Friday, 9 June 2017

Dear Queen: He is NOT Cinderella, You are NOT the Prince!?

Dear Queen,

So last year you  wrote an end of year letter to God (remember this one?)  You thanked him for 2016 and made a few requests for  2017. One of those asks was dating. But now after your recent experience you realized you were not specific about what you wanted. If you can be specific in prayers then please do so! Because  look what you dragged into your life…. A Cinderella Man unaware of how much he was consistently crying for help. We shall call him a Cinderella man because through some self made bad choices, chaos has enshrewed upon his household and he REALLY needs a fairy Godmother. Only he doesn't know he needs one, so he is looking for a wife instead.

It started with phone calls, late night whatsapp chats. You were traveling up country for work so you really didn’t have time to go on dates in the beginning. He had to learn to make do with phone calls. At first he sounded mature and hopeful discussing his ideals, his dreams and how happy he was to speak to you. He sounded proud of the fact he was the oldest and therefore the one taking care of his family, he wanted you to know he was a MAN, not only that but a good Ugandan MAN who takes care of his people. He bought you flowers on your birthday and apologized for not being able to do more.  You responded positively, but I am glad you have learned to not only listen, but to also look for actions. Actions speak louder that words, well done for taking notes on that years ago.

Weeks later somehow he subtly changed his 'I am proud to take care of family'  into an unfair burden that he needed a wife to help him handle. He then whatsapped you one night in utter panic, the local council wanted to knock down part of his property. He didn't know whether he'd have a house by the end of the week. He pleaded for your advice, "What should I do?" and sent detailed pictures of white painted Xs making parts of his property that had to go.  You didn't have clue girl! I mean... your most valuable possessions at the moment are your phone and some jewellery. You have yet to change the car into your names.

A week after that incident, He tells you he has blood pressure problems. It is 9pm at night, so you calmly tell him the best thing do would be to go to the doctor. Then the story changes..the doctor is too will cost money to go....he knows how to handle himself. You calmly explain once again to him that blood pressure problems are NOT issues to joke with and seeing a doctor or even going to the hospital is important. You ask him to describe his symptoms, when he does you realize he's describing a panic attack. You hear the urgency in his voice , he wants you to solve the problem. He wants you to jump into your car drive one hour and 30 minutes to his home pick him up and take him to hospital.
A week after the panic attack phone call,  he tells you the laborers on his farm have stopped working because he can’t afford to pay them. He is worried the rainy season is ending and he won't be able to profit from it. This becomes a constant issue that comes up  in all the conversation  I mean it's  only been a month and week yet to you,  he seems be trying to load his life baggage into your suitcase.  

He likes to check on you every day. A whatsapp message. Life is a bit hectic, you are juggling a lot of things but you always reply with "I am good, and you?" On the other hand he always replies around lunch time with the words "I AM HUNGRY". That's all. You could be wrong but is he expecting you to buy lunch for him everyday?  One time he even casually jokes, "I told you I was hungry i expected you to send me some lunch." And you joke back and say, "You have not got into my close circles, I am still getting to know you..."

The subject of laborers on his farm keeps coming up. You have reached the two month mark. He claims he's not been paid for months. He tells you his father needs money to pay the teachers' salaries at their school, they didn't make enough money and the teachers went to leave. A week after, he texts you saying he is exhausted, he had to buy the seeds and plant them himself because his workers were tired of his promises. Then he says he would have asked you for the money but he didn't want to inconvenience you.

"Money for what?"  you whatsapp back. Then mentally count how long you have been dating and whether money lending is an option for him. 
"For the seeds and the laborers," he texts .
" So you want us to be business partners?" you reply, because by now you have calculated that you have only been talking to him for  2 months and 1 week so this must be a business venture, not couple one
" I have always  wanted someone I can plan and grow with. I wanted us to partner on this venture. I would enjoy us working together if you want. I wouldn't hesitate investing in your ideas too" He texts back

And you are left speechless because what exactly does that mean? You have heard countless stories  of women investing into their boyfriend's business ventures only to be kicked to the curb when he moves on. Plus Mr Man seems be unable to clarify if it is a loan, business venture or  a couple's investment. So you play dumb and side step this conversation

Five days pass, You’ve been busy with work, but now your parent is sick. So as a daughter you put family first, with your siblings you get too fixing visits, prescriptions, house shopping. Mr Man is feeling neglected. He even makes  sarcastic comments about how you drop everything when you parent calls. One night around 11.00pm you are exhausted lying in bed but you decided to pick up the phone. He says,

“Your family has you now, but when I come and take you away you’ll be mine. They shall feel bad, but its part of life . You have to get married” 

In that moment you realize you know him well enough to come to a good conclusion, this won't work. He misses the cue, he doesn't hear your sharp intake of breathe or the surprise in  your voice when you reply

God opens your heart to some wisdom as you kneel down to pray that night. After all this man is his child too.What he really means to say is “ I am lost.”

“ I have been lost since my last girlfriend left me, We built our lives around each other when she left, she left with our life. I have been lost since my mother died when I was just a boy. My father never really bothered to raise me, he was too young to be a man. That is why we are friends rather than father and son. I have been wondering around through this life trying be an adult but very very few people in my life have shown me how.  I am lost. I need an easy replacement for first girlfriend. She used to guide me, till she got fed up of me and left. I need a wife quickly. You are women. I know women have an innate ability to fix things. I can see that you are doing that for your family.... so Fix my s@#! Fix my s@#! clean it up , help me make to sense of my self . Put me first like my last girlfriend did ! Heal me! Make me feel strong. Make me feel useful.”
Anyway it slowly dawns on you that this man is looking for a savior. That is why he brought all his S@#! to you. If he had found you years ago you would have picked that mop, bucket, vacuum cleaner, disinfectant, apron etc.... and you would have helped clean up. You are good at that type of  cleaning, listening and supporting so you would have done it because you would have thought that is how he would fall in love with you. Everybody wants a companion, and partner, a spouse; there is nothing wrong with that. It's just irresponsible to bring your mess to the table, and expect someone you've only known for a couple of weeks to clean it up. How will you ever learn? You can ask for help. You can ask for advice but it's your  mess to clean. If you are a married couple then that is a totally different blog post, because then the rules have completely changed.

Well done Queen you took a step back thought it through. You got some good stern advice from family and friends. So thankful you decided NOT to run head down  into his mess. God  didn’t bring you this far for you to walk back. Mr Man is not a bad person. You are just not in place where you can take this on and come out sane.
But one last question, and this one is for Disney, in fairy tales who saves the man?

Stay blessed  girl! Until next time

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

I filled my life with all my favourite things....

Dear Reader

Some people are natural givers
We are sometimes called naive
That's just how we are in relationships
safety nets
secret keepers
shoulders to cry on
We make ourselves available for the people we care about
We are loyal
And some people are just takers
they take your energy
your zeal
your time
Sometimes even your body
your ideas
your self-esteem
And if you  are NOT being careful
They walk out with your 'life'
And convince you that you'll never get it back again

So this happened to me many many many whiles ago
The usual story
I trusted someone and they let me down
bla bla bla
You know this story well
He just walked away
So I prayed to God 
I had all this space in my life that I had created for him
So God reminded me of one of my favourite songs
That song for Sound of Music 
When the thunderstorm comes
And all the Von Trap family children run to Maria's room
She sings them this lovely song about her favourite things
And soon they forget 
They dance around the room while the storm goes on 
So during my 'storm' i made a list of all my favourite things
And filled my life with them..
And it's been really good
It's been bliss actually

But now I am dating this new guy
I can see he's struggling
because I have no BIG space for him
I refuse to make my life about him
And he only knows how to create relationships where he can take
Where I tell him how to be better
Give away myself so that he can feel stronger 
So you see he hasn't learnt how to find all of THAT within himself
He still needs people outside of him, to do that for him
He doesn't know what his favourite things are
So he's hoping that I'll share mine with him
except I'm not willing to give him things to TAKE.
Because I am still getting to know him
I have designated a space for him
one where if he chooses to leave 
He leaves as he came 
without any of my favorite things..

Your Sincerely, 
Still Scared & All My Favorite Things 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Taking Stock : May 2017

Making: Serious career and life decisions that will determine my future. They were right when they told me that in my 30's I would buckle down with an  undisturbable intense focus on what I needed to achieve in this life time. I think my purpose is clear. Now I know exactly what I want... my energy is sooooo focused on how to get there. At the beginning of this year I attended Dine and Dream which has helped me keep track of my progress thus far. (I wrote about it here). I am enjoying this process. I am thankful for this process. With God's guidance, this is a time of clarity and Work, Work, Work...

Drinking: Hibiscus Tea, which I bought for my Dad, but I ended up drinking some of his stash. Only cost me 5000ugx a pack in Nakawa market. Worth it!

ReadingJust finished reading David and Goliath, now that's a book everyone should read and one that I will write about on this blog sometime soon. The book helps you start looking at any disadvantage as an advantage. I highly recommend it. I also just finished reading Shake Hands with the Devil. I had to read the book because I had the opportunity of meeting RomΓ©o Dallaire last year. I was a little embarrassed that I didn't quite grasp who he was at the time.  

Playing: Playing Beyonce's Lemonade in honour of it's anniversary. I love Adele but 'Yonce deserved the Grammy for album of the year. I think last week they released stats saying Lemonade sold more albums last year than any other album released including Adele's, that is some serious shade from the academy. Also loving Tiwa Savage's All Over.

Wishing:  Not wishing for anything right now. Just trying to be present in each moment.

Enjoying: All this reading I have been able to get done! Seven books so far in the year of 2017 according to Goodreads. I hope I beat my book challenge this year. I think I have five more to go. 

Writing: Finished a short story in March. Haven't been writing much since then. Hoping to get back into it this month.  

Loving: BeeWax for the skin! I bought some in Koboko because I left my trusted Shea Butter at home and I needed something thicker than lotion. I stumbled on this product while buying some fresh honey and I feel like I have discovered more skin GOLD. We need to do something about this. Just know I am hatching a business plan...

Eating: Eating everything and anything. My healthy eating plan went out the window after spending so many weeks upcountry. You have to eat what is available! No shame...

Needing: To learn to be a little bit more assertive in my relationships. I am actually working on this.

Wearing: The same dress I bought from Mr. Price a while ago.It needs to be banished to the back of the closet. It's actually the striped one I wore in my last Taking Stock blog post. It is too too much now, I need to give my other dresses some love.

Knowing: That prayer can help you get through some very trying moments. Must always remember to talk to God. πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Thinking: Ummm.....where do I begin?

Giggling Over: Erika from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She's my new favorite!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The People Factor by Van Moody - A Book I Praise hands Emoji

Do you ever find managing  the relationships in your life  depressing, challenging, confusing, tiring, baffling, hard, surprising, humbling etc?

Are you looking for a book that will give  you good heart to heart basic guidance on how best to nurture all types of relationships in your life?

I found this book after particularly painful experience. I was angry with myself for allowing a certain person into my life only to be betrayed. I felt I had been naive and that I needed to learn how to better manage my relationships. This book was just filled with gem, upon gem, upon gem, upon gem of wisdom. It's another book I have spoilt with my highlighter. It discusses all relationships namely family, friendships, work and even romantic ones. I have to mention that it is based on a christian perspective, there are many references and stories lifted from the bible.

"This is one of  the reasons I urged you in chapter 1 to know yourself, acknowledge your secrets in safe ways, and make it a priority of getting your heart healed."
Biggest lesson from the quote above  is to know yourself, In the book, He even  requests that you ask your most trusted circle what they think about you so that you can be aware of your person and how you come across to people. I did ask my close circle and at first they were slightly startled by my questions but because they are my people they gave me some good feedback to work on.

"One of the immutable laws of relationships is the law of sacrifice, which means everyone involved must enter into and remain in a relationship with a willingness to give, not to take."
 "Understand that giving is rarely about the gift; it is about the heart."

In other words if someone doesn't know how to give in ANY relationship, y'all are gonna have issues! Don't even waste your time hoping for change. Takers eventually exhaust the company they are in. It's draining being around such people and you'll resent being taken for granted. I have learnt to be observant in the very beginning and to see how a person behaves.  Also it's not about what people give you, its about the sincerity in giving. Don't be fooled by lot's of money, social circles or elaborate gifts look at the person's heart. Are they really making the effort to give you something special, material or non-material?

"A good candidate for a relationship is a person who places a premium on integrity ."
 "Look for a quality human being, and do not enter into a relationship until you are certain that the person is someone of character who can receive and multiply what you have to give."
I love the above quotes. It is common knowledge but how many of us actually really consider this? Most especially for friendships, colleagues you confide in, and romantic relationships.  A lot of times peer pressure gets in the way. In some environments  good character and integrity are not valued and such people are usually labeled as 'too proud'; it may be difficult for a person to choose to associate with the 'goody two shoes.' But to avoid getting hurt you are advised through this book to choose wisely.

"In relationships understanding  motives is vital"

That just goes without saying. You have every right to know why someone wants to be your friend. You have every right to question who you allow into you inner circle. You may not be able to avoid bad things happening to you but you can certainly limit the risk by questioning motives early on.

"Learning to be selective about the people with whom you walk closely will accomplish atleast two valuable  objectives for you. One, it will empower you to surround yourself with the kinds of people you need to be around- people who will help you advance toward your destiny, not derail or distract you. Two, it will keep you from wasting  your most precious commodity-your time-on the wrong people."
Van Moody gives the reader permission to not only question motives but also be selective. If you know yourself then you should know the types of people that are good for you. Be very careful about who you let into your close circle. You may find after you read this book that you need to gently and tactfully start cleaning house.

"People who add value to your life will honor God above all. They will  not bow to peer pressure. they will be secure enough in who they are that they really do not care whether others approve of them, as long as God is pleased."
"If you are in a relationship with someone who does not respect and honor God, you cannot expect that person to respect or honor you. If you want people in your life, first look to see if they are faithful to God."
This is a bit of  a touchy subject, because not everyone believes in God, But I am writing from my personal experience and I do believe in God. I have learnt  the difference between those who attend church and believe in God and those who 'respect and honor God' . trust me, there is big big BIG difference.

"Loyalty does not sacrifice people for personal gain."
The quote above just speaks to a person's character, if someone cares about you they will not sacrifice you for their own personal gain and you should not put yourselves in a vulnerable position with someone who does otherwise.

I really enjoyed reading this book, I gained a lot from it. I am still learning how to navigate through relationships and this book provided me with some essential guidance. I frequently find myself flipping through it and reading through parts that I previously highlighted so that I can reflect and internalize them once again

I am saving this book for my teenage children, it will save them many tears

Have you read any good books on relationships lately or even been given some good advice? Comment below would love hear your thoughts