For my body and the moments I’d look in the mirror and feel like a goddess.For being okay with my big nose and that tinge of excitement I get when I am wearing a pair of jeans and they feel a little tighter.For accepting how I look and feeling beautiful.And for learning to believe I am even when no one tells me this.
For my deeper desire to pray that good happens to others.For not letting people who do not seek this dim my shine.For that feeling of seeing this good manifest in the lives of others.For that friend who is excited because a little text helped him get a job and that other friend who knows when they need someone to hang with, I’ll be there even when everyone else bails.For my mother’s smile on my graduation and the way I learnt that sometimes this life we live isn’t just about us but is to be lived for those around us.
For the way I fucked up. For the way I fucked up a lot. For a bunch of bad decisions that are still haunting me. But also for the way I am learning to accept my mistakes. And most importantly for my new never-ending resolve to do it better.
For writing, and the way Story Moja Festival 2015 was an experience I will never forget. For the creativity I surrounded myself with during the first 2 months of 22 and this being a permanent reminder that my writing is awesome. For writer’s block that has kept me from creating. Yet I know that even though I haven’t written as much in the past few months I am and always will be a writer.
For the things that made me happy this past year. Because happiness isn’t a one time destination that you will only attain once. It is a constant choice that I feel I tried to make most days at 22. For all the new things I am discovering make me happy: putting a smile on the faces of neglected teenage mothers, lounging in the house in cute pink socks, stroking the soft fur of my kitties, food and random conversations with him and his friends,buying new lipstick, doing something right at work and drinks with the girlfriends. This isn’t everything. But every day is a new day for me to discover another way to smile. For the way during 22 I showed my gap-toothed smile a little too much.For the way this is one thing I am determined to carry into 23.
For writing that changed my world. For discovering new blogs and new books that seem to speak in that same language my soul understands. For words by Tabitha that kept me sane when I wanted to quit my degree.
For my beautiful Warsan, Yrsa and Nayyirah whose anthologies soothed my soul through a transition that was harder than expected. But also for my dearest Alexandra whose positive vibes and message of healing and living life to the fullest has fueled my 2016. But I cannot forget the unspoken bond between artistic souls. So this is also for my writer friend who joins me in moments when I am shamelessly obsessing over Nayyirah and Warsan’s artisry.
For all the people doing something right that encourage me to be a better person. For my lawyer family friend who is enjoying the hell out of her mid twenties and who does it so stylishly that I want to be her- A young, stylish yet learned professional breaking ceilings and living life to the fullest.
For the strength it took to end a chapter that extended longer than it should have. For the poetry it gave me and how I could write countless anthologies about it. For a wound that took a little too many conversations with Jamie, Lawson and Jack to heal. For the way after the storm had subsided I am proud of the girl that emerged. For that season. And that prayer I say every night that someone is doing better where they are, just as I am.
For so many memories. For the best view to wake up to on a Monday morning. For that Kili Sundowner. And all the things we downed after. For infinities that have a genesis somewhere at the intersection of Kinyanjui Kombani’s novels, fantastic views and a shared love for Wale’s The Album About Nothing. For pizza and so many stories I associate it with. For the tears I cried on graduation because baby girl finally did it. For lunches with my girl pals. For that time we went to Hemmingways and I promised myself that next time, I’ll be the one to pay that bill. For Mama. Because my favourite memory is the way she worked tirelessly to make sure her baby ended up somewhere nice.
image from Pinterest
For embracing positive energy. Because I am naturally an optimistic person. For the way I am determined to shine this to those around me as much as I can.
But also for dreams. For accepting that where we ended up is a place filled with black suits and lots of numbers and boardrooms and clients that can be scary. Sometimes. But also for the way we have come to terms with this and now just look at planes and cockpits with admiration accepting that they wont be my reality, at least for now. For my new dream of succeeding in this corporate jungle.
For new passions. And at this point in time. They are tied to food. For all the nice restaurants I have tried in the past year- for Java Karen which is my new weekend office. For being able to dial a delivery, the other best thing to happen to me this year. For exploring these places with my favorite people.
For my corporate career. And the way each new day is a challenge. But for the way I feel I have grown so much. For the way chasing a corporate career is the scariest thing ever but for the way a simple achievement like balancing a Statement of Financial Position gives me so much satisfaction.
For the days when I felt on top of the world but also for the days I locked myself in my room and cried. Shit. I did that a lot this past year. For the low moments. But also for the way I was still able to pick myself up and move the fuck on.
For the way mum and the brother hold me down.And the way they love me. Even when I don’t feel like it. For the strength of my mother and the brightness my brother brings. For the strength of my mother. My pillar. For the one person that keeps me surviving. For making dad proud. For making dad proud.
But this is also about remembering the ways I broke out of my comfort zone this year. For the courage it took to keep sending those emails and CVs. For doing extroverted things like showing up. For trying lip stick shades which before would make me overthink my appearance. For the same lipstick shades that are now my favourite thing. For all the other ways I challenged myself. Talking to that stranger. Asking for that thing I desire. For the way I still survived.
For graduation 2016. For that feeling that is priceless. For the excitement over gowns and shopping for dresses and the perfect lipstick. For the graduation rehearsal and the way putting on mascara on that day was the most pointless thing. For a million selfies and congratulations all around. But mostly for the way I did not think I would get that far. And yet I did. I did it.
For good health. And that time we got H. Pylori and I realized antibiotics are not my favourite thing.At all. For the way I take this for granted sometimes but really it is a blessing. And the way God was generous with this one. Not just to me but to those around me.
There were also things that scared me. For the people who died and made me afraid. Because the truth is we never know who is next.But for the way God heard me every night when I asked him to keep my people for one more day.
For the queen Bee. And these lyrics…
This is for them 20 somethings
Time really moves fast, you were just sixteen
This is for them 30 somethings
That didn't turn out exactly how your mom and dad wanted you to be
This is for them 40 somethings
Well raise up your glass and laugh like a motherfucker
This is for them 50 somethings
Hell, you're halfway there, baby take it to the head
Mom and dad tried to hide the world
Said, the world is just too big for a little girl
Eyes wide open, can't you see
I had my first heels by the age of 13
Mom and dad tried to hide the boys
I swear that just made them want me more
At 14 they asked me what I wanna be,
I said "Baby 21, so I'd get me a drink."
I'm not a teacher, babe
But I can teach you something
Not a preacher
But we can pray if you wanna
Ain't a doctor
But I can make you feel better
But I'm great at writing physical love letters
I'm a freak, all day, all night
Hot, top, flight
Boy out of sight
And I'm crazy, all day, all night
Who needs a degree when you're schoolin' life?
This is for them pretty somethings
Living in a fast lane, see you when you crash babe
This is for them sexy somethings
That body ain't gon' always get ya out of everything
This is for them bitter somethings
Stop living in regret, baby, it's not over yet
And this is for them trippin' somethings
That's high on life, baby, put me on your flight
But this is also for the way I don’t feel I have to hide myself anymore. For this woman who trips over things and doesn’t wear high heels. For this woman who can be shy but also forgets how to shut up at times. For this woman who once ran into her boss a day before she reports for work sans shower wearing bathroom slippers, the heart run t-shirt she slept in,jeans and a dirty jacket. But also for the woman who slayed the freaking universe wearing a tiny black and white dress and statement neckpiece on her graduation. For this girl who smiles a lot. But locks herself in her room for hours when life gets hard. For the way I am fiercely unashamed of her. But even more for the way I am so deeply in love with her.
But 23 couldn’t have been 23 without the people who made it a little more beautiful. For my girlfriends old and new. For these special ones that love me through the PMS and distance. For how I don’t deserve their friendship but they bless me with it anyway. For Him, one of the best decisions I have made in recent months. For being my cheerleader and encouraging me that I got this, even when I am 100% sure I cant. For my mama and brother.For the way we are all each of us got. For my classmates whose success I pray for and my colleagues who are pretty decent people.For my extended family for just being there. For my writing buddies, those I have met and those who we communicate on virtual spaces. For anyone who touched 22 in one way or another.
Above all,for God. Because the truth is I am utterly undeserving and no words can express how truly thankful I am for the way he has been exceedingly good to me.
I couldn’t have asked for a better year. And here’s to hoping 23 will be even better. <3.