So let the blogging begin!
So did any of you guys notice that I have been on hiatus for like 3 months? What? That is so unlike me. Well, me, myself, and I have been going through some growing pains and trying to adjust to the transitions that have just fallen on my lap. In all, there were goods, bads, and just plain annoying, but I am here now, trying to blog again, so bear with me. About 4 months ago (wow, so prompt, Barbara) Lisa, who blogs on From the North to the South, tagged me on Instagram’s 20 Facts Tag. So in Barbara’s fashion, I like to dramatize things, and here we are making it a blog post too. Also, because I feel terrible that we had to take a break (tear) and have “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation, but I am back now, and we can begin our relationship. So here are twenty facts you might not know about me, and when you do, I hope you will still want me. (I am a clingy type of girlfriend, so you know!)
Umm! So my blog anniversary came and went, and I thought it was a month from now, but (no, Barbara) it was August 2nd. Sigh! I am trying to care about celebrating stuff so we can pretend that this is my blogaversary. So, for this blogaversary, I would like to challenge myself. I won’t tell you what yet, but stay tuned and see.
I am Barbara Njuguna, a Kenyan in America, from the Kikuyu tribe. I am a female on most days, but when I am not, I am a unicorn who farts rainbows. (jealous!)’
As I said above, I am from the Kikuyu tribe, so I speak Kikuyu. Since I am Kenyan, the national languages are English and Swahili. So I know three languages. I can only speak two English and Swahili because my accent prevents me from forming the words for Kikuyu, but I fully understand it. The funny thing was when I used to go to Kenya. I used to speak to my cucu (grandmother) in Swahili, and she would talk to me in Kikuyu. She understood Swahili but couldn’t speak it and vice versa, funny how our brains process things.
I got a bachelor’s in Psychology and had a year internship working as a research assistant. My days consisted of in-patient interviews, transcriptions, HIV test counseling, data entry, and outreach work. Now I am in transition between jobs. My main love is positive psychology, which is the way I live my life, or I try too. Now I am trying to blog and just open up myself even more so I can leave this world with just a little more acceptance for different people and to know that yes, life is hard and it doesn’t come in one straight line, but in all of it, it’s okay. You don’t need to change as long as you accept your highs and your crippling lows.
I know, I know! Who hates gifts? Well, me. It started developing at age 12; when I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday but being an African child, your birthday is really not about you; it’s about your parents showcasing you. So we had my birthday anyway, (let me tell you that was the last birthday that my parents ever celebrated, it didn’t end well.) Since I decided I didn’t want to celebrate it, I didn’t want to have gifts. Well, I got them, and well, I loathed them.
I think for me, I hate materialistic affection; it is very generic and very mundane. People do it without thinking, well, being a very emotional person, I hold so much value on materialistic things, but I soon learned that I was the only person who did. I make a connection that when someone gives me a gift, it is a way of how they care about you, and it gives me so much anxiety when they end up treating me in a less deserving way. Long story short, my brain cannot make a connection from the gift and your actions, I see them as one thing. So at this point in my life, I don’t like gifts, I really hate them. Sure, I do get them, but I only accept them because it takes more work to tell people that I don’t want it. But for the people who really know me, know not to give me gifts, and I do cherish that more than anything. In all seriousness, all I want from anybody is to treat me in the most genuine and honest way possible. And yes! You are all asking how the hell do you date? Well, I really don’t, or I don’t try to, but lately, that has been failing. But I was in a long term relationship where there weren’t really gifts, and he did respect that, but I mean, if no one can accept this, then we don’t have to date. I like to have a clear conscious of our relationship, whatever that may be, and I think gifts cloud our judgments. And a quick disclaimer, I warn anyone not to give me a gift to resolve a fight or disagreement. You might not like who I turn into; I think that is the laziest thing, EVER!
Arg! I wasn’t going to add this because I knew there were going to be people who know my birthday who would post it, but I mean this is a fact. But if you respect me, you definitely would refrain from that. So yeah! I don’t celebrate my birthday. I haven’t really celebrated it for about 12 years. Yeah! I stopped on my 12th birthday; it would have been my 11th birthday, but it happened. Well, let’s just say that I literally cried the entire time. I think many for you are asking yourself why, but I actually don’t really know. Well, I have an idea but not in its entirety, and till I figure out from start to finish, that’s all I can say, “I don’t celebrate it.” I don’t like to acknowledge it; I like to think I don’t have one, it’s just easier. The actual date is the most anxiety-driven day, I pretty much just tune out. I don’t answer calls, and only be by myself. My goal is to get over it, but I want to do it by myself first. So in the meantime, my family tries to respect it, well as much as they can, and not acknowledge it and definitely no gifts! In all, the rest of the 364 days are pretty good, but you might know Bethenny Frankel doesn’t like her birthday either. Well, some people don’t, but it definitely makes the work environment interesting.
So yeah! This is weird as well; let’s say that I am just plain weird. And yeah, in Barbara’s extreme fashion, I took this to the next level. It’s not only catcalling that I hate but really just admiring or saying anything good about something that I didn’t work for, i.e., appearance, just born with things, you know, even my allergy. Not saying I don’t really appreciate it, I have no idea how to process praise at all. I am really weird and don’t know what to say. I hear that I am a strong person because my nickel allergy is so severe I cannot eat out or even drink tap water. I need to meal plan all the time, and if I forget my lunch, I have to choose between being hungry or cheating and getting sick. I also have a nickel allergy that causes asthenia, yeah I haven’t really heard of anyone who has this, but in reality, I am figuring it out. I have good days and bad days and plain F-this days that land me to a, and sometimes I use food as my medicine when I am stressed. But the difference is that it can severely damage me. Not saying I am not strong, but I am surviving. Being strong to me since I like to hold myself in unattainable goals is never to cheat, but that isn’t really feasible to me.
Second is praises, I have found in the workplace people like to congratulate people on things they have accomplished, and the sheer thought of all eyes on me doesn’t seem appealing to me. But it does happen, and people just look at me like why aren’t you happy. Umm! I just want this attention to stop. I have been like that since I can remember. Even though I seem very outgoing doesn’t mean I am. But it also doesn’t mean if I am in a social situation, I cannot act the part. But I like one and one and just intimate group settings.
In conclusion, celebrating in general when it comes to me is just plain weird. I hate it, and I don’t really treat myself to anything. Maybe I value people, even myself doing things without any reward just because you want to. This explains why I didn’t celebrate my undergraduate graduation because I knew I was going to get it anyway. It was going to happen even if there wasn’t a ceremony. But, I am really trying to get better at this cause I have realized celebrating isn’t about you sometimes. It’s about other people celebrating things for you.
I know, but you have a lot of Instagram photos. Yeah, I am a bit of a contradiction. But my family can attest to this; I used to cry when anyone took my picture, I don’t really do that anymore because I am an adult or trying to act like one. But taking pictures would really make me so upset. Nowadays, taking pictures is fine if I have some control. If I take or I approve of them. But what I am tackling right now is Youtube. If anyone has been following me for a while, I’ve tried to do Youtube, but somehow, I just cannot upload the videos. In a way, the fear is there, but for this blogiversary, I am trying to challenge myself and get out of this box I have built all these years. So I did do that in a minor way through Periscope, which did give me some confidence, and also I saw how ditsy I am.
I am either way too happy or way too sad. There is no in-between, well maybe if in between is not caring. But in all, I definitely know that this makes having any causal relationship or friendship hard. If I like your presence, I make sure to overindulge in it. You will definitely expect me to care about you in a matter of seconds and want to involve you in my day. Or I don’t care at all. I might need to work on this cause having small talk is part of life, but I actually suck at it. But Kristen Bell sums up my emotions in this clip.
Yeah! I have a lot of other allergies. Not really food-related well except for milk, but other than that, it is mostly weeds, pollen, cats, dogs, and many more. I am also mildly allergic to a fragrance, but it is so mild that I don’t really pay attention to it.
I played the cello for about 6 to 7 years. I definitely miss it, but due to my allergy, I will need to replace the strings. So I haven’t started up again, but I do try to listen to classical music when I do yoga or meditate and try to live vicariously through that. But the good thing is that the strings can be replaced.
I fall in love with the strange and unfamiliar with the chaos and the calm. With the way, someone cannot help but just be themselves. I love anomalies and square pegs, refusing to fit in a round hole. I fall in love with kindness, the one that is too worried about another person’s happiness than worrying about their own. Lastly, I fall in love with the strength of not letting someone fall apart.
My dreams have definitely changed. I dreamt of going to graduate school and getting my Ph.D. by 30. Starting my own practice and going back to Kenya to start a happiness and wellbeing movement. But these days not so much, I still strive for these things, but if they don’t happen, I won’t be too upset. I dream that whatever I go through, it will never change who I am. I will always see the good in people and will try my hardest to try to see it from their perspective, and if that cannot happen, it is still okay. I dream of peace.
Sometimes I think I see life in drunk goggles, but my perception lies in the way life is presented to me.
I see people frankly trying to protect their hearts through the most extensive lengths. I see people forgetting that we are all connected and that we can all benefit from each other’s compassion. I see older people surviving and younger people understanding that you need to take a suit of armor with you when you start your roots in the world. I see more hate than love, more deceiving than understanding, and most of all, I think I see me realizing I need a suit of armor as well.
To piggyback on repairing, I also do want to find peace on things I cannot repair. And also know that sometimes just being okay in your state of being good or bad is part of it. I think we are all trying to find this.
So, yes! I am creating. Well, this blog is my creation, and I definitely cherish it. It’s my baby who just turned 1 year. Woohoo! But I have many more things I want to do when it comes to this blog and the message I want to display. As you can see there are no google ads in this blog because I don’t want to show any ads that I am allergic to. Everything that you see, I support wholeheartedly. But the whole point of doing this blog was to help people with food allergies emotionally, mentally, and socially. Having a food allergy doesn’t have a how-to guide, and it definitely affects you socially. So I am much a part of this blog as all of you viewers are, again this is our blog; we learn, fail, and teach the world together. So don’t hesitate to reach out with topics you want to talk about and just a listening ear.
I am searching for a platform or even a place where I can conduct myself as a human being. For example, eat, drink, socialize, or even be spontaneous. I definitely think having this allergy stripped me of a carefree life. So yeah, all the things people do daily definitely take more effort for me to do. So, I would love in the next 10 years to have a company or a place where I can get food on the go or get food delivered. I also would love to have certain types of jewelry and clothes to have nickel-free options, just like they have plus-size options.
You might have guessed this based on the just off the wall facts about me, and yeah, I am misunderstood. Always, I think my guidelines and just plain things I just don’t do makes me come off as very rude. But maybe I am just searching for more from people. Perhaps I just cannot stand anything generic. To sum it up, all I want out of anyone is the truth in whatever form that comes in. It took a long time to realize this about myself, but my internship definitely helped. As I said, I used to go to the inpatient psych unit to conduct interviews with the patients. I can say that this environment was definitely stressful, but I looked at it in a whole different way. I say that the patients I was talking to just spoke the truth. They couldn’t help but be who they wanted to be, and I appreciated that.
To finish off the facts. I am relative, which means all these facts are true, but the abstract ones or even something I don’t do can all change depending on the situation and the environment. For example, I blog, yes, and I have a lot of praise and attention, yes. But the difference is this is a purpose; it is my work; it is my blood sweat and tears. I appreciate people admiring that and my growth for putting myself out there even though it is so outside my comfort zone. As I pursue things that I said I don’t do or like please keep in mind that we are all growing and changing and if I get to accept gifts without questioning someone’s loyalty or action that would definitely be a day I would look back and say “dang look how far I have come” Just like my camera phobia.
So, I think I am exhausted! Am I the only person who gets a question about facts about themselves, and I am like, “Do I even know who I am?” “Do I know my life?” and “Who am I?” Well, 4 months later, I have finally summed it up.
So I declare the other 10 beautiful people who are tagged to come up with 20 facts about them. You can definitely just do it on Instagram.