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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Taking Stock - One

Picture by Jude Xavier. Edit by Patricia Kihoro.

I started drafting this post in April of this 2014 after checking out Sharon's over on her blog. I thought it would be a pretty cool way to pause and check myself and where I was mentally every so often. The fact that I'm only getting around to finishing and posting it now, on the last day of 2014, is quite telling of the hold procrastination has had on my life this year. Thanks to this brilliant article that could only have been so honestly articulated by a fellow procrastinator, I now know exactly why procrastinators procrastinate. I came upon it while procrastinating, actually. Go figure.

I feel like the increased access to the internet and social media is my main culprit, as I am so easily bored and distracted. I think I may be on at least 8 social media platforms. I have a whole folder on my phone just for them  But not any more. Times are changing and I'm taking the proverbial bull by the horns and shoving it in the trash.

That being said, I have had to edit this post quite a bit because where I was in April and have been over the course of months since I've been revisiting this has changed quite a bit. But, it's never too late to start again, so here goes.

Making plans for a pretty epic 2015.

Cooking a lot more often than I ever have lately. I discovered the versatility of using an oven and over the last couple of months have made some wonderful recipes and even hosted a dinner. I make a mean pork chop marinade. Win.

Drinking water. Well, trying to drink more and more of it. And cutting back on the alcoholic drinks. But only because the hangovers are getting harder and harder to recover from. Seriously. 3 glasses of red wine and I wake up the next day feeling like I ran to Mombasa while being clobbered by a gorilla. And back.

Reading a few books all at once, which is a new thing, that I don't necessarily endorse, but here's why. Since I finished Chimamanda's 'Americanah' in January 2014, I haven't really been able to really dig in to anything else with ease. Which explains why I can't just read these books one at a time. The characters in Americanah became such a part of my life that I've been mourning the end of our time together since I put that book down. A year ago. I had been to Nigeria a few months before I read it so I could easily picture all the places Ifem described, and the food, and the Chapmans.  I may just read it again, just to hang out with Ifem and Ceiling again. I remember I would wake up at 2am just to go back to Ifem's apartment. And when I realised the pages were getting less and less, I started to avoid the book. Just so I wouldn't finish it. It's not so much the writing style that I was into. It was their lives. I often wonder what they talk about and fight about now. S the books. Here we go.

1. "Essays In Love" by Alain de Botton, which I read on my phone when I have to wait for a meeting, stand in line, you get the drift. This is the first book I'm reading electronically. I was never a fan of that because, you see because, well, I'm a book sniffer. And I love the sound pages make when I turn them. Also, I avoided Alain de Botton for the longest time for the silliest of reasons. A former lover idolises him. But the said lover hurt me deeply, in the most profound of ways, and I couldn't for the life of me get myself to rid myself of the notion that they are the same person. (Don't ask me to explain; my take on why that notion rang true for a while would be convoluted.) Any mention of either one of them jolted me, and brought to mind the other. But Meh. I got over it. And now, well, Alain is a man worth your time. Catch some of his sentiments on The Philosopher's Mail (which was an experiment that has since concluded) and over at The Book Of Life, which is his new online property.

2. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", by Jonathan Safran Foer, which I carry with me everywhere. Even to the bath. This book is written in a language that I usually speak only to myself so you can imagine how many conversations have come up in my head, when I read the book, that end up distracting me from actually reading the book. It's been about 6 months now. And get this, I read it every day.

3. Haruki Murakami's 'Sputnik Sweatheart' which sits in my bedroom and escorts me into my dreams some of the time. I'm a huge Murakami fan and I usually devour his books with a rabid hunger, but somehow this one hasn't grasped me as he usually does. 

Wanting to let loose tonight. I plan on having a night that I can enjoy with reckless abandon with new and old friends. I want to make memories tonight, that will set the tone for a 2015 full of travel, adventure and friends.

Looking for a new mechanic. My current one is getting a tad too complacent.

Playing "Dots" and "Two Dots" on my phone. I try to avoid getting hooked to cell phone games, (I'm calling out all Candy Crushers) but these two. Oh man. Someone save me.

Wasting time procrastinating about clearing up my house. (There is that word again. I'm always saying how my name should have been Procrastina instead.) Loads of stuff I don't use/wear/need any more. There's too much clutter in my life at the moment.

Sewing nothing at the moment, but I just finished knitting a sleeve for my laptop. Did it the day before Christmas, took a couple of hours.

Wishing everyone a fantastic start to the new year.

Waiting for my mechanic to get to me. (As I typed this bit, I was stuck outside the Polish Embassy where my car decided was the best place to break down. I must add that the said mechanic was at my house that morning 'fixing' the problem, and assured me once he was done that it was all sorted out. Only for this to happen barely 10 minutes later. I was heading to a TV set, where I was shooting a series, and was required there in full wardrobe and costume 45 minutes before this happened.) This would all have been somewhat okay if I had a loose bottle of wine with me in the car. Oh wait, no. Less booze Patricia. More water.

Enjoying (Enjoyed) the stare downs that happened between me and all the people driving past me while waiting for the mechanic, that thought that by staring and scowling hard at me they could magically give me powers to fix my car and get out of their way. :-/

(Edit: Mechanic came, fixed the issue and was done 2 hours and 15 minutes after I was to be on set. I was too late, obviously, as the required light was lost. They cast someone else.)

Liking all of Njoki Ngumi's and Mkamzee Mwatela's posts on Facebook. Their insight into things is honest and very eye opening. They inspire thought even if you, for some reason or the other, choose to be the most ignorant person on the planet. They also have a compelling way with words. Mkamzee will have you howling with laughter and she takes no prisoners with her snide and brutally honest remarks. Njoki will educate you and open your mind in a very matter-of-fact way. Look them up and follow them,

Wondering how many kilometres I have to cycle before my thighs are as toned as the Williams sisters.

Loving boda boda rides. Any excuse to jump onto one. That's how many Boda guys I have. And the list is growing.

Hoping that someone can soon figure out teleportation and  make it an everyday, normal thing. This stuck in traffic/plane crash/plane disappearance is not pleasant.

Marvelling at how much my self awareness is growing.

Needing to make a decision already on what direction to take this website. Fonts, Layouts, Images, etc. I've been deliberating for weeks. I'm horrible at picking out fonts. I'm a font snob. Sigh.

Smelling my friends perfume on a sweater I wore when I met her at Hip Hop Karaoke a couple of weeks ago. I haven't worn the sweater since but yo! That scent was strong. And nice.

Wearing a dira and no shoes.

Following too many people on Instagram that post nothing. Ever. Time for a purge.

Noticing that nowadays, I don't have much time for things or people that bring me grief or unpleasant vibes. Also that I may have began this post with a lot of enthusiasm that has now dwindled to one line answers.

Knowing that we all have those farts that sometimes make us wonder what the hell is decomposing in our digestive system. And that it's okay to admit it. Sometimes.

Thinking about a master plan. Well, actually, what to do with my hair.

Feeling very grateful to be alive and healthy and to have the amazing family and friends that I have in my life. They really, really are top notch.

Bookmarking The Book Of Life.

Opening up a pandora's box with a couple of people by admitting that I follow both Huddah and Vera on IG.

Giggling because of this video. ( No, I am not obsessed with farts.)

Happy 2015 folks. May it be epic!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Ngoma (The Acoustic Fooling Around In The Living Room Version)

So, a while back, I was fooling around in my living room with my fantastic guitarist Toby, and we did this acoustic version of my song "Ngoma", I thought you may like to have it so it's available for download here.
So enjoy, while you wait, for, you know.......the album.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Boxes, Darkness, Ashes.

It's funny, I think.

How badly we search for and seek out positivity in our lives nowadays. 

'Be positive.'
'Look on the bright side.'
'It's all in your attitude.'

It feels as though that's all we're ever doing now. Joy and happiness are not things that come to us in simple experiences. Life has become such a challenge that we now have to actively seek out the joy in things. We read books and articles and attend seminars and search for answers about how to 'live in the moment' and 'be present', so that we can tune our minds to a frequency that endures the constant drone of misfortune happening around us. We're now seeking out lessons on how to be okay, happy even, despite what life hands us. 

Could be that we bring it on to ourselves, though. The misfortune. For instance, I find myself tangled up in my dark emotions more frequently than I would like. And I think I realize now that usually, in my moments of joy and laughter, I have managed to disentangle myself from the darkness, but rather than shove it into a box and lock it and burn it, I am in the habit of wearing the heavy coils of darkness around my neck. Winding it around and around, mistakenly believing that I'm in control of it. And there I place it, like a necklace, allowing it to sit and bask off of my victories, and letting it have access to my vulnerabilites too often. Not realizing that the whole time it is slowly creeping right back to my neck, lusting after the chokehold I allow it to have. 

Somebody slap me.
Hell, I'll slap myself. 

I'm stashing that nastiness into a box and burning it.

And then feeding the ashes to a unicorn. I hear those creatures have the ability to digest anything into a spray of glitter. 

Later folks. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Your Song.

A dear friend of mine, Wangari, shared this today.

There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Transform Me.

"Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come.......
But you can’t learn when you’re afraid. You cannot be transformed when you are afraid."
Junot Díaz, speaking at Yale.

I'm all about transformation right now,with fear being one of my biggest challenges. I take lessons from everything around me, every situation, every experience, every person. And now I believe more than ever that aside from recognizing the lesson, I have to use it to transform myself in only the best of ways. I know that transformations which are painful are so because they are worth it, which is why I'm fighting the fear with every ounce of courage I can muster. I want to be the best of myself. 
And then some.

Bring on the pain. 
I shall relish it because I know it can only lead to greatness.

Happy New Year.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Zanzibar Pt 1 - Kizimkazi

Took a break a little while back and hit the Southern tip of Zanzibar. It was glorious. Stayed at a place called The Residence and I almost didn't come back. 

Everywhere you look is breathtaking. 
Find me on Instagram - MissKihoro 
I post more pictures there. 



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