I turn 25 this year. What usually comes with fear or a feeling of underachievement comes with excitement of a new beginning for me.
When I was 17 I imagined I would have it figured out by now. I am starting out. I walked away from a job three months ago while there was an option to stay. Something in me knew that I was done. I had been done for a while. I had been mulling over the idea for months. Society dictates that I have my stuff together by now. Sorry (not sorry) world. However I would not undo anything that has happened to me in the last 25 years. Every mistake, hurt, success, joy and mess has been an opportunity to learn. Here are a couple of nuggets of wisdom I have picked up along the way:
Prayer will keep you sane. When we think of prayer as a chore we are done before we start. Prayer is a conversation. Just start. Pray as you walk, in the bus, in your room, in your car. I have learned how to make bold prayers. A still small voice tells me that God is not coy so why should I be?
2. Parents are human
Listen. You know how women are closer with their mums when they hit their mid 20’s? It’s more of a maturity thing than anything else. You understand that parenthood comes with no manual and your parents are people with a history, pain, hurt, dreams, failures and weaknesses like everybody else. Cut them some slack and do better with that relationship.
3. Trust your gut
It will spare you heartbreaks, bad jobs, toxic friendships, cops in traffic and just bad things. Trust it. Just trust it.
4. Hold less grudges
In high school, I held a grudge for almost two years. No one could outdo me. It was easier to hate than address issues. If you think about it, grudges come from being hurt by unfulfilled, unspoken expectations. You can either expunge people from your life or hush it out with them because bile breeds bitterness. No one needs that.
5. Keep your girlfriends
I am the girl who grew up with guy friends. While they offered me good friendship and some had a great impact on my career, there is nothing like a good circle of strong and beautiful women. Actually, mine came together in the course of last year. I have friends who are well beyond my age who I really appreciate for their wisdom. Having ladies in my age bracket and same head space has also helped a lot because they get me. We are building the foundation together.
6. Embrace your body
I was skinny with hair issues all through school. I would have opted for natural hair but the texture was wahala. I was not the prettiest girl either. Big eyes on a small face is just what a ten year old needs. Then slowly I grew into my face, my skin and bones turned to beautiful curves. As we speak, my eyes are my best feature. I love them! I wish my 13 year old self would have known how happy she would be with herself a decade later. Embrace your body. That tummy, luscious lips, crooked fore finger and small boobs make you who are today.
7. Pray for boobs
Okay. I don’t mean to present an oxymoron but you can pray yourself to confidence. On my 23rd birthday , I was so broke GHA! I have a tradition to ask God for a present on my birthday and gift myself as well. That year I prayed for slightly bigger boobs and the package is still on its way.
8. Keep it SIMPLE
In 2015 I was doing my first ever TV show as a recurring cast and I was ecstatic. There was just one problem my face looked like Nairobi flies held sleepovers on it. My acne was so bad. It got worse when I ate something at a bible study held at someone’s house. To date I don’t know what triggered the allergy reaction
My make up artist Ruth Mbugua must have used most of the foundation on my face. One thing that I will thank for her is that she never made me feel bad about it. We celebrated every zit that dried up.
She then advised me to use products by simple (the make up line). When I look in the mirror it’s almost like I traded faces with someone else. Fruits and lots of water have also helped. At one point I prayed for God to heal my face because nothing was working. I am so grateful. Thank you Ruthie.
9. Read more
Girl read something. Just read.
10. Do squats, pilates, zumba, jump the rope…whatever it is
It’s very easy to feel like fat Betty when everyone is posting videos of their work outs just as you are serving your second scoop of ice cream. Figure out what you want to improve on and find the work out that you enjoy doing. I will never understand crunches but I could jump-rope forever.
A year ago I had the patience of deranged toddler. Nobody operated as I did and that drove me absolutely crazy. Now I try my best to understand your point of view. Sometimes I will lose it and I have to remind myself that we are all raised different. Also when I communicate my frustration sooner we get to where we need to be faster.
12. You can take a sting
Earlier this year I was so sick I actually believed I was going to die. For some odd reason the idea of death did not scare me. When your mother starts to carry you around then you know you are close to having a chat with Jesus. Like that was not enough, months later I was at the dentist’s holding cell. If you have gotten a procedure done on your tooth and jaw on a cold day then the pain killers wear off, you know what pain is.That may not be the worst physical pain I will ever feel but I am glad to know I have it in me.
13. Date one short guy
I know, you like them Chiloba tall. However, when you step out of your list you might find someone really cool. For me love is very practical. While the butterflies are good, I am more focused on where we are headed, your vision and where it meets mine. From there we get to work. I dated one short guy for a second and he was/is such a cool dude but we are on different paths.
14. Reclaiming my time
The last seven years have been a big blur for me. Now I genuinely do not have time for shenanigans. You are either for me or not. I will show up for you and when you can reciprocate that, I will love you more.
15. Be a proud teetotaler
For some reason I thought that downing Seven Deadly Sins and a mojito was a good idea. I was with my girlfriends at the time. I loved anyone who said hello to me. The other time I drank that much, I had had too much tequila, barely slept and traveled for eight hours the next day. No. Alcohol is not for me and she does not feel me as well. We now co-exist peacefully.
16. Order that extra rack of ribs
You know you want an extra serving of those juicy pork ribs. Order them. You can’t finish them? Well that’s what doggy bags were made for.
17. Pay for that make up
Please do not let the demon of Dracula cheat you into picking the cheapest makeup artist you can find. Make sure they use quality products. At a photo shoot I did years ago, a make-up artist put blue eye shadow and eye liner on me. Please note I have big expressive eyes. See how that was a problem? Those pictures will never see the light of day.
18. Quit explaining yourself
I am not sure if this is a woman thing but we do it a lot. You pitch an idea then you justify why you had the idea, why you picked that idea, why it took so long and then you finish with the statement, ‘ I am not sure what you guys think’. Own every space you walk into and do what needs to get done.
19. Use fresh tomatoes for that guacamole
I promise you will be tempted to use tomatoes from the fridge; just rush to the market. For the sake of the people who are going to eat it.
I was bullied through primary and high school both physically and emotionally. I carried that with me and what that did is trap me in a victim mentality box. Bullies can smell that and I continued to take it long after high school. They use manipulation, negging and isolation to cut you down to size. One colleague did that to me for a whole year till those around me pointed it out. Well, I stood up for myself. He should tell you the rest of that story.
21. Listen to good music
Where would I be without Alicia Keys, Elani, Adele, Hillsong, Travis Greene, Leela James, Rebecca Ferguson, John Legend, Casting Crowns, Wizkid, Davido, Toni Braxton, Baby Face, NYASHINSKI, Sauti sol…we could be here the whole day.
22. Write down your goals
In 2016 I wrote in my notebook that I wanted to meet two people I really admire and forgot about it. Two months later I was on set with one and later attended a masterclass with another. Write it down and remember to give thanks when it comes to pass.
23. Take a minute
Sometimes when I get home I lie on my bed, head up and just take a minute. Just a breather. A moment of silence. Then I will go about doing what needs to get done.
24. Serve the truth and take it
I am blunt and that has lead me to having some serious foot in the mouth moments. The other day a good friend called me out on something I published two years back. I went back to read it and cringed at the whole thing. It was different to be the one being served the truth but I really appreciated it.
Bad things do not happen because God has ordained them. Everything you are experiencing now is a sum total of choices you (and those around you) have made leading up to today. You will suffer for some and when that happens take the lessons and work on becoming a better person.
In the last year I have made some tough choices that I am so proud of and I thank God for it all. Despite what seems like a cycle of bad choices, do not worry. Stop running around the mountain. He can take the biggest mess and from it bring a new life that will see you live out your full potential.
Here’s to many more 25’s !