I remember being confused when I first read this phrase in a book (long forgotten). How could the king be both dead and alive at the same time? It took me some time to recognize that there were actually two kings being referenced. Suffice it to say that I have had my fair share of blonde moments! 2014 has been a mentally exacting year for me, for the country and indeed even for the whole of Africa. Ebola, ICC cases, terrorist attacks. I came very close to losing my dream. I felt the sting of being left behind, if only for a little while. We all have stories of struggles and conflicts that have defined us this year.
I feel different. I have grown a lot since my first post on this blog, 2+ years ago. I feel that most of this growth has taken place this year. From having a rough draft of the direction that I want to take in life, to gaining insight over some of the things that would have confused a blithe and naive 19 year old me. These are my thoughts and impressions for the year. It is my hope that someone will find some grains of truth,wisdom or solace in the words that follow. Some might end up feeling a nostalgic tinge when they recollect similar moments in time when they were as lost as I have been, when they were still wet behind the ears, fresh and eager and ready to conquer the world (you may go ahead and ask yourself: ‘what happened to that person?’ ).
Basic Distrust of the System
There was a time when I completely and faithfully believed everything that I was told. There was a time when I firmly held on to my convictions that those in authority knew what they were doing. There was a time when I believed that they had my best interests at heart. There was a time when I held the view that any system of authority that was in charge in different areas of my life (school, the government) would reward its most loyal members, and would be faithful to the hilt. I no longer subscribe to those views. Things have changed.
I have come to view such systems as self serving, only attending to the needs of those who are at the top and those who benefit the system the most. I’m not saying that the solution to all this would be a state of anarchy. I’m smart enough to appreciate the fact that were the rule of the jungle reinstituted, I would not live long enough to tell the tale. I am grateful for most things that the government and other ordered systems have done to facilitate my pursuit of my dreams. However, I seek to be independent of the system as much as I possibly can.
I want to be able to dictate my own salary. I want to be able to have control over my time. I would like to die in my own hospital bed in my house, instead of crowding with other patients in a hospital in serious need of major renovations (and not just in the private wing where patients pay more). Instead of being fully dependent on these systems, I want to be in a position where they system sees me as a potential ally. It is only when these systems see something beneficial in you that they will not step down on you and abuse you. It is only when you know your rights and can speak up for yourself that you will no longer be downtrodden on.
This train of thought has led me to see that entrepreneurship is my best shot at making this happen. This is the exact opposite of what I intended to be when I was high school. I didn’t want to take the risk, but now I see I have little choice in the matter, unless I want to be pushing paper until I retire, and bite the dust a tired, soulless and dreamless old man.
Entrepreneurship, especially in the healthcare sector, is what will help us provide good, world standard medical services to everyone at an affordable price. We also need people in the public sector who are not afraid to go against the grain and do what Michuki did to the security situation in our country. We need people who are genuinely interested in changing the sorry state of our health facilities in the country, instead of only looting money from public coffers and colluding with cartels. Such people are not going to be found among the ranks of those who have an implicit trust in the system.
These are people who will be bold, fearless and ready to lock horns with the established order. People who will want to question everything and not just follow rules blindly. People who are not afraid to dream. People who are allergic to pushing paper for a living.
Learning more about myself
This year has been really trying for me. I had to battle with a myriad of emotions. I had to look at some of my worst fears straight in the eye and do battle with them. I have had to admit that I was developing something akin to a pathological obsession for one girl. I had to look at this humiliating and embarrassing part of myself and decide that enough was enough.I had to admit that I had failed. I had to let my ego get crushed, before I could rise again. I have also missed windows of opportunity with some pretty good girls, mostly because I analysed the situation too much, or was too scared to actually ask them out.
If you remember nothing else, young friend, remember this: texting will never take the place of real, physical interaction with a girl. Harden your testicles, approach her and take her out. Brave the risk of rejection. Move fast or you will be relegated to that cold and harsh desert that is the friend zone. And, speaking from experience, that is not a place you want to be. In fact, I’m cutting down on my interactions from the friend zone. You should do the same. Why settle for being called cute when you can be as ‘dangerous’ and ‘hot’ as the next guy?
I have gone through these painful lessons in rapid succession. I still cringe every time I remember my blunders. I still feel the pain of missed opportunities. But I will not beat myself over it. I will not sell myself short. The cure is to develop yourself, keep improving. Meeting other people, gaining dating momentum is another piece of the puzzle that will bring out the best in you. You will discover that there are better people out there, more willing to engage with you, and warmer and more interesting than the object of your obsession. Do not allow inertia to take hold of you. Own your decisions. Let your masculinity come out in all its glory. Look polished, feel polished, and act like you believe it (after some time you will 🙂 ).
I really feel for those young boys out there who have not yet discovered this nugget of wisdom, because I was one of them. I know what goes through their minds. I know how badly they can be hurt and damaged. I am glad to have finally gotten out of that rut. Never again will I allow myself to fall into a near psychotic state. Work on yourself, constantly, and remember that as a man you are the one calling the shots. Don’t be afraid to set the pace. You have enough friends by now. Do not allow yourself to stay in the friend zone if that is not what you want.
As 2014 comes to close, I feel different. I feel more powerful, more masculine, more willing to take chances. More willing to battle with my inner fears. The King is dead…Long live the King!