Monday, 23 December 2013
Saturday, 21 December 2013
I have grown up so much this year. In just the final half of 2013,I learnt more about life than I have in all my years put together. They say that there is that one thing that happens to you,Event X,that divides your life into the time before it,and the time after it. I had my event x this year,atleast I think I did...
If I had to wrap up all my life's lessons into one,it'd be this;dont expect anything from anyone. Expectation is the mother of all dissappointment. Whenever you're making a plan to do something,especially something that is for your own benefit,be sure you don't assume someone else will be willing or available to help. Infact its safer to assume everyone has their own crap to deal with. That way,you're not shocked or let down when no one actually comes through and you can be really grateful if someone does. I had one of the best birthdays of my life this year with almost a whole week of celebration. After my Event X,I really wasn't going to leave my birthday plans in anyone's uncertain hands. So I set about preparing for it myself,and deciding on a course of action. While I'm grateful that the Lord blessed my plans,I was also overwhelmed by how people went out of their way to make sure my day was special. Those who wouldn't make it on the D-day utilised the other days of the week and those that were not around found a way to send their gifts across continents and those who couldn't do either of those did something else. I honestly didn't expect any of it and somehow I think this increased my appreciation for every little thing that was done. I felt quite loved and re-assured.
This year has been a long one everyone can agree,in more ways than one. There have been many times when I doubted myself,my beliefs,my principles,my dreams,my methods and my life altogether,times when I wondered if I wasn't just in denial and running out of time to wake up and smell the mocca! In one of my previous posts I talked about how I didn't really know what I was looking for;well not anymore because now I do. I can confidently tell you now that those times came,but those times passed. I'm more determined, more sure, more passionate, more aggressive and more daring. I've got the confidence of a Queen and the bravado of a lion. Right now, you'd have to kill me first before I ever compromise about my beliefs or give up on my dreams! I pray that I,and everyone else will go through 2014 with the same zeal and oomf I have right now :)
PICS FROM THE BIRTHDAY WEEK...
Monday, 16 December 2013
Most people think that the part of losing someone that hurts the most is that moment they take their last breath or the time when the coffin disappears into the ground. Well,most people are wrong in that regard. Somehow the hustle and bustle and endless planning and organising distracts you from the realness of it all;it keeps you just alittle busy and occupied enough to not think about it all too much. That time passes by faster than you'd imagine and it feels like you're moving in slow motion while the world is in fast forward...
Its the time when all is said and done that the roles are reversed;this is the part that hurts the most,more than you ever thought possible. That time when everyone goes back to their homes and things go back to their usual pace and life starts to go on and you're expected to adjust;that time sucks big ones! You're thinking,'ok,what now? What comes next?' How are you supposed to do that,to act normal? How are you supposed to act like there's nothing missing and yet you know for a fact something is not there now that was there before? Picture this;there was a huge tree that you used to shade yourself from the midday sun everyday on your way back from the well. After some time,it became more than just a tree to you,it became a place you got together to reunite and share secrets and receive sound advice with the other village girls. It became special to all of you.
Suddenly it was taken out by the roots. A fuss was made for a bit and the village members sympathised for a while with you. Then each one slowly returned to their many responsibilities and concerns. And you were left to still pass by that place where once your tree stood tall,and is now nothing but a huge ragged hole in the earth to show where the roots burrowed into the earth. You are still expected to go to the well by the same route,you're also expected to sit in the same place and continue with all the activities that you used to carry out under your tree,you're expected to act like this is all part of life and you accept it,you're expected to be strong and keep going on like everything is normal,still the way it was and there isn't a special tree that's gone!
That,my friends is the hardest part. Watching the sun continue to rise and set and the world go on with life as usual,as though your whole universe didn't just get shattered and turned upside down can drain even the strongest of us.So while everyone is grateful for all the support during the peak of the storm,more priceless than anything is the moral support that continues to be given at the end of the day when everyone is gone. Will you be the one that comes back to give it? I hope I will.
Friday, 13 December 2013
We had our own memorial service for you at our church today. It wasn't as bad as i expected. i must apologize for being so embarrassingly late but I was still in time to listen to all the speeches. I did try to be a bigger part of it all mind you,but to no avail. And though the pews were rather empty by the time I got there,they were quite filled up at our time to leave. Needless to say,the crowd was made up of all kinds of high-ranking people, from the Archbishop to the Vice President of our country, Ambassadors, Ministers, Members of Parliament, High Commissioners, Members of the Judiciary,Pan-African representatives, Speakers of the Senate and then people like me.
I was afraid it would turn political,and it did for a bit;there was a point where the Kenyan High-Commissioner said something about how when you got to heaven and were asked about what was going on down here,you said you weren't too pleased...and there was also a bit of tension when the South-African High-Commissioner who was among the last speakers lamented about how there was some acrimony over the proceedings of proper last respects to you,between the Parliament of Uganda and the South-African High-Commission,and how it was only in Uganda that this had happened,and also how it was disrespectful of your memory because it was the opposite of everything you stood for;this was worsened by the Prime minister trying to defend the Parliament and the Government in general but later ironed out by the Vice-President who in a few words reminded us of why we were really there. There were tributes from all sorts of groups and organisation but the most moving was that of a little girl no more than six years that gave an address on behalf of the children of Uganda,her speech had us all in tears by the end.
I never got to meet you Mr. Mandela.Meeting you was always on my bucket list,but because I was not yet important enough to actually be allowed to,I figured I would work hard at it and maybe in about four or five years I would be important enough to...somehow the fact that you might be dead didn't even cross my mind.
I intended to ask you this if I had finally got to meet you;what happened on that island? You went in a bitter and angry youth who couldn't wait for the day he got his vengeance and came out a calm forgiving man. What happened in those twenty seven years?Was it a gradual change or was it an epiphany? Was this epiphany at the beginning,in the middle or at the end of your time in prison? Did you really feel no more hate and bitterness for all those that were not quite nice to you or was it a daily struggle for you like it is for us to consciously choose to love and forgive them?Did this change have anything to do with Jesus? You were quite careful to avoid the subject but I sure do hope it did because if if didn't, then it would all be for nothing.I guess i'll have to wait to get to heaven to ask you that.
I personally admired you, Mr. Mandela. Some friends of mine say you are over-rated but then again ignorance is bliss. You were a mystery and one of us at the same time,needless to say,you continue to inspire a lot of people with the way you lived and this is what made you stand out from the likes of Steve Jobs and Abraham Lincoln and other great people in history. You put your heart into it. You practiced what you preached,and showed us that we have huge potential to do good in us,if only we try.One of the speakers at todays service called you a 'secular saint'...The one thing I guess that stood out for me about you is never forgetting who you are. All the power and fortune and fame never affected your humility and you recognized and embraced your weaknesses,limits and shortcomings. It's something that i'm still working on up to date and will probably continue to work on for a bit of time. It's because of examples like you Mr. Mandela though,that I will not give up till I have achieved my goals.
You will be greatly missed and forever remembered by all.
Rest in Peace Mr. Mandela.
Pictorial from the memorial service held at All-saints Cathedral,Nakasero,Kampala,Uganda.
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
It has come to my attention that there are afew obvious but unique ways you can know for a fact that some one is a proper Ugandan. These character traits are not genetic or anything like that,but if you are born and raised in Uganda,somehow,you will find yourself agreeing with most of these points;
1. (The most obvious one I would say) We love to party.
Partying solves everything. If youre stressed out,you hit the club. If youre happy,you throw a party. When you're overwhelmed by debt,you go to the beach. When there's an earthquake,you organise an 'earthquake party'. If you hear of a shinding in Jinja,and have only shs2,000 in your wallet,you borrow the money or start the trekk. God forbid that a birthday should come and go without some sort of celebration!! Be it January or December,sunshine or rain,wether there is a Global disaster going on,in Uganda,the party continues.
2. Never do things on your own.
You want to go shopping,call up a friend. If you have a job interview,someone must come along for moral support. Wether you're going to the barbers or to the market,to a wedding (where the card only admits one) or a funeral, be it a house-warming or a Baptism or just a day you want to take off work and just stay home chilling,you have to go through your contacts and call every appropriate person until you find someone to do it with you.
3. We do not complain. (Not enough to be heard anyway)
Ugandans adjust to new situations very quickly and a tad bit quietly. No one will want to be the one that starts a protest or anything of the sort. If food prices go up,you find a way. If your wife is cheating on you and you find out,you deal with it quietly. If your leaders are robbing you in broad day light,you make jokes about it on the internet. When your boyfriend comes home later and later everyday,you get another for the day-time. If your parents reduce your allowance,there is a sudden increase in all your prices of your 'necessities'. Rather than confront the situation,we would rather find a way to deal with it.
4. We are the best at keeping up appearances.
I once heard somewhere that people buy things they don't like with money they don't have to impress others that don't really care-Ugandans in a nutshell. Our houses are getting bigger,our cars more flashy,our clothes are all imported and even beggars have I-phones. You would never tell what's really going on in someone's life unless you actually know what's going on in someone's life. That's all I'm saying.
5. We love our food.
Thank God we are blessed with lots to choose from. We definately want to have our cake and eat it too,we can always go to the gym after. Ugandans like to eat,good food especially. Its almost compulsory to have three meals a day,basic structure being 'food' and 'sauce'. Its how we get over stuff, its how we socialise and make new friends, its how you make a guest feel welcome in a home and its how you know you're working hard.
6. Last but not least,you welcome everyone.
You've heard How Ugandans are known to excel at hospitality and being friendly,its true. Wether I know you or not,I'm not going to stop you from attending my drink-up or wedding. No!! Infact,ill let you,a total stranger ride with us to the club for the after-party and then crush at my house for the night. Yes,we are trusting like that. You will never hear that so and so was ignored or locked out because nobody knew him. If you're my friend's friend,then you're my friend too:we can deal with the introductions later!
I couldn't exhaust the points even if I tried. We are who we are,with all our positives and negatives. Regardless,I'm still proud to be Ugandan.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
'Everything will be ok in the end. If it's not yet ok, then it's not yet the end.'
There's nothing that makes you feel worse than the realisation that you have failed. It doesn't matter how difficult or simple the task was,it doesn't matter how many times you've failed before,the sting will always be as sharp and as painful as if it were your first failure. It's especially pronounced when there is a way what went wrong could have been prevented in the first place,or if it is entirely your fault,and yours only.
I wish I could say that over the years the impact of the sting of failure as it's teeth penetrate even your strongest deepest guard-walls will become less painful. I,however cannot do that,because it is not true. Its always going to hurt when you fail.
There is a silver lining to this dark cloud though; the duration of the pain gets shorter and shorter as you mature. Yes,it actually does. With time,if you are keen about it,you will learn how to forgive yourself faster and how to accept it as a lesson well taught. You will (hopefully) learn how to pick yourself up quicker and quicker everytime you fall because it will dawn on you (hopefully) that everyone falls,and all that matters is that everytime you fall,you get up,dust yourself off and try again. So you will start to view mistakes as the stepping stones they are to becoming a better bigger you,as a way to get one step closer to fulfilling your purpose in this mysterious fore-planned cycle that is your life. And if you find yourself in the same messy situation a second time round,then there's a bit of the lesson you missed the first time. A friend of mine is always saying that God is in the business of giving retakes [think more second chances than double portion of trouble ;) ]
I know I say it a lot,but I mean it each time I do just as much as the time before:Never stop. Never give up. No matter what.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Monday, 21 October 2013
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Thursday, 12 September 2013
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
Friday, 16 August 2013
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Nine little words.
How could they cause so much pain! My whole body freezes over and i cant feel my legs.I wonder if im floating...Is this what they mean by being in shock...I cant move and something at the back of my mind has to remind me to breath. Thank goodness we have no control over the beating of our heart!Its not sinking in yet,the loss that ccomes with those few words...The finality.And the pain...
Gut-wrenching pain that starts from somewhere inside my chest and spreads to the rest of my body.I double over. I must sit,i must find somewhere to sit or sleep.For just a minute,only till i catch my breathe.
But EVERYTHING has changed,in just that one moment...Aaah,a bed.Yes,i see a bed.Ill lie down for one minute...But my eyelids are frozen too.Then comes the tears,so many of them. Didnt think i had such a bountiful reserve in me,one thats so easily accesible at that...but quiet tears turn into angry sobs that shake the whole body and leave you feeling drained.Ill just cry some of this pain out,or else my chest might explode.But why wont it go away... Ive probably been sobbing for about an hour,or is it a day,or two...
Help me Jesus,help me or this pain will kill me. So the sobs grow quieter and smoother and gradually die out.My eyelids start to drop. Ill just close my eyes for a second now...
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
When you take that first step into the unknown
So what are you waiting for?
So get out, and let your fear fall to the ground
If you take that first step into the unknown He won't let you go
So what are you waiting for?
Step out, even when it's storming
Step out, when your hope is stolen
So what are you waiting for?
Monday, 27 May 2013
“We're soul mates," he says. "We are forever. Our kind of love cannot be destroyed.”
― Stacey Jay, Juliet Immortal.
Yesterday I watched the E! True Hollywood Story of The late Patrick Swayze. Most people knew him for the passionate actor that he was. But I was really moved by his relationship with his wife. They met when she was fifteen, and even though he moved to another city to chase his dreams,he came back,married her in the back yard of her parents house because they couldnt afford all the proper wedding works, and then they both left their home town Texas with only $2000 to start a new life together. Unlike most hollywood marriages,they stayed together,throughout his addictions, childlessness, cancer and everything. There were never rumours of a divorce or a split up or infidelity. Right to the day of his death, it was true love.
Leah LaRocco | Women You Should Know
As I grew up, there were certain things in life I was made ready for. My parents lovingly prepared me for milestones such as my first day of school. I sat in classrooms with educators who taught me how to be conscientious about the planet, how to form a coherent sentence, how to do complicated math that to this day I have never used, and eventually how to take tests that prepared me for higher education.
Then I went to college for training in the field of my choice, where I sat in larger classrooms and had experiences that would prepare me for a profession, thereby enabling me to enter the real world and somehow survive.
In spite of all this intentional, quite expensive preparation for navigating the waters of life, one thing I was never prepared for was ending up in my 30s, questioning dating and marriage, wondering what on earth I am doing with my life.
As young girls, it seems we are programmed to be excited about our wedding day. Then we go to college and watch our girlfriends get engaged and married in apocalyptic proportions. Soon they start having kids like the survival of the population depends on their specific uterus. Then down the road some of the marriages devastatingly fall apart and you become a shoulder to cry on because you are still unmarried and know what it’s like to be alone.
All of these are very meaningful happenings in the lives of those we love and care about, but we are rarely prepared for the emotions that flood our hearts when we realize their lives are moving forward and ours seem to be standing still.
The thing which took me a very long time to realize is that being alone does not translate to standing still. Pursuing a successful career, traveling, and fixing up my home while being unmarried does not mean my life is stagnant, but rather, means I am chasing dreams that do not include a man yet.
In her book "A Gift From The Sea," Anne Morrow Lindbergh reminds us, “Actually, these are among the most important times in one’s life – when one is alone. The artist knows he must be alone to create; the writer, to work out his thoughts; the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray. But women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves: that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships.”
One day a married coworker was talking about getting ready for an event the previous night. She said, “I don’t know how single people zip up the back of a dress.” This got me thinking. What else do single people do that married people take for granted? How do single people drain pasta? Fold fitted sheets? Open jars? Know if their jeans make them look fat? It’s truly a miracle that we survive! Do you get where I’m going with this?
At some point, after being asked the question of when I’m getting married one too many times, I began to feel incomplete. What society expected of me had not yet happened in my life, therefore something must be wrong. I echo the sentiments of the heroine in Laurie Viera Rigler’s "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" when she says, “I resent it being a truth universally acknowledged, no matter what era I find myself in, that a single woman of thirty must be in want of a husband.”
I do want a husband, but I also want to be a whole and happy individual even if I never get married. There are things I wish I could go back and tell myself at twenty-one that might have prepared me a little better for this space I find myself in. Perhaps a letter that could travel back in time and say:
Dear 21 Year Old Self,As you leave college you will be thrown into the world without a life preserver, expected to swim upstream through challenges and hopes and dreams you never knew would come your way. I, your future self, want to tell you a little of what lies ahead so that in your darkest moments you will have hope that all is not lost.
You have been blessed with the most wonderful friends! I am happy to report that the ones you value most now will still be your closest friends in 10 years. You will come to understand that a man is not the answer to the fulfillment you seek. Your heart will be broken a few times and you will feel like you cannot survive the loss, but you will. In fact, you will not be married when you hit your 30s, but will be in a relationship you hope will eventually get there… after several years.
You will work at a really crappy job that you hate and then you will be unemployed for 13 months before landing your dream job. Your friends will get engaged, married, and then all have children at the same time, 10 in one year. Then they will have second children all at the same time. You will buy so many presents for other people’s showers, you will seriously consider pulling a Carrie Bradshaw and registering at Manolo Blahnik just for the hell of it. Some days you will feel like you are going insane and are so “behind schedule”. The timeline in your head is imaginary, it does not exist. You will turn into a crazy cat person who sends out Christmas cards with pictures of your cats in retaliation for all the Christmas cards you receive with babies on them.
You will go to Italy and love it so much that you decide to learn the language one day. Facebook will constantly make you wonder if something is wrong with you. Ignore it. You will lose a beloved grandparent. You will buy a house by yourself. You will miss the place you grew up so much and your heart will ache to go back there, but you will remain where your work has led you and visit often.
And through all of these situations when you question where your life is going and wonder if you made a big fat mistake, you will feel blessed by the love you have in your life. There will be moments when you stand looking out your kitchen window thinking back over the years and catch your breath at the treasures that exist in your life. You will deal with feelings of jealousy, depression, inadequacy, and hopelessness at times, but will emerge from each situation with resilience, a greater capacity to love, and the understanding that your story is your story and not anyone else’s. This knowledge, plus good friends to encourage you along the way, will bring you peace.
With Respect for the Woman You Will Be,
Your Future 30-Something Self
This post originally appeared at Women You Should Know. Reposted with permission.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
I wanted to have a quiet morning by myself so I could wallow in whatever emotions I was feeling before it got crowded and I was forced to socialize. Plus I was having a long sad morning and I needed to brainstorm about the way forward regarding a certain area of my life…
Anyway, I get to my cafe and move to the other side to sit by the pool and ponder, and lo and behold, there was already someone! Seated in my usual spot! Lounging so casually as if he did not know that he was seated where I usually sit and would want to continue sitting. Not only was he warming my seat (and I prefer my seats cool and fresh) but he was one of those people whose face would be recognized almost anywhere by almost anyone, a celebrity if you must. Goodbye to the seclusion and low numbers of particular people that usually came here. People would start to flood this place after this!!
But I was not to be deterred. I moved on to the next seat and started to make conversation with one of the guys that was cleaning the pool in order to calm down and get over my disappointment. After exchanging pleasantries with him (because even when you steal my seat, I still remember my manners) and just as I was about to settle into the seat on the next table, Mr. Celebrity has the balls to ask me to join him. Clearly it was an invite to conversation as I could see from the left-overs of a very strange mix of foods for breakfast on the plate in front of him that he had already had his. I thought, ok, why not? You’ve already warmed the seat anyway… so I joined him. And then the strangest thing happened.
We talked non-stop for about three hours. And I’m not talking about dragged out conversation where one has to grasp at strings of some far-fetched topic in order to sustain the convo, no. It was the kind that flowed non-stop, had lots of laughs involved and needed no explanation. It was a good conversation. The likes of which I had not had in a long time. With a stranger.
Apart from making my morning, and probably whole day better, I must say it renewed my dwindling faith in the human race. There’s still good people out there, you just have to be open minded and flexible enough to give them and yourself a chance.