My birthday was last Sunday. Appreciation to everyone who sent goodwill messages. I hope those who wrote “HBD” made something out of their lives with the time they saved omitting the eleven characters. I had a good year. I’m now closer to 30 than I am to 20. To be honest with you, this fills me with some inexplicable kind of dread. Not because by 30 you are midway through the country’s official life expectancy and you are expected to have your shit together by then so you can make your contributions towards keeping up with our national debt repayments. It is not the fact that the society expects me to have found someone to stomach my shit, settle down with her and do my bit in filling the already overpopulated world either. I don’t feel any pressure on any of the above fronts; I don’t have any ovaries that will start shrinking when I hit 30 and my shit are as together as I want them to be at this point in my life.
My sense of dread comes from observing some 30-somethings post no less than three photos daily of themselves with various quasi-self-motivational captions on social media in desperate attempts to convince themselves and hopefully, other people, that they are doing fine. I don’t want to be that kind of person.
The kind of middle-aged person who needs the validation of internet strangers to feel happy and successful. I also don’t want to be the kind of person who uses his money and/or position of authority to walk over others. I don’t want to be that kind of person. Or the one who sends people unsolicited porn on Whatsapp like someone where I previously earned my keep. It’s 2018 ffs, everyone knows how to access adult entertainment!
I also don’t want to be the person whose success alienates people so much that he has no support when he needs it, like Louis Otieno, or who is ruined by his own success, like Githeriman. I don’t want to the kind of person who is embittered by his personal failures that my soul and heart darkens as to wish no good upon others like most internet trolls. I don’t know if these people are just okay in their mid and late 20s then they grow older and shit happens to them but I pray I remain in the same emotional and mental state I am in right now.
Right now, I am happy. I have never felt better. I hope it stays this way. I am in a good place emotionally, spiritually, mentally and even financially. I am broke, yes, but that can always be solved by making more money. And I will make more money because I have done that several times when I have had to. You know you are in a good place when you have only small money problems. I mean there’s a woman who caught her father with her husband in bed. No amount of legal tender can solve her problem unless her husband was sleeping with her father for money because the family bills won’t pay themselves.
Anyway, enough of my quarter life crisis. In honour of the time-honoured tradition of people with blogs to give their audiences lessons they have learnt in life, here’s my list of important life lessons you need to keep in mind:
- 80% of people who promise you anything are full of shit
The figure could be higher depending on what you do for a living and the places you hang out. Growing up, I heard adults say ‘otherwise’ when they ran out of things to say to people they hadn’t seen in a long time. No one says that these days. I guess it’s one of the many things we the millennials have killed. Now people will marvel at your weight gain or loss, ask where you are these days and then say, “Nipe number yako…tutaongea.”Or,”Nitumie CV yako,” or “Chukua number yangu tuongee biz bro.”
I don’t know why people can’t say, “Good to see you, bro,” and leave it at that if they know damn well they won’t do the shit they say they will do. I don’t feel compelled to make promises to people, more so those I haven’t seen in years.
The truth is, for every one useful contact you make, nine will be completely useless. This includes that uncle you have been sending CV to every three months for the past 3 years, or the guy who promised you a tender, or the lawyer who gave you his card and told you to call him for something you can’t remember, or someone who promised an important connection or even a hook-up (if you are inclined to such kind of arrangements). It is up to you to separate the wheat from the chaff. I don’t need to remind you of the lovers you made marriage plans with but who have since become strangers, do I? That’s life.
- Give a fuck
Most people flaunt about running out of fucks to give or not giving any fuck at all. Upon closer inspection, you will discover that the fuck hoarders don’t have any meaningful relationship with anyone, both social and professional.
You need to give a fuck about yourself. You need to give a fuck about your job. You need to give a fuck about your family. You need to give a fuck about your friends. This way they will also give a fuck about you. My dad taught in the same school with a fuck hoarder. He was also a drunkard. One day he choked on his own vomit in his house and died. He never had friends in the staffroom so no one noticed he hadn’t shown up for three days. His wife had long left and the neighbours never noticed his door had remained locked for three days until a strange smell came from his house. You don’t want to be that guy.
Even the Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck says you should give a fuck about something and some people. Even Bikozulu said you should give a fuck. So if you are not going to listen to me, at least take heed of these two middle-aged gentlemen who I suppose know a thing or two about life.
Don’t give out all your fucks though. Know when and whom to give your fucks to. You don’t want to run out of fucks for when you need to give one out.
- Nobody will solve your problems other than yourself
We often blame the government, our families, our friends and everyone else but us for our problems. In the long run, your problems remain unsolved and you suffer.
Life is unfair. Yes. Life is hard. Yes. Does the government owe you good policies so that it is easier to get your shit together? A big yes. Are you getting value for your taxes? NO. But you can sit there complaining or take responsibility for your problems and maybe, just maybe, other people will come in and support you. Because no one likes to work with a whiner.
No one owes you anything. That’s the truth of life. Not even your family or the people you have previously been kind to. So don’t feel entitled and be grateful for whatever help you get. Be kind on yourself.
- You have time
I have talked to people who feel their peers are getting ahead in life while they remain stagnant or are regressing. Most of them are being hard on themselves because when I ask them what their peers are doing, they mention things like getting married, driving used Japanese cars and buying plots. It is surprising the number of people who are feeling left behind by their peers.
Instagram and Facebook don’t make things any better. Friends on social media always seem to be doing better than you are. Except they are not. That’s a front for social media. And even if they were doing better than you are, shida iko wapi? Run your race. With good health, you have time to do everything you ever want to do in this life.
You have time to get a job. You have time to turn your life around. You have plenty of time to leave an abusive relationship, heal and seek a healthy relationship with someone better. You have time to make more money and buy that car you want and buy ploti maguta maguta.
- Spend time and money with your family and friends
Chasing money is important but there are other more important things in life like how you spend that money you have been chasing. Don’t be that guy whose family sleeps hungry while you are entertaining strangers at a bar. Look at Tony Gachoka and how fucked up his life and his kids are. Your kids will resent you and they will grow up to be like most fucked up adults we know. In fact, never buy alcohol for those who have never bought you alcohol or for someone you can’t borrow money from when you go broke. Using that criteria you’ll discover that very few people deserve your generosity.
Before you spend money on anyone else, make sure your parents, wife and kids are well taken care of. When you get a windfall and you have saved the amount you need to set aside, spend the rest on your family first then your friends. Your thoughtfulness will be rewarded when you go broke. Friends and family will always have your back – not the women who give their company to the highest bidder you spend your fortunes on when you are loaded.