It’s fine if you don’t know. It’s fine if you don’t have a plan. It’s fine if you are the only one who doesn’t seem to know where your life is headed. There is a TV series you will watch in your 30’s called The Boardwalk Empire where Blaise Pascal is quoted; All humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room. Sometimes there are no solutions, at least not immediate ones, so all you have to do is sit it out. Things will sometimes work themselves out when you do nothing. Don’t sweat it. Have a banana.
At 31 years of age you will make an unlikely friendship with someone who sells eggs. One evening you will be called by the barman at Azalea that you need to move your car and you will step out to find him hot under the collar because you are the idiot who blocked his exit. These are days you will drink red wine like a precious guy in touch with his feelings. Unkind words will be exchanged in short spurts and while leaving in a hurry, he will scratch your bonnet because you didn’t bother to move your car too far and numbers will be exchanged because he has to fix your car the next week. A friendship will ensue. As it turns out, he – Justus – will be the one to save you one day when you are 35 and you are backed up against a wall and you need a tiny sum to get you off a pressing crisis. Some solid relationships will be born of conflicts.
Time is sand in wind. It will literally dissolve. Save. Don’t start saving when you get a better paying job. There will never be a better paying job. Or gig. Save. Be an ant. It’s not the amount you put away, but a discipline you will be building. Save because as sure as death and taxes, winter is coming.
At 33 you will work very briefly for a very nasty mixed-race couple. Terrible, terrible human beings. You will feel so tired going to work in the morning and even more tired leaving work. One of them – the husband – will often write you deranged emails in caps.
DEAR BIKO, I HAVEN’T RECEIVED COPY FROM YOU AND IT’S GOING TO 6PM!!!!! WHY??????? DO I HAVE TO REMIND YOU THAT WE ARE RUNNING LATE WITH THIS PROJECT AND IF THIS DEADLINE ISN’T MET BECAUSE OF THIS LACK OF COMMITMENT TO THESE DEADLINES, THERE WILL HAVE TO BE REPERCUSSIONS!!!! (The exclamations and questions marks would exhaust me more than the emails)
Sometimes he will shout through the glass-wall that separates your office from his, an overgrown wazzock, throwing his toys out of his pram. You will never have a job that fills your heart with such hate and loathing. One evening, as you work late, things will come to a boil and you will finally grow a pair and stand up to him. A furious shouting match with him will ensue and his face will turn red as you shout into each other’s faces and you will want nothing better than to smash his head through the glass partitioning. A week later you will write a resignation letter in a flight to Mombasa and when you land you will press send and suddenly you will feel lighter. You will be fearful of the future because you will be a father. But from this couple from hell you will learn something vital; the importance of self-worth and peace of mind. Some jobs diminish you as a human being, filling you with poison, making you feel small. It’s not worth it. You will also learn that you will be fine. And that things work out, eventually.
Nobody will tell you not to get married before 30. At 30 you won’t know yourself. Unfortunately marriage isn’t an institution where you find yourself. It’s unfair to the other party.
At 38 a man at airport security will take away your lotion because it’s over 100mls. You will say, “Look, man, come on, please, it’s only Aveeno, it’s new and I just bought it.” He will just shrug and say rules are rules. “Come on, cut me some slack, I can’t possibly blow up a plane with it, look at me I’m black! We hate loud things!” He will laugh and toss it into a metallic can with the rest of the guilty lotions and liquids. You will be so sad. Then you will tell everybody about it. Everybody. Oh, the bad man took away my lotion. Let it go. Nobody cares.
At 28-years you will meet and work for a phenomenal man called Mr. Ehsani who owns an upmarket mall. He will be a very nice and calm man who collects exotic swords from all over the world and hangs them on a wall behind his massive desk. He will be important because, apart from being wise and generous with pearls of advice, this is the man who will give you an interest free loan to buy your first car. You know how first cars are, you will want to sleep in it. And when you get called for a new job with a magazine, you will spend two agonising weeks gathering the courage to tell him that you are quitting his company which you will later realise wasn’t necessary because when you finally tell him he will be very gracious and supportive about it. There are people you will work for/ with, decent human beings full of compassion, and many years later if these guys call you asking for a favour in the dead of the night, you will not think twice about putting on your shoes. It’s true, people forget what you said or did, but never how you made them feel.
Nobody is born confident. Confidence is like how those Kisiis build their homes in Ongata Rongai; brick by brick while they sleep in one of the rooms. They build it from the inside. Confidence is built from the inside, never the outside. So fill yourself with things that build you.
Of course you will be heartbroken. At some point. There is always that woman who will crush you. Long legs. Ass like a rainbow. When she breaks your heart everything will hurt. You will even feel the hurt when you brush your teeth. You will not want to wake up in the morning. You will not draw the curtains, you will just lie in bed in that darkness, with your heart feeling like a dog ate half of it and then got bored. Good news is it won’t last for more than two weeks. Then one day you be will fine. You will draw the curtains again. There will be girls. Better girls. OK, not all, some will wear bad knickers. Everything heals. Everything.
At 26 you will take up the best habit of your life; running. Running will empty your mind. It will teach you discipline. It will refresh you and keep you fit. It will also help with your hard-ons. You will meet other runners and forge friendships. Most importantly it will keep your heart young and strong.
You have to be in theater to see them born. One will come at 30-years. A girl. You will stare at her feet as she lies there covered in goo under that heater that doubles as weighing scale; 4.35kgs. While shopping for her abroad you will constantly be placing the flat of your palms against the sole of a shoe because their feet grow so fast. She will steal your heart. Another one will come at 36. A boy. Big eyes. Happiest things ever. This one will steal your soul. Problem with children is that they will fill you with deep worry in equal measures as they do with love. They leave you constantly afraid. Fatherhood is a bed of fear. You can take all manner of insurances for them, to protect them, but you always remain helpless with respect to other elements like terminal diseases or accidents or people touching them inappropriately. There is no insurance against terribly horny boys who want to impregnate your daughter at 14. Or lewd psychotic men who stare at 13-year old girls.
Just before you turn 40 you will choose yourself first. You will choose you above everything else and your closest and dearest will think you are crazy and selfish and mad. And for a while guilt will jump into bed with you every night and you will sleep with the lights on because in darkness guilt occupies more space. But then one day you will switch off the lights and you will sleep.
You won’t own a house at 40. Or a cabin by the lake. You won’t be a multi-millionaire. Most of the plans you had for life won’t have happened at 40. Sorry. You will be a working man, making ends meet, hamster on the rotating wheel. Some days you will look over at your best friend who owns a house and feel some form of lingering failure. But you will soon learn that it’s a race and some people have longer legs, some started earlier, some have bigger lungs and that some cheat in the race and take shortcuts. You will also learn that looking over the fence keeps you from looking at your own little triumphs. And they are many, these triumphs; you are healthy and free from disease, you have a lucid mind that is productive, you have a vocation that you are lucky for and you have lovely children who love you and (hopefully) like you and you have at least five people you can call when shit hits the fan and they will come to your aid. Most importantly, you are here. And you have internet. You still have so much fight in you left and if God gives you more years you will still keep your best foot forward.
Don’t ever ask yourself what happiness is. Just be your best version of happy. Pursue it. Be selfish about it.
Your mom will die. I won’t tell you at what age you will be when she dies but she will fall sick for a few years and then she will die on a sunny Sunday…at 11am, if you want to know the exact time. Days after the burial you will sit on the verandah in shags, empty and hollow like a dead tree and you will stare at, without seeing, the large wreaths on her grave now dry from the sun. Then you will grieve for many years and you won’t stop. Good news is that it will get better but it will never be the same. But then your dad will marry another woman, a much younger woman (atta boy, and she will hang her clothes in the same wooden wardrobe your mom’s clothes once hung for years. That’s how life moves on; your mother will be replaced and you will start to whine about it, about “preserving her memory” and “respect” and all that claptrap and someone – an elderly relative – will eventually pull you aside one day and say, “Stop this nonsense, your father was first a man before he was your father. Get a grip.”
Good news; Toni Braxton will never age. She will always look as ravishing as she looks now.
At 40 you will have many existential questions. What does all this *waves hands around* mean? What’s the sum value of content? What’s the ultimate balance of money and happiness? What good is art if it has no impact, if it doesn’t evoke and transform? What bearing does mortality have on your dreams? How does one get to the curve of contentment? Why does Octopizzo with his 410K followers on Instagram follow only two people?
It’s okay to change your mind and position. You can change your mind as many times as you wish. So what if you wanted an apple last week and today you want nothing but groundnuts? Only fools don’t change their minds. You will constantly feel differently about things and people but the burden of guilt shouldn’t be something you yoke yourself with. There is a close friend of yours who will not come for your mother’s funeral and you will feel betrayed and one day you will tell him so over a drink. While the grave is fresh one of your siblings will ask you about him and you will say you are done with him and that level of superficial friendship that is conducted in bars. But then he will later learn that you guys are back to having drinks and he will ask, “Ala, I thought that story died?” and you will say, “ Well, not exactly. I changed my position about him.” You will also realise quickly that people never disappoint you, what disappoints you are your expectations of them. Adjust them and nobody will ever disappoint you.
Hard to believe but at some point men will start wearing colourful socks that they call Happy Socks. This is because happiness will be derived from things. They will take pictures of the said happy socks and upload them on this thing called Instagram which you need to know now, is a mirage, a smokescreen, make believe. It’s like a wonderland where everything shines and everybody is beautiful and happy and accomplished and blemish-free. It’s the only way humans will deal with their insecurities of modernity.
Also, you don’t know it now, but one day you will have to lose your Yahoo email. So don’t get too attached to it because nobody will keep theirs in the next 10-years or so. Well, except for people who type with one finger.
More good news. You will not go blind from masturbation. It’s a myth. Wank away, baba.
In 2017, a good chunk of the urban population will claim to be intolerant to gluten. They will also try to say that chapos are bad. Good thing you won’t listen. Neither will the legion of chapo lovers out there who will fight the propaganda brigade by turning a blind eye to this allegation and retain chapos as the reigning king of carbs.
At the edge of 40- you will write a novella that people can find on Fireplace HERE http://www.fireplace.bikozulu.co.ke/ and on Amazon HERE http://amzn.to/2kBUzei
In your early 30’s to mid 30’s you will lurch often through pockets of turbulence, filled with insecurities: Are you a good enough husband? Are you even enjoying being one? Are you a good father? Are you equipped to raise a human being? Are you doing the right thing? What about your art? Is it fluffy? Are you competent enough? What if one day you wake up and you can’t write a sentence? Is there any other talent in you that you can capitalise on to complement writing? What if you never discover that talent and you die with it or worse, it dies in you? But even more pressing, is your forehead visible from the moon?
There will be an application called Whatsapp that is like a channel that leads social debris into a tepid pool of manure. You will enjoy it. Everybody is on it, including everybody’s grandparents. Sometimes great conversations will be had there in groups, other times there will be a lot of pictures of tits and ass flowing down that murky channel and what you will learn are called memes. But if you sit it out, once in awhile you might learn something poignant, like someone sharing a quote by Toni Morrison: “Definitions belong to definers not the defined.” People might define you but thankfully that’s not your weight to carry, it’s theirs.
I know 40 looks so far and so old right now. Trust me, it isn’t. Try and blink and see if you won’t be 40…Go ahead, I dare you…
Ultimately, you will learn that it’s never that serious. Don’t kill yourself saving or dieting or drinking or writing or thinking or conforming or pleasing. The worst thing is to deny yourself and forget to live for yourself. Time is measured. Jump off the cliff, something will eventually catch you. Beauty is not knowing what.
I’m probably 40,000ft above the air while you read this today, headed out to some place with a view and whisky. The fourth floor awaits on thursday and I have been taking the staircase. Listen, as a “gift” could you all just write a note down there on the comment section what you have learnt in life so far? It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 55, just one thing you have learnt in life. It could be in the form of a story or a gem of wisdom. I think it would offer great insights into your lives so that I see you not as mere comments but as normal people who might like normal things like yoghurt.
Peter Wesh, wanna go first?
we the 20 somethings relate…. looking forward to the thirties…
Well, speaking of people in their 20s, I just got here.
I don’t have much. But this is what life has taught me.
If it doesn’t make you feel like your favourite song, its not worth it. Don’t drain the life out of you in the name of feeding your family or be held by the bounds of a salary. Explore, yes, Jump. You will be surprised to find out, you actually do enjoy the fall, and the splash of the water is, in fact, thrilling. You will be proud of you. Don’t be conformed to a way of life, that course that you still have ni idea what you’re doing isn’t worth it. Follow your heart. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for you to just finish school and sit in an office drinking tea and reading the gazette. If anything, its a little insulting to God.
You have achieved a few things at your age more than most people Bee, but dont let that get into your head. Sometimes the ladder breaks and people come crumbling down. Always stay humble and kind with purity of heart.
Like Biko said, with disappointment,you will only have yourself to blame.
You can not change the world, not by yourself at least, but you can make a difference. Thankyou for beginning where you were, with doubt and fear, keep moving forward.
Love, love unconditionally. But dont for a second think you will save the boy from the burning house, or try and look for the boy who started the fire and try to change him, but knowing you, you will try anyway. Tread carefully, but love as a gift, not am investment. Fly baby, soar with the eagles, bid the forest floor goodbye, take to the sky.
Above all, live and let live. You were made for this. So shall we?
Can i just say, Biko you never really acknowledge the women im your comment section, hmmm??
Should we start a revolution as a marginalised community in the gang??
We need, nay, deserve recognition. Start with She’s a tomboy. Please☺
Here to help you Bumblebee on starting that revolution 🙂
At 29, you will get pregnant and the first person you will think of calling is your dad because the man responsible won’t want anything to do with it or you. It will break you for a short while, then you will accept and love the new you., but fate will have it differently. You will loose the pregnancy before you hold the baby. This will kill a part of you, maybe even go into depression but days get better, you learn to trust the unknown and have an unwavering faith on God, because you realise things could have been worse but He gave you the much He knew you would handle.
You are a gem.You are precious.
Damn,mm……if that’s you in the pic…. You’re gorgeous…. Tomboys dress like and look like power…no I meant they’re power.
sorry for losing your baby and congratulations on staying strong. I had my daughter at 22and the baby-papa ditched us like used diapers. Had to go Through pregnancy and raising her alone. My mom was supportive but I could see the disappointment in her eyes. I still see it sometimes .
life’s taught me that it will be okay in the end. you just need to choose your journey and start on It.
The revolution will be televised and feminized. Like Chimamanda suggests , we should all be feminists where she describes her brother as the best kind of feminist.
Of course not! Can a woman relate to any of this surely? I am in my twenties and it’s all hell! I don’t even know if I’m going to make it, meanwhile all the babes my age wine and dine as “ladies are highly encouraged to apply “. Their form is swatting off guys in European cars at Brew fucking Bistro, I can’t even afford an Uber ride to Westie. Women are capable of anything except knowing how it feels to be a struggling man in Kenya in 2017, and you should be grateful for that.
Brew fucking bistro…take it slow. Clearly your kind of woman is not in there, so just be and you’ll find her
well put Bee
Love as a gift and not as an investment. Thank you for that gem Bee. I do agree Biko needs to acknowledge the ladies of the comments section. I am turning 25 this month and similar to Biko, I’ve always been afraid of aging especially when comparing myself to what others have achieved at my age. So with that I’ve learned life is not a 100m dash race, it’s more like a marathon. Whoever wins the first lap might not even finish that race. Pace yourself, what awaits us at the finish line is death so there’s no need to rush.
41 years into my life I have learnt its not the stuff I do that matters but how I treat others.
To be kind and patient and gentle (because I am strong). And to serve with everything I have.
Life is beautiful 🙂
Beautiful writen June! To be kind and patient and gentle. To serve with everything I have!
Love as a gift, not an investment. 🙂 I’ll do that moving forward.
At 22, the best view of life is through hopes and ambitious mind. That is what I will tell me 18 years to come. That all said and done, i will be forty because of the hopes i had @22.
Ashu, you are very wise for your age. Hope and ambition usually turn into realities.
I roger this truth .
Fourth floor welcomes you, Happy earth strong Baba.we’ll be saying that a lot in2018.
And at 40,
You will have just one year before the big four one.
As a 20 something year old,
I am tempted to give in the idea of being an ant. Also as a millennial it is a very disturbing though, because in as much as we are industrious like ants, are we really being effective? I don’t know I ll just keep putting my best foot forward. My labour in God is not in vain.
About happiness, if it doesn’t smell as toxic as it is In the throne room aka toilet, is it really happiness.
Confidence is built within, you know the saying look before you leap , even when you don’t have a chance to peep, what saves the day is confidence that has been described above.
I heed this clarion call of greatness of ordinary life.
Beautifully written. Well crafted. Enough said.
oh very well put ma’am! and if Biko won’t give you shout outs, I’m over here with my alter egos throwing maaaad props! lol
This is definitely worth re-reading. Your penning skills… I gotta right me letter to my 20-year old self.
Bumblebee, this is an amazing piece. I doubt anyone will read this, but let me share what I have learnt in my 22 years and 10 months I have been around.
First, my greatest question has always been what is the purpose of life? Well, I finally got an answer and there is no specific purpose to life. Heck there is no purpose for anything. realized that by simply asking that, I was way off the mark. I expected a specific reason as to why I am alive. Say to help others, or maybe become one of the wealthiest people alive, or maybe become a master at an art. In pursuit of my purpose I lost sight of what truly matters which it just to be. To put in words of the Tao Te Ching, “Just be, Act without effort, Accept what is.”
So I finally learnt how to live a purposeless life, like the rest of creation (or evolution). I doubt a cub ever says that one day it’s going to be the king of the jungle. I am currently just riding the waves, going where life takes me, and enjoying every moment of it. I might not see 40, and I am very okay with that, but my life right now is the best it can be.
Just BE, and truly LIVE.
I read it 🙂
hi davy, am just reading this now. gearing towards 40 and struggling with all these purpose business!!
Couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your comment
Well mid 20s and can relate every well. Enjoying life’s ups and downs
A remarkable insight
Happy birthday biko i just reached second floor thanks for the insight gives me alot to look forward to.
hey faith, surprised to find your comment here
Good letters and true not only to you but thats life. You have put it very well. The lessons we learn along the way.
Life is beautiful. That is my lesson.
Biko, hats off..a long but interesting read,you had achieved alot by the time you were thirty.. I’m thirty plus and I feel like I’m getting started now(not comparing myself) just a view..I like to think I bloom late like when we eat mangoes in Dec and Jan,only to realize the sweetest ones come in march I’m a march mango..and so yes I’ve learned it’s not the swift that win the race always..so I know sure as day,I will also get there some day.. creating my own happiness every day..
I resonate with you…..as sure as death;I will get there one day.Need I add,in God’s timing!
‘March mangoes’…….it hit home. Thank you.
Bikozulu I blog too and let’s say I’m an Amature but your writing inspires me to do better everyday check mine too http://thisisochuoga.blogspot.co.ke/2017/10/i-wish-she-knew.html
In life I have come to learn that its human nature to look for someone to blame or someone to take credit for any situation that has happened both. I have thus learnt that make sure you understand what angle an individual is coming from, either, directing credit to themselves or deflecting blame from themselves.
In life I have come to learn that its human nature to look for someone to blame or someone to take credit for any situation that has happened . I have thus learnt that one should make sure they understand what angle an individual is coming from, either its directing credit to themselves or deflecting blame from themselves.
Activism. It is not the perfect solution to what our politics, social issues suffer from. What it has done to me is embolden me to act on the specific issues that I find so wrong without having to be bogged down with legalese and so many other processes… is it a wall constructed at night to deny a public school a playground…bring it down. Is it parliament attacking the auditor general for exposing their looting ways? Write them a petition. Bottomline? Act. Don’t make it easy for the the poster children of corruption to conduct their business in peace…
It is also a very self reflective affair because as I act I must be careful not to do commit the same evils I speak against.
I have also learnt, at 2 days to 33…you shall find God… again…
The biggest challenges are mental.
Happy birthday Biko! I hit 30 and will do a letter to my heartbroken, messed up 24 year old self telling me that things will be better….Always a good read…and man, let go of Toni Braxton!!!!!
I wrote a letter to my 20-year-old self a few months ago and honestly, I have been carrying so much baggage with me. I am learning to let go and be present in the moment, now that I know better. Go ahead, write yourself that letter.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced–beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 8:37-39 AMP
most valuable life lesson ever! nothing can ever, will ever separate me from His love ❤️
happy 40th birthday Chocolate Man! blessings!
Good read Biko.. Always Makes my Tuesday evening.
So many lessons there for me Biko. So many!
Well, a thing I have learnt in my 20’s is to keep going. I may be a little slow to impress anybody or a crab-walker but the fact that I am moving forward makes it okay. As you said, brick by brick.
Clap for your damn self because at the end if the day, only you know how far you’ve come. ☺
I have learned in life to take each step at a time and always be grateful..
One of the best pieces I have ever read here. Keep up the good work Biko.
At twenty one I have learnt that everything changes. people circumstances and situations. That life is an unending foray into the unknown.
Attaboy. Thats the way to hit a homerun.
I have learnt that life is mine to live. No matter people’s (dis)approvals, at the end of the day, I make the final decision.
Such a read is what we live for. Just hit 26, looking forward to the 3rd floor #TerrificTuesday.
Time does wonders…..give it a chance and i agree with you that it’s never that serious!!
That nothing is ever that serious… Getting fired from a job, getting dumped by the love of your life (or so you think) e.t.c. Two years down the line you will be wondering why you were so stressed out and why you didn’t just chill out over a drink and wait it out…
A man doesn’t cry and if he does, his tears should fall in his stomach. -Dad-
The best things in life are free…
Wow …at 31 I can see 40 fast approaching….taken w few lessons here…….
However much time doesn’t heal hurts and pains of loosing a loved one, with passage of time it becomes bearable
At 26, Loving and losing is such a painful experience. Probably the second most painful experience after losing one’s mother. I don’t know if I will ever go through that again. I wish it took 2 weeks, Biko.
Funny how the one who shattered (because broke does not describe my pain) my young heart has your name. In the end I’ve learnt to pick MYSELF over everyone else.It always gets better because there’s always better even when you don’t, can’t or won’t see it. It’s been a year since you wrote this I hope you found peace.
Brilliant read for a dull ‘Moi Day’..
Please let go.
In my 26 years, I have learnt to be selfish with myself and to lower my expectations of others.
1. Things will not always happen as you will them to. Don’t get frustrated. Take a deep breath and live the moment.
2.Do not be afraid of being alone. It is better than being disrespected so walk away from any situation that disrespects you.
3. Refuse to settle. Time waits for no man, but do not reduce the jewels on your crown.
4. Do those things you love, even if they do not increase the zeros in your bank account. It profoundly fulfills you.
5 Give compliments and learn to accept them once given to you.
Lessons I have learnt in my twenty years of life.
Therapeutic read Biko.
Well, at 27 I sometimes look at 40 as someplace people go. And I shudder to even imagine that someday I will be that old. My daughter is seven, meaning I have been a father through my college years. My 20s have been fun, stress and sometimes pure frustration. But the smile from my girl has always drove me on. To try out. To work hard. To bring up a little human being who views world and life differently. A human being who can understand that it’s normal to light candle when the electricity goes off. Or that daddy not driving is normal. It’s normal to attend a public school. My stuff is not all in place. Am still begging Jubilee to gift me jobs, and or contracts, but I believe we are on the right trajectory. And when the second one comes, I want to be in that room. I hear some people never overcome that trauma, I want to tell her that am here, push again harder. I will hold your hand, and together we face tomorrow,and find our mark. Because life is made beautiful by the smiles we see around us.
Turning 30 in a few and I’ve come to learn that there’s a lot I do not know. You cannot claim to understand things just because you read about them, most often than not you’ll need to experience it to understand it.
Very true. Most of the time you will need to experience to understand, especially if emotions related than IQ related. Unless you have God given gift of empathy. Even then, you can only come close…
Life is made up of a few good men and many bad men. I just don’t know yet into which category I fall into
Good gems of wisdom. I have learnt that you are never responsible for the behavior of other people. Only your own.
Happiness is a choice, choose to be happy.
, I’m Sharon, 21 years old and 3 years into a veterinary medicine course In my so far very short adult life, what has stood out for me is the need to build the “skill” (if I may call it that) of humility. As someone that still struggles with too much pride to ask for help where needed, presumably because I still see it as a form of weakness – one quote that I hope will keep me on my path to improvement is by Les Brown and it says “we do not ask for help because are weak, we ask for help so that we can remain strong”
Gosh I sooooo relate to thi. It is actually wiser ro ask for help
Wonderful. I have learnt not to sweat the small stuff.
‘…confidence is built from the inside…. brick by brick.’
Very insightful baba.
I love your smile.
On the third floor I have learnt that there are seasons in life and what got you here what get you there. As long as you show up every day and put your best foot forward, you can hold your head up high and be proud of who you are.
Happy Birthday Biko, keep on keeping on.!
Life is constantly on the move and dynamic. Youth brings a crisis of identity .Society most times tries to negatively influence the way we perceive ourselves and others constantly.Its a blessing when you realize the truth of life.It gives you your own direction,purpose and meaning.Its liberating not to be burdened by other opinions of you or by the trends of the times.I fear for those who will never find out who they truly can be and who will get swallowed by the world instead of bulldozing through life and leaving their own positive mark and contribution.At 25 I realize the importance of a loving mother. The importance of following instructions.The beauty of hard work and discipline.The folly of short term pleasures and excitement at the expense of your purpose.The reality that as much as i realize these things I am likely to show my lack of appreciation towards them.That most times I am my own worst enemy.
At 26 you will realize so many things that did excite you in 20 no longer excites. Many that gave you pressure not any more. Enjoy soberness and take it easy.
Biko you are so point on in this article…………at 20 i thought 40 was soooo old now it gets nearer and nearer each day, for me a life lesson is create your own happiness don’t peg happiness on the people around you it won’t last, but if it comes from something you do on your own then it lasts. Enjoy your trip and Happy Birthday in advance.
Have a blast on the fourth floor Biko. And don’t worry, your kids like you; a parent who actually worries about being liked is already liked.
What I’ve learnt at 20. Hmmm. In the muddle of insecurities and trying to find yourself and trying not to skip classes, I’ve learnt that peace of mind is the best gift I can give myself. So I broke up with that boy who I love but I’m not really happy with, I don’t put pressure on myself to do things that my mind isn’t comfortable with in the name of adulting, I laugh and talk very loudly because apparently that’s my default voulume, and even though my faith is very important to me and I really like my religion, every once in a while when I wake up unsure about it, I skip church.
you the boss!
Don’t kill yourself saving or dieting or drinking or writing or thinking or conforming or pleasing. The worst thing is to deny yourself and forget to live for yourself. Time is measured. Jump off the cliff, something will eventually catch you. Beauty is not knowing what.
This is a perfect piece! Perfect. You read my mind after all those 40+ pieces this is the best way to sum it all up.
What have I learnt from life? The gift and the curse of life is that tomorrow always comes; time will never stop for you. Whether it’s the good moments that you wish would last longer or the bad times you wish time would freeze for you. Life is not a movie and tomorrow will certainly come.
At 30. Learnt to give less fucks* excuse my language. This life is mine to live so I’ll live how I decide to.
I’ve learnt that i waste so much time on social media platforms. So every so often i switch of my data and go back to stone age days with my phone ring tone volume very low.
So far i have learnt that confidence isn’t knowing that people will like you…it’s knowing you’ll be fine if they don’t.
Two things that I have learnt in life would be sometimes life will knock you down really hard, and you will wish it’s the end of you, but just somehow things always work out.
Secondly, sometimes when you are making choices/ decisions, you don’t have to involve family or friends, it’s not like they don’t want the best for you, no! You just have to learn to stand on your own.
What i have come to learn is that God really has a funny and strange sense of humor. After two miscarriages He decided to repay me back with twins. Never ever stop believing. I have a friend of mine who once said that people with a GREAT sense of humor are the one who are always blessed with twins or multiple births because they are the only ones who can handle the stress with a smile on the face.
OMG Kemunto my cousin also went through two horrible miscarriages only to get two lovely and uber gorgeous twin girls, I see them and see God. He remains great and faithful through it all.
I have a couple of years to the 3rd floor… I have learnt that everything works out at the end. It’s hard for a worrier like me to let life flow..but I am learning. I will get there.
Makes the two of us. Yes we’ll get there.
We all lose loved ones at some point.All of us.The good news is that the grief eventually fades away.
Masturbation bit Biko…Really! hahaha
I would tell my 20 year old self that I do not have to explain all my actions, beliefs, reasoning and decisions to everyone.
I just turned 30, and i have realised that Money makes the world go round. I wish i had learned this earlier, but this is something that my children will learn at a very early age. Time waits for no man, it flies so fast that you are left breathless use it wisely, and most of all make time for yourself , family and let the people that you love know that you love them, because apparently their lives and interactions with other people depend on it.
Confidence is build from the inside….bad things happen,it takes time to heal over them but at the end of the day everything comes back to normal.
Good reads as always,, can relate since I’m in my twenties
Many phases…many changes, embrace them as they come.
Be happy now. Don’t define or overthink it.
Don’t ever ask yourself what happiness is. Just be your best version of happy. Pursue it. Be selfish about it
25 year old…
1. Never hold off on that compliment or smile. You just might make someone’s day!
2. It gets better… with time.
3. Forgive at your own pace… not cause you feel pressured to.
4. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and even quacks like a duck, then viola… IT IS A DUCK! (Refer to that quote about your expectations on people)
5. Someday, everything will make sense.
Happy birthday biko…..che sara sara – what will be will be…..its been my gem of wisdom for years as i wait for fourth floor next 4yrs. I have read your blog for a while -am yet to read your first book though!
My pal who turned 40 last year keeps telling me on fourth floor you take things easy! so please do – its all about health,happiness and peace of mind! Go through the desiderata on your birthday – it has serious gems of wisdom ! cheers
Wow. Desiderata has divine lines to keep you going.
Happy to meet people who appreciate life through things like Desiderata. Hail jcee
Que séra séra
What I’ve learnt, “Keep the circle small”
So on point
headed to my 3rd floor…… at 23 years or 24, i am walking in town with my younger sister. the sweater i am wearing has a slight hole on my shoulder. my sister sees it and tells me my sweater is torn, how could i have worn it to go out…i told her ‘what people think about me is none of my business’ . she still couldn’t understand how on earth i managed to walk around not bothered by this hole. to date, i believe that what people think about me is none of my business.
if there is anything that life has taught me it that there are no permanent situations in this life. everything, and i mean everything passes…i have also learned to live for today, literally. i wake up and do what needs to be done for that day.
Happy Birthday Biko..!!! May your 4th Floor be full of more joys and lessons too…. Am learning through you.!
Great Read b.t.w…
It is never that serious became my motto.
Eventually something will give
I am 29 with a lovely wife and two wonderful kids. Guess I should be happy?
I have realised I don’t have to be happy every single minutes. Sometimes sadness isn’t so bad. Insecurities come and go…
But once in a while you get a moment that is made up of pure unadulterated happiness. The kind of happiness that makes you feel like a kid, drinking cold milk, a cookie in hand…
Life is for living.
I haven’t read the novella yet but I damn well bought it already! And now I’ve gone to have an existential crisis coz I don’t even know if I have learnt anything from life so far…maybe that God exist & He is love.
Eventually, all things fall into place… Happy birthday brother.
What i have learnt in my late 20s…. “You cannot be your own saving grace most times.”
Everybody that came with you can’t go with you.
At 25. Well, everyday is a story. And sometimes,I feel I have accomplished. On other days I feel I am far from it, I could have done stuff differently. But, after all is said and more done, my only wish is to close my eyes on my deathbed, smile and say ” I lived”.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Deep. I have learnt to do the best that I can and leave the rest to God. I have also learnt to appreciate the little things that matter like friends and family and I have learnt to let go of deadlines because they just create unnecessary pressure. I did not buy a car by 25 and that is fine. I am just grateful to be alive.
That I am much braver than I give myself credit
And its okay not to know.
had to pause and check out the Octo thing… smelling my thirties and life ain’t that serious living today like am not promised tomorrow.
Haha, I did too
Turned 32 last Sunday. There is no DIY best seller on how to live your life. You learn to live each day.
Wao Biko, You always speak into me. Being my age mate ,I always resonate with your writing. This one I red it aloud just so to speak to myself. Getting to fourth floor in a months time and there couldn’t have been no other better preparation but this piece. Thanks chocolate man . Keepit up Biko as you discover fourth floor, that on this floor you care less coz after all they don’t care too.
People will always tell u to quit because u deserve better, but the moment u quit u realize u were actually the best and they couldn’t take it.
Happy Birthday Biko.
A few things at my still tender age.
You will spend a better part of your life trying to change parts of yourself people complain about only to get to your mid 20’s and suddenly everyone is trying to be what you have always naturally been,
You will not always love your friends and that’s okay. It does not mean you cut them off just because you feel like your mindsets are not the same. It might only be for awhile because life is happening to us all and we will have turbulent times that change us.
You do not really know anyone. You barely even know yourself sometimes.
We all need love, the sources are what vary. Some people will find the love of their lives in children and realize you have been looking for it in all the wrong place.
Children are a heartbreak waiting to happen. Don’t bother preparing yourself, you can never be ready for the emotions they bring out in you.
Do not go around saying.; I am not that kind of person’.Sooner than later, you will learn that we are all that person.
It is the friends who are there when it matters most that count.The rest is details.
Parenting will always feel like an internship without ever getting confirmation. you will never feel like you are qualified enough.
wairimu the first statement resonates so well with me!..Thank God am now comfortable with myself.
On that part of finding love, i think ‘Flying without wings’ by Westlife sums it up.
In my 30’s. I have learnt that there are so many things I cannot change and that I should just make the best out of every situation. Life is beautiful though.
Happy birthday Biko In advance. Many more to you Boss.
There are so many things in life that nobody teaches you. Things your parents don’t teach you. Things you don’t get taught in school. I have just learnt them on my own.
1. I have learnt that i have to stand on my own and take care of Myself. It will reach a point where it will be just me against the world and i have to be prepared for it, No one is better equipped to answer my own questions but myself.
2. Nobody teaches you how to demand respect for yourself. Nobody tells you to make sure you love yourself first. You learn this on your own or not.
3. I have learnt to give without expecting something in return
In life you don’t keep score. You will become a bitter aka Mbitter person if you do that. Give solely for the joy of giving. If you get something in return, great, if you don’t, great. Such is life.
4. Enjoy small things….. of life little pleasure. Let people enjoy little achievements like first to comment. It is worth it. At the end of the day it pays bills… hehe.
5. Life is not easy …. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
As i continue to grow up, i am continuously learning that life is not going to be easy, It actually get harder as my responsibilities grow. I have learnt how to roll with the punches to survive and that it is not always smooth sailing.
6. Some people will dislike you for no apparent reasons. Just like that.
Do you blog?? You sound interesting.
Happy 40th Biko!!
At 35, I have learnt that you can have any woman you desire – except your mother and grandmother, and your daughter – if you need her badly enough.
I do apologize to all women – it’s just the way I look at things.
Happy Birthday, Biko. I am about to turn 30 and what I have learned in life so far is that it is okay to make mistakes. Forgive yourself for that. The peace that follows is priceless!
Nice write-up. I have learnt that life changes and does not notify you. Even the best-laid plans have a weakness and that weakness is what will bring you down. I have learnt that nothing good lasts forever so enjoy the good moments when they last and persevere the bad ones. What are friends? Always have a plan B. Move out if you can. You will never have it figured out. Life is unfair. You will constantly be at the bottom when everyone else seems to be doing better than you, deal with it. Jump into the deep end if you have to. Life will constantly hand you lemons so learn how to make lemonade. Life will screw you over, over and over!
And finally, be loyal to your needs
Happy Birthday Biko, this is such a great read and probably something we should all do when we hit those milestone ages… What have I learnt in life? I have learnt that the importance of self love. Albeit a bit too late me thinks but still – a lesson nonetheless that was necessary for me or I would have crumbled. Putting yourself first is not a bad thing but the best thing at times. You cannot pour from an empty cup so if you are not okay, you cannot make everyone else feel okay either. Take care of you and everything around you will fall into place as well right after. Enjoy the 4th floor, it still looks far from my end but like you said.. if I just blink and it’ll be here in not time ha
Its a month to 1 year anniversary since i handed over my resignation. At 35, blinded by nothing other than self respect. Flipped my jacket and walked out from this super toxic work situation to unknown unchartered waters. Has it been smooth? Nah!!! Many a times the landlord has banged my door demanding overdue rent payment. Yes i’ve struggled, but i squeeze up and pay nonetheless.
Mortgage payments are in arrears for over 11 months now. I suspect i’ve been listed with CRB but that’s a set of info i don’t have a single muscle to process for now. Ignorance is a bliss for now though i know it might jeopardise my chances of getting another job.
Am taking it a day-at-time, breath for each step.
Moral of the story. At some point you’ll encounter sadistic mean people. Have the wisdom to know when to fight and when to take a flight. Friends and acquaintances can be fickle. Choose wisely and try to see through the facade. Some people will relish kicking you when down, man up and take punches, they’ll be no menu when karma descends on them.
Don’t forget to congratulate yourself for each day that you show up.
Congratulations for showing up today. 🙂
Maaaaaan. I feel you. Hang in there.
Has been story of my life for the last one year. I resigned in July last year. It’s been crazily tough but the experience coin i have earned is worth it all. Keep fighting, keep learning and keep pressing on. Above all, build your faith and relationship in God.
Karma will serve them, Resonates with my story. Take heart and things will finally fall in place.
Am happy I made big mistakes in my 25th year and learnt my lessons and the greatest is : People change.
Eish Biko…these here are great lessons..
I have learnt so many lessons here especially the 40’s series.
I pray and wish that even as you turn 40 your talent will not die with or in you, and that that day when you wake up and not have a single sentence in mind; that it will never come…
I hope the fourth floor brings you greater joys and wisdom…
I just turned 22 last month and in my mind am thinking, time is really running. in 8 years time I will be 30 but I still haven’t figured out a single thing yet. what I have learnt is that the art of social media makes everything to seem okay while its not. it just helps us deal with our modern insecurities maybe. we have forgotten the art of living life as it should be and all we do is to superficial bonds on social media.
That was great post Biko, I hope everyone would get to read it
I considered and observed on earth the following: The race doesn’t go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor food to the wise, nor wealth to the smart, nor recognition to the skilled.
Instead, timing and circumstances meet them all.
Love hearing from more experienced moms what books their kids enjoyed! I’ve heard & read a few of these myself, but most of them are new to me! Pinning for when my son gets older! I hope to enjoy reading them to him until he is “far too old for bedtime stories”.
uno nombre! no?
Sometimes all you need to hear is that you are not alone in the struggle to finding yourself. And that people have gone through this and have made it! I’m turning 25 in 2 months and I’m scared shitless coz I have not plan… I am as list as they get! But all in all, to this point I’ve learnt a couple of things:
You are beautiful both inside and out baby girl! Stop putting yourself down all the time… Love yourself!
Love is gift not an investment! Stop with this need to fix people! Take that time and build yourself up. You are troubled soul right now and it’s okay… Work towards making yourself better
No man will ever come and solve all the problems you may have with urself hunny! Put yourself first unapologetically
You don’t have to be so damn accommodating! When all someone is serving is bullshit… You need to get your pretty ass out of that situation! It will bring you down, instead of raising you up!
Living in the moment is your motto but babe! You’ve got to chill… All this going out and fun isn’t doing Much for you other than waste your money! Don’t over do it!
Your love for food comes second to nothing, but all this unhealthy food you like so much will bring you problems…. Do better!
You have given me an idea for my next blog post! Thank you Biko! Enjoy the new year in your life! God has been faithful!
I have learnt life will give you moments on the mountain tops and others in the valley, in all moments be grateful, cling to God and keep standing. You will loose some friends and gain other new ones, don’t force the ones who want to go, let them move even when it is hard to deal. Gods blessings upon you as you head to 4th floor. Joining you soon – on voting day so I guess I will write self something.
At 23, i’ve learned that there is always someone ahead, better and on a higher pedestal. If you find yourself before you seek the happiness you see in others above you, moments of bliss follow. Nobody is ever content with progress. Live in the moment.
At 37, that’s it’s OK to fall, to crumple and stay down crumpled till life starts breathing in you again and unfold differently to write another day and read over leaf new chapters in your life.
Happy Birthday chocolate man!
In my few years of living I have learnt that life humbles you. You may question certain situations people are faced with only to find yourself in that exact situation and you finally get their side of the story. Experience has been my best teacher and has brought me this far. Thanks Biko for being real in your posts. Not so many writers can connect with their readers like you do.
Live your life the way you see fit.Make choices that are good for you and you can live with.When things go wrong don’t beat yourself too much,learn and live.Thank God for little mercies,take everything graciously.Try to change what you can and ask for grace to accept what you can’t change.Live,Love and learn.Eventually what is meant to be will be.Happy 40th birthday Biko!
As a 27 year old turning 28 tomorrow, one of the main things I have learned is, 1) no one knows what the f*ck they are doing, we are all just making it all up as we go along, 2) forgive those who hurt you, 3) you are ultimately responsible for yourself.
Happy birthday Biko. So much wisdom. Thank you. They say 20’s is the defining decade. I’m defining mine. Putting my best foot forward every day.
Never say never as your ‘never will I…’ tends to come back to haunt you
People are human beings i.e. they fail, they hurt, they change, they disappoint, they surprise etc
Most important: God truly is good ALL the time
Also honour your father and mother..they mean well always they just happen to be human
My mantra: always choose me (yourself)….it’s the best gift you can give yourself.
As always, it was a great piece.
happy birthday Biko, you are great and as always an old pot of wisdom. what i have learnt? thoughts become things! and i am learning to guard my thoughts.
Happy birthday chocolat man! I wish you a great day and a great year.
I am 35 now and my hardest /biggest lesson has been letting go of friendships andaccepting that its ok to let go,some friendships will not last a lifetime.. you cant be the only one who wants /fights to keep the relationship.
Also being a grown up sucks.
Its never that serious..I take that.At 24 I want to live life in full. Always excited when I remember its Tuesday. Thanks Biko.
I have learnt that we are not a summary of our fuck ups but triumphs from said fuck ups,
Forgiveness is hard work.
Self-forgiveness, even harder.
It takes more than prayer to forgive. It’s choice and conscious effort.
At 20, I’m halfway through college. I know what I don’t want to do with the rest of my life. I’ve learnt not to expect much from people. Buh also not to expect to deliver so much to people… Most don’t really care. I’m learning the discipline of consistency in what I do. Tough days come and go. I’m learning to get by without being to extreme about it. I’ve learnt to respect my trade and I’m still learning to shut off those who don’t. No hard feelings. It’s just business. Change of mind is a sign of learning…
Also… It’s serious yes, but never thaat serious. Moderation and balance are key.
Cheers Chocolate Man.
In my 30s I have learnt that life hands us different timelines for our failures and accomplishments, that all of us get our own time and chance. The trick is to wait for your chance and never compare yourself to anybody. I have also learnt that contrary to popular belief, God breaks our heart, He will break it as much as He will put it together piece by piece; but sometimes, just sometime, He leaves out some pieces.
Learning and a lot of hometakes here.
Well, At few breaths to third floor, I have learnt that Life is about showing up, pushing on even if it’s pushed you against the walls, You will never get stacked. With faith keep on …Love more, hope more, Judge not. Life will surely happen in the course.
I teared on the point, Your mum will die, picked my phone and called her to hear how she’s slept. I don’t want to imagine how it would feel without her.
In my early 30s. I’ve learnt that nothing lasts forever. I’ve sometimes clung too long to situations, loss, friendships and relationships that were never meant to last. Sure like the setting of the sun, nothing is permanent.
Thanks Biko and Happy Birthday..on Thursday.
Happy birthday Biko. Have a blast, it is never that Serious. Looking forward to the 60s
Many lessons there. Good read. At 23, I have learnt that people come and go and that’s okay, not everyone is meant to stay.
At 19 I was already a mum and since then i realized that life has no actual timetable just live it, be true to yourself, be humble to greet the person who opens the door for you and laugh through it all.. It won’t be easy but if it was easy we couldn’t strive hard..
I thank God for the day i bumped into this blog, there’s no day i leave here without something to keep and share.. You such an inspiration.. May God bless you and watch over you and your beautiful family.. And as you turn 40 may all your dreams come true.. Asante Biko Zulu
The things that you fear most, they will happen. One day.
And that will take away their power over you as much as they will hurt you.
It doesn’t help to live in denial of this truth
Quite an interesting read.
What i have learnt so far is that its not a competition- everyone moves at their own pace………..and probably, the snail is slow because its carrying its house on its back. still trying to figure out alot of things though.
At 40 I learnt my father was not going to be around that much longer. I saw it coming way before most in the family did, but that did not mean that the pain was in any way reduced when it finally got here. I saw it coming when he invited all his boys for a talk, saw it when he would take time to show me what he was doing and what it takes. At one point he called the whole clan for a thanksgiving mass. I acknowledged that daughters are a man’s retirement plan, sons are at best support. At 40 I came to the conclusion that crying is the best thing God gave us, and wished I could have that back. I got to know that a man buries himself. I came to the conclusion I want to be cremated and I do not want people to look at me through the glass window.. I also found out that tragedy can happen in the midst of tragedy and that you have to find a way to make the children forget.
At 41 I have realised I am not able to talk much about it anymore but I cant sleep well…
I am 22 and heartbroken at the moment..I dont wanna lift the curtains and see the sunshine but i blv as u said in a few weeks il be able to face the world again happier..Lemmi wait for that time and draft a letter to my lonely 22 year old self…Great read there Biko
Great read. 24 n counting. Learning to take One day at a time. Just be happy. It’s never that serious. Live, Love, Laugh. Even in uncertainty, worry does not take away those uncertainties. I think I should also write a letter to myself at 16 once am Kindu 30 or so. gustochronicles.co.ke will be the platform.
I have learnt that people (including family) will want to associate with you when you’re succeeding. They are not necessarily happy that you are succeeding, they just want to associate with you. Knowing the people who are genuinely rooting for you, early in life, is important.
Happy birthday Biko!
1. You are not too sensitive. You are not overreacting at all.
If it hurts you, it hurts you.
It is okay to be real.
2. It’s okay to have butterflies, just get them to fly in formation.
3. “Embrace the glorious mess that you are”- Elizabeth Gilbert
4. Forgive yourself for the blindness that put you in the path of those who betrayed you. Sometimes a good heart doesn’t see the bad.
5. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart”-Confucius
6. Prayer works. Use it everyday and often in between.
7. You don’t have to trust the process, you just have to respect it.
8. “Most of what I know, I’ve learned by falling and getting back up. The ground has taught me more about flight than the clouds ever could”-Rudy Francisco
9. It’s okay not to be okay. I swear, it really is.
10. Self love is very important.
And a whole lot more…. 🙂
Happy Birthday Biko!! Keep doing whatever sets your soul on fire.
Love the quotes here. So relatable…
You are welcome 🙂
I will turn 29 in January. I broke up with someone I dated for over 7 years, and known for at or about 17 years, in May this year. My lessons, and I wish I could tell myself 5 months ago, are that (1) people are entitled to make decisions, and we should respect them; (2) you can only guarantee what you plan to do yourself; (3) you should never expect anything just because you give; and (4) your best version of self lies on the other side of your greatest fears. In the end, if you manage to stay alive and healthy (at the least :)), you will achieve more peace and freedom from seemingly crippling life events than you could ever imagine.
I share in number 4) your best version of self lies on the other side of your greatest fears.
Sorry. I feel you. That’s quite some years. Hope you got the strength to move on.
I turned 23 yesterday and I realised that I have a lot of love to give. You are good with words Biko but I am an ardent lover with a big heart to go with it. Of course this has cost me big time in the past; forgetting myself in the course of looking out for others. Nonetheless, I won’t stop loving, I’ll just put myself first before others.
so far, at my 21 years of age, i have learnt to make a random person happy.eventually you find yourself happy.
tell someone good day at the lift
the guys that sumbua us girls walking ati ” niaje msupa,” mwambie “niaje daddy” then walk away. thats it
give the guy who collects plastic bottles from the bins in town the apple you have in your handbag
ask a dozing guy in the mat “kazi imekuwa mingi eh”
talk to the watchman and ask him how his family is.
send money to shosho and guka at home and people who take care of them
tell your parents good day
then also, eat as much as you want.
then read Bikos blog and click on subscribe coz you can relate
also, go for art galleries…. pretend you are doing like the whites. drink wine as you stare at the piece and just wonder away people think you are interested in buying a 850,000 ksh piece
choose to take a walk at the highway looking at cars and winking at drivers 😉
learn to listen . and be patient with children. the 5year olds. you will love their point of view
Hahahaha. Ati the guys that sumbua us girls walking ati ” niaje msupa,” mwambie “niaje daddy” then walk away.
Choose to take a walk at the highway looking cars and winking at drivers.
Hahahahaha go to art galleries, drink wine as you stare.Story f my life!Beautiful lessons there and sure be kind it’s free.
Hahaha nice piece Mbithe
Choose to walk at the highway looking at cars and winking at drivers :)))
lesson learnt in my 3 decades….it’s never that serious
“The only thing I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet that someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.” – Chuck Palahniuk
That quote right there makes so much sense now, in my 30’s!
Beautiful read, Biko.Happy 40th!
What i have learnt in life so far as i near the third floor, is that, its okay not be married and not want to get married. It’s okay to like and love kids and not want any of my own. I have learnt that there is nothing wrong with me acknowledging my sexuality as a woman and being proud that I enjoy sex *not sleeping around*.
That it’s okay to not have ‘figured’ life out according to the normal and conventional way society paints life to be.
Life has taught me that there are days when i will doubt religion and question what I was taught as a kid, but I will learn that Faith is important, whether in Myself, Buddha, a tree, a cow, God. Faith will get me through life.
Life has taught me that contentment is in letting go. Letting go of people, situations, expectations.
As a woman, who does not fancy kids or marriage, i’m learning that it’s okay to not be held down by anyone’s beliefs as to what life should be. So here i am, third floor calling and what more I hope for is for me to embrace where i’m at.
True, happiness is built from within .
Its okay to masturbate and you wont go blind, that is so true! But more so, at 33 now, it is important for me to celebrate the small triumphs and to count my blessings. See the wood for the forest as it is.
Biko, my birthday is on Thursday too! Only that I am probably 15 years younger. So yeah, I will still read this and put it into my personal perspective.
And speaking of talents, I have a yard full of them. One on writing, one on drawing, one on public speaking, one on books and did I mention one on writing? I’ll sleep on all that tonight.
In my mid-twenties.
It has been quite a journey. A few gems i have picked along the way are:
1. Finding out your personality type is one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do. It will explain all the ‘weirdness’ you’ve been feeling since you were a tot.
2. Quitting social media( except Quora; Quora is bae) is the best thing that you will ever do for your own happiness.
3. You’ll fall in love and you’ll quickly realise having a relationship will not magically solve all the issues you need to work on yourself. Your partner is just meant to enhance your life, #Saltbae if you like. Work on you.
4. You’ll learn how to be selfish with yourself, totally and completely and it is one of the best things you’ll ever do.
5. You’ll learn to give a shit what people thing. Oh that glorious freedom! It’ll enable you to sit alone in a cafe and enjoy a meal, loving your own company.
6. You’ll learn that you still don’t know a lot of things and that is okay.
Happy birthday in advance Biko.
Quora is bar too. Ps: we have a Kenya chapter meet coming up. You may want to come thru & meet other Quorans like yourself. We even have a WhatsApp group, in case. If already on, kudos!
Quora is the best
I want in. How to?
What is Quora?
Quora is bae too. Ps: we have a Kenya chapter meet coming up. You may want to come thru & meet other Quorans like yourself. We even have a WhatsApp group, in case. If already on, kudos!
Now is all you have have…don’t fret too much…and God always has your back….always.
I relate well to the above Biko.Happy birthday in advance wuod KB.
I have learnt that life has no manual,you have to learn to maneuver around.
Love yourself deeply,it’s the only loyalty you can count on.
It’s never that serious…..no one comes out of this life alive
Life is good with the right attitude and habits, the purpose of life is a life of purpose.
Exactly!!!! It’s the right habits and attitudes that get us through life.
Happy birthday Biko.
Very good read… Q. How do i bookmark on drunk, the online read?
Its like the universe already has a plan for us….things just kinda always fall into place . The highs, the lows, the lull, all part of the process.
This way, with the benefit of hindsight, i’m able to seat back and get amazed at this masterpiece called life that i’m creating. ….
I have learnt that nobody owes me anything and this has enabled me lower my expections of people.
Happy 40th Biko!
I have learnt that no matter what anyone tells you, you never really move on from the death of a loved one. I have learnt that not all big asses are natural. I have learnt that screenshots are a devils weapon of r/ship destruction. I have learnt that i still have a lot to learn
I’ve learnt that it gets better, whatever it is, it will get better.
Happy birthday Biko, thank you for always making my days with every other post.
Here’s to a beautiful 40.
Am 53 days from turning 25 and very scared of the unknown, and more scared that as I type this my phone battery is at 25%.
So far I appreciate the fact that I now understand consistency and persistency beat talent and interest. Even love prevails when the two are applied. Happy birthday Biko
I turned 30 this year and I feel like I am finally finding my true self. What does that even mean? True self? I am learning that having one legit friend who is there for you during your good and bad times is better than having many people who just want to meet for drinks and never bother with you when you are going through a rough time.
I recently got the courage to move on from a toxic relationship which was draining me emotionally. I can say it’s one of the proudest things I have had to do in my life. It gets easier by the day. With this single life, I get to find my voice and do the things that I love without someone questioning my decisions.
I am taking a day as it comes without worrying what tomorrow holds. Oh, and I love reading your articles. They’re raw, hopeful and entertaining.
Enjoy your birthday on Thursday.
I regarded the familiar headlights coming up the driveway, listening to the tyres on the gravel as the car pulled up infront of the apartment. My two young daughters were home after a Saturday outing with their dad. It was the most mundane of circumstances. Just another family routine. Only it wasn’t. The circumstances were far from ordinary. My husband was dropping them off but would not be staying. He had recently left us. Our marriage had been disolved and we were now left with these absurd pick-up and drop-off weekend arrangements. We were officially separated. I received the girls, made polite enquiries about the day, bid him a polite goodbye as he also bid me an awkward one. So long. Till next time. It was, as always a poignant moment.
We had been married for 11 years. Had issues like any other marriage. Nothing we could not work on. But in the two years just before the seperation there was a contentious issue we couldn’t seem to agree on. It was something we both felt strongly about. Eventually we stopped being aggressive and simply drifted apart. The disquiet was palpable.
We seemed to be living separate lives. There were subtle and not-so-subtle hints. I could no longer ignore them. The leaving happened slowly, gradually as these things do and before we knew it we were lost to each other.
It therefore came as no surprise when he announced he wanted out. ‘I suggest we part ways’ he said soberly. Calmly. He was thoroughly prepared. Not surprising. He is a lawyer after all. He had it all worked out. Child support. Joint custody, visiting arrangements etc.He would speak to the kids . They would understand. It was evident. While I was hoping things would work out, he had moved on and was already living in the future.
I didn’t put up any fight. His mind was made up. What good would it do to object? There was actually an element of relief in finally being honest.
How civilized. We could not even summon enough energy for a fight. Our emotional battles had been too draining.He would be back for his stuff. We didnt fight. No pointing of fingers. No apportioning of blame. We just admitted what we had been unable to say. The marriage was over. Things were moving too fast and I was unable to stop them.
At 40, singlehood was suddenly sprung upon me. I was ill equiped to deal with the single life. My emotions were mixed and just under the skin. I was not equiped to deal with them. How could lfe change so dramatically?
Loneliness was an adjustment. I spent the next weeks in a blur. A limbo. It was like a bad dream. Almost surreal. I wished I could sleep everything away and wake up to a bright morning with everything fading into a semi-distant memory.
I didnt even have the courage to inform my family. Didnt know how to begin. I knew I would have to eventually but couldnt face them. Not just yet. News travels fast. Bad news even faster and before long it was no longer a secret. At home and at work. I learnt to ignore the stares. The hushed tones from neighbours and colleagues. My family and close friends tried their best to be supportive. Well meaning christian friends held endless prayers for my marriage to be restored. They held overnight vigils (keshas) They fasted. They rebuked. I watched it all. Removed. Detached. As if it was happening to someone else. I sought refuge in work. I worked hard. Exceeded targets, Put up a brave front but back home I was confronted by the loneliness, an enormous sense of loss, anger, bitterness and betrayal. My major concern was the kids and managing this unfortunate transition. Their young minds could still not process why daddy had to leave. They were in a rather delicate position and it was imperative their self-esteem did not suffer. With time they adjusted and actually excelled in school. This was a big help and maybe it was because we put up a united front in school. We still do. It is imperative for their sake and works out fairly well to date. However they did grow up overnight, and developed a certain sense of independence evident even now. Now both teens, they manage their mummy-daddy schedules and paternal relations. I am eternally grateful for this balance. The feeling of guilt however that you failed your children never leaves. Its something you learn to live with.
When a marriage crumbles you ponder all scenarios. Was it a simple matter of growing apart or was it more complicated than that? Had I missed the signs? No. There werent any. It’s never one person’s fault. It is the sum total of a thousand little irritations and disagreements.The Bible says its hard-heartedness or either or both sides.
With time I was able to see things clearly once I was able to separate facts from feelings. It was time to.take charge. It was time to be completely honest with myself. I was the sole custodian of the facts and with a startling clarity I sat down and analyzed them. What would have been the point of being in a marriage with someone who was aloof, perpetually distracted and wistful? What was the point of staying in an emotionally detached relationship? One that could dissolve in a welter of resentment and acrimony with time? I was so grateful it didnt get to that. We had parted ways not because of the usual ‘bad stuff’ Just two people going their separate ways. The erosion of the marriage had been slow but certain.
The next step was to find the beginning in a journey where there are no roads or signs. But even the heaviest rain eventually ceases and life has to go on. It was time to move on. Finally.
It had been11 years. Everything that I had hoped for had come to this. There were no words to explain. No more tears to shed. But even as wounded as my heart was. I had to try to forget the pain and hold on to the memories I cherished. It was hard to forgive but even harder to hate.Our lives are like a picture album. All I could do was close this page and open another.
There is an ebb and flow in all human events. There is a building up and a tearing down, there are brief enchanted moments in history and in the short lives of men and women, there is wonder and there is cynicism, there are dreams that can come true, and dreams that can’t.
Can someone read this and summarize it for me here-below please?
It’s hard to summarize it. You got to read it all.
Dreams do come true, just have to find the right character for your story. He wasn’t. Be strong. Beautiful writing.
Wow Lydia! Quite a read! Thanks for sharing. Glad you moved and are in a happier place.
Lydia, it has been my experience that kids do flourish when faced with mature and selfless parents as yourselves. Don’t ever think that you have failed them. your husband decided to explain his departure to them and you shared custody and support. Kudos to you both. I found myself in the same situation not too long ago but am now happily married with another child and my current husband has other kids from former failed relationship that he was unable to salvage. I have one child from a previous relationship. All the kids get on well and are well adjusted and happy. The best thing is to involve them and explain the situation. They feel appreciated and validated when this happens. When they are not involved they will have unanswered questions and are forced to guess or take sides without having the facts; not good fo r their psyche. worst case scenario is parents who stay together ‘for the sake of the kids’ but end up resenting, fighting and rubbishing each other – REALLY bad role modelling for the kids, they are not stupid! Also think about how they will be running their own relationships in future. The most important thing is to strive for happiness for all concerned and Aluta continua!
Well, at 23 I’ve learnt that God surely makes all things beautiful in His time. So yes… keep moving, as you put it ‘brick by brick’ and with God you’ll just realize later how much you’ve experienced. You don’t have to move at the speed of a formula one.. Stick to your pace and lane….and faith it.
Am 19…And plunging into my 20s in February. And honestly,, this was the kind of information I needed. I have huge plans for my future but I have known not all dreams are meant to be. I want to be the next Christian Grey,,a young
hot billionaire and has laid a good number of ladies.
Thank God for the 4th floor Biko!
It is very true, children will fill you with deep worry in equal measures as they do with love..
In this life I have learnt to just thank God. Things rarely happen as planned, but thank God. Life is not what it should be, it is what it is, but thank God.
Never say never and never envy anyone, all have their demons they are dealing with.
If you clock 40’s with your heart still intact, take better care of that essential organ….
Happy birthday Biko. You ignited the passion or reading in me that I never new existed before. For that I’m eternally grateful (You should see my home library now- 3 years later)
At mid thirty and I have learnt that life is a mystery. The only way to wade through it is to keep moving no matter what; the size of the step notwithstanding. You will realise that each step counts.
Each sure does count!
I took the stairs to the 4th floor am almost there,Biko on the second my eyes opened to reality
Greatest lesson so far
Wrote about it recently.
I have learnt ” Time and Words, are the backbone of life “
At 30+1, I have learnt that time moves fast, exercise will get you through the greatest challenges (break ups, brokeness, stress, unemployment,loneliness, anger, a stupid boss, you name it) plus you arrive on the other side looking and feeling good.
Loving myself and be good to others.
Build strong relationships with some family members and few friends.
Memorize a line from somewhere (a movie,poem, book etc).
When someone is nasty to me, I recite one of Maya Angelou poems to myself. There is nothing greater than reciting a poem in your heart as someone is shouting insults.
Allow yourself to feel emotions good and bad. There is nothing more destructive than an emotionally unstable man.
You can be different, start late and still make something meaningful with your life. This was my affirmation today.
What would I tell my 20 yr old self? I would tell her the world owes you nothing and live your life on your own terms. It is never that serious and you always come first.
Happy 40th birthday chocolate man!
Biko, I absolutely agree with everything you said about the horrible, terrible job. Your mental health is very important, spending 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a toxic environment every day is simply not worth it, not for any amount of money.
My best lesson so far is this: Stop trying to please people. Just stop it right now! Kazi ya kuosha kuku miguu. This is what I’d most want to tell my 20-year old self. I like how it’s summed up in Ecclesiastes 12:13-
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Happy birthday chocolate Man! May the almighty bless you with many more. May you live long enough to walk your Tams down the aisle to a wolf that is waiting for her :-); May Kim bring you another daughter from another mother and my you live long enough to have grand babies, though I am sure you will convince yourself that Tams bought them from the baby store. Hahhhahha.
I turned 37 just a few weeks ago, and a few of the lessons learnt….
1. The world, read karma, has a way of going round. It always comes to collect. Always. Without fail;
2. It is never to late to travel. If you can give up a luxury in order to save to travel, do it, you will not regret it. I promise;
3. the dynamics in taking a matatu pre car and post car have not changed. At all. Makangas are still rude. Some people still refuse to open windows in the jav. Stage bado utapitishwa. As I said, never changes.
4. You will be up, then you will be down, then you will be up, then you will down. Basically, life rarely remains stagnant for long. Always changing and moving. Keep with the flow.
5. There are cars then there are German machines………I’ll get that car back. Right now travel is more of a priority than owning a car. But eish, Lola baby, Mercedes Benz, you were a cut above the rest.
Eeeiiiish life in this 27 years I have lived has taught me to take it slow.U see this life haitaki mbio inataka tu uipeleke moss moss eventually something must give. Happy birthday Biko have a great born day.
Time flies it really does. Lesson learning to respect other peoples time as well as mine. Patients; this one is a tough one. sitting quietly in a room and waiting not making that call though the wait iskilling you.
And letting go whatever happens happens don’t beat yourself over it.
It’s never that serious, no one actually takes you as serious as you do yourself! Have fun while going through life.
You will also realise quickly that people never disappoint you, what disappoints you are your expectations of them. Adjust them and nobody will ever disappoint you.
very true. we sometimes expects so much from people without thinking that maybe, they have no capacity to fulfill your expectations.
“It’s never that serious”
At 23, this is the age where you realize you are now a mature person.
I have learnt 3 key things in life:
Wanna achieve something? Believe in your self, again believe in your self.
Embrace your fears , overcome them, fears hold us back from being extraordinary. Be Bold ,Be Bold!
Have a positive attitude always, everything will work out for your good ,God is always in control.
And on job thingi!! (I hope you forgive for that.) Started my resignation journey a week ago. Its a process for me.
Life is always better than we perceive it and we are better than we imagine. Learn to forgive and love yourself and you just might see it.
“Black man, you are alone!”…that’s what I have learnt about life at 28. Many will fight with you or besides you but none will fight for you. Pick your arms and head out for the trenches, fight for your soul because only you can redeem it.
I’ll be turning twenty in a month’s time. So, to some extent some part of this letter is addressed to me (Of course others in their twenties). Life has its lessons. And to me life has taught me to never let go the one thing I have in my stable. Life has taught me planning and failing to execute is void. Life has taught me alot but I have to stop here lest cows come home and find me commenting.
To Be Alive and Well, Is Grace Enough.
Listen. You have much to learn from others. That includes listening to yourself, because you too are full of wisdom that you aren’t always aware of.
Happy birthday Baba! Halfway through my twenties, I am learning to do what makes me happy, not to expect much from people especially my friends and taking one day at a time. It is okay to quit that job if it doesn’t make me happy. And take that flight to an unknown destination and reflect on myself for a while. Then come back home and be better.
oh forgot this one..
its ok to say No if you do not believe or feel comfortable in the ask. All we are left with is our principles.loving the third floor am so much more confident in who i am. i cannot wait for the fourth floor.
Am halfway to the 50 years mark..and I have appreciate that pain does not last forever. I have learnt to be more patient, more understanding of other people’s circumstances, to manage my expectations towards my loved ones and friends, to work hard and give my all to everything I do and to know that God is the beginning and the end..the center of my being!
Happy 40th birthday Biko.
At 22 i’ve learnt to live this life one day at a time as each day has enough troubles of its own..As long as we make consistent foward steps however small everything will fall into place eventually.
That life does go on…. people don’t stop their lives to grieve with you and it’s ok!
Love is a decision not a feeling.
Am 26 and so far, I now know that all things work together for good. All of them. Whatever it is, keep it together, stay upright. It shall pass.
Happy birthday, Chocolate Man. Welcome to Gear 4.0.
Deep article today. Gosh, i’ve been on the third floor for many years and life is still teaching me.Where to start;
Heartbreak doesn’t kill, it might feel like it will but I promise you like everything else it passes. In addition, you can’t make anyone love you so do not try, Boyz II men were right when they wrote their song. Your attention pays you, you will get returns in whatever you choose to consistently invest your time so invest wisely. Deep down you always know, you might consult people, the internet or books but at the end of the day you always know and after numerous burns I have learned to trust my gut. Comparison is truly the thief of joy, there will always be someone better off and worse off than me so just water your own grass, that is where it will be greener. I am recovering worrier and I have learned that there is so much peace in just focusing on my actions and what I can control and for everything else rolling with the punches. And lastly life is full of silver linings everywhere if we choose to see them , like this article this morning, so instead of always looking to what is next I have learned to enjoy the present because even in the pain there are moments that crack me up.
Move on from people who don’t make you happy. You and your heart will move on.
If they won’t feed you when hungry or come through when you are going through a rough patch or help bury your parents, then keep your meetings to a bar and/or work.
Try to live widely, not long. Long will automatically come once you master living in the here and now.
Everyone is trying their best under their own circumstances. Don’t judge. Be kind because to be kind to people is to be kind to yourself.
Cleanse your intentions from any impurities. The new black is purity of thought, uttered word, and consequently actions.
The beauty/perceived ugliness you see is a reflection of you.
Also, I believe you only find God once you find yourself.
Happy birthday soul brother.
Fourth floor is a blessing. To look back and see how far you have come and what you have accomplished is breathtaking!. To realise the invisible hand of God that was directing you through all ups and downs and steering back on your road map. Older, wiser and definitely more flexible! lol. Cheers to you Biko 🙂
My 1 lesson…mungu yuko!
100%, na hakuli sembe!
1. Even the smallest of actions to someone have a great impact to them. Do good to everyone.
2. Love yourself. Put yourself first. It feels selfish but it is richly rewarding.
3. Love from the heart, smile more. Tell those you love that you do as often as you can. Life is unpredictable.
4. Make memories.
“It’s okay not to know”.. You had me from that point, I’m not a good writer, never had a liking for English, always been a numbers guy,so please excuse my grammatical errors as I pour my heart out. (that statement has broken a couple of laws, I know)… Growing up I have always been a high achiever I was that guy who’d, after a math exam, sit and bitch with everyone else how that paper was nasty and all and when the results would come out, I’d have a 98 or a 99 and don’t get me started at how I’d be looked at when my paper would be handed out. I was that guy, I would complain cause to me anything short of 100 was unacceptable and that’s how I went through school getting my As and got to campus, wasted more time, attended less than 5% of my classes and still somehow managed to get a first class, in Actuarial Science mark you, and I don’t have to tell you how the stories of a bought degree surfaced but well what did Tom Morrison say again? :). Fast forward, I got a job in a good company went abroad for training and from outside, I was the envy of most people and from inside, that self belief and reinforcement that I was invisible grew even hard. Then life started happening, it didn’t happen all at once though, small chips, ones that you’d shrug off and forget about them if you aren’t the diary writing kind of guy. Now, I wasn’t the best in the room, I wasn’t noticed, in fact four months into the job, I was at the bottom of the pack. In some strange way all that didn’t get to me at the time as I still believed in myself and from the inside, it was just a matter of time before they saw the capabilities, I was to show them that what they saw on the outside was who I was. It took 2 years before I got ‘noticed’ and through that time, 80% of the people I had first joined with got fired and I had managed to survive somehow someway so I still had it in me and my dreams of being a millionaire and the best in all I did were still alive. One day I woke up, okay it maybe wasn’t one day but you get the drift, and I decided this working for this company was slowing down my path to being a millionaire and I wasn’t hitting my goals as I had envisioned them and they were stifling my genius and so I handed in my resignation and decided to do the same thing my company was doing but for myself. I was, 25, the entrepreneurial bug had caught me and I was 25 and still budgeting for my money?! That wasn’t the plan, I was wasting my genius, I was supposed to own a house by now and have a good car and I’d be traveling around with money being the less of my worries. And now I was going to be in charge of my destiny, I was going to steer my ship right to El Dorado and to everyone else around me, I had gone mad! Especially to my mother, his son had been rogwad, cause she didn’t understand how a boy with good papers and who’s always been best behaved was now doing making these decisions that didn’t make sense. I was supposed to be on track to being a manager in some company, having fancy business cards and all that stuff parents envision and their kids, and especially their kid who has been her best performing kid through out life. Nonetheless, I still did it and that’s when I experienced life chocolate man! Sijawahi chapwa na maisha hivo and never have I been confused in my life like I am now, I’m lost and I’m just trying to figure out how to get a footing, how to b okay with not knowing. I’m 27 now and I feel like I’ve lived sijui for how many years, I don’t have my shit together and I’m constantly worrying about tomorrow and if I’ll stikl be that millionaire. From the outside, you’ll look and say, young man, you still have a life ahead of you and you’ll land fine and hujui shida ni nini bado but from the inside, it feels like I’ve seen life and it’s a tough balancing act trying to find my place, balance my expectations of life and what life has given cause you know for us on the second floor, this is as high as its gotten and so our problems now seem like the mountains given how our stay has been from the ground floor to the first. I hope I’m acquiring content and wisdom to pass back to my 20 year old self one day and hopefully other 20 year Olds. I know on the other side of the fence there may be a story more difficult than mine, but this is my story and it’s how I feel it as of now. I hope I didn’t end jumbling my thoughts up and I won’t read this over cause I’ll change my mind about posting so I’ll leave it here. PS:people should watch Boardwalk Empire, that shit is dope! (I’m still a 2nd floor occupant, had to use that lingo, sorry chocolate man)
Maybe what you have is a vision but a vision needs a project plan of implementation so maybe go back to employment, save up and work on a timeline for your vision and work on achieving it whilst implementing it on your free time?
Just don’t take things too seriously, you have already established that you have a brain. A half hatched plan attempted is always better that a brilliant plan not implemented and sitting in your head. Harrison Ford wanted to break into acting ASAP but realising that this would not happen overnight, did carpentry while attending numerous auditions. Star wars made him but I highly suspect this guy still does carpentry to nurture his soul!!! He made it in films in his forties…….
What I’ve learnt? Life’s never that serious.
“When people show you who they are, believe them”. I didn’t get it the first time, nor the second time but eventually I did. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life. Some people are there are season and /or a reason, some are there for no reason and should not be given a season. Lessons in my 20s.
I have just learnt that this blog is frequented by majority under 30 yrs
Happy birthday Biko. One lesson I’ve learned from my mom is to never get tired of helping people no matter how little. And don’t expect to get paid back, do it out of the kindness of your heart .
Thank you Bwana Biko for writing this one for your 20s audience. Am so enlightened, I feel very achieved right now. Happy 40th Birthday. Where is the party at?
By the way can we have an emoji button around here.
Am in my 20s and I have learnt that reality and perception. I perceived that after my 844, I would land a great job, that by now I would be in a great relationship with prince charming himself. In reality, I have none of that. Sometimes Life gives what we need instead of what we want or think we want.
Happy birthday Biko.
My biggest take home is that happiness starts with me. No one will make me happy but me.
Differentiate between relationships and relationshits and invest in one.
Don’t accept mediocrity from people around you be they family, partners or friends.
Take a journey to yourself and find out what makes you tick.
Show gratitude for what you have and acknowledge God for who he is.
Why does Octopizzo with his 410K followers on Instagram follow only two people?.I had to confirm this and now I have the same question..
Nice read Biko.what have learned in life includes
1: Always relax everything will be ok and time heals everything.
2.Never trust a human being they have a special way of disappointing people.
3.Just do what you want to do, you want it, to do it if your soul is ok with it don’t mind what others think
4.Never apologize for doing you.
Waiting patiently for the third floor and when it reaches I will write to my 20 years old self
I like #3
In my mid twenties… the one thing I can say about life is that you do not know what the future holds! Nothing stays the same. Nothing.
confidence is built from within not outside
Things will sometimes work themselves out when you do nothing. (I needed to hear this).
Some solid relationships will be born of conflicts. (Don’t think us women can say this ).
Save…It’s a discipline you will be building. (Yesterday it struck me the number of years I have to retire, but even more scary, that I could then possibly live longer than these years I have left to retire – more scary, I haven’t saved or invested !)
…you will write a resignation letter on a flight to Mombasa and.. you will feel lighter. (i really feel you on this one. Nothing worse than getting up knowing you don’t want to go into work, dreading the boss, dreading the day, dreading that supervisor who hates your guts. I think a key mark of adulting is quiting a job you find frustrating even when you don’t know where your next paycheck will come from. If you’ve been here, no matter how tough the next few months become, this moment and that feeling of lightness is incomparable).
But from this couple from hell you will learn something vital; the importance of self-worth and peace of mind. (Couldn’t agree more. And I’m really curious what couple this is. They sound horrid.).
Nobody will tell you not to get married before 30. (I think only men can relate to this women are castigated for not being married at 27!).
…a man at airport security will take away your lotion because it’s over 100mls. (oh my, this was me this year. I almost cried! Brand new, expensive Johnson n Johnson product! Thank God for friends. They consoled me with how they’d seen someone else’s entire shopping bag of perfumes taken away).
There are people you will work for/ with, decent human beings full of compassion, and many years later if these guys call you asking for a favour in the dead of the night, you will not think twice about putting on your shoes.(God bless people who make our life’s journey easier).
Running…It will also help with your hard-ons. ( Yeah I didn’t need to read this Biko , ,).
Just before you turn 40 you will choose yourself first. You will choose you above everything else and your closest and dearest will think you are crazy and selfish and mad.(I am seeing this with a close rela and I’m hating them so so so much for it. I understand it but I hate it. I feel as though man is not an island so why ignore others issues just coz u can and want to put yourself first? Yet I aspire to a day I can pull the same stunt. A stunt because one day youll get out your own cacoon long enough to realize you need others just as much).
You still have so much fight in you left and if God gives you more years you will still keep your best foot forward.
Don’t ever ask yourself what happiness is. Just be your best version of happy. Pursue it. Be selfish about it.(I think I’m starting to understand this. I used to feel some type of way abt spending time and money on stupid things that brought me joy…but now, I’m not apologizing for it anymore. Ordering hardcover books online is becoming an obsession, as is travelling, etc).
Your mom will die. (I’m sorry abt your mum. This scares me. I don’t want to think abt it. I’ll feel so alone despite siblings and despite being grown. *Shudders*).
They will take pictures of the said happy socks and upload them on this thing called Instagram.. a wonderland where everything shines and everybody is beautiful and happy and accomplished and blemish-free. ( I love Instagram and sometimes, all the time really, I side eye it’s contents, my account included. “So u wanna tell me only happy , fancy shit goes on in your life?”. Never have I ever read a more perfect description of Instagram).
Congrats on your first novel Biko!
I’m sorry, it’s not my place to comment on your dad but I don’t understand how men can move on so easily.
Thanks for this piece. I love such, I really do.
What I’ve learnt in this life is, life is a rollercoaster, cheesy but true. Just as you are sure it has lows, you can be sure it will have highs. The trick is in recognizing and enjoying the life out of the happy moments. Suck the moment dry as you would a juicy bone marrow. Recognize it and even say it out loud like a prayer “Thank you God, wow, what a day!” And then save that thought for a rainy day, such that when the rainy day comes around, and it will, the thoughts of happy days will carry you through and you will be thankful you recognized your happy days. And you will hang in there for a less challenging day ahead.
Time is indeed sand in the wind…. to my 20’s self, I wish I had the cojones to stick to my guns! Re-learning & living the same three flights short of the fourth floor!
It gets better. Don’t kill yourself over anxiety, depression, and the likes. The future will be bright and you’ll smile and say “DAMN! I survived!”.
Enjoy life after 40 Biko!
Two things, 1, this world does not owe you a single thing and second, NOBODY is coming to save you. Wake up and save yourself.
Three words. Trust you gut.
Well…at 29 I will learn that marriage is not an achievement and that goes on when it breaks in any case it feels better after. Kids grow,you finally find yourself and your happiness matters more than having to add his name. Yours fits perfectly well. Life sure does go on.
Happy 40th Biko. I have learnt that life doesn’t follow the sequence that we are socialized to believe will be the case (get a degree-get a job-get married-get children-buy a home). That learning to trust myself is accepting that i’ll make mistakes, i’ll fail so hard and bad but i’ll grow from that experience. That people will come and go and after that life moves on. Putting myself first is not selfish, it’s the right order of life. That’s its okay to want something different for own life that is not what other people want for me. That I am more than enough.
You don’t die if it isn’t your day, and if you are spared surely there is a reason? It’s true that your children are your heart walking about in the dusty nasty unsafe streets of Nairobi and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your teenage daughter can tell you ” you are too nice, like when you wake me up and I don’t get up…so I will just have to be disciplined myself” and you know that you can teach your children something without the harsh stuff. You can make more time, just drop all the stuff that means nothing to you, no matter the customs, the trend, the feelings of people who’s opinion you don’t need to worry about. Love in action means so much more than any other way of loving. Spend on experiences, things don’t last. You can forgive anything. It’s not easy, but its possible. It’s better to be resilient than to count on luck. And one day your mum will begin to lose her memory and you will live in fear of her not recognising you. and if someone comes to you for help, help unless you really can’t. You cannot change the world but you can do something in your little corner (cliché, but true).
I’ve learnt That today is the tomorrow I’ve been waiting for.
Happy birthday Biko.
Lesson: If I cannot influence my concern, I need to stop being concerned about it. Worry causes wrinkles.
What I have learnt:
Be kind to yourself
Prioritise self care
Travel (even if by bus – but just do it)
Run your own race
Happy Birthday Biko!
Welcome to this part of life.
That was one hell of an honest letter..
For what it’s worth Biko, you’ve been doing a good job with your talent.. Your writing does touch lives… In ways that can’t exactly be put to words, ,some form of high, it inspires one to write because you make it look so fancy. Its admirable that you’re earning your daily bread through doing what you were created to do. Very few people have managed to do so. Im yet to, and that makes me a bit green eyed looking at you living within purpose.
At 21 ,
My lessons are :
1. This chase for purpose actually might derail you from knowing what it is, , just focus on your dailies and with time you realise that purpose has been staring right at you all this time.
2. You can’t make everyone happy, unless you sell ice cream. And that’s not on you.
3. Opinions are not facts, , so don’t make them your reality.
4. Sometimes confidence requires you to fake it till you make it since the world will only respect you as much as you respect you.
5. When all else fails, read an old post from this blog. You’ll laugh and feel better. 🙂
In My 20’s I have learnt the value of peace, patience and pain. That sums it all.
6. If you’re not taking that chance because of someone’s opinion, will they be around 5 years from now?
This is a wonderful read Biko!
Only lived for two decades and I am still asking myself if I am ready to live for another two or three. Like everyone else, life has groped me indecently a little too many times.
I had friends who were so close months ago but when I meet them now I wonder what we ever had in common. I do not blame them, no. We just changed. And drifted too. My last two decades have been spent being angry at my parents. Angry at their shortcomings. Angry at their African tendenciesbut the other day, looking at my father’s wrinkled face. I realized how fast life moves. And for tthem to ever have a relationship with me, a proper relationship at this age, I will need to meet them more than halfway. I will need to cut them some slack. See, it was not their fault that they were born in the era they were born. They are trying. They really are. I can see it.
that first am who I am, a better self each day with every step I make forward and myself to craft my own destiny through God
I owe myself to strive to a better me
to live and love unreservedly
to be thankful, manic has opened unfathomed doors by simple acts of grace and gratitude
and am a dreamer, I owe it to God, to my beloved wife and to those in my path to dream and work as and even better than Michelangelo Beethoven and
simple to live
Ecclesiastes 4, it’s passes so fast and it’s so much clouded in vanity
to smile, and experience life
At 22, I’m still learning to let go and put me first..trust is still a problem and not everything happens as you want them to
Insightful words right there biko, much blessings on your birthday
Life Goes on.
1. I am in charge of my own happiness.
2. Not everyone will like you. Be you and do you boo.
3. It may not make sense now, but someday it will.
4. Let you ‘no’ be a no and your ‘yes’ be a yes.
5. Never stop learning.
I have commented on this Biko weekly drug only once… so this is my second stab…I am 22 five days from now.. can i hear happy birthdays. .I had to put an emoji to remind Biko this is 2017 where emojis do the talking…Seriously though I have learnt that it is okay to be clueless…that while we are working hard to water the gardens its okay to smell the roses once in a while..
your college girl
PS: am saving up to access that novella but in the meantime I have this urge that stays until your Tuesday notification scratches it and the cycle continues
Leave it to God and go to sleep.
I wrote something for mum who made it to the sixth floor;
Happy birthday Biko.
To my 20’s self: Most of the “friendships” will be for the benefit of the other party. They will be too busy to help you out when you need their help. Family is not only blood related. You will gain amazing family members along the way. The worst kind of hurt will be from family members and you will pull through it. There are amazing angels all around us and you will meet them daily.
Many a time we forget ourselves in the daily chase of life, we focus on things without investing in self. After some time, you find yourself empty and hollow. I have learnt to take time to focus and invest in self; it has great satisfaction and establishes the very crucial balance of life.
Oh i have laughed….relating to some of your experiences. My take…Cut yourself some slack if you are in your 20s, things will begin to make more sense in your 30s. I am loving my 30s, a lot! Also remember that you can not make it without God. Acknowledge that.
Happy 40th Biko, your life enriches my life in a very tangible manner. God bless you.
The one thing I have learned in life is to embrace the struggle, because it is a pivotal part of growth. It could be personal or professional growth but it all comes from the struggle.
We all make mistakes, Some we cannot get over for many years. But at the end of it all, you realize that life must and will go on. And you make peace with God. And yourself. And you keep riding that bicycle!!
In a confused space and I’ve been replaying this song saying ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself,’ so I got quite taken over when I read that phrase: The worst thing is to deny yourself and forget to live for yourself. Time is measured. Jump off the cliff, something will eventually catch you. Beauty is not knowing what.
It is the same thing I sent my best friend who happens to be my dad this morning.
I have learnt that society has too many rules and if you try to please society, you will age early or die young (me I don’t want to die young or age), so fuck society and it’s rules, do what makes you happy and what feels right to you. 🙂
Happy Birthday Biko.
Few months to the 3rd floor, I have learnt never to worry myself to death. Some times we are in the situations we are in because we lack the courage to face the unknown. No situation lasts forever.Just show up do your bit and leave the rest to God.
Reading this piece and going through the comments makes me feel so peaceful.
Knowing that I am human enough to go through all this and I’ll emerge a better human, puts a smile on my face.
Honestly, I think I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself yet I am just 23.
Thank you Biko. God bless you.
At my 26, I have learnt that being a young mum was the best decision I made and also realised that no matter what you are going through, or how dark your days are , one day, even in the dark, your light will shine and your heart will be at peace, because all that you really want and desire will come true in the most unexpected of ways.
Happy 40th Birthday Biko!
I have learnt that not everyone has your best interest at heart…It really helps if you decide to be your own team, cheer yourself up and just be happy. Happiness is found from within and dont expect anyone to create it for you.
At 29, I have fucked up. I have made mistakes but I believe the man upstairs has a soft heart and that he forgives and that I am still his daughter. I hope as i prepare for the third floor, i will be a good role model to my daughter. She’s the best thing that I have in this world and the best decision ever.
Happiest birthday chocolate man.
I have decided to drop out of school. I am 19 and I “was” in uni studying pharmacy because that is what some people in my life expect of me. “You will get a job ,”they said. “It’s assured. Studying literature is not going to give you a job. What would you do with such a degree. English?!”
But after reading this, and a couple of other things too, I have decided that I will study english literature and/or creative writing even if I am not sure of the future. Things will work out fine ,as you said. I will walk by faith. So thank you Biko. Happy Birthday.
Don’t yearn for a perfect ending or expect life to unfold strictly according to your plans. Life doesn’t owe you that much. If there’s anything I’ve learnt in my budding Communications career, it’s that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end. Life is about not knowing but having the faith and putting in the hard work nonetheless. It’s about taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Coz at the end of the day, it’s not just about the destination but the journey too. Make it worthwhile, make it eventful, toss conformity out the window and write your own script, unapologetically. Live like someone left the gate open.
And about Octopizzo, I just wanted to add that even the two people he follows are not actually people. It’s his pages. I wonder what the people of Instagram did to that omuga.
As one with one more step to the 4th floor, I love this letter and might pen one to my younger self too. I wish you a happy birthday and many more. As for lessons:
1. I have learn’t that you can find teachers anywhere, if only you will listen
2. Money’s value is measured in the experiences you endure to acquire it in order to exchange it for the experiences you enjoy…focus on the experiences, not the money.
3.My dreams, thoughts and values have changed with me and I expect they shall continue to do so. There are really no absolutes.
4.The opposite of love is fear. Fear of loss. Fear of failure. Fight fear with focus and fury. I live in hope that the war can be won.
5. God is Love.
Oh yes, and on the Ehsani’s. I wholeheartedly agree. They are some of the most gracious people you can come across.
“You will also realise quickly that people never disappoint you, what disappoints you are your expectations of them. Adjust them and nobody will ever disappoint you.”
That is what I have learnt on the third floor.
If you wish to live well, ignore quotes. Including this one
Happiness needs no Ph.D or certain Zeroes in your Bank account/salary
Happy bornday Biko!!!! Life is a movie and you are the director.
Making the third floor today. I have learnt that life changes in the blink of an eye. My father has walked all his life and just last month he was diagnosed with neurological disease that affects his spinal cord. And just yesterday i bought him a wheelchair. It is painful, worrying and upsetting to see the man that i have known to be strong (my superman despite him being a typical African father) struggling with movement. He is on a wheelchair and struggling with old age, medication, and physiotherapy, but he is very active and continues to work although there are bad days and good days. And I have learnt that God can’t give you all or take all, He always lives you with something, it’s only important to look beyond your inability. I have also learnt that true friends are very few. I have also learnt that family is everything and indeed blood is thicker than water. Saving for rainy days is very important, because it will rain. Good read Biko, this and the 40’s people reads are good lessons in this life…I look forward to my third floor journey. #TZreader (a lesson in my late 20s, hashtag is a cool thing)
Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.
I’m turning 27 in 12 days and I have learnt to believe in my prayers..jumping off the cliff and letting myself get caught by the universe, having the least expectations of others, and the wisdom to identify what weight is mine to carry to what distance.
Life is never that serious, and even when it is, it shouldn’t be treated as such!
Happy Birthday Biko. I discovered this blog when you were 38 years old and you are now hitting it at the “40’s people”. Tell us how the view looks like once you reach there, after all life starts at 40. In my 20’s and throughout my life I have learned that, In life there are no eternal allies nor perpetual enemies, your interests are eternal and perpetual and its your duty to follow.
30, single, parents low key want a grandchild. I have an Indian of my own(boss) that I hate.
Lessons I have learnt about myself.
1. I have stamina.
2. I love myself. 20 year old me couldn’t say that
3. I am okay.
1. Today of all days would have been a good day to be the first to comment but noooooo……I had yo wait 3 hours to read this stuff
Dear 20 year old me
We write better poems now, less frequently but better and we run!!!!!
It will be okay. And no we won’t marry that light skin boy, he married a light skin girl….we helped him shop for the suit he said ‘I do’ in hahahahahaha
My most important lesson so far – there comes a time when no-one else matters. Just me. Me, myself and i; not even my kid. You really can’t give a rat’s a*se about what people say or think about you. When this time comes (yes, it comes and goes, mainly alternating between me and the kid), i have to be selfish and keep myself happy for a bit. Keeps me sane too.
1. I have learned to seek first the kingdom of God, and all other things will be added unto me (wisdom, blessings etc)
2. To be still and know that God is God (to trust God with my problems and not try to be the GM of the universe).
3. To LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. LEARN.
Matthew 6:33 and Psalms 46:10 Great to see God reining even at Biko’s
In my early 30s, I have learned that my past still hasn’t moved out from the guest room in my life and it constantly feeds me with guilt and fear of the future. I am therefore choosing myself for once and going for therapy to figure it all out
At 34, i have learnt life is never that serious. Live each day to the maximum ans cherish your close family and friends. Family is everything.
It is never too late, you can be better than yesterday. in the event you become worse than the previous day, tomorrow is another day. Never give up. There is hope.
Life-the gift of life-is what matters. The most valuable asset in life other than life itself is health. Any other thing will fall to place in its own time.
Things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.”
― Jonas Jonasson, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
I have learned that money can solve a lot of problems but it wont bring me true happiness. I still value it above almost all things.
I have learned sometimes shit happens and there is nothing you can do about it but wait and hope things work out in your favor. Bought my first kaplot at 23, build on it at 24 and 2 weeks to moving in the house someone claimed to own the same plot i had build on. Now am part of a court case waiting for a judgement in my favor in the next 2 to 3 years if am lucky. If i win i hope they do not appeal. Meanwhile i am still repaying loans for the house i build and i cant occupy it.
I have learned that things change so fast and we better adapt. Last year i was making so much and i did not spend it very wisely, a year down the line i can barely make a quarter of what i made last year. Trying to retrace my steps to see where i went wrong.
I have learned that good sex and looks will not make a relationship last. Sometimes a man has to choose the average girl with a great personality.
I have realized getting a job is great but starting a business is much more rewarding if done the right way.
I have realized i could work really hard, exercise, eat right, quit alcohol & quit smoking and still die young from a car accident or such other unrelated reason.
I have realized that i should not compare myself to others. As i was so eager to make my first million someone else was eager to make his first billion and yet another was worried about his next meal.
I have learned that there is greater being who calls the shots.
Turned 25 this year.
At 29 I have learnt that talent & skills will increase your chances of getting to the door but for you to be welcomed into the room & have a sit for as long as you wish to stay – You need very very good attitude!
This applies to everything in life particularly professional & relationships
Happy Birthday Biko! wishing you abundant blessings..great read as always..what I have learnt as am just about to hit 4th floor. Saying NO is a answer you need not to feel guilty about. Live your life according to your expectations. The first I learnt abit late but it works!
Happy Birthday Biko! I’m learning to find joy in the mundane daily tasks and the usual. And not always chasing grand events. Appreciating how blue the sky is or how lovely the tree right outside my window is. Guess what I’m saying is I’m being more thankful and finding joy in that.
What I admire most is your honesty. And yes, you don’t know death until it knocks on your door. I rang my dad religiously every Sunday only to hear ‘mteja wa nambari…’ then one day, a man picked the phone and I missed a beat, I said to him ‘this used to be my dad’s number and knowing someone else has taken it over closes a chapter of good conversations we had. For sure I can now confirm that dad is dead”
My mantra ‘If I can’t change it, then I don’t sweat it” It has made me live a happy life!
I have learn’t in the past year that whatever happens to me, I am equipped for it,.
It’s easier to get caught up in planning for after school life than it is to actually read for the final exams, but there is also no magic wand to get me to the future before dealing with the present.
That is no cure for this self-imposed anxiety except maybe a prayer or six.
I have learnt to breathe. To pace myself. To take a nap or 6. To take a break. To love to be alone.
But more importantly that, you are damn good writer and I will read for as long as you are writing.
If you want good friends, be a good friend.
Hey Biko, Happy Birthday in Advance.
In my thirty years, I have learnt, for your cup to overflow, it has to be full…you cannot give what you don’t have.
And yes, eventually things do work out for our good.
@ 29 i figure there isn’t much to the 20s….waiting on the 30s…i am but living day at a time. No expectations…achievable goals…and happy
Don’t you cry for the lost, smile for the living. Life’s for the living, so live it.
I have learnt that our problems are never permanent and that patience pays. Believe it or not, I learnt that from two pairs of shoes.
My lesson so far, in the eye of the storm, you remain in control. You have all the resources you need to deal with all kinds of situations within you. At 24, I have gone through 7 brain surgeries, sexual abuse, a diagnosis of an auto-immune disorder, a nerve-wracking heartbreak and lots of seasons of brokenness, I am just about to begin my Ph.D. having discovered that there is nothing in this world I am not equipped to deal with. The universe is in you and all you search for 🙂
Life is short. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
One lesson i have learnt is that life is what you want it to be.you are the controller and its never that serious nothing is worth your own life.true friendship isnt presses to happen it comes naturally
Learnt that Things are never as they seem!
You will also realise quickly that people never disappoint you, what disappoints you are your expectations of them. Adjust them and nobody will ever disappoint you.
Live now…enjoy now…smile now…laugh now…and forget about tomorrow! HBD Biko! Keep inking away great pieces…
At 52 at least I fall within your age bracket… “realize quickly that people will never disappoint you. What disappoints you are your expectations of them. Adjust them and nobody will ever disappoint you”very well said
I have learnt that not everyoneis the same and this will often frustrate becauseof the things you expect from them. Only once you accept it will you see them for their diversity amd appreciate them.
Its never that serious. I have learnt to take one day at a time. I no longer worry about the next day’s work assignment or bills. I have learnt to relax. God does not sleep so why should i worry and luck sleep while He does it for me?
Just about to clock that mid 20s, that 25, decisions, adult decisions to made and in all honesty I m in this confused state of mind right now, Thank god i read this, need to go easy on myself. Breath. Thanks Biko
“They will take pictures of the said happy socks and upload them on this thing called Instagram which you need to know now, is a mirage, a smokescreen, make believe. It’s like a wonderland where everything shines and everybody is beautiful and happy and accomplished and blemish-free. It’s the only way humans will deal with their insecurities of modernity.”
From this excerpt.
I thought I would die if I quit social media, it was just a gateway to offline social currency and I relate better to people more by gaining social reality, life is not based on likes, follows and comments but what impact you make by how you made them feel.
I have learnt that you might have blog and few will read not because you are not talented, maybe you are not exposed yet and that shouldn’t stop you from writing until you get it right despite the typos.
Learning that the best people who exist on earth are overlooked and your best bet for people who you seek help from are going through some of their own individual problems.
I have learnt that meaningful life is immaterial that you can’t buy out some things like death and the finest things in life keep evolving.
I have learnt that you bank doesn’t attend your funeral, of course unless you work in one and if they do, your success is not measured by what amount you had in your account at your eulogy.
I have learnt that time is limited, but we are not limited to time if we use it well.
Lastly so long as you live on earth, you can be whatever race, gender, religion. We can never be the same we have our ups and downs,strengths and insecurities, love and hate….each and everyone of us has just has an opportunity to be themselves…be it!!
4th Floor class is in progress. PERSPECTIVE, learning from good and bad(no scatch that) terrible choices I made on the lower floors. Value yourself, improve yourself and IMPROVISE. Life is no straight line, find a Passion that improves Peoples Lives… If you are lucky, it might make you great friends & haters… As well. Do not conform to group thinking. Read good books but don’t quote others to sound intelligent. Just be yourself only better with every victory or loss. And watch Shawshank Redemption, its the epic triumph of the human spirit. Aluta Continua Biko. Wonder Just wondering if you have watched Cry Freedom?
Don’t over think it.
Never let anybody’s opinion of you, prevent you from doing something you are passionate about.
Eat chocolate without guilt – it’s not the worst thing that ever happened to your skin.
And read. Read some more. Keep reading; especially Biko’s blog.
That it is ok fail. It is ok to love and get heartbroken and it is ok to be with yourself for sometime. It is also ok to love yourself until they think you are self centred.. Happy birthday chocolate man 🙂
Cheers to many more pieces just before you turn fifte and even after fifte 😀
1. Fear really never goes away, you learn to live with it, maybe, overcome… or not
2. That it’s okay to be still sometimes
3. learning not to sweat the small stuff
Happy 40th on Thursday, Biko. I turn 25 the week after ,and it sort of feels like my mini-40
Life is a journey, take every step/floor at a time while acknowledging what you have had an opportunity to achieve, learn from your mistakes to make things better,allow change to take effect ,be happy as you are the only source of happiness for your self. Above all “Definitions belong to definers not the defined.” People might define you but thankfully that’s not your weight to carry, it’s theirs” Always appreciate the fact that there is no one like you, God created you uniquely and for a purpose,,always esteem yourself highly and take yourself as the best ,,,that “I AM the BEST and I AM more than enough”
“I always marvel at the humans’ ability to keep going. They always manage to stagger on even with tears streaming down their faces.” This quote by Markus Zusak in The Book Thief is what I have learnt about life, that we are all mere mortals burning bright like those roman candles till we are extinguished. We wont make it out of life alive, so why be so serious about it and not take it at what we have to offer it. I have learnt that to love, to save, to pray, to read and to give my very best to myself and those around me is all I can do.
Happy birthday (read this on Thursday) Biko.
On life lessons, never ever regret! Life is to be lived now (not in the past), and planned for the future.
Good read Biko.Life has taught me that one must manage expectations especially ones expectations of others and try to make peace with people when your friendships threaten to break.
At 24, I have learnt that you cannot blame anyone else for what you do. You cannot blame your past for who you are. You are responsible for you. You make your own choices.
Happy birthday chocolate man
At 32, I fell in love with someone I never should have. He opened my world up to possibilities I had never imagined existed. He made me doubt and want to throw away all I had worked for. He made me have sleepless nights. But I couldn’t be with him and that was the hardest realization ever.
2yrs later, I’m getting over him and I now realize that even the strongest of loves, or the deepest of feelings can fade away. All you need is time.
Live Life before it Leaves you… Happy Birthday Biko!
At 37years I am still not sure how my spouse and I will handle our adopted child once she’s under our care early next year, but I know it will work out; I have learnt that faith, hope and trust is all I need to take a day at a time.
“Its never that serious”
one day you wake up with soo much money in your pocket you do not worry about tommorow, another day you wake up without any money in your pocket and get soo worried about tommorow but life still goes on.
Be gratefull for the gift of every new day despite the circumstances you find yourself in and enjoy yourself while at it.
1. Have Faith in God and not a human being.
2. Be happy and do what makes you happy.
Do what makes you happy, pursue your goals fearlessly. You will start from the bottom a lot and be the bottom of the barrel but you will always rise. Take care of your health both physical and mental, there’s only one you .
As the various floors keep coming and going, what has stayed with me is that Life is Short so find something to be passionate about, Treasure your mother, Find solace in simplicity and do remember to enjoy the ride. Above all else be the best version of yourself.
A couple of months ago I almost lost my life. And now I have to live with the scars of that. I’m sure people will look at me and wonder what happened. Some will gather courage to tell me how sorry they are. But what I wish is they tell me “congratulations for living”, for making it alive.
I look at my scars and see something else: a girl who was trying to cope with something horrible that she should never have had to live through at all. My scars show pain and suffering, but they also show my will to survive. They’re part of my history that’ll always be there.
One year shy of 3rd floor, I have learnt :
*Comparison is the thief of joy
*Fear killed more dreams than failure
*Whatever it is, it could have been worse
*Nothing is constant, both the good and the bad
*Life is short so try make it worthwhile. Don’t take for granted time, God and people
When you encounter the happy, live in that moment for as long as you can. Smile and tuck it away in your memory to be looked at whenever needed 🙂
When you encounter the bad, don’t live in it the moment. Let it pass as quickly as it can. Don’t focus on it and, whatever you do, don’t grab onto it 🙁
When you find yourself in the filler, search for the happy moments. Realise that it is in the filler moments where both happy and bad float around, waiting to be noticed by whoever chooses to focus on them 😉
And if this is too complicated to follow, just smile and laugh as much as you possibly can 🙂
I heard this yesterday and it upended my brain on its brains.If your life was a book and you were the author what kind of story would you write. And BAM it hit me right there ! Right there. This is it. Thirties has been giving me a serious kick in the shin. I used to be so career minded until I made one wrong move and now I am stuck in rut.
My self confidence has been slowly eroding. I had an existential crisis a month ago and the head for me was when I found myself apologizing to someone to please accept me and all my flaws please I am a good woman I am an intelligent woman.
Dealing with loneliness and slowly learning to understand that the social convention definition of loneliness is not the lack of someone to keep you warm at night but the lack of someone you can call when you’re drowning or when you win at life.
And slowly the train is finding itself back to the tracks. The self as-sureness of my twenties cos once reality hits you in your thirties man those anchors are important.
And money.Lets talk about the money
what I’ve learnt in the 24 years that I’ve been on this earth can b e summed up in a few words from a quote I read in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods novel;
“life is a game, life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you are alive, and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it”
happy birthday in advance Biko. My dream in life is to meet and shake your hand one day, then and only then will I have something to tell my 10 year old self.
Happy birthday in advance Biko. I’m two steps to fourth floor . What have I learnt so far in life? A lot. But my favourite lesson is that I am the only me there is and will ever be. That I am a gift to myself from God my creator. That before I was ‘defined’ as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend, a client, a neighbour, a boss, a patient, a customer, …….I was me. That it’s therfore okey to choose me, to fix me, to pray for me, first , before everyone and everything else. Because if I am a mess , I mess all these other ‘definitions’ of me.
Biko, Thanks for this. Wonderful lessons here. There is no guarantee in Life. Love, Live and Pray!
Very good read. You never dissapoint Biko. Personally in my 20s I’ve learnt to appreciate the small pleasures in life. Don’t be in a hurry, don’t rush life. Always be grateful for what you have cause there’s always someone in a worse situation somewhere else. Things always work out eventually.
Happy birthday Jackshon.
Chief. Leo you were here early?Kwani there was juice and muffins and hukuniambia?
Having been on the 2nd Floor for almost 4 years now, nearing 5 in a month… I have learnt to trust God and his plans for each and every one of us. To love myself no matter how many times I fall and make mistakes, to let go of people and things not made for me no matter how much it hurts, to wake up each day with a grateful heart and life will surely begin to feel like a gift and a blessing, to be kind to each and every person around me and smile more so much more… But most importantly I have learnt to appreciate the little things in life such as a good morning text, sharing a meal with loved ones, laughing till it hurts and just being apologetically me.
Biko, your writing inspires me so much, my Tuesdays are made brighter and happier just by coming here. Happy Early Birthday Chocolate man, I propose a toast to you and the new adventures of the 4th floor 🙂
What good is art if it can’t change people’s lives? By far my favorite writer. lessons? Life is a direction, not a place.
Good read Biko. Well, l’ve learnt that it’s in man’s nature to live defiantly and ironically fastidiously. But sifting through this shitstorm, I’ve come to the conclusion that to learn from your own mistakes, one may need to live twice. Considering that’s not happening, I make a point of learning from other people’s experiences. That way, I have avoided pitfalls I would otherwise have fallen prey to.
I have learnt and I am still learning, ‘To live in every moment because it is meant for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be there.’
To choose a life of happiness, that way, we love our life and the imperfection that births the beauty of life.
I don’t want to look back at a life summarized by a girl who was more conscious of what tomorrow held , than of what i had at the moment.
Happy Growing day Biko, grow wiser not just for you but for Tamms and Kim and for anybody you may meet in life even me.
You wanted our feedback on what we’ve learnt in life….there.
When you find something or someone that makes you feel good, that builds you, makes you smile like an idiot when you think of it or them, hold on to it at all costs. Fight for it with every ounce of strength. Regardless of your family’s opinions, or your friend’s. Death is inevitable, but I’d rather die having loved.
I have learnt that we do not have forever. We wait for too long to start or make things right and sometimes it gets too late. And everything is taken away from us and you are left with your broken self. Taken positively it can be the greatest lesson.
I turn 22 today. I have learned that:
1. Your will is not always God’s way so let His be yours.
2. Time will always tell.
3. Love. Love people for who they are. It is the only thing you can give and continue giving. Even from a distance.
Happy bday Chocolate man,
Things will always fall into place
It’s important to forgive yourself
Giving to the less fortunatel is great,whether it’s your time or finances
Having a loving family is a blessing
You don’t have to have same achievements as your friends
Some friends will always, always have your back,appreciate them
As one in the mid-stairs of 2nd floor, I’ve come to subscribe to the words of William Woodsworth “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was forever heaven.”
Happy 40th Sir.
Just turned 26:
-Live your life. It doesn’t matter what the next person says or thinks,that’s up to them
-Some we lose, some we learn… it’s as easy as that and the earlier one realizes so, the better one is at peace with themselves.
-Chapo, yogurt, cake because…why not!
Happy Birthday Biko!
With every hardship there are multiple easy out!.. With every hardship comes ease.
Real happiness comes through creating smile and hope for in other.
To be contented, compare yourself to those below you. To be stressed always look to those above you!
I just turned 21 had my fare of up’s and downs but mostly up’s. I have learnt the art of being present, saying what you mean (mostly) and that it’s never black and white.
I also do know that I can travel through books (clearly money is an issue) and that’s enough for now.
We must let life constantly surprise us
Forever a student of life.
Happiest birthday Biko, my public finance lectures have been better because your articles pop just in time when the lecturer starts her endless repetitive stories.
More good news. You will not go blind from masturbation. It’s a myth. Wank away, baba. You are an idiot, you are a gem, ha ha ha. Happy 40th, chocolate baba.
Happy 40th Birthday Biko. Very good piece with lots of lessons.
At 29, I have learnt that life is as it is. I got to live it forward. One day at a time. That I am answerable to self – Only to self. And that the world owes me no apology and therefore I live life with no excuses, no apologies to any one and deep gratitude to self and the One Above.
loosing your parents at an early age is the most painful thing there is in this world. Suddenly, you stop enjoying living.
As you once said, is like drinking tea from a cup which has no handle. Sad.
1.sometimes profound wisdom comes from the unlikeliest sources; from constant failure.
2.To make an impact in life,one has to combine knowledge with wisdom
Don’t ever ask yourself what happiness is. Just be your best version of happy. Pursue it. Be selfish about it.
I learnt about heartbreak at the ripe old age of 40! You’re never to old for heartbreak!
Lesson at 27: Just shut up and listen. To people, to the birds, to traffic, to silence.
Happy Birthday Biko, am in third floor and what i can say there is no perfect guidelines to life, indeed you will get disappointment on your expectation from people around you, even family sometimes. Being mum, i prayer my son be a respectable, honest, kind, humble and above all God fearing. i want to find true love, don’t want to grow old lonely. i take life one step at time’s so fur God have been faithfully.
So many interesting comments: my biggest lesson. I am; I am still here.
I haven’t learnt to forgive myself for the mistakes I make and to let go of things is always a struggle I always fight to hold on.
But I’m learning i have so much to learn everyday is a learning experience…
Just 19 have a long way to go
Aptly put..strangely sobering! It’s not people that dissapoint is, it’s our expectations. 2 years to 40, and your article’s just made me enjoy where I’ve come from and look forward to where I’m heading
I turned 23 last Friday,
Today I went for my first interview. A student’s election council interview at the university. I left the place feeling so small. They said I didn’t have enough certificates to prove I could count damn votes. Something inside kept telling me maybe am not good enough for anything. It made me reflect on what I have been doing with my life. I may not be the most hardworking person on earth-but I do my best, and after reading this
Its okay to doubt yourself coz that way you make yourself better. Its okay to fear for the future, its okay to take a leap and fall but do not be too hard on yourself. There are enough people out there to do it for you. Do your best and let things fall into place, it did before, it will again
You don’t have to be
Happy Birthday Biko! Will join you on the 4th floor in Dec. Looking back, one should never loose focus on what you really aspire to be. At twenty you already figured out your talents or at least you think you know. With all the emotional roller-coaster rides never loose your focus. You can keep changing the end picture, but keep going. Don’t be afraid to jump ship when you can, for it’s by swimming through the currents that you realize how strong you really are. I have changed industries several times trying to figure out the exit from this rotating wheel. One thing is for sure ‘Dreams do come true! You have to work really really really hard for it!!!” – Diddy
Happy 40th birthday Biko. The warmest of wishes and good fortune from the Lord.
That said, I’m more mellow in my 27th year in this earth because I’m my biggest fan. I hype and big myself up. That Kris Jenner meme of “you’re doing amazing sweetie….” is me to me.
I deserve every good thing that comes in my life and can’t be assed with negativity.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect it. Make the best of every situation
Happiest Birthday Chocolate man! Looking forward to climbing 4th floor in a few years to come
Life is a school & I am a student.
I Have learnt to stay on my lane at my pace.. and everything falls in its place….it may not be at my time but eventually they do…and at that time.. life happens.
Happy Birthday Bikozulu! You are officially my favourite African writer! Barikiwa
Now that am half way to third flow, the advice comes in handy. so far have learnt to be at peace with myself and take it one step at a time like that kid who tries to make their first steps.
At 26 I have learnt that the people/person you trust most will disappoint you. You won’t be believe for sometime, then it will hit you.
That been selfish with yourself will actually attract more positive energy.
At 27 you will work very briefly for a very nasty Man. Terrible, terrible human being. You will feel so tired going to work in the morning and even more tired leaving work. He will often write you deranged emails in caps.
(I wish I could share today’s email.. Exhausting)
All the times he will shout through the glass-wall that separates your office from his, You will never have a job that fills your heart with such hate and loathing.
But from this Man from hell you will learn something vital; the importance of self-worth and peace of mind. Some jobs diminish you as a human being, filling you with poison, making you feel small. It’s not worth it.
There I sign My resignation.
My lesson Hard work so far is killing me and not paying me. To my 20 year old self. Do not stress about, You will have more time to stress in you future . (Sigh)
Nothing is worth your peace of mind.
Do it anyway.people will judge you whether you do it or not.
Smile. It works like magic
“More good news. You will not go blind from masturbation. It’s a myth. Wank away, baba.” hehehehehe…..
I’d probably say to my 20’s self, Hey…it’s gonna be alright.
You don’t have to be the best in everyone’s eyes. You’ll never be
Happy birthday Biko
Happy Birthday Biko. A few lessons from life:
>Some things happen at their own time. This is more clear in hindsight coz they don’t come labeled; we have to keep doing what needs to be done.
>When you acquire the tag ‘Unreliable’ at least half of you is dead.
>Don’t think that because you’re kind to people they’ll reciprocate…chances they’ll screw you more than twice. Be kind anyway.
God will always come through; whether you deserve it or not
*Kirimu kithiaga na mai, gikiuragia, ngumia ndigwo?*………Life lesson from my old man. Translation: Back in the day when there were no busses and the only means of transport was walking people used to walk in groups. So when you were in a group you walked together stoped together and did everything together. But all this time remember our digestive systems work in separate ways not together. Therefore, when you had to go either you stop on your own or if you’re a fool you would refuse to go because you want to keep up with the group hence you would go on yourself and hence take the rest of the journey smelling of shit just to keep up with the group.
This is deep stuff
I’ve learnt that I do not have to explain myself and that you sometimes miss the things about people that you think annoy you after they are gone, for good.
The biggest and most important lesson i have learnt in all of my years is that “… it is never that serious..” and it does not have to be
At 42, I have learnt albeit late that all what that matters in life is happiness. I repeat happiness. Go for that thing that makes you happy and abandon/leave what brings stress or unhappiness in life.
Trust the book cover to have happy socks…lol!
Happy birthday chap. Roughly twice my age! My definition of life is some sort of repetition.Nothing new, everything has already happened before, sometimes not to us directly. Our daily routine is actually to find ways of surviving through the entire process.
Am at 3rd floor and I have learnt to forgive myself and to be a bit compassionate with myself for mistakes that I make because am human.
To forgive myself for relationships that never worked and a heart that is still trying to find healing.
And that there is that one person who will always have your back no matter what, when you find that person keep them as a treasure.
. The worst thing is to deny yourself and forget to live for yourself. Time is measured.
Life is a song. I’ve learnt to take one step at a time and learn from my mistake. Celebrate those trumps. Indeed.
Thank Biko. Your articles make me smile and tear in equal measure.
At 27, I realize the world owes me nothing and that hitting the gym should be a necessity rather than a choice.
At 21 I have learnt to say my goodbyes passionately, and fiercely.
I don’t just mean the forever kind goodbyes, the ones where the ground feels like it is shaking beneath you and you taste salt in your mouth as you say it. I mean the everyday goodbyes, the ones where you hug someone before they leave your home after a very warm dinner on a very cold night. You never know when you will see them again, or if ever.
Hug, hug those you love hard and let go only when YOU feel like it’s time.
Secondly, find someone for whom you think you could break your rules for. Whether you do or do not break these rules does not matter. What position they take in your life doesn’t matter. Just find them and watch how they slowly change your life.
Alaric Moras, 21
Starry Eyed Indian in Paris
It is ok to give yourself time before you forgive. Sometimes it takes time. That’s ok. You might never forget the offender nor the offence. You appreciate the lesson.
Happy 40th Biko…if anything , tuesdays are better coz of u..u d gift …cheers
I have learnt to be content and thankful. The mere ability to breathe every morning is blessing enough from the Man above. That Life is never a race between you and others. But between you and your dreams. You chase your dreams. All that we can have and should never lose is HOPE. And as Bob Marley said, “We will survive in this world of competition.”
Being in my 20 something …Expectations can ruin me, accepting things as they are will help me from getting wrinkles. Love truly, just got obsessed with saving and I love it. Let me see if my 30’s will have some similarities to yours.
Action and reaction. Your actions are bound to have repercussions. Learn to take responsibility for your acts early enough. It will save you a lot of trouble.
I just turned 29 last month, although technically I ought to be 30, 31 or something. The thing is I never saw my birth certificate. My late mother must have misplaced it. When applying for my ID, my dad said I needed to cheat about my age because I was already 20, 21 or thereabout. As such, my dad said the local chief would ask for a bribe since I was already a Kenyan citizen without an ID. And since my dad could never get that cash, I had to steal 1, 2 or three years from myself. Nonetheless, I have naturally learnt to appreciate the deficit of my age. Things get real when you are 29 years old. Scary as shit!!! You wish you didn’t go for that ID earlier than you did. You wish you didn’t buy drinks for that light skin lady from Kilimani Mums. It is even scarier when you look around and all your exes are either happily married with two kids, or planning for their honeymoon in Dubai. Worst is your latest exe (barely three months ago) who is now dating some Italian guy and spend every weekend in Enashipai, Diani or other places that have menus of shit you’ve never tasted let alone pronounce. At that point, you remember the quote by Blaise Pascal; All humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room. And so, you seat in your confused bedsitter room, and start to reflect on how fast shit has escalated in your life. Less than 2 years ago, you lived in a well-furnished two bedroom house, you had your first car and had enough savings to binge drink every night of the week. But as you reflect, Johnny, your 24 year old neighbour is disturbing the air with exotic and loud soundtracks with his 21 year old clande he just chipo-fungad from the club. So you decide to put some loud music. The first song is Choices by E-40. As the song plays, that kasound deep in your head starts to sing along, but only addressing you this time;
Kasound: You got a wife?
Kasound: You still get laid?
Kasound: You got any cash?
Kasound: Do you eat everyday yup!
Kasound: You got things in control?
Kasound: You act like you got things in control though?
Kasound: So what next now?
Before you answer that, a knock on the door. It’s Johnny. He goes like;
“Oya! Buda, manze nisaidie na gas yako. Kuna mdem kwa hao anadai kupika na sinanga gas mse!”
Then I am like;
“No worries bro, but usipike githeri nayo.”
As Johnny goes with you 6kg gas cylinder, you go back to your music and now its Bank Otuch by Vicmass playing. This ain’t your stuff bro! You turn off the music and just stare at the ceiling. Then you realize, hey! I am healthy. I have somewhere to sleep. I am not stressed about diaper. I am not stressed about car insurance. I am not stressed about taking a girlfriend for a date. Maybe things are not as bad as I think. Anyway, my point is this; the standards of life today are highly overrated. A good job. A good car. A good wife. A good house… in that order. We struggle too much for validation. We compromise our principles just to fit in. We forget to go after the things that make us happy and simply confine our efforts to what the world wants. I gave up that life. I live my life as it is. Comparing yourself with other people will literally kill you. To put it simple: one, always act like you are always on your own, two, if you fall in love, make sure to occasionally wake up and see how the rest of the world is fairing, and three, secure your child’s birth certificate!
Another lesson from your younger uncle!
My birthday is also on Thursday.
Turning 21. Gasp.
What I’ve learnt, no one has it all figured out. Everyone’s just trying out here. & that’s okay. So I’m allowed to slip up trying to find my way home..
oh sure, we are all allowed to trip and happy birthday in advance
Happy Birthday chocolate Man!..
I always look forward to reading your blog..
The one thing that I’ve learned thus far is “I am exactly where I’m supposed to be..”
3 things I’ve learnt in my early 20s:
1. When you push, you will eventually see results
2. Happiness comes from within. It’s not the money. Although being broke sucks.
3. Comparing yourself to peers who are doing ‘better’ only dims your shine. Don’t compare; you don’t even know their story.
Welcome to 4th Floor! Great place to be. I have learnt one thing, it is never that serious. Live life to the fullest. Love people, do not hoard things. Help people when you can and are in a position to help them. Coz when you are gone, you leave it all here – cars, homes, clothes, shoes etc
At 19, you will go to the University and promise yourself to pray and stay away from boys. You might hold up, or you might fall in love, have sex, feel guilty about it, then accept that good sex is thrilling, and move on to other issues, like business ideas that will help you in your 40s….Great article Biko
….at 24 and studying in a foreign land, I learnt that there is no pain in always trying and trying and trying….. I tried severally and finally got what I wanted and I am still trying and taking a shot at other opportunities. On love, it is a decision, not a feeling (decided to love despite the distance), been heartbroken before and I learnt from that. Confidence, like Biko said it is inbuilt and am building it especially now that I am in a new environment. Upholding one’s values and respect and appreciating others no matter how small the act goes a long way. I loved this article. Cheers!!!!!
Being in my 20s i can say lots of stuff worry me. Day in day out i literally tend to be so hard on myself. Sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night and ask myself loads of unanswerable questions. I doubt my ability of doing things; more often i question my confidence. So many times have i accused myself of not doing enough, not trying enough. BUT Biko thanks for the kicks have had since i joined this family. Things will work out, it may not be now but eventually.
With Gods grace and Mercies.
They say Responsible is taking the gift you have and impacting on other peoples lives.
Happy birthday in advance!
‘your heart will feel like a dog ate half of it then got bored…’ laughed like a loon at this part!
Currently 22. I work at an office where everyone is a decade onwards older than me and they marvel at my age/youth. As far as I’m concerned, being young only counts if you know how long you’ll be around for, because it’s becoming clearer each day that life is far too short. While we’re told to take it easy, give yourself time etc. I can’t help but worry that I won’t have enough time to LIVE and become. I could hope for fifty years but maybe I just have five. I wish I were older, because that would mean I had lived longer.
I just turned 23 last month, does that make me in my mid twenties?
Life lesson: trying to swallow a hot sweet potato has never really ended well.
On a serious note, it’s confusing out here(being in your twenties) and demanding but what i can really say is ,listen to what everyone says to you, especially the useful stuff then choose what you really want to do. I mean at the end of the day nobody else is questionable for your choices other than yourself. Oh! and one last thing, don’t beat yourself up about those silly mistakes you make,how else would you really know if something is right or wrong?
Happy birthday Biko, maybe someday, just someday you’ll get to tell us something in the 40’s people segment.
I am 20… I try to live by honesty even when it could get me into trouble. I admire people who have perfected their art, like you…musicians, teachers, you know.
I go to church. I know God helps. And i know that time heals, it’s okay to cry. Dear 40 year old Linna, i hope you don’t look back ruefully. Live life.
No one cares half as much about my life as I think they do. So I stopped caring what people think. I just do me. Best lesson of my 20s.
Follow up lesson- I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Maybe dating a bunch of guys and meeting new people is where I need to be right now. Not looking for a life partner. I have the rest of my life to be in a relationship so why not enjoy being on my own now and seeing what life has to offer? This realization has been my biggest source of joy now, in my mid 20s. I wish I’d come to it sooner.
I am two steps away from the forth floor and boy have I learnt a few things. That the older I get the less friends I have.I have become somewhat of a loner….I’m very comfortable in my own company. In my 20’s the girls that i thought would be my best friends forever cannot make it to top five. Interests have changed, opinions have changed, passions have changed
I’m at the point where i look at life and ask what it is about. When shall we own our own home, piece of land in some leafy suburb, drive a big fancy car etc. I feel like i have been left behind and as soon as i begin to think that, I slap myself back to “who said that i should have these things by a certain age”? “Whose standards are these and why must I live by them” ? Who am I in a competition with?
I live my life, not compared to Mary or Jane but mine. The one God has blessed me with and I’m fighting those demons in my head telling me that I’m doing quite badly and I hold onto the fact that God has said that ” He will make all things beautiful in His time” . That gives me peace and the courage to live my life, my way.
Happy Birthday Biko!
I’m turning 24 in a few (oh God….) and some of the things that I have learnt in my short adulthood have been outlined in the post. Summary;
1. Run your own race.
2. Water your grass. Stop looking at the other one and wishing it was yours
3. Build people. They open doors for you.
4. Always be kind. Not because there is something in it for you, because it is a good thing to do.
5. Live, Laugh, Love. Repeat.
My lesson so far is ‘dont fucking lend money to anyone.. ‘
I’m 21 and so far one of the important life lessons I have learned so far is that you will naturally gravitate to that which you enjoy most and as a by product, other things in your life will improve and be more enjoyable. The people you spend time with, the things you eat, the opportunities presented to you etc.
Also don’t deny your nature. When you accept who you are, what you like and dislike, what values are genuinely important to you etc. then you will truly begin to understand your self, and as a result your relationship to those around you will improve with some and deteriorate with others, and that is okay because those who will come into your life will genuinely like you for you
The things that bring the most success and ultimate satisfaction are those done consistently. Just show up. Inspiration is overrated.
Biko, I’m so glad to know you didn’t leave Mr. Ehsani’s, he of the exotic swords collection, due to drunkenness!
Everything works out in the end is my lesson at 40-something. We’re squeezing to create space and welcome you to the 4th floor – the view is great, by the way!
At 20. The destiny had thought of seeming uncertain. But taking note of where there’s a will I’m gonna find my way.
24 points I wrote on my 24th Birthday, 2 years ago. I’ll be 26 in November this year. I still find this list very relevant.
1. I have known what empathy is. I knew it as a word only but life has surely taught me how to be empathetic, how not to judge too quickly, how to understand situations from everyone’s perspective. It is a lesson i will carry with me forever. You will see people in these streets and you will not be able to know what they are going through; their struggles aren’t painted on their foreheads, depression doesn’t have a face.
2. I have learnt to manage my anger; positive anger management. Something I couldn’t do in my past. Comparing myself now and then, I have made the biggest progress in this sector. I am allowed to snap, I can snap but I don’t have to regret it later on. Our moods will change but the words we say when we don’t think never will.
3. I found my focus. I know what I want and I’m not losing sight of that.
4. Your happiness depends on you alone. You will never find happiness elsewhere if you are not happy alone. You have to find your inner peace first.
5. Be comfortable and assertive with your decisions. We make our own life’s choices so whatever you decide, that is what you see fit for yourself, believe and stand by it regardless of the perceptions of other people.
6. Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. This way you will be able to love others as well.
7. You have not lived all these years to never be able to achieve anything. Have a set career path and goal and work tirelessly towards it. Let your efforts show how bad you want it. We get what we attract, we attract what we are ready for.
8. Your intelligence level will never match up to someone else’s. We are all unique in our own way. There will be greater and lesser people. The moment you acknowledge and embrace that about yourself, so will other people.
9. Make every opportunity count in your life. We never get the same chances as often as other people do so don’t let chances where you can make a change pass you by. Enjoy the experience.
10. If it makes you happy, do it, say it.
11. The greatest lesson you can ever get from life is learning from your mistakes. Lessons in life are repeated until they are learned.
12. Let go of regrets. Quoting a wiseman ‘don’t let your life pass you by, weep not for the memories.’ It’s never the end of the world, things we might have done or said that never happened can still happen in different instances.
13. The power of listening.. listen, listen and listen more.
14. Be sincere, real and honest with yourself and other people. Be real to the point where you don’t indulge yourself in meaningless rumors.
15. Learn to separate your life. Your personal life is not your professional life, don’t give people leverage to cause harm to what you value.
16. Choose your friends wisely, you cannot be everyone’s friend or in everyone’s good books. Do not try to impress people who do not build you. Not all your friends can be your secret keepers. Nobody, no friend is obligated to be loyal to you. Surround yourself with people who build you and keep off from negative energy.
17. Think keenly and wisely before you speak. Unless you like the taste of taking back your words, think twice.
18. Financial management, save from the first coin you earn, save, budget, invest and save more. There will come a time when you will see the value of this.
19. Face your emotions boldly. Embrace each of them, do not be afraid.
20. Love unconditionally, fiercely and fearlessly. Do not be afraid to speak out your emotions. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
21. Forgive often and give people chances. If you are capable of forgiving yourself over every mistake you make and starting over, let it be the same towards other people.
22. Dare to embarrass yourself.
23. Never let a moment that you can show compassion pass.
24. You wouldn’t have been you if it wasn’t for your parents and family. For anything that you can do for them, do it wholeheartedly. Above all, honor God. Read your Bible, go to church, pray in good and bad times. It’s the most you can ever give back to Him.
I am a few days on the 4th floor. What i havr learned can be summed up into 2 lessons: (1) there is nothing new under the sun and (2) that God’s timing is the best.
What do I mean?
– There are people who have walked the road you are on. Dont be afraid to ask for help. Attach yourself to people you can learn from or who are where you want to be.
– Do not despise the days of small beginnings –there are lessons in every ‘small’ task, activity, job, business, etc. Put the work in and when you learn you move to the next step. Don’t expect to be a CEO, wife, husband, brilliant executive overnight.
– Don’t burn daylight. God has a plan for your life, there are seasons and times for when you need to be doing different things. Focus on the task at hand. Watch your seconds for they become minutes. Watch your minutes for they become your hours. Watch your hours for they turn into your days….and before you know it, the lift has stopped at the 4th floor.
And above all, stay humble. Humility will take you everywhere. When you grow in your business and career, and make no mistake that if you put God first, you will, don’t let it get to your head. Stay low….the high places are for the lowly.
Happy birthday Biko.
i could have double liked, …humility is key, God is supreme yet a good father who would like to help us… just look up to Him and He will do it!
Genuine write up, I love it.
On learnings, nothing is black and white, nothing!!
I’ve learnt that love is beautiful, that you can find love no matter what. happy birthday biko wank away baba
I have learnt that people don’t disappoint us but our expectations on them does. Life is a gamble, face it and you’ll conquer its treasures. Raha jipe mwenyewe. Im in third floor. Thanks Biko, always.
What i have learnt in my 30 years plus life. Hard times come, sometimes our lives are like falling debris on a building. We munst keep building, we shouldnt allow to fall with the debris. Once the building is done, we wont see the debris. We shall see the finished product. So let the debris fall off your life, its not worth it, its ugly, but its part of the building process so its bound to happen. Focus on the finished product- that is a stronger you, better you, more accomplished you. And in all these, trust the chief architect and builder, the man above. He never fails to make beauty from ashes.
Everyday we release 2 birds into the forest of life… one bird is called wisdom and the other memory. As ww grow older bird wisdom always comes back better and stronger. While bird memory, well ,one day he never comes back at all.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart ad lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
I am in my mid twenties gratuated 3 years ago almost to finish CPA but stopped a bit because of funds. Still doing internship for almost 3 yrs at one of the County government unpaid offcourse but with a promise to get job but not able to you must be able to know somebody but the person I knew the last time he dissapoint he was not able to get me even to an interview and still paying rent but I still belive on him anyway I donnt have any other person, what to eat its God who takes care he gives me my daily bread he never dissapoints unlike human beings. I was supposed to attend my broters gratuation on 11/10/2017 but I am not able to afford. congratulation bro I never wished to miss. Hope you understand. What I now is that God is on my side he astill hundles everything. but what I know is that the door will be opened. I donnt know….
Yeah, I am first to comment!
you are like the 40th
Biko, you just joined DMX as the only of two certified real niggas in the world.What a masterpiece! Definately among the most relatable writtings I have read from you.
Speaking of life,am at this juncture where I just completed campus and am seriously looking for employment.Good thing is I got this call from my bro-in-law about having found an opening for me at their company only that I don’t like the effing place. So boring with no life or shit happening.
Curious to know whether you would take this auspicious moment to consider rescuing a needy bro from dying because of boredom? How about that Internship position?
I have learnt to slow down and breathe because things eventually fall into place. I have also learnt that most times the insecurities we make mountains out of are usually a design of our minds… no one who matters really cares about them.
Happy Birthday Biko! Many happy returns in your 40s.
Well written as always. I’m well into level but one thing I’ve learnt and wish I could have told younger me – CHOOSE WISELY. ALWAYS.
In my late 20’s, I have come to realise that you can’t pour from an empty cup. I need to prioritise my needs before I can tend to those of others.
If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t parentify myself before being a parent myself. I couldn’t control the fate that made me fatherless at a young age. Still, I wouldn’t take my role as a firstborn too seriously, or step in for my mum as much as I did if I could rewind time. I would have given myself more space to be a young carefree person.
If I could be teleported back, I wouldn’t be too reliable. I would deliberately disappoint from time to time so that others would step up. I would ask for help when overwhelmed with responsibilities, instead of acting super human, or I would simply refuse to keep on giving from an empty vessel.
I have learnt to re-direct the energy I use to prop up others to support myself also. It’s not selfish to insist on following my dreams and living out my life as I choose. I have an obligation to myself first. That’s the only way to avoid being a bitter monster that everyone would want to avoid.
I have finally learnt to choose myself first, look out for my needs, and to give only what I can afford to give.