Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little Surprises

"I didn't set goals this year."

Lately, that is the thought that runs through my mind at every bad turn. Nothing seems to be going according to a nonexistent plan and it hurts a little. I feel like I am where I was not so many years ago. However, those little shadows of failure cannot take away my smile from some of the surprising successes of the past few months.

My writing has been quite sporadic as evident and inasmuch as I am unable to string two coherent sentences together in an abandoned journal, the words are starting to return. Little by little; I am returning to the person that used to write short little notes on her phone and twitter. If there is one thing I do not want to lose along with my knack for drawing is the ability to write. Writing has and will always be my tried and tested form of therapy no matter the situation.

I had one interview and a half if I can call it that. My very first interview of the year was with a boss chick who is basically doing what I want to do. I'm not sure if she felt my admiration during the process but she made quite the impression on me. I remember telling my brother about it later and he saying, 'I hope you didn't show her you wanted her job.' That's how much I was impressed. I didn't get the position but cutting it to the interview stage was  motivating. As for the second one; I was invited but never made it. The last time I ever did anything in the grip of intense pain was my final year exams at university. I sat them sick as a dog and I promised myself never to do so for anything not even this interview that found me in said condition.

As the year progressed, I made two promises to myself: not to give out my number to guys and not write any of their names and feelings or thoughts evoked in my journal. I bombed on the first promise and upheld the second. In a year where it was mentally a 'no boys allowed' zone, there came along two people of which I found the second intriguing. Kind of like that person your sub-conscience randomly wonders what makes them tick then let the thought go until God or life drops them in your lap and the more you get to know them the curiouser and curiouser you become!

Still on the breaking of the 'no boys allowed' zone. I went on an indescribable thing. I am not sure if it was a date or a drive-by or whatever they call it nowadays with a guy who I found in the company of his friends! Those were the most awkward 30 minutes of my life and an experience I would care less to repeat. I had no idea boys do such things. He should have told me to bring my friends too.

There have been a few uncharacteristically crazy happenings which I hope not to repeat in the next couple of months and years. I want them to end with just one person for the rest of my life regardless of the stay in each other's lives. My inner crazy came out, played and called it. That's it.

The best part of it all are the boundless moments of inspiration. I may not have shared much on Simply Shanah but my drawing is the constant positive right now and I love it. I have been able to draw a couple of drawings using my favourite medium while trying my hand albeit unsuccessfully at color and painting. Those two mediums are not my forte and I even wonder why I bother!

I am such a pessimist. I believe in promises when they come true however life from this point of view doesn't look so bad. It reminds me of why I started a gratitude journal-to concentrate on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative like I usually do. Maybe I should make more of an effort until I find my rhythm. I may not be fully solid emotions wise but it is enough. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Good Day

Meet me on a good day
When my hair is shiny and beautiful
When I look fly as fuck
When what happens after wont matter
Because I felt good about myself
Good enough to meet you.

A Selfless Love

In the face of so much pain,
A situation where anybody else would be zealously selfish;
A good heart,
Remains selfless in its love.
Shanah Shameem

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cultural Norms


Once again; I accompanied my bosses on a trip to the Northern region of Uganda specifically the districts of Koboko, Pader and Karamoja on a monitoring and evaluation exercise for one of the ongoing projects over there. What these districts have in common are distance between each other, dark as sin people and extremely dry weather! I used to lament about the distance from Kampala to Entebbe until I travelled north. That journey to and fro is enough to make location as an item on my list of deal-breakers in a potential partner.
Aside from the journey and the extremely hot weather plus short and stout cows; the north is actually beautiful. I loved my first visit to Nebbi and thought it one of the developing districts in that region but Koboko puts up a good fight. It is coming along wonderfully. What impressed me most though was Karamoja. It is incredibly beautiful! The dryness of the earth and weather add to its beauty and I was told it is something else when the rainy season is upon them. If it wasn’t so dry and far, I would consider having a weekend home over there.
To get back to the purpose of the trip, the project under monitoring and evaluation had to do with the mitigation of gender based violence against girls and women with disabilities. Inasmuch as it was successful across all three districts, the main challenge against absolute success; prejudice and attitude towards persons with disabilities notwithstanding are the cultural norms.
In Kakwa culture (a tribe of people from Koboko) it is a taboo for a woman to report her husband to the police in case of gender based violence. A practice enabled by family members and friends who decide to keep silent about the crime thereby obstructing the judicial system. A victim in Karamoja narrated a similar experience where her partner an officer of the law at that couldn’t be brought to justice over child negligence and abuse out of fear and cultural beliefs. They would rather suffer in silence than bring shame upon themselves and their partners in the community.
If we the educated, well travelled, sophisticated and modern city dwellers can be ensnared in its tight far reaching tentacles when push comes to shove, how about the uneducated and helpless village dwellers? These are ideologies set before us and will continue to live on after us. One cannot battle pre-conceived notions until it is a do-or-die situation which I believe gender based violence is. It always comes down to someone’s inner strength and the need to do better for and by themselves because help alone is nothing. Until one comes to such a point, these tentacles will never be let go of.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Way It Is

It's sad you no longer see the truth in my words without getting your back up.
You are the one person I have ever shared my truths with implicitly.
With each truth lately,
I am either pushing you away or explaining myself.
I do not want to explain myself.
It is either you believe or not.
Your actions and responses claim you do not and it is OK.
You may not be fine with the way things are but I am.
I am fine with the way it is.

Shanah

Monday, June 13, 2016

Birthday Blues

Last month was my birthday and this time round it didn't go without a bit of pomp and circumstance. I was imbued with poor health throughout the month that the excitement was at an all time low. But alas; I managed to celebrate it poor health and all.
For the first time in my life, I had the birthday blues. My heart ground to a stop and started to beat faster as I thought over my lack of accomplishments. To date, the only expensive things I hold are my life and education.
I was in such a panick! I felt this past birthday marked the beginning of the end for my life. The proverbial clock (not maternal) had literally started ticking. As much as I would love to go out and conquer the world to my satisfaction; there is so much one person can do and I can't do it all.
It is there and then that I decided to be good and do good. If my good deeds before weren't enough the ones henceforth would hold water as I prepare for my end whenever it may come. The saddest thing in my books would be leaving this world without the gift of a little human for people to remember me by.

Friday, May 6, 2016

One Day

I'd like for one day,
On a bright sunny afternoon,
To sit on a park bench
Side-to-side with the one  I love.
Listening to the sound of birds,
As they flit past.

On that one day,
I'd love nothing more than,
To feel the love between us,
Basking in the solitude
Of our silence.

Shanah

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