A Girl, A Decade And 5 Strands of Gray Hair

There were no fire-works, no Mummy and Daddy fuzzy-wuzzy hugs, no family sit-down to pray and reflect on accomplishments and non-accomplishments. Ushering in the end of another decade came in a rather unique way this time round. It happened at the “Roof of Africa” – yes, you heard me, at 5895m above sea level! I’ll let that sink in and will rumble on about my Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition a blog later.

The other day, it strangely hit and dawned on me that another decade had just whizzed on fast like “Road Runner”.

I quickly sat down as if to catch my breath and wipe a few beads of sweat off my brow. “How did I get here? What’s the hurry for Universe? …” these and more were the strange questions lingering in my head. In my moment of questioning, I quickly slipped into taking stock of where exactly my last 10 years had come and gone to. My 5 strands of grey hair were my first point of reference and affirmation that indeed, time had gone by and as it fluttered off it left me precious mementos to hold onto. The time chisel has shaped and molded me into all the things that I am and all the things people see when they look at me. The last decade has made me ME. I’d like to make reference to each of my 5 grey hair strands as a memento:

Strand 1: You always Go And You Get Whoever coined the expression Go-Getter must have somewhat had me on their mind. Not to sound vain or a blower of my own trumpet; I love to go out there and get! Many a times remarks as such: “you have had it easy”, “your father is rich”, “you are a woman and can get things easily”, “you are a munyankole”…. have been tossed my way. I have found myself having to explain to the world that nothing has come as easy as it looks. There are bits of working towards a goal that come with sacrifices, commitment, perseverance, pain sometimes, failure. All these may seem limiting but the winning attitude is to keep pushing and pushing until victory is at your footstool. Nothing itches me badly like the word CANNOT. So I GO and I GET!

Strand 2: You fought depression – You won! Somewhere in the course of my stroll through the decade, I encountered a huge Monster that had a hideous face, had blood running through it’s veins, had a ferocious voice and derived it’s power from sucking the life out of me. For months and months on, I carried this hideous thing on my back, took it to work, went to church, hang with my friends with it nicely propped on my back. One day, my knees couldn’t take it anymore – I crashed under the weight of it’s fattening body. I crashed and wanted to die; the pain, the tears, the emptiness, the dread, the frustrations – I just crashed. Right at the point, when the Monster had seemingly won, right when it thought my life was over – with every ounce of energy left in me I wailed out to heaven “GOD HELP ME!” – then I fell into a long deep slumber. Alas, I woke up from this nightmare months on – No Monster on my back – it had left some scars, traces of trauma but it was no more! I had won with one cry out to GOD – I fought depression and won!

Strand 3: You Grew! A long decade stroll can never leave you the same, growth is but inevitable. “Show me a decade end and I will show you Growth!”. Not only have I grown in size and shape 😂 🤣 but I have grown spiritually, mentally, emotionally and all the ally’s 🤣. Has it been easy? Has it been fair? Have I fallen? Have I gone off course? Have I retreated? Yes Yes Yes and Yes. Growth doesn’t come easy. I like to make reference of how gold gets purified into a priceless metal – it goes through fire! That is what my growth process has looked like. It doesn’t matter what the journey looked like – I picked the best, dropped the waste and I grew!

Strand 4: You didn’t Die! The fact that this blog post has been published is an attest that I am alive. Loved ones were lost and the hardest bit to accept was the loss of contemporaries and age mates. This surely doesn’t leave you the same BUT it keeps reminding you that death is a part of the human journey; as much as it hits us hard each time, it’s a natural event. I learnt that I have to prepare my heart and live each day like death would visit any time – what does that look like; get that ice-cream if my heart feels like, tell someone they are amazing and not wait for next month, take that dream trip (planning and saving for it being key), work hard, dance in the rain… The BUT in this is that caution has to be exercised – no need to go all out and reckless in the name of doing it all. I didn’t die – I am alive and will continue to use my life to be a blessing (my mantra).

Strand 5: You lived! I dream of the day I will sit with my children and their children and tell them all about the places I have been to, the adventurous exploits, the people I have met that have made tremendous impact on my life, the mountains I have climbed, the oceans I have swam in. I will tell them I chose to live” and so must they. There is so much that positively changes in you when you intentionally choose “to live”. Indeed the last decade I chose “to live”I lived!

I eventually woke up from my small stupor and all I could do was smile with tears welling in my eyes, look up to the sky and whisper a “Thank you God for my life. Thank you for making me ME, thank you for the last decade and thank you for what it has taught me and made me“. I know the next decade will be phenomenal.

Blessings

AK

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Daniel
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Great insights here. You didnt die, you fough depression, etc. You won. Aluta Continua

Ethel
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What a great read

Walter
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5 strands of maturity. Thank you for this great piece