I’m at that age of my life when some really nagging questions just won’t go away. If this is what mid-life crisis feels like, I wasn’t quite ready.
I remember walking into my employers office the other day, I felt like a zombie to be honest.
Having done the same thing over and over again for the last 8 years seemed to be taking its toll.
I seemed to glide towards my desk – conveniently located right next to a wall-length window.
Like I had done for the last 2,500 or so days, I opened the window, let the cold July breeze wash over me and sat.
I then went through my routine. Power up the laptop. Walked to the kitchen and made a mean cup of coffee and made it back to my desk just in time to hear the calming Windows powered up melody.
Yes, just like me, my laptop has lost some of it’s pace over the years.
Another day, another dollar.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened on this particular day, which could explain why I suddenly found myself staring at a blank screen with a million questions running through my mind.
Is this it? That was the loudest of all the questions.
All the decisions I had made during my life had led me here. A good job, decent money, and a fiancée.
I even had enough money stowed away in savings and securities to keep me going for at least a year if push came to shove.
But was this it? Would I be repeating my current routine until I hit retirement?
What happened to the dream you had during your campus years to travel the world? I asked myself.
‘Adulting’ happened. Some part of me replied.
The farthest I’ve been away from Nairobi County over the last half a decade was a short trip to buy my first car down in Mombasa.
Ooh and an out-of-town date in Thika every once in a while.
At this point, I took out my notebook and detailed my new plan to travel out of Nairobi during each quarter.
The last weekend of the last month of each quarter was my date of choice.
It felt good to pen that down but I still couldn’t get away from the question. I even went as far as calling my finance manager to have some of my income transferred to this kitty.
Kindly note that your personal banker can be referred to as your finance manager.
Finance manager has a better ring to it.
I had been mulling over whether it was time for me to try something new for a while. Was it the right time to activate my food truck plan?
Something had always seemed to hold me back.
The uncertainty that comes with taking the proverbial leap of faith always got the better of me.
Taking the leap wasn’t my main point of concern. The unknown that lies beyond that leap was or rather is.
This is how I have been able to come up with countless excuses. Some of which are as cheesy as they come.
The market isn’t right. You need more money. The security that comes with a salary is crucial. You aren’t ready. I’ll do it next year...the list is pretty comprehensive.\
I recently added ‘I’ll do it once the pandemic is under control’ into my list of excuses.
Eight plus years of doing the same thing over and over and I was still to get my idea of a ‘big break’.
How could I convince myself that my business idea/dream would do any better?
Following the pandemic and all the financial strain that came along with it, I was barely staying afloat after clearing my list of expenses.
Of late, I’ve been spending at least 5 minutes each morning just staring at my Suzuki Swift.
Not staring longingly at the little black beauty, but rather staring at her with that ‘how much could she fetch?’ look.
Sky-rocketing fuel prices, a shaky economy and a wedding down the line have all been weighing heavy on my mind.
The morning stares have been going on for a while now but I still have her parked at my designated parking spot within the office building.
All these questions and no one to turn to for answers but myself.
I don’t know where I came across this, but it really helped me get through my zombie-state morning at work.
It must have been one of the books I’ve read. It said that when the future seems uncertain and bleak, take a step back, count your blessings, re-strategize and keep going.
This was why I spent the better half of my morning taking stock.
Having picked up the habit of writing my thoughts and plans down on a private notebook I kept on me at all times, this exercise was quite easy.
Everything from financial to social plans were contained in my 6-inch pocket notebook.
December 1, 2010 “In 10 years, I will be holding a senior position in a respectable firm, earning a six-figure salary, and living in my own house. I will be driving my own car by then as well”
That was the first entry I came across and I couldn’t help but smile.
It may have taken me a little longer but I literally ticked all the boxes. Ok, maybe not the house bit, but I was living in one of those apartments where each rent payment contributes towards me owning the house eventually.
I had steadily worked my way up the corporate ladder, but most importantly, I have my ‘mutu’, my special person who walked through most of this wavy journey with me.
I went through some other entries and realized just how far I had come from that tiny bedsitter in the Makongeni area of Thika town.
That’s when it hit me. I had been so caught up in chasing the dream and making money that I had completely forgotten to appreciate the little things. The little steps.
I may not be able to answer all the questions plaguing my 30 pushing on 40 brain, but one thing is for certain. This zombie is taking a road trip over the weekend.
I have no idea where to go yet, but I need it. I’ve earned it.
As some wise person once said, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I’m feeling a little bit poetic after my trip down memory lane so I’ll leave you with my favorite poem. It kept me going through the darkest of nights.
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson