Finding The Right Path
Have you ever heard of a creature that has completely lost its sense of direction in life? A good example is a cock that has just been beheaded and escaped from its captor's hands. An even better example is me after I dropped out of the university at JKUAT in 2009.
As I have said again and again in this blog, I went astray during my time at JKUAT where I was pursuing a BSc. degree in Electronics & Computer Engineering. That I went astray is not something I am ashamed to admit because even King David, one of my heroes in the Bible, also says in Psalms 119:66-71 that he went astray. And like David, my going astray has helped me to walk in obedience to God's Word, though I am still struggling in some areas I wish not to mention here.
I really lost my sense of direction in life after I dropped out of JKUAT, especially from the years 2009 and 2010. During those years, I sometimes used to suffer from severe bouts of guilt. Some days I would feel as dull and dank as a tomb. I also used to frequently struggle getting out of bed and observe hygiene. Imagine I would go for several days without bathing, changing clothes and cleaning my room: that's crazy, isn't it?
Back then in 2009 and 2010, I used to stay in our old wooden house before my elder siblings, bless them, built a mansion for our parents in 2015. My depressed living was complicated by having to live in a leaking room with a pot-holed floor, bathing in a dilapidated bathroom which forced me to either heat water in a sooty kitchen or endure bathing with cold water. It really was a depressing lifestyle.
But what I loathed most in those days were the duties my modest parents made me do like milking cows in a muddy cowshed, cooking meals in blinding firewood smoke and tethering calves in a farm that was full of weeds and thorny bushes. So much did I detest those duties that I sometimes used to run away from home by pretending I was going to teach piano in Nairobi. It was during one of those run-aways to Nairobi that I came close to messing up. Would you love to hear the details?
Okay, I met this young woman of easy virtue called Sophie [not her real name] in a cyber cafe in downtown Nairobi. I struck a conversation with her as I browsed internet in the cyber and I think she kinda liked me because she agreed to escort me to a basement room in a building within the city where I tried to touch her "funny". Luckily, for fear of getting caught, I didn't explore her further as I would have wished.
But that's the thing - when you hit rock bottom in life, you tend to engage in such promiscuous activities as pre-marital sex and even illegal ones like drug-taking. Some turn to alcoholism. Fortunately for me, perhaps out of divine love, I never messed up during those dark ages of my life in 2009 and 2010. The closest I came to tarnishing my name was caressing Sophie in a basement room after just meeting her for the first time in a cyber cafe.
As I have told you, I used to be slipshod in those dark ages of my life. My father used to regularly criticize me for wearing a short that had darkened with dirt, especially as a result of milking cows in the muddy cowshed I have told you about.
The years 2009 and 2010 were the dark ages of my life for shizzle. I later on joked to my friend Chege Njuguna, who was pursuing Electrical & Electronics Engineering at JKUAT, that I was living my life at a frequency of several "what-the-hell?" per minute.
With time though, I started finding the right path in life by reconnecting with my hobbies: reading, writing, designing websites, playing the piano and listening to music as well as speeches in a computer. Those hobbies usually boosted my spirits. Like when I designed a website for my high school class sometime in 2012, I felt a deep sense of fulfilment and progress. I also got to learn how to develop web applications - an enjoyable skill that later on helped me set up this blog which appears simple yet requires advanced computer-programming knowledge to construct.
Thanks to reconnecting with my hobbies, I am now feeling as if I am walking down the right path in life. Well, I still have a long way to go especially as pertains making money from those hobbies but I am already so far from where I used to be and I am proud of that.
My dear reader, if you have hit rock bottom in life like I once did, please don't commit suicide or turn to drugs, alcoholism and prostitution. Those vices will only make things worse. Instead, try reconnecting with your passions. Think about the things you loved doing as a child or as a teen in school (it could have been singing, drawing or tinkering with machines) and start doing them again.
Well, I am not promising you that life will become a piece of cake once you begin reconnecting with your passions. You will face criticism and rejection, among other setbacks. But I want to challenge you to become like a rubber ball: the harder the life hits you down, the higher you should bounce. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on finding the right path, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "The Doors God Closed For Me". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Famous inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison once said, "I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favour of the kings of the world." I, too, have some people I treasure in my life whose friendship I wouldn't swap for the favour of the kings of this world. And among them are my parents because they are people I have come to share a unique bond with.
My parents are humble and hard-working folks. They have brought up my brothers and I to be educated, responsible, God-fearing and law-abiding citizens. When we were growing up, they had us go to church every Sunday and work hard in school. Their greatest desire was for us to get good grades and stay out of trouble. They sacrificed the little they had so that we could have a decent education. And tell me, what greater gift than education can parents bestow to their children?
For me, I can never thank my parents enough for all they have done for me. They have always been there for me for as long as I can remember. My mother carried me in her womb for nine good months. Then she endured 57 del (units) of pain on 31st December 1987 during my birth. It is said that those 57 del of pain are similar to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time.
I am thinking that had my mother been careless in her pregnancy with me and during my birth, I would have been born with such serious congenital diseases as cerebral palsy. But I am grateful to her and God that as I write this story, I am as healthy as an angel and feeling as frisky as a lamb.
And then after I successfully emerged into this world on the last day of 1987, my mother was always there for me in the first two fragile years of my life. She had to breastfeed me whenever I cried and change my nappies whenever I wetted them. I must have disturbed her from her sleep and duties on numerous occasions.
When I grew old enough to feed and bathe myself, my mother was still there for me by ensuring I had proper clothes to wear and food on the table. Day after day, I watched her wake up in the morning to go run her modest grocery in my home-town of Kiserian. Thanks to her efforts, I never went begging for food and money in the streets.
My father has also played a pivotal role in my life. When I was in primary school, he tutored me in maths right from Standard One so that I could excel in school. He also encouraged me in writing by making me pen compositions and read novels. I guess it is from those humble efforts in penning compositions and reading children's novels back in the '90s that I developed a love for writing and storytelling.
When I joined Starehe Boys' Centre in 2002 for my high school education, my father regularly visited me just to check on how I was doing and leave me some pocket money. And I noted during my last weeks in high school in 2005 as I sat for the mighty KCSE exams, he visited me more frequently which revealed how deeply he wanted me to ace the exams. He was so proud of me when I scored an 'A' in the KCSE exams; so much that he bought me a quality polo-shirt as a reward.
Then when I entered Starehe Institute in 2006 to pursue a Diploma in Information Technology, my father encouraged me to apply to top colleges in the United States. He paid for my SAT exams that are a requirement for applying to those top colleges. He also bought me revision books for the tests. Unfortunately, I didn't get accepted to any of the four colleges I applied for admission. I remember when I received the heart-breaking rejection letters from the colleges, my father tried to lift my spirits by reminding me that I could still make it in life by pursuing my university education locally.
And then when I went astray at JKUAT in 2008 and again at the University of Nairobi in 2011, my father always accompanied me to the universities' clinics when I went for regular check-ups. It speaks volumes of how responsible he is, doesn't it?
Today, I am blessed to still have my parents alive. My mother has long since stopped running her grocery in Kiserian after she suffered a stroke in 2013. She stays at home where she is still recuperating from that stroke. But my father still works as a free-lance accountant in Nairobi where he commutes to during some week-days.
Because I am now more tech-savvy than my parents, they usually ask me to help them in operating their smart-phones - especially my mother. And my father sometimes requests me to assist him when he gets stuck in his computer. To tell you the truth, I never get irritated or tired of helping them because after all they have done for me, I feel it's the best I can do for them at the moment when I am still staying with them at our rustic home in Kiserian.
My dear reader, if one or both of your parents are still alive, I challenge you to also honour them in the best way you can. Don't wait till they die to do so. Why cement their graves while they lived in leaking houses? Why buy them comfortable caskets when their beds were a punishment? Why hire a limo for their caskets when you never even bought them a wheelbarrow? Why suits when they are dead yet they wore torn clothes when they lived? Why take their bodies to a mortuary when they never saw a hospital while sick? And why last respect when they never knew it while alive?
UPDATE: I have updated the picture-quote accompanying a story I wrote sometimes back on "Proof That God Exists". Please click that link in blue to view the picture and re-read the story. I am sure you'll like it better the way it is now.