Do not hurt yourself, sweetie

It wasn’t her fault. She keeps telling herself that, though it’s not making things any easier. She feels like a fool. Belise, 24, third year university student, is interning at an insurance company. She is beautiful. She has been dating this guy, John, for almost a year. John calls her bae and texts her all the time, you know. He texts her things that make her think and long to be near him. He has saved her contact under the name Princess. He is the one who keeps asking the “Do you love me” questions. Belise is practically John’s ideal partner. Belise enjoys John’s company since he makes her feel truly beautiful, he’s fun to be around and makes her feel warm and happy inside. Belise is content with that.

Then out of the blue, his wife contacts her. John’s wife?

John and Soleil had been married for 6 years, before things started getting weird. Things had become strained in the marriage. Soleil read romantic texts and chat messages between the Princess and her husband, and she saw their photos together. It devastated her, but she couldn’t say she was entirely shocked. She felt hurt, angry and hopeless about the marriage. 

John cheated on Soleil with Belise, and contrary to popular belief, it was intentional. John cheated on purpose. Their affair began when they started working together. With the same schedules and working for the same boss, it was inevitable some sort of relationship would form. John could have told her that he wasn’t married or maybe he convinced her that he and Soleil had grown apart weeks before the eventual stolen kisses or maybe he just told her that Soleil was a demon. Hehe. But honestly who even knows for sure? John said he loved Belise. She said she did love him too.

Soleil had suspected infidelity for months. She was on the verge of breakdown, wondering whether she was crazy and if the late nights at work meant something more. Then Soleil finally posed the question that had been nagging at her for months. And baam, the ugly truth appeared. Was it a one-time drunken mistake or a months-long romantic affair? She kept wondering. Then she started thinking about the other woman. The Princess. Who is she? Did she know about me? Does he love her? Is she prettier, smarter? Why was he interested in her? Why her? There were so many questions. How could she live with herself? And the tears would begin. Soleil could imagine the princess. Easy. Desperate. Opportunistic. Conniving. With no conscience about jumping into bed with her man (or other men in relationships). With total disregard of his marital status, she enticed John with her seductive tricks. Hehe. A homewrecker who needs to be slut shamed and loathed with every fiber in her body. Soleil hates her. She stole her man. Soleil feels that given a chance, she would rip her apart.

Soleil finally learned her name. Belise. She found her number and called her. After Belise stopped taking her calls, the accusatory inbox messages on Facebook began. She called her a slut, a loose woman who threw herself at a married man. Hehe. Soleil accused her of stealing her husband, and destroying their marriage. It is pathetic when women engage in social media battles over a man. Proudly proclaiming to be the main chick, dragging each other over men who are not even worth it. Women shouldn’t be engaging in any battle over a man. Period! And if you have ever had a fight with another woman over a man, you already lost. Yes, both of you. The scumbag in the middle is the sole winner, because after enjoying some ass form both of you, he gets an ego boost as you tear each other apart over him. And on top of that, he knows that however things turn out, he’ll have at least one of you by his side. 

Anyways…

It wasn’t Belise’s fault. However, she felt awful about herself.

But let’s be real here. First of all, there is no such thing as stealing someone. How? Did she kidnap him? He went with her willingly, I’m assuming. Otherwise Soleil needed to get on the phone and file a missing person report. The truth and the only reason is that Belise slept with John because he consented. The blame should be his not hers. Belise was single, while John was married. And Belise did not force John’s hand. She did not lure him into any traps. She did not seduce him with some secret sensual powers. And if it wasn’t her, it most definitely would have been someone else. John was looking for an affair, not Belise in particular. Belise just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Soleil had a right to be angry with both of them, but there’s no excuse for putting all the blame on Belise. If anything, it was entirely John’s fault for having an affair while he was married. Belise wasn’t the one breaking any vows or promises or violating any religious sacraments. 

When a man strays from his marriage, we are conditioned to blame the other woman. So, it was easy for Soleil to think that Belise is a bad person, but Belise was as much a victim in the situation as Soleil was. And you know what? It is not fair to blame the other woman alone. That’s fucked up. I’m not saying that homewreckers don’t exist. But thinking that all other women are homewreckers, is a silly notion. The other woman could have been lied to entirely. She might have had absolutely no clue the guy was in a relationship with or was married to someone else, and she’s probably upset (just like you) that the man she thought was awesome, is actually a scumbag. And it’s not her fault that you had problems in your marriage that made your man stray. She is not what drove your man to cheat. And she’s probably a good person. You don’t know this woman so you have no idea if she’s a bad person. But most importantly, no woman (with a good conscience) wants to be the other woman. Unless she is one of the home wrecking women of course.

So, my point is…

Let’s stop entirely blaming the other woman. Stop condemning her. Stop demonizing her. But why would you even hate her when she (the other woman) did you a favor and prevented you from ending up (if you’re not married yet) or staying with a lying asshole? You should thank her. Think about it. Also, no man should be able to move on with his life so quickly while the woman is being humiliated and enduring the wrath of the mistake, alone. If you are going to hate on immoral people, at least divide the hate equally.

Now for the don’t @ me part of the post: I am well aware that women cheat too. I am a woman and I am writing this from a female’s perspective. And as someone who has dealt with an “other woman” situation, if you find out that he has cheated on you or that he has a woman in his life, don’t hurt yourself going after the other woman. No one ever knows how they’ll react to being cheated on before it happens, that remains to be seen until it actually happens. But when it happens, whatever you do, never approach the other woman. Fight your man. He is the one who betrayed and lied to you. Not the other woman.

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No, I ain’t angry

The longer you go by yourself, the weirder you get; and the weirder you get, the longer you go by yourself. ~ Jim Shepard

Sing it, Shepard! 🎶🎵
Why are you angry?


People have been asking me that a loooot. I’m inclined to start saying yes. It used to bug me when people asked me that. A woman asked me that when I was at the migration offices, to collect my passport; and then a migration officer asked me that at the migration offices, because I looked angry (well, I was just sitting minding my business). They even ask me that at the market while I’m doing some shopping. And did I mention how shopping puts me in all the right moods? I’m a shopaholic, I confess. Yet someone asks me that while I’m shopping!? 

I used to smile and explain that I am okay. “No, no, no, I’m not angry at all!” I am great even. But lately, I have gotten tired of trying to explain that I ain’t angry or even smiling so that people are okay with my face. I don’t mind looking angry or mad anymore. You see, I may be in the happiest mood, and my heart may be doing them crazy somersaults, but then my face be like that of a cold-hearted ruthless manslayer. Because, for reasons He hasn’t disclosed to me yet, God chose to give me this face, that looks like an angry face to everyone. It’s my face, get used to it. 

This summer, I did a self-examination. Though it was short-lived, the results showed that:

  1. I am funny (in texts) but shy in person. And quiet in nature.
  2. I am mature but not mature-mature.
  3. I am very lazy, but again, highly motivated.
  4. I am layered like an onion. I don’t even understand myself sometimes.

So, I am seen as a weird person (you can’t win with people). But I’m still the funniest person I know. My mind is always busy with fun things. Like, I’ll be thinking about helping the Winchester brothers fight off them supernatural creatures when I’m attacked by a random person asking why I am angry. You think I’m angry, right? Well, yeah, now I am. The question makes my heart swell. And nowadays, I’m terrified that one day I’m going to lose it and hurl a series of offensive statements, as I walk away…

Anyways…

I’ve come to accept this truth about myself. I find it tiring being too busy trying not to be weird, or pretending not to be. And I no longer mind how people see me. Wait…did I just say see me? So, people can (really) see me? Hehe. Well, I hope they see me as a very cool person. Okay, okay, they never seem to notice me. So, how would I know how they see me?

But anyways, what’s wrong with being a weirdo anyway? Nothing. Weirdness. I know a thing or two about being a weird person. Being weird is very OK. As long it’s the good kind of weird, a good weird that serves a purpose. Not the awful, creepy, grotesque kind of weird, as they are listed as the synonyms to the word weird. You see, by nature, I am a quiet person and an introvert. I don’t do small talk, and the idea of starting a conversation with a stranger completely paralyzes me. But since that’s what normal people do, being normal like everyone else scares the hell out of me. I spent years hating how socially awkward I am. I often questioned why on earth I was chosen to be like that. And I have tried my whole life to change that. But it seems that I am just a born weirdo. And no, I don’t hate people. I’m just against the usual rules of society. I like other ways of getting along with people. Ways that most people consider weird. Ways that have nothing to do with exchanging small talk with other people. Thus, I am weird.

I’m weird because I like being alone. I’m weird because I imagine a loooot. I’m weird because I can stay indoors the whole day, watching movies all by myself. I’m weird because I don’t like talking (to strangers). I usually walk wearing my earphones even when there’s nothing playing, just to avoid people talking to me. But sometimes, a person clearly sees that I’m wearing earphones and will still try to start a conversation? Really? What’s wrong with people anyway? I’m even weirder because I’m a funny yet quiet person. I have always been told that I should be more talkative with people.

That makes my blood boil! I’ll take weird over that any day. People don’t get it that if I’m leaving you alone it’s because either I don’t like you or I feel we are not connecting or you bore me or I know I’m going to bore you or I would rather be doing something else right now than talking to you. Instead, they be there, suggesting that I should be more talkative. And because I’m not, they label me as weird. And think that because I’m a quiet person, I am angry as well. Hehe. Apparently, I’m not supposed to be quiet and happy. How ironic! Well get it from me…I ain’t angry. I am happy. I am content with my life. 

I’m embracing my odd, outlandish, weird nature. 

The woman who wasn’t helpful

I’m late on this one but hey, better late than never…

The year was 2014. I was interning at RMH (Rwanda Military Hospital). We (the interns) are introduced to a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, which infects almost half of the world’s population and is now considered to be the most prevalent infectious disease known to occur in humans. But I had never heard of it before. 

For as long as I could remember, my Dad had suffered from ulcers. So, I always wanted to do some research about gastric pathologies, though I didn’t know which in particular (cause I hadn’t quite understand his condition). And since there’s also a history of ulcers in the family, the bacterium caught my attention. When I finally learned about the bacterium, I talked to him about it. He told me some doctor had requested he get tested for it, and the result came out positive. The doctor then prescribed some antibiotics and that was it. I also realized that it had been years since I last saw him take his meds at night. I was relieved but still interested in the bacterium and learning more about it.

Fast forward to 2016, as a student in my final year, I had to present a research project before I graduated. From the very first time I’d heard of it, I knew that my dissertation was going to be about the bacterium. Hence, picking a research topic wasn’t hard because I’d already found one. I also was unhappy with what I saw on campus (precisely our department) as a growing number of theses were increasingly focusing on the same area, Parasitology (intestinal worms, to be precise). I wanted to do something different from everyone else’s. 

For data collection, ​I applied for permission to collect the data at this institution that I won’t name. Initially, I was told that it would take 3 weeks to get clearance to carry out my research study (after ethics committee reviewed my proposal). After 3 weeks, I was told to wait another 3 weeks. 3 more weeks later, still there was no response. Carrying out a research study demands lots and lots of patience. I finally got clearance after a delay of 4 months (yeah, I’m very patient). You should have seen me exiting the office with the clearance letter.

I immediately went to the pathology department to present the clearance letter. The head of the lab, a woman who wasn’t helpful at all, suggested I come back the following Monday. The following Monday I was there, very early, with my lab coat and PC, very ready to begin my study. But she bounced me back. And for weeks, instead of helping me get what I wanted she kept giving me excuses…“This week is accreditation week, come back next Monday”, “We are very busy right now, come back next Monday”, one Monday morning while walking to her office she saw me sitting in the waiting room and immediately said to me “Not today, come back next Monday”. The world is full of excuses not to help someone (if you are interested), and she was excellent at finding them. 

So, I was hammered with endless and pathetic excuses, but I wasn’t going to give up. Everytime she saw me enter her office, I swear she wanted to punch a hole in her desk. Hehe. I couldn’t understand why she kept tossing me around like a tennis ball. She’d asked for a confidentiality agreement and I’d written, signed and handed it over to her. I had a recommendation letter from my supervisor, a doctor (*and knows with confidentiality). Besides that, I’d clearance from the institution’s ethics committee. What else did she want? Blood of a virgin?! Or did I look like someone coming straight from a deep & isolated village with no Biomedical background at all?! Or maybe I seemed lousy to her, like I’d no notion of medical ethics. Like I would hold a meeting to discuss the data (read: patient records) with all my neighbors. Hehe. 

Or maybe it seemed to her like she would be giving me the country’s top secret files or nuclear weapons launch codes. Haha. We are also bound by medical ethics, mama! I thought that with the clearance, she had no choice but to give me the data. But I was wrong.

After 4 extra months of more excuses and kissing ass, I was running out of time. My supervisor was constantly calling asking for my draft. It was clear to me that I wasn’t going to get the data to complete my thesis. I had no choice but to change the topic and go for another. A much simpler and easier one, since time was catching up with me. I was very discouraged. On a positive note though, I graduated and with decent grades.

Moral of the story: At some point you’ll encounter sadistic mean people. Have the wisdom to know when to fight and when to take a flight. 

My journey as an artist

I have started a 30-day challenge. To draw a photo, every day. I’m practicing realism, so the challenge helps me improve my drawings. 

Last night I showed Dad my drawings and he told me that I should have studied arts in school (like they would have approved)! I laughed…I remember making drawings and Mom always told me to focus on my studies instead of drawing. They always told me that I could draw after finishing school. So, imagine my munyarwanda ass telling my banyarwanda parents that I want to study art…How would I even bring that up anyway? How would that conversation go?

I would probably wait to tell them over dinner. In a panicked voice, “I want to go to art school.”

“What?”

“I want to study arts…as in drawing…”

They would both have looked at me like I’m some kind of exotic species. And they probably would have called the priests straight away, to exorcize the ‘drawing’ demon out of me. Hehe.

Anyways, 20-something years later, after earning my degree, I’m back at it. I’m experimenting with realism now. And to be honest, I never thought I could do realistic art. Well, I’ve always been good at drawing…I would make nice drawings of houses, school compounds, gardens, you name it. But I’d never drawn realistic human faces…not like these ones.

Gaju Nicole

Kirenga

Yvette

My Ma

A young boy

Thierry

A girl has no name

Ivan

Well, I am still practicing…The drawings are not as good as I want them to be. But I am proud of myself for making such drawings (since I never went to art school). And with each new drawing, there’s an improvement. So with more practice, I hope to make even more realistic drawings. Better drawings.

More practice…

I was bored…

I was bored, so I took this quiz…

  • What is the last film you saw?

Fist fight

  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I’m not going to say because I still have yet to explore and decide

  • If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A house

  • Tell me something about you that most people don’t know

I’m a funny yet quiet person. And I don’t have an in-between, it’s either 100% or 0%

  • If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

The cruelty. The meanness.

  • Are you good at dancing? 

No

  • Would you ever consider living abroad?

Yes, of course

  • Type of music you like most?

Rock, I guess

  • Type of music you dislike most?

Jazz and Blues

  • Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?

Unfortunately, no.

  • What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

Depends on the mood I wake up in.

  • If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

Vladmir Putin, Mo Ibrahim

  • What’s your favorite color?

I don’t have a particular favorite color

  • What’s your favorite movie(s)?

They are many…Le Prénom, the Shawshank Redemption, Pirates of the Caribbean…

  • Have you ever cried watching a movie?

Countless times

  • What’s your favorite season(s)?

Game of Thrones, HTGAWM, Orphan Black, House of Cards

  • What’s your favorite food?

Any dish that contains meat. And salads.

  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Nothing

  • What does the world need less of?

Greed 

  • What time is bed time?

Whenever I’m feeling tired

  • Are you a good cook?

Not really

  • If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be?

My paternal grandfather & maternal grandmother

  • What’s under your bed?

Nothing

  • Do you believe in love at first sight?

No, that only happens in movies

  • Think fast, what do you like right now?

Myself

  • What time do you get up?

Depends…

  • If you had A Big Win in the Lottery, how long would you wait to tell people?

I wouldn’t wait

  • Who would you tell first?

My folks

  • What is your biggest fear?

Losing a loved one

  • Are you religious?

No

  • What’s your biggest phobia?

FROGS and lizards

  • Who is your role model and why?

My godmother. She is the most generous person I know. 

  • What is your most precious item?

My PC

  • What are your best characteristics? 

Good listener, loving & caring, reliable…

  • If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go?

I still have yet to explore and decide

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I’m definitely a night owl

  • What is most important in life? 

Hope

  • What Inspires You?

Love

  • Would​ you go out with someo​ne right​ now if they asked​?​​ 

Depends on who it would be

  • Have you ever sat in the back of a police car? 

Nope 

  • Are you stubborn? 

Yes 

  • If you took a drug test right now, would you pass? 

Yes, with flying colors

  • What would your last name be if you married the last person you texted? 

Murungi, haha

  • Would you be president if you could? 

NEVERRRRR!

  • Have you ever been to a concert? 

Nope

  • Do you believe in hell? 

Hell No

  • What is the last thing you said to someone?

Kisses from Rusororo

  • Rich and loveless or loved and poor? 

Loved and poor

  • How much do you weigh? 

Like 47 kgs

  • Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes, he lives in the future

  • Explain what you think about abortion. 

If it’s necessary – get one. But if you’re pregnant cause you were stupid and didn’t use protection, you should keep it. The exceptions should be for rape victims or people not medically suitable to have children.

  • Do you like yourself?

Absolutely

  • Were your parents married when you were born?

Yes

  • What is your birth date?

June 25th

  • What’s the most common name you know? 

Diana/Diane

  • Have you ever kissed someone? 

Yes

  • Who do you have a crush on now?

A guy whom I can’t call mine yet.

  • Favorite day of the week? 

Depends…

  • Would you lie to your best friend? 

I have

  • One rumor that’s been spread about you?

The fave one was that I’m a daughter of a diplomat in Libya

  • Meat or veggies?

Meat all the way

  • What is your favorite number? 

25

  • Have you ever cried in public?

Yes 

  • What is your biggest weakness?

I’m so trusting and I catch feelings easily

  • Who is the quietest person you know?

Hmmm, myself

  • Do you drink enough water?

Nope 

  • Last phone call? 

Vicki, 2 days ago

  • Have you ever been in love? 

Yes

  • Last person to make you cry?

I don’t remember

  • Hot or beautiful?

Beautiful 

  • Have you ever been drunk? 

Many times and it’s always one of the best feelings

  • Did you dream last night? 

Yes, I dream every night

  • Do you remember your dreams? 

Most of the times, yes

  • When did you last laugh? 

Last Saturday

  • Do you remember why/at what? 

Vicki’s photographing skills

  • What is on the walls of the room you are in? 

Paint

  • Seen anything weird lately?

Not really 

  • What was the last thing you bought?

Shampoo

  • Who sent the last text message you received? 

Vicki

  • What is your best childhood memory?

The day I was baptized, trips to Grandma’s house

  • Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? 

Hahahaaa…nope 

  • How many tattoos do you have?

None  

  • If you don’t have any, have you ever thought of getting one?  

Yes, I will

  • What did you do for your last birthday?

Nothing special

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?

A (medical) doctor

  • Do you love someone right now?

Many…in the most maddening way

  • What’s your biggest secret?

It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you

  • Do you like to go to parties?

Nope 

  • What’s your favorite thing to drink?

Cold fresh milk

  • What was your longest relationship?

4 years

  • What do you look for in your significant other?

Loyalty, trust, understanding, honesty

  • What age do you want to get married?

I don’t know

  • What’s your favorite quote(s)?

Find the key to yourself and every door is open to you

Smile today, tomorrow could be worse

Have enough courage to trust one more time, and always one more time

  • What’s your favorite biblical scripture(s), if any?

Isaiah 41:10

Jeremiah 29:11

  • How many kids do you want, if any?

Maybe two ─ a boy and a girl

  • What do you do most when you are bored?

Watch movies or write blog posts

  • Is there anything going on this weekend? 

Nothing

  • How are you feeling right now?

Bored and confused

…in a season of epic brokenness

Have you ever had a dream that was so real you almost believed it? I have. My dream captured a problem that I’m facing now. Brokenness. It was a nice dream, because it provided a hopeful solution: MONEY. I was probably coming from the bank, lost in thoughts about my shopping list (remember those times of epic brokenness). Then I glimpsed in my purse and gasped: Holy shit! I saw money in my purse. A closer look revealed 23 notes (of 5000Rwf) and a 100$ note. Hurray! What was I going to do? I could get on a bus and head to town to buy a few things. Or maybe I could go to the saloon for a hair retouch. Yeah, right. But I had not called my hairdresser to schedule an appointment. So, I made an alternative decision. Since the money wasn’t going anywhere (or so I told myself), I decided to go home, reorganize my shopping list sorting out my top priority needs, and come the next day, ready for shopping! Shopping puts me in all the right moods. 

When I got home, I realized that I had no airtime…I went for my purse and guess what?! There was no purse. No purse, no money. The. Money. Was. Gone! Gone, baby, gone! But hoooow? What kind of voodoo magic was that?

As I was trying to figure out what had happened, I awoke. I’d dreamt of a thing I had wanted in a long time, but now it was all gone. It was like a cruel trick waking up and realizing that it was all FAKE! Frustrated, I went back to sleep, patiently waiting for another dream. One with greater illuminative powers, like pointing me to where I’d lost the purse. No luck.

How often do you have cruel dreams like this? Like that guy you like, asks you out. Or the girl you’ve been hitting on for months, finally gives you a chance. Or your boss gives you a raise, after that good presentation you did. Or your scholarship application has been accepted. The list can go on and on. But then, it’s just a dream!

These days, money is the only thing on my mind. My mind keeps screaming “I should be rich!”

And as much as I would like to think of myself, I’m not self-independent. At least not financially. You know, it’s embarrassing that I still have to ask for money from my parents. Or borrow some money (from time to time) from my best friend (thank you Vicki) to complete my art projects. This is a boring life, I know. Being broke is cruel. Not being able to buy that dress or handbag that you saw in a boutique and liked, is also cruel. It makes me want to reply “Not looking at the price tag while shopping” whenever people ask me the “where do you see yourself in X years.” Spending a month without kissing a beer bottle or tasting some brochettes is super cruel, it’s torturing. Not exploring your dreams is a nightmarish way to live. 

I’m so sick of looking in my purse and not seeing money. I’m sick of waking up and not finding money in my bank account.

I should be rich.

But I don’t really know how to be rich. I do picture myself as a rich woman, but I don’t know how to get there. I have pictured myself having an art career, making lots of drawings and art pieces, and owning an art gallery. And making lots of money out of it. But I don’t know how to get there because now it seems like I’m stuck on this level, and I don’t know how to unlock the next level. Well, I sometimes do get sudden outbursts of motivation to go and make my life better. But then after 5 mins, I’m like “Nah, that’s not happening!” Yeah, because I’m an adult now. I don’t run from my problems, I just sit and ignore them like other adults do. Speaking of which, after much research, experimentation and consideration, I have decided that adulthood isn’t for me. Thank you for the opportunity, though. 

I’m still learning how to journey these untraveled roads that I never asked to be tossed onto.

But I really should be rich.

Ingangare

Bayijahe, umubyeyi w’inyamibwa ndata
Afite inseko isusurutsa nk’umuseke

Yuje ubumanzi n’ubupfura bumutemba ku mutima 

Indoro ye yampaye umunezero ntawe wayisangana

Jye mfura ye nterwa ishema na Rudasumbwa Data

Ahora antetesha by’umutoni nkamukunda

Hahirwa njye umurata kuko ampimbaje 

Erega uwo mubyeyi nsingiza, ntasumbwa kirazira.

Isabukuru nziza nshuti yanjye nkunda cyane.