Guest Post By Wanjiru Maina
1. Prepare. Or don’t.
I woke up on Saturday 11th and went for a run. 10 kms. Just like that. No prior practice, no warm up. I got there, said hi to a few familiar faces, got into my branded T-shirt and took off! I was out of breath by the 12th minute. My chest was not tight though, as is sometimes the case, whenever I ambush it with a sprint or a run. (Hihihi) Yea, I sneak up on it some times… And it curls up tight in what feels like a foetal position, fighting for its survival, not caring about mine! Smh! But before I digress, carried away by angina, the condition’s official name, let me share the lesson:
Sometimes, prior planning is just not workable. Either by design or by the design of laziness. That notwithstanding, what needs to get done needs to get done. Get in there with both feet. Roll up your sleeves and get doing. You will pant, you will get stuck, you will want to quit, but you will have started, and that is the most important step. To begin.
Oh, and it will be hard, prepared or not. ( I am all for planning, don’t get me wrong, but “adulting” has taught me that planning is not always feasible, and sometimes, even the most well done plans fall apart.)
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.
Conversations start with either “Sasa wewe…” or “Nani…” Sometimes, the conversation starts with “I hope you have something important to tell me…”
The conversations can last a few seconds or even two hours or so.
But before I digress…
We all want to have the “kind, caring and understanding, soft-spoken, always there” kind of friend. You know the ones we keep in our colourful imaginary lists of must-have traits.
You take the painkillers and they simply don’t work. Not in the least. You get that headache again on a Friday night and you just get mad at the world. You don’t finish your supper and just shut everyone out and go to bed. To struggle to sleep. You decide to not move out of the house the next day. To stay put. To iron all the clothes that have piled up over the month and just chill out. Your hair’s a mess. The growth is just annoying. Maybe that’s why your head is aching. That growth is always painful anyways.
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.
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, I read books. Boring books. Books that suck the life out of me. Books that claim to be New York Times bestsellers. Books that everyone else has read. Most times, I let them sit on my headboard, waiting for a second chance. Other times I let them sit on my shelf until the day I feel they might be interesting again because my understanding of them has changed with experience. Often times, I just give them out because it’s not good to hoard stuff that someone else might enjoy. I gave away The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I couldn’t stand it. Turns out my BFF’s mum loved it. I also gave away two John Grisham books: Sycamore Row and Gray Mountain. Honestly John bored me to death with these two. Bear in mind I’m a Grisham girl. Why would he bore me then, you ask? I have a theory.
Imagine that you are walking in town one Saturday afternoon. Either alone or with a friend in tow. Let’s assume the second option – you are strolling in town with a friend, W. You talk about the weather and how it’s been behaving. How the week was at work and at home. You talk about everything that you can possibly talk with your friend. Then, suddenly, in the middle of that you start feeling ill. At that moment you realize that there is something terribly wrong with your body and you cannot really figure it out. You assume and keep on talking. Suddenly your friend realizes there’s something terribly wrong, but they too are clueless. Things happen so fast that you start losing your sensory abilities – you cannot feel the spoon that’s in your hand and you fail to coordinate the digits on your hand but nothing. Before you know it, a sharp migraine fills your entire head causing you to slump on the table, weak and helpless.
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.
I’m in bed. I have tried to sleep. I have really tried. It’s 00:54. I am tired. My legs feel worn out. I was trying to ice-skate. My cousin’s idea. I got into bed at 9 sth. Took on Taken 3. Liked it. Cried a little. Embarked on using a bit of my night bundle then decided to sleep. Wapi?
The cock is croaking now. No, we don’t call it croaking. Somehow I thought they go together. It’s crowing. I might be going crazy. Or maybe it’s all the thinking I should be processing that I’ve decided to forget about that is haunting me. I honestly don’t know what’s up. M-Pesa is apparently undergoing maintenance, so I can’t top up and text. I can’t watch something else. What am I? A couch potato? No. So I’ll do the only thing remaining. I’ll tell us all a story. It goes like this:
By Miriam Jerotich
Four years ago, I lost my childhood friend. She was twenty. She wore a wedding dress to her funeral; a poignant reminder of one of her cherished dreams. I don’t remember what I wore on the night that I was told we had lost her. I don’t remember the day itself; what I ate, what I was, what I thought before I woke into her absence. I remember falling on my knees and crouching to my ankles. I remember the ache that began gnawing deep inside me, its manifestation in the way I scratched my legs till they bled, a vestigial habit that I would slip into when I did not get what I want, in this case, her healing.
Writer chooses to remain anonymous.
Every year this week since I graduated from high school, I make a promise to myself to date or have a meaningful relationship with someone. And every year, I don’t. Somewhat.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t dated. I have had some “satisfying” relationships, but not many last till Valentine’s Day. It’s some coincidence I have never understood. In high school, it was an unwritten rule that you had to put some effort into Valentine’s Day by doing something for a girl in a school across the valley. I wrote x-rated letters because the school system allowed us to remain anonymous. It was fun.
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