When Your Mind Says No

I’ve been wanting to scale up my video content for about a year and a half now. The desire was there but the ideas were not. So I just lingered over it, hoping that something would emerge with time.

That time is now. I’m proud to have figured out a style and vision that’s given me motivation to create more videos. Earlier in the year, I was making a big effort to convince myself why this was all a bad idea. I found all the reasons I was looking for- it’s going to take up my time, the ideas are boring, nobody will be interested in what I have to say etc.

For every idea you want to bring to life, there are things working against you. So, if you want to hold on to them and use them as excuses, they will be of service. I didn’t realise it but I’ve been sabotaging myself and feel really bad about it.

Now I’m focused on the creation process and execution! There are times where I’ve started filming and I’ve had to stop because my mind is working overtime to say no to my ideas. But we are overcoming. I’m making this happen. I’m trusting myself. I’m rooting for me!

Wish me luck and pray for me!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here. You can also find my videos on Facebook here.

Love to you and thanks for supporting me.

T

© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (January 2018) ft. Jaden Smith, Jorja Smith and Jidenna

Nairobi, Kenya

January is coming to a close- thank God! Here’s what I’ve been listening to all of this month. Enjoy!

Track List

Let Me Down- Jorja Smith ft. Stormzy

Fast Car- Tracy Chapman

Naked- James Arthur

Rehab- Rihanna ft. Justin Timberlake

Boomerang- Jidenna

George Jeff- Jaden Smith

Run Me Dry- Bryson Tiller

Said- Nasty C and RunTown

I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix)- Mike Posner

Easy to Love- Bucie ft. Heavy K

No Drama- Tinashe ft. Offset

T

© Tessy Maritim

The 25th Hour

I was really keen to improve on my reading habits last year. As a student, I rarely read leisurely because I associated it with academic pressure. I tried to get as far away as possible from books in my spare time. Time outside my studies would be spent engaging with people, exercising or watching shows.

I only recently started using reading as a tool to relax. But then, where is the time? My days are super busy and finding time in the evening often seems elusive.

Sometime last year I started reading in the car on the way to work in the morning. And it became a habit. Soon, I found myself finishing books that were taking me months to read.

I’ve realised I don’t need to set aside a period to sit down and read. I can make use of the spaces in my day where I’m unoccupied:

  • on the commute to and from work/school
  • at lunchtime
  • at a cafe while waiting for someone
  • in waiting rooms
  • on a road trip (although if you get nauseous on long car rides like me, you might need to minimise)

The thing is to keep the book you’re reading in your bag so you can grab it whenever. Those 10/15/30 minutes of reading while in traffic add up and help you finish books. I rarely read at home. Most of my reading is done while out and about.

This approach has really helped me be more efficient with time in general- if you find yourself having no time, think about how to utilise your small in-between times. 10 minutes can be little, but it can also be sufficient time to advance many of the small (or big) tasks.

Nairobi, Kenya

Last year I read (in the order I read them):

  • Coconut by Kopano Matlwa
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Kitchen Table Series by Carrie Mae Weems
  • The Big Conservation Lie by Mordecai Ogada and Mbaria wa Mbaria
  • Dusk in the Morning by Kap Kirwok
  • Building a Movement to End The New Jim Crow by Daniel Hunter
  • Female Circumcision and the Politics of Knowledge by Obioma Nnaemeka
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

On my list this year:

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • The Wretched of The Earth by Frantz Fanon
  • Matatu: A History of Popular Transportation in Nairobi by Kenda Mutongi

What else should I read? Let me know.

T

© Tessy Maritim

Good Writing

Happy New Year, friends! I’m feeling very happy and relaxed. I had a really good December. And I left 2017 feeling light but grounded. You want to relieve yourself of the burdens that make the journey ahead heavy while still staying rooted in the things that give you clarity and a sense of direction.

I’m starting my year off finishing Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things‘. Heh- I don’t know what to say. It’s an exquisite book. Wonderfully and delicately written. I’ve always struggled to give an answer to the question ‘What’s your favourite book?‘. Now I have a response.

This year, I want to become a better writer. I really enjoy writing. I also think it’s an essential skill- to be able to communicate and articulate your ideas clearly. I’ve been trying to flesh out what it means to be a good writer and obviously there’s no universal standard. I’m not going to be Arundhati Roy. Or Chimamanda. I’m Tessy– and that’s all I’ll ever be. But there’s a gap between where I am and where I’d like to be and 2018 is about closing that gap. Or at least, moving as close as possible to it. Practice makes perfect, ama?

I’ll also continue to read. For new ideas. For fresh vocabulary. To see the possibilities and to push them. I think readers make better writers.

 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17) | Knightsbridge, London

I’m asking myself, what does it mean for me if I’m a better writer? Writing is how I express myself. Becoming a better writer is about making room to understand myself more deeply. For people who love me to understand better. To know what I think. To know how I think. To be honest. To document and capture a journey that sometimes feels unbearable. To read this and remember what I’ve been able to overcome. To see the distance traveled. To bear witness.

I’m approaching 2018 with deep conviction and intention. It’s going to be beautiful!

T

© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (December 2017)- ft. Simi, SZA and Stormzy

Limuru, Kenya

A playlist from the last couple of months to close the year! Enjoy!

Track List

Joromi- Simi

Thanks 4 Nothing- Nilufer Yanya (A Colors Show)

Suzie Noma- Muthoni Drummer Queen

Turn Me Good- Wyclef Jean

Midnight- DJ Maphorisa ft. DJ Tira, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly

You Sang To Me- Marc Anthony

Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)- Erykah Badu ft Common

The Story of O.J- Jay-Z

The Way Life Goes (Remix)- Lil Uzi Vert ft. Nicki Minaj

Nana- Mi Casa

Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2- Stormzy ft. MNEK

Perfect (Symphony)- Ed Sheeran ft. Andrea Bocelli

Go Gina (Vevo LIFT)- SZA

Mat Za Ronga (Remix)- Tunji ft Khaligraph Jones

T

© Tessy Maritim

Before We Close

We’re wrapping up 2017 and what a year it’s been! My year has been guided by a deep desire to explore and expand. I’ve been excited to learn about areas not typically within my purview- Kenya’s problematic conservation principles, emergency healthcare courtesy of the film 18 Hours and lots of new music (which I’ve been sharing via my playlists here). It’s been great to be back in Nairobi permanently- I feel settled.

2017 was also led by an intention to be really active about the things I wanted to have in my life. I shared this quote by Akwaeke Emezi a while back and it’s been central to this idea:

It might not be advice per se, but I will never forget my mother telling me once how she realised that really, you are truly alone in this world. It was exactly how I was feeling and I was so grateful that she understood that stark reality. It sounds depressing, but it has helped me be self-sufficient, understanding that I am fundamentally responsible for myself and my well-being, and that never changes, regardless of what friendships or partnerships I may enter into. Centering on myself in that way taught me how to develop my own power, which I use to shape my world into one I want to live in” – Akwaeke Emezi

Being fundamentally responsible for my life has not meant I don’t engage or depend on other people. It’s just an understanding that I’m the only person accountable for my life. For all the things I desire- emotionally, physically, mentally, professionally, I’m responsible for: identifying the needs, establishing how to meet these needs and taking the steps to have these needs met.

I want 2018 to be the year in which I anchor myself more deeply. Since moving back, it feels like I’ve been catching and keeping up with so much. And although it’s been great, it’s also been terribly overwhelming and has made me feel burnt out at many points in the past year. In 2018, I want to focus on fewer areas but with some more depth. I also want to build better relationships with people across the board. I’m excited about this.

Some 2017 highlights for me that I’m carrying forward to the new year:

  1. Always carry your charger. Even if you think your phone is charged enough. Just put it in your bag.
  2. Be consistent. Try not to abandon the seeds that you plant with so much zeal, just because you get bored. Give them time to bloom! Water them, feed them, give them sunlight.
  3. Make a list of all your favourite things to do in your city. Or all the things you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had a chance to do yet. It’ll make things easy when you have friends visiting.
  4. Listen to people- useful information doesn’t always come through the channels you think.
  5. Create the experiences you desire.
  6. Plan for things even when you don’t have the resources. And then start with what you have. Just start.

Wishing you all a dope, exciting, special, rich, lovely and wonderful 2018!

T

© Tessy Maritim

Na Bado


28.11.2016 | photo by Poon

Celebrating one year since this glorious, gloomy day in Edinburgh- my MSc graduation. This was one of my best days in 2016. I had a really wonderful time after what had been a very frustrating week.

I think I’ve said this before elsewhere but my time in Edinburgh was so special. It shaped my world view and work ethic and I can’t thank my God enough. God took me there, looked after me and made sure I left with both my hands and heart full.

I had never considered a PHd. For a while, it had felt like I could barely manage being in the academy- the pressure, my goodness! It makes you feel small and insignificant. But towards the end of my programme, watching some of the incredible PHd candidates in our department, I wondered what it would be like to be on the other side- creating knowledge and influencing ways of learning. Aside from the personal interest, I take with great seriousness the need for more black, African, women scholars influencing world views and decolonizing the academy.

I hope to start on this journey in the future. But for now, I celebrate all that I am becoming. I will get there. I’m living and loving the space I’m in right now. Most of you know how much I was looking forward to coming home! I love being here and feeling first hand the currents that are driving the future of this country. I’m also in the early stages of a career that is stretching and teaching me so much. This is not to say that it’s easy and a joyous occasion everyday. There are some really difficult days- sometimes weeks! And it can be a mammoth task to get on with what I have to do. In those moments, I try not to look for an antidote. This is what life feels like sometimes. You just try to get used to it.

I’m looking ahead but once in a while it feels good to look back and feed off the energy of past accomplishments.

Thank you to my lecturers whose teachings still guide me to this day. Thank you to my friends- some of who I am delighted to still be close to. Thank you to my family, whose love and support has fueled me every step of the way.

And most importantly, to the God I serve.. I shine because of you. May I never forget that my strength comes from You.

T

© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (October 2017)

Underground, London

Happy new month, friends! Here are the songs that took me through October. Enjoy.

Track List

Spirit- Kwesta ft. Wale

China Love- Victoria Kimani ft. R.City

Green Light- Cuppy and Tekno

Spice Girl- Amine

Nightshift- Commodores

Escape- Enrique Iglesias

Figures- Jessie Reyez (A COLORS Show)

Come Close- Common ft. Mary J. Blige

Big Kids- B.o.B ft. CeeLo Green and Usher

Big For Your Boots- Stormzy

T

© Tessy Maritim

October Debrief (Audio Post)


captured in Nandi County

Introducing my monthly ‘Debrief’ in which I subject you to a little ramble about how my month went. Basically, new format to my previous ‘Thank You’ posts!

I hope you enjoy it! Press play, below:

References made:

  • Tetu Shani– find him on Instagram and check him out on YouTube
  • MatchMentor– would love to see you there! Please come or share with someone you know who could benefit from the event. Link here with all the details on the mentors, sessions and how to get tickets.

T

© Tessy Maritim

#faves- Apps on iPhone

 

El Pastor- Borough Market, London

Bible App

What I use it for– Divine intervention

I’ve lost my physical bible so having a digital one is a great fallback. I’m still going to need a physical one though! There’s something about turning the pages of a physical bible.

Camcorder

What I use it for– Making home video aesthetics.

I use this app mostly for videos on my instastories. It transforms it into a really pretty home-video (with the date and time at the bottom left of the screen). If you follow me on Instagram, you know how cute it looks!

CamScanner

What I use it for– Scanning documents when I’m not near a scanner.

I use this app to scan documents on my phone. It’s particularly useful when I’m not in the office and need to scan something quickly.

Clue

What I use it for– Tracking my period.

My sister, Tebby introduced me to this app a while ago. It helps you track your period, fertile window and PMS days. You’re supposed to help make the app more accurate by putting information about your cycle e.g. sleep patterns, emotions, bleeding, energy etc. It’s great!

Heads Up

What I use it for– Games night

If you’re with friends or family at a gathering, ‘Heads Up‘ is a really fun and competitive game to play!

Taxify

What I use it for– Moving around Nairobi.

Although I have both Uber and Taxify on my phone, I mostly use Taxify because it’s cheaper. I’ve heard some people complain about it, but my experience has been pretty good so far.

What apps do you use? I’d love some recommendations, please share.

T

© Tessy Maritim