Well, I am not a huge fan of goodbyes, but I love the feeling that they leave me with. They drain me of all the strength and will to live. They leave emptiness in my soul and most of the times,they fill my stomach with sulphuric acid. Most times, if not all, I cry. I tend to cling on to memories. So, 2017 is waving goodbye, and here is my toast.
When this year kicked off, I didn’t make any resolutions. I never do. I like elements of surprise in my life. One thing I did; I asked for reality. No fairy tales. Real people, real talk, real battles and real life. This is it:
** Registered as an Affiliate of Writers Guild Kenya**
When I started this year, I didn’t even know I’d have this blog. I was writing and reading, not knowing what my niche was and what to do to get there. I was a blind writer. My writing would get lost at times. I would battle with the writers’ block for weeks in and out, until I met Writers Guild(Much thanks to Nyque Ambetsah).
Let’s say it has been more than family. I have read books I didn’t even know existed. I have been overwhelmed with writing opportunities, submitted my pieces to international openings and better yet, was part of the team that put together an anthology yet to be published.
I became part of the Set Book Help Foundation (Much thanks to Thomas Mlanda)
I have fed my soul with real food; of writers that paint their worlds in artistic colors. There’s no other place I’d rather be.
I fell in love
Haaaa. Don’t raise your brows. I fell in love with books and grammar. The kind of love that sweeps you off your feet and makes you listen to whispering palms.
I have read thirty four books this year. I found solace in Wole Soyinka, Ngugi’s words made my heart beat faulter, Chinelo made my coffee black. I read more African writers than Western ones. Better still, I found peace in stopping by the streets and buying old books amidst the stares of people who wondered if I was okay. I closed my eyes every time I felt the pages, and the best part of it, my language grew.
I got engaged
Yaaay. I got engaged to Poetry. I am hoping we’ll exchange our vows next year and live our happy ever after. No rings. No promises. No tears. Just word play, metaphors, similes an imagery.
I may not know who I really am, but I’m sure Poetry is my forte.
I’ve had dark days and brighter ones too. I have had to glide mountains of emotions and slide down slopes of anger. All along, poetry has known no boundaries.
I have talked to myself through poetry, I have painted my world in my head, I have wrote symphonies for the ones I love, I have rebuilt castles with words. I have cried and laughed in my poems.
Yes, there’s beauty in words.
I learnt to say NO
Over the years, I have been a YES person. What I didn’t realize was that being a YES person prevented me from being who I was meant to be. Often, I prioritized people. I said YES even to extreme demands that I knew I was to say NO to. I dwelt so much on bringing happiness to other people at the expense of my own peace. I would send money to people who only hit me up when they needed it. I listened to people. I never listened to myself.
This year I said NO. I said NO to fake conversations, to toxic people and to manipulative requests. It wasn’t a smooth ride, as I lost a couple of friendships. Do I regret? No. I said NO to people that were used to dragging me down.
Yes, I said NO to difficult situations. I have never felt so relieved.
I made healthy relationships
There’s no year I have met real people like this year. I have laughed from morning to evening with beautiful souls. I have watched tears of joy stream down their faces. I have felt so complete in my laughter and never once did I want to let it go. I have met people that looked at me and told me I ooze magic. Those that treated me like a princess in a fairy tale.
One lady stands out. Her name is Lydia Ijakaa.
We’ve known each other since 2008, (What is that thing they say about friendships that have lasted more than seven years?) but that doesn’t change the fact that she made the greatest impact on my life this year. She is a passionate designer (check out her instagram page @ijakaadesigns).
There are nights I’ve sat through and watched her battle with the threads, stitches, fabric and a sewing machine that complains most of the times ( I would buy you a new one if I had the fortune darling), and wake up to the marvel of exquisite outfits.
She dressed me for all occasions that my presence was needed this year.
She breathes fire and has passion on her heels. One thing I learnt from her; there’s power in closed doors, silent minds and busy hands.
She marvels at my writings and laughs at my ‘big’ words, calls m a brainiac at times. Still, she is the most humble woman I know, with the cleanest of hearts and a strong will to live.
I threw myself a birthday party
On most of my birthdays, I’m used to buying booze and watch my friends drown themselves in it. I would later on laugh at their drunken selves then call it a day. This year I decided to be part of the merry. It wasn’t the most colorful event of all times, but with a big cake, more than enough food and the few people who care every detail about me by my side, it was my happiest day this year.
I put myself as first priority
I realized that I was enough. More than enough. That it was okay if all I ever wanted on most days was solitude; to lock myself in the house and fail to answer the door, to let all the calls go to voicemail. That it was okay to be the emotional person that I am.
I realized that it was okay to be reserved/ conservative. That it was okay to be the kind that doesn’t go clubbing, that doesn’t jam to all new songs, the kind that doesn’t know the latest movie in town. It was okay to be all that.
I realized that there’s beauty in tears and a flawed life. I am the one that matters. Me first.
Blocking negative talk
The thing with negative talk is that it momentarily drains you of the will to live. No shred of tenderness left. It hooks you like a ceiling fan. Your legs move but you’re never sure of what your destination is.
I have been a victim of negative talk. Not once, not twice.
Being in an engineering class with eight ladies among more than a hundred men, this hasn’t been an easy task. There were times I used to care. I used to cry and try justifying myself. It used to break me when the people that smiled at me, turned around and accelerated the fire.
So this year, I put it all behind me. I let myself use the stones that they threw to build my empire. I learnt that I needed no permission to walk with my head high; that I owed no one an explanation. I was labeled a feminist (how did they even think of me as one?), but I still do what I do.
I am more than I ever was.
I attended an interview
Not just that, I got the job. I have never been more excited.
I am 98% done with my school of engineering. I believe I am a work in progress. I am a moving train and everyday I’m picking up speed. I will get there.
I don’t know how your year has been, but if you’re reading this, I am glad you’ve sailed through.
2017 has been my year of jubilee. I am so glad I can write this.
2018: I wouldn’t ask for more, but if it gets worse, let’s do a recap of 2017.
PS: There’s power in self-discovery. Try it out next year.