Its funny that when I look back at my past, all I’ve had at every stage of my life (elementary school, high school and uni) is a maximum of three friends only. I kind of associate with the social misfits; anyone that knows me knows that I’m socially awkward.
Lets rewind that, I grew up being told nina maringo by my peers,or I kept too much to myself or too quiet and I never really bothered to explain or defend myself.I preferred my own company, spoke very little, never wanted attention despite being a very smart person academically. I always wanted to be like a fly on the wall, just there existing and mostly forgotten or overlooked. I preferred sarcastic replies or portraying this aloofness to every situation. I was to associate with nani but not nani and hata huyu nani I couldn’t associate with him/her a lot because I was afraid of being corrupted😕.
I had to figure out a lot on my own being the only child at home with a single mum who was super busy stuck in a selfish dream of being young, juggling between motherhood and ‘dating’ life while still trying to make ends meet. In short, yeye hakupewa iyo manual ya kuwa mama ama alisahau hosi idk! I was literally alone or being passed from one toxic relative to another. I grew up too fast and suddenly there she was. She didnt know me and we were ‘forced’ to live pamoja. I call myself a ‘TV or cartoon baby’ because my fav spot was hapo kwa tv all day and sometimes night when she was out partying on all weekends and come back homen early Monday morning.
We never got along as she never talked to me and when she did it was to argue or emotionally manipulate me for something. I was a young girl becoming a young lady without direction. I was awkward, shy, battled low self esteem and most of all I was afraid of people and their opinions. I was too skinny; never ate at all and as a result never grew. At 13, when everyone had boobs and I had nothing, nada! I felt shitty for so long. I couldn’t allow myself to be beautiful. Then boys came along…heeeh!! a trial that was. I could not interact with them at all. Today I struggle with relationships but I’m working on it with a wonderful man.
My turning point was this one time during a Geography group discussion session when this girl who wasn’t my close friend asked me if I had an idea how pretty I was. “Unajua you’re really cool,smart and pretty. Don’t put your chin down kila wakati,” she said. Whatever this girl did with this statement still remains a mystery. I felt a certain high for months since that day. Worked on myself from that time, rebuilt my confidence,vied for a prefect position and got it because someone believed in me!
I don’t like motivational talks,but somehow I chose to listen to some of the ladies who came to speak at school and got some role models in the process. Today, I am fiercely feminist and as much as I’m quiet, I am not scared to speak up about my strong opinions.
Well, my mom is still a character and I didn’t let her dictate how I look/feel about myself. I fight the demons when they try to suck me in! In as much as the effects of my upringing are not completely washed off, I am a work in progress. More proud of my achievements. I am a wonderful young lady and I wil be a better mother to my kids
Hiyo manual lazima niipate. I can’t afford to fail at motherhood when that time comes.
~As told by Tressie Njeri ❤.