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 my life has 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 really bad 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 went and past 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 tune and see.
Since, I want this to be more intimate than characteristics I am going to have two versions first 10 will be characteristics and the rest are going to be more abstract.
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 to form the words for Kikuyu but I fully understand it. The funny thing is when I used to go to Kenya I used to speak to my cucu (grandmother) in Swahili and she would speak to me in Kikuyu. She understood Swahili but couldn’t speak it and vice versa, funny how our brains process things.
I got a bachelors 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 transitioning 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, you can be positive and negative or even very negative. As long as you accept your highs and your crippling lows.
I know, I know! Who hates gifts? Well, me. It really 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 of my life, I don’t like gift, 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 maybe, 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 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 whole 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 I’m just 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 there are people who 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 just cat calling that I hate, but really just admiring or saying anything good about something that I didn’t work for, ie: 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 due to the fact that 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 anaphylaxis, 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 anaphylaxis and sometimes I use food as my medicine when I am stressed. But the difference is that it can kill 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 to never 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 accomplish 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 social situation I cannot act the part. But I like one and ones 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 are fine if I have some type of control. If I take or I approve 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 challenged 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 type of 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 second 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. The Allergista’s husband replaced her guitar strings which was the sweetest thing ever, she definitely made me feel like there was hope for me to play the cello again.
I fall in love 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 in 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 immeasurable 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.
I believe we are all in repair mode and if you are not then you aren’t growing. A couple of months ago we all heard of Alexandra’s story of how she is allergic to water. Well, I could relate to that, not that I am allergic to water technically. But I am allergic to the tap it comes from. There are times when I forget my bottle water and I can feel the Sahara on my tongue. But the point is, having a severe allergy, whatever it maybe may be cripples you mentally and emotional.
“There will be days when you lay in bed covered in hives or whatever your symptoms may be and think that maybe I’m a mess up, a flaw in the assembly line of humanity, a printing error in the contract of life,” as Alexandria puts it.
So I am trying to repair my negative views about my body. Its dysfunctions or irregularities. I am reminded all the time by people I meet or talk to. So Yeah, I have a severe allergy, and yeah it sucks more than you know. But at the end of the day the way my body responses to the world is not the way I want to respond to the world. Despite it all, I want to be a 24 year old who can have roommates that won’t try to kill her, dinner dates that can have food’s I can eat, and “that sucks” response to a “oh okay, I never knew that” and move on with the conversation. Cause my allergy is an allergy that is all it is. It does define how I interact with people but it shouldn’t define how you would interact with me.
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 be 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 is 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 apart 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 on a daily basis 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 option, just like they have plus size option.
You might have guessed this based on the just off the wall facts about me and yeah I am misunderstood. Always, I think my guide lines 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. Maybe 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 total 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 fact are true but the ones that are abstract 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 someones 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.
Thank You for stopping by, it is much appreciated.I am neurotically Nickely Challenged😫, food lover 🍱, social rock🙍, & trying to navigate this adult life as nickel free as possible😓 I would love to hear what you thought about the post, so comment below.
Latest posts by Barbara (see all)
- Diary of a Mad Airborne Allergic Woman - January 9, 2017
- Favorite Nickel Tested Products / $100 Giveaway - December 27, 2016
- “And here you are living despite it all” with allergies #worldmentalhealthday - October 10, 2016