getting darker with each passing day. I had taken a break from the gym to go on my volunteering expedition, and things seemed okay because I was distracted and disconnected. Once I was back, everything came rushing back, almost all at once and brought with them new obstacles, I needed to let it out. Getting back to the gym has been painful yes, but I feel lighter, both physically and mentally. I’ve come to appreciate it as my space; I can be distracted but at the same time clear my mind enough to try sort out the things that are bothering me.
  • Knowing your people- You know those people you can be yourself around? The ones who you don’t need to talk to everyday but you’ll always try to be there for one another when need be. Those are the ones you keep close to your heart. Why? Because when you’re around them, you feel at home. Coming back for the holidays has definitely been refreshing for me. I’ve managed to meet most of my people and I can say for a fact that I feel more at peace now than I was before. This is something I noticed after my best friend came visiting last week. Being able to unpack and open up was one thing i didn’t realise I needed. We don’t always have the best responses and in fact may find ourselves with no response to certain situations, but I’ve come to appreciate that someones presence or listening ear may be the one thing you need.
  • Being gentle on yourself–  I’ll just leave this to my KIPEPEO, to explain it here : GENTLE  

In summary what am I saying?

Home, is definitely wherever your heart is. Its with those you hold dear to yourself; be it friends or family. Home however, starts with you. You begin building your home by working on yourself, showing yourself love and doing what excites you. From there you attract those who resonate with you and are willing to help you build and vice versa. However, just like the physical structure, your home will attract those with ill intentions, the ones who will want to bring you down. To prevent that, you definitely need to ensure your barriers are high enough to block them out.

Find yourself, build your home and ensure that you secure it as well. 🙂

Home should feel like the taste of a cold milkshake from Java on a hot day.

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TRAVEL

THE HIDDEN BEAUTY THAT IS FIJI.

Jet-lag has had me sleeping continuously for the past 3 days since my arrival back into the U.K and it’s definitely not done with me just yet. I’m not complaining though, anyone who knows me knows that if presented with a choice of two activities, one being sleep, I’d always choose sleep. However, falling asleep at the weirdest times in the most uncomfortable places isn’t anything I signed up for. Fiji, was, as you’ll soon find out definitely worth it.

Departing from London’s busy Heathrow airport, was nothing  compared to my arrival into Fiji’s Nandi International airport. Of all the landings I’ve ever experienced, Fiji definitely wins by a landslide for the most beautiful views from above. It starts, all water and then gradually as you approach one of the main islands, Viti Levu, land appears from the water in the most magnificent of ways, and suddenly you see signs of human life; the green of the hills, the grey of the mabati sheets (corrugated iron) that they use to build their bures (houses) and cars on the road. Even then, you are definitely not prepared for what awaits you when you actually step foot on the island. Travelling for 28+ hours is no easy feat, but, and feel free to quote me on this, the destination is definitely worth the length of that journey.

If you travel often, you know the worst part about arriving your destination is meeting the immigration officers. It’s quite intimidating because one wrong word and they’re onto your case. Well Fijians do things very differently, as you walk into the immigration section, you are welcomed with live acoustic music and wide smiles. This one simple act definitely lessens your nerves which you later discover weren’t necessary since the immigration officers themselves are quite friendly. Added bonus to this trip was the fact that Kenya (and a number of other countries) is visa-exempt. For the first time I didn’t have to go through the stress of obtaining a visa to enter a country. All you need is your passport and flight ticket.

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The men usually wear shirts and a Sarong.

If I show you a world map, would you be able to locate Fiji?

I wouldn’t be surprised that a majority of people have no idea where Fiji is. In fact I can bet 90% of people only know of Fiji because of their Rugby 7s team.

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Photo courtesy of soileiragusgonta.com

Located at the South Pacific, Fiji appears literally as a dot (or in our case, the star) on the world map. It however, is made up of 322 islands, the biggest being Viti Levu, which is where the capital, Suva, is located and Vanua Levu. Being in Fiji made me realise that the Fijians are in their own bubble whether or not they realise it themselves. They are awake when everyone else is asleep and asleep when the rest of the world is awake. To make it a bit more clearer, Fiji is a good 9 hours ahead of Kenya. In all honesty, time difference is one of the many advantages Fiji has; that and the distance between them and the rest of the world. (Chinese have however found heir way there as they have everywhere else 🙂 )

I had the opportunity of visiting Fiji during their ‘winter’ period. I say this lightly because I was sweating profusely by the time I disembarked from that plane and made my way into immigration. It was only 8 a.m and the temperatures were already as high as  24 degrees celsius . However, the heat was just a slight inconvenience which I got used to over time.

Aki nibebee Unga ya chapati na ugali. Na usisahau majani chai na..’  ( Please bring for me Chapati*and ugali* flour. and don’t forget..). This is the most common request you’ll hear anyone living abroad give to another travelling to them from the motherland. It’s not even surprising that we may be violating customs by bringing in foodstuffs from outside the destination country, but they don’t say anything so we don’t bother to be cautious..right?

Well, being an island far away from everyone else, Fiji strives to protect her biosphere. This is evident because before you can proceed to the arrivals terminal of the airport, you have to go through screening. The biosphere officers take great caution on what can enter the country. In fact you have to declare if:

  1. You have visited a farm in the days prior to arrival in Fiji.
  2. You have in your possession any tinned food/ fruits.
  3. You have anything else that is restricted in Fiji.

Refusing to declare and being found with anything illegal results in a thorough search of you and your bags and, if anything is found imposition of a heavy fine which must be paid in cash at the moment.

Once you leave the airport, it’s a breath of fresh air. The cool breeze coming in through the windows to cool you down, the warm smiles and waves of pedestrians who shout “Bula!” when they see you and all that topped up by the smooth roads you travel on. I did not encounter one single pothole during my stay in Fiji. To say I was impressed would be a lie, I was more than that and slightly embarrassed when I compared what I was seeing to the current state of Kenya’s infrastructure.

The long drive towards Suva (capital city) and as well towards Namosi Highlands (where I stayed for 3 weeks), left me absolutely speechless. The Pacific Ocean, a deep blue farther out, blended seamlessly with the lighter blue closer to the shore and looked magnificent on the right side of the road. While on the left, hills, filled with grass, and trees, showing the different shades of green depending on where the sun’s rays touched. Seeing cows, and horses grazing peacefully and having the scent of food, especially the rice and meat cooking in the structures on the side of the road really made me realise how far away from home I actually was. It was at that moment that I kind of missed home, but I managed to push that feeling out of my mind and continued to take in the beauty of where I was.

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EXPERIENCING THE FIJIAN WAY OF LIFE

Culture in its most basic form is defined as the way of life of a group of people.

By the time you’re visiting a new country, more often than not you’re either going to face a completely new culture, or one that is similar to yours in some ways. Whatever the case, do not go trying to make changes to suit your lifestyle. That is an insult to the community you are visiting. Instead, go with an open mind, ready to learn new things, try correct in a subtle manner but remember, if it’s not your culture you may have to take the long route to make any changes.

Fiji is one of the few countries I can say have really tried to preserve their culture while still adapting to changing times. Going to live in an actual Fijian village enabled me to experience this culture first hand and in turn learnt to appreciate where I am from even more.

Below is a summary of their culture, I found it not so different from the culture back in Kenya which helped me adjust quite fast.

Family – Basic unit of the clan. The father is the head of the family. He is so revered that he has his own door in the house located at the front of the house. Everyone else uses the family door or the kitchen door.

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This was our family picture taken in front of our house on the last day. The door shown is the father’s door. P.S Notice my Vava rocking the Dashiki I gifted him 🙂 

In addition to that, the village have a community hall where village meals are hosted, events are held and Kava (their traditional drink) is drunk for a large number of people

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The villages are led by a chief, who sits at the front during ceremonies, and he is assisted by his Turanikoro (the speaker).

I must add that family is so important to them. When we were in the village we were assimilated into the families and I’m sure if any of us were to return, we’d be welcomed with open arms.

Roles – As it was with most African communities back in the day, roles in the Fijian culture are divided along gender lines. For example, men are responsible for building houses/ providing security while the women stay home and cook/clean/take care of the children. However, the girls still go to school and luckily are allowed to participate in sports. In fact when we were there we were honoured to meet one of the 2 girls in the province who plays rugby competitively with the boys.

Customs/ Rituals – Fijians always welcome you into their home when they are having a meal. Kerekere (sharing) means that the villagers are not supposed to let anyone pass their home without offering them some food or a place to stay if they are travelling. This works for them because they don’t really have the issue of insecurity.

In addition to that, as the pictures above show, everything is done on the floor. Meals are eaten while sitting on the floor and sleeping is also don’t on the floor. My volunteer sister and I however, were lucky to get a house with a bed in our own separate room, which our family insisted we use. If you walk into a room where people are sitting down, it is custom that you sit as well even though you’re there for a few minutes just because being at a level higher than the rest is a sign of power/esteem.

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Our nene’s banana cake was hands down the best!

I know this is something that’s common everywhere, but it’s quite prominent in Fiji. Remove shoes before entering any building. That includes, houses, community hall, offices and even classrooms.

Dressing– While in the village setting and when working in schools, girls were not allowed to wear any revealing clothes, we were wearing maxi dresses and tops with sleeves or the sulu with a top. It was a bit more lenient for the guys as they could wear short, but had to wear shirts with sleeves as well. However, during solemn ceremonies they also had to wear their sulu or traditional sarong. In all honesty I didn’t find it hard adapting to this mode of dressing. I had carried my deras and they helped me survive !

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Our school made outfits for us as a farewell gift,

We were allowed to wear knee-length shorts or 3/4  leggings when we went out for excursions but we had to cover up before getting into the village.

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While by the river for swimming

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Covering up before heading back to the village

Sports- I think I don’t have to say it. The fact that Fijians take sports very seriously. I mean if you look at their physiques you can tell that being active is just a part of their lives. However, it isn’t just in Rugby which is their national sport. They also play netball and volleyball very well. While in Fiji we had the chance of celebrating a national holiday with them. Would you believe me if I told you that it was their National sports day though? We spent that day competing with one of the villages and I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I tell you we lost pretty much all our games 🙂 but it was all fun.

It’s so unfortunate that I had to leave that little paradise and come back to my reality.

To Fiji, especially Vunidavo village all I can say is a massive Vinaka Vaka Levu (thank you very much) for the three weeks I spent with you and the lessons I learnt 🙂

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Sunsets in the village were definitely the best. ❤

N.B/

  • *Chapati and ugali are local dishes eaten in Kenya
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LIFE

TO THE ‘STRONG’ FRIEND

There was a tweet I saw on Twitter some time back:

You’re not the strong friend, you just failed to set your boundaries.’  

I’m on the fence with this statement. On one side I feel it was something said out of ignorance, on the other side, it bears a lot of truth for the vast majority of those classified as the ‘strong’ friend.

To the strong friend,

Know that you are treasured and loved, that someone somewhere is able to get through their day because you took your time to listen and understand them. You didn’t throw any judgments their way as they confided in you, nor did you just let the information pass you by. Instead you, with your empathetic nature, were able to correct them in the areas they fail at and at the same time, lift and encourage them in those that they are giving up on. In fact, you push them towards trying new things which you see they have the capability to excel at.

You’ve dedicated your time, precious and limited, to ensuring those you care about are able to go about their daily lives. Don’t you see the great sacrifices you make? Calling them when you know they need someone to talk to, being there when they need a shoulder to cry on? Welcoming them into your home when they want to run away from theirs?

You’re giving your time, making sacrifices for them because you value them. You’re able to detach yourself from being selfish and uncaring to being able to accommodate others.

but..

Who is there for you when you break down? They don’t see the tears you cry when you close your bedroom door nor do they notice the stress lines you’re developing from having to carry their burdens in addition to your own.

They call you when they’re doing good, to talk about their successes, to share their joyous moments because that’s what friends do. But what kind of friend barely tries to find out how  you are doing? Is it that they actually do not give a single damn if you’re alright or not. I won’t deny, they do ask, but only for a brief second, how you are, it’s more a formality than anything else. You answer the generic ‘I’m fine’  , but in a way that says ‘I’m not fine, please ask me once more’  unfortunately you’re the strong one and so they accept it as is and move on.

And now you’re finding yourself, drowning in all your problems; school, family, your relationships. The worst part is any straw you were trying to desperately clutch at, is further away now that you’re also dealing with the issues of your friends as well.

See, you’ve failed to set your boundaries. You’ve failed to show what as well as how much you can tolerate. You think that just because you’re the stronger one, you don’t deserve to  have time to yourself, or to have a shoulder to lean/ cry on. You’re breaking slowly, falling into depression and there’s no one around to help you. Unfortunately you trying to reach out for help causes them to turn your perceived ‘strength’ against you. The minute you try to get things focused on you, they find a way to change everything  and make it about them. You let them, because they’re the weaker ones, they deserve to be listened to and helped but you don’t.

You’ve begun using this position of yours as someone’s shoulder, to temporarily hide from your own personal issues. Can’t you see, by doing this, you’re causing yourself to be eaten from the inside out. Everyone expects you to be strong and sane, live a perfect life; you know that’s impossible but here you are trying to do it by playing hero and not focussing on the main problems in your own personal life.

See we all carry our own problems. No human being on this earth lives a life free from trouble. If it’s not one thing, it’s definitely another.

But as the strong one,who is there for you? You’ve built yourself  in such a way that you feel you have no one to go to because your friends have no time for you,

Its time to focus on you, not by refusing to help your friends, but by finding a way to take care of yourself in addition to trying to help them out. Find a balance, find peace.

 

Side Note:

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I’ve personally gone through the emotional trauma of having to deal with issues people brought to me. I was receiving it all but had nowhere to let it out. It was both mentally and physically draining. I had to find a solution, and the perfect one was learning how to put myself first. 

Remember you can’t help others if you’re unable to help yourself.

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LIFE

DEATH; THE EXIT.

‘ This is for my people who just lost somebody; your best friend, your baby, your man, or your lady.. mothers, daddies, sisters, friends and brothers, this is for my people who just lost their grandmothers. We will never say bye.’ – Bye bye Mariah Carey

When I was younger I always used to wonder who in my family would be the first to go. I was (and maybe still am) interested in my own position in that line. Unfortunately the list has begun to reveal itself..

This train of thought used to make me fear death completely, ‘how is it possible to just stop breathing ?’ ‘Is it painful?’ ‘Which is better; death in your sleep or being shot?’ Truth is these are just mundane questions whose answers we will never really know; one can only imagine , never actually coming to a solid answer. Why? Because we have to experience it.

I have a theory,

‘ A person in their final days knows it; they just can’t tell anyone about it for the fact that its personal. In any case, no one will believe you or they’ll quickly dismiss you as you talk to them, perhaps calling it ‘bad/dark thoughts.’

Now I’m sure you’re wondering how/ why/ when I came up with this. Well, simply from observation as well as hearing as people recount the last moments they shared with the deceased. There’s that line that is so commonly said ‘ Its like they knew they were going‘. The most intimate time I heard that line being used was after the death of my Late Aunt Ciru, and looking back at her final months and days, it was as if she knew…

Only problem is, being human, we never want to think about it [death], so we can only wait for it to show up at our doorsteps, something I must admit is quite the bad habit.

‘Why do you live like tomorrow is promised?’

How easy is it for us to say things like ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ or ‘Can we meet next week instead?’ To be fair, I agree on the unpredictability of this life we are living. There are times when circumstances just do not allow us to do all we want/ set our minds to do in a given day. It may be stress levels/ unfavourable weather/ work overload, you name it.

However, if you really reflect on it, there’s been times you just rescheduled or procrastinated because you assumed ‘tomorrow‘ is another day that will be granted to  you. If you’re reading this, obviously your assumption came to pass, but that luck can’t last forever.

With death, more often than not, comes the feeling of regret. This emotion always reveals itself in subtle and not so subtle forms after the demise of someone. We always hear it, we always express it in our words…

We were supposed to..but I put it off’

‘I actually wanted to come see him/her last week..but’

‘I wish our last conversation wasn’t a fight…’

‘I wish I knew they were suffering/ I wish I did something..’

I have personally been a victim of this myself. Exactly one year and a week ago, my grandfather passed away…. unexpectedly. Just a week prior, mum had told me to call him and let him know that I was home. I instead suggested we go see him over the weekend when he was free (mainly because I’m very uncomfortable with phone calls, something I’ve really been struggling to change since). As you may already have figured it out, I did not get to see him because he proceeded to fall seriously ill a day or two later; and unfortunately he did not want us to see him in that state. I should have gone though, I should have forced issues, I shouldn’t have entertained guests in the house while he was dying in a hospital bed… (R.E.G.R.E.T). He died, and it took me months to be at peace with it and forgive myself for putting unimportant things before the ones that matter most to me.

There’s honestly nothing as bad, as looking down at the coffin of someone you love and get overwhelmed with sadness.  True, death is a sad occurrence in the fact that we lose someone we love, but it really should be about celebrating the fact that they lived and we got to be a part of their life. So tell me, why did I, why do we, feel regret when it happens?

‘We need to live our lives as if we were to die tomorrow.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

Death or even the thought of it, changes us; directly or indirectly and whether we like it or not.

I don’t know if you’ve read stories of patient’s who are given a few months/years to live and how they sometimes manage to accomplish a lot before their time comes. I always find such interesting. I mean, imagine ticking many things off your bucket list in a limited time.. the mere thought of going without having done much appears to be the force that pushes us to go the extra mile.

Maybe living with the thought that the next 24 hours may be our last is a habit we need to learn to practice. ‘If these were my last 24 hours, how would I want to spend them?’

How do you want to be remembered? and what do you want to be remembered for? Some of us will be great; known across all continents of the world, make millions. Some of us will be unknown; surviving, making money but choosing to remain unknown. Whatever our path, the destination is the same; 6 feet in. So what really matters is what you leave behind, how do you want to be remembered?

Truth is, you’ll mainly be remembered for the number of people whose lives you touched and somehow changed.

I’ll end with lyrics from a song I heard once, a while back that really are the reason I chose to write on this topic (I’ve never found the song unfortunately)

” I heard you die twice, Once when they lower you into your grave. The second when they stop saying your name.”

 

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‘You’re alive because you haven’t reached your best yet’ – Eric Thomas

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