Is it Christmas already? The year has played hop scotch on me. It feels like I was just penning down my resolutions at the beginning of the year. Anyway, while most people gear up for Christmas, I gear up for the most exciting time of my work season. Like Christmas shopping, my clients seem to want to spend an extra dime on their spaces. It is design galore for me this time of the year. I find my selfemployed self going long nights and busy days. I am pretty much excited.
Well, here are my 12 musings thus far.
1. Uhm, the year has ended. Feel free to ask yourself what you have achieved, don’t worry, I will wait.
2. Arrrgggghhhh. WORK! It does this to me sometimes.
3. If you are self employed, who exactly pays you a salary?
4. I am OLD!
5. I am broke.
6. Tomorrow will be a better day, I say the next day.
7. Don’t put all your fruits in one basket.
8. Being self employed is hard.
9. I was once asked by a client if I pray for all my work…yes, I do. God over everything else.
10. There’s a thin line between desperate and broke. Sometimes you have to say no, but yes, but no, but…there’s so many buts.
11. November flew by me.
12. How many districts in Uganda have you been to? Places? Regions? Have you travelled this year? I’ve been to Bulago and visited the pineapple bay. I was recently in Fort Portal. Damn, we do have a beautiful country.
12 and a half. I am glad that I’ve written at least twice each month this year. I am glad that you’ve taken time and read. I am glad that people are following albeit my mumblings are some what still amateurish.
These monthly musings are but a collection of thoughts, ideas and juxtapositions that have influenced my past month. Hope you like them.
Click here to share *hahahahahahahahahaha. Kidding.
Today, I listened to my new favourite song over and over again. It put me in a mood I still can’t describe. I feel like a coke junkie who’s just sniffed a line. For some reason, I still can’t get over Beasts of No Nation. It keeps playing over and over again in my head as I try to relate with Agu (Abraham Attah).
This past month has been ephemeral. As my dream and desires and lack of accomplishments dawn on me, I am looking into myself to seek inspiration, passion and the greatness my parents once spoke of. Then again, I have to admit, life has had its way with me. I keep thinking to myself, I haven’t changed much, that tomorrow is going to be a better day, but I worry that the day will end, and I will be none the wiser.
I tried reading the book that I spent several hours downloading off of the internet, and failed. I shelved it in the to read folder up to when I have completely nothing to do. But I’ve recently felt that I have nothing completely to do, shouldn’t I at least read?
I learnt a new word that I once knew. Interesting how a word sounds familiar and yet its meaning is so distant.
I tried to understand my parents. They have been resilient about me getting a full time job. That this self employment I am indulging myself in won’t take me far. I mean, I spent my last savings on someone hoping I would get the deal. It’s been a week now, and I can barely get myself out of the house, because I am waiting for the call. Well, I am officially the CEO of the brokest design and construction company.
Is five years of architecture really worth it? I always ask myself this question when I see friends happily starting their marriages and some fathers. They seem happy, right? Oh well, I need to look for the next deal, I need to look for work.
Do you feel stagnated? I don’t know. It’s just that this muddy mental puddle of water seems to inhibit my movement.
I like to write. I like to read what I write hoping I am as inspired as you are to read what I write. There’s amazing writers out there; Strive Masiyiwa is amongst them, and I hope to one day be as rich and still be a good of a writer as he is.
How is your today?
Sunday 13th – Bushenyi: After weeks of lobbying for a project, I’ve finally given in, the contract though taken, I have yet lessons to learn before I can fully administer a project. After the Bushenyi incident (story for another time), maybe I should let the pros handle the project. Besides, the client’s temperament has given me hind sight. Need to prepare for the business trip to Lyantonde.
Sunday 13th – Mbarara: Mbarara is expensive. How exactly am I supposed to stay here a night when a room goes for 70,000/- on average. Where is my saving? I met a friend who says the University Inn was affordable. I should try it. It is actually not a bad place. I am pretty sure their target is Travelling students and lecturers. Comfortable and away from the noise of the town. Not bad.
Monday 14th – Mbarara to Lyantonde: I hopped onto a Global bus just after taking my cup of tea. I’ve never had to hold my pee in so bad I felt my bladder almost burst. The conductor says that they only stop at Lyantonde. That’s about 45 minutes. Will I manage? Finally. Longest 40 minutes of my life. Sigh! That was close. Time check – 10:00am, early for the meeting. I shouldn’t use my battery, not sure where or when I will charge. Time check – 12:00pm, finally my business contact arrives. We need to wow the client. Site is extremely huge, exciting. Time check – 2:00pm, finally meet client. He’s a boss, the actual definition. He’s busy so he’ll see us in the evening. Time check – 8:00pm, finally we sit down to discuss. He’s a busy man.
Tuesday 15th – Lyantonde; Boss man forced as to sleep in Lyantonde. My plans for heading back to Bushenyi have been sidetracked. I was supposed to go back on Monday but new work is new work. Boss man is thrifty but I am excited he’s taken a liking to me. I want to be like boss man when I grow up. So many calls from the Bushenyi contractor, client might be furious. Bushenyi work is smoothly progressing. Have to assemble a new team for the Lyantonde project tomorrow. I’ve been in the same pair of jeans and shirt since last Thurday. Mother is coming over for work tomorrow. Should see her.
Wednesday 16th – Bushenyi to Lyantonde: I finalized the Bushenyi team. In case of anything, they can give me call. The Kampala team headed for Lyantonde should be setting off now. I miss town. Been getting calls and texts from home. They are wondering if I’ve run away. It’s been a week. Finally saw mum, she looked proud, her son was well off. I should have told her to pack me clothes. Damn it. It’s 3:00pm, Kampala team is just preparing to set off. Bloody bastards. We had agreed for 11:00am. I need to head to site. Finally on site. Boss man thought I had run away. Hahahahahaha. Seriously though. It seems I am stuck this side. I head back to the brothel looking motel I stayed in on Monday evening. Finally the team is here. It’s late but they are here.
Thurday 17th – Lyantonde: the motel didn’t have enough towels. We sat down as a team and discussed the way forward for the work, we are excited. We layed out our markers. We should kick start the project. Boss man is excited that we are a young team. He cracks a joke about how we are not married. It’s hot. Is that rain?
Friday 18th – Lyantonde: I guess I am stuck this side of town. I have to be in Bushenyi and Mbarara tomorrow. I’ll probably head to Kampala in the evening. Next time I am packing a bag. A very huge bag.
It’s 6:20pm now, how was your week?
My current work space!
“Agandi,” she greets.
“Turya’aho,” they retort.
I’ve never been greeted by this many number of strangers in my lifetime, when not at a party. I wonder at how courteous the people here are and why they randomly greet you.
Unlike Kampala where it’s rush hour almost every hour, the village is more slow and peaceful the here people have time to greet you. Maybe because there are less stresses here than they are in Kampala. I don’t know why but every time I use the village taxi, and we stop to pick up someone, the first thing they do is greet the whole taxi. And we move on, and we pick up someone who greets us again, and this continues until I finally reach my destination.
I’ve been here almost a week now and every time I feel like leaving this place, I get held up. I am not complaining and truth is, I am enjoying it. I wished to be a wanderer some time again and in these past two days, I’ve been to Mbarara, Lyantonde and back to Bushenyi. Obviously accommodation has been my greatest challenge and at some point I slept in what I would call a brothel seeing as the quality of the covers was susceptible and the bar music playing was just right next door. Yes, a door away. Luckily, power went off but unfortunately I had barely charged any of my gadgets.
Being out of Kampala is an amazing thing I have now noticed. There’s something ethereal about being on the road, interacting with people, speaking half a dozen broken languages…trust me, they are half a dozen…and having those moments where you are just to yourself, dreaming.
Anyway…I finally found a place with wifi, in Bushenyi, surprise surprise. I best be leaving now, I need to get back on the Road.
It’s exciting when people take time to read what I wrote especially when it’s from someone as borish as myself.
I need 30 hour days? Why? I just need them. I decided to kick start and fixate on my company and in the last month, I’ve peaked such that I barely have time in the day to stop and pause for a moment. I find myself up at 6:00am working, till about 9:00am, where I then start the meetings, from one client to another, pitching and presenting, with an occasional site visit, and this goes on till about 6:00pm. At around 6:00pm, I try to have some down time, but there’s also those after work client meetings which sees me get home at around 10:00pm. I then sit down and reflect on my day where by I check my to-have-done list and my to-do list for the next day.
Most times, my to-have-done list is usually half done, with some key tasks pending, which I then push to the next day, making my eventual to-do list heavier. The nature of my job also sees me work on the weekends, which is, I can’t explain.
Anyhow, I find myself asking for a 30 hour day every other day just to accomplish as much. I’ve tried to manage my time as best as I can but it gets difficult. Am I grateful? Yes. I’ve been waiting for this.moment a long time and finally it’s here and I am not ready. But I’ll take a day at a time.
I will turn my 24 hour day into a 30 hour day.
I almost used the word edifice wrong, but then again, that’s how much is on my mind. It’s been a terrible week, and some people would have collapsed if what happened to them, happened to me. It started about two weeks ago, when the thought rather crude occurred to me. There was a nagging feeling that I needed to back up my work, and whenever it crossed, I shrugged thinking that it was not that important.
Fast forward to last week. I happened to travel to Bushenyi for a small business meet. Seeing as this wasn’t my first time, I woke up, packed light and headed out with the customary message that I will see them back home later. If you remember, or don’t, I spent the latter part of 2014 on a bus headed to Bushenyi almost every other week. This being a customary journey, I worried less about my luggage which had my laptop and half of my documents (important documents) in there tacked, a couple of books and novels, tape measures and a lot more. I sat in the bus and headed towards Bushenyi. I arrived in Bushenyi at around 3:30pm, and got to site. I assumed I was spending the night so I didn’t bother much. Unfortunately, the meeting lasted only 2 hours and by 5:30, we were done. Seeing as it was done, I decided to take the night bus, so from Bushenyi, back to Mbarara only lasted an hour and I was in Mbarara at around 6:30 heading to 7:00. My little brother was in school and I had promised myself that I needed to see him, which I did and was on the bus at around 8;00pm.
Exhausted from all the travelling, I placed my bag in the tray above my seat and slept off. When we got to Masaka, I inspected and saw that the bag was still in place and then I slept off again. When we reached Kampala at around midnight, we started to drop off people one by one, from Kyengera all the way to the bus park. My mind in a daze, also planned to get off. We get to the bus park and I decide to jump off. As I search the tray, I see no bag or evidence of someone else’s misplaced luggage. In shock, I run round the bus asking and seeing if anyone has seen my bag. The driver looks bemused as I inquire. The conductors keep telling me to check but at this point I’ve lost all hope. I try to remember if there was anything suspicious but I can’t recollect.
Puzzled, confused, I start to laugh at myself and how I could have let this happen. At the back of my head, it’s not what I’ve lost but rather my failure to have backed up all my work, collections and collections of work. I quickly dash to a boda boda frustrated, and narrate to him my story. Shocked, he tells me of someone suspicious leaving his stage in a hurry. He then escorts me to the police (yes, some people are that kind) where I report my bag stolen with its belongings. At this point, all I want is to go home. Crazy, I know but I am also fed up. All I master then is a couple of laughs and anger. The thief didn’t just steal my bag, but my life’s work, and the rather nagging thought that I should have backed it up. And also the fact that they would still not get the full value of what they’ve stolen and when they pawned it off for a miserly few sums, they still won’t understand how important what they’ve pawned was.
No, I am not crying over spilt milk. In fact, few that I’ve shared this story are amused by my lack of remorse and my going forward attitude. At the least, I got home safe and I am starting over from scratch.
All I did was click reset, too.
(Been meaning to post this a while now. About two weeks ago.)