“Whatever happened to the dreamers who always looked beyond the sky,Who saw the world that they believe in but only when they closed their eyes….”
Letter to my daughter,,,,,,,,
I don’t know why I felt the need to write you a letter describing the events that shaped the year that was 2012 and how it played a huge role in making me the kind of person you will know by the time you’re reading this .I’m not sure whether it’s because I felt the need to reinstate that indescribable feeling of hope, pride, disappointment and fear that culminated in a seamless epiphany or simply because I felt the strange need to immortalize this year just in case I end up forgetting some aspects of it.
If you’ve ever had one of those days where nothing goes your way then you’ll relate with what I went through for the better part of an entire year. I’ve always believed in life, in the sense that I’ve always been one to trust that there has to be more to it than meets the eye. Then again I was never one to have put my theories, principles and beliefs to the test, until now. I realize that on one too many occasions I’ve been wrong in my judgments and correct in my assumptions.Ive been held back by insecurities and driven by uncertainties and I’ve been my own student and my own teacher in a school that many drift through unaware of the role they have to play.
Looking back I have reason to laugh at myself particularly all that fussing and musing I did that got me to all of nowhere. My year started on quite the high note I ended up being called to study in Taita somewhere I had never been before and had probably never imagined I would end up, Lord knows every bone in my body was against it. They say every curse comes with a set of blessings and if you’re the kind that’s pessimistic well, every blessing comes with a set of curses. My blessings came well in disguise I confess, I learnt that hope dethrones doubt and at times doubt dethrones faith. It’s important to find peace and contentment in a world full of stereotypes and set in stone measures of happiness .Your view on life, places and people should be subject to what you decide and to your own prejudice not to what people say or want you to believe. I tell you this so that if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re not at the place you would like to be, you should always trust that there is a reason for it and make the best out of it. I don’t regret where I am ,if anything I’m thankful for the people I’ve met, things I’ve seen and things I’ve learnt; I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience such and such if my life had taken a different turn.
It was in this same year that I lost two people who I loved dearly. They say that death begets life and I see life in all those who they have left behind. At some point in time I changed my perception on death, I sat down one day and asked myself how many people I have to lose to become accustomed to it? I thought about everyone who ‘left’ over the past few years, who left behind their families, their friends, their money, their property, their actions, their words. In that delicate nostalgia I stumbled upon a revelation. A revelation of life and death, a revelation of pleasure and pain, a revelation of lies and truth, a revelation that it all comes to an end one day regardless of who you are or what you have, a revelation that your life has only as much value as you give it, a revelation that you never get used to death you merely learn to confront it.
Reminiscing on an intellectual perspective, I read a lot I must admit, some stories long some short, some articles succinct some uncontrollably long. I read about Mandela and how he read Shakespeare. I read about war and peace and wrote about it too.I thought about leadership and the inane reasons why we chose the leaders we chose.I read in detail about the Mau Mau movement in Kenya and how thousands and thousands of people were killed and brutally punished for demanding for something that essentially belonged to them. I shook my head as I read about settlers who preached against African barbarism yet proclaimed themselves slave masters .I figured that as thousands of Africans were being segregated, massacred and treated like lesser species it was perfectly okay because they were being liberated from their ignorance and their resistance to unjust practices was proof of this very ignorance they didn’t know they possessed. I thought about all those who fought for independence and how they would feel to know their beloved country was flourishing in corruption, poverty, crime and tribalism. I dared to think that maybe if they knew what this so called independence would lead to, they wouldn’t have fought for it in the first place-A lost cause. This sense of estranged pity inspired in me a strong desire to write about forgotten heroes and an overwhelming sense of pride in who I am and where I come from.
If you’re wondering about my accomplishments, this is all I’d have to say. Financially…none, Spiritually…tonnes, Mentally…milestones, Socially…I lost some I gained some, Emotionally…well let’s not go there. I spent sleepless nights working on applications that have only managed to see the light of day on my laptop so that pretty much cuts it for labour in vain. Probably the hardest thing I went through was wanting so badly to make a life for myself and not knowing exactly where to start. Truth be told I did feel disappointed in myself particularly, I felt I had let those who look up to and believe in me down. But first things first you learn this the hard way; you fall down, you pick yourself up. As I continue developing more applications I know that some will cut it, others won’t but as long as you have a purpose and a love for whatever it is that you do in one way or another justice will never be denied from you . Concentrate on what really matters, there’s no room for wasted thoughts. In the midst of all that denial and self battering it suddenly hit me that even in those moments I had none, I never lacked some .I always take to heart a prayer my grandmother taught me, ”Some have meat but they cannot eat, Some would like to eat but they have none, Thank you Lord for we have meat and we can eat.”
We all have those moments where we question the things we do, the decisions we make, the people we chose, the paths we take, mine came in a different fashion; I started to feel uncomfortable in my genes. I began to question my passion for things seemingly unreal and uncommon, I remembered how, not so long ago I had dreams of going to Cambridge or Oxford and studying History, Literature or Philosophy just because I want to, not because I want to make money or seek recognition ,not because education is important in life and I need a degree or two, heck!! ..Just because I would love to. I thought about this young girl who has dreams of visiting Florence, Tuscany, Rome ,Bologna and writing about mind blowing mental, spiritual, artistic escapades. This same one who dreams of visiting the Louvre and Uffizi gallery ,dreams of setting foot at The Parthenon in Athens, standing by the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi at the Piazza Navona and finally kneeling down to pray at the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. I recall times when I tried to explain these things to people and their facial expressions screamed reality check!!!So I figured that until I finally do find someone who would actually understand, me.. myself & I would be good enough company.
As I tried to find a way to resolve my qualms of conscience ,something remarkable happened,I met Grace, and I selfishly related her story to mine, her doubts were my doubts her society depicted my society and her accomplishments spelt out part of what I want to achieve. So with that in my mind I held on to the notion that something great will come out of this human being that I am either blessed or cursed to be. That the passion I have is not useless and that this same passion will be my light in the dark. That my pain is a manifestation of my hard work and sacrifice. That my inability to know what the future holds is my greatest weapon in a war whose cause is also unknown to me. That my strength and courage though outwardly wasting away are replenished day by day. That my beauty is a confirmation that God does love his people. That my doubts are proof that my life is not in my hands and that I am irreplaceable and so is my purpose.
I’m not proud of the fact that I conned a 6 year old off a bar of chocolate but I’ve got to admit it was heaven in my mouth .I’m not proud of the fact that because I am born of this world, at times I am of this world, so concerned with all the gloom, all the material and the self-consuming desire to fit in. I’m not proud of the fact that sometimes I feel I should settle for less because present day circumstances seem to amount to nothing. But I’m proud of the fact that there are many things that I can say today that I would never have said before, that I gained my first measure of wisdom when I admitted my ignorance. With all that said and done, at the back of my mind I know that the journey has just begun, and that a day will come when the fight is eventually won if that day hasn’t come already .I only hope that one day my stories will serve as an inspiration to you and to millions of people around the world who just like me are trying to find some space to breath in a world so cold yet so amazingly beautiful.
“For what it’s worth; it’s never too late or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” (Benjamin Button)