26 going on 30

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

If you had no idea how old you are now, how old would you think you are? In short, how old do you feel you are right now?

The Hub turned 30 last week. In the months leading up to his birthday, he was in quite a state. It had hit him that he was reaching a major milestone in his life. Another point to evaluate just how close or far he was from his goals. I was so certain he would hyperventilate on the actual day so I made sure I had a few emergency numbers in my phone. I had a plan laid out in my mind; if he did panic or faint, I would call the guy next door to carry him to the hospital. So I encouraged The Hub to stay fully dressed at all times because there was no way I was going to try and get his dead weight dressed before anyone saw him. Surprisingly, he was really calm on the day. I don’t know what conversations he had with himself but it seems he has come to terms with it.

For some reason, everyone around me is turning 30. I swear I know more than 6 people who are 30 this year. 1985 was quite a productive year for our parents. The thing about marriage (and any other relationship if you seriously think about it) is that you get to experience certain things multiple times.  The life you share makes it necessary to go through their joys, pains, insecurities and moments of confidence with them whether you want to or not. And so when The Hub was fretting about his life goals and ambitions, I was analyzing mine too.

It was during one of these moments that I realized that somewhere deep in my heart, I am looking forward to turning 30. I’ve been practicing how to be 30 all year long and I didn’t even know it. There are certain things I have adopted or taught myself that normally would have come from living with me for 3 decades.

Self-Love: There have been times I wanted to be anyone but myself, lots of times. But I have been on journey to learn how to love myself. I have been learning acceptance and gratitude. One of the things that prompted this was the realization that the time I spent looking into the mirror criticizing myself was huge compared to the time The Hub spent and he weighed more than me.

Knowledge of Self: In the past I have relied on people to tell me where my strengths lie. I found myself always mining for the negatives in me but not the positives. And I would act surprised when someone pointed out a good thing about me. But now I’m finding out my strengths and any compliment from friends is a confirmation and not a discovery.

I’m not guilty about my dress choice anymore: I have never been the chic girl or the best dressed girl. For the longest time I felt the need to apologize for not being the type to dress up. And now as time goes on I am learning that I value how clothes make me feel way above how they make me look. So I will dress up when I want to but I am dressed down most times because I want to. I’m not apologizing anymore for my dress choices.

I do what I want: So many times we do things because someone in our class or position is expected to. We buy things that we don’t even like just because someone said it is fashionable or classy. We get married or have children because that’s what everyone our age is doing. Coming from a background that expected me to act a certain way because “that’s the way we’ve always done them”, I question my intentions for almost everything now. I am learning to do things because I want to or decided to and not because society expects me to.

I pay my own bills: It’s needless to say a major part of being an adult is paying bills. I swear bills hold meetings to plan on how to haunt our lives. But it’s safe to say no one is out for my head for any outstanding debt.

How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I was? I would probably be 30…for the next 5 years.

How old do you think you would be?

In Sickness and In Health

I grew up in medical home. Both members of my parental unit worked in the medical field; one as a nurse, the other a pharmacist. This made the treatment of illnesses quite easy. In Zambian public clinics where you have to wait for hours to get attended to, we never had to wait in line because the nurse on duty would either be my mum’s former classmate or workmate. There were times when I didn’t even have to go to the hospital. My mum would simply ferry my urine sample to the lab to determine that I had the UTI she had already suspected.

Growing up I rarely got horribly sick. My only downfall was the bronchitis-induced cough that reoccurred every few years. I remember each time I would get sick, my mum would come into my room over 3 times each night to either administer a tablet of this, or a syrup of that. Sometimes when all else failed, she would just come in to lay her hand on my chest and pray. In the morning, she would wake up and get ready for work like she hadn’t been on night duty the last night. This trend went on until I moved out.

Last week I got horribly sick and the nightmare cough was back. I could hardly sleep at night because of the continuous coughing fits that plagued my life. I seriously considered extracting my whole respiratory system from my body and let it cough itself into oblivion somewhere else except inside me. Now I have mentioned before that The Hub has been blessed with the gift of deep and easy sleep. So I figured I was alone in this nightly activity that I was enduring. But every time I had an extreme coughing fit, I would feel his hand on my back trying to soothe me. The poor man would reach out from the fogginess of sleep that surrounded his mind and would try to help me. There were times he would even get up to make me a cup of ginger and lemon tea with no fear of bumping into a wandering witch or wizard at that ungodly hour.

When people are reciting their vows on their wedding day, I doubt they have a full comprehension of what the words mean. I didn’t. When I said, I would love The Hub in sickness and health; I was just repeating the preacher’s words to be honest. The thing that I have learnt is that The Hub is my go-to person for almost everything. Those nights when my mum would stay up all night to look after me are gone. Marriage is The Hub waking up in the middle of the night to make me ginger tea even if he has no idea if it will help or not. Sometimes he would feel absolutely helpless because we had no idea what to do but he stayed up and soothed me. It reminded me of a few months ago when I was up at midnight googling home remedies because The Hub’s ulcer had him curling up in fetal position.

Sometimes you are all your spouse is going to have, and it’s a scary place to be. It’s frightening to be someone’s immediate next of kin or the first one to get a call if something happens. To be the one who stays up all night to monitor their temperature, or be the one who describes their symptoms to the doctor. Someone took my mum’s place, and I in turn took his mum’s place. It’s scary and maturing and sobering. We are adults now; if this doesn’t convince me then I don’t know what will. These are the vows we so quickly recited. This is the marriage we willingly walked into. This is the love we happily fell into.

Valentine’s messages should be funny and true

I dislike mushy things that don’t make sense. Love messages that are copied and pasted from popular love songs that defy all forms of logic. “I would travel to the end of the earth just to find you”, really? How are you going to do that when you don’t even have enough money to travel to a neighboring country? Mushy stuff just doesn’t make sense for me. Valentine’s day is when the world is a giant playground box of mushy quicksand. Everyone’s talking about love in all those out-of-this-world descriptions they don’t even understand like “You are the apple of my eye”. What does that even mean? (I don’t even want to know what it means)

Imagine my pleasure when in my travels around the internet, I stumbled upon valentine’s messages that were so true and funny I could have sworn they picked them right out of my mind. These messages said exactly what love was to me without being pretentious and stuck up. I just had to share them with you.

Let’s face it, people suck. We all have qualities that we would be better off not having. We all end up mistreating another human being in one way or another. But when you have that one person who sucks less than most people, you have to tell them.

When my siblings and I were younger, we would have contests to see who could burp and fart the loudest. It used to be so funny. The older I get the less funny it becomes. To hear someone fart an endless number of times and still love them is true love y’all.

Have you ever wanted to get away from a crowd so bad? Crowds drain me and life tires me. At times I just want to retire, buy a house and never come outside ever again. But I find myself wanting that less and less with The Hub around.

Every time we watch Walking Dead I always ask The Hub where he would be if it were real. And we always say that he would be a Zombie by now. Well since we all know I would be one of the survivors, I’m glad it’s not real because I wouldn’t have to kill him.

Yep, Jesus definitely loves him more. But I pull in a close second though.

Sometimes all someone wants to hear is just how phenomenal their butt is. How else are they supposed to feel comfortable when they’re walking away or in front of you?

Nope! I would not! Never! It was in the vows, I swore to never shave my legs. Well, the silent vows in my head. It should have read “I love you but I will only shave my legs if it will stop a Zombie apocalypse.” It is such a commitment, and I have too many of those already.

Yes, okay! I do it! I look at my phone all the time, and I practically live on the internet but who better to do it with?

So this Valentine’s day try to say what you really mean and not what you think is appropriate for the occasion. Be original without spending a lot of money. Do things that would really mean something to your person. And don’t wait until Valentine’s to be all mushy and stuff. Let your person know how you feel every so often. As for me, I’m not a big Valentine’s day fan. But I admit, the world needs a day totally dedicated to love because there’s too much hate circulating.

Happy Valentine’s.

Gender based violence and Why women return to their abusers

What kind of hitting does it take for skin to break and blood to gush out? Obviously the hitting of a maniac. The police man comes home at midnight (Every husband knows that is way past any married man’s ‘bedtime’) and starts playing loud music when everyone else is asleep. When his wife confronted him, he beat her up and left her looking like this.

Woman beaten by cop husband.

Woman beaten by cop husband.

The woman could have died for Pete’s sake, people have died from far less injuries. And the worst part, She went back to her matrimonial home after being stitched up and forgave her husband. I think this man’s betrayal is on two counts. One as a husband, he is supposed to protect her from the world and all kinds of horrid stuff but here he is being the administrator. Two as a police officer, his job is to protect citizens from evil people that do such horrible things.  What do you do when the man you trusted with your heart, body and life harms you worse than you can imagine. I can’t even imagine how it must feel. Continue reading

I’m sick but I swear I’m not pregnant!!

Life has a crazy notion of timing. I moved to a new job less than a month ago and I’ve been trying to learn the strings. My previous job was extremely stressful and I dreaded having to go back every morning but then I got a new job and I was relieved. One of the best benefits of having a job for me has been medical insurance. I can just walk into a private clinic when I don’t feel well and I won’t have to pay a ngwee. But right now I’m in between insurances, I just gave up my old one with my old job and the new one is still being processed. So if I want any health services, I’ll have to pay for them myself. And as if life is a serial prankster, I fell ill last week. Continue reading

How My Network Provider Nearly Ruined my Marriage

They say nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute. I’m one of those people. Some of my best work has been produced with the deadline looming right above my head. In school I studied right before the exam. I send out reports right before they are due. I show up for meetings less than 5 minutes before the stipulated time. It’s not something I’m proud of it but I’ve lived with myself long enough to know and accept that I’m a slightly disorganised human. I find myself taking up too much on my plate that I end up having so much to do at the end of the day. It’s my way of living life on the edge.

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Marriage is…..

A lot of people have been asking me how marriage is. My single friends want to find out if it’s all people say it is or as horrible as some say it is. How is it? Do I like it? They ask me with a curiosity that I possessed only a few months ago. They ask me as if somehow my answer will determine if they should go ahead and get married. The married people want to find out how I’m finding the new environment that has been their home for a while now. Have we had our first big argument yet? And when I say no, they tell me to wait because it’s definitely coming. We are still in the honeymoon stage but just wait a while, the storms are definitely coming. They say that with such gust you would think they are looking forward to it. Continue reading

TVs, TV stands and Babies!

I have always found a thrill in doing new things. They make me step out of my comfort zone into something different. Marriage brings lots of opportunities for first time activities. First it was the moving away from somewhere I have always known (no tears there, I’ve always wanted to leave). Have I mentioned how my young sister was ecstatic that I was finally out of her hair? At the wedding she walked up to The Hub, shook his hand heartily and with tears in her eyes thanked him for helping her get rid of me. I can be such an overbearing sister at times; it comes with the first born mantle. Continue reading

How to be a Woman

So the lessons have began. The legendary traditional teachings that I have dreaded ever since I realised that I would have to get married someday. My wedding matron sat me down to prepare me for what’s coming in the lessons. She told me that from now onwards I should not show excitement on my face and in my body language and not smile uncontrollably. I was supposed to be silent when talked to and not argue with anyone. Continue reading

Why I said Yes!

Different people get married for different reasons. Some do it for reproduction and others for love or financial stability. Some do it just because they think it’s about time they did. Once a person reaches a certain age ( often early-twenties), society begins to push them towards marriage. But I think no one should succumb to the pressure but instead wait until you’re ready (if you’ll ever be ready). I can’t give advice but what I can do is tell you why I agreed to get married. 

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The Dress Hunt

The past couple of months have been dress hunting months. The wedding date is moving closer and I realized that’s one thing I need to buy as soon I as I can. The dress is probably the only thing about the wedding that I’m looking forward to, well, that and signing the marriage certificate. Anyway, I got so tired of people asking me if I had found my dress yet that I finally got off my behind and went looking for it.

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Fiancé??? Um, No thanks!

After my last blog, a few people quizzed me on my name choice when referring to my significant other. Apparently the term “boyfriend”is not appropriate for a man I’m engaged to. I had never given it much thought before now. It turns out I’m supposed to call him my “fiancé”.

I didn’t realise how much I disliked that word until I was asked why I don’t use it. And here’s why I don’t:

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Roadtrips, Retweets, Rituals and Relatives

This past weekend my boyfriend and I travelled to the Copperbelt. The purpose was to introduce me to his relatives. So Friday morning found us heading to Intercity Bus Terminal. The 6 hour journey looked quite daunting but I was prepared with two Marian Keyes novels, an ipod full of music and home improvement magazines. Continue reading