Positive Quote For Today

"The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself."— C. JoyBell C.

Inspired By My Fellow Citizens

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Quote Fancy. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ever since November 2008 after I was discharged from a certain hospital where I had been diagnosed with a mental illness, I have struggled with the emotion of sleep - something I have confessed before on this blog. I have had days when I have slept till as late as 1.00pm. On other days, I have retired to bed as early as 7.00pm and still found it difficult to get out of bed the following morning.

My struggle with sleep made me avoid work that required me to rise early in the morning. In July 2012 for instance, I chose to report in the evening when I was offered a job to teach piano to the family of Mr. Seni Adetu, the then CEO of East African Breweries Limited (EABL). I am sure Mr. Adetu's family thought I reported to their palatial home at 4.00pm because I was busy during the day, but I was actually just too bone-lazy to be available in the morning.

At the beginning of 2015, I challenged myself by seeking employment at a music school in Nairobi called Wynton House of Music. And lo! When I was offered a job as a piano tutor in the school, I found myself struggling with sleep. On some mornings, I would fall into a slumber in the bus while commuting to Wynton. The sweetness of slumber would make me wish the bus ride would go on and on so that I could doze some more.

And I will never forget the morning when I went to teach piano to Wynton clients. That morning, all I felt like doing was nodding off. Unable to keep my eyes open any longer, I texted a message to an acquaintance of mine named Rachel Wacera, asking her what I could do to ward off sleep. Rachel advised me to go for a walk, which I never did.

Even on some days when I didn't have a lesson to teach in the morning, I would still find it hard to get out of bed. Believe me when I tell you that I would roll in bed till noon, dreading the time when I would have to dash to Wynton for an evening lesson. How indolent!

Despite my struggle with sleep, I am proud to say that in the whole one year I taught piano at Wynton, I missed only one lesson. And that was on a morning when I couldn't resist the temptation to stay in between the sheets. When the Wynton receptionist phoned me to inform me that my student was waiting for me, I lied to her that I was feeling out of sorts. I am not sure if she believed my lie but I am glad nobody reproached me for skiving work that morning.

As it happened, I left Wynton House of Music at the beginning of 2016 to venture into blogging, a hobby I have been determined to convert into a job. My work as a blogger has involved travelling to Nairobi to record the videos I post on this blog. While travelling to Nairobi, I have observed that even though most of my fellow citizens don't read as much as I do, they are more hard-working than me. They rise early in the morning to go do such boring jobs as vending newspapers and polishing shoes.

Just last year as I was heading to Nairobi to produce a hymn I had worked on, I spotted an attractive woman named Nancy pushing a wheelbarrow. It was still early in the morning and Nancy was already at work building a waterway next to the road I was treading on. We both exchanged glances but we didn't exchange greetings even though we have known each other for years.

Maybe Nancy thought I was pityng her for doing menial work reserved for uneducated men. But how wrong she was if she was thinking that way! I was actually full of admiration for her because of her willingness to wake up, dress up and show up for work. At least she wasn't stealing from anyone or selling her body in order to get her daily bread.

It is Nancy and other fellow citizens I have seen at work early in the morning who have inspired me to also be waking up early in the morning to labour. For the past four weeks, I have been getting out of bed before dawn to read and meditate. And I have been staying mentally active throughout the day. I intend to keep up with that regimen for the rest of my life, come hell or high water. So help me God.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on how I have been inspired by my fellow citizens, you might also enjoy another one on "Developing Good Sleeping Habits" that I wrote about four years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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The Girls I Have Loved

On the right side in this photo is me with my classmates Veronica Kitmet and Samuel Njathi, posing for a picture with our class teacher, Mr. Kimemia. The photo was taken when we were in Standard 5 way back in 1998 after we were awarded exercise books for topping our class. Have you noticed I am barefooted?

As the world celebrated Valentine's Day last Tuesday, I felt alone but not lonely. I was full of life, enjoying my current status as a single, footloose and fancy-free young man. And I thought back to some of the girls I have loved and admired over the years, since I was a boy in primary school to when I was a young adult at the university in JKUAT.

I began my formal education in 1993 at Naro-Moru Primary School, which was about a 40-minutes' walk from my home. During my days there, Naro-Moru was a poorly resourced school for kids of low-income families in our home-area. The school had no library, electricity or piped water. And some of its pupils reported to class barefooted.

Poorly resourced though Naro-Moru was, the school holds wonderful memories for me. I particularly remember when I got into Standard 5 in 1998, there enrolled into our class a girl named Veronica Kitmet (see photo above).

Veronica was a bright and beautiful girl. I used to secretly admire her and visualize myself taking her out for dates. So much did I admire her that over the weekends, I would sometimes trot along the road near her home, hoping to meet her.

But you know what? Never at any one time did I express my feelings to Veronica because of my shyness. And whenever we met in our hometown of Kiserian, my heart would start pounding like a tom-tom, making me too afraid to greet her.

Interestingly, Veronica and I used to worship in the same church (our hometown Catholic Church), something that should have given me an advantage over other boys in our school who also admired her. I often hoped that she would see me play the piano during Sunday masses and develop an interest in me. She must have seen me play the piano but whether she admired me for that is something I never got to know.

I will never forget the Sunday when Veronica came and stood next to me. It was during a mass (Palm Sunday, I think) when we went around Kiserian with other hundred or so congregants. But imagine in all the minutes that Veronica stood next to me, I didn't tell her anything. I just stayed put, as if I was a tree.

Another girl I loved in my primary school years was a pretty daughter of one of our neighbours. Her name was Grace Twity. I came to notice her during the evenings when she came to our home to fetch milk for her family. But as was the case with Veronica, I never disclosed to Twity how I loved and admired her.

One evening in 2001 when Twity came for milk as usual, she found me all alone at home. That would have presented me with a golden opportunity to pour out my soul to her. But owing to my poor social skills, I served her milk without uttering a single word to her. Poor me!

And the other girl I loved that I remembered on Valentine's Day last Tuesday was a lass I spotted at JKUAT when I was a first-year engineering student at the university in 2007. The lass was the most gorgeous female I had ever laid my eyes on. It was like God had taken extra effort while coding the DNA instructions that dictated how she would grow.

Enticed by the beauty of the lass, I had a crush on her. During one Chemistry lesson in 2007 for all engineering students - a lesson that was held in the university assembly hall because of the large number of students involved - I kept turning my gaze towards her as the lecturer droned on with her lecture.

Then on another night, I found the lass by herself at a table in the university canteen. I ordered a meal and sat next to her while longing to engage her in a conversation. But as you would expect of me, words failed me due to my shyness.

By the way, I didn't see the gorgeous lass again when I reported back to JKUAT in 2008 for my second year. She must have dropped out of the university. And I am ashamed to admit that in all the weeks I secretly admired her, I never got to know her name and the exact engineering course she was pursuing at JKUAT.

Since 2007, I have never met another damsel who has captivated my eyes the way that lass at JKUAT did. But I have vowed that should I spot one in the future, I will screw up my courage, approach her and initiate a chat with her. I just have to overcome the shyness that has kept me from falling in love with the girls I have admired. Belated happy Valentine's Day!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story about the girls I have loved, you might also enjoy another one on "My Naro-Moru Days" that I wrote more than three years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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