Inspiration

Awakening The Why

November 6, 2018
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It started with losing sleep and later, a series of nightmares, mostly involving death.

The first time this happened, I was sure it was a one-off. It was a typical weekday night. The time on my phone read 9.30pm which meant I had half an hour to catch up on my favourite book at the time. I grabbed my kindle from the bedside table, slid under the covers and with my index finger tapped on Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime. The kids were fast asleep and the mister too as he had an early flight to catch. At 10.00pm, I sat up and said my prayers then slid back in and shut my eyes, ready to drift away. Except that I didn’t.

For someone who has always been a heavy sleeper, the inability to naturally nod off when I get into bed is as rare an occurrence as the blossoming of Talipot Palms. Did you know this plant blooms once in 60 years and dies right after exploding into millions of tiny flowers? My lack of sleep was a no brainer that something was amiss. I remember growing up, my mum was always so irked by my need to sleep past midday during school holidays. I was a lazy child, no doubt, but I chose to hide behind my slumber and call myself a sleepy child. Some days she would let me get away with it but on Saturdays when we had “general cleaning” it was a NO. There’s once she was utterly fed up of trying to get me out of bed so she stormed into my room with a bucket of ice-cold water and splashed it on my bed, jolting me to reality and reminding me I was not royalty.

So on this particular night, I tossed and turned and when some semblance of sleep finally hit me, I  found myself thinking (not dreaming as I was still half awake) of death. I imagined myself dead from a ghastly road accident and immediately thought of my younger daughter Xia who had a fever when I put her to bed what now felt like many moons ago.

I sprung out of bed and bolted to the kids’ room, pulled off the mosquito net and picked up Xia who was unflustered by my interruption. I peeked at the top bunker to the sight of my older daughter Xena curled into a ball, her bedding kicked into a pile below her feet. I then headed back to my room, clutching Xia in a tight embrace then placed her in the middle of my bed. The mister was snoring, oblivious to my restlessness and what was soon going to become the norm.

It was now midnight and I was frustrated. How did insomniacs fill up their time in the middle of the night when the rest of the world had retired? I wished I could go for a run but that would only be possible if I lived in Beverly Hills. It was 3am when sleep finally decided to visit me which meant that I was not going to wake up for my 5am morning run, much less have the energy for it.

The struggle for sleep carried on and so did the weird dreams. Some days I would dream I was killed by a lone bull. I would be taking a stroll upcountry and this angry bull would charge from the bushes and gore me to death. This, by the way, was a bull I had outran all my life (in my dreams that is).

I thought about my disturbing dreams. I figured the universe was telling me something, that I was alive on the outside, but dead on the inside. The problem was I didn’t know what needed fixing. So I carried on riding the motions of life, like an empty shell. I stopped finding Joy in everything I used to love. I was too exhausted to run in the mornings, so I halted my runs. I struggled to find inspiration in writing, so I paused the blog. The only thing that remained constant was my 8-5 job which had started to feel like 8-12.

A few months later on a Sunday morning at 8.45am, as we were driving to church, Xena launched her barrage of questions. I was staring outside the window, envious of this lanky guy in a luminous green jersey and swanky red headphones running on the sidewalk.

“Mama, you know we are currently learning about professions in school.” She stated.

“My daddy is a banker. What are you?”

I was at pains to explain what I did for a living to my five-year old. I was still in the investment world but my role had evolved so much in the past year and was confusing and frustrating to me in equal measure.

“What do you think is my profession?” I threw the ball back in her court.

“Ehhhhhh, a writer?” She guessed.

“Well, that’s a good shot. We can work with that.”

That evening I thought about my job. I struggled to remember the last time I was upbeat about getting up to go to work, about working on a new project or introducing a new concept. I envied the mister who took calls even at 11pm from his clients, or woke up at 3am to jot down ideas he had involving his work. The problem was right there, glaring at me yet I couldn’t place a finger to it. Or maybe I could, but I was afraid to admit it. 

For another month, I resentfully dragged myself to work. I hated everything about my workplace and constantly hid behind my laptop, typing away to avoid making conversation. I was now only doing it for the money, to afford the life I had carved for myself and my family. I was bitter and irritable and constantly screamed at my kids.

I tossed and turned in the dead of the night for another month. Then one day, on an otherwise beautiful and sunny day, I got to work with every intention of being productive. I flipped my HP Spectre laptop open and instead of working on a Powerpoint presentation that was due, I found myself launching a word document and drafting my resignation letter. Right there, I pulled the plug.

It was an unsettling decision no doubt, but entirely liberating and long overdue.

In the past one month, I have had so much sleep to the extent of dosing off at the dining table while sucking at a chicken bone. I have read four books and found a new love, biking. I am more accommodative to my kids, though helping Xena with her school assignments is still the ultimate test of a mother’s patience.

I have tweaked the blog and I hope you love the new look. The characters are still the same, but the script has changed, albeit slightly. Every first Tuesday of the month we kick off with an inspiring interview with the hope of drawing insights from ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Thereafter we talk about raising well balanced kids and having fun while at it and we close the month with a travel post.

Truth be told, the corporate fire still burns strongly in my heart and I am merely changing the direction of the sails. I just won’t allow myself to die while still alive.

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76 Comments

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Rosey
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Rosey

Welcome back Joy! I had sure missed these stories. And congratulations! Of course your next plan will be bigger and better. Duh, its you! 🙂 You have inspired our careers and we wish you nothing but the best.

Looking forward to this new chapter of the blog and I love the new look already. All the best.

Kudos!

Mary
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Mary

Welcome back Joy. I’m happy for you, taking that courageous and bold step! For homework, read this book, “thriving child “ which will teach you a new style of parenting and how to raise a self motivated child. I love the new look blog. Keep walking. I would like to learn to ride a bike 😊. ❤️

Bomseh
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Bomseh

Welcome back. I identify with your situation. I also recently took to running as a way of life, I still don’t know why I do it, kinda Forrest Gump manenos. There’s a peace of mind that comes with it. Don’t quit just yet.

Eve S
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Eve S

Welcome back Joy! Love the new look and looomg forward to seeing all the great stuff you have lined up for us (no pressure 😅). Wishing you the very best as you try figure out your next plan. Enjoy every moment ❤️

Eva
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Eva

Waaaarrrr…i don’t even know where to start!!! First, let me just say WELCOME BACK!!!I dint know just how much I loved this blog until you took a break. Couldn’t wait for you to come back🤗🤗🤗🤗. Second, I got a little confused and for a second I thought I was on the wrong site but I LOVE IT!!! The changes are super cool and refreshing. Good job to you and your crew. Finally, am super proud of you for listening to you and choosing you. So many people of late are drowning in demanding jobs and refuse to let go coz… Read more »

Munira karoney
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Munira karoney

We missed you!I also looove the new look………….glad you found what you needed fixing and actually fixed it,looking forward to to your articles especially on raising well balanced kids…

Zamzam Too
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Zamzam Too

Oh God reading this had me a heavy lump on my throat.I feel you mummy,at the same time I feel so proud of you. Love😘

Bree
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Bree

Welcome back!! 😊😊. You were missed!
I love the new look. Very refreshing. Also the “know about us” part. All-encompassing. I’m excited for the up coming blogs 🙌

Nyambura
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Nyambura

We had missed the blog Joy. And I love how bold you were and made that decision. Better and happy days are coming

Maureen Odera
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Maureen Odera

I am so proud of you, for choosing you! Many a time we stay in situations because it is the ‘right’ thing to do, because it pays the bills, because it gives us social standing and in the process we kill our very essence. Whatever path your new journey takes you to, I’m sure you are going to be great at it. Looking forward to great content, love the new look!

Sophie
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Sophie

It’s a bold move but you’d rather enjoy what you’re doing. All the best in the next step, am sure it’ll will be a better one that you’ll love. 😊

Wangeci
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Wangeci

Wow, that was so powerful and inspiring, thank you for sharing this, and in the process finding your yourself. Super happy for you.

Wangeci
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Wangeci

Wow Joy, that was so inspiring and very very bold of you to share with the world, am glad you are back and so happy at that. And yours kids 😍😍, wow.

Joanne N.
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Joanne N.

I know the feeling. Good for you for being brave enough to take that bold step. Wishing you all the best!

Lisa
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Lisa

Welcome back mama! It is Ok to just stop and smell the roses! Can’t wait to read your next article!

Sylvie
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Sylvie

I love this! We shall not allow ourselves to die while we are still alive!
Super inspired

Jacquey
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Jacquey

Wow, that was deep, our minds and body tell us a lot , love love love the B in Belle, new site is gorg

Val
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Val

Good for you!! I need these guts because I too, am stuck in a cycle of endless routine yet my passion goes untapped.

Nana
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Nana

Wow. I am lost for words…🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

Gathoni
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Gathoni

So glad you are back!Had missed your blog posts.All the best in the new chapter.

Ubermensch
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Ubermensch

You have answered me. Atleast. Good read up. Keep it up. We’ll keep dropping by.

Ann
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Ann

Glad to have you back Joy. That was a bold move wish you well in all your plan to do.

Janeirene
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Janeirene

Wow! Nice article. Weird how i saw your workout video on Instagram yesterday as I was getting to work and I wondered what kind of job you did as you were in the gym while the rest of us were going to work 😊.

That was a bold move. All the best in your endeavours. Sometimes all we need is to take a step back and rethink the direction we want our lives to take.

Michelle
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Michelle

I just pulled that plug today Joy. I have had sleepless nights and i’m a heavy sleeper. Recently i have this headaches that start as early as 8an when i get to the office. They go on for hours. While at home i’m 100% okay. I resent all that has the name my employer. I don’t enjoy my job or anymore. Twist is ,early next month I’ll join a new company with enthusiastic of what the new role and employer brings. I resigned today 2pm sharp. Thank you for the reason, i thought i was alone in this.

Rayelle
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Rayelle

All the best as you try to figure everything out. The day i resigned from my last job I was so early and pumped for that day and whatever amount of work that’ll be thrown my way but alas somehow I just found myself drafting a perfect resignation letter from nowhere…😁 i relate. Since then i feel alive.

Tote
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Tote

I wish you all the best hun! I’m certain you’ll stay winning…as always!

Selina
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Selina

Welcome back!I totally relate.I felt like I was reading my own story.
Congrats for being courageous,I might just follow your foot steps.And the new look blog is awesome.

Fezitch
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Fezitch

That was a bold move Joy. Finding yourself after a long time was the quest to your thirst. We missed the blog too.

Beth
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Beth

Yeeih! Great to have you back! Always looking forward to read your posts. Quite a bold move but life must lived today not waiting for tomorrow

Annie
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Annie

Yeeeeeeei… my fav blogger is back…
Wooow really do admire the bold move, and am super happy for you.
ALSO please don’t call me selfish when i say that the move work’s for me, had missed the read saaana,wink wink.
Super stoked ur back, (to feed my cravings) ….running away emoji🤣🤣

Butterflies and Petals
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Butterflies and Petals

I totally concur with you,i was having the same feeling sometimes back,i even thought i was sick..so glad to see you again.

Wahu
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Wahu

Welcome back.
Glad you found what needed fixing
Love and light

Stella
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Stella

Ohh wow. That’s so refreshing am glad you found yourself in good time.
Glad your back missed the blog

Eunice Chege
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Eunice Chege

Very bold move. Glad you did it and feel good about it. Your next journey will be great

Waceke
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Waceke

Oh mama …i missed your writting and am sooo glad you are back..😃 I look forward to reading more and interracting more 😃😃😃 and a biiiig yeeeeiy to cycling ❤❤

Nimo_Starr
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Nimo_Starr

Welcome back Joy! That email notification had me excited to come here and read.

I am happy to see that you are back, and happier.

Love and light. <3

Eve
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Eve

Welcome back.

pesh
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pesh

Am glad you’re back. Sometime last week you crossed my mind., and here you are!!!!

Mwende
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Mwende

I missed you. And Xia is so grown up now!
I’m really glad you are back though.

Jossy
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Jossy

Welcome back Joy (both to the blog and to the real Joy who can sleep). I struggle with sleep and have over the years concluded that I am a light sleeper…. but you just gave me ideas. I am truly envious of your bold decision to pull the plug ..maybe someday I will master that kind of courage…. just maybe.

Zippiey
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Zippiey

Wow!! Amazing come back and glad you found what needed fixing. If only some of us would let go of fear and stop dying inside!

Nelly Wangechi
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Nelly Wangechi

I am glad you are back. Now let me read. 🙂