#1. I don’t have a mobile phone.
I decommissioned my cell phone last year and I’ve never looked back. It was as liberating as giving up smoking 5 years ago. There’s just something about taking control of your life and deciding when you actually want to talk to people. I got to the stage of accepting that there’s nothing urgent that won’t wait for me to get home. I’ll go as far as saying that it’s made my quality of life much better and reduced my stress levels.
The ability for anyone to call you at will is an unwelcome distraction that many people are too weak to face. Some people are so anal about their cell phones that they could have sex with them if it was possible to do that – an act I wouldn’t put past some. In fact, I rarely talk to people on the phone unless I’m convinced you’ll add value to my time – so nothing personal if I don’t pick up the phone at home.
As for calls during work hours, I’ll be damned if I speak to you if you’re not part of a process designed to help me make money. It’s a no brainer.
#2. I don’t watch scheduled TV
Apart from regular and sports news, I don’t watch regular scheduled TV. Even for the news, there are some channels that I’d rather poke my eyes with needles than watch because of their sickening obsession with broadcasting bad and biased news that shamelessly promotes imperialistic agendas.
If you want me to punch you (even in your own house) put on Fox news while I’m in the room – and that’s not the only one, though I won’t waste a punch for others.
For this reason, I’ve become a hardened supporter of on demand TV for the rest of my entertainment and nourishment.
Whoever conceived the idea that you can watch TV as and when you want on demand is a genius. Everything I need to watch is on demand TV (well except for Baby Father which I think is a crime for this show not to have a re-run as it was one of the best shows especially with a predominantly black cast where gangs, violence and hip hop music was not the order of the day).
While on the news theme, I only read newspapers on the web, and always certainly start with the Sports pages.
#3. I have a very low threshold for stupidity
Over recent years, my threshold for accepting stupidity has become lower and lower to the point of intolerance. Case in point – people who answer their cell phones and ask the caller “how did you know I was here?”.
I think stupidity should be an offence under the criminal justice system with a custodial sentence that prescribes solitary confinement for repeat offenders.
Failing that, folks should be allowed to apply for a license to take stupid people out back and give them a good hiding. Nothing life threatening, just a good old fashioned pasting.
#4. Most of my lifelong friends are from high school
I find it hard (well, I probably go out of my way to avoid it) to make friends with people I’ve met in my adulthood.
Maybe it’s the baggage and drama that folks come with, or maybe we just don’t get along. Of course I differentiate friends from acquaintances and drinking buddies that are best left in the pub – the sort you’d never take home to meet your mother.
Saying that, most of the good friends (some very close) I have made since high school are friends that I’ve made online for one reason or another. It’s interesting that people sometimes try to separate their lives from their online presence and see online interaction as something you switch on and off at will – some spiritual folks say it’s impossible to separate you from your alter ego.
In one of my university courses (some time ago now) on the impact of the internet on social interaction and the psychology of it – my study group did a case study on mashada.com – a site started by a former school mate, where I was a member (long retired).
Being one of the earliest members (Jeez – I’m old…) of this crazy and more often than not outlandish forum (No! Don’t look for me, you won’t find me there as me…LOL!), I was well placed to provide insight to the relationship between people’s anonymous alter-egos online and their real lives.
The psychology of it was fascinating to say the least, but more importantly, the overall conclusion was the appreciation of a misguided disconnect by people who still think the internet is a plug and play component of their lives that they can separate at will from their day to day communication and interaction with the world.
My class mates thought Kenyans were psycho (but a good psycho) after spending some considerable time on mashada for the case study – maybe I should come out of retirement and check the place out again, though there’s probably some folks there now who hadn’t even started eating solid foods when I was a member.
#5. Over the years, I have become very cynical about religion.
I can’t help but think that the whole concept of different religions in the world is just a big hoax that’s designed as a mechanism to control the masses.
What intrigues me is the idea that someone is supposed to blindly follow a doctrine without questioning or taking some time to try and reason or rationalize the teachings of such a doctrine. They call it faith I think. But if someone is supposed to have a close relationship with their God, what’s with the intermediaries in the form of religions and churches.
Are folks incapable of having a relationship with their God without someone holding their hand?
My cynicism stems more from the fact that there’s so many inconsistencies with this story of God and the different renditions of what some consider to be the world’s best story book – the Bible.
Some people have found my views around this very uncomfortable and offensive, but I fail to see how we get to the place where the only reaction to a conversation about the veracity of a so called religion is folks getting hot under the collar and threatening that the Bible says you will burn in hell with fire and Brimstone for even questioning.
What happened to good old fashioned conversation? For example, nobody so far has given me a plausible answer as to whether animals commit sin by fornicating and having sex out of wed lock – I mean, if all creatures a God’s creation, why the double standards? Why do humans have to get married and supposedly enjoy one of the fruits of life within a matrimonial context – and anyone indulging outside marriage is seen as sinful?
The only come back has been something about humans given more ability to reason and created in the likeness of God so we are more superior. Indeed we may be, but it still doesn’t explain whether animals are committing sin.
#6. I can be very blunt
I’m trying to get better at accepting that not everyone can easily deal with my bluntness. Life has taught me that some things need to be served cold, but I guess with time, you also get to learn that its equally important to acknowledge that cold is uncomfortable for some people.
Several friends and ex-girlfriends have told me that one of my most chilling characteristics is my ability to be calm and not even raise my voice during drama filled episodes. So much so that I supposedly transmit a nervy and cold demeanor that can be unsettling. One even confessed that after that conversation, she shut herself in the kitchen and had one of them “how the hell did I fuck that one up so bad moments”.
I prefer not to spend my energy stressing about some things – so I guess I rationalize my actions by suggesting that being calm stresses me less and I really don’t have air time for shouting matches.
#7. I hate the rat race drama
I’m at a stage in my life where I’m determined to live it without being in the drama of the rat race. Been there, done it, got the suit, the T-shirt and the DVD – and I’m done. The quality of my life and my family’s life is more important than running around like a headless chicken in a career that I don’t enjoy any more.
I find it hard in the first place staying in a job for more than 3 years – I kinda see my value as that of getting things from A to B and once that’s done, I’m off.
In my last job as someone’s employee, I got asked what I saw my role to be in a Q&A session – and my answer after some thought was that I felt it was my job to open the door and for the rest of them to keep it open.
I’m in my second stint running my own business and this time round, I guess I’m more relaxed about things, much wiser and more importantly, much smarter than the first time round and I know what to do to get some balance to things.
There’s a very big difference between working for yourself and having a business and only experience can teach you that.
#8. Many folks think I only started blogging in December last year.
Matter of fact, I’ve been blogging a long long time – only it was for my former employer. My last two jobs made it impossible for me to work, blog, and have a life at the same time…so I engineered the blogging to be part of my job description. Some have asked me why I don’t return to some of them posts….but it’s one of them things you know.
Apparently, I signed a contract that suggested that the stuff I wrote remained the intellectual property of that employer. I guess it’s impossible for them to remove my name as the author (which is fine for me) and more importantly, I got paid handsomely to leave the intellectual rights with them.
#9. I’m a sucker for music and in particular old school soul music.
They don’t write them like they used to do back in the day. I grew up around music and was crazy enough to major in it in high school – though my major regret was not learning how to read music score properly (I mean the really really deep stuff here) when I had the chance. I could read music and even did my own arrangements that others were able to play – but I guess some things just pass you by.
I have an obscene collection of music, most of which is now converted to a digital format – but I lost the plot literally (and was diagnosed as depressed when 10 years ago, I lost my entire collection of music when it was stolen. I still refuse to tell anyone what it cost me to pay for that collection coz’ folks will think I’m insane, but its sentimental value was much more important to me than anything else. With time, I’ve managed to get some of it back (thanks to the usual suspects for helping me out) – but it’s not the same.
I still listen to other stuff especially since my wife has an eclectic taste and collection of music that ranges from classical types like Pavarotti and Bochelli to African classics from greats like Simba Wanyika – but I draw the line on head banging hard core rock. That’s just outright noise.
#10. I first went to a night club when I was 15
I probably would have got frozen but got smuggled into Carnivore by an older girl I knew from church – and she bought me the first beer too….
My mum found out about this coz’ a family friend who was there that night but I didn’t see him sold me out and it made life difficult for me for a bit…LOL! But life has its way of paying back. This guy seemed for years to be happily married (to a girl I knew very well and hang out with sana) and was the envy of town….
Only, one day in a bar in North Carolina while having a quiet beer with a friend, his wife walked right up to me and pulled a bar stool and let’s just say my friend felt like a spare wheel after that. So after all those years, his wife upped and left without notice…just picked up her passport, her daughter and left the country (they had the means)….and left the dude at the traffic lights. Didn’t even tell him shit…just called when she arrived in America and told him I left you. Kweli money can’t buy you love.
I would have liked to say that was retribution for all them years back when he sold me out – but I actually felt sorry for him. When I asked his wife what cut and why she didn’t just divorce him – she was like “Wacha Darius – you know peeps at home, who was going to allow me to divorce that one”.