What About Life Lately?(Taking Stock)


Hey there.

I hope you’re well and as pumped up for the year end as I am. If you’re not, listen to some Jidenna ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzxjbS19MP0) and get your good vibes rolling.

So, this is abit of a recap into the past month or two I suppose…I’ve been off the grid for a minute ayy? Not to worry. I’m still here.

Taking Stock 3.0:

Making: plans to put up my cake and cupcake website. **Finallyyyyyyyy** I’m way too excited for this one…choosing fonts, templates, pictures, stories behind each piece, how to spread the love via the website….all this and so much more. Let’s stay tuned.

Cooking: Hmmm, I cook every other day so I can’t start listing everything. However, I made some finger licking twice dipped spicy chicken drumsticks a couple of weekends ago…I see where all this food will end up, but you do know that bikini bodies are simply any body with a bikini on. *drops mic* P.s. some pork stir fry might be in the wishlist this week. 🙂

Drinking: Water and Orange Juice have been my staples for a while. Throw in some natural yoghurt and the angels shall sing to you.

Reading: Americanah – Chimamanda. Well, technically, it was one of those impulse buys because so many people in my circle talked about it and I had to see what all the supposed hype was about…yes, I’m like a year too late but I’m reading it now right? That’s all that counts. And I finished it. Sigh. I’m so done with books btw.

Wasting: No time trying to live each day as it comes. Life is too short to be sitting down miserable.

Wishing: for Christmas to get here already….the energy, the vibes, the people it brings together. I’m all about wishes.

Enjoying: some serious Naija music right about now. From Tiwa Savage, to Mr Eazy, Tekno, Patoranking…name them and I’ve probably jammed to most of it. Plus, the kenyan music scene is looking waaaaay up. I mean Dela and Fena are legit power women.

Liking: the delivery options everyone has these days. From make up, to food, to baking stuff, to drinks, to clothes. Love it. Keep up the amazing work Nairobi.

Wondering: Where to get crotchet braids installed without having that weird side part that’s like the red sea during noah’s time. *badum tss*

Loving: the random opportunities that seem to be checking in for the business. *Viva Cupcakes. Viva Cakes. Viva Velvet By Moxie *

Marvelling: at how some good lighting and the perfect angle give you such a good shot especially when it comes to food. Yuuuuuum. Maybe food blogging should be my next step.

Needing: More R n R. Preferably  by the beach, with a couple of drinks and good company. Seems like all the good vibes are stored in the ocean so I need to make like a boat and sway in that direction. Hey December, I see you. 🙂

Smelling: Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Splash and a helluva like chocolate too because I baked some legit death by chocolate cupcakes.

Following: A helluva lot of baking shows, channels, instagram pages. Sigh. I basically live, eat and breathe cake these days.

chocolate-cuppies (*Thanks Google*)

Noticing: My hair is pulling some interesting moves. I recently took out my braids and decided to do a no-heat challenge for about three weeks before the next protective style goes in, and it’s simply fascinating. Natural hair is too versatile. 🙂

Knowing: that there’s so much good energy that’s around waiting for us to let it in. When you let go of the negative vibes, and the unneccesary shenanigans, God opens doors. All you need to do is let Him do His work and the rest will flow through.

Thinking: of investments and a lot of things finance. You know that feeling you get in your gut that tells you to stop putting your money where your mouth is? (Literally) 😀 Well, it’s been on my mind for a minute, and is clearly still on my mind.

Feeling: hella positive. My favourite time of the year (save for my birthday) is coming through and I cannot hold in my excitement for the good energy that is synonymous with December.

Bookmarking: Food blogs, because stealing ideas and what not…and also, photography videos…how to get the best shot regardless of whether or not you have a camera. Dear phone, you’re going to be used and abused.

Opening: My pinterest page lately. Hmmm, dusts off cobwebs. 🙂

Giggling: At Kevin Hart’s what now and Lip Sync Battle as well. Yoooooo. Lupita showed us the truest Kenyan moves there. Seen so much of it in Westie. Go Lupita.

Eating: oven roasted sweet potatoes with cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Just om nom nom nom nooooooom.

(Craving: Bacon and bacon and bacon and pork chops and more bacon.)

I realized that taking stock is an interesting version of counting your blessings. So keep counting your wins and keep an eye out for opportunities. And really spread out the good vibes like the wind does with the dust.

 

That’s it from my end of the globe.

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With life, love, sun and positive vibes(and a hint of chocolate cupcakes),

Let the good energy flow.

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*:)

 

Behind The Smile(5)


Happy New Month. I’m sorry this was supposed to go up 6 days ago but I got slightly busy.

Here it is though.

The second to last instalment to this series about depression.

.Depression.

.How to deal.(for everybody else)

Openness. Availability is key to helping someone who reaches out to you. I’m not saying you drop everything and show up, but a few responses and texts here and there. A few encouraging words every other time.

Be conscious. You can’t say that you never knew someone was going through before it got too serious. You have to be conscious of the signs. The sudden mood shifts. Be aware of the random times when someone seems to be acting a bit different to the norm. You could spot a few posts on social media, you can spot it when someone who’s hell bent on having a good time, suddenly not wanting to be part of things. Does their smile reach their eyes? Do their words seem detached? It’s not always in the physical signs like maybe you noticed that they suddenly wear a tonne of bracelets and have a tendency to keep touching their wrists. Nope. The psychological hints are the hardest to spot but they can be traced no less.

smile change the world

Smile. Refer to Behind the Smile (4) to see what is so great about a smile. See the human body is set up so interestingly. It copies what it sees, pretty much subconsciously. See a frown, and your face automatically starts frowning. See someone laugh genuinely and you’ll be trying to fight back your own laugh. See someone crying and your eyes will start to water. See a smile, and regardless of the thoughts racing through your mind, your mouth curves upwards into a smile.

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Don’t talk about yourself. It’s not about you. I know we’re plagued with the “Even Me” syndrome where we must relate everything someone said in order to understand a situation. You can’t pull that stunt when someone finally opens up to you about their state of mental disarray. To them it simply sounds like you’re not interested; even when you are. Maybe we can tone down the even me.s in such situations.

Listen. This should have been first/ second to being conscious I suppose. Most times, someone who’s depressed just wants somebody else to listen for a change instead of constantly hearing their own thoughts. So listen. Be the open ears they seek. By the time someone gets the courage to speak to you, it’s been such an arduous hurdle to overcome so please listen.

>I need to talk to you. I have something to finally say. I’ve been meaning to say this once I figured it out <<

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Save your advice. I keep reiterating that they just want to share. They don’t need your advice especially when you have not a clue about what thoughts plague their mind. The advice is similar to talking about yourself; so unless you’re professionally trained, have none of that “When I feel low, I do such and such”. It’s hard not to give advice but you must resist the urge.

Build rather than destroy. Many depressed people, in my experience and in my interaction, feel the need to cut food out of their routine or overdo it. Find ways to get them to eat. Don’t offer criticism; they have enough of their own self-blame so this would only make it worse. Also, don’t downplay their condition. “Why do the small things get to you?” “It’s just a phase” “Get yourself together, that’s not how you were raised” “People out there have bigger problems Such questions nullify their disorder and completely try to gloss over their current state of mind.

He used to have recurrent episodes and would shut himself away and not answer the door or the telephone, but if I wrote him a note, and managed to push it under the door, he would tell me later how much it meant to him. Sometimes it was enough to coax him out.

Bring them outside. When you notice they hole themselves up in seclusion, offer them a polite walk, a quiet music listening session on the grass, a random drive even if it’s for grocery shopping….Let them reconnect with nature or something that’s moving and if possible, living and breathing. Just like a wound needs air to finally scab over, so does the mind when it’s thoughts become stagnant.

If you ever find yourself empty from something you cannot know or name, find a stretch of ocean, a field, or a mountainside, or even clouds or trees. Because there are 1000 simple ways to fill your tired soul so you can remember how to be, how to see, and most importantly, how to breath.

~Victoria Erickson

Share positivity. The universe has a way of cancelling out the negative energy, especially when it’s in excess. So, share positivity. If someone asks you to tell them something you like about them, do it now and ask questions later. If someone wants you to say something encouraging, just do it. You might never find out exactly what went on in their mind, but you brought some light into the madness that came with the darkness. Take up yoga with them, dance with them, breath life into them through the things that you do.

Patience. Being depressed, someone is more irritable, prone to quickly misunderstand others. So you need patience to deal with this.

Learn their triggers. More so if they’re episodes are recurrent. Let them know when a symptom pops up and point it out. It helps with the “drowning”.

Encourage. Encourage Encourage.

Suggest to them to seek professional help. And be supportive when they do. Don’t steer clear of them; You can offer to accompany them to their appointments without pressuring them to accept your offer.

Love. All we need is love.

Feels like i’m asking you guys to turn into angels ay?

 

That’s the thing about emotional pain. You can’t say that it hurts here, get some medicine and you’re cured.

It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that.

You’re only human.

Remember that.

…. part five …. Behind the Smile(5)

Jessie J-Flashlight

‘Cause you light the way
I got all I need when I got you and I
I look around me, and see a sweet life
I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight
You’re getting me, getting me, through the night
Kick start my heart when you shine it in my eyes
Can’t lie, it’s a sweet life
Stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight
You’re getting me, getting me, through the night

 

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*:)

Behind The Smile(4)


Back at it again.

Hey there beautiful souls. Are we doing alright? I hope so.

Are we still following the series? I hope so. Never know when this information comes in handy.

.Depression.

This post is about How to deal.

.How to deal.(for the person going through depression)

Smile. I found this quote on the glorious internet about how a smile eases any situation; but smiling to yourself, in the mirror, goes a long way. It’s like a reset button for your brain…much like crying. Release the endorphins. Feel your own glow.

stop and smile

Redirect your thoughts. Recall a few happy moments in your life. Take yourself back to that time, put yourself in your own shoes, why were you laughing? why were you so happy? why that memory in particular? Replay it through and through. Was it a person who made you feel that way? Was it an object? Recall those feelings and that setting in its entirety, recall and relive the moment. People tell you to stop living in the past, but sometimes you realize that the past is exactly what you need to get you through the present.

Distract yourself. I know what you’re thinking. Distractions = Drugs or something that will cause you harm in the future. BUT no. A distraction is another way to redirect your thoughts. Keep a music playlist handy for such down moments you know those songs that keep your blood pumping or make you feel relaxed? The jams that make you question the lyrics? Keep a playlist of songs filled with these. Read a book; see your mindset will switch from the present to the life you’re following in the novel, to the characters in the book. Watch a movie. Shift your mindset.

Take a walk…or sit outside where the air flows freely. The universe has a way of gifting those who seek its rewards. Breath. Breath. Just breath. Take in the environment outside. Look at the leaves. Stare at the sky. Find your calm and throw yourself into it. Get out of bed, find natural light outside and simply glow.

Find an outlet. So, all these sound familiar, non? They’re really not the same. I promise. Find an outlet. Journal. I’ve learnt that writing down the thoughts that run wild in your mind dispels them from that space. You write down everything; you can do it physically or online on a private/anonymous blog or something. Just write. They don’t have to be well put together paragraphs or sound like magnificent poetry but write anyway. Let it all out. It’s the release that you’re looking for. When you focus your thoughts on words flowing through your fingers, it’s therapeutic. Cook up a storm, bake until your kitchen can put the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel to shame.

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Talk to someone. This is different from reaching out though. This simply involves talking to someone who lifts up your mood. They really don’t need to know exactly what you’re going through but sometimes, you need a good laugh. I have a bunch of people who I call or text once in a while, and we can laugh for hours on the phone. It’s “meaningless” not necessarily “important” banter but it releases the good feels. Tell someone to shower you with compliments; ask someone to tell you a good memory they have of you; seek for the good vibes and they will seek to be found by you. It calms the thoughts. It restores the clarity that you’re unable to navigate through on your own.

It heals.

Reach out. Talk to someone who won’t provide judgement. Someone who will simply listen. Sometimes, you really just want another living breathing human being to listen to what’s going on in your mind. It’s hard at first to say even one word, but when it gets down to it, the banks break and the words literally flow out. Take the rope that’s offered to you whilst you drown. Take it.

Professional help. As I mentioned in Behind the Smile(1), depression is an illness and like many illnesses, someone who is attuned to dealing with it needs to help you through the hurdles. They know how to speak to you and through the fog that’s clouding your mind. They can filter their way through your thoughts, and although they may not understand exactly what you’re going through, the therapy works. The medication prescribed helps.

You’re looking to feel numb and that’s the one thing you need to avoid. Feeling numb. You seek to be an impenetrable object, but no. That’s not going to help you, it just traps the negativity inside you. It magnifies the feelings in your mind, they only intensify and that’s the last thing you need.

Don’t suffer in silence. Surround yourself with life. It could be people, a pet, flowers…anything that has life breathed into it. The energy you get from live things cannot be replicated by anything else. So get out there, feed off of the good vibes.

Man walking at sunset

Man walking down road at sunset

Be conscious of your triggers. A trigger is simply what causes your mind to shift into overdrive. It could be a situation, stress, someone, the weather; Just figure out what your trigger is and be ready for it. Arm yourself with positive vibes, when you’re unable to keep the feels at bay, then at least you’ll be able to handle it better. Understand yourself. Know how you feel during your highs (happy/ “normal”/ positive moments) and during your lows too (when you’re depressed). Listen to your body, and be in sync with your emotions and reactions every second of the day.

Be conscious of yourself.

Acknowledge that you are allowed to feel this way. Acknowledge that you are going through this depression. Hold fast to believing that you can overcome it; you’re a work of art, you are golden. Pressure your mind to understand and remember that you are not alone. You are not alone. You are never alone.

That’s the thing about emotional pain. You can’t say that it hurts here, get some medicine and you’re cured.

It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that.

You’re only human.

Remember that.

 

…. part four …. Behind the Smile(4)

Jessie J – Who You Are

I stare at my reflection in the mirror:
“Why am I doing this to myself?”
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.

Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!

 

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*:)

Behind The Smile (2)


To you all who asked for this to go up quick.

I hope you’re good my doves.

I didn’t realize it’s #DepressionAwarenessWeek….well, talk about coincidences.

stigma-800x445

.Depression.

How it manifests:

It’s the fear. Of not knowing exactly what your emotions are trying to tell you. Not understanding your current reality/ is it a misconstrued perception of reality that your mind conjured up? Imagine controlling a plane and suddenly all the red lights come on and you panic and you realize that you’ve been taught to handle every situation except this one? Hmmm…it’s the mental chaos.

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It’s the anxiety that comes in, because did you know that sometimes anxiety and depression hold hands to wreak havoc in your mind? Yes, anxiety which simply put is a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with panic attacks…thoughts like I’m not where I want to be, I’m not good enough, I’m not successful enough, my life is moving too fast for me to catch up with it, can we pause life for a second so I can breath?

It’s an out of body experience coupled with the world telling you that you shouldn’t let it get to you. You see, you can’t understand that which you go through and that’s where humanity fails you; they put you down and let you know that it’s not as serious as it really is.

It’s the desire to do the normal things that you would do, but aren’t able to do. It’s the struggle to find joy in the simple things which got you hyped up before. It’s the need to try and remember…did you know that depression sometimes comes coupled with a hint of forgetfulness, confusion and disorientation. Sounds serious right? Well it is.

You don’t want to do things but you can’t even think of a reason why save for the fact that your mind isn’t “feeling it” anymore. You go into your shell/space. You retreat.

Did you know that it can manifest itself physically? Not the usual tiredness or possible nausea, aggressive behaviour. Nope. Your normal bodily functions take a hit too. I remember someone pointing out that they tried falling asleep one day and the closing up in their throat kept jolting them up. Yeah, the body gets so focused on healing the mind that other functions take the back seat.

She was walking along the street fine and the next thing she knew her legs just gave out and she fell. No medical backing, she didn’t faint, her legs just took a break for a second because she was up and walking again wondering what had caused her stumble. You can’t walk in a straight line sometimes. You can’t remember how to sit properly.

The insomnia. You stay up until the wee hours of the morning without a hint of fatigue flowing through your system….an hour of sleep is more than enough because the mind still works overtime, your body is forced awake before it has time to rest. You can survive for days on end with a mere 2 hours of shuteye every night. The opposite is true too. You find yourself sleeping for longer hours. Even when you should be well rested, you’re uneasy, still tired, still wanting the escape that comes with sleep.

The appetite. You either find food less appetizing so you find yourself surviving on teas and water or nothing at all sometimes. OR you find food everything and more. So you eat anything and everything your hand comes across and you begin to find a new reason to hate yourself…Why am I still eating and I’m only getting bigger? so you hate your body now.

The negative mental space. Pessimism. Although unwarranted, pessimism gets revealed so much more often. You become that Negative Nancy that always brings the mood down, and you know what, you don’t even realize what you’re saying. You legit feel like someone really close to you has died, well kinda true because that person is you, well at least in your mind. You feel alone. Completely and utterly alone.

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See the cycle? Depression robs you in more ways than just mentally. It feeds generously off of negative emotions…when I say generously I speak only the truth.

Looking into your world like an outsider staring through a thick sheet of semi-opaque glass.

You no longer feel like you’re in control. It’s a struggle.

The symptoms are manifested pretty differently with different experiences. Like I pointed out, there is no universal description for depression. It just is what it is.

-The end game isn’t always suicide.-

That’s the thing about emotional pain. You can’t say that it hurts here, get some medicine and you’re cured.

It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that.

You’re only human.

Remember that.

…. part two …. Behind the Smile(2)

Bob Dylan – It’s Alright, Ma (I’m only Bleeding)

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*:)

Behind the Smile (1)


Hey there my doves.

I’m sorry, with dealing with school and projects and life, I guess I haven’t prioritized my writing over the past month…Je suis tres desolee.

I’m back.

So, I think this one has been a long time coming but, finally, it’s going up.

I’m going to do a series of posts about depression. I just read a book, spotted a few posts on social media, spoke to someone about this “topic”. It’s going to be a spaz of “emo” but then again, why is there a need to be labelled as such?

On with it then.

(Maybe it’s the weather…I told you guys the universe speaks to me in more ways than one. My mood and entire aura tend to be played by the hands of the weather man and the atmosphere as I have noticed ever since I started being aware of myself. With the positive vibes and the doing what makes me feel good…shutting out the negative aspects and closing doors on toxic attitudes and company.)

 

.Depression.

Don’t close the tab now that you’re reading. Just go through till the end I suppose.

Definition:

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It’s a mood disorder.

It’s not a one-size fits all description.

It’s a consistent low mood…coupled with feelings of worthlessness, a touch of irritability, a mad at the world attitude, a desire to want to be alone but away from your thoughts, a deep seated emotional burden, a spectre of random thoughts…suicide could always be an end game.

 

You seek everything and anything that you feel would take you away from the feeling. It’s suffocating. It’s deep entwined within your being. It’s “embarassing” to allow yourself to accept to let other people in on your struggles…because there a bigger problems out there…what with hunger, and earthquakes, and financial problems. There’s something bigger to worry about…apparently.

You desire and try to be happy. You put on the biggest smile you can conjur, try to look as bright as you want to feel. Around everyone else, you try to stand out as the happy one. Key word is try.

You downplay yourself. You downplay your state. You  disregard what feels real to you. To dissociate from reality basically. You get caught up in the game of acting.

Everything is alright. Everything is alright. Everything is alright. You are fine, always.

You see yourself as a burden. To others. You see yourself as a burden. To yourself. You find no worth in what you do. You think you’re worthless. You believe that you’re not meant for this thing called life. You express emotions almost robotically.

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There’s a voice in your head. Screaming, shouting, whispering. It tells you all that you’re failing at life. It tells you that it’s okay to be broken on the inside but happy on the outside. It tells you that if you slit your hip, you can hide it with the waistbands of basically everything you wear. If you do it on your wrists, bangles and bands and watches can cover it up.

You’re stuck in the game of cover up.

You feel like you’re a shell…you believe it actually. You feel detached from what goes on around you save for your own thoughts. You go through the motions of life without really trying to find what adds meaning to yours.

You forget to eat sometimes most of the time. You kind of want to forget to breath too…if only you could pin point what hurts. But that’s the thing about emotional pain. You can’t say that it hurts here, get some medicine and you’re cured.

It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that.

You’re only human.

Remember that.

…. part one …. Behind the Smile(1)

 

Well, aside from the post, i discovered Seinabo Sey….music stays winning.

Younger- Seinabo Sey

There is a light to all this darkness
I will tell you this
There’s redemption in you asking them just why it is

Why we fight to get on loving I’ve been wondering
How your mind will leave you hanging your heart lingering
stay lost
then found by whoever stays around, forgetting
There is a way to be yourself, I assure you this
There’s a way to catch your dreams without falling asleep
You might as well get it while you can

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love* 🙂

 

“To My Brain Child”


Happy new month.

And with the new month, a blogiversary checks in as well.

It’s been four years guys…four years of you all reading my rants and mindspeak, either silently judging or relating to my posts.

Thank you for keeping up with the mind that is .theafricangirl. 🙂

 

blogiversary

Celebrate the little things.

Love and love and love.

Spread the light and positive vibes my darlings.

Also, how’ve you been? Good I hope?

I came across this song on my playlist and figured I could share it with a few hundred/thousand people. 😀

This game of growing up.

I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure
Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
I got my boys with me at least those in favour
And if we don’t meet before I leave, I hope I’ll see you later

Once I was 20 years old, my story got told
I was writing about everything, I saw before me
Once I was 20 years old

Soon we’ll be 30 years old, our songs have been sold
We’ve travelled around the world and we’re still roaming
Soon we’ll be 30 years old.

I’m still learning about life

Once I was seven years old my mama told me
Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely

Some music really resonates with the soul, am I right? Remember Chet Faker? It’s the rhythm of life.

 

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

Rich Vanilla ice cream and a moist dark chocolate cupcake,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love* 🙂

Back To Basics


Hello my doves.

Happy New Year once again.

Maybe I should just scrap the “Hellos” for the next couple of months. You know where I’m from, in December we start wishing each other Merry Christmas from December 1st….and Happy New Year from January 1st until probably Easter. So get with the times. 😀

I hope you’re well, because we’re all well.

I figured that my first official post of the year(well not listing things) would focus on going back to basics. You know how i’m always saying that one need not have resolutions, if by the 2nd you don’t even know what they are? This is my version of resolution setting this year.

Am I the only one who has an out of sorts series of days? Like something about what you’re doing or how you’re acting simply doesn’t feel like yourself? It’s almost like you’re an outsider, looking in to your life?

Back to Basics.

A lot of the time we simply go through the motions you know? We embark on an unexpected (hobbit fans? non?) adventurous journey, full of energy, ready to conquer the world, and reach the destination we have in mind. Actualize our dreams. The success is so close you can taste it. Then we get caught up in the chase. We even, dare I say it, forget where we were headed and get sucked under the current.

The hustle gets too intense; it sucks you in. 5 or 6 days a week you’re running around like a headless chicken and on the one day you should be resting, social calls must be answered. Day or Night, it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re answered.

Back to Basics.

Life turns into a series of days just rolling on by like a camera reel. You find yourself wondering when the weekend will get here;

When that vacation will check in (either after school or after work);

When you can leave the house to be away from your spouse or better half;

You’re lost in routines which once brought you joy but now are seemingly turning into the bane of your existence.

Back to Basics.

When you start asking yourself what you’ve become.

Who this new person that’s controlling your body is.

OR

When others begin to question whether you’re okay, happy, satisfied with the chase you’ve taken up.

When they start asking whether you’re really happy with what you’re doing or would you be interested in taking something else up instead…

Is that when you realize that something may be wrong?

Back to Basics.

When it gets here, or when you see the signs (which is pretty difficult) before the imminent burnout, remember the basics.

Remember Simba….Remember who you are.

simba

Take a step back. There’s time you know.

Just step away from everything, mentally first. Because the mind is what carries the most of the burnout pressure.

Stop running and just jog.

Back to Basics.

Is the chase thaaaaaaat important that you can afford to lose yourself in it?

Sometimes, we question it when it’s too late.

It could be with work, with school and finally with your social life (includes love life).

Sometimes I realize that I’m not myself. There are those days when you do certain things and your own conscience comes at you like “What the hell bro? Who are you?”

The other day I caught myself as I was about to blow up on someone for something so insignificant and I realized that it had been building up for a while. The silent frustration; the silent anger; the silent stress of everything. So finally when the “perfect” outlet came I almost went HAM.

This is where I realized that Hey! Calm down. This is not you. So calm down.

Back to Basics - Chalkboard

The words Back to Basics written on a chalkboard

Back to Basics.

Waking up multiple times in the night.

Struggling to eat even the smallest meal or overeating at any given time of the day.

Desiring to sit back and chill but even when you sit your thoughts keep whirling around your mind.

Looking haggard and worn out when you’ve woken up even after a full 8 hours of sleep.

Getting annoyed at the little things or are overly excited about things that aren’t really up to your own level (i.e You settle).

The signs guys.

Back To Basics.

Take some time off when you feel the “different you” poking out from underneath the surface.

Take a breather. Remove yourself from social media.

Talk to people other than those who you speak to on the regular. Sometimes, the frustration sets in when there’s no new energy coming into your day.

Meditate. It’s actually not hard to meditate. All you need is to shut out everything on the outside, and focus on your “inside”. What is your mind saying? What is your body saying? How is your heart beating? Then calm your thoughts, and focus on breathing. Release.

Think of what you did as a child; did you sing? dance? then do that for a minute.

Think of something good.

Back To Basics.

Burnouts are common. You sometimes never even notice them. Watch for the signs, listen to your body, listen to your mind, just listen.

It’s all about resetting, not necessarily to factory/default settings but to a version that was less stressed out. Always, know where it is you’d revert to before you you claim to go back to basics and remember were you’re heading once the basics have been remembered.

Back To Basics.

 

A bit of a throwback for today’s post:

Because we return to basics to remember just how much we have strayed from our paths, or how much we need to simply reconnect with ourselves.

 

We will never look back at the faded silhouettes.

(Also check out Avicii’s song “Feeling Good”)  <= reconnect with what makes you feel grounded.

 

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love* 🙂

 

My Circle (3)


Hello Bosses.

*See what I did there? I spoke life. You can’t come at me for calling you guys bosses because you’re a boss whether you acquiesce to the title or not.

It’s been a minute non? I’m sorry. I have a valid reason but whether you’ll get to hear it all simply depends on what therapists would call a healing process.

I hope you’ve been alright for the past…what has it been 2 months?

Happy October guys. The year is almost up and for some heaven on earth reason, I’m really looking forward to the end of this year.

We’re at the third instalment of Circles non?

My Circle (1) was about knowing yourself first.

My Circle (2) was in a nutshell about the people in your circle.

And here we are about to get into My Circle (3)…

does this remind you of those series that have never-ending seasons? ….

MY CIRCLE:

My circle is great.

My circle is powerful.

My circle is real.

I’ll be going into a bit about support systems.

What does your circle do for you and what do you do for them?

I’ve been having the most conflicting emotions about people lately. I was having a weird and completely random heart to heart with one of the radii to my circle(i really do crack myself up more than is considered normal). So in this heart to heart, I talked about what people do when you need their presence and they keep coming up with excuses as to why they can’t make it.

**disclaimer: some of these views are a mix between what people have told me and what my people have been told in such situations.**

I have literally heard them all.

Number one being: I just haven’t found the time. I keep saying I’ll come by but something else always comes up.

So many people said this to me and my response was always, thank you for the concern. You can’t keep telling people that something came up, yet you won’t say what that something is. Personally, I would want to hold a grudge for years and years about it but I realize that it’s such a bother to waste yourself getting annoyed about such matters. Sometimes, you need to evaluate people. You may hold them close to you but they keep you at arms length. Is there anything you can do to change that? Not really.

Just don’t expect an outcome from people who never show that they’ll be there in the long or even in the short-run.

Instead, thank them for at least taking the time to communicate with you. It really is the least you can do. Because you don’t think about it, but it actually does hurt you more if they remain quiet rather than at least make an effort to talk to you.

If someone comes into your life

Also, are you one of these? I admit, to some people I may be a touch off-handed with them. It’s easier to think that by remaining mute, that they won’t realize it. Once again, life is a never ending book of lessons and with this in mind, I’m learning to pick up the phone more, shoot people a few messages every now and then, ask for schedules so we can link up if not for food, then just so we can see each other and believe that we’re not just alive, but we are living.

Support:

The common phrase tends to be >> I’ve got your back like a bra strap <<

bra strap

Well, have we looked at the uncertainties of the different types of bra straps?

(How much of a coincidence is it that this is being said during Breast Cancer Awareness month? It has nothing to do with it but it’s an interesting observation, non?)

Transparent straps:

Does this mean that you’ve got my back even though you know I don’t know that you’ve got it? Wait what? English is such a tricky language though. What I think I was trying to put across there is that are your supports transparent?

In the sense that they’ll only support you when noone else knows? Ergo, they don’t want to be known to support you?

Also, it can be taken in the sense that they simply don’t want you to know they’re helping you. One of those guardian angel type friends. They only come around when they know you really need them. I have a couple of these in my life. I love and appreciate them more than they think I do. The random Positive Vibes messages show it.

I should think I act the same to certain people as well.

It’s a give and take world. What you take from one person must be given to another in one way or another.

Normal straps(the ones you can clearly see):

These are the people in your circle who support you and it’s known to everyone who you interact with often. The ones you mention and spill almost all your nonsense to on a daily/often basis. They won’t only show up

Strapless:

Well, they don’t show it but they’re there. They’re the band that keeps you together I should think. The extra row of elastic that’s there; giving you an illusion of you being able to do it all by yourself but still push their support especially when you don’t know it. The type to randomly ask you if you’re fine, even after you haven’t spoken in ages. It’s as though there’s a connection and signal in the universe that they grasp onto and happen to text you jsut when you’re feeling out of it, tired, beaten down, finished. And the best part of it is that they give you hope. They remind you that it gets better.

The point here is to be able to show support when you’re needed to and to be shown the same concern and support.

bless the friends

For a while, we all want to suffer in silence.

We all want to feel like there’s nothing that can be done to alleviate the feelings running wild in our beings. Truth is, nothing can take them away really. Noone else feels exactly how you feel. Noone else comlpetely understands what you’re going through.

I guess I could term it as being unique yeah? We’re all different human beings regardless of how we are connected, we still have different hearts, minds, bodies, souls and the way our mind works, the way our rationality is set up is completely different from another person.

As always, people always ask me why I smile when everyone else is down; Why I try to lighten up the mood when someone else is asking for comfort…

smile-charlie

I guess what I’m trying to put across here is that when you’re trying to support someone, don’t play the empathy card, don’t play the “It happened to me too and this is how it felt”….because as I mentioned, we process things very differently. When people are going through a rough patch, be the light and not the surrounding shadows. Be the wick that can be lit rather than the wax that holds the wick up.

But I guess, to each his own, non?

thank you

Support is everything in this world. I hardly realized it but with the way life sets you up, one way or another even the most independent people need someone who’s got their back.

We all want someone to say / show that they’ve got your back.

And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down
And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground
Get up now, get up, get up now.

Love and Love,

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

From a young girl trying to earn her wings,

*Mapenzi.Love* 🙂

.theafricangirl.

My Circle(2)


So i’ve had a moment of deep and serious epiphany right now….Why didn’t I call that first post: My Circle(1) _______A Semi Circle? Sigh. I’m hopeless, non?

But it’s heeeeeeerrrrreeeeeeee. The moment sorry post you’ve all been waiting for.

One two, make a circle,

three four, a big circle.

A big circle like a sufuria.

*Memories anyone?*

MY CIRCLE:

In the last post there was a lot about knowing yourself yeah?

Now i’ll delve a little into the world of those in your circle. I can’t tell you what steps to take to choose because it’s life my dove. You need to navigate the ocean of people to catch the yacht before it drifts away with your essence in it.

(Don’t ask me to elaborate my sayings, just acknowledge that they’ve been said.)

The other day I went to a Creative Shindig called Fatuma’s Voice…stop drop and roll. I knew there was spoken word out there but yooooo!!!!!! A whole new level was discovered that eve-night.

The relevance of this statement isn’t for “my life is cooler than yours” shenanigans. It’s the people I came across that are of substance.

I found like-minded people, a select few that I wouldn’t mind getting together for deeper discussions about life and all that it has to offer.

Who is in your circle?

joel osteen

1. Do you have similar goals in mind?

You need to figure out whether or not these elements of your circle have a similar goal in mind. This doesn’t mean that they need to be studying to be great lawyers just like you are or they want to be brilliant hackers so you also need to understand the deeper layers to Java and C++ just to be in their crowd.

I’m talking about success.

Are they motivators or demotivators at the right time? Would they let you know how hard they are working to achieve a certain goal? Are your conversations also inclusive of what you’ll be doing once you graduate and not just about how much you need to go out for a couple of drinks because it’s been a while?

Do they openly tell you when they think an idea you have in mind isn’t going to add up to much and if so, do they give an alternative or do they just tell you “You’re going to fail” and walk away leaving you down in the dumps?(I shall share more about this in a few paragraphs).

Do the elements of your circle only talk about their dreams and how they wish they had certain things yet they do nothing about it so many years down the line? I’m not saying dreams are not valid(seriously, check out the post about dreams, HERE-It’ll be ours) However, there’s a difference between daring to dream and dreaming to dare, the steps you take toward achieving your dreams are what count the most really. I have a friend (a couple of friends actually) that have dreamt of being pilots since they were younger, and the steps they’re taking to get to that level, yo! The validity of Dreams is only palpable in the direction of your actions.

2. Does your circle put you down in order to build themselves up?

surround yourself

Recall the statement about negative comments/ criticism somewhere up there? Let’s deal with it.

They say that “You know you’re doing something great when there’s people trying to dissuade you from pursuing it.” This can clearly be taken out of context but humour me for now.

I know there’s people we keep in our lives just because of the length of time we’ve known them for(Don’t shamelessly ask me about how I had earlier said that I form ties for life). Some of these people are the “Let’s see if she’ll fail type”. Sad but true.

If you have people in your circle who constantly bring in the negative. The nagging conscience that never brings any good fortune afterwards. The type that see you as competition, in what race? I have yet to figure it out but competition no less.

How long will you let yourself be put down just so they’re comfortable?

I call it comfortably toxic relationships.

There’s only so long you can go with blocking their thoughts and comments out but do you want to end up regretting it a few years down the line after you’ve missed countless opportunities to grow? Because we are aiming to grow I should hope? To be better versions of ourselves each day.

I read this post on one of my random, few and wide in between, facebook browse-capades(not a real word but deal with it). It was about a girl, I think, who has a friend that verbally attacked her and when an observer was offering her comfort as she shed her tears of hurt, all she said was that “It’s OK. She didn’t mean it.” (Found it: Elizabeth Gilbert authored this little tale…so if you have the time and patience, do check her Facebook page for interesting posts that focus on life and living it.)

How coincidental is it that I spotted that just as I’m compiling this post about circles and semi-circles?

Point of all this is that, if you have to keep coming to someone’s defence for how sourly they treat you, then my dove, is there a point to keeping that negative energy in your life? Error is to human just green is to the leaves of a tree but even during the summer, these same leaves turn yellow and brown….so you shouldn’t stick to the errors of your ways.

let go

3. Do you allow yourselves to grow?

I keep repeating the same words: growth and energy. I hope I don’t sound like a broken record here.

In life, the social nature of a human being dictates that there will always be a desire to change; be it yourself, your career, your mind, your life, your friends. So it only goes to predict that somewhere along the line, a rift can show up in a friendship when this desire comes along. Would your circle allow you to spread your wings and be part of yet another circle? Or will they pull a “No new friends” / “It’s them or us” or shun you when you let them know about the other circle?

you can't sit with us

You can’t sit with us

(first off dear internet, who did this? secondly, how cool is this?)

Do circles make you a better person? Do they tear you down before building you up? Do they act as a barrier between yourself and the growth potential that is budding within you?

(p.s remember multiple parts aka series vibe I have going on here…do expect another i.e. the finale of this My Circle series soon.)

Second instalment. Watch this space my doves.

Hellos and How are yous…I skipped this at the beginning. I’m sorry *hugs*

**The Circle of Life***

From a cool little corner of Nairobi,

with love and love and friendly vibes galore,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*

My Circle (1)


Hello my doves.

Temporary hiatus over…dealing with life is kinda difficult non? But alas, we gotta do what we gotta do.

How are you all?

Amazing and filled with positive energy I hope? Cooler than the frosting on my cupcakes is what I am.

I’ve been reading about this alot really. My eyes just happen to be drawn to these articles about friendships and living life and circles and I figured, it’s a sign. I’ll write about it and see how that goes. So, here we are.

Happy July my doves.

MY CIRCLE:

A circle is defined in the dictionary of the English language as:

cir·cle
ˈsərk(ə)l/
noun
noun: circle; plural noun: circles; noun: cir.; noun: circ.
a round plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point
  (the center).

It can also be defined by “us new-age kids” as the people who you surround yourself with…which coincidentally, is also in the dictionary as follows:

cir·cle
ˈsərk(ə)l/
noun
a group of people with shared professions, interests, or acquaintances.
“she did not normally move in such exalted circles”
synonyms: group, set, company, coterie, clique;

**This is not turning into English 101 so please, calm your body organs.

Jim Rohn said that You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.

jimrohn_

Circle:

Like I said, I’ve been reading all about company lately. Pretty interesting and eye-opening articles that are bookmarked, read and consequently deleted or forgotten.

foolsaccompany fools

To figure out your circle, you need to clear up a couple queries:

~Who are You?

You know in order to make friends, you have to sell yourself to someone in a certain way. We all know about first impressions right? The impression you give off, determines who gets roped into the attraction game of friendship.

I attended a class that talked about the 30 second elevator pitch. Basically, you’re in a corporate environment and you happen to get onto the same elevator as the CEO of the company. With an average of 30 seconds till you get to your floor or their floor, what information can you give up to leave a lasting impression? A friendship basically starts on the same grounds I guess. You have a few seconds of eyeing each other up before even one word leaves your mouth…Will what spews from your mouth be enchanting enough to drag people into your life or repel them?

My body is attracted to your body but when you speak, my brain gets angry

My body is attracted to your body but when you speak, my brain gets angry

How do you culture the right circle? Actually, how do you culture the right anything? Know Yourself first….or rather, know your 4 selves as I had stipulated in an earlier post, HERE. The beginning of a union starts with one person; that person needs to at least have a semblance of themselves before getting into the union.

think to be

~What type of energy do you project?

This goes hand-in-hand with the “Knowing yourself”.

If you constantly think negative or do negative things, then you attract that exact energy towards yourself. Ever wonder why sometimes when you feel pushed beyond the threshold of what you can acceptably handle, and you think about not being able to succeed, you start to notice the little things the people in your circle do that lead them and are now leading you to a certain end? Sorry, did that make any sense? In simpler terms, negative attracts negative just as positive attracts positive…*ignoring all you physics majors…life isn’t physics bro. Don’t give me that opposites attract narrative.*

When you’re positive, more so in your thoughts, you start to notice the compliments, you start to take in the brightness of the sun even when there is an absence of warmth, you begin to realize that there’s more than enough things in the lives of those in your circle that you need to appreciate more often.

Also, you realize and can clearly identify what you want from a friendship and what your circle wants from you.

energies

~Short term? Long term? Term?

What are your short term goals? What are your long term goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Sorry, I was watching Think Like A Man today and these lines are stuck in my head.

Any who, realize that some circles have a shorter lifespan than others. It’s always up to you to figure out just what that span is. I’ll take the example of guys who drink. You have probably changed drink-circles enough times, because at one point or another you realize that hey! this is not one to last for after this round, or after this period.

Always know the lifespan.

I’m a friend lover. I tend to insist that once were friends, you can’t get rid of me. I’ll be around you in whatever capacity. You can’t start something with the notion that it won’t last because now that you’ve sent it out to the universe, then it won’t last. It’s like doing an exam and thinking about how you’ll fail, well it’s no surprise when you do fail even though you had made the effort to study. Your mindset controls everything you do.

Always figure out when it’s time to sever ties even when your heart doesn’t feel up to the task. You don’t sit in a sinking ship because you know you can hold your breath under water.

_____End of_____

______Part One______

This is a multi-part kind of post.

A circle holds so much information. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket they say. >>Irrelevant maybe<<

 

In the meantime, here’s that lion king jam that gives you all the good vibes:

***The Circle of Life***

From a cool little corner of Nairobi,

with love and love and friendly vibes galore,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love* 🙂