As I finish my supper in silence, I use my left hand to scroll down my Facebook page to catch up with the outside world. Some of the memes, jokes, gifs, videos and statuses seem to be the only entertainment I look forward to, after a whole day of monotonous chores. It’s a ritual especially when it’s just mummy and I in the house. We were already passed the small talk and the ‘you didn’t do this and didn’t do that’ part of the conversation so I went ahead to social media.
As I keep scrolling, I noticed Janet got engaged. Oh yes Janet! The Janet that was always going out from Monday to Monday, The Janet who couldn’t do any chores because she will break her nails, The Janet who couldn’t cook and has now resulted to making Oh! Foods through the microwave, The Janet who has a hard time babysitting her sister’s baby…Yes that Janet. I type a congratulations very fast with a wink and added you found yourself a catch, don’t lose this one. They are hard to find.
I was happy for her but at the same time I felt like everybody else’s lives are moving on even the ones you least expected and am stuck in mum’s house washing dishes, cooking food, cleaning here and there, fixing curtains and mending my youngest sister’s uniforms every time she gets adventurous in the playground. Ever since I graduated from Campus with a degree in mass communication, I haven’t landed myself a proper job. I have applied to over 200 media and PR firms and still nothing has materialized to a proper well paying job. It got to a point, I even started doubting the power that a college degree holds.
In some cases, you make it to the interview and it looks like there’s hope but after that nothing happens. In others you get a call and wait for the next step but most of them get you, when you are in between doing chores, buying groceries and washing the house, and that my friend becomes the dead end. In some you just get an email.This had become exhausting. I had started thinking of other options.
After two years of being unemployed, you start loosing friends. You can barely hang out with them anymore because you are a liability. Someone has to take care of your food, your drinks and how you get home because you do not have money to do all that and so, your friends prefer to hangout with other people who are working like them so that they can share the costs instead.Most people think you are not trying to get out of your status. They have no idea how many rejections you get and how frustrating being dependent on others is.
Eventually, I started drifting apart from people as they drifted apart from me and also avoided friends who keep putting you in horrible situations. Once there was a friend who invited me for lunch at Ronalos and I ended up paying for a meal, I hadn’t even planned for because my ‘friend’ decided to call and ask me to come for lunch then decided to go dutch. The 500 bob I used that day was supposed to cater for busfare back home,for milk and bread for the next day’s breakfast and probably the change would be for the next day’s lunch and it was then used for one meal. I died a little.
I wasn’t in a relationship. You barely have time to meet anyone when you are the acting house help of your mother’s house. I always thought she would be easier on me since I am her daughter but instead she was tougher and less tolerant of any mistake I did. I was always cleaning something, dusting somewhere, cooking something, washing something else, arranging something, fixing something. The closest I came to social contact is on my way to the kiosk to buy groceries, on the way to take my little sister to school or on my way to church in which I was always holding my sister hands most people thought ‘she was my child’. So eventually, the young men in the youth service keep their distance from the single mother who looks like she started sexual activities out of wedlock. Judgy people these ones.
I hated this feeling. Feeling of being behind in everything. While other people are getting engaged, married and having babies, I didn’t even have a boyfriend. While other people are talking about work, promotions, I am busy ranting about housechores and standard five girl drama and homework troubles. While people are moving out and starting out their singles lives, I am busy trying to explain to my mum why I don’t wipe the window seal of her bedroom everyday. While people are travelling and having fun, I am busy cancelling plans because I cant afford to go for them. My life felt like a really bad obnoxious mess. I had considered running away but that wouldn’t guarantee me anything except more problems. Where would I even go?
As I look forward to turning 27, I had always had this thought that by now, I will have moved out, I would have a job working my way to my first or second promotion, dating or probably married with a first born of 4 years and a 2 year old second born. I would be driving and started thinking about morgaging a house in Kitengela or Kajiado. All these thoughts were triggered by the childhood mantra read hard, go to university, get a good job, get married, have kids and leave happily ever after. Someone should have mentioned that it doesn’t happen at the same time and in the same way for everyone.
I know I feel like a failure because there is a time straint put for success. If you are not out of the house at this age you are lagging behind. If something doesn’t happen at a certain time then you are a failure. I hate being a late bloomer. You almost feel like an insult to your passionate dreams.
However, Wahenga walisema,”Kutangulia sio kufika” (getting a headstart doesn’t guarantee an early finish)… I am still on my journey, I can’t show anything for it yet but I know it will happen at its own time.