I’m only 23 for another hour give or take,
I’m not a sinner or a preacher
So promise me only one thing, would you?
Just don’t ever make me promises
No promises, no promises
The above lyrics are a medley from the song Promises by Incubus. I’m 24 on Monday, with a lot on my mind. I’m not sure I’m as happy as I should have wanted to be. I have realized a lot of things. I’ll share those which my thoughts can allow to be stringed into words, those that form and perhaps a conclusion.
The quarter-life crisis is real. This is the point in life you are struggling to make something of your degree, your career, your business, your hustling, perhaps your relationships. You try to define yourself, yet society may have other expectations. Family has its pressures.
I have realized it is never about you. The decisions you make are hard to make only because you have to think of other people. If it was about you, you’d do what’s best for you, screw everyone else. But your friends, your colleagues, society, family.. they matter. That is why you choose to do that 8-5 job than pursue that risky career whose rewards may never be, but it will make you truly happy. However happy it may make you, bills have to be paid and so jobs have to be done.
I have realized it’s very easy to lose sight of the goals. It is easy to fall by the wayside. All it takes is that one time, that first time… it’s easier to do something wrong the second time, the third time.. sooner or later the guilty conscience is buried further away, and you’re drowning in your vices.
I have realized time and distance will cost you friendships. Relationships.
I have realized that though I may not have achieved whatever I wanted to by this age, God knows what that is, I shall be satisfied with what I have done so far. I got my first class bragging rights – as you can see, it’s almost a year later and I haven’t forgotten about it! I got a scholarship to do my masters in Kenya’s best IT university- Strathmore. I have Paul Kagame and Bob Collymore on speed dial. Okay, I kid. I have girls, teachers of girls and other people emailing me telling me I have inspired them, that I’m an encouragement to all the women starting out in technology and sciences in general. Sometimes I think that maybe I don’t deserve to be their inspiration, that my life is pretty mundane. Then other times I think these people who look up to me help keep me on my toes. I have to clean up my act, and maintain it. I have to keep my dreams alive.
I have realized that being a hero is not about thinking of what’s best for you. It’s about sacrifice. It is about others. It is not having the perfect life: you could hardly envy Nelson Mandela’s earlier life(27 years in prison! I’m not even 27 yet!), or Wangari Maathai’s, much less Mother Teresa’s. It’s about living your life for the good of others. Your purpose in life is to make life better for all those around you. For the whole world. I find this a worthy reason to get out of bed every day. Do you want to know my dream? Click that link.. he he I won’t make it easier for you!
So yeah, I’m still on Feetsubishi, sometimes Shoebaru… I’m still living in my parent’s house, still send please-call-me’s on occasion, still have to call on my friends to bail me out, still walking around with my backpack, still sitting in class listening to lecturers, still chasing after the shadows of relationships hoping to find the one, still doing that job whose payment comes a month late….. BUT I have every reason to smile. Every reason to wake up and chase after my dream. I have my friends, my family. I’m alive and I have been given another chance to be awesome.
Happy 24th birthday to me!
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This Friday night, I’m off to coast to watch AFC Leopards beat Tusker FC at Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa tomorrow at 3pm. Even a leopard drinks Tusker sometimes!