I took my neighbor’s bike two days ago and did a long ride of introspection. It was hard convincing him give me a full afternoon with his much cherished bike but I can be persuasive at times. Despite being so much into long walks, I found the cycling to be as freeing as skydiving only with less terror. Well, there is the terror of a drunk driver smashing you and your bike into a ditch but it doesn’t compare to the adrenaline that comes with dropping from a plane suspended a thousand feet above the ground.
As I maneuvered my way through the slow traffic between Ngong and Matasia, I couldn’t help but think of what a shitty year this has been for many of us. As cliché as it sounds, 2020 played Russian roulette with us and won by a very wide margin. It boils down not just to the global natural disasters, the pandemic and the ever-streaming bad news but also to the personal losses. But here we are. Still standing with our backs straight. Hanging in there like gallant soldiers witnessing horror scenes at the battlefield but with no option of backtracking.
It’s December already as I write this. We’re watching solemnly and with caution as the final scenes of 2020 unravel. If there’s one thing that the year has taught us then its resilience. Adaptation comes close second and hope follows narrowly. It’s the hope that has kept most of us alive. The hope of a vaccine. The hope of better days ahead. The hope of experiencing normalcy again its pure and unadulterated form.
On a normal and ordinary December, I would have been so much enthusiastic about the festivities. I would be sorting out Christmas movies and piling up suitable Christmas songs to round up the year in some sense of style. Heck, I would even be planning a little excursion around home with a few friends to catch up on the missed days. But it would be hard to do any of these this time round. Maybe things might change within the next coming days but the general feeling of exhaustion, living through a pandemic and surviving seems to have taken a toll on everyone.
However, despite the show put up by 2020, there have been some positives that are hard to ignore. The hopeful always find ways of seeing the light in every bad situation after all. That sounds like something that a monk would say (I like monks anyway). There have been a couple of good days for sure. They reminded us that despite the numerous challenges that we encounter in life, silver linings do come occasionally. I read somewhere that those are the springboards against which we get propelled into optimism. Who am I to question timeless wisdom?
Early this year, I read the book 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. I got to read so many books as the year unfolded but this is one of the few that had some significant impact to my current way of life. It’s one of a kind. And it’s one of the positive things that I have derived from this long tough year. Before I came across the book, I had heard about Jordan Peterson countlessly from my friend Richard Atera but hadn’t given him much of a thought.
Richard, who has been my spiritual teacher for the longest of time, would tell me how analytical and fascinating the man is with his ideas. Late last year when I found school to be a little bit overwhelming, I would hop into Qwetu Hostels where Richard stayed at the time just to hear him speak highly of Peterson among many other philosophical issues of reality that intrigues his vast mind. It was magical just listening to him. It’s like watching Peter Thiel talk about Rene Girard. I wish not to regurgitate the contents of Peterson’s book here but to give a strong go-ahead to anyone who wishes for some practical life inspiration to read it. It’s worth every ounce of your minute.
This is also the year that Jeff finishes school. It would be an understatement to talk of this as a positive. The term should be momentous or something of the sort. Jeff and I met in nursery school at a Christian school that went by the name Faith Baptist Academy. From then we moved around in different schools like the best friends that we were. He defended me on so many occasions when he shouldn’t have. I was always the cheeky boy that never sat still. He did this not only against fellow students but also with the teachers on the different times that he was class prefect. It’s been eleven years of knowing great friendship, struggles and brotherhood. My cousin once told me that if you’re friends with someone for that long then it should no longer be referred to as friendship. It should be brotherhood. He was definitely right. Seeing my brother Jeff finish the 8-4-4 struggle has been amazing at the highest levels. Plus, I was so happy to be acknowledged alongside his parents in his final year law school dissertation. Who wouldn’t be happy about that? It’s an honor of a lifetime.
Being alive at this time of the year is definitely something to be happy about. So much could have gone wrong. So much went wrong for others. Some friends passed on this year at such young ages. The thought of them laying six feet under is devastating and even depressing at times. But life is ever in motion. Things move on regardless. School continues. The sun rises from the East at its normal time. The living trudge on with their lives. The older I grow the more I realize that it’s such a privilege to be alive. It’s something worth toasting to. If you are able to read this, please be happy that you are alive. And be intentional about making things better for yourself in the coming days, months and years.
I would like to hear highlights of how your year has been dear reader. Would you be kind enough to tell me in a few sentences at the comment section? I knew you would say yes. Haha.