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Decoding Love

Situationship Etiquette

His back were always one of the features that she loved most. She was convinced that he could see right through her, undress her, and even completely overlook her; all with his brown eyes. Sometimes their connection was magic, at other times it felt as though they had completely disassociated from each other, going through the motions.

As she gathered herself from the various waves of emotions that came with every win and upset of the relationship, she learnt a few basic elements to making it work.

Here are a few factors to consider when it comes to situation-ship etiquette 101 :

  1. What is fundamental?

A situation-ship is a uniquely undefined relationship where either or both individuals involved in the relationship are unwilling to take the next step to declare the status of the relationship. So whether you are not sure where the relationship is going, or the situation is complex, a situation-ship is a whole different ballgame compared to your average relationship.

The fundamentals, will always bring you back to square one. Back to the core of why you are in this awkward state, and maybe it could even fling open possibilities that none of you thought were possible. Always remember to be kind, to be courteous and to be respectful. Any relationship worth its salt, are founded on those pillars.

2.No Broken Telephone

A situation-ship comes with its own parameters. Some imagined, and others clearly demarcated for both individuals to take note of and hold in high esteem. However, to make any relationship work, communication is vital not only for the health of the relationship but also to provide peace of mind for the persons involved.

Communication requires that you to not only share what you think is of interest to your partner, but also speak up even when it involves uncomfortable topics, you would much rather sweep under the rag. Speak about what you hope to get out of the situation-ship, its term and your values. It is often said, “never allow someone to be your priority, while allowing yourself to become their option.” When the situation-ship no longer works for you, it is critical that you can communicate that without holding back.

3.Board The Ship

Based on your experience in the situation-ship one can tell if the bond created could turn into more. So, what happens if you realize that you enjoy spending more time with the other individual? What if you begin to develop an emotional connection? It might be time to address the elephant in the room. You might just board the ship, and make it official.

When the booty calls turn into date nights, it might be time to reconsider your positions as individuals and look closely of what lies beneath the surface. You might just surprise yourselves!

Categories
Thoughts

Rona Made Me Do It

Allow me to rant.

You would hardly find a situation where one person bears the role of judge, jury and executioner. But today I am all three. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, that all would be equal irrespective of the color of their skin. However in Africa, the dream of the civil rights activist takes on new nuances as tribal allegiances and socio-economic strata pull back the progress of a new, equal-opportunity Africa.

In Kenya we say “Myonge hana haki” and there is nothing like disaster to make this even more evident. Unaccounted for, unforeseen the Coronavirus Pandemic came and swept the globe into a frenzy, forcing billions to retreat into their homes, avoiding  gatherings and practicing good hygiene.  This is all easily said and done if you live in a first world nation, when working from home is a viable option, where government services still function despite government restrictions. In my beloved nation, these times have only served to expose the incompetence of the men and women we call leaders. I has shown them to be insensitive, and lacking in humanity, forcing citizens from their homes, and doing little for those impacted by floods. It has shown their selfish nature, their “me-first” mentality and the major gaps in government that leaves a nation utterly unprepared on the brink of chaos.

Where is our pride? When will we stop begging for assistance from international organizations? We continue to play into their narratives, like soldiers following their commanders. Whether or not the pandemic is real, its effects are felt and the outcome is expected to be deadly. The leaders we elected put their needs above those who elected them, never giving a moment to consider what the people have eaten, how children attend school or the effect of the lockdown on thousands of businesses is.

Instead their focus lies in publicity stunts to pacify the angry masses and senseless grandiose gestures whose only purpose is to keep them in the news. “ You might be hungry, your business might be flatlining but here is a new road for your trouble.” Mheshimiwa, what sort of logic is that? Instead of equipping teachers to teach from home, enabling doctors to fight the pandemic, restructuring the financial sector for e-commerce to flourish, National Assembly members would rather be out in the wee hours of the night flouting COVID-19 restrictions; enjoying a nightcap or taking part in the viral Jerusalema challenge oblivious to the troubles of its people. This was an opportunity to improve electrical and internet connectivity, to ensure all are equally equipped. It was a chance to re-ignite the spirit of the ‘Nyumba-Kumi’ initiative, to improve communal safety, health and prosperity. The season offered a  chance to re-evaluate the efficacy of health sector initiatives such as the  Beyond Zero initiative and work towards improving their capacity, bringing healthcare services to the grassroots.

There is hardly any compassion, in this nation that was known for ubuntu where we once proudly chanted ‘Harambee’ indeed it seems that our foundation was built on falsehoods, as the leaders pulled the wool over our eyes and continue to do so. The nation’s people are blind, so desperate we are clutching at straws hoping for a chance to find our way out of this quagmire.

One would think that this pandemic has only affected the poor, but the reality is the middle and upper class also cry behind the doors of their glass houses. With families forced to stay indoors, there is an increase in domestic violence cases, suicide and many more report struggling with their mental health at this time. In a society that shies away from such serious concerns, it seems that the pandemic has challenged every aspect of our social structure. It has made us question who we think we are, the essence of the nation.

But today as self-appointed judge, jury and executioner I ask the Kenyan leadership to leave their posts, never to return to governance ever again. Their mentality “it is our time to eat” overrode the concerns of the masses, showing they are selfish to the core, lacking in any traits of true leadership.

Nonetheless, the nation is resilient and strong, I know its people will rise again…they continue to do so daily. The Mama Mboga always has something to offer, college students have decided to innovate new machines to help manage the pandemic, and more individuals have found their voice through business.

Though this unfortunate event has taken away lives, in a sense new life has sprung and the can-do spirit carries us all through to another day.

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Thoughts

Isolation

God hit the pause button on life.

It has been several days of reflection, self-evaluation. A period of gaining new perspective and new understanding. Just like everyone else, the past few days have been riddled with anxiety, discomfort and a feeling of unpreparedness. But we move, regardless.

Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the public sphere in Wuhan, China in late December 2019, it seemed almost unlikely that it would reach the place I call home, much less affect daily life. Based on the reports online at the time, it felt far removed from my community. But in a matter of days the disease has swept across the globe claiming thousands of lives. The situation snowballed into a global crisis.

And now, we live a day at a time.

Holed up in their respective homes, society has taken the government-enforced quarantines and curfews as an opportunity to return to simpler, easier times while under quarantine. The story is the same for many others across the globe. If nothing else, this killer respiratory disease has served as a reminder on the uncertainty of life, never mind the fragility of the human race. We have created a world for ourselves, however we often overlook how feeble our lives, systems and governments truly are against calamity.

And now we live out our precious days.

Life is fleeting, and as an optimist it is essential to continue to see the glass as half full in all circumstances, lest we drown in the sorrows that come with every news headline. So what is the silver lining at this difficult time? Is it the isolation, the disruption of routine that we often find comfort in, or is it in the rising levels of anxiety in the general public?

In this time, I have found that many just as I; have found time to do some much needed soul-searching. A time to wind down, as the world grinds to a halt. Indeed, there are many theories on the dangers of this time, however there is no running from it. The empty streets, unattended churches, unoccupied skyscrapers are an indication that it is time to retreat, a time to find refuge in your isolation. Living in a highly interconnected world, we are constantly bombarded with entertainment, news and so much more. But here is our chance to step away from all of it, and start fresh. Unplug in isolation.

Isolation is often associated with loneliness. However, I affirm that it could be a chance to withdraw for our betterment. Ishani Bhattacharya shared some wise words on the topic of isolation. ‘Hold company with yourself so sacred that even when you are alone, you are whole.’

Isolation may not be such a bad thing. Take it as a time to be introspective and re-examine life as you may know it, a moment to meditate and contemplate on the decade that awaits. And perhaps a time to pray for what is to come.

 This too shall pass.

Categories
Decoding Love

The Perfect Break Up

I was transported to another world, as I filled through the pages of my favorite Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi book when sadly my attention was diverted to my phone as it rang. The table vibrated as the phone continued to signal me to pick up, but by the time I finally stretched out my hand to grab the phone, I had missed his call.

A message popped up, “I hope you’re having a great day, meet me tonight.”

Without thinking much of it, I returned to my book, eager to find out if my favorite character would ever sort out her love-life; in spite of her conflicting emotions. Little did I know that evening, I would unravel much like my favorite character.

The perfect break up is never in marking the end of the relationship, but rather it is the respect held for both individuals in the relationship, and making note of the rollercoaster of a ride the relationship has been; leading up to that very moment. The breakup.

Here are 3 things I believe are essential components to the perfect breakup.

  1. Acknowledge there is no such thing as perfect

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, the perfect break up or the perfect partner. Those ideals never exist; however you might find something that comes a close second. For the so-called perfect breakup, it is critical that one makes note of the relationship. Recount the highlights and gloss over the lows, this could be instrumental in presenting the case in favor of making a clean break from the relationship. When executed in a sober mind, both individuals involved in the relationship could make out what has brought them to this point; as individuals and as a couple.

2.Delivery is paramount

Always remember that people may never remember what you said, but they will always remember how you treated them. No matter how difficult the relationship has been, always purpose to be kind with your choice of words, forthright in your approach and sincere with your intentions.

If your objective is to break up with your partner, do ensure your word choices make it apparent and clear. Do not leave your significant other or soon-to-be ex in limbo; wondering what comes next. Unfortunately, couples often reconcile due to a lack of closure, the clarity and decisiveness are needed to make it official. However, being transparent does not give anyone license to be mean, so always strive to convey your message with the at most respect and kindness.

3.Love conquers all

One would think that once there is confirmation of a break-up that everything is a done deal. A proverbial door is shut, the case is closed and one can just as easily move on, onto the next. Sadly, ladies and gents this is hardly ever the case. If you shared true love, you will care for your partner or should we say ex, even after the relationship is kaput!

However, the love you have for yourself, and the respect you hold for the decision made earlier should conquer all your doubts. Therefore, it is key that one can access and understand when doubt or regrets are worth revisiting as it relates to a break up; or whether one is just lonely and undergoing the teething problems associated with finding yourself newly single. Whatever the case, self reflection and extending some grace towards yourself and the difficult situation can ease one’s transition from one relationship into another, even when the next relationship is with yourself.

The perfect break is an urban myth in these streets but whether you initiate it or not. Nonetheless, how you handle the situation makes a world of difference.

Categories
Thoughts

Ground Zero

This is my first entry in this blog, and a milestone of sorts for me.

I named this platform ‘Acquired Taste’ after some time thinking about it, and what I hope it would be; and so I think the name is a great way to introduce myself and my ramblings on life, to the readers who will visit this blog. According to references on Google, an acquired taste is an appreciation for something unlikely to be enjoyed by a person who has not had substantial exposure to it. And with that, it is my hope that readers will not only read what is shared on this platform once, but return again and often to catch up… acquire a taste for it.

I recently went through a life changing experience, and have noted that several things in life are an acquired taste. Life is lived outside the comfort zone, and for anyone hoping to ‘live their best life’ it is not in spending in thousands for an expensive vacation, or having an all-nighter in the city’s club scene. No. I have come to realize that it is more about the little things. The moments we can never forget. The ideas we choose to explore that often push us out of our area of familiarity. The relationships that teach us something new. And so with this blog, we will explore many different areas, talk about many issues important and nondescript that I hope the young millennial or any one for that matter can and will relate to, just as much as I do.

With a new lease on life, I hope to explore more of myself and I do wish we can do this together.

Thank you for reading.

Ms Eli.