Thursday, 4 August 2016

Guest Post: Of Finding Purpose and Living a Little

I am terrible, I know. So terrible that I cannot even take time to publish a guest post. Trust me, I appreciate the irony of taking a break from life to publish a post about, well, life! Luseka Socrates took some time to muse about life, especially the rollercoaster that is post-school life. Enjoy! And if this is your cup of tea, check this out.
Adulting is largely about being aware of  what matters.

People watching is one of those dreary child habits I’ve been meaning to quit to no avail. Ok. Save me the pity and just laugh at what I’m going to share. It’s never that serious.
Last week, in my evening moments  as I was mooching around  ‘The Hub’ –this  new mall in Karen-  with the  intent to go buy bread  at  Carrefour, I found myself pausing occasionally ,lingering and straying my eyes to people’s heads (sounds weird right?), sometimes  vexing them , nitpicking at their walking styles (that’s more weird) and scoffing  at those pairs that rubbed  PDA into people’s  faces . To the latter, some mushy career ladies who  passed near me  had it all flowing  through  their heartstrings  going by the number of   ‘aaawws’ that left their mouths. Such betrayal. I thought we all hate PDA?  We all should. Ok. Maybe I am just a condescending   sadist. Just ignore me and read on. To lighten the mood, I found solace in watching the aged. Some little distraction you know.  Could be the uncalled-for lessons  that come  with  their  subconscious actions, case in point: their calculated steps  which can teach you something about patience. Or their wrinkles that  bear stories, grand or sad.  I felt  a tad encouraged. But that was  only for a fleeting juncture  before fear set in. Turns out that getting  old was the origin of  my  sudden  fears. Bummer! I don’t  want to get old dear reader.
And so it got me thinking and reflecting. Looking at those old-guards ( wait, the word sounds rude, right?)  and turning back the clock. How  life  had been  to them and what it had in store for us young-turks (I hope I’m not sounding like an old politician by the use of that word, they use it a lot). I imagined their life. Old age. A quiet house now that children are married and living on their own. I  pictured the 80’s and 70’s when they were dancing to ‘the Beetles’ or  ‘Yvonne Chakachaka’. When they were feeding their  kids  and gently tending to their farms  or working their asses through Jomo’s economy with some admirable levels of energy. Did they imagine that one day fate  will quiet their joy and turn them into frail creatures and all? And so my justification.
I thought about myself too. Life in nursery school, primary , high school , campus- the whole shebang! And now inching towards old age  and marriage in between. As I mulled  at these flinching  thoughts, I saw some giddy Somali kids enjoying the elevator rides, and then shifted  my gaze to meet high school boys lost in banter while some girls who looked  like campus young-uns  gossiped and chuckled at some distance. To the carried away career ladies. With the ‘half-a day’ imagery conjuring up ( cue the high school set book-  Half a day & other stories) , the happenings presented the right paradox.  My  life unfolding in one day . Wait, in seconds. If you cleverly read along those lines you can  strike a guess at what stage of life I am at.
Towards the end of May this year I completed my undergraduate and eased into another life. To say I never had the chills or sweaty palms   as this transition  happened is an understatement. The feeling  was bittersweet. The sweetness  reveled in the fact that school was finally over. But all these happy moments were  overshadowed  by a cloud of despair  that came  with the future’s uncertainties and the cut of  fun  and adventures  that only a previous  life could offer . For guys, the pressure to leave their family homes and get their own houses was mounting. I was caught  in a similar  vortex. No parent could chase you out but present circumstances, timing and age were pressing enough  to get you moving. I decided to move in with a friend and later found my own place. I’m  slowly adjusting to the thrills and challenges that  seem to surface  each waking day. Bills are a different story. The thought of budgets and acting all grown up is a tad disconcerting- but a man has to man up. Ladies too.
Don’t get me started on friends. But I will. With the pursuit of career advancement, many succumbed to busyness. The plots started dying. While some of us moved houses, others moved cities. They spread yonder (I’ve been meaning to use that word. Y’all should know I read Victorian novels!). Suffice it to say, the vast company of  friends  that campus offered  are no longer in tow. Majority moved on. Sadly, they had to.  Jobs happened. Some married or got married. Distance came in between and silence took over. Facebook and other social media have tried to keep us close, thank God, but then their services can never match the effectiveness that physical presence brings. High school filled our lives with funkies, primary school had its fair share of cool and campus crowned it. Think the movie plots. Fries plots. The hikes. The group discussions. The dating dramas. Mass stone throwing, for some (fellow UoN comrades!haha). And now all of these have ebbed away and rolled  into a ball of memories. That feels sad. (Someone play me a violin. Get me Elani’s music before I’m numbed by this arresting sadness. Will you?)
When you prod into your peers lives , stories are varied. Some are driving. Others are outside the country. For some, things have not fallen in place as they had planned it out. The job search is quite an outlandish nightmare. Confusion is  reigning supreme as a number of  former classmates keep waxing lyrical  on how they seem not  to have it together. The lucky and wise ones are reaping. Those  whose parents are Kahunas in  the corporate world  and the civil service  are having it easy  finding placements. But in everything, in between  despair and gloom, remains  hope because this is just a season thing. Some  phase where majority are bound to pass, rolled up with its form of sham and drudgery ,glum and lucklustre , tears and bruises, but with a grand story  to tell at the end of it all.
On the flipside, I’m slowly appreciating  the ensuing challenges and learning to take life with a pinch of salt. I’m manning up. Toughening. I’m making friends, reading books and making the most of my youth the best way possible. Soccer with the boys on Sundays and hung outs with ‘the girlfriend’  crowns  the weekends. Dancing alone to music in my house is another addiction I have picked on lately. Don’t laugh. It is called living a little and brings with it hustle-free satisfaction.  And  wait, if you find it a health hazard eating roasted maize (with chilli) at  the roadside  or checking in on your guy’ Njoro’ for  the ‘20’ shilling Mtura on your way home, then I’m sorry for you. You haven’t lived life ( said  with tongue in cheek!).
Come on, amid everything  let’s learn to enjoy life. Do we have to tighten it?
Side note.
PDA- Public Display of Affection.
Mtura (For the sake of barbies who read Ivy’s blog)- It is a mixture of cow's meat stashed inside the intestine of a cow or goat and roasted mainly by the roadside usually in the evenings.

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