What Goes Through the Mind of a 26 Year Old Woman?

I composed this blog post in my head while I sat in traffic, contemplating my life. The radio was tuned into 1FM, it’s the only radio station that has a clear reception, since I am still using the Japanese frequencies that came with the car radio. The music is local and urban hits: basically modern African hits – Mafikizolo, Davido, Sauti Sol, Elani, Diamond Platinumz, Ali Kiba (mapenzi yana run dunia comes to mind) etc. But my thoughts drift…

nairobi traffic

These are the traffic jams I have to go through in the evenings. Plenty of time to think. Image from http://monicahnjeri.files.wordpress.com/

My Son

Of course, he’s always on mind, especially if I am idle. I think about how he will start crying for me from the moment I drive through the gate, rushing towards me so I can pick him up then he smiles and tries to remove my spectacles. He’s already widened them beyond belief and now they hang limp and loose on my face. This means I have to remove them and then there is the delicate balancing act of my son, spectacles, keys, handbag, laptop bag and any groceries I may have bought. Usually, I make sure I drop anything else except Jeremy.

When in traffic, I think about what kind of life I want to give my son. Will I bring him up to be a kind, responsible man? Will I help him achieve his dreams and ambitions? Will I be the kind of mother he would be proud of? Can I set a good example for him to follow? How will I afford his school feels? What kind of schools will I take him to? In fact, where in the world will I bring him up? (This will be relevant when you read later thoughts).

I’m grateful everyday for the support of my parents, I’m still living with them and in a way they are parenting both of us. Will I make it when I move out and start on my own? How tough is this single parenthood journey?

Then I relax and decide it will be a journey, one day at a time, and things will always work out, they always do for me, in the end.

Finances

cash-kenya-shillings

Money, money, money… money (know that song?)

Which leads to finances. I have been working in formal employment for almost 2 years now, but I have little to no savings. Start saving now, they say, while you are still young, no matter how much you earn. It is not easy, I must admit. I live a subsistence kind of life; my salary only sustains me as far as the next salary. I need a side hustle that brings in good money. Or a better job, which will of course mean I increase my expenses and we are back to subsistence. How can I make more money? I ask myself.

I am not the type of person who would depend on another for money & security, I always know I will make my own money. And when we speak with friends, we tell ourselves, can we really make enough in formal employment? Business is the way to go, we agree. Entrepreneurship. Some of my friends are already running their own businesses. Some are working, like me. Not many have the courage to be entrepreneurs, not many were meant to be entrepreneurs.

Career

This could be me and Jeremy..

This could be me and Jeremy.. or is it Jeremy and I?

Which leads me to ask myself, do I like what I am doing? Is it leading me to the path of riches and accomplishments (vain thoughts?)

Do I want to continue working in Ernst & Young in IT audit and consultancy? Is there a future for me here, right now?

Then I remember the decision was already made for me. I have already tendered my resignation letter  but will be here for the next 2 months, then have my last working day in early September. I am leaving EY to go back to school. See next train of thought.

Academics

I recently graduated from Strathmore University with an MSc in Mobile Telecommunication and Innovation. Here is a graduation selfie to prove it :- ) (FYI I graduated three years ago with a first class BSc in Computer Science from JKUAT)

graduation selfie

I am serious looking I know but I was contemplating my accomplishments 🙂

Did the time I invested in learning at Strathmore, courtesy of the Safaricom Academy worth it? Definitely. I learned not only mobile programming in all platforms (USSD, Android etc), but also project management, business skills, entrepreneurship, leadership and management. I know I will apply them not only now but also in the future, especially when I set up my own business to make more money so I can better take care of my son (all thoughts center around the same issues, as you can see!)

Japan, October 2014

As you wonder why I am resigning from my job with a reputable, international firm, I will tell you to stop wondering.. here’s why.

I got a Japanese Ministry of Culture and Education (MEXT) scholarship to go and study in Japan, at a university of my choice. I decided to go because I have always wanted to travel, and I’m going to the East first, conquer the world one country at a time. So I am going to the School of Information Science at JAIST to major in Artificial Intelligence. Another MSc. For like 2 years. But I’m young enough, with 2 years of work experience.. and I like studying, and will probably end up in (industry) research. Every tech company worth its salt has invested in research. (Edit: I found out I can do PhD directly, no need for a second PhD. This blogger will be staying in Japan for at least 4 years, including the months she will spend learning some basic Japanese before embarking on her research!)

So I’m leaving in early October, hopefully, fingers crossed. I’ll leave Jeremy and Bella in my mother’s loving arms, then when I’m settled, I’ll send for J. For the next 2.5 years that I will be in Japan, I couldn’t possibly leave my son behind that long! I will have to do everything possible to reunite us.

Relationships

My friend Pitz tells me a woman is her most attractive at 26. He says there was research carried out, apparently. Or is it a survey? So as you see me today, I am at the height of my attractiveness hehe.. so where are those serious men? How will my ambitions to travel and see and work anywhere the world, to study etc.. how will these ambitions converge with another? Is there someone out there whose path will cross mine? Is it okay if I am not even contemplating marriage? Is it okay if I decide I don’t have to “settle down” and can live the rest of my life in single motherhood?

The thing about relationships is that it’s not your decision alone to make. So until someone else comes along whose decisions I want to be a part of, and vice versa, I shall reserve my stall my train of thought here….

By the time, traffic has started to move, but oh wait, it was just a teaser. The cop halts the flow of traffic after 2 or 3 cars. We sit and wait.. and I finally decide it’s time I solved the Rubik’s cube that I’ve been learning to these past few weeks, in between reading books (I am currently reading the Woman in White by Wilkie Collins and I am yet to write the review for Den of Inequities by Kinyanjui Kombani), blogging, meeting friends for coffee, and squeezing in some hours of work between commuting to work in the morning and commuting home in the evening..

Solving Rubik's Cube

I’ve been using a numbered cube to make mastering the moves faster

The cube is just about solved when traffic finally moves and I zoom home to my family, hooting at bad drivers, cursing at those who cut me off in traffic, and nodding to Elani’s kookoo.. I’m going kookookoo so kookoo coz I…aiaiai love you…… turning up the volume of my Japanese radio.

 

This entry was posted in Blog, Humour, Motherhood, Travel, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to What Goes Through the Mind of a 26 Year Old Woman?

  1. princelySid says:

    So many things come to mind but I’ll only mention a few. Will you have to learn Japanese? How cool is it going to learn AI!!? I’m kinda jealous. I too ask myself these kinds of regularly, I don’t have a son but I do have a baby sister I feel I have to look out for. Great post. So when is the leaving bash? Can I come? I reall hope to see you before you leave. Finally how do you just casually announce you’ve handing in your resignation? There’s a story there and I would love to hear it.

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      Yes I have to learn Japanese for 6 months; however my course will be taught in English, so it’s elementary Japanese to enable me get arouund.

      AI, so cool, you have no idea! I had missed programming!

      I will invite you for the leaving bash, of course

      And lastly, is it wrong to say I am leaving? I’ve already done the official resignation. The kind of projects we do means you need to inform your employer early so ajipange 🙂 If anything I have enjoyed my work at EY immensely. It’s been a great learning experience, top notch corporate culture!

      Like

  2. Willys Wendoh says:

    Nice write up. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors..
    And hey, I must have seen you in traffic sometime this week (evening). Tried waving but you couldn’t see me. Been a long time really. Not even sure you can remember my *not-so-ugly face. Schooled together in JKUAT 🙂 .

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      Hi Wendoh, my eyes may be open in traffic but I am not seeing anything, hoot next time!

      Yeah I do remember you 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

  3. Harriet..brave step. I wish you all the best and I hope you’ll keep writing even when you are in Japan.

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      Hi Rachael, yes I will definitely write my Adventures from the Land of the Samurai.. I have even thought of a title. Thanks!

      Like

  4. Namutwitwi says:

    Congratulations Savvy K. Bold decision . R&D is the way to go for our much vaunted Vision 2030 to be realised.

    Like

  5. woolie says:

    I am sure I am repeating myself here when I say that you have a long and exciting journey ahead of you – It was apparent all those years back, even during your travels in UG and Rwanda. Your impressive academic achievements (only 26!) have opened up great opportunities. Follow your star and do all you can to satisfy the curiosity of your keen scientific mind.

    If your little boy knew of your achievements to date he would be justifiably proud.

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      Thanks Woolie, I always like your comments because it shows you’ve read through it all 🙂 Looking forward to the next part of my journey

      Like

      • Alex says:

        Woolie has said it all, I’ll just dandia his comment and say Brava! Congratulations Ms Savvy, onward and upward.

        Lovely read.

        Like

  6. Faith K says:

    Hey Ms Savvy, am actually impressed by this; recently started reading ur blogs and all I can say is all the best. You’ve got a bright future ahead. 🙂

    Like

  7. Mackel9 says:

    I found myself reading this twice to let it sink in and settle, congratulations Savvy :-). By the look of things your are on the right path do not detour and things will fall in place… can I dedicate a song? I know this is not a letter but can I, only this one time 😀

    Don’t you worry child – Swedish house mafia http://vimeo.com/64826504 I’m done 🙂

    Like

  8. Edwina says:

    Congrats Savvy! (about the scholarship). This was a really good read. Interesting how we kinda go through the same challenges, except the school part (still haven’t gotten around to finishing that FIRST MSc I started, this should be that nudge I desperately needed. Baby happened, I deferred and loved motherhood so much that I haven’t gotten the motivation to share her time with school and work

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      Thanks!

      Yeah we do share experiences as ‘young’ mothers, I put ‘young’ in quotes because really, the 20’s are the best age to be a mom 🙂

      Let the baby have her time, when she starts school, you too can go back then!

      Like

  9. Blue says:

    you are one heck of a lady babe! would love to meet you one day.

    Like

  10. lukawanjohi says:

    Congratulations Savvy! You are a good inspiration. You are setting very good precedents. Keep it up, the sky is the limit

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      Thanks Luka.. There are a lot of other inspirational people out there (you included), it’s just that they don’t blog about their lives so we will never know ..

      Like

  11. Leo Tunapika says:

    Congratulations Harriet! For sure you love reading. Taking it a step at a time is definitely the way to go. All the best in your studies, for sure Jeremy is blessed to have you as a mother and as a role model.

    Like

  12. luts says:

    You are in a different world(of the mind). This piece comes out naturally i like it, the things that goes thr’ our mind when we get the time to think abt our present and future life, only few get to put it down in writing.

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      True, everyone goes through the same thing and not all will put down their thoughts or freely share them with the world!

      Like

  13. Cesky Cess says:

    You think about serious stuff Savvy dear. Very happy for you; you go study girl. Is this my friend Pitz? Let him not lie to you. Women are most attractive at forty. 🙂

    Jeremy is lucky to have a mum who cares so much. Looks like all your dreams and ambitions are about him, somehow.

    Like

    • savvykenya says:

      I also think about mundane stuff, but no one writes about the mundane, right?

      Of course when you have a child, your lives are now intertwined and you have to make future plans with them in it, their interests first.

      Like

  14. mercy says:

    Congratulations Savvy! Seems like you are exactly that Savvy and will be even more after going to Japan. Please keep us updated on life in the Far East. …(don’t think you remember me but I just wanted to also let you know that I appreciated your comments on my blog back in the day). Namaste! 🙂

    Like

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