How Writing Changed Me - Reflections of a Young Man™

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How Writing Changed Me

Electronics & Computer Engineer - that would be my current title had I managed to finish my engineering course at the university. It has a nice ring to it but the truth is that I would be a very mediocre engineer given the trouble I had with understanding the course. And I see no pride in being referred to as an Electronic & Computer Engineer yet I can't figure out the problem of a broken down computer, let alone repair it.

I found it hard to piece together the subjects we learnt in our first year in an effort to understand how a computer works. Like we would learn Calculus, Organic Chemistry and Engineering Drawing but in the end, I still couldn't relate those subjects with the workings of a computer. The engineering course was in two words, outrightly harassing.

So I melodramatically dropped out of the university in my second year and started hanging around the campus, mostly in the fields and in the library. It was in one of those hanging episodes that I discovered I had a talent for writing when I started typing a letter one morning to my high school classmates in the library computer lab.

I so thoroughly enjoyed writing the letter that I did not notice the passage of time. It only dawned on me that a lot of time had passed when a supervisor notified me that she was closing the lab at 4.00pm. How I wished I enjoyed the engineering course the same way I had with writing!

Later on in life after the depressing ordeals I underwent following my dropping out of the university, I reconnected with my writing hobby. And I shall ever be thankful for the hobby because it has been very satisfying, intellectually as well as emotionally.

If it hadn't been for writing, I would still be undergoing psychotherapy. The hobby has enabled me to penetrate my own life and learn to trust my mind. A very powerful tool for self-discovery. And the skills I have learnt from it have made me an engaging conversationalist and a creative person.

Now thanks to writing, I am in control of my life nowadays as though I am tooling around in a well-engineered car that makes doing 120 feel like 30.


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The Mosquito Problem

I suppose everyone once in a while suffers from what I call the mosquito problem - as in a problem that appears small but with devastating consequences. Like the way a mosquito appears a tiny insect but inflicts life-threatening ailments.

When I write of the mosquito problem, I am reminded of an emperor who used to call himself "Alexander the Great" yet he was killed at a young age by a mosquito.

That was for Alexander. For others, the mosquito problem could be dressing smartly but forgetting to zip the fly. Or laughing loudly only to reveal a piece of spinach stuck in between the teeth.

As for me, the mosquito problem has always been forgetting where I keep my things. Like yesterday, I prepared porridge with my electric heater and filled some in a cup. Then I got sidetracked by my phone after which I decided to sip my cup of porridge.

But alas, I couldn't see where I had kept my cup of porridge! I searched for it in every nook and cranny of my room to no avail. It was like my room had been invaded by devils (what my countrymen call "mashetani") who had made away with my cup of porridge.

Later on, I realized that I had left the cup in the living room when I had gone to talk with my parents. And I hadn't actually filled it with porridge. What a poor memory!

Even though some people brand me a genius, I feel like I am Alexander the Great waiting to be finished by my mosquito problem that is a poor memory. How?

Maybe I will cut my fingers while operating a farm machinery. Or maybe I will forget where I have kept my car keys before leaving my house for a speaking engagement. Or maybe I will forget to fuel my helicopter before leaving for a trip in a remote area.


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Looking into the Future

Photo art by my friend James Rafiq. I have displayed the photo here with his permission. Copyright © all rights reserved worldwide.

I was once browsing through a thought-provoking blog by my friend Ngishili Njuguna when I came across an article in which he posed the question, "What will the Me of Tomorrow inherit from the Me of Today?"

As I was reflecting on that question yesterday, I was delighted to discern that I once applied it unknowingly or instinctively which saved me from committing a terrible mistake. Okay, let me narrate the story.

I was taking a recreational walk around my home-town one early night in 2013 when a lass asked me to escort her home. Wanting to win her as a friend, I obliged by escorting her through short-cut paths that passed through a deeply vegetated countryside.

Then as we were conversing, she asked me to fondle her breasts. I can't recall the exact reason why I refused to do so in that lonely, dark path and given that she has a fairly attractive face. All I know is that I resisted. Maybe I was feeling morally strong. Or maybe given the visionary young man that I am, I thought of the situation this way:
"If I fondle her breasts, I will get tempted to explore her further behind one of these bushes. Then I could end up fathering a child I am not ready to nurture. And in the future, the lass might take me to court demanding child upkeep money from me."
Anyway, whatever the reason I had for refusing, I made the right decision. And I am proud the Me of Today has inherited peace from the Me of Yesterday in so far as that incidence was concerned, otherwise I would be grieving with guilt, an unwanted child or perhaps even poor health.

So I will continue asking myself the question, "What will the Me of Tomorrow inherit from the Me of Today?" Hopefully, I will be able to then use my time and energy wisely and productively. So help me God.


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