Back in high school , my two immediate desk mates and I would get through boring lessons by writing and passing small notes . In our notes we would diss the teacher’s outfit or accent , talk about how hungry / bored we were and how we will NEVER be teachers in future because we cannot bear the thought of students doing the same thing we were doing , in class! “We’ll probably get jobs , writing and passing stuff” , Kanana , who sat in front of me , had written back one day. Our laughter had almost caught the attention of our Literature teacher “Kagedo”, who had been going on and on about the use of sarcasm in a story in Looking For a Rain God.
I have always enjoyed putting my thoughts in writing, something I carried to my adulthood. I never really had a journal though. I’d write in random books or papers. My husband – then my boyfriend – would stumble on what I had written around my place and say “you write well”. He would call them “columns”. He’d say “it’s been a while since you have written one of those columns of yours..” (he STILL does!) And I’d be like “Yeah right , you only like my writing because you LOVE me.”
It was when I joined Twitter in 2009 that I started to consider having some writing platform. See , everyone on Twitter had either a website or blog. Or both! One day in early 2010 , I wrote to Njoki Kaigai , former Saturday Magazine columnist. It was in response to a column she had written the previous Saturday. Her reply gave me the nudge I needed. MrsMwiti.com was born. Other than cringing when I read some of my initial posts, MrsMwiti.com is one of the things that have brought the most smiles to my face. I have learnt a lot and even enjoyed experiences I would not otherwise have enjoyed were it not for this blog. My life has been enriched by the interactions I have had with my readers especially through their comments and their e-mails.
Therefore , when Tracy wrote me an e-mail recently saying she “has been thinking for a while of starting something to do with writing…” and requesting to guest post , I knew that feeling too well. Other than encouraging her to start that something already , I was more than glad to offer this platform. I was happy to host MrsMwiti.com’s first guest post.
Here’s introducing “Lost Dreams and New Dreams” , by Tracy the dreamer.
She would appreciate your critique / your comments.
The thoughts at the back of your mind that come alive in the dead of the night, when he is sleeping silently beside you…..or at the crack of dawn as you watch his beautiful slumber. The thoughts are mainly to do with the dreams of the 20’s, the triumphs of the 20s’, the mistakes of the 20’s, the missed opportunities and aspirations for the next decade. Usually, these thoughts are accompanied by a frightening sense of desperation at not being happy. And the realisation that there is part of you that is unfulfilled – the part that longs to be understood , to be free to dream, discover and explore.
Yet, you must remain tied and make practical decisions because you have him – a beautiful 3 year old boy. The most generous and unpretentious soul you have known. The boy who tugs at your heart whenever you think of him. The one you read to and with every day and kiss goodnight every evening. The one you wish a good day every morning when you drop him to school and always remember to tell that you love him. The one who makes you so eager , sometimes with a sense of desperation to give him a childhood different from the one you experienced. A childhood of loneliness, ridicule, awkwardness, heart break, un-acceptance – even by your own parents.
The childhood spent with nights waiting for the key to turn on the door, then after that, the drunken slurred voice, followed by the shrill disgusted tired voice of your mother. And after that, the fights and kicks and horrible sobbing. The days you wished your mother would just leave – at least she would have left with her dignity. But she never did. You left. You left after all of 24 years when you graduated and got yourself a kick ass job- well, at least it felt so at the beginning.
Now each time you stare at your son, you make a solemn promise to yourself. To give him happy memories. Memories of conversations of deep understanding between you and his father. Memories of the smell of home baked cookies and a homely organised house. Memories of love and acceptance. Memories that you never had as a child – your most poignant happy memory as a child would be…none stands out.
But yet, you constantly wonder at what price this little heaven for yourself and him, must come. What is the price of this new dream? At what point will you strike the balance between adventure and stability (and ultimately providence) and most importantly, will you be happy?
Will you be happy when you clock 40 and the memories of missed opportunities of the 30s come flooding back? Will it be enough for you that your son has memories of home baked cookies, a good night kiss and his thoughts of you are always accompanied by the smell of your shower gel at bedtime? Will it be enough that you gave him a precious little sister that he adores? Will you be happy to live with the dreams you lost and the new dreams that are now your reality?
Yet, every day, you carry on. And pass on the opportunities. And go to your kick ass job – well not so kick ass anymore. And look at spread sheets and idiotic computations and balance figures. And try to be happy and smile at the people around you with their plastic smiles and plastic aspirations. And put a brave yes we can face in front of your boss as he makes presentations on the unachievable budgets for your unit. And sometimes, you let yourself in on this plastic life – but always catching yourself in check because you know that nobody really understands and would care for your imaginary troubles and longings.