To my peers, those in the defining decade bracket,
Allow me to ask, how is adulting?
More often than I’d like to admit, I miss my mum’s house and being my mother’s daughter yet, there was a time I couldn’t WAIT to move out. I felt like I had it together. Like I was grown and I was old enough. In my head, ‘nilikua nimemea.’ Currently, I look like I have it all together but really, kwa ground vitu ni different.
On the eve of my 19th birthday, I remember dreamily listing my goals, dreams and hopes. I wrote how I wanted to have my own place by 22. Driving with a salary and enough to visit my parents stocked with shopping and a lot more. I am now 22 with none of those things. All I have managed to do is stay alive, exist, stay sane but on the verge of depression and pretty much surviving.
Adulting is nothing like I had imagined. On some nights, I lay awake in bed missing the nursery days when we were forced to sleep in the afternoons. You see how they told us. “If you don’t work hard now, you’ll work hard later!” Someone should have told us that “If we don’t sleep then we’ll end up snoozing.” What a scam!
I also now understand what my parents meant whenever they said sina pesa and I could see a wad of notes sticking out of their wallets. I know get it, bills had to be paid, groceries had to be bought, Boi needed new school shoes and so did I, they were preparing for the long shopping list I would hand them beginning of term. My elder siblings were also calling weekly for upkeep to keep them going through university. I just didn’t know it till I was a campus student. There were days I would spend on shoes or a night of fun only to have my ugali, sukuma and a beeping token machine to remind me of how I should have been wiser with my finances. I have had tala, opesa, mshwari and five or six other loan apps on my case a number of times.
What about ‘sponyos“and “blessers”? As a kid they were referred to as sugar daddies. That made them repulsive but now … it’s different. The embrace of this culture is scary to say the least. It’s hard to speak about it without someone getting poked. It’s unfortunately part of adulting, so they say.
Oh! What about bullies in the workplace? Those of us fresh out of college fall prey to that. Define being a lady? What does that even mean? Kwanza with guys there’s no winning. Be this way they call you names. Be that way and still, unsatisfied.
I am writing, not as an expert, but as a sister and a friend. I may not always have the answers but together, we can find them or at least inspire each other to be the best version of ourselves.I have my hurdles too. Honestly, highlight reels be damned. Adulting is hard and growing up feels like the ghetto. There is always a challenge lurking in some dark alley.
Some of us have been raised sheltered, others pushed to sink or sail, a good number with neglect but at the end we need to gather the strength to show up, heads held high so the crown doesn’t fall.
On some days tears will balance in our eyes, others we will laugh our hearts out and charm the world with our smiles. Today I say, its okay to not have it all figured out and that as we untangle this yarn ball mess we have, one day our milestones and lessons will be survival guides for our sons and daughters.
This is adulting chronicles
with Yours Truly
P.S: Kindly comment with challenges you face as a young woman that you’d like for us to tackle. Let’s help each other fix and polish our crowns.