Last week, I slipped up and failed to share my Monday reflections with you, I guess it was the excitement of being back on-air after a long period of time. Every time I am on as a guest it reminds of how much I really want to be on-air. My friend Mary and I are working on a podcast; it should go live in July this year. I will definitely keep you posted.
Last week solidified why stories are told. I featured Emma Mogaka and I was amazed by just how many people were moved by her story. I didn’t realise so many women knew and loved and adored Emma. But, more so, I realized for those who didn’t know Emma it was an opportunity to introduce her to their world.
People’s stories matter. Last Thursday as part of my Adolescent Psychology class, my lecturer invited some alumni to share their life stories, sharing their victories, pitfalls and achievements. The class was a blast.
Anne “Tweety” Wanjiru kicked off the session; it started off with locking down a job because of her ability to produce powerpoint presentations– what is part and parcel of the USIU learning experience – that separated her from her peers at the time of graduation. Her sheer will and tenacity allowed her to navigate the world of banking, IT to mechanical engineering, business development and now entrepreneurship. It has been a journey of frustrations, joy, growth, suffocation and triumph. What she did – sharing her detailed life story was show everyone in that room that life is a see-saw with endless ups and downs, like a winding road – with endless twists and turns.
Next Ciku Chege left us teary-eyed in laughter from her walk of faith, striking deals and making business pitches for short-lived business, a few years after graduation, which eventually tanked. There was no shame in going back to the workplace. Because there were numerous lessons she’s learned from her experience that made even more effective in her new workplace.
George “Bem” Mimano wrapped up the night in comedic fashion – “not one to have want for money”, graduating from wanting to be Superman to Batman, an investigative journalist to working in the media and development sectors, losing a job to a friend and then receiving a promotion in one week of losing a job to running three companies. Life is awkward.
Life isn’t made to make sense on its own; we are to do that ourselves; I recall a Eureka! moment while talking to Bem years ago, where he summed up my thoughts pretty well; “Our mortality gives life meaning.”
John Locke, his philosophy that states we were all born “Tabula Rasa” does make more sense now. What fills our minds with experiences and upbringing can be re-defined if we choose to redefine it every single day we exist. A mistake, a loss, a victory, a celebration, heartbreak, an accident, an affliction, betrayal etc are all part of human existence. By numbing it out we ruin the beauty of existence which is to learn and grow. Life is exercise; a daily exercise of personal exertion and learning which we can only appreciate more when we hear other people’s stories and realise we are all in it together. No matter how you feel, no matter how it seems, YOU.ARE.NOT.ALONE.