DAMAGE CONTROL

CRABOLOGY- If I can’t be free, neither can you

On the other hand we imprison others. The chain of custody in pulling each other down is so tangled we are left with a messed up society ignorant of the damage we are inflicting on each other from insecurities.

Breaking utensils is one of the greatest pains in history. The pain comes from realizing how many shillings went down the drain and just how many memories shared with the utensils will be lost. It seems basic, until it is not. When your favourite coffee cup breaks, you feel like coffee from the other mugs taste like shit. The mug is gone, but at the back of your mind you keep wishing you could turn back time. At that point where you sip from the new blue mug, wishing you were using your favorite beige colored mug that slipped and crushed to a million pieces, you are treating the new mug like shit. No one and nothing wants to be subjected to constant comparison and belittling.

It is a simple fact. The damage is already done.

Either it slipped or maybe for a second you were careless. Nobody but you knows, and frankly most of the time, nobody cares. The anguish you feel within though, that is something nobody can ignore. It is like watching that little wish you held close to your heart fade away into thin air. No control whatsoever on your end. It is always painful the first time because of the effort you put to being careful, but after a follow up series of the same slip ups, you get used to constant disappointments. The moment that chest pain hits, you have a choice. Let it slip and move on or drop more pieces. Breaking utensils is also very similar to the state of broken relationships. The follow up action of how we treat people who come into our spaces to replace the broken pieces is also a mirror of how we deal with the loss of those favourite cups and plates. At that moment where your heart is buried deep in pain; you are bound to make a choice. Either, you will hurt the rest, like you have been hurt. Or you will wipe those broken pieces into that trash bag, dump them and begin afresh.

The human race is privileged to enjoy the freedom of choice. A choice to carry that broken plate to the bin and not use it as a threshold for how you will treat people or to ensure the same amount of pain felt from the broken utensil will be felt over and over, by other utensils which you will treat with a little bit less dignity. I understand we belong to a society that has normalized carrying past baggage into new relationships because we did not take a step to evaluate the impact of a broken relationship in our personalities. We did not recognize and deal with the insecurities that were created in us. We didn’t take time to sweep the debris away. Instead we let the garbage loiter in our thoughts and pollute our minds to a point we cannot think straight of future possibilities without attaching what ifs from the past

The dynamics of relationships are now characterized on who can hurt who best. It’s a dick move when grown-ups opt to measure the rate of a well done break up by the amount of pain inflicted on their partner during a break up. Take a chill pill. The humanistic nature of advancement that borrows from crabology principles only means that grow a generation of broken species that know the only way to heal themselves is by hurting others. The end result is a heap of insecurities, betrayal, hurt and vengeful society.

We should normalize visualizing our engagement with relationships like how we deal with broken utensils. Sweep the debris away before you get injured, or worse still, someone else gets wounded. Only then do we have a possibility of healing wounded hearts and breaking the pattern of people allergic to emotions trying their luck at relationships with partners hypnotized with the love ideology. Without a common ground, these opposite poles go contrary to science and repel. The repulsion being fuelled by the nature of discomfort and frustration due to incompatibility. And why in the world do we want to defy science?

The simple fact is; the damage is already done. How you hand moving forward is entirely up to you

Maybe next time when the plate slips through your slippery fingers, understand that multiple companies manufacture plates. You may not get a replica of your former plate, but you will never lack somewhere to serve yourself a meal. When we remove the mentality that there can never be another like the lost soul, then we give room for love to blossom and spread across the intertwined chain.

Today is not a day to point fingers or argue about who is right or wrong. Not when our inner child in us is hurting. It is all about acknowledgement that there is a problem in how we handle broken relationships and move forward to others and finding a way forward. Nothing sucks like letting someone know they are not enough. Or letting them know they are a little less than what you had before. So just sweep the debris and begin on a clean slate

Tug at that skirt, one more time

I love the olden days. I loved my mother’s lengthy skirts. It was never a struggle getting her aid, I mean, the hem of her skirt was close to my reach, I did not need to strain to get her attention. Life was smooth. By virtue of my age, it was clear I needed a lot of help, and I am glad I did not strain too much to get aid.

I loved that life

But today

Tug harder little one…

Once or twice while walking in the streets of Nairobi we have come across these little adorable monsters in town tugging at you, trying to catch your attention and sell you over priced chewing gum. I like the initiative, but they can be a bit annoying. I love my braids floor length long. One day one of them pulled at my braids to get my attention. I swear!!! Everyone who has crossed archives has met them, but I think we reach a point we get used to the demands we stop paying attention. They tug at our skirts and we continue without giving them acknowledgement because we know they will tug one more time. We will not give them the benefit of a response, and they will do nothing about it. We hold the upper hand after all.

Just like how politicians deal us.

Today, skirts are getting shorter by the day. Raised a little bit to entice, not high enough to let you see, but high enough to put a strain on you if you try to reach the hem. These little teasers!!! Do you feel the connection between those short skirts and politicians today? Because I do. They come with beautiful manifestos, too tempting to resist, but once they are in power they unleash their grotesque forms. Cries for reforms and justice always fall on deaf ears once they gain power. No matter how hard you tug to get their attention, it is like you literally only talk the skirt. The common man is constantly asking for better services, asking for justice, fairness during employment, sometimes coming up with innovative ideas that need a little bit of funding but all requests for a little sympathy for services they deserve fall on deaf ears.

You have to tug at that skirt

Tug it a little harder, and in case you reach the hem

They will still assume you are a little pest they need to pay no attention to

With how they do not respond to requests to be more accountable, it feels like a politician is that hot crush you have, and you make a mistake of exposing your emotions. Somehow, your freedom of speech gives them the freedom to blue tick your messages or leave your calls unanswered because they think you need them more than they need you. But a crush fades with time, doesn’t it?

So despite the lack of response, you  keep tugging at that skirt. Maybe, just maybe one day, they will feel the pressure and respond

It wont be today, but never quit tugging at that skirt.

Clearly the system is not fair to the common man. The system doesn’t allow the common man to enjoy rights because somehow the conduct displayed by our leadership makes it feel like it’s a privilege to get served right in public offices, or it’s a privilege for police to treat you with respect. The system is unfair because the same circle of incompetent personnel keep getting swapped from office to office, with no actual change. There is little chance for qualified individuals to bring actual change because these power seats are jealously guarded by people who cant deliver. The leaders of tomorrow have been reduced to beggars instead.

We will continue to suffer because ahead of us is a pretty skirt being blown by the wind. Our eyes are too captivated by the opening act presented by the provocative brown thighs, a journey in thighland and we are back to square one- we forget the pain we will go through if these people are put in office again. Despite how enticing the opening act is, the main event is simply a catastrophe meant to haunt us for the next five years

No matter how hard they ignore you, it does not mean you stop making your voice heard, it does not mean you stop asking for those demands to be made. The more you echo your concerns, the stronger your voice becomes. A big voice is so hard to ignore no matter how much someone wants to. The reason why resolves are met is because someone kept pushing and demanding to be heard. Just like those little monsters keep tugging at us in the streets, so will we keep tugging at public servants who can’t deliver their promises.

Do not stop tugging little one…

Keep tugging at that skirt

Little raggedy doll with that tear stained cheeks and mucus filled face,

Tug at that skirt one more time. Maybe, maybe next time, someone will turn around and give you a wink

Answered Prayers.

Today, am not sharing my story. I think mine has been too monotonous. I would not even call this a story; it rather is her testimony. She sent me a text a few days ago.

Rioba, I want your platform to share my story; maybe it will touch someone out there.

Her voice was strong, I really had no idea of the bomb about to be dropped on me, but you know that point where you are too eager to share; you do not mind the burden being placed on you. So I agreed; allowed myself to be sucked into a light path that began as a dark web. A few days later after deep meditation, I picked up my pen ready to document her journey.

Before you begin, I request you to include with these verses in your opening;

I must admit, I rarely meet souls that are eager to share their thoughts- on the mysteries of the man born of a virgin, and laid in a manger. Or the mysteries of a burning bush that would not consume the entire area. The word that made other humans feel entitled enough to ask their creator Manna from heaven or the Israelites’ Knight that saw a small bodied man from Israel triumph a gigantic good for nothing Philistine- but this one soul. Her dimpled smile that lit within her eyes showed that it was not a verse she crammed that day to impress me. Rather, through her experiences, she had meditated on these words and found her deeper meaning of the fruits ripped after tribulations.

I got a job last year. It being a startup, salary always came in late. At times, we saw it on ‘ViuSasa’. It was difficult for me to pay rent but at the back of my mind and the encouragement from my family and friends, I kept going- hoping- praying for better days. I kept longing for my rags to riches moment despite the unpredictability of the future. Through it all, I remained close to God. My mother cultivated a prayer culture in me that came in handy. A strong woman she is.She always encouraged me to keep at it in prayers. The drive to support my parents also kept me going.

You know, at times God puts you in situations for a reason. At the beginning, it never makes sense. I have been there, I know. When I had no food or rent. When I had no idea of the path my journey would shape into, my circle of prayerful women stood by me. Despite me hating to be a burden; they paid my rent; they paid my father’s medicationWhatever I needed they stood by me.”

Honestly, her calm aura was making me uncomfortable; I rarely know how to respond to people’s emotional situations. Call me Stone Cold…

I do not like being a burden to people. I felt abandoned. It felt like God had given up on me. At times, I called my mother crying, and she would tell me that God’s time was yet to come. At times though, it is never enough, you need to see pieces of a fruit on the table just to know the main course is coming”

Silence

For a while, I stopped going to church. I mean, what would I even tell God? I somehow lost hope. I had tried out for my dream job and passed all my interviews but they had not called me yet to tell me if I had gotten the job or not. It was frustrating; because they took other people and they kept, telling me there was no feedback. I was at a point where I did not understand what was happening but I kept the faith. I was tired of searching and settled for less, as long as I would get the money. Internships, Odd jobs… Name it. The work was difficult. The environment; hostile. The late nights, impossible deliveries, long hours on the congested roads with no pay was hard. I stopped counting on the other job I had initially applied. It was so easy to give up at this point but I was hopeful that God would work at his own time. My dream is to open a children’s home one day… I did not see that dream coming to pass without a sustainable job.

“When they say there is light at the end of the tunnel, believe it. Well, sometime later a friend of mine had a vacant position in their place of work. He aided me to get the job by helping me apply and giving in a good word for me. This is where my testimonies began. God’s timing was surely here. The pay was not that great as it was an internship opportunity though it was much better because of the consistency in pay making it more reliable. Despite my own situations, I never stopped praying in supplication. I spent my mornings praying for my friends who were still in need of jobs. Funny thing; they all were employed while I remained in the uncertain position. These were difficult circumstances but I left it to God.

Her story suddenly reminds me of Joyce Meyers teaching on the ‘The test of trust’ but that is a story you must explore on your own

Drumrolls ….

27th May 2019

Three weeks into my internship, I woke up and read Philippians 1:6 and prayed then went to work. At work, a friend called me and informed me he had received a job opportunity. As per my usual duty, I gave thanks to God. I guess it was the beginning of a blessed day.

That afternoon I got an anonymous call from the job I had applied for, informing me that despite being put on hold for months, they were still going to take me. She asked me to report to their office for a brief meeting. I honestly did not know how it would all turn out.After the meeting, I went back to my internship; the woman who called me said she would call me the next day.

Unfortunately, Three days later she had not called me. My hope and anticipation towards getting the job had been built but it occurred to me it was just another of my nightmares creeping again to torment my soul.

On that Monday my hope had been shattered, my spirit dampened, and my faith broken. For a minute as I thought about my life, I was scared of resorting to depression, but it being my circle of concern, I quit the worry. Instead, I asked my mother to make me top of her prayer list, interceding for me day and night. The day crawled slowly, then, that afternoon, I got an email notification from the company with an offer letter…

 ‘God ni nani Mirriam, God ni msooo!’ (Who is God? God is great)

That is my story- At times God tells you to wait. All you have to do is surrender to him and give him a chance. God will bless you at his own time. Some of these things teach us resilience, patience, perseverance; the list is endless. At least now I can stand firm in my faith in terms of tribulations. Do not forget He who puts you at that hill and when you are low do not forget to turn to him. At times through it, all we should acknowledge he is God. I can attest that there is a living God. He will always come through at his own time. Those hard times are only for a season and they also happen for a reason. Remain faithful, humble yourself and trust that he will always come through when His time is right.

I finally put my pen down. The atmosphere is changed. I can feel the aura of hope building around me. I am inspired and challenged at the same time. Even when the storms are rough, keep the faith like she did. No season lasts forever.