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Dream and unlock yourself

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Ann Mukei | May 31st 2015

It has been a while since I wrote a letter.

The last was years back when I was seeking employment. Forgive me thus if you find my letter-writing skills rusty. But write I must.

This urge was prompted by an old friend and colleague who engaged me in a ten-minute conversation about life. And dreams. And the zest for improving life. And how this well-intentioned course is sabotaged along the way.

My letter goes out to all men and women, young and old: all those people who stopped dreaming a while back.

Whose fault is it anyway? Did the teachers not keep chastising us for day-dreaming while we should have been learning how to solve logarithms?

“Dear reader, terrorism is real, and that is why residents of Garissa in particular and Kenyans in general pray that this monster will soon be felled.

The world is against it, and so is the village. But have you realised you are your the Number One terrorist?

Yes, I can hear you gasp, but it is true.

Daily, you practice self-sabotage — you deliberately weaken the most important person around, YOU, with your destructive habits.

You practice self-assassination that begins with self-deprecation and continues with other ways you talk about yourself.

You have extremely strong opinions about yourself, about your failures, your setbacks, likes, dislikes, prejudices and opinions.

Yet none of them are kind. Without a doubt, you are your greatest enemy. Congratulations for being alive today. Living is for the tough. That is why you have not thrown in the towel but have chosen to trudge on.

Life was never easy — even on that one person you think has it all.

I can see you frown. Come on, stop being so hard on yourself.

Stem that negative voice that never tires of judging you.

It is what makes you believe that you are good for nothing. It is the one that made you stop dreaming years ago.

It is the voice that waters down your courage and passion, planting fear and guilt and shame in your already damaged mind.

It is the one that makes you believe there is no point planning for a better future yet you have your entire life spread out before you.

You know what? You are stuck with yourself. There is only one of you in the world.

It does not matter whether you have a twin.

You are trapped into your body, with your big nose and small eye brows.

And guess what? It is not your fault. It is actually a good thing, because that is what makes you very unique — just as unique as your eyebrows.

So stop terrorising yourself. Quit the self-degradation and start being nice to yourself.

It is good to be alive; it is okay to fall one, twice and even three times. Be gentle with yourself, treat yourself well.

While you are at it, remember to start dreaming and if you never stopped, keep dreaming.”

Yours truly.

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