A lot has happened over the past year. I’ve been penniless and mooched off of my cousin and my friends, I’ve made and spent money, I’ve spent money that I didn’t have and needed to make it back. I’ve found a house that I liked and moved in (good bye mooching!), I’ve had new projects come in and make up for the project-less-ness of earlier in the year. I’ve had people encourage me, I have had people discourage me, I’ve listened to advice, I’ve listened to rebuke. I’ve had to take the time to filter out what works and what doesn’t work for me.
I’ve written, I’ve journalled, I’ve deleted. I’ve learnt to write for myself. I’ve learnt that I’m going to change my mind fairly often, and that changing my mind does not invalidate that which I’d written while I’d been thinking in the way that I had while I was writing whatever it is that I’ve changed my mind about :D.
I’ve struggled through a particularly difficult time, I’ve been held up and carried by my friends, I’ve ridden on the shoulders of people who cared about me. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve hoped, I’ve had hopes dashed and felt drained. I’ve been down, I’ve been up, I’ve been raised and there are times when I’ve gotten my feet under me and raised myself.
I’ve changed the way in which I prefer to take my coffee. I’ve learnt that when I feel like crying for no immediately-discernible reason, I can just find a private space and go for it. I’ve also learnt to do. I’ve learnt that reading and learning are all well and good, but there comes a time when I just have to get up and do. I’ve legitimized my business and learnt that The KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority) actually penalizes you when you don’t file tax returns every month, even on the months that you’re not really making taxable money (!).
I’ve learnt to ask for help when I need it, I’ve learnt that there’re people who are going to help you out just because. I’ve learnt that I can be those people. I’ve learnt to ask – ask for an interview, for a meeting, for a project, for a tender – whatever it is. Ask for it because the worst that can happen is that they’ll say no. I’ve learnt to be good to myself. I’ve learnt that if I don’t get enough sleep, I become extremely cranky. I’ve learnt to be conscious about my feeding habits, I’ve learnt that the weird dizziness that I’ve felt sometimes, is actually caused by dehydration. I’ve learnt to drink more water. I’ve learnt that the banner of God is always over me, even when I’m too cranky and disillusioned to pray.
I’ve learnt that there isn’t any unique story. I’ve learnt that whatever it is I’m going through, there is someone who has gone through it before me, and that I can probably find their story on the Internet and not feel so alone in whatever it is that I’m experiencing. I’ve learnt to read more.
I’m not usually one to do a year in review kind of thing but I’ve found myself in a moment of reflection. A moment during which I’ve truly appreciated everything that has happened in 2014. Everything that I have lived through, every way in which I’ve grown – even in the “little” ways like; a change in the way I think, new friends that I’ve made, new recipes that I’ve tried, shots that I’ve made and missed, shots that I’ve made and met the mark, books that I’ve read, things that I’ve learnt about myself.
I read somewhere recently, that we often over-estimate that which we can achieve in a day, and yet under-estimate what we can achieve in a year. I reckon this is true. I’ve never actually been conscious about things that I’d like to achieve over a year’s time, but 2015 is different. I’m conscious about a number of things that I’d like over the coming year. Like getting started on my Masters’ degree and buying a small piece of land that I’d like to grow something on. Like taking my daughter for swimming lessons and learning how to swim myself. Like becoming a confident driver (especially around bends and corners!). Like continuing to consciously take care of myself. Like taking some time off and going on beach-and-ocean-type vacation. Like being good to people. Like showing appreciation to all the people who carried me and raised me up when I was too down on myself to do it myself. Like loving on people. Like being the girl who shows up with wine and pizza when my friends need me. Like settling into a bigger house; one that I won’t feel the need to move out of in a rush.
These things. I want these things for and of myself.
Happy New Year, folks.