We love you, we all do. Myself and Sussie and Bobo. And we are rooting for you.
Although now, half the time, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
You are there, locked in yourself, and we are on the outside, feeling like we have let you down by not being able to reach your pain.
So this is my way of reaching you.
I know you have been burnt by people who feel like they need you to do more, be more, have achieved more. And to be honest, I guess I am right up there with them. Even while it may be subconscious, in my own way I am sure I have piled pressure on you.
I have been where you are. Lost and wondering what to do next. I had the pressure to get my shit together. And I couldn’t get a job, no matter how much I wanted it, I applied endlessly for all vacant positions I saw.
My dad and I had argued before I went off to campus. I went to take a course he disapproved of. So he had told me that if I finished campus and couldn’t find a job, he would not take care of my bills. So you see, I literally had a chip on my shoulder. And I knew it would kill all my pride if I went to tell him that I could not afford to house and feed myself.
So I did what I thought was the wisest move. I moved to a cheaper house.
And I slept on the floor the entire time I was in that house.
But I had the most beautiful PVC carpet, sometimes I think of that carpet and smile. It was yellow and green and had patches of brown.
Then my friend lent me her matress that she has stacked below her bed since she didn’t use it. And off I was to adult living.
Then I walked everywhere. Nakuru is pretty small so I could get along easily. I had a laptop my mum had got me. And a friend had introduced me to this guy who was in need of people to do online writing for him. So I met him. And thus begun my life of writing articles for people.
And I was happy. I felt so much like a grown up in that period than I have after. I was making just enough for rent and food and small expenses. I also volunteered with I Choose Life Africa, when they had trainings.
Then when I was not writing, or training, or serving in church, or studying for CPA exams, I applied to jobs. I applied so hard and with so much hope. Every time they didn’t reply, or they simply said they would call back and never did, I knew for sure that it was a personal rejection.
My point is Nas, live through this place, live through the lack of knowing when the next rent will come from.
Then don’t push away your tribe. My friends at church came through with reports of openings at their places of work. And I was grateful when I got lifts to go places that would have taken me two hours to walk to. I used to walk for two hours to get to my practice sessions. And I literally had only three pairs of shoes. A pair of Maasai Sandals and a pair of converse rubbers and a pair of those plastic shoes that sell for KES 200.
And also, revel in the moment. It seems spiteful right now. To ask you to revel in it. But I look back on that time with awe at how blatantly courageous I was. Maybe even blatantly stupid. I am sure if I had reached out to my dad, he would have been happy to sort me financially. And I remember my small cracked floor house with tenderness. I was happy and dog tired every time I went to sleep. I made the most thought out meals using kales and made rice all manners of ways. It was the same ingredients made very different ways. And I remember telling myself that one day I would afford to buy myself meat and make meals that would be more “expensive”.
Then remember to dream.
Dream that one day you shall have more pairs of shoes, or more than five changes of clothes. Dream that one day you shall have the luxury of being able to have options.
Sit with yourself.
Be open to know what you want and don’t want. And to dare to hope for those things.
I hope you know that you are loved, and wanted even when it doesn’t feel that way most of the time.