I happen to celebrate my birthday at the end of the year. I turned 27 two days ago, on 29th December. The thing about celebrating your birthday at this point is that you are actually starting a new year in your life alongside a new calendar year. It’s always a nice thing because everyone is at home and in holiday mood. The other thing about the date is that no one will doubt that you were really born on that day, unlike a friend of mine, for instance, who was born on 1st January and had to show me his ID for me to believe it. Almost. Even that was not enough because I know thousands of Kenyans have 1st of January on their IDs for some strange reason. I think that is the default date if you don’t know your DoB. The other thing about this period in our house is that it is followed by my brother’s birthday on 30th. For the longest time as kids, we would celebrate it together. And then we grew up and it became a simple separate affair where everyone says something and we blow candles.

[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”1″]N[/su_dropcap]ow this year was very different.

You get a good amount of rain on you today. In a skirt. You shiver alright, but you have to go to church. Today is an interesting one. You have been separated into groups. You are in the 20+ group. The crazies. The facilitator decides you are going to break into smaller groups and discuss relationships. In the end, it is very clear you are one of very many singles. Too many. It’s a bit sad. It seems the issue is not really the men, like you’re all trying to believe. It’s you. The men also have their own issues, but from where you are seated, laughing at the shouting match, you nod at their points, while your fellow girls shout them down. It makes you wonder why you are in the group claiming independence and lack of compatibility. Why won’t you find someone who is compatible? One guy stands up and says girls are confused and do not know what they want. Reason, one girl said we want simple acts of love, another said guys are broke. You sure are confused. Or maybe you all just want different things.

One year ago, I wrote this post. I remember because of this awesome tool I use called missinglett_r. This amazing website lets me schedule blog posts for an entire year. I just sit back and relax, waiting to discover what it has posted on my Twitter after someone comments or retweets. So if you’re a blogger, you know what to do. It is mostly free. You’re welcome. 😉

Anyway, we were talking about singlehood. As usual. Maybe I should stop talking about it, right? In the meantime, as we chew on that thought, let’s see what has changed since one year ago. Am I still gaining weight? Nope. I have made a conscious decision to stop myself from doing so. It is not quite healthy, gaining weight ovyoovyo, to be honest. Regardless of all those all-up-in-your-biz mamas who keep asking why you are not eating during family get-togethers. Don’t listen to those mamas. They want you look like them, which is not healthy at all. Maybe they could avoid it themselves and it’s culturally acceptable to gain weight as a symbol of “having arrived”. If you can avoid blowing up without making a huge effort, then avoid it. Not even for the look but for the health of it all. Your future babies need you in one piece. Exercise. Eat natural things. Give natural yoghurt a shot. That thing sucks but it’s for the greater good. Tell yourself that, it will keep you going. 

You were going to procrastinate again. You were going to write this post some other day. But then someone somewhere insisted that you had to do it today, not tomorrow. So you gave in. He has a point. A few days more and it will be September! Sigh. Where to start?

You have so many things running in your mind on any given day or time that they all seem to evaporate and override each other by the time you want to sit and think of one of them. Days are a blur most times. You get up, snooze a million times, take your sugarless tea (oh yes, you can finally take sugarless tea without blinking) and get to work. Speaking of sugarless tea. It’s been a journey of many turns. You have thought about some of the ladies you know with flat tummies and they have one thing in common – no sugar. Why not you? People insist that you don’t have a tummy but you know you do. These are the kind of friends you don’t need in your life. Friends that tell you lies to make you feel better. Lol. We see you.

That reminded me of that Love is… comic strip from back in the 90s Daily Nation leisure page. Actually, if you Google it, that’s the first result. Anyway, that’s not the point.

Sometimes I struggle. I struggle with a lot of things. Feelings of uncertainty. Feelings of hurt. Holding on to hurt. Holding on to the wrong things people do to me. Feelings of fear. Then right after that comes the guilt. The defence. The rationalization. The waste of time taking things personally (although I will admit I don’t know how else I can take things other than personally). I also struggle with love. With the concept of it. What it is. What it should be. Whether I should even be thinking the stuff I think if I claim to love those around me. Today’s sermon made me think about this. It’s been a while since I listened to a great sermon. You know those guys who preach without shouting? Those guys who are straight to the point and show you things clearly and in all practicability? That was our preacher today.

The word was about love. Passages we know by heart. Galatians 5:22-23. Fruit of the spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Oh, it’s the second result on Google when you search for “Love is”.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

It’s been a minute since you thought about this topic.

Lie.

Everywhere you turn, that topic is bound to crop up. Think back to this Sunday. The first thing that happens when you walk into the church compound is a friend telling you that he dreamt of attending your wedding. Somebody say amen? He insisted on it, even after bumping into him again after the service, even though the last time you talked was ages ago. This is not the only dream that someone has told you about btw.

You know exactly what you want. But so as to make things sound complicated, to not hurt people, you tell them you don’t know what you want. People here being men. You know you want a man who knows what he wants, not just by word but by action. You want someone who, right from the start, made his intentions known. Someone who is decisive. Someone who does not practise certain rituals that you do not approve of. Think about something like drinking. Not milk. Alcohol. This, especially, is becoming increasingly hard to have as a “don’t” on your dos and don’ts list. It makes you wonder whether your list is too prefect. Like seriously. You know exactly what you want, you just haven’t found it yet.

You sigh a lot nowadays, whether in text or physically. You rarely feel anything anymore. You have lived long enough to know some things are not worth wasting your emotions over. Even when you do feel something, you’re human after all, you move on very fast.

You have a crush in the office building. He looks like a sweet chap. But every moment you get, you ignore him, pretend not to see him, unless your eyes lock and you have no choice of pretending not to have seen him. Hi there. He probably has a girlfriend or wife, in all likelihood.

Sigh. It’s mid Jan. How did that happen? You struggle to get out of bed today, as always. You remember sleeping without answering all the texts on your phone. One was about an engagement on Facebook. Facebook will never leave you alone, will it? Despite you not logging in for two months. The other was a good night from another friend. You wanted to reply but couldn’t. Not that you had something else to do except read that book that has you glued to its pages and lying in bed in all sorts of awkward positions.

By Kizzy B

I am in my late twenties. Time is moving too fast but, my life… doldrums for lack of a better word is what I feel right now. You see, people are often comfortable with the saying: “Everything happens for the right reason, at the right time and maybe with the right person.” How challenging that statement is to me.

Before you judge me for rushing my life and feeling as though I don’t belong, let me tell you something.

By Joy Anindo

People who know me know I am a sucker for cartoons and animations. I will sit there and watch, giggle and even cry at some scenes. Because I’m cool like that.

There is this one animation that really got to me, Rise of the Guardians. The plot involves these immortal Guardians like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy who protect the children of the world from fear, darkness and despair. However, an evil boogeyman named Pitch Black (I know right? Total bad guy name.) plans to overthrow the Guardians by destroying the children’s belief in them. It’s falls to Jack Frost to help thwart Pitch’s plans and save the Guardians from destruction. The work of the Guardians is to protect the children from fear. Jack Frost is recruited into the group and he doesn’t understand why.

Ever felt so at peace with yourself and with the world that you wonder what’s changed? You begin to gain weight, weight that has been elusive ever since you were aware of yourself. You still have your acne but it doesn’t bother you much. You begin to portray more girly traits, complete with a changing wardrobe since the jeans you are used to and growing too tight anyway. You begin to catch up with your girls and slowly get rid of pointless talk in your life. You tweet less, scroll down your Facebook news feed twice a week, only have Telegram and Hangouts as messaging apps and chat a total of five people in these two and watch the news in passing, because you have probably seen an alert online about the same pieces throughout the day. Every once in a while, someone will ask when you are getting married, but that’s once in a blue moon.

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m still stuck in teenage. I still delight in books written for teenagers and young adults. Why? Because teenagers in the US do things we only start doing when we’re in our 20s here. Or let me just speak for myself. They do things I am not even doing yet myself.

Why am I thinking this now, of all times? Two of the few books I couldn’t put down this year are specifically written for young adults. One was Paper Towns by John Green. I found it to be mostly stupid but I couldn’t stop reading all the same. The other is the one I just finished a few minutes ago: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I bought it last Sunday, while I was browsing through TBC, quite impressed at how they’d stepped up their stock-recent-books game. Why did I buy it? Because it had been rubberstamped by the Guardian as the next The Fault in Our Stars.

Sometimes things happen. Inexplicable things. Mind-boggling stuff. Tear-jerking events. You stare at your screen and wonder why such wonderful things are happening suddenly to you. Why you even after all your mistakes. Why you after all the self-doubt. And then you realize this is what miracles are made of. Yes, you have given your all but no, it’s not your doing. Absolutely not. And finally it hits you it was not suddenly at all. It just looked like it was.

I wake up at 8 am today. A record. You all know I wake up at 10 am on Saturdays. It’s getting harder and harder to wake up at that time nowadays. I have made a pact with myself that I will not neglect friendships in the name of resting away during the weekend. So I wake up, dillydally in the warmness of the blankets, chat with a friend, let miss cat join me as usual and then I finally make it out at 8:30 am. Someone congratulates me for waking up that early. Well in. I am up because I am headed for a wedding. A wedding I cannot fail to attend. Hannah’s wedding. If you frequent this blog, you know Hannah. Hannah almost always is the one who comments first on my posts. If she doesn’t do it here, she will do it on my Hangouts.