A lot was running through my mind last month. Yes, it is October already. Time flies. My internship came to an end (to my relief) ushering in the interview season. I attended so many interviews that I simply stopped freaking out. (Ignore the exaggeration.) My internship season is not over yet, I will be an intern where I am going. Lots to learn and miles to go before I get to where I need to be. All factors held constant, I am not complaining, and you know why? I will tell you. The Teacher, he who authored Ecclesiastes, will help me do that. He was very wise, that guy.
A few days ago, I was going to blog about how depressed I was. How I could not understand why things were working so slow for me. The interesting bit is if someone else from the outside was looking at my life, they would wonder why I was down. The truth is I have a weakness. I have this belief that I should not fail in whatever I try. I can also be very impatient. It turned out I was just worrying for no real reason. I had forgotten that even when He’s four days late, He’s still on time. Plus He (Jesus) was very clear, no point worrying about tomorrow when each day has enough trouble of its own.
Nugget 1: He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11
I did not like my mandatory internship for very many reasons. All the same, I did everything I was told to do to the best of my ability. Sometimes I would whine about it and sometimes I would get really depressed to the point of regret but I would come back to my senses on my own and with help from my friends who knew every single thing I was doing (thanks to WhatsApp). I learnt to be content with what I had at the moment and do my best in it.
Nugget 2: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10
My internship ended the first week of September, and I felt free again to pursue my dreams. Towards the end of this period, I had applied for every kind of job on the Internet. This is despite the fact that throughout this time, I had been told that the only sure way you could get a job in Kenya was by having ‘very tall relatives’. I was also told that there was no way I was going to find a job on the Internet.
Well, here I am to tell you not to listen to everything people say. It never hurts to try. I became a regular at BrighterMonday.co.ke and applied for several openings. Soon, my phone started ringing. Soon after that I attended interviews. The funny thing is, I attended them and kept going for follow-ups instead of just settling for one. Needless to say, I learnt a lot. I also had to make tough choices, including what offer to accept and what to reject. I also know a friend of mine who was trying his hand at two jobs and was faced with such a dilemma. That’s life. The Teacher backs me up on that one:
Nugget 3: Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Ecclesiastes 11:6
Throughout September, the spirit of friendship came alive around me. Despite how uncomfortable I was at my place of internship, I was surrounded my great colleagues who made me feel at home. My friends urged me on from wherever they were and my family always commended how changed I was. Oh yes, I could sleep at 10pm and wake up at 6am. That was totally unheard of for this girl who had claimed to be nocturnal for the better part of her campus life.
Friends and family matter. They look out for you, they want the best for you even when some people will claim that humans are not innately good. Look at how phenomenal Kenyans’ response to the terrorist attack at Westgate was. Even the terrorists were bent on convincing little children that they were not monsters. Cultivate your relationships, you are not an island.
Nugget 4: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
All through September, I could go quiet on people and some got mad. I tend to recoil back into my cocoon to keep from saying stuff I shouldn’t be saying. I am pretty sure that is not a bad thing. The bad part is where I may never tell you if you did something wrong. That is selfish. I am working on that very earnestly and I know someone somewhere who knows that. September saw me become quite open with people. I used to subtweet people a lot but I cut down on that. You have to be careful what you say or type. Words can build and they can also destroy. Like Andy Mineo raps in Still Bleeding, “God used words to create this planet so be careful with ’em.”
Nugget 5: Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
Finally, September was the month I read pieces and listened to TED talks addressed to 20-somethings which got me thinking. I am not as young as I’d like to believe. I’d like to believe that I have all the time in the world to waste before I am 30, but that is not true. Like Meg Jay said, 30 is not the new 20. I also feel if you never read this piece on Forbes and you’re my fellow 20-something, you should.
Don’t waste your life. Don’t wait for that degree certificate to start doing something. Don’t wait for the day you’ll get a job in a big company and look down on opportunities in startups and obscure companies. The truth is that you may gain so much more from these ‘unknown’ outfits than from renown giants in the industry. That is the one bit I agree with Sheryl Sandberg in her book, Lean In. She says that the words that made her stick with Google when it was ‘tiny and disorganized’ were these wise ones from Eric Schmidt: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”
(I cannot believe I am writing this. That was not me a few months ago. It was either a job at Safaricom or nothing. ;))
Nugget 6: Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” Ecclesiastes 12:1
Let me wrap this up, lest I end up writing forever and not doing my work. In the process, I also read the whole Ecclesiastes in a few minutes. It is that simple once you want to read the Bible seriously.
Till next time, have a beautiful October people! Live life to the fullest, something else the Teacher said.
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil. | Ecclesiastes 12:13-14