The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Woman’

Women, we’ve always got options.


So there I was, standing at a reception table at a golf club helping prominent golfers lock down their tee time.

A powerful man walked by, reserved his tee time but didn’t leave. He stood there looking at me, and as soon as our eyes met, I knew exactly what he wanted.


He held my hand, suggesting that I should not leave but accompany him.

Even as an ordinary girl, I knew I already had this powerful man with just one look.

Of course I had major financial challenges, and knew he could easily sort that out in a flash.

I got to understand the high pressure in such a circumstance.

And I can never judge those who don’t have the strength to think morally.

Because around us were rich folk who knew the power of their pockets – morals aside.


I chose to decline and respectfully asked for my hand back.

I chose to push through with what I decently earned every day, even with hole in my favorite pair of flat shoes.

I chose to preserve a part of me that money can’t buy.

I chose to protect my inner power as a woman – influence – which only gets richer with time and tested character.


Woman, you’ve always got options around you. 

And I won’t judge you if along the way you let your crown slide off.

But here and now, you can make daily choices that shape your future.

Your future is not in yesterday or tomorrow, but within you.

God installed it within you, and you were born with it inside you.

As you move forward, choose wisely in a way that feeds your influence.

Remember, your purpose is your wealth in life. 

Live it to the fullest, and guard it jealously.


You are phenomenal, and I’m passing by to say that you are totally worth it. ❤ 


Love & Sunshine,

Ayuma.

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Open Journal: Singlehood is a Platform for Growth

Let me begin by saying that if you’re a people-person like myself, please don’t travel to the Kenyan coast alone. 

If you’re a solitary being like my big sister Susan, you just might enjoy it alone as long as you find a great and private place way out of town like African House Resort where we stayed in Malindi (http://www.booking.com/Share-2KvXT8

Because…

First of all, people approached my friend saying how, “It’s wrong for women to travel like this alone.” And by “like-this” the bloke meant financially independent. He enthused that we should ALLOW men to take us to such nice places. I shan’t even comment. Abeg!

Secondly, it’s like these hotels only cater for couples. You can easily get overwhelmed. Those swan towel things on the bed with love-heart flowers. Mood music by Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston… those deep emotional ones that drain your soul.

And not to forget how the other guests are mostly couples. 

And then on the only novel you’ve carried to read, the next chapter is about romance… Yes, even those Christian ones about the story of Queen Esther, and the classical Ruth and Boaz. 

Please, don’t do that to yourself.
You might end up doing something STUPID like contacting that Ex who’s just waiting for an excuse to crawl back into your life.

Don’t do it woman!

But that was me last time I travelled alone to the coast on a work assignment as a travel magazine writer.

Now I’m wiser.

Planned this year to travel with a friend and we totally had so much fun as single, financially able, and God-fearing women. 

And we influenced our experience so much that the hotel manager (whom we now call Uncle John) literally called us yesterday to say that the hotel staff miss us so much because we were like their flowers. 

My heart was full!!! 🙂 
But here’s the juice.

So my friend and I kept talking about the frolics we experienced in our businesses this year as we swam in the Africa-shaped pool.

We kept planning our laps saying, “Let’s swim from Egypt to South Africa” 

Ha! So much fun.

And little did we know that nearby was a room for a well-respected Kenyan lawyer who’d been attending a conference by the Law Society of Kenya. 

When we finally met each other, she commented on our conversations saying they were so refreshing and that she can relate since we’re right where she was back in her 30s. #CareerGoals
Meanwhile, this whole time they’d been a 30-something year old European guy also swimming in the pool, but in the North Africa side. He’d smile every time we talked, but he literally said not a word.

His parents had been drinking tea or “something strong” nearby at their room patio.

Maybe he was afraid of engaging in a black-woman-circle conversation in front of his parents? 

Hmmm… Interracial connections can be tough though.

And so he kept doing this every day, swimming only when we decided to swim. But neither of us were going to make it easy for him by saying hello first.
But an opportunity presented itself.

As the lawyer and my friend talked, I completely forgot the guy was in the pool and started doing a backstroke to Egypt. But as soon as the ladies saw me, they warned me to stop because I was going to crash into him. 

My friend later on laughed saying that he’d been standing there with a smile on his face just waiting for me to crash into him. 

Maybe it was his chance to finally talk to us in front of his parents with a reason?

Hmmm… we’ll never know.
And still, he kept swimming, smiling, and timing us, but just never gathered the courage to start a genuine conversation with beautiful bold black women just a swim away.
Then came the moment I later went on Instagram to share a photo journal of my trip. 

And the strange private messages from guys came along, “Hae” “But why are you still single?” “Hi” 

And I looked up into the heavens with my hands stretched high and said, “Fix it Jesus!” 

Because I literally can’t entertain empty, demeaning, and shallow conversations like these. 
And I just wondered, Where Are The Gentlemen? 

Those who can gather the courage to respectfully approach women despite what family, social, racial, cultural and religious norms say.

Those who can engage women in deep, meaningful, challenging conversations with growth and not sex being the objective.

Those who can say, “Hello” followed by words that speak life into a woman, not waste her time.
I know Jesus is snapping His fingers to this and will sort me out accordingly.

Jesus is fixing it y’all!
To fellow single women out there, remember to use your singlehood as a platform for growth. Mostly, the kind of growth that helps you learn about yourself and invest in yourself; What do you REALLY want and need out of this life?

Challenge yourself to go out there and get it unapologetically, without settling for less.
#Remember: Talk is always cheap. Watch out for consistent actions, those don’t lie. And I say this after learning from my own share of expensive mistakes that robbed me of my time, investment, confidence, love, and grace as a woman.
The joy of singlehood is the Time to learn, grow, and commit to your standards.

And what better standards than God’s best for you?

You are worth it woman!
Love & Sunshine,

Ayuma.

Smile for You

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Life does not always give us a reason to smile but I always remind myself that happiness is a choice.
Life is not about us, life is up to us.

Not only does smiling slow down the heart and reduce stress, but we actually do look better and friendlier when we smile.

Smiling can add a little yellow to a grey day. We just have to be hopeful enough to notice and grab onto opportunities of happiness in our goings on.

So today, from my heart to yours, this is a smile for you in the form of a blessing:

May dear Christ Jesus bless you and keep you,
May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May He turn His face towards you and give you peace.

Amen.

We are alive today because dear God isn’t finished with us yet.
^_^

RAPE; The Unspoken

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It is unfortunate that in today’s world, a woman is often forced to interact with rape indirectly or directly on a daily basis.

The silent monologue always happens at the back of her mind but she can never just talk about it openly. She will be seen as a coward! After all, in Africa, most rape victims are always blamed for “seducing” the attackers.

As she prepares for a meeting with her boss, she has to look at the door and ensure that it is not locked or with enough space to let sound travel fast. Just in case…

She has to dress just a little less sexy as she goes for her date with a guy she likes. She has to insist that they go to a place where there are people. For security, just in case.

She has to ensure that her children know how to drive at an early age just in case her husband continues to come home late and intoxicated.

She has to ensure that she downloads the most effective Rape App so as to know what to do the next time the male teacher gives her that look during tuition.

She has to avoid family reunions just in case her uncle kisses her on the lip and spanks her bottom in the name of being funny.

She has to leave work a little earlier than the rest because of the male colleague who recently stood too close to her in the elevator as she worriedly counted down from the 20th to the ground floor. If it wasn’t for the janitor popping-in at 15th floor…

She has to use a different path as she walks home. The shopkeeper started closing shop a little later than usual and he stares at her a lot in a way that makes her really uncomfortable.

She has to learn how to pray all by herself because the last time she made a confession, the priest talked to her the way her boyfriend does.

This is just how real rape is to most women. Even worse, studies show that women in Africa are often raped by people they already know.

How great it would be to have a world free from the fear of rape.

For now, it only remains as a stupendous take on optimism.

Still, I choose to hope because giving up is never an option!

Gagging Death with Second Chances

Amy was tired. She was tired of a marriage gone wrong. The pain crept through her nerves; from her curled toes to the hot coffee mug trapped between her hands. She sat in silence at the dinner table. The ticking clock on the wall echoed further into the living room. The fearful tapping of her finger onto the mug came to a stop when the minute hand hit midnight. She broke into tears which streamed down her face and into the mug.

Richard had for the third time slept out during their wedding anniversary. For the third time, Amy thought, her husband chose his mistress over her during their special day. He had tried to hide the affair for three years but she knew it from the first day he came home with a mask on his face. A mask of a man she knew not; a man who knew how to tell a lie straight to her face. And so she put her mug in the kitchen sink, turned off the lights and headed to bed.

Suddenly, she woke up to a struggle for breath as a masked man gagged her mouth as his partner tied up her arms and legs. The man placed a cloth over her nose and the next thing she felt was the cold burn of a metallic chair. Amy had been kidnapped. Blindfolded, she struggled to free her arms and legs but all her efforts were in vain. She panted and puffed some more until all she could do was cry.

Neither of the two men spoke to her. They just kept walking round the room which scared her even more. But as soon as they removed the muffle over her mouth she cried, “Please let me go! Please let me go!” All she heard in return was silence. The two men never said a thing. Hopelessness started sinking in as soon as it hit her that the only person who would notice that she was missing was her husband. The thought of Richard in the arms of his mistress at such a time made her feel even closer to death. She had been dying slowly for the last three years.

The day she wanted to tell Richard that she had cervical cancer was the day he came home with a mask on his face and a hint of cheap perfume on his shirt. She was dying alone for three years. She thought about the many times she had tried to get pregnant. How it pained her when her family members pressured her. How it made her feel less of a woman that she was not able to give Richard a child. Perhaps that is what made him start an affair, she thought. Slowly, her marriage had suffered another type of cancer that ate into their love.

Suddenly, Amy gave in to the worst; death. Her loud cried for freedom turned into death wishes. She knew not who the two men were, but she told them to get on with it and just kill her.

“I’ve got nothing else to lose so just kill me.”

“I have been dying from cancer for the last three years.”

“My husband has for the last three years spent our wedding anniversary in the arms of his mistress.”

“I am infertile and cannot do the one thing a woman is supposed to do.”

“Just kill me now and kill me quick.”

Suddenly, one man took off the blindfolds and freed her arms and legs. Kneeling right before her in a room full of friends and family members was Richard. His idea of a wedding anniversary surprise for Amy had taken a different turn. He was crying and the look on his face was that of a broken soul. One lady rushed across the room in tears and left the house. Everyone else had a mix of grief, anger, fear and shock painted over their faces.

“Please forgive me Amy… Please forgive me!” Richard wept in the silence that had filled the room. The look on Amy’s face was that of shock and frustration. She had emotionally and physically signed a death wish; she was ready to die. Looking at the room full of people made her feel as if she were looking at a certain chapter of her past that she had long forgotten. She zoned back in and Richard had stopped crying. He stood up, walked towards her and went on his knees before her. He held onto her hands and noticed how pale and skinny they had become. She was shaking as if she had seen a ghost. A ghost indeed! The mask on Richard’s face was gone and he looked at her with the innocence he had in his eyes the day he asked her to be his wife. He said:

“I broke my promise to love and protect you.”

“I broke my promise to be faithful to you.”

“I broke my promise to stand by you for better or for worse.”

“This is the worse and before you is a man full of broken promises.”

“I won’t stop you if you choose to leave me. But if there is some little hope in you that I can be a better man, I am begging you to give me a second chance.”

Amy pulled away her hands and cried. She was not sure about what was happening. She was not sure that she could trust again, not Richard. The other people in the room had already disappeared from their thoughts; the focus was only on the two.

“Just one more chance Amy… Just one more chance,” Richard pleaded. Then Amy wiped away her tears and held his hands. “I guess two years are enough for a second chance,” Amy said with a soft smile warming up her face. Richard rose from his knees in astonishment and kissed her as he did on their wedding day.

Suddenly, cheerfulness from family and friends coated and helped them sail away into a perfect second chance.

True love thrives in forgiveness and truth, enough to selflessly give way to second chances even with two more years left to live.

Yours truly,

Ayuma.

The Pain that Heals

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Ever heard someone share a personal story that you totally identified with and learned from?

Today, I asked myself about the confidence it must take for such people to open their hearts in public about a painful moment in their lives – for the sake of empowering others.

Furthermore, I asked myself what would happen to me if these people suddenly stopped reaching out to me though their personal stories. How then would I get practical lessons on how to face life?

A friend recently enlightened me when she said that to be a true mentor and touch lives I must be prepared to be vulnerable. This type of vulnerability is not about being emotional or mushy. It deals with deliberately sharing your life stories – truths, hurts, victories, challenging lessons – with people so that they may identify with you as a real human being and learn from what you did wrong or what you did right.

Many of us have gone through hills and valleys in the journey of life. But why is it always easier to share about the good things? Is it because they paint us better, is it easier, is it less damaging to our reputations?

Why is it that we cannot share about the very same things we need help with?

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Her Heart to Yours

Emma* who is a mother of three went through a bad marriage for 10years. After a lovely Sunday afternoon spent with her kids in church and at the pizza place, she would go home to a mouthful of mockery from her drunken husband. He would call her a whore and that going to church would not help her cover up her filthy acts. He had been unfaithful to her and had slowly started shifting the guilt towards her which triggered obsession. But this only became worse with time when her husband beat up their children suspecting that they might have not been his. The little one who was only 7-years-old was hit so hard that he lost consciousness. Emma spent the night in hospital waiting for her son to recover. This is when she picked us her phone and made the call she had always avoided for years. She called up her mother who had always had her suspicion about James from the day she met him. Her mother had always tried calling her even after her rushed wedding but she never answered. She was filled with guilt having realised that her mother had been right about James after all. Her mother promised to be at the hospital by morning. Emma prayed all night until her mother arrived. Emma was able to rescue her children from an abusive father and from the dangers of an abusive and broken marriage. Now, a happily married mother of four Emma realises that if she did not take that bold step to leave her husband, she would be in double jeopardy since her ex-husband was found dead in his house after refusing to resolve an outstanding bill at a local pub. During her trying times, she remembered feeling helpless even at church because everyone else seemed so perfect. No ladies talked about their challenging times; just how happy they are and how their children are doing well. Emma now purposes to talk to young ladies who are thinking about marriage and those who are newly wedded. She opens her home to them so that they can share their challenges and successes. She has learnt that the best way to touch people’s lives is by sharing the hurts and challenges and the lessons she learned from it all. Because of this, many ladies who had faced and overcome marital wars started opening up about the challenges faced in marriages even with young ladies who had often been misled by media and other women about the real face of marriage.

*Emma is not a real name.

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This may seem like just another story about a woman who faced a tough time and is now living a better life. But just think about it, how many people don’t get to see the other side and heal? How many have that one person they can call up and help them though a rough patch in life?

One thing I have come to learn from my interactions with relatives, friends, neighbours and total strangers is that there are so many hurt people in this world. There is so much of it that people prefer to think that they are facing their own unique type of hurt. The truth of the matter is that hurt is hurt – it steals, it kills and it destroys when we don’t learn from it and get stuck in it.

But finding that one ray of hope to see and even pursue the life beyond hurt is what makes us a unique creation as the human race. It all starts with a step, and it begins with you.

How can you make yourself more available to receive help or to help another person?

How willing are you to learn from other people’s experiences?

How willing are you to share, teach and train people having achieved a handy experience?

What are you waiting for? Go right ahead and do it!

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The human race does not break because of what we give (or don’t give) materially but because of what we say (or not say), what we show (or not show) or what we learn and not share.

Open your heart and share a pain that heals and empowers lives. It was and has never been in vain!

 

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

 

MENSTRUATION IS NOT A CURSE

Celebrating Being a Woman / ruby-cup.com

Celebrating Being a Woman / ruby-cup.com

How many ladies got their period without knowing what it is? Did any of you think that you were dying or suffering from a serious illness like cancer? Well, that has happened to many of us but it shouldn’t be so and this cycle should stop.

When a lady gets her period, this should not be handled with shyness, disgust or shock but with pride – as a girl is welcomed into the world of being a woman! Women aren’t born with a manual on the best way to deal with the frustration that comes with menses. This is why having a community of ladies supporting girls can help them through this process. If we never got the support we needed, this is our chance to do it right by reaching out to our sisters, daughters, cousins, and even the girls within our living environment. Or perhaps, we could reach out to girls who are facing this alone and don’t have the means to deal with menstruation.

Also, there are various medical interventions that have been designed to help women and girls have a smooth sail through their menstrual cycle. These include sanitary pads, tampons and menstrual cups. In Africa, sanitary pads and tampons have been quite popular and not many have heard of what menstrual cups are.

Well, a menstrual cup is a bell-shaped menstrual hygiene product commonly made from soft rubber or medical-grade silicone and is inserted into a woman’s vagina to collect menstrual fluid during menstruation. It is often reusable since it collects fluid instead of absorbing. Most manufacturers recommend replacing a menstrual cup once every 10years. This means that it’s economical since it’s reusable and you’ll only get to worry about “replacement” after an entire decade.

Also, the endless reports in Kenya are simply heart-breaking, about girls who miss out school because of their periods. Click here for more… Some of the girls cannot afford pads and end up using rags, old pieces of blanket, tree bark or mud to hide their “shame” which prevents them from presenting themselves in public or in school. This shouldn’t be so, not if we’ve got what it takes to support each other despite our backgrounds.

A Ruby Cup / ruby-cup.com

A Ruby Cup / ruby-cup.com

Ruby Cup is an award winning menstrual cup that’s the first to supply its menstrual hygiene products in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is mainly because there is an increased need for such a product to curb health and economic stresses on access to menstrual hygiene products that are long-lasting. You can use this product at home and those who’ve used the Ruby Cup attest to literally forgetting that they are on their period due to the comfort and relief it brings. But that is not all; you can help in distributing a Ruby Cup to a school girl from an underprivileged background. When you buy one cup you reach out to a girl and help her go through primary school, secondary school and finish College without having to worry about her period again.

Here are some letters from school girls who’ve benefited from using Ruby Cups!
If you would like to have an edifying session with the Ruby Cup team at school, in church or even your group of girls, please contact the team at info.ke@ruby-cup.com.

For more information, please follow Ruby Cup on the social networks: Twitter: @rubycup and Facebook: RubyCup

Yours Truly,
Ayuma.

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