The duality of human existence: more than just black and white

 

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May 2018

In the event of Kanye West saying “slavery was a choice” and people we looked up to such as Morgan Freeman being accused of sexual harassment, we have to acknowledge the duality of human existence. A person can be a great musician, actor, co-worker etc but still be a less than perfect human. When we revere people to the extent of unrealistic adoration, we are bound to be disappointed because no one can ever live up to such expectations.

In the words of Tupac, “ a role is something people play and a model is something people make. Both of those things are fake.” I think it’s okay to have a role model for a specific facet of their life but not for their entire being. For example, we can admire Michael Jackson for his work ethic but not for his other life choices. We can admire Kevin Hart for his humor but not for his infidelity. When we realize that people are more complex than what we see with our eyes, we allow them to make their choices and have their peace.

I was watching an interview of Keke Palmer on the Breakfast Club radio show. Let me just say Keke is able to dissect being human so well for a person who is just 24 years old. In the interview, she discusses going through depression and growing up in the limelight. Her most interesting discussion for me is when she recalls the first time that her parents fell short of her expectations. She wasn’t trying to throw her parents under the bus. She was simply making the point that everyone is bound to disappoint us at one point or another. However, the greatest disappointment is when our parents first let us down. It’s not until that we are adults that we are realize that our parents are just human and were trying to do their best when raising us.

So to drive the point home, It’s important to recognize the complexity of human nature. It’s important not to harbor hate or judgment towards someone because of his or her life decisions. Everyone is going through life without a road map just like you. Nobody is perfect, including you, so don’t expect perfection (even from yourself). This post feels like a TED talk or therapy session, I’ve been avoiding writing this one for a while but I am glad that it finally came together in my head.

As always, thanks for reading. 🙂  ❤

5 things the royal wedding (Harry + Meghan) taught me

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May 2018

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t watch the full royal wedding ceremony mainly because I love my sleep. It was all over by the time I woke up yesterday but I definitely kept up with the course of events via instagram and twitter (twitter is my happy place by the way). I think the most interesting part about the royal wedding is not the ceremony but more so the love story between Meghan and Harry. Their love story has taught me a lot and I’ve decided to share the 5 main things that have stuck with me about this beautiful union of interracial, intercontinental, and intersectional love.

 

  1. Meghan is a divorcee and yet she still managed to find a man who loves her enough to break customary tradition. Imagine how she probably felt after the failure of her first marriage, just hoping that it wasn’t too late to find love again. Then not only does she find love but love with odds against her. Then despite these odds, Harry still chooses her. Ladies and gentleman, I am surprised a meteor hasn’t come crashing to earth yet because this story is so wild and beyond my imagination. The point from this is you should never allow someone to tell you that they can’t be with you because of their family or because of their title, career, etc. If someone wants you, they’ll move heaven and earth to be with you.
  2. You should never beat yourself up over a failed relationship, marriage, etc. I am sure walking away from her first marriage was not easy for Meghan. A lot of people are seeking inspiration from her relationship with Harry. However, there’s a deeper message from her first relationship. The message to me is that you should never settle for less than what you desire and what you deserve. Somewhere deep in Meghan’s heart, she knew that her first husband was not fulfilling her life in the way she wanted and instead of settling for complacency, she stepped out to look for something better. That hope is something we can all believe in (sorry for stealing your tag line, Obama). During most of my break-ups, it’s always because I realize that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with said person. I am sure Meghan wishes she had realized that before marrying her first husband but it’s better late than never. So don’t settle for less. Look for the person who sets your heart on fire and makes you feel down right amazing.
  3. True love always comes on time. This is something my dad actually taught me. If you the love that has come to you is not fitting into your life and seems to have come at the wrong time, it’s not true love. True love comes when your heart and life is ready to experience it. If this fairy tale love had come earlier for Meghan (let’s say in her 20s), she probably would have never been fulfilled in her acting career because she would have been forced to give that up to be part of British royalty. So yes she’s 36 years old and this love is just on time. She’s not the only woman who was in her mid-thirties and unmarried. Best believe, she won’t be the last. So if some of us are destined for the same, don’t curse your life. Don’t hurry love, you never know what destiny has in store for you (hopefully a prince lol).
  4. Be true to yourself. Even if you are marrying a prince, your life is still yours. If you want to walk down the aisle in a simple wedding dress and bare minimum makeup, do you baby. While the world was watching and expected extravagance, Meghan chose to stick to her own personal style. That in itself was a pretty bold move despite the simplicity of her look. Also note, that Harry still looked at her like she was wearing a decadent Victoria secret fantasy lingerie set. I guess you can amp this up by wearing a potato sack to your wedding and seeing if your man looks at you the same (haha I am just joking). But anyway, moral of the story is be unapologetically you.
  5. Lastly, love knows no rules and no boundaries. There’s an African proverb that says “If you stay where you were born, you’ll end up marrying your cousin.” I paraphrased this quote but essentially it means, you should always look for new experiences, new places to see, and new people to meet. If you network very well, you have a higher probability of meeting possible suitors. As you all probably know, Meghan and Harry met through being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend (that friend is the real MVP by the way). Through new experiences, Meghan is now living across the pond with a prince as the Duchess of Sussex. Cue God’s plan for the millionth time.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a final quote shared during the wedding ceremony. 🙂 ❤

If humanity ever captures the energy of love, it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.”  – Bishop Michael Curry

5 things my niece has taught me about motherhood

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My niece and I , February 2018
  1. Children know how to read vibes. This is especially true about my niece who doesn’t allow just anyone to hold her. She has to get to know you first and see you around several times before becoming comfortable around you.
  2. True happiness is seeing a child squeal with excitement upon you walking through the door. My niece and I sometimes do this squealing match where I make a sound and she matches it with the same or even more excitement.
  3. Seeing a child sick is the most saddening thing to watch. Whether the child is coughing or high with fever, you just hope that what you do is enough to make her feel better. This is especially true when the child is not old enough to talk to communicate how she feels.
  4. When you fall down in life, clean yourself up and get back up again. My niece rounds around all day and falls on the ground at least once a day. Even if she cries, she’ll still be up and running within a few minutes. I hope she keeps this same energy throughout the years.
  5. Love is the greatest thing you could ever give someone. Throughout her few years of life, I am given my niece several gifts but i’ve noticed that the gift she enjoys the most is my presence. When I don’t see her for a while, I feel guilty. When I leave her without spending a lot of time with her, I can somehow see disappointment in her eyes. So now I make it a point to see her at least three times a week since she lives so close to me.

Why my brother’s graduation means so much to me

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Stephen’s Graduation May 2018

            Words cannot express how grateful I am to God for bringing my family so far through the ups and downs of life. When we achieve such great things as a graduation, we realize even more that the downs of life are worth it. I don’t regard myself as a preacher in any way but sometimes you come to realize that your life is a testimony of grace, patience, perseverance, and blessings. My younger brother graduated yesterday with an engineering degree which did not come easy. Late nights studying, sometimes having to hire tutors, working part time, and consulting other engineering graduates were all part of the hustle. But one thing I admire about my little brother (who looks much older than me) is that he never complains through it all. Whining is a word that is not in his vocabulary.

            The greatest thing I admire about my brother is his ability to network. Put him in a room of people and two things will probably happen: 1. He’ll realize he already knows somebody in the room and 2. He’ll end up making several new connections. His namesake Stephen Juma Mawia (our maternal grandfather) was a politician so I think he got this trait from him. Despite this ability to make new friends, Stephen always keeps his day 1 friends close and knows the difference between a friend vs an acquaintance. Simply stated Stephen is an emotionally intelligent person.

            As much as I am applauded for my intellect especially in terms of achieving a doctor of pharmacy degree, my younger brother is much more emotionally intelligent than I am. Some people are born with a warm soul and I believe Stephen is one of them. I pray that he may maintain his good nature and young spirit through the ups and downs that face him in his life. As I will look to him as my inspiration to be a better person. 🙂 ❤

The male perspective on dating ft  5 comments from male readers

 

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April 2018

So I learn a lot from my readers, especially my male readers who are quick to tell me what the male perspective is on certain topics such as cheating, marriage, and dating in general. As such, this blog has been due for a while now. I admit that I didn’t write it up sooner because I couldn’t figure out how to not water down the words of my male readers. Well, the lightbulb went off today and decided to share their words in the raw form. Word for word. No filters. I share my thoughts underneath the quotes so you can get my perspective but this post is not about me. It’s about the men. So without further ado, here are the top 5 comments about dating from my male readers.

  1. “Yeah women do take advantage of nice men but at the end of the day it’s them who lose. The guy might be damaged for some time but we always pick up the threads.”
  • I agree with this sentiment that nice guys may finish last but they actually win the race.
  1. “The thought that someone you trust with your life can be so casual with your heart is not something I’d wish on anybody but unfortunately that’s the world we’re living in hence, the need to protect oneself.”
  • The first relationship advice that my dad gave me was “don’t give your heart to anyone.” In my opinion, I don’t give my heart easily but I can sometimes rush in to love like a fool so it’s definitely smart to not wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to dating.
  1. “Most females actually have their guards on. It’s like they don’t trust no matter how a guy tries due to past relationships.”
  • I think a lot of guys complain about this but you must understand the quote “once bitten, twice shy.” We would be fools not to protect ourselves after being hurt. However, ladies please don’t build a Great Wall of China around your heart. Maybe a little fence might do.
  1. “I think Kenyans we get confused here in the U.S. We love our own but yet we act like we are trying to rediscover each other.”
  • The guy who made this comment has proposed that we need a forum of Kenyan women vs men in the diaspora when it comes to dating. If you’re in support of such a forum, please comment below and propose which city this should be held.
  1. “The older, I get, the more I realize how corrupt the institution of marriage has become especially in 2018. I’m yet to see a happily married couple. I think after the initial excitement is over, people just tolerate each other.”
  • The man that shared this perspective went on to say that he has been in “numerous relationships some of which would’ve ended up in marriage”. Also, he recognizes that his “feelings are subject to change” as he is “still evolving”.

Thank you reading. As always, the comment section is open for further thoughts. 🙂 ❤

A United Kingdom movie review

If you don’t already know the actor David Oyelowo is, then you’re missing out on a Hollywood heavy weight. He was amazing in the Selma movie as Martin Luther King Jr. and along side Lupita Nyongo in Queen of Katwe. So if you don’t know, now you know. Personally I think his performance in A United Kingdom is his best one yet.

First of all, there was such a great range of emotion despite the fact that he is the heir to the throne of Botswana in the movie. This is mainly due to the great plot which is based on the true story of how Chief Seretse Khama fell in love with a white British woman while studying in the U.K. and made the bold move to make her his wife (and mother of the black African country). As expected there was a lot of hate directed towards the interracial couple both from his Botswanan people and the British people who oversaw the running of Botswana as it was a British protectorate.

I don’t want to ruin the story but I will say that this is an inspiring story considering this interracial love was in the 1940s and still survived the test of racism. Personally, I have preferred to date someone who is African like me but sometimes you meet truly amazing people that are of a different race. In my opinion, rejecting someone based on their different race is cowardly. At the end of the day, we all bleed red and all will die some day so there’s more that unites us than separates us.

Without further ado, I will link the trailer of A United Kingdom. I hope this inspires you to watch it.

Graduation jitters: how to remain calm while graduating from college

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PharmD Graduation 2017

As a recent grad of pharmacy school (representing class of 2017), I can definitely sympathize with those who are graduating this season. My younger brother is actually the one who suggested I write on this topic as he is graduating in a few weeks. I instantly jumped on writing this post because I believe that it can help put things in perspective for upcoming graduates. I think the main issues that affect prospective graduates are the following: job search stress, independence stress, and anxiety of what they could have done differently in school. Therefore, I’ll break down this post in those three categories. Let’s begin.

 

Job Search Stress: I think this is one of the greatest stresses that one can experience at any point in their life but especially after graduating. Most of us are taught, if you have good grades you won’t have trouble finding a job. This is not completely true as connections end up being the greatest resource in finding a job. I personally didn’t apply for jobs until I was done with my pharmacy board exams because I didn’t want to be rushed to work while studying. Once I started applying 2 out of the job offers I got were due to having a connection who already worked for said company. I actually didn’t end up working for those two companies because I got a better offer but that’s a story for another time. The main takeaway point is that connections aren’t absolutely necessary but they do help. As such, try to network as much as you can during your final semester and even after you graduate (LinkedIn is a great place to start). The greatest advice is to keep calm and carry on. If you’re stressing, then you won’t be relaxed at your interviews which will lead to you not performing well. Take time to do things that make you happy so you’re not obsessing over finding a job. Eventually you will get one because the law of probability will be in your favor, the more you apply. If you need job interview tips, please refer to my previous post on this topic.

Independence stress: When we’re about to graduate, it is common to dream about making lots of money, having a fabulous apartment, car, clothes, etc. However, the reality is most of us don’t have enough money saved up or might not get a million-dollar salary to live that lifestyle. So it’s okay to stay in your lane until you can work yourself up to that lifestyle. It’s okay to move back in with your parents (not spending more time with family is something a lot of people regret). I currently live with my parents which I enjoy because I lived away from them for 6 years in pharmacy school. This also allows me to save money so that I’ll be more capable to live the lifestyle I want when I eventually move out. Before I got a job, I was depending on my parents for the most part and that is okay to do because starving yourself is not an option. I will say that I do have parents who are strict and would limit your independence significantly so I can totally understand not living with your parents as well. I am pretty fortunate that my parents aren’t the typical iron fist type of African parents.

Anxiety: I definitely had anxiety during my undergraduate graduation. First of all, I started picking apart every move that I made in college. I convinced myself that I didn’t do enough even though I was in a rigorous pharmacy program. I started signing up for almost every event during my last semester in efforts to make up for lost time. I ended up being very worn out because of that and was not in good health emotionally, mentally, and physically (my parents literally kept forcing to me eat when I came home that summer). The take away point is if you live in the past, you’ll become depressed. If you live in the future, you’ll become anxious. So the solution is to live in the present and do the best that you can for yourself now. Your dream life isn’t built in a day let alone in your 4 , 5, 6, or 8 years of college, be patient and build it slowly. And to be very philosophical, if you are always grateful for what you have in the moment then you’ll always be living your dream life.

Congrats class of 2018! May you prosper and take your life by its reins. 🙂 ❤

All the best!

Sincerely,

Mercy Rodah

Taking Stock – April 2018

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March 2018

This lip liner by P.S. in the color wine goes with me everywhere  I go and I imagine it will be a part of my makeup collection for the rest of my life. It’s been a while since my last “taking stock” ; So here goes another one.

Making: my room more of what I’ve always wanted. My new bedroom set comes with two 6 drawer dressers and a leather headboard on the bed. I’ve never really put a lot of effort into decorating my bedroom before so I think it’s about time to do so since eventually I might have to decorate a home (cue Drake’s God’s plan). 

Eating: Just ate some tacos for lunch as fuel for the preparation of Easter dinner with the family. I was actually impressed by the tacos at Moe’s Southwest Grill (fun fact: my older brother actually used to work there in high school).

Drinking: water. I try to drink at least a liter of water everyday so that’s my beverage of choice 99% of the time. It’s good for your skin and helps with digestion so get on that H20

Reading: a business book that my brother lent me called The Compounding Effect by Darren Hardy.

Playing: God’s plan by Drake as well as The Weeknd’s new album. I am also a fanatic for soundcloud afrobeats mixes especially for workout music. 

Creating: memories with family as always. My niece just started walking last month and watching her grow is still a blessing each and every day.

Wishing: that everyone has a happy and safe Easter holiday.

Enjoying: working evening shift. Any one who knows me knows that I am not a morning person. At my new job I was hired to be evening shift but I had to be training on morning shift.  The transition to evening shift has been wonderful for me and my sleep in lifestyle.

Liking: This gel nailpolish I bought. I am not allowed to have manicured hands at work since I have to make intravenous fluids from time to time and nail polish harbors bacteria. However, I am able to have pedicured feet so I bought nail polish for that purpose.

Wondering: when I should schedule my next massage. I have a monthly massage membership since I have a bad back and so far it has been money well spent. Massages have other benefits like decreasing stress and anxiety so definitely consider including it in your life.

Loving: new shoes that I bought from Public Desire (an online store based in the UK) and some from lolashoetique (based in California). If you like platform heeled shoes, UK stores are definitely the place to buy them (yes these shoes are like 5 inches tall but very comfortable).

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Hoping: that I will get to travel some for vacation by the end of the year, both locally and internationally.

Marvelling: at how fast this year is flying by. 2018 has been good to me so far. I hope the blessings may continue.

Wearing: a dress that my sister-in-law gave me. I love dresses that don’t require ironing and this is one of them so I am happy to have it.

Noticing: that there’s something powerful about writing stuff down. I’ve journaled quite a bit this year and it’s like therapy to me so I plan to maintain that practice.

Knowing: that there’s always a bigger plan. Life is about the journey, not the destination. Furthermore, Wins and losses are all part of the journey. You can’t always win and you won’t always lose so don’t stress too hard about life.

Thinking: that we should cherish people when they’re with us as being together forever is not always guaranteed. Whether those people are work mates, friends, family, or even teachers, we should make it our duty to be our best selves for each other and especially for our own selves.

Feeling: liberated that I am right where I want to be right now in my life. At peace and truly grateful.   Thank you for reading. 🙂 ❤ 

Happiness in marriage ft Will Smith

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2014 South Africa

I recently saw a video of Will Smith explaining how he and his wife were reflecting on the revelations they discovered about love during their marriage. The main revelation that Will shared is that he and Jada realized that your spouse cannot be responsible for your own happiness. He continues to share that someone can make you laugh or make you feel good but no one can make you feel happy. Happiness is one’s responsibility. The minute you place that responsibility on someone else is when you set yourself up for failure.

Will Smith even claimed that the concept that two people become one during marriage is a fallacy. As Frida Kahlo would say, you are the subject you know best so you are best suited to meet your needs. You are on your own journey while your spouse is on theirs. Your role should be supportive like a cheerleader and less of a “parental role”. I think this is why a lot of people complain later in life that they gave up their dreams for their spouse. If you’re trying to be one then merging both of your goals, desires, and interests is not going to be seamless. If you let your partner pursue their goals while you also do the same, there will probably be more success and less resentment in the relationship.

Lastly, Will stated that when you both you and your partner come to each other as full cups already fulfilled with your happiness then the relationship is more fruitful. I’ve noticed over the years in my parent’s marriage that when they both have their hobbies and time to themselves, they are a lot happier with each other. So yes I think Will and Jada are onto something. Maybe that’s why they’ve also aged so well. Low stress and happy marriage probably does equate with better aging so I will be taking this message to heart. If you’re interested in watching the clip of Will Smith discussing this topic, please see the link below. 🙂 ❤