Day 45; Quarantine…

This episode (of life) feels a lot like a drama, where the protagonist stares through this window on the second floor storey at this large expanse of green plains with the sun high above, the birds chirping in the flower garden while Jose Gonzalez plays in the background. He blends within the entire scene to become one with it. The book he’s holding seems to encapsulate what it is he’s reading.

I am all for zen moments, and I have had plenty of those in this quarantine period. Maybe the heart grows fonder because you are apart. Those Sunday lunches with family which now are a momentarily thing of the past, are dearly missed. I am just glad we have phone calls and internet! Imagine this had happened in the dark ages!

And dark ages, I mean 10 years ago! What would the lock down be without social media, internet and pay tv? My mother was regaling us with tales of how this is a much easier version of the Amin war where they had to pad windows and turn lights off before curfew. The only entertainment they had was themselves. And yet here I am wondering if I’d stay the same without a phone for just a day.

Quarantine has taught me lessons, and I can’t wait to explore these when we finally get out of it. There’s a renewed zeal, and a need to heal, be better, do better and grow.

I like that we’ve been forced to have conversations we wouldn’t normally have or that people are now realizing that there’s more aspects to life than that job, that toxic relationship, that holiday not taken, that text message not sent. These are interesting times to be a part of. For me, this is history in the making. What will I tell my grandchildren? Maybe I should get started on that book.

For many though, it’s been family. I think as bad as this gets, our greatest take home has been spending quality time with family. I honestly do worry about those without or who can’t be with family for one reason or the other. It’s given people an opportunity to heal and a renewed zeal to make better what wasn’t.

And I am enjoying the writing!

 

What’s your Worth?

In the first job I ever got about 7 or so years ago, my boss was earning 10 times what I was earning, and somehow, we still had the same basic needs and desires. None the less, to date, it’s still one of my favourite jobs I’ve had!

What exactly is your worth? Your value?

Being Principal at a prestigious design school means that one of my duties is to employ people, and ensure they are the best fit for the job and team! When I first started, I found it difficult to hire – drawn towards the credentials but now, it’s a little different.

There’s a significant difference between your value and your worth! How much should I pay you is one of the questions I find myself asking people who apply for any job and get an interview!

Value is always added! The pizzazz or difference you add to the team! The magic! The wow factor! And if you have a higher value added, then your worth then is much higher! See the difference?

I’ve employed people who claimed they had a higher ‘worthiness’ to the team and yet the value added over a period of time to the team was the same or even negligible to say the least! It leaves many employers frustrated when they believed you’d be the difference maker!

What people don’t know is that you are either employable or not! And the ‘not’ is not a bad thing! From the very on set when I got my first job, I always had a side main hustle! Sometimes it brought more money than what I was being paid and that made my job more about experience and understanding. I remember once sharing with my spiritual mentor about the many businesses I was attempting on the side and they plain told me that they rather sit in an office from 8-5! That’s who they were and they were ok with that! Not everyone has an entrepreneurial mindset or attitude, and that is fine. We all make do with what we choose.

Part of the work – life experience is to build your worthiness by adding value! It could be in qualifications, experience, capabilities, specified knowledge to mention but a few and these ideally will build your worth, that bargaining chip.

My first job taught me a lot! It brought capitalism closer to home! I was never paid exactly at the end of the month and sometimes it didn’t matter whether I had my own personal issues! The MAN paid when and how he wanted to! The job will never solve all your problems. Simply put, more money, more problems!

Maybe our societal structure and system creates a system of failure? But what do I know! If you are quick to understand some of these subtleties then you can quickly move up or move on to better things.

Architecture schools across Europe, Asia and the Americas changed their systems because of minimum wage requirements! The course was too long and pay too little for those who did it! And so they changed from a 5 year Bachelors degree to a 3-1-2 Masters program! Unfortunately, it’s still the same in most East African institutes teaching Architecture…so, what will you do?

I’ve done quite a few jobs, starting from Client Service and Account Manager to now Principal at Artfield Institute of Design. For me, that’s a story I’d love to tell! If your employer truly cares about you, they could elucidate more on the intricacies of your job and your value/worth.

I once quit a job because my value and worth we’re not matched! And I was wise enough to see that. Have you ever seen your boss bag that big a** cheque while you struggle to get a taxi back home? While that dream car or house pass you by? Don’t confuse your desires to be successful as your worth!

I’ve written down and monitored my personal and business goals for the last 7 years and honestly, your dream starts on paper! I’ve started and closed a restaurant! I’ve done some agribusiness! Tried money lending! Sold perfumes at some point! There was a bar somewhere too! I’ve truly tried out a couple of things. I’ve written for a few magazines and newspapers!

Eventually it all comes down to passion! Passion should never be looked at as a bad thing. Passion honestly drives you! I am passionate about leading, teaching and writing, and building obviously! Once an architect, always an architect! The rest are extras! I currently run a small construction firm, teach and lead an institution – all things I am passionate about!

We all take different journeys but the road to success requires sacrifices.

What value are you adding to yourself, and what do you think you are worth?

Maybe your work should speak for itself? There’s different matrices to determine some of these things but I know for a fact that no job is truly ever fulfilling, well, because it’s a job!

Anyway, peace!

6 Months!

Life has moved on so fast you’d think that nothing big happened at the beginning of the year. We have settled into a rhythm that you’d think everything is as it’s supposed to be. Well, a few days ago, we marked six months into our marriage. I’ve never been one to keep dates or even make them a big thing but when you wake up next to someone everyday, and it’s going to be like this for the rest of your life, why not count, right?

My friends the other day were complaining about how newly married couples are quick to dish out marriage advice like they are the masters of this game. I mused because there’s some truth to that, well, not on my part. It’s like how new mothers are quick to share their life changing experiences like they’ve done it more than once before, uhm!

I am not, and I hope I don’t become those people. I’ve decided to take on this journey like those spontaneous trips you take with a group of friends which I know always turn out to be the best trips of your life. I know this is going to be the best trip of my life! It had better be.

So a couple I know recently got married and were sharing tips on how to make a marriage work, saving tips for weddings, nooks for the honeymoon and so much yet I’ve either forgotten mine or perhaps that’s not an experience I am willing to go through again. Honestly, it would feel a lot like repeating a class or getting a retake. All I know is, as long as your partner – best friend and you are on the same page, the rest is just deliberations. And more deliberations.

6.

Six months feels like the journey has just started. There’s been lot’s of experiences, some which catch you off guard like being told you snore or realizing your partner sleeps like a cute kitten while you splay your legs all over the bed like you are doing exercise. Or like your friends calling you fat because they believe your wife is feeding you well. Yes, jealous much? And no, I am not that fat but I look good. Or having someone pick out your clothes, and combing your hair because you can’t get your sideburns neat enough!

I am starting to sound like those people I hate! Aha!

What’s there to celebrate in six months? Well, I’ve finally accepted that there’s someone whose opinion matters more than mine does! Facts! Here’s a toast to the next 60 months, then 600 months! 6000 months? Well, let the story begin!

Entebbe Wala

This magnificent title is sponsored by Philly Bongoley Lutaaya.

Who, for one was an amazing musician, artist and HIV – AIDS spokesperson. My memories of him are when I was young and he was coming to the end of his mission on this here earth. His music always made my Christmases worthwhile.

Today, whilst I was working, this song happened to play. Oh, the memories it brought back. I did go back in time. It felt good to once be young – in the mind, again. I remembered how life was much simpler, and decisions much easier because, for one, I was making very few of them.

Entebbe Wala!

As I write this, 11:12 pm in the night, I am seated on my computer trying to finish up some work. The reason I do this work is for one day, when I have my own children, they can make fewer decisions like I did when growing up.

The project I am working on is both exciting and mind boggling. Design is a puzzle. A mental dissonance between what you want and what the client has demanded for.

Entebbe Wala!

Do you know any Ugandan as inspirational as the late Philly Bongoley Lutaaya? Bobi Wine? I remember travelling for a day to the village with his music playing in the background. Good times when we had cassette players and needed a pen to rewind. And a tape had a side A and side B!

Entebbe Wala!

How time flies? He passed on around the time I was born -about 30 years ago, yet his music still lives on. Sometimes I struggle with my identity and what I shall leave on this earth when my time comes around. Sometimes I struggle with the idea of my work and whether it shall leave beyond my time! I wonder whether my writing will be as great as I hope it will be.

Entebbe Wala!

So, this is my birth month! Again, time flies! Just yesterday I was celebrating a milestone, three decades strong! And now, we start the best years of our life. And my one wish would be to be as great as Philly Bongoley Lutaaya! To be as inspiring and modest as he was! He made Christmases worthwhile! A man who knew his talent and used it to the greatest of his capabilities!

To a new month, and a great year!

 

 

The Ethos of The Thought Process

This is a draft title of a blog post I was probably going to write in 2013! Wow!

About a week ago, I was celebrating 11 years, on wordpress.

Some of me can’t believe I’ve been writing for that long but hey, here I am.

It’s not surprising that I started to write before I joined facebook or even twitter. Before I opened this blog on wordpress, I shared some of my musings on campuser.net. It was mostly for free sms-es, which were quite a big thing back in the day but alas, whatsapp!? Then I opened a blogspot – crazy, before settling for wordpress.

WordPress has always had the cool themes and I honestly preferred the UI compared to blogspot. So, in good faith, I am conducting an interview with myself. I will ask the questions, and answer them! Right?

Q1. When did you start or pick interest in writing?

A. It was in Form 1 of my high school, back in 2001. I remember attending a seminar where a one Fr Baka or Baaka encouraged us to keep journals. And when I started to keep one, I realized I like to muse and think and eventually calumniating into this little writing. Eventually I was on the Eagle magazine team curating the SMACK Culture in 2006. Writing in a way comes easy because it’s like I am listening to my thoughts. And as strange as that sounds, my thoughts are really cool!

Q2. Do you have an influences and/or do you have a source for all the writing you do?

A. No! I honestly don’t have influences or sources. I have interests, true but most are random. I occasionally write about architecture, a little bit of satire and more about my life experiences. But, I am not boggled down by specifics. I am not an avid reader but I do remember attempting to write a novel, fantasy like. I’d read David Eddings’ the Tamuli – Domes of Fire series and my mind was blown. The novel is still stuck in my head. Recently though, I’ve been reading a lot of Wuxia and Xianxia. They are quite a read.

Music plays a big part in my writing. Most times, I have music for particular seasons and moments and to best capture a moment, I will look for a particular song to listen to. Music is my muse. Also (Since when did sentences begin with also?)! Before I write, I tend to take a lot of time thinking – about the message, the feeling, the structure, the nuances and much more. I could take a week or two, or even a few hours composing what to write in my head and then I shall type or pen it down. Sounds hectic, right? On the other hand, when I write, it doesn’t take more than an hour to fully compose what I am writing on. If it does though, then chances are it’s going to end up in my draft just like this one once was.

Q3. What are you passionate about?

A. Thinking! (I am cheating here because the blog is called the Thought Process.) I am passionate about writing. I find it’s something I can do and not feel burdened while doing it. I am passionate about Design and Construction. I also have a blog here albeit it’s been a minute since I curated on it. Basketball too. I call myself a professional amateur. I am also passionate about love! *wink wink!

Q4. What lessons have you learnt about your art? About writing?

A. I honestly wish people didn’t read anything on this blog before 2011! Truly, I pray no one ever does. When I started to write for publishing, I was forced to take on an editor who’d constantly check on me and my grammar, phonetics and punctuation. I also learnt more about tone and nuances in writing. I remember writing a 10 line paragraph back in the day where I believe one would need to quench their thirst after trying to read it all at once. Now, after a couple of seminars and writing for a few professional zines, I’ve gotten the hang of it. It still plays me sometimes but not as bad as it was before.

Q5. Any lessons or nuggets you can share?

A. Uhm! Edit your writing! For someone who hates editing my work, I’d encourage you get an editor. I tend to publish my draft and then come back to edit it later. So most times, what people read is my unedited raw writing. The disadvantage is that you will get a few tenses wrong, and yet you want the reader not to cringe at what you write. Also, keep writing. I’ve been writing for a long time now, close to 18 accumulated years but I just never seem to run out the zeal to write. I love what I write about. Most of what I write hits close to home, and sometimes there’s personal experiences. Some work I share, and other times, I just keep it to myself. I do have my occasional readers but well, the writing is mostly done for me.

I am told that reading also does the trick so maybe read a little and see for yourself.

Q.6 Any conclusions, remarks?

A. Yeah, please subscribe. I’ve made it a point to write at least once or twice a month. Sometimes twice a day like today, so please subscribe. And thank you for reading. I like it when you read.

Miracles

Miracle
/ˈmɪrək(ə)l/
noun
  1. an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency

I haven’t been going to church for the past few weeks, give or take 5, since my wedding. I called it my spiritual sabbatical. But last Sunday, amidst the maybe I should start going next week, I found myself headed to church.

When I walked into church, the corner where I usually sit at was taken, and so we moved to the best seats right next to it. It so happened that there was a gentleman seated right next to where we were.

And as we sat, we introduced ourselves to our neighbour and got right into the groove of the service.

*

Fred had just left the bar that morning feeling distraught and not knowing what to do. He felt his life was in shambles and he needed something to get it right. The bottle he’d been stuck on for the last few weeks was not doing the trick. He thought maybe relaxing his mind and getting his thoughts in order would do the trick. He thought that maybe a little jazz to set the mind at ease and figure out what his next move was what he needed to do.

So he left the bar  and wondered around looking for where he would get to listen to jazz music that morning. It so happened that he knew a place that would do the trick and thus got onto his bike and rode to Jazzville. Jazzville is known for being the centre so he definitely knew that there would be some soothing music when he got there.

*

Where two or more are gathered, I am present. Churches have evolved recently from rocks to buildings and now bars. Where I go to worship on Sundays is also a jazz bar – occasionally.

I sat next to Fred on Sunday morning as he narrated his story. His wife had left him with the kids, his life was miserable and he didn’t know what to do. He’d spent the better part of the morning drinking to forget his problems but his problems just didn’t want to go away. And this morning, after he left the bar, he was looking for a place where they played jazz and so headed for Jazzville. It so happens that the Worship Harvest Bugolobi community congregates at Jazzville every Sunday at 9:00 and 11:15am.

He walked in and found them preaching. Confused, he sat and listened. He’d been crying since they started preaching because they were preaching to him. The sermon was about him. The music was about him. He seemed puzzled about how a random thought had brought him here. And most of all the message was ‘The ONE’! Worship Harvest is embarking on a mission to bring the one back to God much as Christ brought us back to Him.

Coincidence, I think not.

Life is but miracles. A series of unexplained and yet interconnected situations. Fred came to church on a whim and shabang, got saved. Yeah, Fred gave his life to Christ. I came back to the fold (well, I really never left) and this is just but another happy ending. Are you waiting for that miracle to happen to you? Do you know that you actually don’t have to wait for that to happen?

‘I knew you before you were made…I have plans to prosper you…I am your Shepherd, you shall not lack…Ask and you shall receive…’

Peace, and may this journey continue to bring you light Fred.

 

13-01-2019

Day 1

Today, when I woke up, it didn’t dawn on me that I was married! Now, much later in the wee morning hours as I wait to set off for my honeymoon, it’s creeping onto me that I am actually married!

Do I feel any different?

No! Nah!

Maybe?

Yes! Yes I do!

Yesterday was sooooooo much fun! From waking up early to preparing the groomsmen to going to church, and going to some more church, and saying We Do, to the crazy photo shoot and later party! It’s been a great time and was a great day!

Weird thing though, it seems guys had more fun at my party than I did! Like, they balled out for real!

I honestly want reviews for my wedding!

Yesterday, God did it!

1. It shone the entire day! I was worried about the rain and how crazy it would be since our wedding was at the water front! But, it didn’t rain and we had a fantastic day!

2. It feels weird, in a good way, to be wearing a ring, a freaking WEDDIN’ ring! I like it!

3. Friends came through for me! Family came through for me more! I love you guys, and if you read this, I am going to revenge kindly on you guys!

4. It feels good to be called Mr and Mrs!

5. Yeah, I got the ring! Not her, me! I got the ring! 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

Happy New Year folks!

2018

In summary!

1. I am getting married! I knew this day would one day come, and I am excited for it but some of me thinks this is incredulous! Many times, when I thought I’d get here, I didn’t it imagine it would be like what I’ve experienced in these last few months! Part of me still thinks this is a dream! Most of all, my partner is the best thing that has happened to me! Every morsel of my being just wants to relive this moment over and over again! I am so excited! The organization has been be a journey too!

2. Rethinking your business! This has been a very difficult year, seeing as how it began on a bang! I found that I am still struggling with the human resource aspect! And most of all, everyone has their own selfish interests. But we’ve grown! We’ve learnt and we’ve restarted afresh!

3. Peace of mind is something that takes forever to have or even get! But I’ve mapped my way around it! I’ve followed the steps to get to zen!

4. Christ oh Christ! My faith has been tested, or rather, I’ve tested my faith! I’ve held truth to the Word and many times I have stumbled! But I’ve gotten up again and again!

5. I am thankful everyday for this gift called life! It’s amazing if you think about it!

6. The family is getting bigger! Getting married means more family and my new family is amazing! I have been blessed!

7. I think this year has set precedents for an amazing 2019!

89. It was a Merry Christmas and these happy holidays have been spent planning the forthcoming wedding!

10. Happy new year to you! Yes you, who’s reading this, have a fantastic new year filled with growth, success, joy, happiness and most of all peace!

Who are you?

Imagine what it actually feels like to sleep walk and be aware of it?

Do you ever feel like life sometimes feels like we are sleep walking, partially aware of the moment but never truly grasping it?

Who are we? Who am I?

I sometimes wake up to this question. I feel like I am destined for greatness, and sometimes I feel like the days are just passing by me.

Yesterday, my famsquad and I were in Wakiso for a reach out to students in the neighbouring schools. We were there to sing and lead worship, and it was a beautiful thing. Seeing people get excited and singing along to the praise and worship was indeed uplifting. And then came a mini-talent show where each school had a few of their students come onto stage and sing, rap and recite poetry. But this is not why I am writing this!

When all was done and we were catching up during lunch, we shared a few high school stories and how we were bullied. It was sad! The sermon was talking about our identity and how most times people will remember the one bad thing you did and forget all the good works you’ve ever done. But Christ doesn’t.

It is us who guilt trip ourselves into believing that our sins are imputed and will reflect on the final judgement. Our lead pastor – Paul, talked about how sin is like a stain that Christ cleansed and yet we think that we should be the ones to do that. No, we can’t. And it brought me into this space where I wondered if I could do as Christ has done.

Love my enemies. Love my detractors. Love those that have hurt me. Love those that seek to hurt me. Love those who’ve played me for a fool.

And it further pushed me to the point of reflection! Will my enemies love me? Will those I detract love me? Will those I’ve hurt love me? And those I played for a fool?

So who am I?

Many like me and my famsquad are stuck in this space trying to figure out who we are and yet trying to be better than we are yesterday! We are on a journey hoping that every stop we make along the way is an important one.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian much less than staying in a coup makes you a chicken!

A church is a gathering but a gathering can’t necessarily be a church!

What makes the choice of church you go to much important to you than any other space?

We can’t change people. You only meet resistance when you do that!

Those were some mental notes in yesterday’s conversation.

I wish you all a happy week, and day.