I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that count in life. Because I’ve been thinking about the brevity of life a whole lot, of late. Somehow, I want to have a child, but only if I’m sure that I’ll be around to raise her. One of my neighbours passed away recently. I made friends with her daughter, recently. She’s not older than six, but is already very kind and protective of her little brother – he learned how to walk recently and is always trying to get passed her and out the gate whenever someone’s getting into or out of the compound. Their mom was in her mid thirties when she died and left a husband and three little kids behind. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.
I’ve been working hard to clear my student loan. Which is something I should have taken more seriously before – the amounts I was paying and not just the consistency I brag about. But regret is useless and I’ve learnt my lesson. Somehow, I got to thinking that if I died, I’d want to have paid back my student loan so someone else won’t miss out on it because I felt my already good life needed more stuff.
One of the older consultants at the office lost her mother. As I reread her tribute today, all I could think was what I’ve been thinking since the funeral: How do you match that? Everyone talked about what a good listener she was. How much she loved dancing. That she fought for the rights of others. That she cared for children. That she gave until there was barely anything left, then she’d figured out ways to make sure that there was more to give. I want that legacy. Now I see why our consultant is always giving. Kind words, a smile, good stories, gifts, time, encouragement. I want to have that legacy and what I want more is to pass that on to someone.
My own mother has already built a track record in her career as a civil servant, a youth mentor, Christian guide, boys club runner and mother. People meet me and tell me how she came through for them and it fills me with awe. And a little anxiety. Because what am I doing with my life? I don’t volunteer anymore, I’m not really making time for my hobbies, I don’t make much time for my friends, I don’t even like going to church anymore. There’s no more passion. Not much writing, barely any reading, cooking to eat and stay alive, jogging to meet my FitBit targets. It’s really quite sad.
I have a problem with postponing joy. It’s the reason why I almost didn’t go for every fun thing I managed to do – the weeklong holiday in Arusha, the long weekend in Diani with new friends, zip lining over Easter. Add falling in love and moving out to that list too. I’ve been living with the arrogant expectation of waking up to find it all waiting for mw the following day, week, month and year.
I need to finally take on something new and exciting so I can feel alive for longer than a few hours or days. More than a big purchase or weekend away. More than a good read or night out. I feel the need to give myself the chance to rediscover the things that give me fulfillment and joy. I need to start giving in and giving up more of myself.
Guys, I need to start living again. So I’m drawing up a list and working through it, beginning with the little things.
It’s kinda late as I type this and I’m counting down the hours before it’s time to wake up, but let me sleep on it.