ABOUT THE STARS AND THE DEMONS

When I was maybe 14, I watched this movie about a girl who wanted to be famous so she left home and set out for Hollywood. I don’t remember much but one thing that stuck with me was this one scene: The girl let’s call her Bee and her aunt Dee were having a little argument. I think it was because of Bee’s rising fame. So, aunt Dee told Bee a little story I will never forget: (Story may contain a little bit of improv because 8 years is a long time to remember everything an angry 60+ white woman said.) Okay, here we go:

Wait, does the full stop come before or after the bracket? I need an editor for real. Does it?

Once upon a time, I bought this really pretty pair of shoes. Each time I would wear my new shoes, everywhere I went people would always give me the best compliments. They loved my shoes and I was happy. What nobody knew though was that those shoes were a size smaller. Each time I wore them they would kill me. I didn’t let anyone see that though because that would mean that they would stop giving me the compliments I felt I deserved. But each time I removed those shoes, I was forced to deal with painful and sore feet.

I never really understood how deep that little story was until I was the one wearing the shoes. For the first time in my life I felt like I was walking around in a beautiful pair of shoes and getting all these compliments and I was loving it. What I didn’t tell anyone though was that the shoes were killing me. Literally, my feet were already very swollen and for the longest time I worked on how best to maintain face. Might I add, I got really great at it but I noticed that each time I looked at my little shoes all I could think about was: for how much longer?

The more I thought about it the more I realized that I had been wearing these shoes for the longest time. I just didn’t realize it. It was almost like I had sold my soul to these devil shoes and the compliments I always got made the pain seem like it was worth it. My mom once told me that the world is no place for my soft heart.

There is nothing wrong with having a kind heart but in this world of ours, you have to develop some level of elasticity. They will see your kindness and immediately use it as a weakness. They won’t show you though, they will bite the hand that feeds them while simultaneously offering a helping hand to soothe the pain. Be careful.

At the time my mom and I were having this conversation, I couldn’t see it but she could. She looked at my backyard and saw me walking around in my beautiful shoes, elated because of how much they loved them and even though once in a while I would twitch because of the pain, I never let them see it. But she did and she saw every last one of them slowly come to realize that my feet hurt and with the same vigour they showered my happy little painful feet with compliments, one by one they all started to use that pain against me. My mom saw it, my mom warned me, my mom tried to get the shoes off but I wasn’t having any of it.

Now look at me, just look at me. I feel lost, I feel empty, I feel sad but I have finally managed to get off the last shoe. My feet are still sore and the pain is unbearable but look at me, I got the shoes off and that must count for something right? What makes me prouder is that I got them off by myself. It was my choice. It was my call.

Bittersweet.

The demons gave me the stars.

The stars became my only light.

How does my story end?

When do my feet get better?

When do I get better?

Love,

Misfitly Wild

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JUST A SINGLE LINE

I’ve been sitting at the waiting bay of Neema Hospital for close to three hours now. They have upgraded to a new vending machine and I spent about 10 minutes looking at fascinated faces walking through the machine, reading its instructions then in typical Kenyan fashion coming back to complain about overpricing. Anyway, before coming for my check up, I had quite the morning.

I haven’t been to Nairobi in close to three months so I was pretty excited to get into town today. So, my mom picks me up at home and drives me to the bus stop close to her office where I get into one of those Wendani mats that head to town. I used to love them because I rarely paid bus fare but all my tout admirers moved on. Anyway, it takes about five minutes after I board for us to be on the move.

So, as soon as I got onto the bus there was this mzee sitting by himself in the mid section of the back row. I found it a little weird that he chose that seat given the fact that the about three back rows were empty. Anyway, I take a seat next to the window of the second last row and I swear as soon as my ass hit the seat, the mzee was already occupying the seat next to me.

I found it a little weird because he had left all the backseats empty and now here he was. Now the problem wasn’t that he switched seats, the problem was his sitting position. He’d placed his hand on the extension of the seat in front of us but his hand was on my side… No Kiswahili will work better. Alikuwa ameweka mkono kwa ile kiti ilikuwa mbele yetu but on my side. His other side was supporting hii mkono ilikuwa kwa extension.

The first thing that bugged me with this sitting position was that the son of a gun was all up in my personal space. I tried severally to tell him and get him to remove his hand and place it on his side because what the hell? After trying and failing to get him to remove his hand I resolved to try and lean forward and I swear by all that’s right and pure this son of a bitch did the same exact thing!!!

At first, I couldn’t understand what was going on. I thought he was just a confused old man then I noticed that his hand was somewhat on my boob. So I told him again that I was uncomfortable at which point he proceeded to start rubbing my hand apologizing. Never have I felt like a rotten cabbage that at that moment. I mean it was even worse than that one time I pooped myself when I was around 5. Shit was heavy! Anyway at this point I’m so mad because he is literally smothering me. I lean forward again and he does the same thing so I lean back and he does the same thing. Not today Satan!!!

I manage to finally lean forward without him following me and start scrolling my through my phone. I feel so dirty and violated because I realized he was trying to maintain his hand on my boob especially when we hit those bumps. Town never seemed so far away!! Anyway, I’m forced to ride the rest of the drive leaning forward until we get to Ngara and the traffic is insane! He alights and I release the hugest sigh! Before he leaves though he turns and says, ‘ Have a good day!’

What??!!!!

It’s almost 8pm and I’m still at the waiting bay because I can’t for the life of me pass a stool sample. My feet hurt because of all the walking I did in town, my chest hurts because I’ve been rained on 5 times today, my head hurts because in all honesty I don’t like being around sick people: I start to imagine all sorts of things and finally my stomach hurts and that’s what brought me to hospital.

My parents keep calling and asking if I’ve seen the doctor yet and I keep telling them the same thing, ‘Mommy, Daddy bado sijapupu.’ I’m pretty much still a baby at home so that wasn’t weird at all. Haha! Anyway the fifth phone call into my inability to produce a stool sample, my dad tells me that’s he’s coming to pick me up and I swear I sit down and cry because that’s all I wanted to hear. My mom calls the hospital that had initially refused to give me a refund for the lab and she somehow talks them into giving me a full refund.

Anyway, my dad and I got home a few minutes ago and even though I had a day from hell, he managed to cheer me up with his usual stories. He had to wash his mom’s car so that she would give him allowances, that surprised me more than it should have. We talk cars, even though I’m clueless and I just keep saying yeeahh it’s so pretty, my graduation and life in general. He lives for moments like these.

In summary, I was sexually harassed in a public service vehicle this morning by a mzee in a blue suit, bald head and weird ass glasses, our mat dumped us at Ngara huko ndani kwa estate and I had to walk all the way to Railways then back to uptown then back to downtown and I spent 5 hours at the hospital and came out with only the fact that I didn’t poop today! Satan, you did good today.

Anyway, I know, I know I went MIA on all of you again but I’m back and I have stories for days you guys! From getting stalked by Young Ma fans to almost getting pregnant, dating a younger guy than me, getting mysteriously robbed and turning 22 in a few, we’re going to have a great time!

And oh, I now have Spanish relatives!!!

Love,

Misfitly Wild

THE FLAMBOYANT BOYCHILD

I used to love Cyprian Nyakundi, adore him almost. He is a successful blogger, over half a million Twitter followers and he is the kind of rebel I like. Firm in what he stands for and always speaks his mind. He recently posted something that a friend of mine shared with me on Facebook. I read through it and at the beginning of the post, I sort of agreed with him but the more he kept talking, the more my reactions moved toward the WTF lane.

His post was what I presumed to be a cry for the boy child. At first he was passing across a valid point, society has become almost obsessed with empowering the girl that they have forgotten about the boy. Every where you turn, all people seem to do is want to empower the woman. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m simply saying we all need to learn balance. You cannot empower one side by weakening the other.

Anyway, this man Nyakundi has now formed a Boy Child movement and crowned himself King. What he wants is simple really, he wants women to go back to their ‘place’ in society. Nyakundi has made it seem like feminism is the worst pollution to mankind. What’s worse? We have some little boys following his every word. What stood out for me was his comments on FGM, bride price and feminism.

Traditionally, women too had to undergo the cut. Now, back then they used to say that it was what was needed to transit a girl into a woman. We learnt our history, and I’m not trying to be disrespectful to tradition but to hell with that traditional transit. No woman deserves to be mutilated like that! I have always believed that the cut for girls was meant to make them be less. It wasn’t enough that they were brought up in a society dominated by the male figure, back then they had to make the girl feel it. The man is superior. Yours, is to simply oblige.

This self crowned king and his castle of little boys has also gone ahead to resist bride price. You want to be out here thinking that I’m some sort of thing that you can just take? Do you really want to know what bride price is for to me? Bride price has nothing to do with my cooking skills or my ability to clean your clothes- This is the notion most idiotic men carry. I’m paying for the chapatis she’ll cook! You pay my father his due because he is entrusting me to you. You pay my father his due because you are taking me from him with a promise that you will care for me. You pay my father his due because we both know that as much as you make that promise, you will not keep it.

A wife will nurture you, love you even when you do not deserve it, tolerate your shortcomings, shoulder your burdens, carry your shame, nurture your future generation and simply ask that you love her back and treat her right.

I don’t speak for everyone but I believe in my heart that my father MUST be paid his due. For the late nights, the early mornings, the stress pains and the hustles that he had to endure to get me to where I will be so that you can take me as your wife. The excuse for this ignorant king and his little boys for resisting bride price is among other things that today’s woman is a slay queen. I don’t know much about marriage but I believe for you to get to a point where you want to take a girl home, introduce her to the family, you need to have learnt her, respected her, understood her and loved her enough! You do not wake up one morning, scroll through your timeline on Insta and say Voila! I’m marrying this one tomorrow.

You pay my father his dues because in me, you will find a beautiful decent wife but slayqueen33 from Insta will still be your Friday Night Special. These girls milk money from you because you have showed them an open door. Tell me, what’s a woman if not an opportunity grabber? I do not blame a girl that gets her money by playing mind tricks on men who are trying to prove their worth so that they can nut in you 3 minutes later. I do not blame a girl that grabs the opportunity to pay her rent from a man that’s shown her he thinks with the few inches between his legs! Grab it girl and run with it! Y’all want to act butthurt because girls are grabbing the chances you present and running with them. Walking around claiming that we only want you for your money, well I’m sorry but don’t you also only want me for the cookie?

Why does feminism scare you? Why does a woman believing that she can run an empire and still wife up at home scare you? Why is a woman walking away from a toxic relationship scare you? Why does a woman raising kids on her own scare you? Let’s get one thing straight, gone are the days when all women did was give birth, raise kids, have bad sex and die! A new kind of strength has been born. A new kind of strength that sadly for you, is here to stay.

I will stand up for myself if you do not treat me right. I will go out there and make a name for myself. I will marry when I want. I will have children when I want. I control the course of my life. Just because you are a man in my life, doesn’t mean I’ll be out here licking your boots in the name of ‘masculinity’. If we are not a team, then by all means go marry Nyakundi and his castle of little boys.

For a man to stand up and speak ill of women making moves, for a man to stand up and say female genital mutilation is necessary so that we learn our place, for a man to stand up and try to eradicate the beauty of an African tradition, what small balls he must have! You cannot empower one side by dehumanizing the other. There needs to balance. This is not the way to get to that balance.

At the end of the day, I am a woman strong, independent, beautiful and you will NOT define me.

Misfitly Wild.

BACK TO THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS

When my parents finally cornered me into coming home for the holidays, I thought that I would literally just chill until I was tired of doing nothing. I was a little mad because I didn’t want to come home so soon but then also a little relived because I know home is the one place I don’t worry. I’m really glad I came though. Here is why;

This past year has been difficult which is ironic because it started out amazing. Along the way, I think a switch flipped or something. Everything went to hell. Life begins at 21 and if the kind of year I have had is anything to go by, I don’t think I’ll like my life a whole lot.

The thing that I will definitely regret most this year was the fact that somewhere along the way, I lost touch with this part of me. The one that writes. I had totally lost it. It’s like I woke up one day and I couldn’t do it anymore. I dumped Misfitly Wild. I got rid of my posts and then I just stopped. I think I shut down everything Misfitly. I stopped using Misfitly’s Instagram page, Facebook page and this WordPress account.

Occasionally, I would try to pen down the rumblings of my mind but I’d stop midway my opening line. Not good enough is the thought that always came to mind. Then I started to believe it. That maybe I just wasn’t good enough for this. So eventually, I totally stopped and blocked it. That sucked because now I didn’t have an outlet for everything I held inside. Not writing was like me running every red light I came across oblivious of the danger I posed to myself and others.

I think the one person that had to sort of pay the most for me loosing that part of myself was the boy that I fell in love with this year. (My year wasn’t that bad after all) The loss of me I guess meant that I had bottled up too much and sometimes it drove me crazy. He had to sit through 500 different mood swings everyday. I would literally just wake up in the morning mad as hell for no particular reason or I would get mad because I felt like he didn’t correctly make the bed or just something dumb.

Normally, when I would feel strained, I would just write down something and then keep it or toss it. Then I’d be fine. I’m not much of a talker, I don’t often just sit and tell people what’s bothering me and a lot of things bother me. So keeping it all in was not healthy. I mean as bad as this year was, I had some interesting moments that would have made bomb ass articles.

It killed me that I was unable to tell those stories. Like that one time we almost had a baby and we couldn’t figure out how to do the test correctly. We finally did it and argued about the result so we sent it to some of our friends for confirmation before we decided to just leave it up to my uterus. That was a tough day. Especially considering the fact that money had decided to give us a break. No babies coming through here it said after weeks of torture.

Or another time when my friends and I went out and what was supposed to be just catching up turned into running from the police, police arrests, inflamed cab prices and a really huge fight outside a place called Jimmy’s. Or another time a crazy lady knocked on my door at 10pm looking for a friend of mine because she was mad about a mattress. This was epic because she was making so much noise, one of my neighbours slapped her so hard, we had to give her a moment of silence. Real men don’t violently lay hands on women though.

The simple fact that I couldn’t write things like these to make me feel better when I was having a bad day made me one of those grouchy and angry cat ladies. What does grouchy mean? I feel like it’s one of those words that you just write down because you think you know the meaning but if asked the meaning, you realize that you don’t really know the meaning!

Being home for the past maybe week has made me get back together with my girl. Primarily because our house help had to leave and so that means that my mom made me her default help. This is one of those rare times, I will not complain — that much. I don’t like it but I feel like it makes me one of those suburban moms that stay at home, drink wine at 2pm and have a blog to pass time.

I feel like that’s a weirdish reason to go back to something you love but it works for me so I’ll take it. So today, after doing my chores like a good girl, I started my make up session with myself. I loved it!

I had really missed this.

Own your Misfit

Love,

Misfitly Wild