Lessons from the Last Decade

This post was supposed to be part of my birthday posts, but I somehow forgot about it. But I think it’s still relevant. Enjoy. 🙂

1. Of Dreams and Holding On

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In high school my pal and I had this book and we filled it with our teenage ramblings and poetry. I still find notebooks at home filled with my writing. I always knew I was going to be a writer. So I always wonder, how did I not start writing seriously until 2 years ago? I guess at some point, I stopped believing that I was any good at it. I lost my dream. So when it came to going to college I picked a safe option, which would get me a safe job. Instead of learning my craft.

I don’t know when it happened, when I took my dreams and shoved them into a box at the dark corners of my mind. Part of it was fear I guess. Fear of rejection. Writing for me is extremely personal, it’s a part of who I am. So I felt that if I shared that with people and they didn’t like it,  then it would be like they had rejected me.

But the good thing with dreams, is no matter how much you ignore them, they never let you have peace until you acknowledge them. And so after years I finally accepted that I love writing, and I can’t NOT write. There was no way I would know if I was any good at it if I don’t take the risk and let it out to people.

I’m glad that I found my way back and it feels good to finally know exactly what I want to do. 10 years from now I see myself in some country with a beach and lots of rain, spending most of my day writing. Always writing.

2.  Women are a girls best friend. 

There are women who say that they can’t connect with other women. They just don’t get along. And they prefer male friends to women.  I get that, I really do. Men bring a different perspective in our lives. They have a way of seeing things that we don’t see, of  analyzing situations that makes it clear for us. And a man is the best person to talk to when you are feelingh low. It’s very interesting seeing yourself through a man’s eyes. Very flattering.

But I believe that if you don’t have a group of special women in your life, you are missing out on a lot. I have a circle of girls that I don’t know how I would have made it through the last couple of years without. Yes, it gets heated sometimes cos after all we are women, each of us a little sun expecting to always shine the brightest. But these women anchor me. Who else can get how a chocolate fudge cake is the cure of everything that ails a woman from PMS to heartbreak, to that b**ch colleague melodrama? Ladies tell me I’m not speaking the truth.

I know, it’s hard to get good friends whom you can trust, but when you do, it’s amazing. These women support me, criticize me, pray for me, teach me, guide me and I know they would be there for me no matter what.  These women help to keep grounded and balanced. It makes me all emotional writing this. I love you ladies. Y’all rock.

3. The past can never be erased, but it can be surpassed.

Like everyone else I have made my share of mistakes. Some because of being young and naive, some temporary stupidity, and some cos I just didn’t know better. And others pure arrogance, thinking that I know better than everyone who has done it before. For a long time, I carried my mistakes like a sign to my door. They were the first thing I wore in the morning and they lay next to me every night. I relived them so many times, they were what defined me. I was my mistakes and there was no room for anything else.

But at some point I just realized that I can’t keep blaming myself for things I can’t change and I was dragging myself down with all that baggage. So I went into a journey of slowly shedding it. Piece by piece I analyzed all the stuff that went down, forgave the ones I needed to, buried those that never need to be seen again and learned the lessons. Most importantly I finally forgave myself. There’s still some residue left, but it’s not significant. It’s no longer limiting me, holding me back.  Not saying that I might never make mistakes again, I’m human after all, but I now know what mistakes are unnecessary. And I can finally say I have laid my past to rest.

4. Losing and Finding My Religion

I’ve always believed in God and for this I am eternally grateful. I’ve never had a time when I doubted His existence. But in the last decade I have had many times I have questioned my purpose in this world and my obligations to Him. Especially so as a woman.

The last decade was spent in moments of self-doubt and internal struggle. I grew up in Nairobi, but was raised in a conservative culture. It was hard, finding the middle ground between these completely different environments. Finding the place where I can fit it, I can claim as my own. I have fallen and risen many times and still fallen again. It was hard to always accept that God was in charge. Not the other way round. I wanted to forge my way ahead, conquer my world and take full credit, I had fought the fight so the medals belonged to me. That was ego and to be able to submit fully to God, there is no place for ego. You are a servant, He is the master. I am still on this journey, learning more every day. Making mistakes and learning to correct them. But I constantly pray that He continues to guide me and lead me in His path.

5. You Can’t Die from Heartbreak

Just like my first kiss, I fell in love for the very first time much later than my peers. I was a late bloomer.

First love is interesting. Because you have nothing else to compare it with, the novelty of it is what makes it exciting. And the naive assumption that you will feel like that forever. He was beautiful in how he reached into my heart and spoke to me. For a shy person, to finally find someone who listens to your voice and yours only, is a  heady experience.

Inevitably, as is with anything that blazes, it eventually burns down. And my walk on air was finally over. I can never forget how that first heartbreak felt. It was like a physical pain and I felt as if my heart was truly broken and I was gonna die. I couldn’t possibly live through such pain. I actually lay down on my bed and waited for the pain to overcome me. And then I woke up the next morning and I thought “I survived it. I didn’t die.” As much as it still hurt for a while longer, it was a liberating feeling. Surviving that first heartbreak helped me in my future relationships. Now no  matter how bad the break up was I always tell myself. “You’ll wake up tomorrow morning”




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  • Jacquendinda  On July 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Good lessons!!!!

  • morethanwords  On July 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    i searched for words to tell a friend today , she was searching for answers . your post has it all . i will share this. glad i passed by , i plan to stay 🙂

    • bintimswahili  On July 11, 2011 at 5:33 am

      Thank you for passing by, thank you for staying and I’m glad my ramblings helped. 🙂

  • prity-enigma  On August 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    i rily love ur articles!mashallah,they inspire me . .thumbs up!

  • Wild Swan  On September 16, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I keep telling myself that I will get serious with my writing tomorrow, this one ‘1. Of Dreams and Holding On’ makes me feel like I must commit myself today, now.

  • AH  On March 24, 2013 at 10:40 am


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