The Words

I’m thinking of a time when I had an altercation with my neighbour at the front of our gate. I’m not bitter about that moment as I write this because so much has happened since then, but let me share with you that moment. The details are still blurry – or perhaps that’s what I’m choosing to say because if I give you the whole story perhaps these words will turn into something worth being published. I’ve told myself that if I’m ever to be published, my words will not entail the ruins of my life. They will not entail the people who have broken my heart, crushed my spirit or even said things that I wish not to repeat, because I am where I am due to my past and the people who have encouraged – and discouraged me.

But let’s go back to that Tuesday afternoon 4:40 PM at Starehe area in Thindigua, off Kiambu Road. The sun was taking a breather behind one of the clouds, for all I know, she could have been sun-screening herself (because she – the sun, is a woman). The argument is heated, I can’t compare it to Love and Hip Hop or Nairobi Diaries but it was heated. I was yelling, she was yelling, my mother was calm, her daughter was calm. It was a situation of mixed emotions and at that moment had I known I would meet her at the gate, I would have left work five minutes later than I did.

The words that ring a bell to me and constantly repeat themselves in my mind are “You claim to have two jobs but where is your degree?”

These were the words of her daughter – the one who was silent, calm. They weren’t even in the context of the argument, but as we often love to do – she hit below the belt. Her mother laughed, as though it was a T.K.O moment and I stood there, my tongue numb.

My brain replayed and rewound and replayed and rewound those words. I didn’t sleep well that night.

I’m smiling now. Not because I have a degree but because of where I am right now, how I’m prospering in the way God has planned for me to. I’m smiling because I’m part of the group of people who is going to tell a later generation that ‘a degree is not everything’. I will of course stress the importance of education but I will inform these kiddos that passion leads to pursuit and a piece of paper can’t determine passion. A piece of paper will not set the tone for your life or guarantee you a job straight out of college.

I’m looking at the wall in front of me here in the office and it invites a story.

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It invites my story. My story is a long one, but my current story is that I don’t have a degree, yet I am a wordsmith. I don’t have a degree, yet I have a great job and an angel for an employer. I don’t have a degree, yet I am soaring in all aspects of the creative world. I don’t have a degree but I will get my degree. Please, mark these words!

So in the wise word that invites a story…. Paukwa?

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