Dare to follow your own path

Greetings earthlings…

I have had such an interesting time with the crazy feedback that my friends have gotten lately from the “new craze” app Sarahah.

Before I get into my perspective, clearly most people have zero chills. I have gone through the couple of messages shared by friends and people I follow on my social media platforms. Popular questions have been along the lines of whether one is dating, when they will get married, why they are not allowing others to be involved in the planning of their wedding, (the funniest one yet) among others. Then there are the comments that you should definitely marry that girl or get married by that guy (nyakua mjamaa juu kuna shortage). From this, it shows people are quite curious to know what exactly is going on in one’s personal life, with others actually giving you the statement to go ahead and marry them. My main question, is this based on our posts and shares on social media that always portray a smooth, fun life with successes, zero failures, lots of love with bae and all things going perfectly? And no, I am not excluding myself, I am in this bandwagon. For people who probably believe social media to be where their whole world revolves around, this is a dangerous angle of looking at life.

Onto the positive comments, they were defining how strong, hardworking, dedicated or committed the individual is which is great. The ones I would that caught my eye a bit more were the ones that ended with when I grow up, or when I get to a certain level,

………………………………………… …..wait for it …………………………………………………………

“I want to be just like you.”

I have been in this situation as well, until not too long ago. Remember the way you use a certain cooking oil because your mum used to use it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because mums are always right, right? Munchkin 1 and 2, I already know your answer is yes. I digress. I totally understand how you would appreciate and love how someone you have admired. One who has set a certain standard for you, one who has achieved great milestones, getting themselves to become forces to be reckoned with at work, in entrepreneurship, or through their talents. I just want to challenge us to work towards greatness – Yes, BUT thrive to do things differently, instead of  “I want to be just like you,” dare to follow your own path, be the best version of yourself.  I have at some point in my life wanted to be like someone I truly admire and one who inspires me. And until about a year ago, I wanted to do so many things as they had done them, heck I wanted my career to grow like them, to have my own home at the age that they had theirs, wanted to do my wedding in a similar way. I actually wanted to be just like them (this might have required going round the mugumo tree seven times, If this even works, anyone tried??).  They were role model, they still are! I would never have been exactly like them. I can however, be the best version of myself.

Learn from others, consult, read wisely, network, travel and expose yourself to the many opportunities and experiences that are available. Be inspired by the people who you consider exemplary, successful, those who have such an organized way of doing LIFE so to speak. However, open up your mind to different ways of getting there, heck your limit can be a different type of sky. Have that uniqueness that differentiates you from everyone else. Allow yourself to move from a Copy Paste situation into your own way of getting to the proverbial TOP.

Back to Sarahah, how do you pronounce this?, my perspective on it is that it can be a great tool to honestly give positive feedback or criticism that will help an individual to build a stronger, more effective version of themselves, tackle their weaknesses and embrace a channel towards self-improvement. Would you like to try it from that angle? If yes, feel free to leave a note for SheeGal on ShirohRuby.sarahah.com

As I am about to leave, the other one that this app has brought out is matters regarding depression.

An example of a message speaking about depression.

A couple of us have gotten it asked or commented about on this platform. This is a very crucial matter that I would like to join hands with friends, who would be free to speak about it,to start a sort of group, a safe space that can help. It has happened to many of us, it can get really dark, but you can also get out of it. Friends willing to partner, hit me up.

Until next time.

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The princess, Munchkin 2

Finally the day has come to introduce my princess, my munchkin 2, Papa’s lookalike, the one who made me embrace pink. I remember how I found out I was with child. I would like to say it was planned and we totally knew when it happened, but that would not be true. The smell of my colleague’s designer perfume would automatically induce throwing up. And the issue was me, not the perfume. I would not even hold anything down. It was not a surprise though, as I experienced a similar thing with munchkin 1. One of my favorite memories of pregnancy was a friendship that humbled me. I will call her Miss Star. Miss Star would offer to give me her lunch or buy me lunch as long as it meant I would eat. And more importantly,  that it would stay down. In fact she would sometimes ask what I wanted the next day and make it for me. This was a time where the smell of onions was terrible. It was at her cost. And she would almost pick a stick to beat me, to ensure I finished the food. That is how my munchkin got to 2.9kilos. The best craving I had was Java fruits with yogurt.

I remember the first day her dad saw her in my tummy, when he accompanied me for one of the scans. He was extremely quiet. For those who know him, he is so chatty. This brought him to silence. At the point that we knew it was a girl, he at first felt unsure. He finally spoke. And he wanted a boy. I on the other hand was totally excited. I finally saw the hair dates, dress up and girl power. But clearly I had not seen the colors. When it came to shopping, I found it a challenge as I was so used to buying boy stuff. In addition, pink just wasn’t working for me, to the point that my friends got me a purple cake for my baby shower.

Purple is the color of royalty

Too cute. I digress. So back to shopping, two of my friends ensured I stayed away from blue and brown. As I continued to shop, the excitement grew and the reality of a girl finally settled in my mind. And I liked it, scratch that I loved it.

Fast forward to delivery day, I was induced and felt encouraged that the second born would come out faster. Being the princess she is, she changed her position last minute and put her hand in front of her face. Don’t ask. It had to be an emergency C section. That was hard for me to reconcile with at first. I thank God it worked out because she had her cord wrapped around her neck thrice. Her father saw her first and I remember that’s where she got the nickname Papa’s look alike. And even though it’s hard to tell who the baby looks like on the first day, she did grow to be exactly that. I am so grateful for the Mister. He really helped with so much as the wound that felt like my upper body was completely disconnected from my lower body, healed. The sweetest thing was how he would come home to help bath her. And he would hold her close to the mirror, with their faces next to each other, and say for the umpteenth time, how alike they looked. He actually enjoyed doing it, other than pouring out the water from her basin afterwards, lol.

The little princess had colic. She would cry and curl herself. This would sometimes drive me insane. I remember thinking I was getting depressed as I found myself feeling like I was going to put her down and walk away. This was after trying everything and she still would not stop crying. I would give her Bonnisan like it was juice. Thank fully great help from the nanny and the mister got us past it. Truly nothing ever lasts forever. Every day it went fading off until one day we realized she does not cry as much anymore.

Today, I stare at a beautiful ten month old young girl, who loves herself like her dad, mum and brother combined. How dramatic she acts when she falls back on the seat from sitting to sleeping position. And especially considering it is not at all painful. I am proud as she is now getting independent. Now other people can carry her and she will not wail. She works well with out of sight, can watch cartoons, pinch her brother, laughs from deep within and has such beautiful eyes (those must be like her mum’s). She feeds really well but I have no idea where the weight goes to. One tooth is slowly popping out, but her toothless smile was so heartwarming. I will miss it. Her first word, wait for it, Baba. Did I say she eats her tongue like her mum?

Ok. There we have it. Munchkin 2, the princess.

My princess

The Miracle Girl – Baby Jena Muthoni

In the early morning cold I couldn’t help breathing in the air and enjoying its freshness. The fact that it is a gift, that no amount is required to enjoy it, is rarely what people walking or driving to the office would think of. Sometimes, the hustles of life can make us forget that life is not guaranteed, that we are not special to be able to see this day, that it’s by the grace of the Almighty that we can walk, talk, see, hear and feel.

Late last year, we went to a friend’s house to celebrate his first daughter, Shiru’s, birthday, as well as an addition to his family, his four months old second born, Jena. We had a great time at the party, children played while parents and friends caught up on their progress in life. At the end of the day, we thanked the parents for hosting and wished both girls the very best in life. On Monday last week, my friend and colleague Gerald, showed us pictures of his now eleven month old and mentioned how much she made him happy, how he loved her and how adorable she was. The gift of parenthood is so amazing, I thought as I fondly thought of my son as well. Little did we know that this was his instinct communicating a message. Two days later, his beautiful baby girl collapsed. Luckily, the nanny quickly called her mum, who wasn’t too far. She ran up the stairs and when she got into the house, one sight of her little baby girl and she knew things were bad. The mouth to mouth resuscitation, that she had been taught by a doctor, a while back ensured the baby was breathing, as a cab driver rushed them to hospital, where the father met them as soon as he could. The little one was admitted in hospital and was stabilized, but a day later her condition got worse. After analysis and scans, the doctors found that she had suffered a subdural hematoma, (a collection of blood outside the brain, under the skull), a term that I had previously only heard in medical shows. As the blood accumulates, the pressure on the brain increases. This led to an emergency surgery to drain out the blood. Baby Jena woke up well and began to take medication. She was in the High Dependency Unit at the Paediatric section, of the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi. As we speak almost two weeks later, this young little angel is now well into the road of recovery, with the kicking of her legs and responding to her name, a very emotional and grateful moment. Jena was moved from HDU to the normal ward on Wednesday afternoon.

The constant prayers and visits by family and friends has held this family together and given them hope at one of the most difficult times. As Jena continues to recover at the Aga Khan Hospital, there is need to begin to raise funds towards a bill of over Kshs. 700,000. Having seen Jena smile and play, I would like to work towards ensuring that she is able to fully recover and that her parents are able to come out of this challenge victorious. However, they are not able to raise this amount of money, on their own. It is in this regard, that I would like to request for my family, friends and the community at large, to assist me in helping clear baby Jena’s bill. I would like to commit to running of errands, service at an event for both individuals or an organization, any chores, cleaning, planting, whatever is within my capability, that I can be able to do during this Easter season, for any donation that is available to assist my little niece and her parents to walk out of the hospital, hopefully next week, and continue the recovery process at their home. Let us help Jena, her sister Shiru, and her parents, Gerald and Schola continue to live and celebrate her turning one year this April, without this heavy load of Kshs. 700,000 plus on their shoulder. One thing I look forward to. is the day Jena will share her story with the world, of how she truly is a miracle baby, and with the assistance of well wishers, family and friends, she was able to make it out of hospital without owing a single cent.

My appeal to Safaricom and Airtel Kenya would be to kindly give us a Paybill number that would enable well wishers to directly transfer funds into.

A special thank you to the Doctors and Nurses, at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, for all their hard work and assistance towards the full recovery of Jena Muthoni.

For any clarifications, kindly reach me on 0721415356.

This Muthiga girl reflects, Muthaiga is possible…

Its 2015, February to be precise, this time flies by too quickly. I have already had a roller coaster ride this year, wow my life is soooo, (whats the word?) Dramatic?? Some might say that but all the same, being alive beats all else.

I started out the weekend hanging out with friends with whom I once worked with. We sat and talked, laughed, and remembered the days past, it was quite a reflection. Then we talked about where we currently where in life and though the paths were quite different, there was a level of contentment as well as a hopeful spirit for what was to come. We could not believe that it was 9 pm already and we still had not covered everything. We needed another date to catch up and hoped through life’s busy schedules we could make it soon.

On Saturday, I saw one of my friends get married. It was such a milestone and I was so proud of him. As I sat there, I couldn’t help but remember the campus days and all the crazy fun things we did, how we got through the tough times and just who we were in general. Had you told us about marriage then, we probably would have said it would never happen. Fast forward to today, he looked so happy and ready to be a husband. From his speech, his dance moves and aura, he was ready for the rest of his life with his lovely bride.

On the other hand, one of my girlfriends from high school had a house warming / goat eating as she prepares for her wedding. There was a lot of excitement in the air and the bringing together of friends they have from different aspects of their lives, was humbling. As they narrated their story, I remembered the girl who was once my roommate in high school and the major worry that was to pass KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education), for all of us, and how God had taken great care of her and raised her up more than she would have imagined then.  We laughed at the hardships they had gone through as they started the dating journey, on a light note of course, and stood proud that they had been able to go through it all, come out stronger and find the person who they would share the rest of their life with.

looking back

The thinker in me woke up as always and made me realize how far we have come. Though days pass by really fast these days (hope that makes sense), we actually do move on to greater heights. It might not seem like much but when I remembered high school and campus, there as so many milestones. We may have set targets that we have not achieved yet but I assure you, we are not where we were ten years or so ago.

As I remember who I was in high school through to campus until now, I am so excited and humbled. I still have quite a lot to do but I am on the way, I am not stagnant. I have a beautiful family, great friends and I have matured in so many ways. So much so that I could blow my trumpet, I just choose not to J. I have quite a lot that I need to cover and to be honest, sometimes I feel down and as though I am on pause, but after this weekend, I have reevaluated and just stopped and seen life from another angle. I continue in this race of life, I am a success in the making and very appreciative of my achievements, failures, ups and downs, joy and sadness, the various experiences I have gone through. I realize now that everything truly does happen for a reason and once embraced, it’s easier to move to the next level.  On an entirely different note, someone please tell me why cleaners in some restaurants feel the need to wash the floors with Jik (a bleach brand) and all other detergents with such strong scents, while one is still eating……. I await an answer or probably a solution to that problem.

The First Day – Joining Form One

As I was walking to the bus stop today, I saw a young girl fully dressed in uniform with her blouse labeled at the back of the collar. It was clear that she was heading to a new school, her first day as a secondary school student.  Her mum whispered words of advice (I presume) though she still looked nervous and afraid. It reminded me of the very first day my dad took me to school. He had me pack all my stuff in a box, made sure I had worn full school uniform and shining shoes. All the books required well arranged. We even took photos together, what an amazing way to start that journey.

I was confident at first, feeling that I was finally a grown up and would be independent living in a boarding school. I thought it would be fun to live with other girls my age and I would instantly make great friends. Don’t get me wrong, some of the greatest friends I have today, I got from here but it was not easy. As the matron was checking through my things, including a hockey stick that I saw then for the last time, she mentioned that my uniform was not right. The shade was a bit darker. Right then, tears swelled into my eyes. It had not even been one day and already something was wrong. Luckily she saw my sadness and told me not to worry. My dad promised to get me the right one by the end of the week. For the few items we had sewn my name onto with blue thread, they couldn’t be returned. It’s amazing how awesome my dad was as he surely sorted me out by end of week, I’m sure it was not easy considering the high costs he had already incurred for the full joining form 1 experience.

Every rabble (as they called us), had a big sister. This was a girl in form 2 who would show you the ropes till you got the hang of it. For some, they made your bed and taught you how to make the metered corner, washed your clothes, fetched your tea each morning for the entire week and checked up on you every so often. I wish she had washed my clothes but I am not complaining as she taught me what I needed to know and made sure I was ok. She probably was the first person, who molded me at that age to become part of who I am today.

With the thin little mattress and a tiny locker, I started my journey away from home. The very first day of independence, or a small part of it. Amazingly, Ruthie, Esther, Natalie, Meg, Kirigo, Phoebe and Sabra are some of my closest friends today, and I thank God that other than education, growing up, learning responsibility among other things, I built a support structure that will last forever.

I wish the new young lady (and all others joining form 1) a great experience, filled with mistakes and learning from them, courage to try new things, to find herself, to work hard, obtain an education, responsibility, fun and to grow to be a success while never forgetting how she began.

Gives the hope for finding one…

There are men out there who will respond to your text messages. Men who will initiate conversations because they simply can’t wait to see what you’ll say next. There are men who will never be too busy or too preoccupied to wish you good morning, regardless if you’re a country or a block away. Men who remember to call when they say they will – because they want to – and those who surprise you with their curiosity about your sometimes monotonous days. There are men who aim to be the last person you talk to before you sleep and the first name you see on your screen when you rise. Men who show up on time – or even early – men who are genuinely excited to see you.

There are men who want to go on dates. Real dates. Men who want to take you out to their favorite…

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The Great Mt. Longonot Hike

I could sense the worry in people’s voices when I mentioned that I was going hiking last weekend, with the rainy season and all. Luckily for us, God heard our prayers and the sun shone, not too brightly as a calming breeze blew by.

Finally the day, we had been waiting for came along. I was so excited and full of energy to be hiking Mt. Longonot for the very first time. I have always loved adventure and even wonder how it took me this long to get there. In the morning, the matatu we had hired did not show up and the guy was mteja. There was that wonder in my head whether we should turn back coz this was in addition to people backing out last minute. Was it a sign?? No, it wasn’t. We hang in there and went on into town where we were meeting the rest of the crew. The men of the team hustled and we were able to get another matatu. Just before leaving town, some cops tried to give cut short our trip but when they understood the matatu was hired for a private trip, they let us go. Finally the trip had begun. As we were busy chatting and catching up, it took an hour and a half for us to get there, and we were there all happy and full of energy.

The trail started and it looked bearable. As we got higher, the fat started being burnt and the muscles stretching. Due to the rains (good excuse), I had not done much preparation for the climb. As we moved on, it now became a serious challenge and I kept wondering whether to just stop and call the far I had gone an achievement. However, my sister and a friend kept urging me to go on and when I was tired they would stop and give me a few minutes to rest. This is the point where you know how many kilos you can carry uphill…he he he. The idea of seeing the top so close but the meanders so long was a bit of a party pooper, but the fact that others had done it and the first round team had already gotten to the top made me push on.

As the cool wind blew when I finally sat at the top, I could not help but smile to myself. This was a challenge, battled and won! (Patting myself on the back) I made it!! We drank water, had glucose and even fought amongst ourselves for the Oreos

oreos

At first, the thought of going round the crater was absolutely absurd! How could these guys have any more energy left?? However, after a few minutes of relaxing, it was doable. Sadly the weather did not agree, so we had to descend and push it on for another day. Well, that gives me a reason to go back probably towards the end of the year.

Descending was quite a challenge as the loose sand made us slip a couple of times. We went down, singing songs and cracking jokes. What a lovely way to bond and have fun. Those are the simple precious moments that I will always cherish. You could see the satisfaction and excitement as we nibbled through our sandwiches, when we got to the bottom, as we celebrated the victory that was achieved last Saturday. To top it all up, we had a delicious meal closer to home and we celebrated my awesome in-laws birthdays. The cake was delicious and the surprise on their faces so amazing.

The crowd I went with was fantastic. These are people in my life who are my second family and I have so much respect and love for. What a great way to spend my weekend. As I cross off Mt. Longonot from my bucket list, I applaud my peeps and I, for a job well done and thank them for availing themselves and sharing this experience with me. I hope to climb Mt. Kenya one day but I should have at least practiced with Longonot like four times…

Mt. Longonot

SheeGal signs out for today….