A Letter To My Younger Self – Part One

A-Letter-to-my-younger-self-part-one

Hello love!

I know you’re not used to calling yourself that but believe me when I say you will soon. Well…not so soon but you will. Stop rolling your eyes for a second and listen. I’m not writing to tell you of some obscure future where you’ll be one of those #selflove girls on Twitter. Kwanza you’ll forget your Twitter password in 3 years. Another one called Instagram will come and you won’t even bother with it, wacha saa hii vile you’re taking selfies with your Nokia C1 to put on Facebook.

I wanna tell you about that dude you’re dating. You and I both know that relationship died a few

months ago and you’re just sticking around because you can’t imagine being single. He’s not worth it and you’re worth so much more than that. He says the reason he doesn’t actually say “I love you” is because you already know. But the reality is the reason he doesn’t say it is because he doesn’t. He’ll admit it when he breaks up with you a year and a half from now and you won’t even cry because you’ll see it coming. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad person. He’s actually trying to be good, but he doesn’t know how. In his mind, staying in the relationship makes him a good boyfriend which makes him a good person. But he’s bad for you love. Leave him.

Sweetheart you will be single after that man. Sure, you’ll hook up with three or four other guys after

him but nothing will last beyond the first month because you’ll go about it all wrong. You will think that they will stick around because you cook and clean and have a job. They won’t. And it will crush you.

You will meet God at some point. I’m not sure what exactly will trigger you into seeking Him out but

you will. Yes yes I know you’re a self-proclaimed atheist and right now the Bible makes about as much sense as an engineering manual written in Russian, but you will meet God in such an amazing way and you will ask yourself how you ever lived without Him. You will discover that you like spending time with teens when you go work in a children’s home for free (yup, for FREE) and you’ll

realise that that’s what you want to do for the rest of your life.

So sweetheart, let me just give you some life pointers that I have spent the last 6.5 years learning:                                       

On money:

You’re really bad with money, which is ironic for someone studying economics. You spend a lot of your money on nonsense. You don’t need 5 bottles of nail polish. You can keep the earrings. You can never have too many earrings. But the stilettos? Honey you’ll never wear those, I promise you. Find

someone to buy them off you asap. Stop telling yourself that they’re for your wedding night. I’m 27 now and there is no wedding night in the offing (I told you you’ll be single).

2.  Stop buying things you don’t need and learn to save your money. Open one of those Lock&Save accounts on MShwari and throw your extra cash in there. Don’t spend any coins. Buy a coin purse and throw all your coins in there. Pay fare with a 1000 shilling note if you have to, but don’t spend your coins. Those come in handy on a really rainy day.

3.  I like your attitude towards loans. Don’t take a loan for expenses. And it won’t be easy. Something called KCB MPesa will come with the promise of fast and easy loans. Then you’ll buy a smartphone and discover unscrupulous apps called Branch and Tala and OKash that offer quick loans to your MPesa but conveniently forget to mention the 11% interest that you’ll have to pay in a month else they’ll report you to this place called CRB. CRB are not nice! They’ll have you on their list for 6 months for not paying your Okoa Jahazi, then Equity will refuse to give you that loan you really need to buy that kapiece of land in Shanzu. So don’t take loans to spend on expenses.

4.  Join a chama. If you can’t find one, start one. Join forces with like-minded people as yourself and commit to contributing a specific amount regularly. Doesn’t matter if it’s a merry-go-round, as long as you’re putting money aside for future use.

5.  Don’t be ashamed to admit it when you can’t afford something. This is going to save you so much money and pain. Pride will    hurt you my love. That ice cream joint, that movie, that coffee date: you can’t afford any of it and that’s okay. You’ll afford it someday, just not today.                                                           (…to be continued)

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The Disconnect

I vividly remember the first time that I saw someone sending an email. I even remember what I was wearing when I first encountered this… The year was 2001. I