In this picture, I was waiting for a matatu to travel to some location. Remember, people will hate you, rate you, shake you, and break you, but how strong you stand is what makes you.

It is yet another period of the year; most of us are at home surrounded by people who care to an extraordinary extent about us- family. We look up from the confusions and dreams of early childhood; our close family members observed us with utmost concern and tendency. They watched us wet our beds and rush to dry our blankets under the sun, to smell cleaner and fresher and then prepare us for school. They consider us close to the supernatural, when at last, we succeed in nurturing our first love and pulling our first smile.

It is not just at home. In the community, the caring neighbors encourage us when we encounter something difficult; they understand we might lack confidence; they are keen to detect the clear signs of our particular skills and talents. Then, of course, time catches up, and we grow up and immerse ourselves into the horrible reality that we exist in an unpredictable world.

We might be in the late 20s when the point really hits home. We might be at a ‘ruracio’ or in a line waiting to be interviewed for a job, or wandering the streets of Mtwapa at night on our own when it occurs to us, with full force how vulnerable we are on the broader scheme.

No one in the crowd we interact with knows anything about us. Our needs are of no concern to them. They greet us ‘bazoo,’ ‘mzito,’ ‘gavana,’ etc. on the streets and treat us in a manner that fulfills their desires.  We are small against the plazas and brightly lit mansions. We might die, and no one would even notice, save for RIP posts on Facebook timelines.

It might be a bitter accuracy of facts, but we make it more of a reality by focusing only on its negative aspects. We remain depressed about how tiny and invisible we are to the world, yet we do not consider a simple dimension- that of rescuing us from another.

Insecurities in Life

On another side of our minds, we have rejected the idea of accepting the indifference of others. One may be talented at football, the other skilled in dancing, the other in poetry, but we all advance the idea that we should be doctors or pilots. We’re are extremely worried about how the society will judge us regarding our decisions; we may be concerned about how odd or high pitched our voices are when we approach a beautiful lady for a number. We may be sure that a brother-in-law noticed how out of shape our stomach is. We still think of the body-shaming language from some people that we went to bed six years ago. The examples are endless.

We do not really have any evidence of our insecurities.  Still, it can feel like an emotional dilemma. It is apparent that our stupidity and less than impressive sides are dwelt and noted on all the time by the society. In any way that we depart from what the society considers to be dignified, upstanding, and normal has been registered by the broadest constituency.

Stop Dwelling on Negative Thoughts

To free us from this harsh narrative, we may need to consider a personal thought exercise. We should set aside time to challenge how long we spend on the foolishness aspect of our lives or the existence of other people. How we feel and think about people we are not closely associated with is the best guide to the workings of the average human imagination. To the same society, we are the very same sort of strangers.

In other words, when we consider our minds as a guide, we get a far less oppressive and accurate vision of what is likely going to be going on in the heads of other people when they encounter us. Once we’ve had to think about our relationships, our health, our offspring, our close relatives, our finances, the holidays, etc., they are going to be little time left to reflect on the shape of our stomach or our high pitch voice when we ask for a number.

Happy new year!


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