Phone is off. I have just come from watching 4 continuous hours of Television. I would have continued had this headache not interrupted the program. As I sat on that couch, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Guilty that colleagues my age are turning heads, gaining work experience, getting the hang of Nairobi traffic and here I am, seated, thoroughly enjoying an episode of WAGS. I can’t postpone writing this article anymore. It’s been in my head since April. Yes. We are in October. Don’t look at the screen like that. I admit it, I Procrastinate- I am a work in progress.
It hit me hard. It was like swallowing a badly cooked piece of mutura. My body felt heavy and too wide. The night became darker and suddenly the walls were too close. The air was thick and heavy. The slow yet creeping realisation that truly, I am an adult. For real. Achana na hio ya 18 years. That one just gets you excited that you can booze up and well…yeah booze up. Legally. Your parents as always are there to remind you that ukishikwa na karao ujipange. They’ll come to your rescue…eventually. Oh yes, and vote. I remember receiving my ID card. And why do the photos end up looking like a mug shot? Like that day you were charged with attempt to fart in business meeting (True story btw). Those photos are horrendous. I’ve had a few supporters, like that day I was getting into an office building and the askari at the entrance asks me “Na huyu kweli ni wewe madam?” I digress.
18 to 21 years is a legal recognition of the fact that you are old enough to zurura, make independent and hopefully wise decisions, but still a dependant. The world is forgiving. You are still allowed to ask for bus fare, money for your hair, clothes , koroga festival etc. I’m talking about the part B of adulting. The one where you know longer have the excuse of going to class. The one where your parents start to wonder what you are still doing in their house? Why you are so ungrateful as not to even bring a Ksh 12 packet of salt when you come home. When they demand the ksh 20 you got as change after they sent you on their errands. You rightfully in their eyes are a no-wage worker as and until when you land your first job.
Nowhere is safe. You go for an event and meet your classmates dressed up in suits. The furthest in conversation you can go is encouraging you on your natural hair journey. Every relative you will ever meet will always ask “You haven’t started working?” A dear relative was so gracious to rephrase and ask “Bado unafagiafagia?”
Adulting. The slow metamorphosis from ‘sista’ to ‘madam’. Walking down biashara street and everyone wants you to look at their choice of cerelac. I came to a new realisation. Somehow as a young female fresh from uni, ready to conquer the world, show and prove yourself and work on your dreams, I am perceived as ripe wife material. Like the rule book is school-marriage-career. Unfortunately, I have had a few encounters where this stone-age thinking is encouraged. Case in point. Attend a conference with my friend, stand at an insurance booth. The guy was very friendly and had a very warm personality so we decided to indulge him. Yaps on about this and the other policy. Smart chap seeing our expression decides to change tact and ask a few questions. We readily communicate that we are awaiting graduation. Face changes. I kid you not, from this jovial grin to a very contemplative look. And says ‘’ Word of advice, Don’t wait too long. It is always good to start these things early.’’ What things pray tell? “It’s good to start your career when settled in a family” Sema feminist bells kulia. This. guy. must. be. joking. Excuse me?? Is there a black hole somewhere swallowing men alive? Do you see a fat neon sign on my forehead saying “Ripe and ready”???? You must be kidding me. Anyway, back to it; that is a different blog post.
I’m awake and realise that truly, I am an adult. No more cha mama. Nobody cares whether I was successful in finding (x) or are still looking for (y). If I went to my dream school or are yet to wake up from that dream. I have met this being called society and are slowly acquainted with the swipe i.e. the up-down look that determines the duration of their audience with me. Ni mimi na Mungu wangu.
The chronicles of adulating. Part two awaits.