Hello lovely people, I trust you had a great weekend. Shall we appreciate the ongoing rains? Albeit intermittent, it’s better than nothing,right? At lease the dust is settled and we can only hope that there will be enough to ensure some food crops grow. The price of food has sky rocketed to alarming levels. And more particularly, the price of potatoes! Oh precious potatoes. My Kikuyu counterparts feel my pain. Our staple food is borderline unaffordable. Sigh!
The weather aside, I have to admit that having a good memory is a double edged sword. It cuts both ways, making it a good and a bad thing. You get to remember every little detail about life (apart from when you direly need to during in examinations, sigh!) in such great detail which is a plus; and you can never suppress bad memories because they are clearly printed in your mind. In this regard, my classes seven and eight of my primary school are still quite vivid. These are the years when I experienced bullying for the first time. I remember how self-conscious I became, watching my every move, calculating my words and every imaginable thing that I had to do in front of my ‘oppressor’. I remember crying to my mother once about this mean girl in my class and she told me to fight for myself. To her, it did not come off as bullying, neither did it to me. I just kept telling myself that this girl was just being mean and jealous and it would stop with time. I would cry alone and always try my best to avoid her and her ‘crew’. Thank God it never got to drastic levels, or before it did, primary school came to an end we parted ways.
“Starvine I don’t think your compositions are good for the teacher to keep reading them in class and boring all of us. I think she is only doing that because she likes you and you keep going to the staffroom.” A classmate, a friend to ‘my oppressor’ once blurted out in such confidence after an English lesson. She said it so confidently that I low-key believed her. This coupled with the constant bullying made me pay attention to her words.
Back in primary school, every morning started with a composition writing session. For some reason, despite the cold and numb fingers we had those early mornings, these were my favourite sessions. I kept writing and letting my creative juices flow. The constant 36/40 score on my paper and ‘excellent’ comment from my teacher fuelled my desire to write even more and better. This particular teacher, Teacher Faith (may God rest her soul) always rewarded our efforts by reading out good compositions in class. These moments, my three minutes of ‘fame’ meant the world to me back then. I mean, as a 13-year old, you want to hear all the good things you can to keep you motivated.
That is why when this girl told me she didn’t think I deserved all that hullabaloo, it really got to me. In hindsight, I wish she spoke about my science, which I was struggling with. Or the fact that I could not draw or sing to save my life! But the one thing that I looked forward to every day, why that? After her comment, I started hoping that the positive comments from the teacher would go away. I secretly hoped she would stop reading out my compositions in class to avoid the “embarrassing” moments. In as much as I hoped for this though, I didn’t stop putting effort in my writing. In fact, I only strived to make it better. So as you can imagine, once in a while, the moments I dreaded would come. The teacher would read my composition out loud.
Just before sitting for our KCPE exams, this girl who had told me she didn’t think I deserved the hullabaloo came to my desk and told me that she didn’t think I was so bad, and she had said I was only because ‘my oppressor’ had sent her. You can only imagine how good I felt. LOL! It’s a pity to think I had stooped low enough to live for her validation. But hey, I was just thirteen years old.
Fast forward to slightly more than a decade later. Here we are, I may not be a renowned writer and sometimes I struggle to come up with good articles but I still get to do something I’ve liked for a long time, and somebody as important as you is now reading it. Thank you!
Don’t get me wrong, positive criticism is good and it makes one polish up and be better, but that unfounded hate, that is quite unnecessary. I have had several people come to me and talk to me about areas I should improve on, and that I appreciate, please keep them coming. But the comments meant to discourage my little craft, those I subtly let slide. Thank God I am no longer a coy thirteen year old craving for validation. Life has been a good teacher.
I appreciate your constant support and comments, lovely readers. You guys are the real MVPs!
Stay blessed. 🙂