Something new, something beautiful.

kyondo_world

There are days that I want to forget with every cell in me. Then there are others that I want to put on billboards. Not for anyone’s sake. For mine. For my remembrance. That once in my life, a day like this existed.

Today is one of those days. Maybe I should christen them as remembrance days? Sounds Rwandaish( hehe).

Anyway, when I made the decision to reboot my spirituality, I was scared. I was afraid. Because being Christian is all I’ve ever been since I was 8yrs old. Going to church and being in families that go to church was all I’ve ever known about Sundays.

Then here I am. Saying and thinking of leaving all that for unchartered waters. Who would I become? What would I be? Who would I associate with in my new planet?

But I also knew that the previous mode of working, wasn’t working ( pun intended). I couldn’t deny that. I couldn’t unchange that. I couldn’t ignore that.

So I decided to take the first steps. To do it afraid. To trudge on. I believe that I owe it to myself, to give myself the best life I can. With the least stress. Like I wouldn’t dive into polluted deep waters if there is a better route somewhere else. Because I wasn’t given many lives, its only this one.

And this has been the weirdest decision I’ve ever made.

I’ve never felt so much joy in my entire life. I’ve woken up with my heart leaping and beating with excitement. Like I’m so excited that even my physical body can feel the joy in my soul. I’ve never ever experienced such joy! Not even once.

I feel so happy, excited, exhilarated and joyous at the same time. Its like my spirit, soul and mind are dancing musicals inside there. My heart isn’t still. I don’t know how to capture this.

But I want to remember this day. Freedom day. If I may call it so.

Freedom from what? I also don’t know. All I know is that I’ve been born again for a long time. We were told to always put God first. So I put God first. Then other authorities followed. People I held in high esteem .

What I didn’t know, what I had never realised, is that I came bottom in that hierarchy. I was the last one. A friend was telling me how I hold them in high regard till it exasperates them. It could be because of many reasons that I do that, but she hammered in what I have been realising for the last few days. That as much as I had my likes, dislikes, passions etc, I gave priority to other’s. Not in the way I do things. In the way I think of them. Like I will hold what you tell me, if I hold you in high regard, to be better than mine.

Till when I decided to choose myself. I didn’t decide to. Like I didn’t even know I had never chosen myself. I simply unchose God and everyone on that list. Till there was just me.

I wish I could explain how freeing that is. I’m feeling so on top of the moon hadi nikaanza kujishuku. Like how is joy this full possible? Kwani what kind of a cage was I in, if this is how I feel by simply remaining alone?

I’m trying to figure out if this is how sin feels like. Because that’s what other quarters will call it. But on the other hand, when I look for a word to describe what I’m feeling, this feels like salvation. Salvation from bondage. But most importantly, salvation from Fear.

I’ve been afraid. I got born again as a small kid because I was told about hell. I didn’t know about heaven, but the little I knew about hell was enough to make it a no go zone. I grew up being the obedient kid at home. Never disobeying what I was told. I believed my parents knew more. They had been around for longer. They had my best interest at heart. They knew where the potholes are. So I obeyed them.

Till now when I realise that obedient wasn’t what I was. Afraid was more like it. Afraid of hell. Afraid of consequences that follow if you don’t take the path chosen for you by someone else. Afraid of not fitting in. Afraid of life itself.

Till now when I take off Fear , only, I remain in that equation. No one else. Nothing else. Previously being alone was a disaster. Not as in alone in a room. I love being alone. But being alone in life generally. In the decisions I make. Without instructions or rules from certain quarters.

Till i’ve been alone for a day and the opposite is true. Its soo funny, I usually wake up a bit sluggy. No hurry in the morning. I don’t like people talking to me in the morning. Till today. I woke up feeling like going to a field and jumping a hundred times. My soul wanted to high five the universe. While my heart wanted to break out of the ribcage that was restricting its pumps of excitement. Like which one is this Mercy? Because i’ve never encountered her before.

Before. I’ve been a lot of things before. Aki I was always so afraid, thinking about it. Afraid of my future. Afraid of my tomorrow. Scared that things will go wrong.

Now, after choosing myself in life, I feel as if this is the defining moment in my life. You know the way people have that experience or trauma or moment of their lives that divides their lives into a before and after. Mine is now.

I feel this newness. Its like being born anew. Its a new kind of newness. I think it has been happening for the whole of 2018 its just that its climaxing right now. I’m even looking at things in my room anew. We met up with my friends yesterday and I could sense a shift in the way I perceive things now. Like I’m in a daze. Who’s this awesome person who’s inhabited my body and where was she before?

Its like i’ll never see the world the same way again. And I can’t unsee what i’ve just experienced. The rate at which I’m making up new words or slaughtering English in here is simply commendable ;).

Anyway, my temples are hurting from grinning like a fool while writing this.

I don’t even know what or where this is headed. But I would love to remember this day. And I sincerely hope that they’ll be many more to come like it. Or that this is the beginning of something new. Something beautiful.

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I call it the universe.

I realise that you might have lots of questions from my last post. Its okay. You can ask them if you are courageous enough to. Let me answer the few I’ve gotten so far.

Are you now an atheist?

No. I believe in God. I believe God exists. I’m a scientist by profession. A traveller by choice. A reader by birth. And all those things have showed me that there is a higher power than me and you. Kwanza when you realise how grand our universe is. And the fact that our universe isn’t the only one around. Surely, all this must have come from somewhere. I came from somewhere. My soul that is.

So no, I’m not an atheist. I’m just not sure whether I’m a Christian either. Like I’m at a point where I want to consciously find God for myself. Is He or she found in the bible? The Koran? Philosophical works? I don’t know. I’ll find out for myself. I’m at that point where I want to hold the things I believed to be true accountable, are they really true after all? I want to learn new things about myself and my spirituality. I won’t limit myself to one specific way of finding God. Not when God is bigger than all our universes combined.

What is the universe? Or what do I mean when I say, “the universe”.

I first encountered this when I watched The secret some years ago, and read The Alchemist last year. Those two proved that what I thought existed wasn’t only in my mind. They gave a name to a phenomenon I had experienced over and over again.

When I was going to buy this phone, I wanted a tecno camon 9 or 10. I didn’t even know whether they existed . But my roommate had a tecno canon 7 or something like that and I loved it. So I got my money and went to Safaricom shop, straight to the tecno desk. I asked for the latest version of the tecno camon series. Whatever I wanted wasn’t there. But they had this one. I wanted a phone that would take good pictures of nature. I didn’t know much about phone cameras. But I knew what I wanted from the bottom part of my soul. I bought the phone I got. A step sister of the tecno camon 10(or x, that how they refer to 10 in the technical world ). And over and over again my choice has been validated. I’ve seen 4 photographers with my kind of phone. They didn’t buy it because they didn’t have money to buy iphones or the latest Samsung’s. This phone does truly do justice to nature pics. Selfies nazo hapana. Its too detailed for face photography. Did I get what I wanted? Yes. Did I know it at the time I was buying, no? Do you sincerely think its a coincidence that I got what my heart really wanted?

There is this person whom though we are not so close, we’ve been friends for years. And every single time I miss them, they call the next day. Like I can stay for weeks without thinking about them, but on the day I do, be rest assured they’ll call the next day. Like it has happened that way for years now.

But the most common occurrence is with my thoughts. There are times I could be thinking about making a certain decision. And maybe dilly dallying about it. Then I open social media and find over 5 different people talking about that thing I was refusing to think about. Do you sincerely believe that its a coincidence, that on the day i’m hesitant about a certain thing, is when the strangers I’ve never met talk about that thing?

I could go on and on.

But I can only witness what I’ve gone through. Not what you swear by as the truth.

Over a hundred times I’ve gotten signs and signals from the most unexpected quarters pertaining something I was thinking about or a decision I was to make. And that’s what I refer to when I say the universe.

Its not a religion. At least the last time I checked it wasn’t.

Its that thing that when I miss a certain song, I get into a matatu that is playing the exact song. Or when i need to hear some words, some stranger says them to me, or when I desire eggs in the morning and then forget about it, in the evening I get to eat eggs, or when want to go to a specific place, an opportunity that I had never noticed before comes up to go to that exact place.

I don’t know what you call it. Or if you’ve even experienced it. But for me, I call it the universe.

God and me.

I would love to write about my relationship with God. Or its inexistence. Or how it came to be. Just to be undone in an year.

I’m trying to think of that moment when I stopped believing. My break was actually not with the church initially. My issues with the church have always been there for as long as I can remember. What we had, me and the church that is, was a failing but active relationship.

It sounds cheesy, but I broke up with God when my last boyfriend broke up with me.

My friend was joking that she can’t believe in the universe or God after me telling her how much they had given me the go ahead signs for that relationship, just for it to crumble. Meaning they were wrong. Or what were those signs I saw and believed in, she wondered?

You see, this is isn’t about that relationship. Though I hope to talk about it someday. Its about God and that relationship.

I had been told over a hundred times before that if I put my heart into God, my trust in Him, my hope in his everlasting love, then God would take care of me. Then I would be like a planted tree besides a river. Then I wouldn’t lack, and if I did God would give me peace that surpassed all understanding.

I was told to not trust my heart, because the heart of a man according to the Bible, lies or deceives. I was told to bring all my decisions to God. To consult Him. But above that, to wait for instructions and guidance from Him.

I tried. I really did. Trusting anyone is really hard for me. But I cultivated it in me to trust God. It took a while. But I can confidently say that 2017 was the year I trusted God most. I trusted Him to have my back. To lead me to greener pastures. To make me lie beside still waters. To be my fortress and shield. And actively while at it.

And it really felt good to trust God. There is this peace that flows from the heart when you know He got you. Its like a child with her parents around. She is carefree. She knows that whatever happens, her parents are there to watch over her. I believe this is the reason religious people seem so oblivious. When you think someone has your back, whether its true or not doesn’t really matter, what matters is that your mind thinks its true, keeping you at rest compared to someone else who they know they are all they’ve got. Themselves.

So I liked this guy in church. But for a while I ignored it, from what I had observed, men in church have this unique characteristics in them that make them almost boring to date.

So I forgot all about this man till later when circumstances brought us in the same vicinity for a while, so we got talking. And he was pretty interesting. We started talking. And talking. And spending a lot of time together. It was obvious to us that something was brewing between us.

So what did Mercy do? She prayed about it. Honestly. I believed that God would give me the right direction to go. To step back a bit and just be friends, or plunge ahead and see where this goes. God had spoken to me before. In various ways. So I wasn’t doubting whether or not He would answer me. He would. And with every cell in me I knew I would go ahead with whatever decision He chose. Like I had never trusted God before as much. Or depended on Him to make any life altering decision for me.

So me and God were good. We were talking. We were growing closer. I was reading His word more. I was entirely at His mercies. If He said jump, the next second he would have to look for me up in the skies. I was committed to him. Like a soldier to a country. And like a son to a father.

I dated the handsome guy. Me and God were still really doing well. Excessively well if I may add. At some point I started even getting scared. God would reveal stuff to me in the most unexpected manner. It sounds weird, but sometimes in my sleep, God would visit. Just to hang out. Or I would be looking at something and I start getting lessons from it.

My relationship went through ups and downs. Quite normal. Not to be unexpected. I knew God had approved it. Our channels of communication were clear, which never happened if we weren’t good. Plus I had trusted Him from the beginning. With all my heart. Willing to drop everything in case God said so.

Until we broke up. A few weeks later.

I was heartbroken yes. But what hurt beyond explanation wasn’t being let down by a man, that happens. Its pretty normal.

For three days straight I was in a daze. What just happened there? Si we had talked about this with God? Si He was supposed to warn me of potholes ahead? Si I was told to not trust my heart and instead trust Him? And hadn’t I just done exactly that? I had done everything I was told to do. But still.

God had broken my heart.

That was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. Yaani it was pain so intense, that it took me days to feel it. Have you ever observed small kids when they are hit or fall? If the pain is slight, they’ll start crying immediately. Like you’ll hear the sound out of their mouths immediately. But if the fall was exceedingly painful, they open their mouths but no sound comes for some seconds. The more the silence before the noise, the more it hurts.

I did everything right. Like I can swear on God himself.

Then people started telling me that God knows best. Maybe it wasn’t in God’s plan. God has better plans for my future. God knows best. God . God. God.

What I knew for sure, was that if that’s how God loves me, then I would be better off without that love.

Because as cruel as I can be when stretched beyond every limit possible, I knew that I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain upon a living soul. Even if I hate you with a fury. I just can’t. Yet I’m only human. So these people were telling me that this God who loved me so much to give his son for me, was okay with me going through all that pain when he could have stopped it? Does that sound like love to you? And if it does, what kind of love was that?

All I knew, is that whatever kind of love that was, that watches as the person you supposedly love gets raped, ripped apart, broken, crushed beyond repair, while they still call you a fortress, I didn’t want it. If anything, I would run away from it. Inhumane doesn’t even begin to describe that kind of love.

You see, had I broken up with God due to some theological teachings I heard , then maybe there would be a chance of us getting back together.

But I tested God. I did what I was supposed to do. He failed miserably on His end of the bargain. He didn’t provide the fortress, green pastures or still waters.

All I know, is that my heart, is clearly safer with me.

Will I and God get back together?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

But if we do, I know it won’t be on the same terms as before. Not based on the ” I’m evil, He’s holy ” model. Because I come from somewhere. And if whoever created me, saw it fit for me to be this way, then who is another deity to call me a sinner from birth?

But I wouldn’t discourage a believer from their faith. Hold on there brethren. If claiming and owning it in Jesus name, makes you sleep better at night, then by all means sister. Claim it and own it. If knowing His grace is sufficient for you removes all guilt from your soul, my brother stand strong. If knowing you are so loved till the son of God died for you, assures you of your ticket to heaven, then hold it a little more tightly.

I’m not wise. I don’t know much about heaven or hell. Or sins and holiness. Or souls and spirits. Or virgin Marys and miracles. Or even earth and its creator. Or the universe and its sustainer.

But what I do know for sure, is that I only have me to live for. And that on my last moments, I won’t be thinking about that pastor or my mother and if I lived right by them, i’ll have myself to answer to. Did I give myself the best that I could at any given moment in my life?

I so want that answer to be yes. And if leaving an abusive relationship with God is what it takes at this point in life, then that’s exactly what i’ll do.

I’m giving myself the permission to grieve. About my relationship with God for the last 15yrs. The good times we had. The ups and down. The lessons learnt. And the scars gotten. The baggage from that relationship that I carry to date.

One of my issues with God was his luck kind of working. Where He would bless you today then allow you to lack tomorrow. Maybe it wasn’t God. Maybe it was life that’s just like that. But at that point, I thought it was God.

I want a love that chooses me all the time. Not some of the time. I want sure ground, not a hit and miss.

I want to be wanted as I am. Not to bend, crawl, give you my mind, and still tell me that I am not enough. I am tired of that love.

And I allow my heart to cry. For all those times it sought love from a supposed God, and instead got rules to follow. For all those times I needed words of comfort, and I got told instead how its because I doubted or sijui what I did wrong.

My beginnings usually start from a negative point. Where I get over the baggage I carry, then now start from zero. Its not easy.

But as I love saying, the universe has aligned itself. I’m getting signs from left right and center, that I’m on the right path.

I hope one day i’ll tell you about the Universe, and what I mean by it.

But for now, let me enjoy this peace that has come over my spirit, as I let myself be.

Issues.

I feel like I’m recuperating. Like my soul has been so sick for so long. It hit its deathbed but it didn’t die. And now we are going through the whole ICU phase after a coma. That actually pretty sums it up. My soul is in the ICU. Recovering.

I just wish healing didn’t have to be this hard. Like I have scars I need to open for me to start the whole process. A friend told me yesterday that sometimes close friends or best friends talk about ‘anything’ and ‘everything’ except some topics, like maybe sex or whatever it is that is a major part of your life but you just don’t talk about it.

I feel as if I’ve done the same with my life. I’ve walked back to situations in my life that left scars and dealt with them..but there are two specific topics I’ve shied away from ever dealing with them or talking about them yet they are major parts of my life. They left extremely big wounds that have never healed yet i’ve never revisited them.

And I feel energy less when it comes to them. I just want to move ahead with life. To go after my dreams. To be happy. To live. Yet, I won’t get out of the ICU unless I at least open those cans of worms. And I can’t imagine making myself go through that immense pain. I’ve been through too much pain involuntary to voluntarily take myself back to moments that almost killed me with their pain.

Yet if my life history is anything to go by, I won’t get out of here unless I deal with those issues.

Birthed anew.

I don’t know how to capture this. I’ve tried of thinking of several ways of explaining this but every perfect opening has failed me. I’ve tried to convince myself to postpone writing this, but I know issa lie. I only write when in the thick of things.

And this thick of things is really hard to describe.

You see, 2 days ago, I was on a start of a long journey with tears in my eyes. And today, i’m in the last leg of the journey with tears in my eyes. How I explain the difference between those two tears is not easy. But telling you how it came to be is even harder.

NamLolwe healed me. You can just go ahead and google what Namlolwe is. But that doesn’t really cut it, does it? How does a place heal you? I’ll tell you how.

This is the most intense place I’ve ever been. When I don’t have the energy to deal with anything life throws at me. And life at that specific moment chose to throw all it could on my way. Terrible times I tell you.

I’ve said this again, that the goodness of being at the bottom pit, is that there is no other way out except up. Only problem is, where to get that energy to start going up.

So I travelled. Despite every cell in me refusing to. I just wanted to drink some pain killers for my headache and curl myself in bed the whole day. I didn’t think I had the energy to survive a day full of humans and travel to one of my best destinations in my country. I felt as if I should have travelled when i’m in a better place. But plans are plans. So whether I enjoyed the trip or didn’t, I was already on the way there.

But unlike other trips, I came purposely to find myself. Good scenery would just be a bonus. I had lost myself. Somewhere along the way. And whoever I had become was dying with every breathe she took.

So I thought, i questioned stuff, questioned every statement I made. I allowed myself to be. And for the first time this year, I slept within minutes of closing my eyes, lulled by the sound of the Lake’s waves and the loud sound of birds. I observed the human beings we went with and turned my head upside down trying to figure out what is similar or different about them in comparison to me.

I took a boat ride while my mind took a ride into itself. We threw down foundations I had always stood on. We dug new ones that we hope will hold water. And if they don’t, its okay, we’ll just destroy and rebuild. We allowed the therapeutic magic of new places and water to wash us. To remove the scub that the bottom pit leaves on a person.

And that’s how coming back, watching the smallest yet most beautiful sunset, we knew that we were back. I’m alive. And willing to live. With a desire to live. Needing to live, wanting to live and eager to live. Two days ago, this place i’m in right now was like a dream. And its in line with that, that we decided to forge new ways of living. Ways that encourage life to bud. Thoughts that heal and encourage. Music that pushes you one step ahead instead of the ones we had that romanticized pain and hell.

And looking that sunset, with tears of gladness in my eyes, I knew that this trip, would be a major landmark in my life. That one day, when someone drew a map of my life, they would say, that walking on an island of legends, while stepping on the cradle of mankind ,birthed me anew.

Takawiri Island

The time is 5am, its really chilly outside. We’ve just woken up even before the sleep could completely rejuvenate us. But none of us wants to seem the odd one out. Not when that portrays a slack in your prayer life.

You see, we were waking up to pray. At 5am. It just was. No one explained why or who thought it brilliant to wake people up at ungodly hours to pray. So together, each one on his or her own corner, we prayed. And prayed some more. And prayed some more just in case whoever had the day’s word wasn’t ready. Then the word.

But on this specific day, the one with that day’s word stretched it out a little further. They told us to ask for anything we desired from the Holy Spirit that we hadn’t asked before. Something we didn’t necessarily think it necessary to bother the Holy Spirit with yet we desired.

So in a chilly morning in Machakos, on a Christian mission, I asked for three things to be fulfilled before the end of that year. 2017 that is. 2017 ended. I thought it might be just as well..I mean there is a reason some of us don’t necessarily put our hopes up when asking for some things from God.

Fast forward to today. I’m seated inside a tent. And out of my 3 prayers that I made on that chilly morning, this is the 2nd one that has come to pass this weekend.

I don’t remember when I first heard of Takawiri Island, but man, the pictures of that place left me with a desire to come see it. Who would have imagined white sandy beaches in Lake Victoria? Complete with palm trees? Certainly not me. I had actually never thought much about how Nyanza looks like.

Except the Rusinga Sunset. I think its the most famous sunset in Kenya. People come to Rusinga just to see that sunset. A friend of mine who has travelled extensively made me jealous a few years ago when he showed me the sunrise and sunset of this place.

All the same, one way or another, i’m here. Camping in Rusinga. Having visited Takawiri Island during the day. And having sat for hours just watching the lake and listening to birds. And waiting for the sunset. And philosophising.

Before I came here, on Friday and before, I was in a really bad place. Like really bad. And today I saw how simple and magical it feels to have your dreams come to pass.

And as I listen to the lake’s waves( we are sleeping a few metres away from the lake), I realize that this trip was more than just travelling. It was a dream come true.

Sometimes life breaks you. Literally. Till I can’t recognise what dreams still hold water in the various pieces that were once a whole me. And during those times, its easy to focus on what to eat and what to wear, but most importantly, just to make sure I wake up the next day.

But this beautiful place has reminded me that maybe there is still hope. That I shouldn’t forget to want. That in the struggle to stay alive, I should keep the fire burning. It may be just one tiny log burning up, but what matters is that its there.

Nairobi National Park

I’m sure you’ve heard the most interesting thing about this park.. Its the only park in the world within a city. Like all around it ,its surrounded by infrastructure of one type or another. Which is a plus for a city because rarely, or rather it has never been done before in the world that a city, a major city at that, sets aside a huge chunk of land just for wildlife instead of erecting buildings on it.

That makes it really easy to visit. Since its just here. But surprisingly, most people who live in Nairobi have never visited the park yet they have been to other parks far away. The reason could be finances. Most travel agencies charge the same amount to go to Hell’s gate as to go to Nairobi National Park just here, so people prefer to pay the same amount of money and travel a bit out of Nairobi.

So it was a pleasant surprise when I saw that one of the Tour Operators I follow ( Safiri Nasi) had shared a post asking people who’ve never been to the park to pay up and go. It was the cheapest offer I had ever seen for going to Nairobi National park. So despite my broke self, I knew such kind of an offer won’t land on my laps any time soon. So I paid up. I invited my friends and only 1 showed up at that short notice.

Our journey started at around 11am from town and 12.30 noon from the gate. Which is way late or early if you are planning on seeing Lions. Lions are majorly only seen early in the morning, at 6am that is, or in the evening, at 6pm. And since the parks don’t allow people to be in past 6pm, most serious tourists brave the cold in the morning.

Anyway, just at the entrance we were graced by a huge warthog. And not very far inside we started seeing other wild animals like antelopes, buffalos and giraffes.

We had a tour guide who explained the various behaviours of the wild animals. For example, when male antelopes mature, they fight off among themselves. The winner gets all the females. As in, we could see a herd of antelopes made up of many females and only one male. That male was the strongest who won the fight and would therefore get the opportunity to serve all females when in heat and thus sire the next generation of antelopes. That way, only the strong genes are passed on to the next generation. We saw herds consisting of males only, with some having broken horns showing that they lost the fight. We knew they were male or female using the horns. Females don’t have horns.

I love learning stuff about wild animals or birds when on the ground or in the wild. I could have googled the information, but being there to see what we are talking about made it all the more fulfilling.

When I buy my car, I think one aspect of the kind of travelling I do now that i’ll miss will be travelling with strangers. All brought together by the love of travelling. We had so much fun digesting the information the tour guide was giving us about the animals as a group.

We as humans couldn’t understand just how this animal kingdom works. Like who tells them what they are supposed to do? How do they know its time to fight?

But the best part for me( coincidentally its always my best part in almost all safaris I’ve gone) , was sighting the animals as a whole bus. At some point, some lady and one man told us that they had seen Rhinos. Wacha tuzitafute! They kept on directing people as to where those rhinos were but all everyone could see were the bushes. Only later when we got to a more level place did we all see the said Rhinos. But the laughter in between as we looked for them certainly made my day.

Travelling makes me happy. Makes me euphoric. Gives me peace. Calms my world. And gives me hope for a better tomorrow. That for as long as I haven’t been to Congo, Gambia, Victoria falls, Mozambique, Ethiopia up here and Tunisia, then I have a reason to live, to hold on even when my today isn’t a good day.

If you haven’t been to Nairobi National park, make your way towards there..it’ll be worth your visit.