Hearing Not Listening

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The gentleman that I knew was no more. The man who opened doors for me, the man who asked my opinion on personal matters that had nothing to do with me was no more. The man who spoke of his aspirations had suddenly gone. The man who held my hand, held me close was nowhere to be seen.
Right when I began to feel and enjoy the butterflies, you clipped their wings and let them rot in my stomach.
I was not the 18-24 year old you were looking for. I wasn’t the girl you could easily impress. I wasn’t the girl who you would Instagram a double shot of whiskey with 50 hashtags. My life goal would not be a trip to the Masaai Mara or the Coast. I wouldn’t care for an endless supply of drinks or twerk on the dance floor for you and your boys to watch. I did not need a new phone, nor did I need credit. I wasn’t going to give up the cookie.
Sadly having dreams and aspirations seemed all so awful now. Working, holding my own and paying my bills was nothing to be impressed about. I wasn’t that damsel in distress. Having so much more than shaking my ass and gold digging moves was more than you bargained for.
Instead of chasing my dreams and living, I was building sand castles and happily ever afters with you. My recurring nightmare at the time would be you did not calling or texting me. ”Fuck it, I will just call!” I would say. In my crazy and irrational mind at that time, I was attempting to dilute the one-sided dating dynamic. Be a team player. Really, men are always expected to know when and how to “make a move,” initiate contact, flirt with the right level of subtlety, all while being judged for their worthiness. And if a guy comes on too strong, he can be forcibly and angrily rejected. I was being a solution right?
No. I was doing the work he ought to do. The glass through which I saw him was rose colored. All I did was hear. Hear the niceties and things I wanted to. The things that made me smile. I wasn’t listening. Listening to the emptiness in his voice nor the hollowness in his laughter.
He said he always made an awful boyfriend. He said he was jobless. He asked if I would date him even thought he didn’t have a job. I did not understand it then. How inadequate he felt owing to the fact that he did not have the steady job that he had. How he needed to validate himself with career and work, because for him it was all about money. I did not understand that he was being a plain old Jane. You did not want any expectations nor give any.
I now know that a man must find himself first before he find his woman or he will damage every woman that he comes into contact with.
Anyway while I move on from that and get ready for my next chapter….I’m feeling myself!
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A Moment of Silence Please!

I haven’t dated in a while. By while, I mean a little over 2 years. So finally someone hit on me! By someone I mean, he at least had a title to his name. Not that titles are anything to go by. But, the recent trend in my life has had petrol station fuel attendants, mechanics, bus drivers, watchmen and the like hitting on me. Now please before you start judging me, I am not being proud or arrogant it’s just that I do not see that kind of friendship (they always so lame to say they want to be friends)  or relationship going anywhere.  Besides, I don’t think I am the one in a million people who falls in love with the struggler and somehow rises from rugs to riches. That is not my story, I believe.

Anyway, there he was. A man’s man. My type. Confident.
He asked me to dance, and told me how beautiful I was. We talked and with every second that passed, I liked what was standing right before me. He twirled me around and attempted to teach me the waltz. Who does that?  Unpredictable. I liked that too.
I was wearing the smile that he gave me.  I told just about anyone who would listen. My heart would flutter when I hear the whatsapp chime. So fierce that feeling, it got me listening to sappy music. It was literally from zero to one hundred.
We went on our first date. We hit it off instantly. I was getting to know him. He had such a twisted mind. He was the master of mind games. Some things he told me of his past were questionable. But who am I to judge – I got  a past too, right?
Besides, every sinner has a future just like every Saint has a past.
He had a way about him. Brutally honest.  Saying things right out of one’s mouth that they would never otherwise say it. He engaged my mind, got me thinking, laughing and talking. I loved that about him. He complimented me on the fact that I got his jokes and how it was refreshing to meet someone who was mentally stimulating.
He had just come back know from recent travels. Off to the west to help a country that was suffering. Was it for the money? I heard the they were paying well, or was it your selflessness?  I chose to believe the later,  that is why people become doctors in the first place right? He did however mention that he had no loyalty for a place of work, does that translate into other areas of your life? He said he liked to compartmentalize things, I wondered into which compartment loyalty goes to.

I wanted to figure him out.

I quickly became that girl. Imagining the day that I will shriek in approval for my hand in marriage. Suddenly having a fiance, a dress, and a date; are all things that I was hopeful for. Zero to one hundred I tell you.

Thank God for what happened next because I was going to turn into this in no time.

Ass in the Chair

a-professional-writer-is-an-amateur-who-didnt-quitI am no Chimamanda Adichie. I can’t write.

Well, I am not as great as I thought I was. I am just scrapping the bottom of the barrel of great writing.

I agonize at the thought of writing. I really am struggling. Thanks to the writing master class that I attended. I would still have been brooding over the idea that I am among the best. Reality check that was! I was shit! I was among young men and women who had a way with words. Their words could take you to far away lands and build all sand castles into existence.

I mean proper grammar and spelling are not a problem. Nor is constructing grammatically correct sentences. It’s piecing together the words to make a thing of beauty. To hook my reader, to illicit reaction, whatever readers look for. I want to write meaningful and interesting stories.

How do they do it? How do they come up with such beautiful words? Every time I read some of my favorite writers like Chimamnda Adichie and  Khaleed Hosseni I am often overwhelmed by a turn of phrase, a transition from the present action to a full and engaging flashback, or the sheer amount of ideas a writer is able to generate on the page. Did I mention the descriptiveness that takes you to a whole new place? I always imagine myself writing my own novel or stories that capture my deepest self for the reader to connect with, that these authors have done with such apparent ease.

I need to find my voice. I need to lure out my voice out, put it down on paper.

”Get you ass down and write! Write, Maureen write! One day! ” …. that is the conversation with myself every single day.

The Guy In Uniform

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She sneered in disgust turning to look at the bus driver. She was an old lady with a stylish wig on. A shosho manyanga this one must be, I thought. I was seated across her on seat 1C. We had had a long journey ahead. I hoped that we had not ran into any trouble.

He stopped the bus, ”eh easycoach, utanifikisha hapo kabete,” he said. The bus driver dutifully obliged, “sawa” he said as he fiddled to free himself from his seat belt and opened the door.

He got in and sat at the seat next to the door.

All eyes were on him, the old lady too. He never uttered a single word. No greetings? I wondered.

I thought cops were meant to be social, well, I guess not not this one.

His boots were worn out, stitched a dozen times over. In one hand, he held a walkie talkie while the other held on to the metal handle bar. He sat perched forward as if expecting something. “Magari imekuwa mingi kuliko watu,” he said as he watched vehicles slowly halt to a gridlock. Did he, like myself think the new traffic rules were poorly implemented or he just did what he was told?

He removed his cap and placed it on his right knee. A mustache…he must be kamba, they like those right? It also revealed the beads of sweat on his head. Tough this must be for him, its barely 9 a.m and he is already sweating! 6 p.m was far off…I pitied him.

He had on an over-sized reflector jacket. Stained. Did it hide a concealed weapon? Would he know how to protect us Jack Bauer style if God forbid there was a lunatic (read terrorist) on the bus? Well he better!!

“Safari njema,” he said as the bus came to a halt and there he was, dashing into Kabete police station. “Asante,” we all replied. Shosho manyaga’s voice being the loudest.

As we drove off, I was left to wonder what kind of days the men in uniform have. Do they constantly receive judgement for no reason at all? How is it facing pretenders every single day? I guess just like any job it comes with its own ups and downs. I have got to give it up for the uniform though…free rides all day every day!

Turning Dreams into Realities

I have finally been published!

Having your content read by people is one of the scariest things for a writer. The self doubt and criticism accompanied by it is just too much, but once you get out there…it is just the beginning of greatness.

Thank you to my lovely friend The Turban Dreamer who has made me push my boundaries. I will be contributing to the blog on a weekly basis, so stay tuned!

So, knock yourselves out, here is my first post.

What is your perspective?

Oh crap, I silently cursed as I checked myself out while sitting in the reception area. My oversize ‘fornication’ bag and dusty shoes did not quite speak professional. This was my second interview that week to a far off location that I really wondered how I would commute everyday if I landed the job.

My head kept shifting around in awe of casualness of the place. From the receptionist whose voice seemed to drown all the activity going on, to delivery guys dropping parcels and ladies whose sky high heels clicked as they walked by. This was the place to be, I thought to myself.

‘You can go in now’ the receptionist signaled. ‘You’ve got this,’ I murmured as I got into the interview room. Three men and two ladies sat across from each other on the ivory conference table with the CEO seated at the head of it. At that instance, I knew it was the board of directors.

‘Shit, Sly told me the directors wouldn’t be in…what the hell? Oh Sly, I am going kill you for this…I guess that is why we call you Sly,’ I thought as I struggled to sit right.

I was crumbling inside, and somehow managed to get through the interview, confidently till the CEO asked, ‘’Tell me something bad about myself.’

’I wasn’t quite sure where he was going with this but I said, ‘Well, I know that you are quite draconian and the staff usually walk on eggshells around you but that is just because you despise mediocrity in the workplace.’

The room suddenly seemed to close in with the spotlight on me. At that moment there just like the glass on the table, half filled with water, I was alone. My answer either gave me the job or cost it depends on how you look at it.

I’m Up To Anything Good!

I have had a busy month. The work load seemed to have triple overnight and I found myself doing one thing after the other that I kinda forgot about my writing. A friend text me asking if everything was ok because he had not seen any post in a while…so I promised to make sometime before the end of the week. So here I am, and this is what I have been up to 🙂

The song Shine by Amileena, just can’t get out of my head. I was once at a baby shower where she sang for the mum to be but at that time, I really did not get the magnitude of the message. Its powerful and probably my time is just around the corner 🙂

I am oozing positivity, and working hard to stay positive. Lent is here with us and besides the usual fast I committed to staying positive. They say it takes 21 days form a habit, well I have 40days. Screen savers with positivity quotes, little sticky notes around the house and my alarm set with a positive quote…next time I meet any of you my positivity surely will rub off.

16-Positive-things-will-happen-quote Hitting my head so hard. The ‘nicer’ way of scratching your head so that the cornrows do get untidy…..yeah ladies you would understand. Growing up my dad would get so upset when he saw me hit my head that way that I always hid myself when I did it. Right now I get why he got upset. It actually sucks because I end up with a headache. I am about ready for the big chop right now!

I couldn’t choose which book to read first. The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseni or Dreams of my Father by Barack Obama. So, I am juggling both. I usually end up reading Barack’s book at night. Quite happy with myself about this 🙂

Desperately needing day at the spa! Getting a mani, pedi and massage would just do it for me!

Contemplating skipping the gym today. Operation get my beauty bone back is taking a toll on me.

Grateful for family. I hosted lunch for my family at my house on Saturday. It was the best feeling ever. Totally worth it that I turned down 3 dates 🙂

Wanting nothing but SUCCESS

Craving for some sugar! Chocolate fudge cake specifically.

Impressed by Vanessa Mdee..wonderful artist.Totally love this two videos. watch here and here.

Praying for a breakthrough.

Plans today include bumming and watching Empire. I got to know what everyone is raving about.

Looking forward to March. Its my birthday month! I also have so many activities planned.

Missing a night out dancing.

And finally, working on relaunching my blog