You have not been writing
He says this like I don’t know that my blog has been suffering from extreme abandonment issues. It’s like telling the younger me that I was fat. I knew I was fat. The amount of junk food I ate coupled with my domicile life did not need Jane Mukami to let me know that the reason I could not fit into my pants was not them, it was me.
Yes I have not been writing. No I don’t feel like crap it. Some days I want to write but I am too tired and others lazy. I don’t know how to put out a piece for the sake of it. When I do, I feel worse than I would have if I slept at 2am staring at a word document on my laptop. By the way I need a new laptop, the battery keeps falling out, the sound only works after I coddle the device manager and it cannot stay up too long. Please Jesus I need a laptop.
2018 was a freaking awesome year for me. I got a radio gig, got nominated for a BAKE award, saw my friend Magunga deservedly win one (literally lost my voice), my friend got married and I fell in love. Recipe for a successful life for a late twenties lady who will feature in one of those top 40 under 40 lists. Hopefully not with Fadhili Wilkister. Is that even his name?
Let me tell you how my brain works. Feel free to share your diagnosis off Google. When I want something (or someone), I just need my brain to get that message. The rest of my existence will obey. I began my blog in 2017. At first it was to recover from depression that had sunk me for three months and weight gain that had my aunt look at me like I was Mrs. Doubtfire. Actually, no. Fiona (Mrs. Shrek)
“Kwani unakula nini. Ngai umenona. You are too big.”
“Aunty it is my woman body showing itself now.”
“Apaaaanaaa noooo no no hii ni ya chakula…”
My blog saved me from everything horrible a human being would want to do to themselves. I would get lost in different worlds, assume characters and decide the fate. It felt so good to be in control of their lives. Give them hair texture, let them drive a Toyota because they are careful with money and have him want her as opposed to the usual she fell head over heels with him story line. It was my world. My brain was in control
Then came visitors. People started reading my blog like it mattered. Leaving comments about how insightful I was. Reading those with four slices of bread in hand left me so confused. What would anyone want with me and my characters? I genuinely ignored all those comments completely. Sorry aki.
The sun came up.
I found my voice and I began sharing that with the world. People tuned in to listen and they left comments. Good and bad but still they were here. Radio is my dance floor because I am talking to one person and we have an intimate chat even as throngs of other people eavesdrop. It was and is home for me.
A beep on my email let me know that I had been shortlisted for an award. I wrote all about it here. I was ecstatic. The weight had dropped kidogo so I would find a good fit for a gown. On the night I knew I was not going to win. This was not for me to win. It was for me to know that I have decent grammar that a panel appreciates. And it was enough for me. I was more energized than ever.
Something weird happened.
More people started to come and interact with my blog. One lady even sent me an email. Suddenly anxiety to keep up and be awesome kicked in. Then came the comparisons. You are the female version of so and so. You write like him when he began. I know this is meant for good but it is like the itch that you cannot reach however much you try. You want it to stop.
The numbers began to trickle in by the day. Reviews followed shortly and recommendations for my work began. My brain was not in control. I pulled back so that the crowd would disappear and I could go back to dancing in the dark with my characters. Guilt set in. I had self- sabotaged again.
My friend was getting married to a guy who I did not even know she knew. When she got engaged I was her first call at midnight. It had happened at a restaurant next to the one I was having dinner at that evening, only two hours before. I was having dinner with a guy I met my friend’s boyfriend’s party. She is like me, a planner and choleric who wants to be in control. She had put up a good party and my waist had whined for a good number of hours and he had noticed me. My friend quickly introduced us.
“He is a nice guy and focused, talk to him.”
We had talked for two weeks in between very many dates. I was on leave because I knew that the company would soon close down and my mind was not ready to deal with it. I was tired of bosses who did not have their shit together. He was such a good distraction. My friend and I planned for group dates. We had watched a movie then went for some ribs and wine. I was soon going to move back to my mother’s house. The whole estate would know that I had not really made it. The hood was not going to let off so quickly. So I drank, ate and enjoyed our conversations. He had dropped me home and asked if he could crash.
“I don’t have a couch yet.”
The fundi had been so mad at me when I cancelled the order and let him keep the deposit. He had already bought the fabric and was almost done. My mother’s house had enough couches so I did not need it.
“I have a mattress though.”
The morning after
I was going to pee and look for leftovers because red wine is not who you mess with when you are hungover and there’s a stranger in your living room. That is when I saw five missed calls. Shit she could be dead.
“I’m engaged. I’m engaged. He asked and I said yes.”
Let me just say this, my neighbors must be glad I moved. Nobody should scream like that when they live in an apartment block. My life was falling apart but my friend was getting married and that is all that mattered. I moved back on the first day of June and let me tell you when shit happens, it splatters everywhere.
On the day, my movers were a couple of guys who moved someone that past week. Only that they had sent their friends with the same small canter. The driver asked to use the bathroom and he must have had tear gas for dinner because the bathroom was untenable. The whole house smelled of boiled sukuma wiki and terere that had gone bad. I went to check and he had not bothered to flush the toilet.
My bed was gifted to me and I did not want anyone breaking it because they stunk up a whole block and did not flush the loo so I kept quiet.
My distraction stayed on for another two weeks then he got tired of dating a chic who lives at home and needs to get there before midnight because that is the only time her mother will sleep. Everybody should be retrenched at least once in their lives. You understand how Adam felt when he was just talking to animals and plants. For eight months only a handful of people called to check in. The most I got were Brighter Monday forwards of communication job openings. Funny that the Brighter Monday CEO was recently a guest panelist on the show I host.
Back to Sakina’s wedding.
The planning began after I had just got a job that way I did not have to borrow money from my mother for a gown. Then she named me her best maid. Take a moment and laugh at that. Me? Medrine Hilda Nyambura daughter of Nyawira a bridesmaid. I can barely remember to do my lipstick and can never find my brows, let alone help you pick a theme for your wedding. I did not want to be a bridesmaid to Sakina or anyone else for that matter. Weddings make me nervous. This is what she needed to know before everything spiraled.
Whatsapp groups to plan weddings feel like a first day visit to your future in laws. All in one room brought together by two people who looked into each other’s eyes and decided they want to do that for the rest of their lives. Awkward, uncomfortable and feigned pleasantries. My friends were in a position where they needed help and it brought out my inadequacies. I felt so unworthy of being a bridesmaid. I didn’t want to be that close to the two families. Midnight calls when they need a fight squashed did not feel like something I could be a part of. So I stepped down and asked to just be on the line up instead. It had been two weeks of silence and she had already decided on her bridal party so that was a No.
I was a bad friend in that season and the truth is I did not want to be part of the wedding. It felt like it was all too much of out my range and it was easier to support her in ways that did not require my presence. On the day of her wedding was also the day I knew I was in love. We were going to go for another commitment after the wedding because people in love accompany each other everywhere. I got there during the photoshoot session and the minute they checked in, we left. I wanted if only for a minute to see her happy on this day and that would be a good memory when I tell people how we were good friends.
I would tell stories of when my friend was got married; I got scared of her transitioning into another phase that would change our friendship. How I withdrew from anything pertaining to the wedding because the pressure was too much. How life reminded me that I was a grown up now and adults made life long commitments. How her getting hitched confirmed and exposed all my fears about commitment, weddings and to some extent, men. How I let her down and can never make up for it at all.
Sakina and I are both blunt (pun intended) people, so we talked about it during my LIVE radio show. I told her how I worried that she was with the wrong person. Our random breakfasts, late dinners and crashing at their house would not be the same. I was angry at him for that. She had suddenly changed and become the person who has to check with their fiancée to see if their schedules clashed. Those moments felt out of control so I retrieved. I wanted marriage for my friend and that would mean losing my single girlfriend and that scared me so I ran.
She has read this and agreed that there is nothing to be repaired. Maybe, a fresh start. That seems achievable.
I did not stop writing, just publishing.
I failed my friend, lost that friendship and we have to work my way up again. It will take a lot of time.
Also, I fell out of love with him. That is another post that I promise will be published.