Thursday, 3 January 2019

Hi 2019, So Happy to See You!



One of the perks about getting older is,
You are always so happy to discover yourself.

You eventually & begrudgingly accept that "fitting in" will never happen,
 and thankfully that provides space for more productive hours in your life.

All that time you would spend molding yourself to seamlessly camouflage among the crowds,
you now spend getting to know yourself and what you can do.

And so, in the spirit of adulting in 2019,
I have a confession to make about me, about myself.

*clears throat*.

*takes a deep breath*

I loooooaaaathe the month of December!

I hate it!

I know...I know... WTH?

First don't freak out...don't get upset.

Freedom of speech still sort of works,
I am allowed to express my STRONG repugnance of all things regarding the Xmas holidays.

Yes...these are  big words.
However, I am a grown woman,
who can use a dictionary, even if my grammar usage is questionable .
I  know the definitions of these words.
 I know they must be used after serious consideration and thought.

I am not stuttering.
Let me  assure you, these are not  type-Os.

Let me also be very clear once more...
I mislike the last month of the Julian/ Gregorian Calendar year.

My apologies to all  those Christmas enthusiasts,
yes you with the red hat,
 and matching red outfit busy humming 'We wish you a Merry Christmas....".
(I heard you secretly singing it in June...)
Feel free to carry on with your festive engagements.
Freedom of expression is also allowed.

For me however,
Those final 31 days of the earth circling the yellow dwarf star,
feel like trudging through swampy murky muddy aqua.

It's an internal aversion,
my body hates it;
 I try to be merry & chipper,
though I always fail ,
In 2018, we decorated a tree.
I bought two gargantuan chocolate Santas
We, my nephews, nieces and I, danced around the living room
to the song, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree;
but my body refused to oblige.
Instead, I fantasized about escaping to a fabulous tranquil beach somewhere,
when December rears it's nauseating cheery head again this year.
Can you book a holiday 355 days in advance?

I felt like I was literally carrying around sacks of coal the whole time,
and I didn't want to infect everyone's jubilant mood.
So I asked my body,

"Why.....what happened to us? "

But it won't divulge it's secret.

"We do not like or look forward to Christmas..that's all!" it replied,
 "Bah-humburg to the whole jolly season!"


Disney's Christmas Carol ( Credit: fanpop.com)

For the record this is not about  Jesus.
This has nothing to do with Him.
I love Jesus.

I cherish all moments of prayer.
I go for mass on Sundays and any day of the week I can manage.
I love the nativity story. I make time to read it throughout the year.
I am not questioning my commitment as a christian.



I just seem to not like how we have decided to celebrate the end of the year.

So there...now you know.
I feel really bad about my lack of Christmas spirit.
No quite sure if this is something that can be fixed or healed.
Not sure if I want to spend any time trying.

But I have discovered something else about myself...
Let me tell you all about how WE, my body and I, feel about the new year...

Like this...Like this ....exactly like this! ( credit:patch.com)

On Monday (31 Dec 2018) I found myself wondering through the day,
 with unusual fizzy feelings in my stomach.
Just like how the light orange form bubbles in Fanta whizz up the glass as you pour,
 My tummy was having a house party which I wasn't informed about.
 Couldn't sit still.
Could not focus.

At 5.00 pm  when I got home,
from work and last-day-of-year-errands,
  I had to stop and self assess...
Was that REALLY excitement or the beginning of a nasty bacteria infection?

"For what?" I thought.

"The NEEEEEEEEEW Yeeeeeear!" My gut shouted back.

"Seriously?" my pessimistic self replied

"Yes, think of all the great things we shall do!" My gut replied

Then my stomach  twirled like Kenya Moore in Real Housewives of Atlanta

I AM A NEW YEAR PERSON! πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Credit: Bravo TV

But...like..I...what...how...when did this happen?

I don't know, but I have decided to ride this wave of enthusiasm for ALL its worth.

Me....this is Me right now...
I love the new year.

I am about the beginning, not the end.

We start all over again

We set goals.

We clean & clear things out.

We organize ourselves.

We unfollow, unfriend, block, delete.

 We continue with on-going projects with re-energized zeal and relish

We work, We learn, We grow, We love, We achieve throughout the year.

I am literally just bouncing around the world like a firework in a Katy Perry  music video right now!

Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the room, room, room
(I promise this lyric sounds better when you sing it.)




As you know life can sometimes have its own plans,
So leave me alone, let me be in this unexpected naive bliss of optimism
just some few days into the new year....

This post is my love letter to those of us who struggle through December.
It really isn't everyone's month.

Some of us are reminded of terrible losses.
We are altered and tarnished by the world.
December is for holding our breath, cause we are drowning.

The new year though...
The new year is for bursting through the surface of the icy water.

We have survived. 

Ready to begin a fresh!

With zeal.

With relish.

With gusto.

This blog post is for you.

Hang in there, you made it through. We did it!

Here's to 2019!

Cheers! 🍷🍸🍹🍺




Friday, 28 December 2018

Taking Stock: Thank you 2018!




Making: Focusing on growing & nurturing my current professional skills and personal creative passions into something tangible, is my biggest priority at present.
It's no secret I love to learn, I just don't like tests or exams!  
But there is an imbalance in other areas of my life and at some point in 2019 I need to address them with the same vigor and maturity I bring to my work/creative life. 
By the way...I am still painting, maybe I shall share my attempts on here soon.


Drinking: I am back on Kwenu's celery juice, and still drinking as much water 
as I can get into my busy schedule, most especially now that I have made physical exercise a regular activity. So much so, that I am now unable to sleep properly throughout the night if I miss my 30 minutes of aerobics/jump roping/light jogging in the evening.


Reading: Below is a screenshot of my completed Goodreads' 12 book challenge for 2018. I lost the gusto for reading in June I dragged myself through the last three books in August. There are at least 15 unread books scattered across my room, and three of them are poetry books. To my shock, I have discovered, sometimes a stanza of poetry lights a fire in me to write, hence my unlikely purchases...




Playing: Pentatonix's Christmas Carols on repeat!


Wishing: That's a secret between myself and God.  


Enjoying: Some few days off over the holidays. It's been an intense year. At one point I arrived back from a nine day training in South Africa on Tuesday and continued with my work week, then traveled to Karamoja the following week (I get anxious all over again, just thinking about it..)  However, there have been fewer episodes of burnout over the last 365 days because I really monitored my work hours. And as part of my self love journey, I claimed overtime when I worked on weekends. Right now I am chilling at home, in the big sitting room, with our lit Christmas tree writing this blog post, and it is making me very content. You know...I woke up at 12.00 pm today. I can't remember the last time time I did that...maybe in my teens? Or the days after I handed in my last assignment for my bachelors...who knows? 


Writing: I took some Skillshare courses on non-fiction writing this year. Wow, the muse has my pen and hand burning on paper .I just need to buckle down and complete each writing project properly.


Loving: My new clothes purchased during my extra time in Bangkok. I feel for once I bought clothes that represent my personality. I even bought some cool pin accessories.


Eating: Cafe Java's Apple Pie Blondie...cause it's the holidays and therefore...


Needing: Time in 2019, to rest and rejuvenate, but  with all the wonderful ideas & goals I would like to accomplish... when will I schedule in this precious time to fully recuperate?


Wearing: Still in love with lipsticks and eye make up. Added the Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette to the collection, a MAC satin lipstick called Media that looks like nude colored butter on my lips, and lastly Sleek Makeup's I-Divine Vintage Romance Palette has fantastic purple shades for my black brown eyes.


Knowing: Some internal work needs to be done, 
but haven't yet figured out how things will be fixed... #adulting


Giggling Over: Evelyn From The Internets'  old 2015 and 2014 VEDA videos, sometimes I just need a good laugh and her storytelling and foolery always cheer me up!


In the comments below, your major taking stock moments of 2018 please...😊

Monday, 17 December 2018

My Favorite You Tube Videos of 2018 - Watch & Be Inspired...



In this day and age when we struggle to concentrate for long periods of time,
because so much online content is trying to catch our attention ,
whether it is useful or  useless
or purposeful or purpose-less;
I have decided to do my duty as a millennial and share videos,
I enjoyed watching on You Tube this year

So load some data,
and get watching,
Hopefully you'll enjoy them.
😁😁😁😁😁



Video Essayists 

At the end of last year I discovered video essayists on You Tube, by coming across Nerdwriter1.
These are a thoughtful and articulate crowd of You Tubers, who have helped me learn so much about topics I never would have thought to discover on my own. Some evenings and weekends you can find me glued to my phone screen for 30 minutes at a time just watching these types of videos

For example how Walt Disney and team re-wrote Mary Poppins for the big screen was  an eye opener. Is it fair for them to' 'sprinkle' our problematic past as humans with 'fairy dust'?

We all still listen to the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, so a video essay about how her music has stood the test of time is a must watch.

And...like who isn't a Toy Story Fan? But did you know they almost lost  the whole of movie number 2?

So instead of sitting down to a cozy night by the TV, get your computer/phone out instead and have a cozy night on You Tube with Lindsay Ellis, Nerdwriter or Austin Mcconnell.

The Revisionist World of Disney- Lindsay Mills 



Lauryn Hill: 20 years of Relevance - Nerdwriter1




Remember When Pixar Accidentally deleted Toy Story 2 - Austin Mcconnell





Podcast/ Great Discussions 

I always stumble on these podcasts.
There are none I follow religiously.
However when I do find a good one, the discussion is so addictive that,
I re-watch and re-watch because I learn a lot unexpectedly.

Elon Musk talking about the perils of artificial intelligence with Joe Rogan ,
 is the scariest  thing I have ever listened too, worse than a sci-fi movie!
On a lighter note Ashley Graham's interview with Noor Tagouri left me so inspired,
 I just wanted to go out and achieve all my dreams in record time lol!

Sharon Mundia making a video with Dr Karen,  seemed a brave thing for her to share.
Some of us are still learning  that we need to take care of how mental health, in the same way we do for our physical self. Society's judgement is still a major deterrent for people seeking help.  I have enjoyed their discussions and hope she keeps sharing such content on her You Tube channel. 

Then there is Carol Mutoko talking about the boy issues... it is controversial, but hey... these are the types of conversations that  make me stop scrolling on You Tube

Slate's discussion with Mona Eltahawy, got me wondering... how are we, as believers,  ensuring that our holy spaces remain sacred and safe for everyone?

So once again make yourself some tea/coffee, get comfortable and get listening!


Joe Rogan- Elon Musk  on Artificial Intelligence


Pretty Big Deal with Ashley Graham - Noor Tagouri




Trolls, Perfection and the Pressures of keeping Up with Social Media - This is Ess


The Boy Issues- Calling Out The Man Early -Caroline Mutoko


Why the #MeToo Movement is especially distressing for Muslim Women





Docu-Series Style Videos

The Discovery & the National Geographic Channels on DSTV  have failed to be a source of enjoyment, learning and discovery for me anymore.

They used be my go-too for documentaries.
My father would make my siblings and I sit down to watch at least one, once a week.

You Tube has become that place for me.

So in my choices for you below..

Learn  about the children that disappeared in Irish orphanages
owned by the Catholic Church decades ago...

Or about the big-lizard-like things that once roamed the earth....

Or even about how the beauty industry is using unsafe ingredients...

Or about the oldest hotel in India and it's charming employees...

How the Catholic Church Hid Away Hundreds of Irish Children -The New York Times



When Giant Amphibians Reigned- PBS Eons.


The Naked Truth Behind Beauty 2018 - Bri Hall



Hotel India - Barcroft TV


#CreatorsForChange 

This is a global initiative that supports creators tackling social issues and raising awareness.
I have been surprised and educated by this content.
Watched channels that I never would  have gravitated towards, and that You Tube would not have put in my 'recommended for you' section.

Also so many of them are young (25 years old  &below), with such powerful messages.  I am always left wondering what effort I am making to create positive change in the world, or even just in my small digital community. 

The following are recommended for your personal consumption...

YouTube Creators For Change Contagious- Episode 1



#findingnenek - The Girl in the Batik Dress- Beni





The Importance of Creativity

Because we ALL need to be creative every now and then....

 In order for that to happen I sometimes watch other people's content.
Then fueled by their mastery, I get cracking on my new project.

I just love KickThePJ's imagination and creativity. 
To me he is so fresh and so unique!.

Hallease makes me want to film my shots meticulously, and edit them well.
One day I want to tell my stories with her kind of finesse! #ChaoticGood

And this video by Mutua Mutheka, well I just need to try
new storytelling techniques.... but how? 

Although Rose-from-the-past's channel is dormant, this video is what every creative needs to hear.

PJ and the Bunchow - PJtheKick




This is uncomfortable - Hallease



Why Do I SHOOT?- Mutua Mutheka




Creativity and Talent - Rosefromthepast





Because We ALL need to LOL sometimes!

Sometimes it's been a long day, I need to laugh my problems away.

Evelyn From The Internets' VEDA videos from 2014, 2015 and 2016 always have me rolling.

I also discovered Elle Mills this year (another one with seeeeeeeerious film-making finesse)


Blue Ivy's Edges Are More Valuable Than You- Evelyn from the Internets


My First 4th of July - Elle Mills 




About Living Healthy Lifestyles & how should do that...

It has become important for us to search for ways to improve our lifestyles

I watched many videos this year, but Matt D'Avella and Wheezy Waiter are my current favs.  


I Quit Social Media for  30 days -Matt D'Avella



Why do People Exercise - Wheezy Waiter




Special Mention Goes To... 

If I put all the videos I enjoyed in this post, it would be two weeks long.

So I decided to add a special mention part. 

For Leena Norms who put new books on my radar...

Beauty News  for intriguing videos on make up...

Nanci Mwai for her charismatic presence....

Furry Little Peach for making me want to sketch in a museum and make  home made wrapping paper...

And Joel Jemba for  his vlog with a phone, it caught my attention cause I attended a training in this year on digital storytelling. 


Is Your Dream Career too Competitive - Leena Norms


Beauty News!




Something That You Should Know - Nanci Mwai




Sketching at the Museum -Furry Little Peach


Showing You Around Ggaba Kampala - Joel  Jemba



So that's all folks!
Hope you enjoyed, and comment below with any of your
 recommendations. I would love to discover new channels. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dear Dad, I will be here...



Dear Dad,

I delayed waking up.
Took me hours to get dressed,
You had left the house by the time I came down.

I got dressed in a fumble,
Trying to put all of  my adult myself together.

In a midst of organizing my handbag, 
I accused the driver of stealing my smart phone,
a moment of blind stupid panic.

We turned the house upside down, me & my brother,
me & your son.
 I located it two minutes later,
 carelessly placed under a pile of clean clothes 
that should have been hanged in the cupboard a week ago.

Yes... Yes
I know...
 I should stop putting 'the damn thing' on silent.

Alright...since it is painfully obvious,
Let me be honest and  just say,
I really don't want to go..
I really really really don't want to go...
I mean these are all signs,
My style of resistance has not changed since childhood
 taking an unusual number of  hours to put on a decent dress,
misplacing things,
Also I forget to mention
nearly throwing up my breakfast.
Like all those times when I didn't want to go to school.

I am an adult now
You cannot force me to go
But  you're disappointed scrunched-up face from last night in the TV room
 haunted me till the morning hours
You really want us to be there.
It is my duty as your daughter ,
So I  will be there Dad.

My feet are heavy.
But I drag them ,
Into the hired grey beige super-custom.
And we finally depart.

We drive,
past Kingdom Church,
past that place where the road collapsed from the rain some weeks ago,
past Forever Business Finance,
past Faith Drug Store,
past Agar Petrol Station,
past the make shift furniture shacks,
past the shells of future homes,
past the goat imprisoned by a rope attached to a mango tree,
past A Chicken Delight restaurant that also provide wedding cakes,
Past the Equator sign.

White tents and loud speakers blasting the village choir hymns,
ensure us we have reached the right location.
 There is mud is everywhere.
It is that time of year when the rain has no mercy.
We jump over giant tire skid marks in the road as we walk to the house.

I think mass is almost done.
It seems your whole neighborhood is here Dad.
Even the guys who sell those odd calender's with photos of the deceased are here.

You are seated near the alter,
In front of the main house
There are 10 priests settled around you.
You are an important guest.
For sure there is no way I will avoid kneeling while greeting today.
You smile when you see me
I see the surprise in your eyes
I think you had resigned yourself to the fact that my millennial self would let you down
yet I am here Dad.


Uncle brings me a white plastic chair
and we all sit beside you.
You now look a little taller now,
and Dad, you sing the hymns much brighter
Cause your children are by your side.

I see the coffin of your aunt
Your mother's best friend
I see women in bursutis all seated on the mukekas beside it
And every now and them one raises her hand,
to adjust the cloth that keeps sliding off the casket.
They too must do their duty as daughters and granddaughters.

How come you  never brought us to see her while she was alive?
I never knew all this time she was here.

Final announcements are made
Mass is done.
The men of the family lift your Aunty,
and take her away,
down the foot path,
behind the house.
We do not follow.
Uncle says it's not a place we can manage.
Remember the rain has no mercy?


I know the reason for my internal tantrum Dad.
I am not ready.

I want you to be my parent forever Dad
And me forever the child.
We are adults now I know.
We are busying building our lives
But you are the only anchor left.
So I am not ready.
I wasn't ready for Mum to go.
Wasn't prepared for the last five years of her absence
Don't you see how long it's taken me to find my focus, my purpose & my direction?
 Truthfully,
I don't know if I'll ever be ready Dad.

Deep Breath.
I tell myself
Stare away.
I tell myself
Blink the tears back.
I tell myself.
Quick! Quick!
I tell myself.
Blink those tears back,
into the corners of the eyes from which they came.
I tell myself
Deep deep breath.
Don't speak.
 Your voice will betray you
Breath.
Just Breath.
I tell myself.

I am keeping myself together Dad

I know my duty as your daughter
We know our duties as your children

We will be here Dad.