Monday, October 13, 2014

Back to the Beginning.

We always start with a mattress, don’t we? We take our first salary which is not much at the time and we go to a supermarket nearby because carrying a mattress over a long distance is nobody’s piece of cake. With our meager earnings, we purchase a mattress that will be as kind to our backs as it will be to our pockets. We grab a cheap blanket and pair of sheets on the way out and, carrying our only possessions proudly in our hands, walk with heads held high into an empty house to start our life of independence.

We will spread the mattress on the floor at the far corner of our one-roomed house. This mattress will serve as our sleeping area, our dining table and our sofa. For the most part, we will not entertain visitors much. We will not cook much either. The nearby food kiosk will be our saving grace from starvation as  we will rush there to grab a serving of madondo or githeri or … what else it there … chapati? to take us through these empty days.

We will however not live like this forever. Our circumstances will help fan a flame in us. A flame that will propel us to excel. We will want more room. We will get tired of madondo chapo and crave for home-cooked ugali, sukuma wiki and beef stew. We will then save up to buy a stove or a jiko, a sufuria and a cooking stick. Maybe one plate and a cup? A spoon and fork…no, the cutlery can wait. We will fall asleep on the mattress and on it dream of laying our heads on a bed for a change. We will have an obsessive desire to sit on one of those fluffy couches that come with pillows to cushion your bum and your back. We will want. This wanting will drive us to work even harder. We will hustle day and night for more financial freedom. Soon we will be rushing back to the supermarket for that bed. For that dining table. For the curtains that match the seats. For a carpet, a fridge and a cooker. Subsequently, we will move into a bigger house. In no time, our cold and empty one-roomed house will become a warm fully furnished multiple-roomed home.

How about that for small beginnings?

This is how most of us are introduced to a life of independence. If your stride to independence was to a furnished house then you make me jealous. Consider yourself exceptionally lucky my friend.  I remember my first house. It was a very small affair. It had a sink and a kitchen cabinet – which was a bargain for the rent I was paying. There was barely room for a bed. There was an adjacent room with shelves, which was supposed to be some kind of store room? It was small and cozy. Not much, but it made me proud that I could sustain myself and did not have to live off my siblings anymore. I had come of age. It was exciting as it was limiting.

With time, I could afford to move to a house with rooms and stuff. I had the luxury of a living room and a modern kitchen. This house had a balcony to boot. It was timely too because Hailey happened at the time. The timing couldn’t have been better.

This is what life is about. Evolution. You start small and dare to dream big hoping that someday you will need to create more room for your growing collection of shoes, your ginomous TV set,  your king size bed. We grow progressively. And it is a good thing.

But even when we move to bigger things and bigger places, we never forget our humble beginnings. We always treasure them because it made us want more out of life. With that desire, we were able to strive hard to make it. Our beginnings made us who we are.

This was my first home. I have laughed in here but I have cried most of the time. I have been so many things at different times.Yet with every first home, there comes growth. We live somewhere and with that growth, we tend to want more stuff.  We just want better.

I want more. I want better.

What I am doing now is that I am packing. I am leaving. I am looking for a better home. A bigger home with bigger windows and nicer stuff. I need a backyard. I need more space. It is a bittersweet experience because I am leaving this home that I have grown so attached to. It stings a bit. I don’t know whether to be happy that this new home is a step forward? I should be happy about this no? But then again, humble beginnings. They are responsible for who I am. Bittersweet is the emotion I will settle with for now.

I am emptying the closets and putting everything in labeled boxes. Soon, I will be out of here.

I will sure miss this place.

Come with me?

Come with me!

Come with me.


  1. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! As long as you keep the dream alive, the opportunities are limitless.

    1. Thanks Linus! Awfully good to see you here. Karibu.

  2. Oh Reneè i just remembered my first house. ..mmh sigh! Nolstagia

    1. Nostalgia indeed! Tumetoka mbali, na tunaenda mbali zaidi. Keep the fire burning!

  3. Oh my, I had a stove, a bed and a hand me down TV. Sigh...where are you packing to? Come with you we shall.

  4. My first house had everything. Straight from parents house to Matrimonial house..Mmmhh..
    Btw, Renee , where are we going?

    1. Mmmmh...lucky you. I am jealous! We are going somewhere all I can say.

  5. Its good to move... It is a sign of progress, growth. The humble beginnings are treasured.