Oi, I found love.

Cheap_wine
This, is how my days tend to end like. Happiness, wine and solitude.

To My Dearest Future Husband,

Let’s just be honest here – I thought I’d be a nervous, incomplete wreck, writing this letter as I sat on my cat-infested front porch crying salty tears into a liter of cheap wine.

After all, I mean, hello, I’m only 23!

Which of course, to my 21-year-old self, was a dinosaur-like age at which I thought I’d have a diamond rock on my left hand, two charming young model-looking kids on their way too, and would be living in the suburbs with a golden retriever and an SUV.

No doubt about it, the 22-year-old version of me would have been baffled by the weird life I’m living now — by the fact that I’ve somehow become a nomad-like, hippie-food-eating, yogini entrepreneur sort of person who’s learned to hold tight to everything but apparent security.

(And also, of course, who is still single, which may not be surprising taking into account how I tend to spend my time these days.)

My 21-year-old-self would wonder, with a confused half-frown on her face and a cocktail in her hand, why it seems as if I’ve been focusing on everything but finding love and a house in the suburbs.

After all, I used to have All The Things I was “supposed” to have, and yet I gave them all up.

That corporate communication job I used to trek to every day! I quit.

That TV and couch and Philip’s coffeemaker I used to own? I threw them all in storage, and I honestly can’t say when (or if) they’ll be resurfacing.

And the man? I gave him up years ago to a more well-suited woman.

I gave it all up.*

*Ok, so maybe I kept the Philip’s, but can you really blame me?

But the truth is, I’m happier now than I ever was before.

I drastically downsized, began living off my savings, and poured all my heart and energy and focus into two things: First, living; and second, building and growing my own labor of love — my life

I traveled to Mombasa, to Eldoret and Kisumu and Tororo. I did yoga in the living room… and in the studio… and on the beach.

I launched my first product and made my first dollar… then my first thousand dollars… then my firsthundred thousand dollars. (Just kidding; the first hundred thousand dollars hasn’t come yet😉.)

And in the process of doing All The Things, I gave up the search to find love.

Now, dear future husband, don’t take this the wrong way — it’s not that I’ve given up on finding you.

But see, if my 21-year-old self were to ask me why in the hell I gave up the search, I’d sit her down and I’d tell her this:

“Lydia, there’s something you must know about love, and it’s much different than what you’ve been taught: Real love — real fulfillment — isn’t the way it looks in the movies, where you’re destined to be desperately incomplete and unhappy until the One Perfect Person comes into your life and magically makes your life whole.

See, love, salvation, wholeness, completeness, happiness, these things don’t come to you solely through one magical person or through securing the life you’re ‘supposed’ to live.

In fact, Real Love cannot come to you at all, because it is already right here and right now,ready to be experienced in everything and everyone around you.

It is not just contained in some romantic version of flowers and wine — to really love is to love the mountain fresh air as you breathe in and breathe out. It is to love and appreciate the dexterity of your fingers on the keyboard and the sharpness of your mind as you build a complex concept for a new series. (Yes, I just used “love” and “concept” in the same sentence. What can I say; it’s the production in me.) To love is to see — to really see and to really greet — each person you meet. To love is all this and more.

To fully live, I think, is to fully love.

And the truth is, in the process of learning to really live — to experience each moment deeply, fully, completely — I may not have found the right man yet, but that’s not to say that I haven’t found love.

In fact, I’ve fallen deeply in love — not with one man, but with life. With myself. With chopping the vegetables and washing the dishes and smiling at strangers. I’ve found love and contentment in the smallest, simplest things.

So, yes, you could say I’ve fallen madly in love.

Actually, scratch that. I’ve not fallen in love; I’ve learned to practice love. Because the truth is, real love isn’t something passive that you “fall” into; rather, it is something that is active. Love is a practice; it’s something that you do every day, not something that you sit around and wait to show up on your doorstep in the form of one human being.

Real Love lies in the act of loving, not solely in the object of the beloved.

It lies in the act of loving thyself, of loving thy neighbor, and of loving this beautiful, awe-inspiring life you’ve been given.

To experience love, I’ve found, is to practice love, and you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to practice love in its various forms. Real love extends beyond the act of simply loving one person romantically and into the realm of — yes, I’m about to get all woo-woo on you here — Universal Love.

It’s not just about finding the guy who will sweep you off your feet and bring you to your knees; it’s also about loving life, appreciating each moment, and learning to give without any expectation of reward beyond the joy of the act itself.

“If I truly love one person I love all persons, I love the world, I love life. Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not towards one ‘object’ of love.”

And dare I say that until you’ve experienced real love — “big L,” Universal Love, you cannot truly experience the realest kind of romantic love with that fabul-awesome guy who will one day — when the time is just right — step into your life.”

And so.

To The Man Who Will One Day Become My Soul-Mate in Crime,

I am no longer looking for love. I am not looking for love in the mall, at the club or wishing you knock down my books along the street. I am no longer looking for love because I already am love. I already have love. I am already practicing love.

Yes; I’ve already found love in my life, and it is right here and right now.

Now all I’m waiting on — patiently, deliberately, and full of faith — is you.

I cannot wait to meet you. And I’m just gonna go ahead and put this out there: Whenever the time is right for our paths to cross, should it be in 5 days, 5 years, or 5 lifetimes, I think I’m finally ready.

Bring it on.

Love,

Lydia

*Written for the strong woman by a strong high value woman that I know and adore! Thanks Lydia Parasi for this lovely post. I love you to the moon and back.*

One way or another.

Good news is, if a guy is hooking up with you more than once; he likes you. You possibly like him back. In fact, I might be unsure about him but the fact that you are hooking up with him; you totally like him. Bad news? That guy has already seen that he can get what he wants(men always want sex before they even think of dating you, whether you agree with me or not). So, he already knows that he will get laid without really having to do anything like take you out; buy you a meal or drinks and you will never change the way he sees that terrible relationship he has with you. So unless you are totally sure sex is all you want from that man and not a freaking relationship, dates or something close to that; friends with benefit type of relationships are the worst idea. Terrible actually.

Most women tend to look for fwbs rather than boyfriends due to the fear of emotional intimacy. This happens after a string of bad relationships. They convince themselves that they wouldn’t be able to let themselves get emotionally attached (laughable) unless a man could convince them that they were capable of being emotionally intimate ( so dreamy). An FWB isn’t that man. You are wasting your time with that choice if you still want a man to love you. Kid you not, it is the worst idea. Possibly, he is another bad idea. In fact, it might sting more because it will be a choice you made. Do not make it blindly; there comes a point in your life where you have to realize that you are going to make choices and it’s up to you to be okay with them, not rely on other people to be okay with them for you. 

It is very very difficult and near impossible to make that guy your boyfriend if you foolishly fall for him (which will happen eventually) or even get him to see you as anything more than a fuck (in some instances you might be his fwb or fuck buddy; the latter is the worst if you fall for him). So, do not fall head over heels in love with your friend with benefit because he will never ever see you as anything more than the girl he can have sex with; without breaking a sweat. I do not care who you are but that’s how it is with such kind of terrible ideas. Women, naturally tend to want something more after a while. It is biological actually. So, what happens when you get attached? Yet he is pretty open about what is happening? You get hurt and he doesn’t have to account for it. It is all on you.

Seriously though; as a fwb; 

  • Do not cook. (order food, or sleep hungry) Haha!
  • Do not sleep over and if you do, stay in bed through all conversations. (chat about your life before/during but not after sex, and keep it in bed)
  • Do not text him unless it is a hook up text. (limit emotional dependence)
  • Do not care about him AT ALL. This is crucial. Do not worry about him, the minute he leaves the fucking door. He is not your boyfriend. ( do not keep each other accountable)

Do not panic if you fall for him. You are human and obviously careless enough to not set rules and expectations for yourself. Most of us have been through that and it was as hard as it sounds. Always bottle up unless you are drunk. Getting drunk and opening up helps you stay as emotionless and non-caring as possible, when you are sober. You see how much we resent drunk texts? That’s the theory behind drunk confessions. You do not have to remember them or relive them until the next time you get drunk. Try it; one way or another, emotions are going to find a way into your heart if you do not have self checks.

There are options to look into, if you are unable to keep your emotions in check. Sometimes it is just as simple as sitting him down and talking to him. Ask him, if he wants to make it serious, and if he is confused about where all this is coming from (men tend to pretend like they do not notice when you fall for them), offer to elaborate (makes you look stupid but OK). It is the reasonable and fair thing to do. This often ensures that no one is being lead on if the other wants more or less emotion in the relationship (possibly you are on different pages). In most occasions, this conversation will be the end of having someone to bang in between junk food (get another FWB or honestly; a boyfriend). If it turns out okay, there are possibilities that the amount you care for one another may differ. Most casual relationships lack emotional depth. But if it works out and it is truly amazing; most FWB relationships end up to be the best relationships and amazing marriages ( statistically rarely though). 

When all this fails, please be a woman and remember to actually settle for a relationship next time (oh yeah). If it fails at least you didn’t quite choose a relationship label you couldn’t handle.  Some of these things are not cut out for us. Okay? Happy holidays!

 

Tradition of conjure?

Slavery had existed in Africa for centuries. These were war prisoners and debtors but they were given the chance and freedom to earn their freedom and treated without cruelty. They also labored in a reasonable way. Realistically, children of slaves were born free from slavery. From the various books I have read and the unending debate I have sat through; as far as 1441, religion was a key topic of conflict. The Military order of Christ– knights; meant to observe rules of poverty, obedience and chastity sailed down to the Coast of Africa to tap the core source of gold that North African Muslims had acquired in bilad as-Sudan. Yet, this would lead to children dragged from parent, mothers shielding their kids with their bodies to prevent their children from being beaten and women desperately trying to hold onto their husbands as they were torn away from their villages into ships. They were frightened, desperate and disoriented. This was the beginning of a life for centuries where a black human being belonged to anyone with money to buy.

wpid-img_20150804_201152.jpg
Be an identifiable movement.

Through sea sickness, attempted suicide and finally giving up; they were captives for centuries as other groups of people came to Africa for slaves and slave trade after raids by the Portuguese became less triumphant. In 1502, the first shipment of African slaves by the Portuguese crusaders reached the island of Hispaniola. It is to be noted that their captors, often shouted “St. George and “St.James” also known as Santiago while raiding the villages. These were the saints they often appealed to, whenever they raided an Islam outpost. They killed and captured black people especially in West Africa while calling out to saints as they broke commandments they so much preached about. In the next 3 and a half century, slave trade grew, it over-flooded the market. Approximately 11 million slaves lived through the misery of hard unpaid and forceful labor. These Africans, from various places had different ideologies and beliefs and they were placed into one setting and they slowly acquired new religions despite having tried to practiced their ancient traditional religious beliefs for a while until it made their masters uncomfortable. Slavery, managed to mix Africans from various countries and tribes despite the fact that their language and culture showed distinct diversity. It is often said that by 1800, more Africans had crossed the Atlantic compared to Europeans to be slaves.

Ps# Indians were once slaves, “weak slaves” (that’s how they describe them) but slavery turned into the now impossible to erase racism culture especially since black slaves were inferior by default because of their skin color.Yet, religion helped slaves through the misery of mines and houses, rape and death but it didn’t quite bring them as together as it ‘should have’. Different religions were practiced with places like America prompting Umar Said in North Carolina to have converted (so is assumed) from Islam to Christianity since Muslim slaves were isolated. Slaves, isolated each other on basis of religion. So, what’s the roles of religion in Africa? Has it been a strengthening factor, the reason why we have a complex I do not need to mention or we are simply children of God? Children of Allah?

“Thou shall not steal.” Is the one commandment that was broken in over 4 centuries by Christian slave owners and traders. Christians had stolen human beings, the slaves argued on this lanes once in a while.. That’s how I still see slavery at least. I cannot talk much about Islam as I have no knowledge beside the basics of Koran, that teaches Muslims to accept Allah as the one true God and Muhammad as his prophet. My basic knowledge extends to their influences in  North Africa in the mid 600s. Religion is now a vessel of war, globally. Terror attacks, different attacks in churches, honor killings and family feuds. According to the bible, there is two theories that create a huge debate about Africa up to date in an era where we are affected by diseases, global warming and apparent Alien invasion; “Africans might be Canaanites that were cursed by Noah or the princess that comes out of Egypt and Ethiopia to stretch out her hands unto God.”

Beforehand, African societies had ancient religious traditions that were accompanied with rituals for celebration of important life occasions such as birth, death and circumcision. This also included rainmakers et.al as they believed in supernatural powers.  This was done through humming and other oaths and ceremonial necessities. It was one of the most absurd yet non violent religions as much as it entailed sacrifices. This was lost through slavery and colonialism. Was it a good thing? Possibly, possibly not! They found another religion. Religion; the most debated about, Christianity and Islam had set ground in late 1800s AND it’s here to stay. A religion they knew nothing about, became a root for conflict as well. It is the 21st century. Religion that has divided and blinded us. Do you see the promised land? Are we free; body and mind? Black freedom has been enslaved by religion and we are slaves once again. I fear for our generation.