Posted in Marie's Garden

Blogger’s Block, though brighter horizon I forecast


Atouching albeit flatering tribute from one of my lil sis in far off Tanzania
A touching albeit flatering tribute from one of my lil sis in far off Tanzania

I just realized today I haven’t blogged for a few days now. It can happen, but when it’s a conscious decision, I am more at peace. Yet, since I had not decided to take a break from blogging, the realization hit me sort of hard.

Aha, is this blogger block? Yet, it’s not like I even sat down to blog and then couldn’t start typing. I just didn’t get that ‘zeal’ which pricks me to action. And so pals, mindful of the heat anyway, I am taking a blogging break. Don’t ask me how long it’ll last, it may be a few days or weeks. A lot on my plate now and seriously I just can’t wait for July 30 to go HOME.

In the meantime, some bright stuffs too. I mean such to cheer me up. Florah my massai heroine, probably sensed my whatever …, and did the above of my picture. She also put the following collage together:

Different shades of me
Different shades of me

And then, I got an awesome first official review of my last memoir from none other than Jill my blogging granny. I share it with you:

” The acknowledgements are stunning. You have covered so much material. Your description of the emotional abuse you suffered was shattering especially the part where it turned physical. I can’t begin to imagine how you remained in that relationship. Thank goodness for Jeff’s coaching program.
Your 36 points were most informative and I agree with you that when one is able to forgive, one is able to start the healing process.  No forgiveness – difficult to heal.
Marie, your book gave me so much to think about.
I admire you for your honesty.
I admire you for the courage shown in writing this important book.
I admire you for your directness.
I admire you for your ability to pass on your message which will help other women. You are a mental health advocate, a feminist as well as a speaker. I wonder how you manage to do so much my dear? I am proud of you Marie Abanga and I recommend your book with all my heart. may we all find the strength that you have shown”.
From the blogging grandma, Jill Sadowsky.

Dear gentle readers and followers, I’ll be back I promise, let me resource some before my big relocation home. Prepare your kindles for some free downloads coming soon by the way 🙂 Thank you very much for all 🙂

Thank you very much
Thank you very much

Posted in Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

I Knew this Anxiety and Nervousness was coming…


Hello world,

Yesterday as I travelled to Boston, I wanted to do a little cherry post on PhilaPlush and PhilaPower as I felt about Philadephia. I tried to take a few pictures for that, and to first map out the structure and content in my head. Yet I just couldn’t get it straight. Alas that post may be for some other time if any at all.

It’s raining now in my head and I just have to be patient

I have to start by telling my gentle readers to be gentle with my blog this week or don’t click on any of my posts this week. I feel it coming, the anxiety and nervousness and I am not pretending to be strong or snap over or out of it… I am letting it rain in my head, maybe flow out through my eyes and maybe hole myself in some. I’ll just try not to let the rain ruin it all for me. Yes, I had a cool weekend and a calm bus trip to Boston.

Nimbus Cloud build up in my head

  1. I attend a gala on Saturday which finishes at 4.30 am and am kindly driven back home by 5 am. I shower and try to sleep but phone calls and messages etc wouldn’t let me be. It is sometimes very hard for people to understand you can’t always be the one they ‘know or think’ you are or should be;
  2. And yet I have to be in the Bus at 11 am at a station an hour’s drive away from where I live. I had negligently bought a ticket to depart from Baltimore MD, without checking with whoever on the ground, how close or far away it was from wherever I was hoping to live. I knew I was sure gonna be in MD and just thought that well it was all in MD. So, the fact  that I can’t get there on my own by public transportation because that will  take 3.30 hours, that I have to negotiate for a ride and get same from a sweet friend who has just worked himself out before and during the the weekend to make the events a success, that I just can’t sleep straight or comfortable on that 9 hours bus ride to Boston, all these build ups for the nimbus cloud in my head.

Trying to Smile and be Brave

Those are Gaby's shorts I have on
Those are Gaby’s shorts I have on

This picture was taken in Wetchester County in the State of NY wherever that is… well during a bus stop so we could get some food etc. I know I look and feel drenched. My left eye is swollen and I just want more coffee (I took some before leaving Hyatsville MD and although I know that was maybe not going to help me sleep, I didn’t think I was going to sleep anyway). Well I took a frappucino instead which I think is better especially in my circumstance.

I am going to try to brave the next two days out here. But I am going to be very patient and kind with my self. I don’t care who thinks I should be over this by now or that I could try harder. Some pain is simply put, Black Pain. I am not trying to live up to anyone’s expectations right now but mine, and am expecting real emotional moments. I started by having a crapy night and getting out of bed at 5 am this morning, and finally deciding to start writing instead of just watching the rain fall so hard in my head. I wanted to go out for a walk (yes the urge is to walk the 1 hour to and fro to Gaby’s last abode), but I changed my mind and decided to write all this down first, and also wait to greet my kind hosts when they wake up. I sure will go to that apartment and to my Brother’s table (he told me he went there often).

Let it flow to let it go

I once watched a movie where this phrase was often used. Now I’ll remind myself of this throughout my Boston stay. Whatever the emotions and all, I’ll try my best to let it flow to let it go. I can’t and wouldn’t pretend. If I don’t want to hold any ‘pleasant discussions’, I wouldn’t. If I don’t want to visit or be visited by any ‘family’ out here, I wouldn’t. This is also why I play hard and make the best of my ‘happy’ moments and meetings with people like Marilyn, Sherry and Richie. Hmm, yesterday I sat next to none other but a monk – ziplock that mouth of yours which fortunately was not even in the mood for chit chat. I could at least take this picture from the top seat I had paid to reserve and was already beating myself for wasting that reservation:

At least reserving that top front seat wasn't all in vain
At least reserving that top front seat wasn’t all in vain

Posted in Book Reviews, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

Movie Review: Still Alice starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin


Written on the plane as I watched almost in tears...
Written on the plane as I watched almost in tears…

Prologue

There are some things which happen and you just don’t think it was sheer coincidence. One of these, was clicking play on a movie called Still Alice. I was on my first flight to the US and didn’t want to sleep on any part of the journey. Movies therefore seemed an interesting option. I watched one called Sideways and then settled next for Alice’s story without paying attention to the synopsis. This is my first review of any movie and I don’t know how I’ll fare. Anyway, am not after a grade, am after sharing with you gentle readers and followers, what I watched and felt with this movie. Let’s start with Alice of course.

Alice the protagonist

She (played by Julianne Moore) is an international linguistic professor, a mum of three, happily married, and ever so ambitious. She is so meticulous with every other thing including her body, which she tones out with an hour’s run every other day. Alice could very well be one of those mothers we refer to back in my country as ‘Mother General’. I am sure many of us will understand this slang even if it were not commonly used in your own countries. Alice and her movie foursome (uh huh she’s married to the cool Alec Baldwin), very well make up that “perfect family” living that “American Dream”. One thing however happens which makes Alice’s story captivating though with a good dose of pity and maybe empathy.

Alzheimer finds its way into Alice’s Life

As in most cases of a neurological, mental or even chronic illness like cancer, it is hard to understand both the “Why, and the Why me”. These questions start replacing Alice’s impressive oratory, as she begins to forget words, places, things and even planned events. She starts to fumble to put it this mildly, leaving her phone and shampoo in the fridge, her medication in the basement, and the thanksgiving turkey to turn to charcoal.

Alice’s life is almost shattered when she gets the diagnosis, and has to share the news with her family. First of all they are in shock, almost ‘shunning’ her, and then it gets worst because one of her daughters takes the test and is positive too. The gene has been handed down much to her chagrin. Alice thinks she has nothing to live for and seriously contemplates suicide by an overdose.

Supportive Family and Alzheimer Association

Alice by now has lost her teaching profession, and is almost losing her sanity. She cares-less about her body, hair or even Christmas. Fortunately, her husband is not prepared to lose her and thus starts informing himself of her condition. He accompanies her to hospital visits and employs a housekeep, then he reassures the family that all is not lost. Alice’s neurologist introduces her to an Alzheimer Association, and she gets to give a keynote address which though brief, is soulful.

It got me thinking

This was the first time I was watching any movie on Alzheimer. I have a dear granny in Israel called Jill, and her husband had Alzheimer. Oh my, is this what she endured? Could this happen to anyone even a highly educated professor of Alice’s caliber? Now, it matters not “why or why me” in the end right? As Alice puts it, Alzheimer brought with it a double ridicule. She felt ridiculous in the eyes of her family ( they wouldn’t believe at first that she was serious about what was going on – her husband said everybody forgets every now and then) and society as a whole, (the stigma and shame and even stares didn’t help), and she felt ridiculous about her own self.

I am not going to rate the movie, I am so touched once more. I am humbled and why not honoured to watch such a movie, and find the need and inspiration to do a review. I hope I have done it justice, but above all I hope that by so doing, I am contributing to the fight against the stigma of such despicable mental and physical conditions. Sufferers need more of love, empathy and support, than even those meds with their drastic side effects. It could be you or someone you love, never say never, and in the meantime make the best of the one life you have…

Posted in Book Reviews, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

Book Review: Black Pain – It just Looks like We’re Not Hurting, by Terrie M. Williams


Real Talk For When There's Nowhere to go but Up
Real Talk For When There’s Nowhere to go but Up

This is not the book I had hoped to review while I travel to the US for the first time. I mean I should be writing exciting stuffs right? But, there is so much pain in me as I travel there. My Brother’s birthday is tomorrow June 6th. He would have been turning 34. Yet, as the sub theme of this Terrie’s bestseller puts it; It Just Looks Like We’re not Hurting.

Black Pain

Terrie Williams
Terrie Williams

I have been through much more than I would have loved to go through in the 36 years of my existence. Yet, it sure did look for long like I was not hurting. It sure still looks that way to many, and yes even to some close family members. Notwithstanding my thrilling memoirs, the pain can’t still be seen. It is Black!!!

In my last memoir, I shared in the acknowledgments that 4 main authors were my inspiration in this other healing journey via my keyboard. This is what I said of Terrie’s book Black Pain:

” Really, I first thought the Black referred to Black as in skin colour. I now think it fits the Blackness of Melancholia which could so engross you and really make you pick up a knife like I once did”.

Does it have to get to such a desperate point before help is sought and given? So many questions abound. Here is what Terrie says:

Black Pain identifies emotional pain – She knows because she’s one of them.

Terrie had made it: she had launched her own public relations company with such clients as Eddie Murphy and Johnnie Cochran. Yet she was in constant pain, waking up in terror, overeating in search of relief. For thirty years she kept on her game face of success, exhausting herself daily to satisfy her clients’ needs while neglecting her own.

Terrie finally collapsed, staying in bed for days. She had no clue what was wrong or if there was a way out. She had hit rock bottom and she needed and got help.

She learned her problem had a name — depression — and that many suffered from it, limping through their days, hiding their hurt. As she healed, her mission became clear: break the silence of this crippling taboo and help those who suffer.

Some personal takeaways from reading this soulful book

I came across this book on New Year’s Eve in Vienna, and I knew I was going to find myself in several instances in there. I read it like a text book, making notes and preparing myself for when I’ll have to take my Mental Health Advocacy to the next level. I share some below:

  • Page 2:  “People Should Understand that depression is not an attitude problem. It’s not a character weakness, it’s not a spiritual weakness. It may reflect in those things, but depression is related to changes in the brain, and what people should know is that you just can’t snap out if”. David Satcher, MD, PHD, Former Surgeon General and Director…
  • Page 31/32: “I’m not your Superwoman – Overworked, Undervalued, and Under Pressure. I was known for holding it together for everyone. Always worried about whether other people were over their limit, stressed or overburdened. But when it came to myself I had no mercy”.
  • Page 38: Your silence won’t protect you. Trauma doesn’t go away just because you push it to the back of your mind. Not acknowledging trauma is one of the most common causes of depression. The truth is, we’re not to blame, shame won’t help us, and we’re not all powerful.
  • Page 109: We were conditioned from very early on to divorce ourselves from our feelings. You had to deal silently with the stress that was a constant part of growing up. No one ever talked about the pain, the Trauma…
  • Page 127: If we want to deal effectively with depression, we have to go right to where it starts: we have to go right to childhood. Unless we take children more seriously as fully human beings, (that means having them at the table with us!) – and take the issues that trouble them just as seriously – we are dooming them to repeat the worst pains of our own lives.
  • Page 295: We heal by Sharing our stories, our struggles, our victories

It is only then that we can conclude that we’re having Real Talk – The type you have when there’s nowhere to go but up.

As a conclusion

I am most obliged to Terrie for puttling it all in that book. She shares her innermost struggles, and she says even her own family never knew about them until she published an article. Would they have believed her before she crashed? How can I give this book any less than a 5? Such inspire me to the core, such motivate me without measure. I am grateful for my healing journey and the opportunity to help several others too.

Do yourself a favour and check this book out especially if you or some one dear to you is hurting.

More on Terrie Williams

Terrie’s community outreach and mental health advocacy work began with her book, Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens. Her latest book, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, recounts her personal struggles with depression and the impact the stigma of mental illnesses has, particularly on the African-American community.

Who says you can’t talk about it and still thrive on?

Posted in Marie's Garden

If only I could leave this bed and house…


I have had to face this since Monday Morning
I have had to face this since Monday Morning

Hello world, it’s been such a mixed couple of days so far that I just had to share not one but two blog posts this very day. Ok let’s start with the first.

Since Monday morning, I have had a very hard time leaving bed. Ok, for someone who once slept just 4 hours (yes that’s bad too I know), sleeping 7 or 8 and still feeling like staying in bed, isn’t so good either.

Monday morning

Well, I am jobless sort of (don’t mind my other posts of creating lots of positive stuff, recently publishing another memoir, and much more), and the dread of not having an income and knowing that the minutes will usher in another bill, does root in apprehension. I try to stay positive and to do lots of stuffs like even learning to bike and writing projects and all. But then I equally just feel like sleeping it away. After all who cares right?

Well, in the end, I grudgingly force myself out of bed and that house by some time I can’t even remember. I go visit my dear friend who fortunately for me lives only 20 minutes away, and who so nicely got me a sybscription for the Villo! (city bikes you can rent for short distance).

Tuesday morning

I think I should go to the gym because a workout could help my sore self. I had biked for over 3 hours on Sunday and I think the body was keeping score. I therefore manage to get ready (a good 30 or more minutes), and then I walk to the gym (fortunately just 3 minutes from my place). I stay there for only 20 minutes and just can’t do anymore workout. Well, I don’t beat myself so hard and look forward to b iking to my friend’s. Really I don’t know where else I would have looked forward to going to during this ‘ackward’ tansition period of mine. (Mummy calls it a period of Grace, I admit but…)

So I survive the day at his place, but one thing leads to the other and am really nervous even at 10 pm. I can’t even get up to return home. He kindly helps me to brave it and he drives me home.

Wednesday morning

Well, I have to leave that bed and house anyway because there is an event I am invited to. It’s the national day of my country Cameroon, and there is a dinner at the Ambassador’s Residence. I finally leave the house at 1 pm and go get a hair cut. I am bent on keeping a low hair cut for as long as possible. It’s more refreshing feeling the shower through my scalp.

My dear friend drives me there at 6 pm, and kindly comes to pick me up at 9 pm. I make it looking like this below, and yes even feel some bliss watching all those people and chatting a little you know:

On my way out
On my way out

Thursday Morning

I get up at 6 am, but decide to sleep again because well I slept late last night and am trying to re-establish a good sleep hygene right? I wake up again at 7 am and that voice urges me to go back to bed. Afterall, what am I going out to?

A job? Children to drop off at school? A companion to cook for? Who cares if I add some weight? So what is this frenzy about the gym or bike and all?

It is then that I talk real harsh to my own self. I CARE and I still CAN do something about it.

Dear gentle followers and readers, I know some of us have such days too. I share to cheer us up. Not all days are like these, but such days aren’t easy to face. I told an aunt this morning I was trying my best, and she said she thought I was doing fine. Of course I told her sometimes you just have to give such ‘correct answers’ because who cares anyway what’s going on in you? I don’t know how to properly conclude this post, I just go and write the second one I mentioned above

Wishing us all the best…

Posted in Marie's Garden, My Memoirs

Introducing part of my inspiration and the TOC for my featured publication


BTS_CoverDear all, as I continue my hiatus week and whatever transition period I may have; I have been reading and writing and of course sending out a couple of applications for a new assignment. Indeed, my faith is on the blooming path. I thus thought to share a brief introduction of my next memoir which could not have been started and finished at a better moment.

My mum just shared with me how my brother’s death came along when her faith was at its weakest. And yet, that moment also got her (thanks to all the support she also got from various corners), to hop quickly back onto the faith wagon especially in the preservation of the sanity of her mind, body and spirit.

My faith is not at its weakest right now. Fortunately! It however was a couple of months ago. The current moment to me is just another of those thrilling trial periods. Indeed, I feel sort of battered once more by this life of life! Yes, I look kind of tattered, but I refuse to be shattered. I am going for a retreat this very afternoon.

In my various readings, four authors have greatly inspired me to write and publish this second memoir of mine. Maya Angelou of Blessed and revered memory, especially with her titles “Letter to my Daughter”, and “A Woman’s Heart”. Like her, I have no daughter, but just like her, I’ll write the epilogue of this book in the form of a letter to the daughter I lost the day after she was born.

The next is Iyanla Vanzart the power spiritual guru on Oprah’s Lifeclass. She has several must reads in which she writes from her heart and soul. Her work: “Peace from Broken Pieces – How to get through what you are going through”, got me hooked till the last word, all in one night.

The third author I am pointing out, is none other than Terrie M. Williams with her outstanding publication – “Black Pain: It just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting”. Really, I first thought the Black referred to Black as in skin colour. I now think it fits the Blackness of Melancholia which could so engross you and really make you pick up a knife like I once did.

The Fourth author I want to acknowledge, is Nancy Salamone. She broke ‘conventions’, the Sicilian word I gather is omertà. She wrote about her domestic abuse saga for 20 good years. I definitely pale so much in comparison to her. Yet I identify with the living parallel lives aspect. I am honoured to have touched based with Nancy, and I look forward to someday taking a course in her ‘The Business of Me’ programme. Nancy’s book which is a gut wrenching read, is titled: “Nancy’s Story, a Victory over Violence”.

And here is the TOC:

Domestic Abuse

My Flights to the Wilderness

Mary Just Come aka MJC

Settling ‘down’

My Super Super (Ss) Hero

Dare 2 Dare

Mary Knows Plenty aka MKP

Transcontinental Mother

Keeping Faith

The’ Not So’ Golden Child

Epilogue: Letter to Ange Claire, my departed daughter

Dear Gentle readers and followers, it is on this note that I wish you all a happy mid week! Thank you all so much especially to my most recent followers. I know have almost 300… Wow, I am speechless!

Posted in From Around!

From Vric to Vrac to hopefully Groovy


I don’t know how best to title this post and so that’s what is.

I am so tired, was sick and dry mouthed and all, since Monday. I saw a Doctor on Thursday on my return from Addis and my BP was 130/100. The pains are mixed and am (was or well …) still grouchy (if such exist ). She put me on some meds which was supposed to be Magnesium … Men, did it trash me! I truly respect those who survive taking cocktails of some tablets.

I think matters were made worse by two other things. First a ‘friend’ disappointed me on the same day l returned from Addis with my already tired and frail self.

Secondly, although l look forward to going to the US to visit my heroine Pammy of wagblog spiro (something along the line, please Pammy if l get it wrong do understand your friend is writing this to ‘heal’ ), getting that’highly courted visa’ and knowing what happened to my dearest brother when he got it, left me SAD.

I battled that kind of depression which plays with you like one minute you are coping and the next you can’t or would rather not talk nor see anyone. I tried reading, writing, music, movie but none could keep my focus for even 10 mins.

Well, l managed to chat online and do a skype call and received a phone call. They all helped me open my mouth, use my fingers and smile palely!

Today, l fought with me and went to the gym. It was refreshing and l was ‘happy’. I returned home and was glad it was my turn to clean the flat. This l equally did with passion. Such activities are so therapeutic for me. If l loose al interest in them, l know it’s really bad!

Oh how can l forget talking with my mum and son! And also a few emails and another call.

And then l had to take myself out of the house to honour an invitation from Rebecca my South Sudan Heroine (with the phone l can’t link ). I am glad l finally left the house and walked through the nearby park l had never visited. It is Rebecca who lives 15 minutes away but who comes to that Park, who told me it was worth visiting. Am glad l did.

Am at Becky’s now but not in the mood to socialize with the other guests she has (yes none other than Cameroonian Embassy staff – ha yo think Becky is the one to introduce me to staff of my country’s embassy?) and so l told her l wish to lie down. Sweet Becky showed me the guest corner.

I then decided to do this post and see if l could finish it. I just did and am proud of myself. I know such episodes too shall come to pass and am letting the different feelings and emotions flow through from Vric – Vrac and hopefully to Groovy!

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

Is there any “settling down in this life”?


huh?
huh?

I guess we’ve all heard of the expression to ‘settle down’ right? It’s probably the short, medium or long term goal of most people depending on the period of their lives when you meet them. For me, it’s been almost a ‘nagging’ goal especially these past years when I have kept finding myself ‘restless’.

I mean be it emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, financially and all – I admit to a cycle of constant mental upbeats. Simply put, I long to ‘settle down’. My longing to so ‘settle down’ (don’t ask me where I was previously settled), has led me through a journey of a most thrilling life lane that even my memoir couldn’t really ‘tell it all’. One of my ‘fans’ (haha let me regal myself with calling him so), told me he thought the book was so crammed with events of all sorts and it was like trying to learn about a 35 year old event in just 360 pages.

Yep people, even in writing that memoir, ‘settling down’ was at the back of my mind. I thought to do so I had to take off my mask, be real me, deal with my past by liberating myself of that ‘shameful burden’, and then start again to make the best of whatever time I had left in this life.

Oh my, it’s not been easy at all. I doubt if ‘settling down’ is just an ideal. And so here we go barely at the start of another year, just when I had thought I was on my way to ‘settling down’ at least temporarily in a new ‘home’, after making the difficult but right for me decision to quit someone I’ll always call my Ss Hero, of even going as far as shaving my hair just so I could feel the ‘settling down’ run though my scalp, I am yet at another crossroads.

I mean, I ain’t even thinking or mentioning my studies, job or otherwise right? We all know it’s important to have a good night’s rest to be able to face all those other stuffs. I have for a very long time been a candidate for a ‘sleep disorder’ of sorts. I had to go to therapy to get to sleep no later than 10 pm and to try to stay in bed even when the sleep left sometimes at 3 am. But now, where do I sleep in the first place?

Simply put, the very landlady my friend Alaina said should be happy to have me in her house, in a comment on a recent post of mine about anxiety and erratic behaviour, told me barely two days after that incident to leave her house – yeah one with a default heating system which I’ve had to endure for over a month now mindful of of my health history (am actually going to the Doctor’s today for some joints stuff). Although and well she came back hours latter to say she was sorry, that doesn’t change the fact that she’s sold the house and it has to be vacated not latter than March 20th and she gives a damn about what’s next for me. She never put it to me that way when I visited before moving in, and so whatever be the case I have to be out of here by then.

We all know how tough it is to find a lease out here in the west especially if you are an ‘immigrant’/foreigner or whatever term you can coin. Now, with the recent stuffs in Paris and all,landlords think three times once they see your face – they ask you for all kinds of guarantee which you probably don’t have – and so if they really want your money anyway, they offer an open stay, one without a contract and at a higher amount. It’s a take it or get lost scenario, and when you’re in such a situation – how do you ‘settle down’?

That’s just where I find myself right now. I do not only need to move, I need to move to a place where I can have a registered address. Ha, talk of an uphill challenge. I just can’t offer myself the luxury of ‘settling down’ now on my ‘misery’. I just have to stay optimistic. There is so much at stake now. I got a thesis to finish and submit by March 01, I have got two demanding jobs to juggle, I have got an e-family to visit, a blog and several websites to update, and most importantly, I have got my boys to hang in for and to look forward to talking to every other weekend – In the Meantime, I have always got me to keep alive the best I can.

I know, that maybe sooner than latter, I’ll be returning to my mother’s house – for that’s my best bet at this ‘settling down’ saga. I am expected, anticipated, mapped out and all. It just makes me want to cry my balls out. Let me borrow my friend Timi’s words in the title of a post an Anatomy of a move back home – I’ll soon be, and hopefully and longingly be, that woman. Maybe that’s where I’ll get to ‘settle down’ some? I want to very much believe so. By then, I mean even now, I have learnt so many lessons in this my visit on mother earth, to see me through that “best settling down venture”.

Dear gentle readers and followers, this week is supposed to be a very special one for me – we’ll all know by Sunday (yeah well some already know in advance, although the one who never forgot to refresh the entire family is gone with the wind – hmm gabs I still so miss you). I am not letting my present predicament ruin anything. I am keeping faith, I am hopeful, and I grateful nonetheless. Do all have a splendid week ahead – aha mindful of the weather.

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

If your hair is among the triggers: dare to shave it off!


Comfy without hair
Comfy without hair

Abstract

The above picture was taken years ago while Arusha at yet another crossroad of my life. I was at the Ethiopian Airlines ticket office to get a ticket back home after my one year stint at the ICTR there.

The above anecdote introduces my love hate affair with hair and its relationship with my inner being. It could be hair, it could be something else, but what I wish to say by this post is that whatever it is that triggers us, we got to and can do something.

Memory Lane

Marie the baby.
Marie the baby.

I remember as kid being put down twice a week to braid my hair. You see, I had lots even as a baby. The problem was that it was so bushy and hard to manage and yet my mum and cousin thought it was girly to keep it neat and braided. It was done twice because what she did on Sunday, was already ruined by Wednesday and what she did on Wednesday, looked like the amazon forest on Saturday. My escapes or luck came whenever I was able to sneak and follow my father to the barber on Saturday afternoon.

My hair among my triggers

My hair has since then been one of those features of mine which can make me smile or get mad. When I can manage to groom and braid the hair, because, yeah it takes some good time and money to do, I am not unhappy at the end product. I have so much you know but it’s a big job taking care of it. However, whenever I am at crossroads in my life or am turning an important page of life, I start to feel nervous about that same hair.

That is how I started shaving the hair at such strategic moments. I remember at the university on my 21st birthday, and boy, how my friends almost shunned me out completely.

Well, I am happy to feel the water flow through my head especially after sports like in this picture below.

I know I have to let go of the black yeah?
I know I have to let go of the black yeah?

It hasn’t always been easy

My mother didn’t always understand what was behind this hair stuff. She even at some point thought I was real nuts or into some ‘sect’ especially when as a married woman I dared to shave my hair. My ex husband to say the least, was out-rightly disgusted and felt disrespected. You know back home, men like feeling they are the ‘boss’ of their wives. You need to keep that damn hair on for him. He wouldn’t mind giving you the money to go fix it – well not the time to sit down there though!

And so I did this again

dare to shave ur hair
dare to shave ur hair

I went through tough times of depression and outright shaggyness recently.  I thereafter took a VIP decision in my life after a retreat largely thanks to the hospitality of my good friend Monica. It so happened I had some braids on my head which had taken a whole six hours to weave and now took four hours to take off. I just realized it was time once more to shave the hair off!

Dear gentle readers and followers, I think what matters is not all those outward appearance, but what we truly are and feel within us right?