Yesterday I turned 26. For me, every year brings with it a fresh lease of possibilities, of things that I didn’t think I could ever do. Every year is a chance for me to take a leap and do something different. Every year is a chance for me to gather new things and discard old things.
So, this is to the 26 things that matter:
- My childhood is full of my mama’s fingers rapidly clicking on the keys of her typewriter long after the world had fallen asleep. She was a secretary and she would sometimes carry work home to type on her old black typewriter. Her fingers would fly across the key board, very fast, tack, tack, tack, tack……into a beautiful rhythm. She worked so hard to ensure food is on the table. So, when she stopped her job as a copy typist, she gave me her typewritter, which I treasure and I use to type some of my most intimate thoughts.
2. When I first started volunteering at the hospice and palliative care, I was scared. I wasnt sure that I could walk into a building that housed people who were waiting to die and leave whole. See, the thing is, death is scary. I know, we are all headed there someday, but coming face to face with that reality is as scary as it is humbling. In the hospice, I have met people who have looked into the depths of my eyes and broke down because each tick of the clock perhaps brings them closer to the harsh reality of death. I have seen people in their last stages of disease, struggling to breath, one painful inhale, one looong painful exhale, one frail heart beat, then the next…I have seen them whispering a call on the man above because down here things have gotten so difficult. I have seen people clench their teeth at the pain of their failing bodies, I have seen people with bald heads, all hair lost from the monster that chemotherapy is, I have seen people hug their loved once and refuse to let go….because saying goodbye is so painful.
And it matters to me, because when you work with people who have been told they are dying, then you begin to embrace life, you get spurred to live life in all its beautiful form. Because hey, my dear, life is too brief to focus on things that dont matter.
That you are seeing your loved one today, and you are not sure of tomorrow, it makes life a living death…the line is sooooo thin, if I were you, I would start living TODAY….
3. I will always treasure my notebooks, and journals, and I have kept them since I was a teenager. In these pages, I have written down my thoughts. Some are intimate, others so insecure for the pages through which they run. Just my wildest mind and my raw emotion, my tears have stained the pages of these journals, they have recorded my dreams, some of which never saw light. In these journals, I release my hands and mind together and hope that they form a synergy. I hope that they marry and form some artistic matrimony, yet sometimes, i just let the words drop without meaning, one random word after the other to express what i am feeling or think that i am feeling at that time. These journals have saved my life.
4. I am a firm believer of ‘uncensored’ expressions. I believe that we should all share our thoughts, feelings and all that. However, recently, I have witnessed (Admit it, you have read that with the ‘ni kama ndrama’ tone) people resorting to childishness, accusations, and outright bullying when it comes to this thing called the internet.
I too have been a victim of such. (Giggles)
Listen people, it is very easy to spread negativity. Yeah, we hide behind our screens, hidden profile photos, pseudonyms, and say whatever we want to say without having to gather the courage to look at someone in the face and say the things that we say. We can articulate a lot and press ‘send’ button to things that we wouldnt say in real life. People are cowards, that is what i learnt. People enjoy bringing others down. People have self esteem issues, you got to embrace the IGNORE button and move on.
5. When I turned 21, my mister gave me the book “Writing down the bones – Freeing the writer within” by Natalie Goldberg, and to date, this book has remained among the most in my life as a lover of the written word. So apt, so inspiring, so thoughtful for anyone starting out as a writer.
This book brought out the monster in me and taught me how to write my truth.
6. My pens. they are like my best friends. I have several, in different colors, different dibs. for different moods. They are my tools, my lovers, and they buoy my spirit to move when things get stuck in my mind. I spend so much money on pens, because there are some stories i cant write directly from my mind to the computer. They have to slide from my pen to paper first. I know, I am weird.
7. I value this beautiful book that my beautiful sister made me. It cheers me up whenever I open it. So much love flowing from a page.
Haiya, LOVE LIFTED ME…I am surrounded by such positive energy, I rarely go down, and when I do, they stretch their arms and grab me. Me gusta!
8. I am a lover of books. Its an insanity really. I adore what other writers do with words. That someone can take random letters, words, images and weave them together to form a beautiful story is something that melts me. I marvel at Hemingway, I hurl terrible books across my room, I smile at witty writers, I get engrossed into poignant words of Maya Angelou, of Margaret Ogolla…I love my books, I sample across all genres.
9. It matters that I get a hearty laugh at least every day. No matter my mood, something will always tickle me…I laugh a lot. Life is too short.
*To be continued in the next blog post….the things that matter now that I am 26, just the few things that I value. The things that make my life complete, and the lessons that I have carried with me to 26 years old.
LIVE> LOVE. LAUGH. CONTINUE………………