I am an Upcoming Author living in TX. My hobbies are diverse, but my favorite is, Gardening and writing. I am a story-teller and resorts to writing during my free/down time. I find Gardening and writing to be equally therapeutic to my Soul.
My Brother's Keeper
In the Wake of My Mom's Anniversary. I cannot help but recall one of the major Turning point in My Life, when she was still living. You see in Her Eyes; I was her baby aka the baby of the house. I would have probably remained in that element for a lifetime, but I wanted to venture out and be seen and treated as an adult. However, I had not fully thought out my strategy to achieve this stance. And No, I did not mind being her baby, nevertheless; I just wanted to be seen and be recognized as a responsible young adult. Something about that new element just sinks deep, the demeanor that you talk changes, the way people react and respond to you differs in a positive way. And best of all, you can make life challenging decisions on your own without anyone questioning your motives. The freedom that comes with being a responsible young adult is endless.
My Happy Place
Growing up in East Africa, Kenya, a Country rich in minerals and predominant in an agricultural ecosystem. Farming ultimately becomes second nature to you. From the tranquility of the Countries red soil to the wildlife and the authenticity of organic foods, everyday feel like a breath of fresh air.
If you were born in the 20th Century, you might be among the chosen few who are not avidly obsessed with their Body image. Everywhere I go and sightsee nowadays, there is always a billboard or a postcard relating to body image. From run on commercials on TV to social media ads, there seems be an obsession with having the perfect body image. The measures people will go to attain these results is obnoxious. Lately, it seems like the 21st Century is centered/fixated around Body Image, and normalizing ways to attain that perfect glow and body. From the constant body imagery, the media showcases, and the unrealistic standards celebrities are obligated to keep up with. You will be amazed at what people are willing to do to acquire such stance. From Botched surgeries overseas to Kylie Jenner lip Challenge, it appears as if every generation is obsessed with certain parts of their bodies and fitting into what the society portrays as acceptable. A mere size 8 to 12 is now considered plus size, and 0 to 1 deemed small. Who comes up with these logics anyways, size 0 to 1 is borderline anorexia and very unhealthy. Unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from having a normal weight, or you are just thin framed; you should never attempt to fit into society demands.
The Perfect Date Preference
Planning the perfect date can be challenging leave alone dating in general. Ontop of the already stressful task, there is the ongoing pandemic. Traditional dating skills/format, rules, and techniques seem to have flown out the window, the moment COVID-19 reached USA soil. People are scared to go outside, leave alone mingle and socialize in a crowded place. Dating has become quite the challenge, not to mention meeting new people in general. I recently found myself in the dating predicament, in the midst of a pandemic. All my fun, favorite, hanging-out spots have closed down or have limitations on operational hours. The only location I can think of that is still functioning at 75% capacity is downtown Houston. The scenery in downtown Houston has always been Breath-taking, and night life is to die for. But since the pandemic, all that has changed. It is so unusual for the streets to be so silent, yet extremely rewarding at the same time. Houston being home of the Astros, Rockets, and Texans, the usual traffic to and from downtown now seem so foreign. I do not remember the last time I drove past NRG Stadium and Minute Maid for a long period of hours stuck in traffic. The drive to downtown is now less than 30mins, something that used to be 2hr maximum. The traditional football games, basketball games, and any major patriotic celebrations no-longer fill the streets of downtown. I can easily grab a quick bite with friends and companions without feeling the usual agony of driving to downtown.
Elements of a Foodie
How does one become a Foodie? Is it inborn or just mere interest, hobby, or passion towards food? What does a foodie even means? Encyclopedia defines a foodie as a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and who eats food not only out of hunger but due to their interest or hobby and is passionate about food. In general, a foodie is a person who enjoys food, a gourmet for pleasure. So generally speaking, we are all foodies. Given the fact that at some point in our lives, we have all enjoyed food for pleasure. Some people claim their ardent interest for food is truly inborn, while others believe their knowledge in food and food locations is what differentiate them from the common good. Whichever category you fall under, one thing is for sure, we are all foodies to some extent. Personally, for me, a foodie means having a high interest and passion to educate others about the elements of food as well as enjoying eating the foods you cook.
Every Part of a Story is Important. But nothing is as Captivating as the Opening Scene. Do you have a favorite book or novel you just cannot get enough of? It does not matter how many times you have read it; each time you want to read it the vibe just hits you differently. Your fingers start to tremble, and heart begins to beat a little faster. The excitement overtakes your body, and you become a kid in a candy store. The tranquility of inner peace and harmony awaits your soul as you position yourself to divulge in your all-time favorite classic. That feeling is unexplainable yet very enjoyable. For me, the moment is like an outer body experience. You are physically present, yet unconsciously unaware of your surroundings. It is like, that joy of waking up by the seaside and watching the water waves slowly hit the rocks/sand. My adrenaline instantly kicks in just from seeing the view of a shoreline. The clear blue water on a bright sunny day is to die for. Like a Folgers breeze in the midst of sunrise, I inhale deeply enough to absorb the aroma. I instantly begin to imagine taking a long walk along this seashore. As the water drifts away and the sand touches the sole and or palm of my feet, my hair swiftly whisks away from the back of my earlobes. As the bird chirms hits the sun ray, a prolific sound is created, that resembling of a wind chime. I slowly close my eyes just to soak it all in and bask in the moment. As the taste of the ocean breeze simmers in, I deeply exhale enough to release any tensions or toxins from within. The taste of mid summers eve come to mind, as my body begins to tremble and shiver from the fresh breeze. The air gives way, as my hair slithers gently off your shoulders and begins to be fully wind-blown. The world seems to be at a standstill as the cool breeze whisks me away into lala-Land. I cannot help but notice that the sand is in fact hot, being that it is in fact summertime. My mind is at ease, my body is relaxed, and my heart begins to tremble at the touch of a ray of sunlight. The waves continuously push the ocean water along the shoreline and the feeling is bitter-sweet. In juxtaposition, the water-waves pushes slightly enough to touch the palm of your feet then withers away drastically. Nevertheless, I manage to escape the heat waves as the clouds gradually begins to clear and the sun is now positioned mid-center of the sky.
Growing up in a big Family has its Perks and Flaws. If you are among the first kids, a lot of responsibilities automatically defaults to you, but if you are among the youngest; you get away with a lot of privileges. But to whom much is given, much more is expected. Sibling rivalry becomes the norm, academic performance is vital to your existence in the Family. Your grades speak for you and those privileges tend to increase based on how well you perform academically each school year. You automatically become the pedestal of the family based on your resilience to dominate the rest of your siblings academically. Nevertheless, you each become your brother’s and sister’s keeper and vice versa. You can never lack companionship; and you forever have a playmate, and that one relative you resonate with the most. On the other hand, however; it might feel like you do not always get the attention that you desperately need, despite your parents doing the best they can to accommodate each child individually. This is common in many African communities/families, nevertheless; I would not trade my upbringing for anything in this world. Yes, I too come from a big family, and this was indeed my reality growing up.
Who would have thought a simple thing as Soda can bring back so much memory. This past weekend I made my way to my local department store, Kroger’s. While passing through the international isle unknowingly, my eyes gazed upon a section of bottled sodas. I immediately stopped to grasp that nostalgic moment I was blessed with. These were not just ordinary soda bottles, but the old fashion glass bottle of Fanta orange soda. If you grew up outside America, you would resonate with these sodas. Chilled glass-bottled Fanta orange was always the icing on the cake for every major Holiday we ever celebrated. And when you saw these special sodas, you immediately knew special guests were present in your compound or it was a special holiday. For me, growing up, Christmas and New Year’s was always Our All-Time Favorite Holiday with our Mother. She would wake up at Wee Hours at night to Cook Chapati (an unleavened flatbread, also referred to as roti or naan), organic farm hen/chicken (Kuku Kienyeji as we referred to it) along with Chilled Fanta Orange (preferably known as Fanta Baridi) just so it would be ready by the time we woke up. No one Knew when she went to the store to buy the Sodas nor woke up to cook. You were just awakened by the Aroma of her cooking on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Holiday Shopping Frenzy Alternatives
Holiday shopping can be hectic when you do not know where to shop, leave alone what to get someone. Whether it is a relative, friend, co-worker, family member, children, lover/partner, spouse, or affiliates; not knowing what they like can be strenuous. And with the ongoing pandemic, the normal traditional ways of shopping are no longer conducive. One must re-evaluate their steps and utilize what they already own or settle for alternatives. In juxtaposition, if you are on a budget, DIY-gifts, and secondhand shopping maybe the best viable option for you. On the other hand, if you are like me; online shopping along with traditional decors might resonate more with you.
Shaken but Not Brocken!
https://createmycookbook.com/store/show/215841_233058_1538861266 booksamillion.com/product/9781365786563 It All started with the Loss of the pillar of my life, My Mom. I was Lifeless and felt like I was living in an empty hole. I began sinking deep into the pit of a dark place. Nobody felt what I felt, nobody understood what I was dealing with; and it seemed as if Heaven had Closed its door on me. As much as I had siblings who were grieving the same Mother, I still felt like I was alone in this. Since everyone grieves at their Own pace, the grieving process was definitely different for each one of us. I felt like an outcast and it seemed as if no one could relate to me nor quite grasp the magnitude of my sorrow. There was a feeling of emptiness and lifelessness all mixed in one. I was dead yet still alive, and for a long time I did not have the purpose to live anymore. This picture summarizes that phase of my life. I knew deep down my heart that I would not live to see the new year or better yet, my 27th Birthday. I felt Brocken beyond repair…. My Sisters fought endlessly to get me to go see a therapist, but their efforts were in vain. I was pressured to go talk to this so-called therapist to appoint they even volunteered to accompany me during the sessions. But again, their efforts were short-lived. I knew they cared and wanted me to get the help that I helplessly needed; but I just did not think I was repairable. The Scripture says: “Take everything to the Lord in Prayer” and if God could not help me, I did not see how another human being was going to help me. I blamed God for leaving me behind and allowing such anguish in my Life. I Prayed every night for God to take My Soul Like He took my mothers’ soul. And every day I would wake up disappointed that I was still alive. I knew I was in a dark pace but just did not know how to Get Out. I had a hard time viewing her body for I could not fathom seeing my mother’s body inside a casket. However, I did see her the day of the burial only because they were about to bury her, and I had not yet seen her. That image repeatedly played in my mind, and each time I would cry myself to sleep. I convinced myself that the only way to move forward was to glance through her casket pictures over-and-over again until the day I could look at the pictures without shedding a tear. It took exactly 2months for me to be able to do that. In the meantime, I continued to pray for God to help me cope with it, but to my surprise; help had yet to arrive. After many failed attempts for God to answer my Prayers, I decide it was upon me to jumpstart the process. I figured if I placed myself in harms way then it is human nature if nature takes its course. I began driving to local recreational parks in hopes of running into a veteran. It was brought to my knowledge that they have morphine (for emergency usage in case they run into enemy grounds). I waited at the park hoping to spot a former veteran or ex veteran and possibly secure this antidote. To my dismay I was unsuccessful. I soon resort to ordering it online but soon remembered it will trace back as pre-agitated murder if it delivers to my address. Besides my family were already going through enough, and the burden of being found lifeless in our family home would have been traumatic. Nobody knew of my plans even though they were forever worried about me. If I left the house for more than an hour, they would bedazzle me with phone calls. I soon realized I needed a different plan outside the house and immediately began job searching. Since I was unemployed at the time, I figured I would need an alibi to cover my whereabouts for a long period of time. And what better way than to use work as an escape-goat. I was able to secure a job a week after and proceeded to carry on with the plans once again. This job entailed reporting to work at 5am daily, and since I lived 30mins away; it was the perfect alibi. I would have to leave the house at 4am to make it to work on time. And so, I figured if I suppressed my lungs then, my heart would die out by the time the sun rises. Since there were not too many people on the road at that time, I would be lifeless by the time anyone noticed me by the roadside. My only worry was someone coming to my rescue and being resuscitated too soon and having to live with the consequence. And the other worry was where I was going to secure this morphine. Amid it all, a dear friend would call to check on me. Unaware of my plans as well, we spoke briefly daily. Out of the conversations, the one thing I recall them telling me was to take one day at a time and not worry about anything else. And so, I did just that. I figured nobody understands me nor gets me, so the only thing left to do was to write down what I was feeling. I began writing down what I was feeling and the more I wrote, the more I felt a sense of relief. I soon began having dreams/visions, and each time the voice told me to “Finish what you started’”. At the time I thought that meant to carry on with the plans, but I soon realized God had better Plans for me. One day of writing turned into a week, and before I knew it; I had a manuscript depicting my transition during that grieving process. Anytime I would relapse I reflected from the previous days’ writings and convinced myself that things were starting to get better. If I could survive the previous day, then I was able to survive the current/present day as well. That is how my self-titled book “Memoirs of A Dutiful Daughter came about. It is then that I came to realization of what my dream truly meant, finish what you started was a reference to me launching and publishing my book not what I assumed it meant. It dawned on me then that someone out there was enduring the same pain I was dealing with but just did not know a way out. And in the blink of an eye, I had a light-bulb Moment. I knew I had to publish this book. Writing became my Therapy session, and I knew I had to bless those who are in the same predicament as me. Around the same period, arrangements for Her One-year anniversary were ongoing. I was barely learning to breathe again and knew I could not attend that gathering. I made the decision to stay and not attend her anniversary that year. That decision did not sit well with the family. They repeatedly stated that ‘If you have the ability to travel Home, why wouldn’t you Travel?”. For me it was never about the ability to travel or not travel, it was the ability for me to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to see her headstone and Grave in person again. In order to live again, I had to stay away till I am mentally and emotionally in-synched. I have since seen her grave in pictures, however; It has been two years since I last saw her grave in person. I am still not sure if I am ready to take the leap to go revisit that scenery in person just yet. And for a long time, it seemed as If I was all alone in this, but reality of things is, you are never quite alone. God was with me all along, I lived to see my 27th Birthday and currently coping with my mother’s loss for 3years and counting. There is no timeframe for grieving, for every moment brings new memories. There are days you can reflect and laugh, and then there are days you cry like she just now died. If I were to summarize what the process has been like I would probably say bitter-sweet. No, it does not get better with time You just learn new ways of coping with it. Anything and anyone can trigger your emotions; however, there’s life after it all. You will find a reason to live again. Trust me I know. I have seen 100 so everything else is 99.
2020 has taught us a lot of things. From the constant uncertainty of your job security, health condition, family wellbeing, keeping afloat, and simply breathing. From the moment this pandemic hit US soil, Tomorrow just never seemed promised. Everyone scrambled with the agony of what will become of our lives and when will this virus be contained and cured. Unbeknownst to us at the time, precisely beginning of March when Corona virus cases began rising in Texas. I had just returned from Celebrating my Birthday a week after the first curfew was issued/announced. Magic Kingdom Park, Disney World had ultimately shut down. A place I freely graced through its surroundings a week prior for my Birthday. Cases were rising at a fast rate daily nationwide, and the world stood at a standstill as corporate offices shuffled with effective ways to transition. This Pandemic became our new normal and no one had a clue of when it would be contained or over with. Workplaces across the nation ultimately became toxic, God forbid if anyone sneezed or coughed next to you. We now tend to glance at our peers with that shameless stare instead of simply saying “Bless You”. Nevertheless, it was inevitable for corporate offices to succumb to their employees working remotely.
Do you struggle finding the time to work out? Does it seem like everybody else always has extra time for working out, yet you cannot manage to squeeze in a workout session. If you answered yes, then I know exactly how you feel. 24hrs feels like a century when you are idle, however; when working fulltime, going to school, raising children, or running an independent business. 24hrs seems like it is never quite enough time to plan your day accordingly. While the rest of your peers carry on with their daily routinely scheduled plans, and still have extra time to socialize. Your day forever seems shortened, for it seems nearly impossible to complete even half of your daily tasks. If you are like me; I get frustrated, lose hope, and resort to envying those superhuman peers that effortlessly accomplish their day-to-day activities. I then procrastinate all day trying to justify why I could not find the time to work out. I console myself by concluding that "I'll just do it next time", unfortunately; next time never quite arrive either. After months of recurring perception of not having the time to work out, I finally found an alternative approach that changed my life forever. I began emphasizing some of my hobbies into a workout session. One of my hobbies happens to be reading, and so one day I got on a trend-mill and began reading a chapter from my favorite book unconsciously unaware I was working out in the process. The more the book became cultivating and the climax heighten, the more I increased my jogging speed on the trend-mill. Within due time I started noticing the weight-loss and changes in my body physique. And in return, the more I was thrilled to read more chapters daily (while still on the trend-mill). This became my new favorite thing to do and I looked forward to my sessions daily. Not only did the frustration stop, but I was also able to accomplish my daily tasks and still have idle time by the end of each consecutive day. I took control of my body and health back. The more I worked out while reading, the higher my momentum increased each day. I ultimately even had a new level of excess boost of energy suddenly, which enabled me to complete my daily task fast/efficiently. My eating plan also ultimately changed, I started caring and being aware of what I consumed daily. I also started embracing each day and looking forward to next day, something I previously dreaded. I acquired a new taste for fresh fruits and produce, as well as incorporated home-made smoothies as my go to snacks. I dined out less and cooked often within the comfort of my home. You see when your lifestyle changes, it is inevitable for the habits to follow suit. It has been 2 months since my newfound hobby evolved, and I have since lost 12lbs. I have also since incorporated working-out with all my daily activities. There is never the perfect time, moment, and day to start. Your intuition and will to try is what matters. You too can readjust your life by applying my technique with your daily activities/hobbies. Whether it is working out at the gym, running after your kids outdoors, walking the dog at the park, or simply engaging in a workout session within the comfort of your own house. Working out does not have to be boring, dreadful, time-consuming, or difficult. Take charge of your life now and explore these effective alternatives. Health and fitness may be essential to human life, but Reading is the Fundamental key to success. Why not get the best of both Worlds.