Quarter Life Crisis

Confusion

Lately I find myself unable to blog write, or collect  my thoughts. And dig deep into the inner me. And tap into my emotions and allow the creative juices to flow unabated, as I often could. I feel lost and confused. Then I find myself momentarily confident and decisive but in a flash of light am lost in my mind again. Lost in past failures and mistakes I evaded by a whisker  and I  regret having allowed myself to be in such a position. I try gripping to the few successes of days gone by fully aware of the danger in this. Again I am lost in the endless possibilities that the future holds. In one moment I know exactly who I am, what I want for myself, for those close to me and generally what I want out of this life. In that single fleeting moment. For the next minute brings with it uncertainty, hopelessness and fear.  The present is in a state of disarray. Intertwined, void and full of shadows with ludicrous notions. All seeking to carry the day yet all lacking the necessary power to exercise control over the outcome.


And so I come to this medium now. Hoping to calm my spirit. Contain my demons and purge my soul of all that ails it. Of all the fear and the doubt. If only for a moment. With the least expectation being to gather strength and find hope to live through the next, what will certainly be, disastrous minute clouded and tormented by expectations, decisions and a deeply lacking patience and motivation.


Indeed as I come to the end of this, whatever this is, what could seemingly be the not so idle rant of a man on the precipice of madness, a glimmer of hope takes root within me for whatever awaits me today. And so I take heart as I graciously but warily remind myself that this could simply be my ‘quarter life crisis’.

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The Ocean

The Ocean

I have always loved the ocean, its vastness always renders whatever big or small issues I think I have insignificant. It is truly humbling. I stare far into the horizon, where the sky touches the water, looking for a sign of land, of life, that will help me wrap my mind around this great and wonderful creation. That perhaps if I see something in the far beyond, my mortal mind will be able to explain away this incomprehensible feat of engineering. It is overwhelming and encouraging all in one.

As I stare into the endless sea of water, a thought creeps into my mind. The thought is in the form of a question. A question that prompts me to reconsider how big I think my issues are. To put the burden I carry on my shoulders on a weighing scale and reassess the weight I have felt and accorded it to be. To face what I have seen to be darkness and shine a still bright light into its face.

In the presence of the ocean, my problems are washed away.  They are shrunk into tiny gravels of sand that no longer cast a heavy load on my not so toned shoulders. They no longer occupy a place at the front of my mind, robbing me of peace and joy and distracting me from all the blessings around me, waiting to be counted.

The ocean reminds me that maybe, just maybe, the God who came up with this work of art, this thing so great my mind cannot comprehend, has it in him to handle my so-called humongous problems.

But, when all is said and done, I cannot help but wonder, what if I could carry it with me? As a constant reminder of God’s ability to handle my problems better than I ever could, as a reminder that my problems are not so big.

Yet, if I could carry it with me, if I  actually did, would it not cease to be the ocean?

Alive

Alive

I have not written in so long, it feels as though I have forgotten how to. But can you really forget something so deeply ingrained it is a part of your genetic make-up? Like if they did an MRI of your brain and X-ray of your body, they would see little words stuck in your strands of DNA. Perhaps what I fear is not that I have forgotten to write, but that I have been silent for so long, so much so that I do not know where to start with all I have to say. Start at the beginning, they always say. But this is not that kind of story. It is not about the beginning, neither is it about the end, the future, as it were (or will be?!). It is about the present. The ever-fleeting present. The present that never wants to stay in one place for a second longer than it should. The present that is the cure of dreams lost in the past and anxieties of futures that might never come to pass. The present that keeps us grounded in the here and now. Which consequently releases us from our past and allows us to go into the future unabated, or in the least, with the presence to face it. I am confronted now by the truth that I have refused to face. A truth that has constantly been at the forefront of my thoughts over the last couple of days. A truth so simple to understand, yet so profound to wrap your mind around, a mind-fuck. A truth that requires acceptance, for lasting peace of mind, and stillness of heart. A truth that is we have all been told by our therapists, read in books and preached to by the representatives of whichever deity we choose to believe in. A truth that simply requires that in order to find inner peace, quell anxiety and panic attacks, we breathe in the cool breeze caressing our skin, feel the warmth of the sun pierce the darkness hiding deep within and the soft sand tickle and play in between our toes. That  we feel all of it and stay so fixated on the present, that the past slips away into the recesses of our mind, allowing us to be the best version we can be at this very moment, and the future no longer has any power over us, no more anxiety, no more fear, only peace, only presence. Finally, we are alive.

Lovers Through Windows

Lovers Through Windows

There is a lady. She sits in an office in the building behind me. For the life of me, I cannot remember when I first noticed her.

She has long amazing hair that flows all the way to her back. Her complexion is light, “rangi ya thao” as we call it. There is a shredder right next to her window, when she turns to place papers in it, the sun hits her face, and she glows, oh my how she glows, radiating nothing but raw and pure beauty.  She wears beautiful free flowing dresses, sometimes colorful skirts but mostly dresses that fail in hiding her “figuresque” body. Today she is in a black polka dots dress, and a red trench coat. There is a Friday she wore a flowery African print dress, she looked gorgeous. She has the most coy and playful smile. I light up like a bulb every time smiles.  She waves at me through the windows, and my heart melts. We often exchange glances. I catch her staring at me sometimes, and she catches me every time. I cannot even hide it any more. The word discretion means nothing to me.

I know nothing about her, not her name, what she does at these offices, goodness I have never even met her, so I know not the sound of her voice, which I imagine and hope, would be soft, soothing, almost musical. I look forward to seeing her every day. On some nights, like yesternight, it is all I could think about. My day hasn’t begun if she hasn’t waved good morning, it hasn’t ended, if she hasn’t waved goodbye. Oh how I hate it when she leaves without waving goodbye.

Sometimes it is hard to concentrate on my work, wishing I could turn and look at her, and we would sit on opposite ends, in different buildings, a world of space between us, but an undoubtable force binding us. And in that moment, she is right here. And I can hear her breathing, her heart beating faster, as she wonders about this… thing… I can pick up the smell of her skin, I can feel the softness of her hands. Slowly she calms down, getting comfortable, living only in the present moment. Smiling deeper and wider, her eyes drawing me in. And in that moment she is far, but yet so near, so close.

I can only hope that I am as much a distraction to her as she is to me.

I might never meet her, and she might never want me to, but this, whatever this is, is more than enough. Should we remain strangers to each other, we shall always be friends, maybe lovers, through windows. And that, I can live with.

 

Abyss

Abyss

I wrote Abyss on 20th July 2017. Four days prior, I was ready to kill myself. I did not want to die, but I wanted the pain to end. Were it not for my sister, my beautiful amazing patient strong sister, who talked me down the ledge, who saw my tears and did not judge, but instead embraced me, I would not be here today.  To share my pain.

Dear sister, you will never know how truly grateful I am for you and the many thanks I give the Lord for giving me you as a sibling, although at times we are like sworn enemies. Though you may not read this, I love you to the Sun and back.  Keeping in mind its fiery gases, I say sun because we coined a catch phrase to mark our endurance: (With fist clenched, pointing to the sky)…Fire!!

Abyss

Have you ever loved so much, you couldn’t breathe and yet could inhale at the same time. So much your heart would beat so fast and mind race at the thought of meeting the person you love. I have. Everyday for the last seven years. She is the last person I think about before  I sleep and the first thought I have in the morning. I think about how her day is, if work is okay, if she is staying hydrated, eating well enough, keeping warm on a cold day, and just having a good day. If she is having a bad one,  I would like to be there to make her better, to help her feel calm, and that tomorrow will be better.

This after all the  pain, betrayal, shame and disrespect. I still love and care deeply for her, despite the whole world telling me to move on, despite her telling me to let go. How do you let go of a connection so deep, it becomes you? Unrequited it may be, but felt just the same. So intense was it once, and feels like it is, that it constantly reverberates through your body. You feel it in every fiber of your being, you feel in every strand of hair on you head, the centre of you chest, the soles of your feet, in your arms, on every single bit of your existence.

To let go, would be to rip yourself apart, to tear the very essence of your being from yourself. And I have held on for so long, fought for this, for her, for far too long.

I am shattered as I write this. Broken into a billion trillion tiny pieces, or maybe just one massive irreparable crack, gaping, a gateway to nothing but darkness and hopelessness, lost dreams, regrets and wasted effort.

I am lost. I want to die. I want the pain to end.

Help me.

I need…….


I never got to finish or edit it then, I broke down in tears and vanished into the darkness of my own mind. But I post it as it was, because the confusion in it is testament of the state I was in.

But now, I am glad to say I am doing much better.  A daily struggle, but with each successful passing day, a victory. And to I, go the spoils.

Gratitude Challenge

Gratitude Challenge Week One Image

March Week One

I am trying this ‘grateful for at least one thing a day’ thing, in a bid to being more positive in my outlook and appreciative of the vast blessings from God.

Monday

I got my own office today. One great thing to be grateful for.

Tuesday

My job. I am grateful for my job. I often complain about it and sulk, not realizing that it is an opportunity to learn and grow both as a person and an individual. Not to mention the numerous people in search of jobs, enough to give me perspective.

Wednesday

I realized my boss really isn’t that bad. She is actually pretty nice. There are some crazy bosses, in fact not just ‘out there’, but right here in this office, in other departments. The things I heard today from my colleagues, led me to one inescapable conclusion, my boss is an angel (I try not to be superstitious, but I hope I didn’t just jinx it).

Thursday

Our internal departmental training was cancelled. The reason this is good news is because the training entails waking up much much earlier than the usual early (let’s not talk about my usual lateness). The training takes place twice a week, making an already long day longer and the fatigue at the end of the day is crazy. But here I go again with the negativity, so let’s go back to the training was cancelled. Hurrah!!

Friday

I think everyone will agree that “thank God its Friday” is all the reason I need to stay upbeat.

Saturday

I went to the movies today, watched “wakanda forever” as people have been calling it. Awesome movie. I loved it. People find it weird that I go to the movies alone, but there is nothing wrong with that. I quite enjoy doing so. My way of ensuring I get some alone time, albeit the theatre was packed. I’ll need to rethink my strategy.

Then I went to the garage, to have slight problem fixed. I was expecting it would cost a fortune but surprisingly it was a rather easy fix, but one that if left “untreated” would have caused much more damage, more so to my pockets. So yep, that’s something to be happy about.

I ended the day by having “nyama choma” with a good friend, we ate our fill, made good conversation, picked my mum after she arrived from her Journey, came home and slept, thankful to God for the week that was


This week has seen me mostly write about work. I challenge myself to write about and be thankful for things also happening outside the office. I am sure if I open my eyes, there will be more than enough.

Endure

Endure

To the point, I struggle with severe anxiety, social anxiety and a mood disorder or more mildly, a mood fluctuation.  I have self diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, something I am wary to say given the haste in finding labels and conditions to suit our problems in this day and age, with WebMD a click away. I also use the term Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with caution, out of respect for the people who live with OCD and Bipolar, battling each day with medication, behavioral therapy and  whatever helps them get by.

But I would be lying if I said I haven’t struggled with severe anxiety, or have been symptomatic of the same, from as far back as I can remember. Puking every morning before going to class, while in Primary School, from daily panic attacks, trapped in my cubicle in high school unable to step out before completing a very particular routine, washing my hands seven times each time, right hand over left hand, water at an an angle on my wrist down to my fingers, one mistake and I would have to start again, having to turn the tap a particular way, wipe my hands, touch the door handle and light switch with a clothe, all in a very meticulous design. One mis-step and the process starts again. Unable to sleep until the process is perfectly executed. Oh many times I had repeat the process. I use this word with compassion, it is crippling. The worst part being that no one around understands you and what it feels like, observing you with a curious eye, even you don’t understand what is happening.

I come home each day, with the need to be alone. I find my family ready to talk, waiting to be updated on my goings on, eager to share their day with me. And all I can think is I want be alone. Not out of hate, impatience or rudeness, but simply because I feel naked, bare, and without my moment of peace and silence, I shall forever be nude. Solitude. And so I stick  it out, forcing a smile, feigning interest, lest I seem insensitive, all towards restoring my families hope in my normalcy. Praying, for it all to end. That I may go to my room, crawl into a corner, and feel peace, freedom, a deep breathe in, and by some magic,  ecstasy as a euphoric wave of life takes over.

The problem with anxiety is the insane confusion it causes, on the simplest of things, “should I take the left road or the right?”, “What if I carry my hoodie and end up not needing it, what if don’t and it gets cold?” “should I wear the left sock first or the right?”, “yesterday I wore  the right first and failed to submit my work in time so today, the left” Silly right?

It spreads to more important things in life, affecting relationships with lovers, friends and family. I wish I could control my anxiety. My mind spins out of control, with the worst of it manifesting with an incessant hum in my mind like the sound of an engine running. Tears stroll down my chicks for no other reason than that the pressure in my brain is too much and all I can do to decompress is cry.

It has gotten worse lately. I can barely focus at work, carry out basic duties. Thankfully this has been a slow week, not much coming my way. A most welcome favour from the gods. I worry constantly, even something that used to come so naturally to me, writing, has become a chore. It is my one outlet and yet I seem to be losing it too. What more do I have? What else am I supposed to do? Where else am I supposed to go if my safe haven, my hallowed ground is no more?

I cannot compose the words to best describe how I feel. I put pen to paper in the hope that my mind open shall open up. For I need this, I need to write, I have to. If I am to wake up tomorrow without an aching throbbing heart. If I am to go to bed tonight and not wake up feeling scared, lost and confused wondering how I ended up in the situation I am in. Shatter by Lost Love. I shall find the strength to write about that soon, God knows I need to, for my own sanity.

For any would be reader, any kindred spirit, Hang in there. Let your clarion call every morning be, “today, I shall make it through.” Say it out loud, believe it, own it. And the next day and the next. And every night you say to yourself, I tried. That is all you need. Having  the strength to get through the day, amidst all the noise and calamity in your mind, body and spirit, for anxiety imprisons all three, with an unsettled spirit or soul if you please, a troubled mind and a restless body with constant shivers and tremors that feel like an electric pulse.

For those like me with an inclination to religion, just remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. May He strengthen you tonight, that you may have a peaceful night, your mind calm and switched off, tomorrow that you thoughts may be structured and clear, that your body may be relaxed, shoulders not hunched in a tense posture. Best believe that I will be right there with you and together, we shall endure.

 

Audience of One

Audience of One

I have an intense urge to share my feelings and thoughts with the world.  An urge that I have tried to ignore but has stayed in my mind for a while now. Convincing me, or at least trying to, that I will feel better after. Leaving me with my thoughts gathered, my mind full of clarity, and not hazy. Yet I fear writing and sharing. I fear the judgment from readers, I fear imperfection, I fear that even after the key strokes I will be no better. So many fears cripple me. Even the use of the word cripple I fear. Maybe it is too big a word to use and I am being melodramatic. I sit in my room in the darkness relying solely on my back – lit keyboard,as the rain pours outside, hoping I will find that which I seek. Peace. I am not at peace with myself. But where to start.

So much has happened since last I wrote. So much more before that but I was unable to share it. I couldn’t bring myself to talk about my granny’s death. It hit me hard, unexpectedly. Which I will explain later when I can talk about it.It has been a year and a couple of months since she passed. I still feel sad and a deep longing at times. Times like now. Times when I need peace, a peaces so elusive. She was peace. To me, my brother, my sister and my mum. Though we took it for granted. But again that is for later. Her homes was silent and calm. you could breathe in the fresh air and feel the cool breeze on your skin and all your problems would dissipate. Problems that seemed insurmountable would suddenly be simplified with a clear solution materializing. Nowadays anxiety carries the day. Confusion leaves me destitute unable to make a move longing for my peace. I must find  way. A way to a new peace.

And to top it all off, my girlfriend and I broke up. We have been together for years. On this one I am blank. I don’t know where to start.

But my mind goes back to three or four years ago when I started writing, or what qualifies as writing to me, as a coping mechanism. Along the way I lost touch or maybe I was never serious with this. However, I need it now as much as I needed it then.  So, as I begun then, so shall I now. I will begin again. I heard this on a series recently, ‘write for an audience of one’. Indeed, as  therapy I shall nurture this habit and hopefully in the process find my peace or in the least, my way to it.

Ambivalence

Ambivalence

I am supposed to be reading but I can barely focus. Mostly because my ‘better half’ and I are down in the dumps, again. As to what her intentions for this relationship are I am uncertain. This affects my state of mind as I find myself questioning my actions and intentions towards her. Motivation for this being the need to be fully aware that I might give my all and in the end it be for nothing. To safeguard my heart from being shattered into a million pieces I proceed cautiously.


Yet to be fair to her and myself, we are still young. Too young from what I gather to be making life long decisions. In fact it is more than likely that some of the decisions we have made so far were from a juvenile perspective and an immature under – developed mind. They cannot be relied on.


We have agreed to have  a fresh start together. Build a stronger foundation and an intrinsic friendship. All I can do is take it a day at a time. I have no control over the future. I can therefore not proceed as if my plans are set in stone, and as though what I want to happen will happen. Training myself to live in, accept and appreciate the present reality will be a challenge. One that I now take up. The converse, a world of fantasy and denial, is not an option. Its fruits are mostly heartbreak, sadness, disappointment and even hatred. The future is uncertain. And as such I must as they say, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.’

Apart

One of you?

I have always felt uncomfortable while hanging out with people with money, out of place, a poser in some way, as one writer said, ‘as an outsider looking in, and that no matter how hard I try to fit in, I will never be one of them.’ Today it hit me. Taking away my appetite for food,  conversation, subtly trying to overcompensate for my financial insecurities with knowledgeable facts and tit bits, all the while fully conscious of the goings on around me. The rich important parents streaming in and out, their spoiled entitled kids trailing behind them demanding more favors, the waiters and waitresses eyeing me contemptuously supposing us to be like such kids. And so I sat. Awkwardly. Too afraid to order anything lest it to be too much for my poorly rich or if you prefer economically challenged wallet. Strategically glancing at my watch wondering, when shall we leave before it becomes apparent that I don’t belong , how soon is too soon? Should I nonchalantly buy the cheapest thing here to not seem rude. Are my friends politely denying themselves at my expense? Now I wish I had opted not to tag along for this little excursion. I never learn. For that is what I said last time; and the time before last; yet these are my friends whom I met by design. Whose company I relish. The situation in my wallet cannot force me to ignore them forever. So I sat;  my eyes struggling not  to burrow a hole of sorts deep in the ground, my nerves fighting to remain calm. Any failure on their part requiring me to blame my weird demeanour on the cold. A cold evening indeed, can’t you guys feel it?


And I am ashamed for allowing myself to feel this. Yet to not admit it would be to deny my very own existence. I hate that  I picture the grass greener on the other side.  That I fantasize about how the night could have been, that I still wish I had the luxuries that seemed part of that ‘greener grass,’ though not as colourfully green but greener nonetheless. Because from where I’m sitting that imagined reality is better than my present circumstance. Though my personality may be a factor, I still doubt its has much effect on my bearing.

The night draws to a close and I am full of mixed emotions. Happy that my hypocrisy has come to an end, sad that I will see my friends no more, elated at the prospect of going home and living an account of my day that was, on this hallowed ground.


But not for long. I may never overcome this feeling. For I have not been brought up in privilege. It is one thing to grow with something, and another to acquire it along the way. With the former. It is ingrained. You are a natural. In your element. With the latter, you learn, refining, growing each day,and most importantly, practicing to perfection what you have learned, yet never truly belonging. I resolve to devote all my efforts towards being a part of this side in which the grass is supposedly greener.