My Race, My Pace

(Of feeling you are stuck, nothing seems to go on right, and constantly being tossed into a battle you have no interest in)

I haven’t journaled since 22nd of this month, and every time I open my diary, I am met with hungry stares from blank pages I am yet to fill. I have so much to write, because so much has been going on for the last two weeks, but somehow, I cannot write. I am so overwhelmed by all that has happened, and that which is still happening, I think I need a break to let it all sink in and take deep breaths.

It is well. It always is.

So, on this last day of March, I am reflecting on the idea of getting stuck, and being tossed around like a ball.

A couple of days ago, one of my friends sent me a picture people I know had taken at a bridal shower and captioned it as “Watoto wanaolewa na wewe bado uko tu hapo”.

Of course, I laughed. I sent her as many laugh emojis as I could because she is a good friend of mine, and I wouldn’t want to hurt her with my harsh words. So, I laughed. Then told her I was not in any kind of a hurry.

Her: What is your plan kwani?

Me: Which plan?

Her: About Marriage.

Me: If I am being honest, I have none. Because marriage involves two people, and I am not sure whether the other person is even thinking of it.

Her: Sasa tutangoja hadi lini?

Me: Hang in there. As I said, I am in no hurry.

Her: Haiya.

I don’t know why I hated that conversation. I don’t know why she felt I was running out of time, that friends who were younger than me were getting married, and according to her, I was ‘stuck here’.

Heaven knows I love weddings. And the people closest to me know how much I want a wedding. But also, that does not mean I have to move with everyone else’s pace. People are different. People have different races. We all have different hopes and dreams. We all have different plans about our lives. We make different plans, different timelines, with different people. We love differently, we crave different things; like books, quiet places, darkness, laughter, love.

We all wake up on different beds (if you are lucky to have one), next to different people, in different parts of the world. We have different morning routines, and a whole different day planned out. Sometimes, the days go as planned, but most of the time, we let it just flow as it wishes.

We have good days. Days we finish our projects in time. Days we walk with a different stride because we are somewhat close to achieving one of our dreams, no matter how small they are. Days when we make presentations and everyone ‘wows’ at the end, or days when something great happens to someone we know, and we are happy for them.

We have bad days. When our hair doesn’t fall into place. When we spill coffee over our favourite books. When you receive news of an ailing relative, when you wake up and your twenty-thousand-words manuscript has been swallowed up by your computer. Days when a simple good morning almost brings you to tears.

And it is okay to have both of these days.

Early this month, I was seated with few of my friends from campus who recently had kids, and I almost regretted going all the way just to meet them.

Person 1: Unangoja kuzaa ukiwa thirty?

Me: Why? Is there a problem?

Her: Mimi wangu atakua anaenda shule peke yake time utakua unahustle na breastfeeding.

Me: I think I will just manage.

Her: Na hii inflation. Time yenu mtanunua pampers how much?

Me: I will have money. It won’t be a problem.

Her: Uko sure aje?

Me: I know. Things will eventually fall into place.

So here I am, wondering whether people take a step back to realise that people want different things from this life. Whether when they go to sleep, they realise everyone is entitled to their own choices, however absurd they may seem. That people have different visions in life, because they are living through a different kind of fire.

I have had a lot of people asking me what I am doing with my life, maybe because they are genuinely interested, or they want to compare themselves to me, or to ascertain the level of misery I am living with. So, I always say I am still breathing, which means I am okay.

It is not bad for people to ask how you are doing. But it is okay to want different things, no matter what others may think of it. It is okay to have a different timeline altogether. It is okay to shape your life in whatever way makes you comfortable, without the need to satisfy someone else’s needs. It is okay to appear ‘stuck’ to other people. You are the only one who knows what is good for your spirit. You are the only one who knows what makes you sleep better at night, or what gives you the strength to wake up each new day.

It is you. So, you are in charge. Take your time. Things will fall into place, slowly but eventually.

Your race, your pace. Let them chase if they can.

(Now is a good time to say that my blog was upgraded to mbabaziafrica.com. If you had subscribed via email, we still good. However, if you had followed me using your WordPress account, you might need to hit the subscribe button once again. Thank you)

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