He makes me happy. He really does.
He doesn’t make me happy as in laughing and giggling and joking. Well, he does, I laugh, and giggle and joke with him…a lot. I laugh so much that there’s a screeching pitch at the end of my laughter.
But he makes me happy, because we talk. We talk about stuff. Real stuff. We let free. Let loose. We just are. He tells, I tell, we tell.
We laugh and cry and hug through words. The conversations he and I have last long. This last one lasted two hours. We said good night. Then we hang up another half hour later.
He called me when I had a bad day. The only good thing about it was his phone call. Oh, and another deep conversation I had with my sister. I enjoyed that. It was unexpected. It was largely about life and how interesting it can be with all the curve balls it throws at us.
My sister and I…talking…I was happy. She’s been travelling the world, visiting South Africa at the moment, enjoying her hard earned accounting cash. Before that she was in Tanzania, and before that she was in Brazil. I am jealous.
I was happy we talked because she’s finally on-board with who I am. With my art, my writing, my profession. She’s either on-board or making do, whichever one is fine by me.
Back to my friend, it had been a bad day. A bizarre day. A day where I was tired. Just tired. I wanted to yell out that I’m tired, and I did, to my sister, via WhatsApp. She answered, “Well, that doesn’t help. What are you going to DO?” Mmh, my sister, she’s caring in that annoying, sober, kind of way.
My friend, yes, this back n forth is similar to what my life is currently. A lot of back and forth. A lot of here and there. Up and down. This and that. A drastic roller coaster. It’s driving me bonkers. I want definition, but the universe, together with Murphy’s Law, keep paying me visits. Murphy especially, has been paying me lots of visits this year. I do not like it.
He called, and distracted me a little (my friend I mean, not Murphy). He said he had a bad day at work, an egocentric boss’s sister-cum-colleague was belittling him, his job had its moments. Then there was me and my life. He offered to help on a sticky situation I was in, or find someone who could. I was grateful.
He taught me something on giving. When it’s immediate family, you give, without expectations, just give. With relatives, you question. With friends, you go with your instincts. But the lesson, was to give.
We got into stories of the past. Horrifying, mind-blowing, revelations on both our parts that could make for an Oscar-worthy movie. Everything, from violence to drugs to accidents to spooky cultures. He said he’d stop calling me, that I depressed him. I said I didn’t mean to, that my intention was to show that even when life shows us what it’s capable of, we can still turn out alright.
As for relationships; he was engaged, now he’s not, he likes it, he’s okay with it. The ex didn’t support his passions, but he stuck it out with the relationship, because they’d been together a long time, three years to be precise and he wanted to do the right thing, marry the girl.
Then one day, she wasn’t happy, she called off the engagement. He was okay with that, he wanted someone who supported his passions and he was also in love with someone else, his former ex, they’re back together now.
This brought me back to the conversation with my sister – life. It turns out however it turns out. It calls the shots. It gives the commands. And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it, except embrace our realities, find opportunities and hope for better days.
We then talked of health. Mental health. Life can really mess you up. It can mess the shits out of you. We hoped some people we knew would find help, or friends, or outlets, or…church.
He mentioned there was a time he thought of quitting on his passion. I admitted I also haven’t written in a while. Apart from submitting stories to the New York magazine, I haven’t written much. I haven’t blogged.
Someone earlier in the week asked me, “But you used to blog weekly?” Yes.
“Actually, you used to blog almost thrice a week?” Yeah, I know.
“And now you’re just not blogging?” No answer.
My friend said the answer is to not stop. He said sometimes we need to try once more. Just one more time. And surround ourselves with positive people, people who encourage us.
Like this story, my life is all over the place. I don’t know where this writing business is going. I doubt myself sometimes and I worry. I’m worried that I’ve signed up for too many writing engagements. I’m also insecure. Insecure that my writing makes me “talk” too much and I don’t like talking too much.
And then I’m terrified, terrified that I’m actually relocating to Kenya and everyone says it’s a bad idea, an unthinkable one, but my intuition won’t let me sleep at night if I change my mind. I’m worried that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing making a decision like this, that I might be making the biggest mistake of my life, that there are so many eyes watching and mouths waiting to say “I told you so,” but sometimes, I am excited. I am pumped. I am ecstatic because I have a gut feeling that this move is one I need to make. I am optimistic that Kenya could bring fulfillment, that it wouldn’t be as flat and grey and lucklustre as Australia has been for me. I’m hopeful, that I could be part of Kenya’s growing artistic culture. That even with matatus, potholes, black-outs, hawkers and dust, life could actually be colourful.
But then, there are those other times, when I am scared senseless. I put on the radio, sit on the carpet, hold on to the electric blanket, feel its warmth, then stare at the drink in my glass hoping for a sign. Any sign. Any…that I’m making the right move. That I will be okay. That everything will turn out fine. Of course glasses do not give signs, nor do drinks, so I pray, then I remember to hold on to three things: passion, dreams and faith.
My friend said that’s what life is, a journey and we make of it what we will.
He also said something else, something so profound that I wish it were written on stone. He said: “We don’t all have the same purpose, some people are meant to go overseas and stay. Others are meant to go overseas and return home. It’s the exposure that’s crucial, but we all ultimately have our own individual paths.”
The man had spoken. This was the day I was going to give up, to quit everything, to settle, and then he called, made me smile, had me laugh, helped me think.
About my guest writer
I asked CeeCe to write me a brief about herself; something sassy and bragful I would include as a footnote to her story. She responded with an emoticon: A half-smile half-laugh which made me realize that all the poise on her comments and emails told of the modesty that lay between that half-smile and half-laugh.
CeeCe said to leave her real name out of this story. Something about her work riding on the anonymity of her identity. So I did.
CeeCe tells me she is a growing artist – she writes, and she does voice-overs for TV and radio. Her feature-writing gigs include covering celebrity interviews, travel destinations and interior design reviews. She mixes all of this writing up occasionally with her ‘life’s musings’. Stories which make their way to her blog, The Cottage Comfort. CottCom.
CeeCe does plenty of ghost writing, too, especially for Aussie websites. She’s just been taken up as a writer for an elite New York magazine. (I told you she was modest.)
CeeCe relocates to Nairobi from Aussie after Easter.
Catch up with her on her blog sometime: cottcom.wordpress.com