Real Talk: In My Teens.
This past week my theme song has been Sinach’s – I know Who I am. I’d heard of it before, but more so when Chasers were celebrating the turn out events. It makes more sense to me now. Putting religion aside (although it’s a part of who I am), I figured when you’re going through any kind of challenge, it helps to know who you are. To know what you’re capable of, to know the value you add to the world just by being you, to know what to believe in and to simply know that you’re on a journey and everything that happens, happens for a reason. And to believe that that reason is for good, and for your prosperity as well. The reason might not be clear when you’re going through the challenge, in most cases, it will reveal itself when you’ve moved on and you’re miles away from where you are at that time. That’s when you look back and tell yourself, “that was one heck of a ride – but thankfully, I managed to come out stronger.”
That takes me back to when I was in my teens, those were interesting times. My parents can attest to that. At the very least, I wasn’t a rogue child and I kept reminding them that any time I got into trouble – it’s now laughable. I enjoyed just chilling and having good time with my friends, and I disliked spending my time reading or doing school work, which is what my parents and I mostly argued about. They preferred that I spent more time reading, as opposed to socializing, but I didn’t hear none of that. And so I would be bailing myself out of these lectures every single day – the importance of reading; that friends will be there forever, but I only have this chance on school once.
And because I loved socializing so much, it meant that I would find myself in different social circles and with exposure to good influence and bad influence displaying itself in equal measure. I think that’s what scared them the most. I was exposed to issues on relationships – oh boys; self-love and self-esteem, dealing with cliques, negativity, expectations by my family, my friends and society. All these issues called for making decisions on what direction to take. I won’t lie, sometimes I made such shit decisions, even today, I do. Talk of a spark of the moment and instant pleasures because it’s always more fun that way. There’s that excitement and rush in doing things you aren’t meant to do or that you know are just wrong and ultimately, you end up regretting or wondering whether it was really necessary.
But the one thing that worked (still does) to my favor at that critical stage in life is the foundation that my parents had laid for me. The principles and the values they had instilled in me over the years – especially in knowing what’s wrong and what’s right – and being able to make a decision on that basis. Making me understand that no one else is in charge of how I feel or think about myself or what I do, but me. I always have them to thank for how I eventually turned out, despite all the arguments, the lectures, the guilt trips – they truly are experts in these.
They taught me about love – of self and of others; about relationships, about setting expectations for myself and aligning other people’s expectations of me with what I have set for myself; about thinking of myself highly – they’ve listened, they’ve advised and they’ve stuck with me throughout my journey. They sometimes did it in a stern way, but also with so much love. I remember when my dad would go through my report form and we would have ‘The Chat’ or when I would come home late because I was just chilling with my friends and we would have ‘The Chat’.
They reminded me that most times the world is not kind to you, it’s always out to get you. And for that reason, you always have to be aware and to be cautious, but also know who’s true to you and have them in your team – who do you chose to be in a relationship with, or to be friends with? They taught me to value those relationships that build me and to let go of those that don’t. They taught me to think positively through situations – I looked at them and they always lived up to these things and so they just easily rubbed off on me. It’s important to lead by example.
So when I asked on my Facebook status what my friends would have loved to hear when they were in their teens if they were invited for a forum like this, they shared some below. It was amazing to see how we were all basically just going through the same ol’ things and across all generations.
The event I’ll be attending tomorrow (30th April 2016) and where I am one of the speakers, a first of many, is called Real Talk. It’s hosted by a good friend of mine called Eleen Sholei. I know this is short notice, but if you have a teenage daughter or niece or relative who’s a girl and you want her to interact with other ladies who’ve been where they’ve been and that would impart some much needed positive influence, this is the ideal plan for their Saturday morning from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Daykio Plaza, Ngong Road. It is KES 1,500 in advance, and KES 2,000 at the entrance. Brunch will be served.
It’ll be a great platform for them to get some guidance on this journey called life, and they can borrow a great deal from our journeys – other girls who in their different ways have been through what they’re going through and they turned out just right years later. Also for them to have someone they can ask those sensitive questions that would make you as a parent shudder – you know, boys, relationships, career; or just their experiences in general. I am really looking forward to having a great time with the young ones and reliving my teenage life through them once more.
Well, to the beginning of a fun-filled weekend. Thanks to the rain though, I will take it easy and enjoy my time indoors today and probably cook and catch up on my current read (Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes). But there will definitely be little turn up sometimes during this long holiday as Monday is our Labor Day.
To all those that always put everything they’ve got into the work they do, Happy Labor Day in advance, enjoy a good rest this long weekend!
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*