Tag: Chasing dreams

chasing dreams

“Artists have so much more control of their futures – they don’t need to rely so much on major labels or big companies to help them. You have artists like Skrillex that can dominate so much that he gets 5 Grammy nominees, and he’s clearly an underground artist.”

– Steve Aoki.

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Sometimes an incident, big or small, can occur that will make you second guess yourself. Your abilities, your dreams, especially when your purpose is unclear (it doesn’t need to be clear because everyone has a different rate of growth). I was in the dumps for a few days, second guessing whether I should proceed with my ‘pilgrim adventures’, asking if it’s worth it, do the easy thing, give it up, and conform or if I should do the difficult thing – keep going one step at a time and see where it goes. Then one evening I got a wave of an emotion I can’t describe as anger, but similar to it. Whatever it was, even after a long day at work, it kept me at my bedside table editing these pictures for the next two and a half hours until past midnight. It reminded me of something I read once that Maya Angelou said about the difference between anger and bitterness; ‘Bitterness is like cancer, it eats upon the host. But anger is like fire, it burns all clean’.

You see the thing is, I know I’m not perfect. I know I have a long way to go, a lot to learn and I don’t shy away from that fact. I embrace it. I came across a quote on Instagram that goes something like, ‘let the space between who you are and where you want to be inspire you.’ That is exactly what I live by. I will try something new today, may turn out well, or not. And I will get up and try again. The important thing is to keep creating, sharing, growing. I can describe more of who I want to be than of who I am now, so if I could describe myself in one word, it would be ambitious. This felt like an appropriate pretext to this post. Read on, I’m getting to my point.

On the second day of the Grand Prix, the entertainment section was just as incredible and exciting as the races. The organizers had planned activities for different age groups, and a post-race concert that began at around 7 pm just a few minutes from the viewing stands. Underneath the huge tents, were ladies dressed as mushrooms and fairies from Peter Pan, clowns on stilts and in inflated costumes, candy canes plonked into the ground at random places, the sweet and sticky smell of spilled soda, ice cream, candy, pop corn, pizza and Red Bull. An array of colour and activity, with furniture to seat at and observe the life around you if you’re as in awe as I am in new places! Additionally, there were several themed stands like the bubble making stand, sadly for children aged 5-10 so I just stood on the perimeter of the stand taking pictures, haha.

My family and I then dashed to watch the races and at 7 pm headed back to the stage early enough to get a spot at the front. My reaction to seeing Enrique on that stage was, drum rolls please, tears. I was tearing up remembering how at age 10 or 11, my dad bought his first CD and I’d sing along my terrible version lyrics to Hero and Escape. ‘Here’s how it goes, you and me, up and down but baby.. mumbles.. mumbles.. mumbles.. If you feeeeel like leaviiiiing’, you get the point 😀 I’d carry that CD with me in my schoolbag to show my friends (we’d call ourselves the Blooming Ladybirds lol) where we’d then appropriately scream and giggle like little girls.

I kid you not, at least 1000 views of the Bailando song on YouTube are mine 😀 And so by the time Enrique performed that song, my mascara and kohl was a mess, my voice was hoarse and I was in a dream like trance. At one point, he got off stage and came down to the barricade to mingle with the fans. I was star struck, paralyzed, and just stood there in amazement asking out loud, ‘Is this real?’ ‘Take pictures, be present,’ I’d then tell myself. At the end of Enrique’s set, Steve Aoki was next and woah, that energy! It made me think about people who I look up to professionally, leading the lives of their dreams doing what they love. Innovators. Artists. People who do different things and dare to step out of their comfort zones, prepared to take on whatever challenges are brought their way.

People like Enrique Iglesias, Steve Aoki, the formula 1 racers all take a huge risk stepping out onto the stage of life, opening themselves up to create and face criticism. They keep working hard at their dreams. I’d never been a fan of Steve’s genre of music but after watching him live, I now have a great respect for his craft. The visuals, his energy and enthusiasm. Wish I got to watch the whole performance but alas, we had to be home before the clock struck ten (and this was only because we were actually being chaperoned haha).

This post took me back to that barricade at the concert. Watching people I admire live their dreams, have people adore their craft and inspire others to do something too.

The easy thing for me to do would be give up on this blog (or any other ridiculous dreams I have) which is not only a hobby, but also what I see as a vehicle to help me live out a larger purpose. To push me towards following my dreams, and help you (whoever is reading) see that hey, if Fatma can get started then so can you. Whataver it is. Doesn’t matter who gets there first, just that you get started and keep going.

I’m writing to myself now.

If you have a dream, you will have to work at it and deal with whatever challenges that come your way. You will have to change some habits, create more time (borrow time from the future as Professor Anyamba would say) to accommodate all the responsibilities you need to balance. You will need to get things done. It’s the only way to grow.

Dream. Strategize. And work.

Watch this.

bahrain grand prix

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

 

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I’m not going to pretend I know much about the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

I know a few facts. Some of the drivers’ names, teams, how their cars look like and their numbers. I also know I went to Bahrain and I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have experienced this. Heck, was it even real? The only proof I seem to accept, despite the thousands of pictures I have on my camera roll, are the selfies I took with my family with the Bahrain International Circuit tower in the background.

Since childhood, I’d watch the Formula 1 brief highlights after news in the sports segment, with the most memorable bit of the event being how the drivers shake up and pop a bottle of champagne with cameras flashing in their face to celebrate their wins. I never paid much attention, mostly wondering when my dad would be done watching the news so I could just change the channel and have the remote to myself. How I wish I paid more attention hah! Who knows, you could end up watching the F1 live one day. Unbelievable.

Growing up in Kenya, the closest I got to anything Formula 1 was this once when Michael Schumacher’s race car was brought on display at The Carnivore. I was about thirteen/ fourteen years old at that time. We didn’t go but at least it was in Nairobi. Fast forward to Bahrain. The thrill of watching from the bleachers is utterly unbelievable. The fast cars, sounds, crowds cheering and die hard fans waving their flags to show their support. The desert heat, and how the sweat gets your clothes to stick on your skin! On the last day, the race was so intense that we could smell the rubber against the tarmac from our stand. I can’t imagine how the drivers feel in their cockpits, it must be such a rush and one must be intensely present in the moment.

The event lasted three days, 15th 16th and 17th April. Day 1 was like a rehearsal, day 2 determined the pole positions (where the cars start the race from but here’s a Google definition as well 😀 ) and day three was the finale. The second day was one of the most fun things I’ve experienced in my life so far as we got to attend the post-race concert where we got to watch Enrique Iglesias and Steve Aoki perform live! We couldn’t stay long enough to finish the entire concert because of our curfew haha but it was waaaay more than I’d ever dreamed of witnessing. Stay tuned for that in a separate post 🙂

I also have an idea for a post about some life lessons I learnt watching the Grand Prix so stay tuned for that too.

In the mean time, here are a few pictures from the races.

Don’t stop dreaming 🙂

saturday shenanigans five

“Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward”.

– Drew Houston.

 

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Where do I begin?

Are you familiar with the work of Antonio Gaudi?
If not, please look him up. I first came across his work in my second year of architecture school. He was a legendary Spanish architect known for his extravagant and organic designs characterized by complex, interesting forms and the free use of materials such as stained glass and wrought iron. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate and know more of his work mostly through this documentary I found on my external hard drive that I probably picked off one of my classmates. For some reason, Park Güell seemed to be the most memorable project to me. Perhaps because at that time I took a course in landscape architecture? For whatever reason it was, and it seems to be the project I could immediately compare the eccentric but beautiful Kitengela Glass to.

Isn’t it interesting how the human mind records information? And even more interesting when it recalls and retrieves the information when triggered by the most subtle of hints, sometimes even uncalled for. Stepping into the Kitengela Glass compound, a sense of dream-like familiarity occurred to me. I have never been to Spain (hope to attract it into existence one day), neither had I been to Kitengela Glass before but just from the imagery I had seen before through this same computer screen that I type this out from, it seemed that I knew this place. Not entirely, but  at least what it was about.

It is one of the most sensory stimulating places I have been in before; sights, smells and the almost prickling heat. Starting from the long rocky drive, to the random sculptures on the road I knew I was in for a real treat. Lelei and Jackie told me I’d need at least two days to see and take pictures of the entire property and I do agree. This just means we need to go back some time 🙂 Everywhere you turn, you notice something new. And I’m sure the next trip will reveal even more!

Odd, quirky and colourful human and animal shaped pieces of garden furniture welcome you into a compound that promises only adventure. The earthy animal smell is too present to ignore – ducks, peacocks, guinea fowl and marabou storks seem to live harmoniously with freely roaming dogs – who often chase monkeys in the compound which is no cause for alarm. “What’s that commotion about?”, we ask Nani as the seven or more dogs run outside. “Oh, it’s nothing. They’re just chasing the monkeys away,” she calmly responds back, entirely oblivious to the cacophony outside.

Our guide to the ‘adventure bridge’ later  tells us that Nani moved to Kenya 40 years ago and has been building Kitengela Glass over the years. Here, they have several workshops that make different crafts – glass, beads, wrought iron, several galleries – and organic cottages for intrepid spirits like ourselves to explore and even rent out for the night.

And so the three musketeers, Lelei, Jackie and I, just went on walking around and exploring the place. We got to see how the artisans made glass objects (we they made a glass), explored one of the many cottages scattered around the property alongside timid hyraxes, walked down to the pool area, crossed a delicate but sturdy bridge made out of iron, plastic bottles and odd glass bobbles in the middle of two cliffs, and later on trekked down an unmarked path to the bottom of a gorge.

Best part is, it was all free of charge. Save for the walk along the bridge, which we paid Kiben our guide 150 Ksh. per person (J & L seem to think we were conned) but we didn’t mind this so much. We hear that the notorious baboons sometimes bully people when they sense fear so Kiben saved our damsel-in-distress lives with his sling shot ready in hand. I’m trying to be humorous here, can you tell? 😀

If you’re going, and I highly recommend that you do, I suggest you have a heavy meal for the road and carry plenty of water, tissue and wet wipes. It gets hot and sticky out there.

Every time I experience something new and exciting, I tend to worry that I may not be able to top this off. Almost as if my ability to experience new and marvelous things is limited. I’ve come to realize that this is farthest from the truth. Because every time, I seem to have more. Because, as I’ve said a million times before, I now actively seek out new and wholesome adventures. Because, it’s all up to you. All I have to do is decide and then make it happen, get it?

Keep chasing your dreams.

Kitengela Glass

Google Earth directions here (link opens in new tab).

Happy adventures 🙂