Dear Obama

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The man of the moment and the seasons.

 

I am afraid this is not about anything political, development, war/peace or economy related, so no I won’t be philosophical. I am Continue reading

Dear Michelle

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Dear Michelle,

Or should I go with “Heeey Michelle?” A belated Happy birthday to you first of all. The 5th floor sure does look great on you. Let me get right into it. I thought being 8521 miles away from your extended reign, you would not have that much impact in my life as an individual. Until the day I saw you leave white house after this year’s inauguration with Barack.

Haha. First name basis, I know, I feel like I know you guys like that.

I guess it is true what they say, you never know what you got until it is gone.

I might never get over the blues that befell me seeing you disappear into the air force one. I am not even exaggerating. For a moment I expected to see your face as you entered the jet, you know, like in the movies. But this was the reality. I am just wondering, were you happy, sad, disappointed or indifferent? Regardless, I picked a few things from just observing you over the eight years, through what the media chose to give prominence. My gut tells me this is who you are even when the cameras go off. I trust that.

By being yourself and carrying out your duties as a mother and wife first before being the first lady of the United States, you have made me a believer of myself, my dreams, and a believer of the fact that a woman can do it all. You carried all that for eight years with so much grace and poise. Your mother taught you well. You can’t fake that stuff. From your laugh, smile, extended handshakes, hugs, waves to your occasional side eyes you never at one point failed to embody class.

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From you, (through the numerous YouTube videos I have watched), I have learnt to be open to taking risks and not be afraid of failure. I do not know a single thing you have failed at so far. To me, this means that you have worked hard and smart to get them all up and running.

You have redefined sexy with intelligence, being only one of four USA first ladies with a graduate degree. You have persistently insisted that education is the key to freedom. Then passionately initiated the #ReachHigher2020 project, encouraging young girls to aspire to pursue higher education for themselves for a better future. All the projects you started were well thought, helpful and I hope they deeply impacted those you intended to reach.

You are the first, First Lady that I know of who lived her life publicly enough for me to relate to. Either that or the fact that you were placed under constant scrutiny. If that’s the case then your PR team was on deck!! Too late they cannot get a raise. Either way you came out very relatable. And the fact that not a single gossip ever reared its head from your past. Wow! God really reared you for this Michelle. From the stories you shared on how you went home for lunch in Kindergarten just like many of us, your first night in campus and how you met your husband.

I have set my sights and goals higher because I have you as a role model. You are all of the goals honey!! Body goals, fitness goals, (we remember you outdid Ellen on them push-ups), relationship goals, mom goals, #Wifegoals and #everythingGoals.

Michelle and Barack

Relationship Goals

I have never felt this allied to a political figure and I might never know another like you. I hope to meet you someday. I am sure I would send my dad that selfie for sure. It will excite him even if he won’t say it, I know. From all that you were, and still are, and all that you said in your numerous imperative, yet sincere speeches and coming from a place of love, I will remember you as a blessing.

If you ever feel like you need a distraction from your new life, or if you ever change your mind about running a country. You are more than welcome to Kenya, there is always room. We will not even go we desperately need a leader who can keep their promises. I could go on and on but as your husband said, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. Girl of the Southside, You made me proud.

Thank you.

Signing out,

(Some random girl from Kenya)

XO Tracy.

 

7 reasons why I hate christmas.

As days inch further from the 25th of December I sigh with relief as there will be an end to all that is Christmas. Everything from the trees, carols, obsession, irony and double standards that is tied with this day drives me up the wall. I started hating Christmas when I was very young and I have never felt the same about the holiday. Now more than ever I feel irritated whenever someone mentions anything to do with Christmas unless they are buying me a gift, of course.

Before you think how exhausting it is to be annoyed by little things, here are my seven main reasons why I hate the jolly season Christmas:

  1. Christmas Carols: Before all else, there is the music starting to play too early in November. Why do all these radio stations punish us with these songs? We do not have any affiliation with snow, mistletoes, we do not even have chimneys guys, until you start playing relatable carols especially those made by Africans then we need to stop. Although I do not care who makes those carols, as long as they stop, that will be the beginning of my sanity over this season.
  1. The birth of Jesus is not the reason: Jesus wasn’t born on 25th of December. Please show me a scripture that supports that. Yeah, I thought so. It is a pagan holiday and even churches still insist on tying the birth of Jesus to a pagan holiday set aside by Constantine trying to get rid of paganism and encourage Christianity. Whatever the need to modify the date and link it to the savior can we at least get things straight. But I do acknowledge the need of a holiday. If we had two of these long holidays that would be great.
  1. The forwarded Christmas messages: I agree that the Christmas card does not make sense but that does not mean we exhaust the share buttons by forwarding forwarded messages. First let me apologize to anyone who has ever received a forwarded message from me in the past. If you received a GIF from me this year it is because I was too annoyed to personalize anything and I just returned it so that I do not seem rude. Personalize. Make it short if you have to. If we haven’t spoken in months please forget that B.S. Thanks.
  1. Mass migration: I understand the rural urban migration for work and greener pastures and all to celebrate with the loved ones and make merry but I still don’t understand why people are always in a rush to go home or on vacation. Not everyone shares my sentiments but if you have a home in the urban area and you have not been evicted, why the fuss? The only people I could excuse are perhaps students who have to leave their hostels. The rest of us need to rethink the melee. It is unfortunate seeing tragic accidents because of a few motorists hurrying to make the most out of this. Although the bright side of all that is that the city remains empty and sane, it feels so good not to bump into people who won’t excuse themselves or apologize. And thankfully those drivers that never want to stop at the zebra crossing, please leave your sudden urgency wherever you are.
  1. Overindulgence: Food and drinks, partying I have never seen so much wastage really. Naturally I go into a food comma and become a waste when I overeat. I try and eat controlled portions but it is not easy when there is a buffet. I don’t want to be the person thinking about all the food I ignored when I am hungry. What I am saying is that it would be nice to tone the celebration down a notch, eat and drink like there’s a January at the end of the celebration.
  2. Overspending: The sale’s are irresistible starting with black Friday and the whole Christmas shopping. It is impossible to not impulse buy at least five times when you stop by the mall to get perishables. Then we are the same people always thinking how January is the longest month. We never learn. I don’t get the point of buying a new outfit for Christmas but keep going. What do I know?
  1. For those that host family dinners ,brunches or lunches probably share in this pain with me. The women spend the better part of the day in the kitchen either cooking or doing the dishes and end up exhausted. By the end of the day you smell like ingredients and curry regardless of how much you soak yourself. The only strength left is meant to at least drag yourself to bed. Which brings me to the question, what is the point of merry making at the expense of someone else’s exhaustion?

I did not steal Christmas, I am not Grinch or Blacchyna. I am just saying. Enjoy what is left of your holiday.

 

 

The space between

Shout out to all the perfectionists in the world, for this shall be our excuse to not do things because we are afraid of our work not being perfect. Isn’t it bizarre that the blessing, (will and potential) of being so good at something becomes a curse in disguise. The curse that takes us so long to start on a project that we end up not doing or takes us too long to start that in the end we work under too much pressure and come up with a lackluster product. Sad familiar story to most people I know, including myself.

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When I started blogging, I had no goal in mind. I was willing to put up my work for criticism because in the end I wanted to do a lot of writing for the public. I realized with every post that went up, I shred a small amount of fear. But perfectionists, never run out of fear. I put up goals a year later. I remember measuring my readership and number of posts to Nancie Mwai, back then when she used to post daily on her blog. I wanted to be halfway there.

You can guess. I failed miserably. That’s when you separate the grain from the chaff, the dreamers and the doers. There is the space in between dreaming and doing, it is called discipline. Often interpreted as busting your ass off regardless of what you feel like at that moment. I have overall found a new respect for those freelance people with consistency, you deserve all that comes to you.

With such high expectations for myself and having set the pedestal high and failing, I backed off, went back, picked up my fears and wore them up my sleeves. Fear of failure is the first obstacle for perfectionists.  Save for the 5% who will not go to bed until they are done with what they put their mind to. Some people can do what you do in ten years in two days, not literally.  That sends shivers down my spine. Knowing I could be so hung up on perfection that others get on level 100 while I am still at 37.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take for sure. That’s why you will see people in professions you think you can do better than them, but it is because they took the chances. Hard-work beats talent any day. You can be the most talented person in the room but as long as you do not take shots you will not make it anywhere.

Healthy comparison is good, very healthy. There is also the space in between comparison and copying. There can never be two of someone else and there is no one who can do you better than yourself. This is when you know and observe your competitors, know what they can and cannot do, then offer your edge. That’s when you will start seeing results.

 

There is also the space between quality and quantity. That is the kind of growth I have come to see with Nancie. Unfortunately it is a process, you have to be in peoples faces first, get all the bad content out, learn the lessons, learn the trade, know what works for you. Bottom line, in between these spaces, living life and trying to adult: plan to succeed. Get busy going at it, It is okay to fail, as long as you learn from failure. Figure life. Do stuff.

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Book review: Of goats and poisoned oranges.

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Most Kenyan authors I have read are very much the same, history, and more history or a very basic story about sijui poverty and independence and state of the nation and so forth. Not that it is bad to parallel a story with something realistic but some of us live for the drama, sometimes. Popcorn anyone?

Except for Ciku Kimeria. I was at an event at Goethe Instituit in 2014 where she read an excerpt of her book. I fell in love. Despite the fact that at that point I was just a lame person not willing to spend money on book, I made a mental note to grab it someday and read it.

You see, for a long time I was a cheap thrill book buyer of “Inama Bookshop”. And by this I mean those books sprawled out on the pavements in town. Yeah, I used to love those. Anything with a catchy title a fancy artsy cover, I would hog it. I was out there judging books by their covers. Until I realized what rubbish thing it is I was indulging in. A library full of books I might never read. Well, there was this particular one I started reading and I could never ever get to the end of it. Even my imagination of the setting was so gloomy and dark.

Of goats and poisoned oranges is like an extension of a very interesting blog. Something like Biko’s blog but from a woman’s perspective. Merged with a little of the drama from Ciku’s busted show, not the one that always sounds scripted, the real stuff.  The Oh my God!!! kind of story, popcorn, tea and all.

The book is about a rich woman who gets married to a poor and uneducated man. Classic love story of rich girl poor boy, except it doesn’t have a happy ending. That’s the juice of the story. I would rate it at 6 out of 10 because, I felt a little bit rushed towards the end and there are characters haphazardly introduced. Also, it is like the same story told by different people but firm different perspectives so you sort of piece the story as you go, that I am indifferent about.

The book is available on amazon and soft copies are sold on order basis. I am hoping her next book will be better and if her first book is anything to go by, then I am looking forward.

 

Taking Stock 5

 

JD7A2657777Making: a tentative schedule that I am hoping to follow without feeling frustrated and wanting to pull out my hair. I am very easily bored with routine and when I do not have any I waste a lot of time, so in as much as striking a balance is a myth I am trying to see if I can do that.

Cooking: Lots of vegetables, I am trying out clean eating lately since it is the key to healthy living. It is important as young people to deliberately lead healthy lifestyles. There’s many lifestyle diseases and we should not make it a generational habit to eat dirt and whine at how clothes don’t fit anymore.

Drinking: Warm water. I have suffered withdrawal symptoms ever since I stopped taking coffee but it is worth it. I don’t have any cravings now and I do not think the coffee kept me awake or active, it is all in the head. I am just making a conscious effort to be active and be present.

Reading: A thousand splendid suns. I have only begun but I feel like this is going to be a great read. I am doing really good trying to go back on my reading culture, a book a month doesn’t sound so bad. I have read more books this year starting April and I am hoping this becomes a habit.

Wanting: To experiment with my hair. I’m thinking color but not something outrageous given that my melanin is already fleeking. So I do not want to look like an energizer battery neither do I want something that draws attention. You get my dilemma. Braids maybe? I don’t know. Any suggestions?
Looking: For inspiration to double up my energy and hone my skills. Have you seen what self-taught people are doing? From Yego to Laolu (@laolunyc)

Playing: Acappella tunes. How calming is this music? It is a church and yoga cocktail. My sister first introduced me to this music when she was in campus. Hush is my favorite song because it is in line with my feels.
Wasting: Opportunities. Sad but true. And wondering if this will ever feel any different. Am I the only one who feels horrible whenever an opportunity passes them because you might have thought that you was never good enough to go get it?

 

Enjoying: Solitude. There’s no better way to know yourself than being by yourself and enjoying that.
Waiting: for inspiration. Somebody slap me. In as much as I have found that waiting for inspiration is utter BS it is hard embarking on a self-discipline journey.
Liking: a lot of new music. I have opened myself to new music and I am loving the new sounds that I find. I shall be sharing with you soon.
Loving: My nephew Caelan. Well, he cries like a siren but I have been loving the little person since I felt him kick in his mother’s stomach. No one carries him except for his mother and the help. Unless he is sleeping that’s why I enjoy watching him sleep like a creep. And oh boy he does not sleep longer than 20 minutes. But he is still adorable. Very much so.
Marveling: At how patient I am with people who give me bullshit every time I give them another chance to prove themselves.
Needing: To get it together and chop these time-bandits off, without rebounding and backsliding.
Smelling: Mad about you lotion from Bath and Body works which I use as hand lotion now that my hands are not the most moisturized.

Wearing: Black kicks, black jeans, yellow bodysuit and a flowered bomber jacket. Athleisure all the way. When I look good I feel even better.

Noticing: That I need to take myself seriously.
Knowing: That I will eventually get through this.
Thinking: About how easy life can be when I choose to be present and do the right things at the right time.
Feeling: determined to conquer.
Bookmarking: Books that I stopped reading because a thousand splendid suns happened. I am a book polygamist. I was in the middle of Blackass which is currently too boring because the setting in my head is typically Nigerian. I dislike typical Nigerian films. The afro-sinema ones.
Opening: Myself up to new experiences and opportunities.

Giggling: at Falz (the bahd guy) short clips on YouTube and intro to his first album. This guy has  the first Nigerian comedy I have enjoyed.

Feeling: Stoked that I have seized the day today having ticked off a couple of stuff off my list today.

 

 

 

 

Love by any other deed.

Growing up in an African home, there are so many things that were made into silent rules. No one sits you down and reads a list of things not to do or what is required of you, you observe, learn and get in line.

Love by any other deed.

 

When I was little, below 5 years little, I would run up to my father when he got home and he would lift me high up and maybe carry me on his lap. Then I do not know what happened when but it changed. It always stops somewhere. Nobody told me to. I just stopped. I do not even remember the transition. Perhaps it is an unwritten tradition, but all traditions are not written, so we will go with it being a tradition. Decent hugs are only exchanged between same sex relatives and no matter how excited you are you just shake hands with the opposite sex. That’s how I found it and I am not questioning.

Through all this, people love each other. Deeply. Immensely. Through action. Sometimes banter, reproach, tough love but they still love you. That is the truth. The husbands hardly called their wives, wife; it was just “mama watoto” (Mother of my children) The generation that followed was a little bit different, people could be seen together, hugs were exchanged, hands were held even in public and flirty glances thrown around. The cold hearts were thawing and the love as is known to our generation.

Enter the generation we are currently riding in. I am no love doctor or relationship expert but our idea of love is pretty much all over the place. Updating relationship statuses, pictures taken together, tags, trips taken together and the whole romantic nine yard. As messed up as it is, this P.D.A generation has to be the closest to the epitome of romance that I have experienced in real life. It is a good thing.

Love in any other name is still love. Actions especially. A warm cup of tea/coffee, a home-made meal, thoughtful gifts, inside jokes, protecting each other, holding hands, Spending time alone together, apologizing, forgiving, trusting, supporting and encouraging each other for the better, communicating as much as possible, creating memories together, compromising fairly without being a yes button. I can only run out of breath but not out of the actions that portray love. Not everyone who uses the four letter word with you loves you, these days it is a pleasantry. Hi love, hey hun, babe this babe that. Rolls eyes

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Some questions/statements mean much more than just conversation. Have you eaten? How was your day? Let me know when you get home. How was your night? You do not sound okay, would you like to talk? Are you okay? Are you feeling better? Have you seen a doctor? Stay right where you are, I am coming! I think you would look better in the other outfit (and goes on to explain why).

No two people can ever be the same, and no one is perfect. Men think differently and so do women, scratch that. Women and men are not wired the same. As unevenly yoked as we can be, love is a beautiful thing and everyone should experience it.