It has been about 3 years since I decided to return to Kenya. When I first quit my DC job in 2012 and took a 6 month chance on returning and finding something to do in Kenya, I was ready to return. DC had turned out to be a place where I simply whiled away the hours, I was going crazy. I needed something, anything that would get me jump-starting my career.
I found it hard to believe that I could not get a development job in DC that paid me enough to pay the rent but there it was. Anyway, 2013 I got a job at a reputable organization, settled down and started living the Kenyan life. This is what I wanted, right?
Well three years down the lane, I am beginning to get tired. The jazz concerts and festivals over the weekend are an absolute bore; full of people from all walks of life who have come mostly to inebriate. Music and art is an afterthought. The dust has increased exponentially, I cannot walk anywhere without my inhaler.
The unpredictability of life now gets to me, I am lucky to get to meetings on time and sometimes, the attendees are as much as an hour late due to the now-famous Nairobi traffic jams. I get irritated at the requests to contribute to some fund-raising or the other.
There always seems to be someone looking for money. I almost feel used, as some of these people are strangers to me. Due to emergencies that come up every now and then, I am unable to save enough money to invest in my retirement, which was the whole reason for moving back to Kenya. With every passing day, I struggle to justify my actions, my job, my reasons, my way. So I decided that I should work towards returning to the States.
The first thing my friends said was that this was madness. I am one of those people who landed in the States saying that I had to go back home over and over and over again until everyone thought I had been drugged. So saying I wanted to return was a bit shocking to everyone.
I have been reading a lot of books about self fulfilment and I found that I am just wasting time. I have a lot of talent; I can sing, play guitar, a bit of piano, poetry, painting and artwork, calligraphy; these are the things that I am passionate about but I do not do them…because I have a job that pays me and I feel insecure about leaving it.
Truth be told, I toyed long and hard with the idea of returning to the States. I have moved several times in my life and each time it has been difficult settling down, but I believe no one should spend their days just working and not pursuing their dreams. I also do remover the reasons why I left the states. I could not find a job that I enjoyed doing. I could not build a career.
The economic downturn meant that I cold barely keep my job let-alone find a new one. I was not getting the same respect in terms of my achievements compared to my peers in Kenya. But all that pales in view of my dreams. My dream is to retire at 45, thereafter to use my God-given talents to inspire children in Africa to pursue education and their talent and find satisfaction in life regardless of what they do.
As long as I am not working towards my dream, I get drained. In the last year I have been diagnosed with stress diseases that I really ought not to be dealing with. But for me the direction in clear; I need to leave my current job. I need to pursue my dream. I need to fulfill my reason for living regardless of whether it is here in Kenya or in the States. With this in mind I look forward to 2016.
There are people who have gone back to their home countries and had a beautiful time. This is not to dissuade you or make you feel dissatisfied. The aim of this post is to challenge you to think beyond paying bills and looking cool to your friends.
What it your purpose it life? What is your talent? Are you living to the best of your ability? Do you want more? Why don’t you go and get it!
More importantly if you have the advantage of being able to live and work in various places, why tie yourself to a particular location? This is for all those who decided to come back to Africa, think about it, make sure this is your dream then work hard to fulfill it.