Hindsight is 20/20, goes the saying. Meaning that when one looks back, you can see where you went wrong – and what you needed to do to make things perfect.
This week, we entered the Year 2020. So instead of the usual New Year resolutions, I resolved to look back across the last 20 years.
And see what, in retrospect, I could have done better each year.
2000 – I wish I had kept more of an eye on my then still teenage kid brother, and guided him in the ways of dating, and who to see socially.
2001 – Had I actually attended more classes that year, I would have finished off with a better grade. Instead, I went AWOL from Easter till Madaraka Day with marijuana-smoking German pals.
2002 – All the time I spend running around with the ‘Unbwoggables’ (kina Gidi Gidi), I could actually have run for some post, and tasted political life.
2003 – My father passed away of cirrhosis of the liver in October. In retrospect, I do regret not spending more of my time with him in Ngong, during his final illness.
2004 – There was this lass I knew called Juliette. And though I have no current regrets, it would have been worth it, at the time, to pursue her harder than I did.
2005 – This was a perfect year, and I couldn’t have wished it to be any different. I broke up with someone, travelled to three countries, and saw life afresh.
2006 – I had the chance, thrice in this year, to make the jump in my career to a different place. And turned down every offer. In an alternate universe…
2007 – At the very end of that year, when the post-election violence began, I now wish I’d just jumped into a vehicle and gone to the ground to write about it, firsthand. But I was afraid.
2008 – Instead of going to Abuja in Nigeria that November, I should have tried, juu-chini, to go to USA. To be there when Barack Obama became president.
2009 – Having bought my first vehicle, I wish I’d also taken up driving lessons at the time, so I have a DL. But next week, lol.
2010 – I really ought to have become a blogger in this year, but mistakenly assumed blogs were for folks who cannot publish their stuff anywhere else. Oh, to be an Internet blog bigwig now.
2011 – Every experience in life is an invaluable lesson, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can now see that my first marriage was a mistake.
2012 – In the June of this year, my 88-year-old grandma sent word that she wanted to see me in Kisii, on the very weekend I was due to fly to Portugal. She passed away while I was away in Lisbon. RIP, Granny.
2013 – Then there was that Bayern vs Borussia CL final I wish I’d watched with my late kid bro, Ben.
2014 – There was a poetry meeting at the garden of a certain professor that my guts told me not to attend. It was a set-up!
2015 – I wish I’d also sued the newspaper that ran defamatory articles resulting from a psycho poetess (who supposedly ‘fled’ Kenya, but is in reality a criminal fugitive, probably hiding in a flat near Fig Tree).
2016 – This one was out of my hands, but I still believe I shoulda won the gold, and not the bronze, in the Burt Awards for my book ‘Run, Cheche, Run.’
2017 – I deeply regret voting for ‘Sonko’ to be the Governor of Nairobi.
In my defense, Kidero was embroiled in financial scandals, and Peter Kenneth seemed to be a non-starter (but he’d have made a good governor).
2018 – Out of necessity, I finally started a business in the city outskirts. Should have started much earlier.
2019 – My 20/20 hindsight for this year is a certain important book project that I really ought to have pursued more aggressively, as I can confidently say no one, locally, can spin that narrative the way I can.
That’s my century.
What are your 20/20 hind-sights, starting 2000 A.D.?If you could travel back in time, who would you want to meet?