25: I Am Still Learning

The weeks leading up to my 25th year were the hardest for me. It was like someone had just dropped a tonne of bricks (lol) on me. I started to feel really old, and anxiety kicked in. This time, it wasn’t necessarily “what have you even achieved, Fai?” but, “wow, time is going by so fast and I’m taking so long to do the things I want.” Because unlike other times, I actually know where I am heading, but I’ve been facing so many obstacles.

My 25th birthday was a simple, yet great birthday (thank you so much, guys!). For one, I realised just how much I love my comfort and sleep when my sisters woke me up from my regular Sunday afternoon nap to go out for the birthday meal, and I said, in the sleepiest voice you can ever imagine, “please leave me alone I just wanna sleep.” Then I remembered all this was for me, and I woke up with a start, and quickly dressed up. I found my siblings patiently waiting for me in the car. If that doesn’t confirm my love for sleep, then I don’t know what will.

Birthday meal with the family

Anyway, it’s only right to write about the lessons I have learnt leading up to a quarter of a century. But this time, it won’t be what I have learnt, but more of what I AM learning. When you get older, you start to realise how much you don’t know, no matter how knowledgeable you think you are.

  1. On my birthday, I received a message from an older lady from Florida, who saw my posts on a modesty group. She just randomly started telling me how much she liked my posts. This lady was more like a fairy godmother to be honest… I thanked her, then just blurted out that I’ve actually been feeling anxious. She said, “wow, 25 is the perfect age! There’s so much potential in your future!” And I was there like, “you know what? I kept thinking about my past and ‘should have’ and ‘could have’s’ have totally clouded my thoughts. She was such a comfort to me and gave some really awesome advice. Then she disappeared (I’m telling y’all… fairy godmother stuff, this). So what am I learning? To drive while looking where I am going, which is FORWARD. Whatever happened in my past is gone. I can’t dwell on it. If I keep looking in the rear-view mirror, I will crash.
  2. Just go ahead and do the thing. When I told my parents that I wasn’t looking for formal employment anymore, they were supportive; but first, they were worried. And I understand why they were worried. Heck, I was worried too! But I just went ahead and started working on my projects, and came up to them when I needed some support somewhere when I was feeling stuck, or when I was even done. These days, I just update them on the progress of what I am doing instead of first sitting them down and telling them what I will do. At first I liked doing this, and my dad said, “you know what Faith, we are not even listening. Just go ahead and do what you want to do. We want action.” That made me realise how much time we sometimes waste on planning, instead of just starting. So even when you don’t really feel inspired and ready, just start. If you have the idea, you are already many steps ahead. I won’t lie and say that I am not a victim of the awful disease called procrastination. Like I said, this is something I am learning.
  3. Love is corrective. Criticism is something that we usually say we want to receive, but very few people take criticism well. For me, I know I am not the best, so at least I came to terms with it. Buuut I am very stubborn, which doesn’t stop me from pursuing something I genuinely enjoy doing. For instance, music is something I am not very good at, but man, I loooove singing. In my music circle, the people that I work with know music way more than I do. I didn’t even know how many strings a bass guitar has, let alone the difference between a violin and a viola. I get corrected over the tiniest things, and sometimes get told to do more vocal lessons. That’s OK. To me, I know someone who genuinely wants the best out of me will correct me. And no matter how hard that pill may be to swallow, I swallow it. So, go ahead and surround yourself with people who know more than you do. It’s ok to be the dumbest in your team. Just make sure you are learning.
  4. Patience. Here’s something I won’t lie and say I am good at. I suck at being patient. I am the type of person that wakes up in the morning, has a to do list, and follows it religiously. Any slight change to the plan I had before I got out of bed messes me up so badly. So you can imagine how messed up I was when the plan I set out for my life went south. It took me a while to breathe, and realize I had to hand over my plan to God. Not only does he know what He is doing, He is also teaching me along the way. And this lesson on patience, I feel like I fail, and then come back to write a supplementary exam, fail that too, and now it’s a carryover course lol. But I am learning. My friend told me the other day, after I told her about some of the obstacles I am facing, she said, “if you knew as much as God knows, trust me, you’d choose the very same thing for yourself.”
  5. Mothers are the real MVPs. My mum is a homemaker-she’s been one all our lives. I used to think it was an easy task, but growing up, I have learnt that she has been so good at being strong and being a fantastic multitasker. This year, my family has gone through the most when it comes to illnesses. It’s like someone in the family gets seriously ill almost every month, and mum is taking care of the patient. Because I was the oldest child around, and well, not formally employed, the lot for being mai (mother) fell on me. That’s when I knew the burden mum really goes through. It’s “Fai, tidya chani lero?” “what are we eating today?” “Fai, chakuti chatha, chofunika kugula“this this has run out. You need to buy more” and, “Fai, kwabwela anthu.” “There’s a visitor.”  The past weeks have been comprised of this, because my  maternal grandmother is admitted in the hospital and mum is hardly around. The most hectic part is probably grocery shopping, because there’s always so much missing, but the money you have in hand isn’t enough. Once, I felt like screaming at the till in Shoprite. It’s all so stressful. Then there’s the kumunda (field) trips to thyola ndiwo. Right now, there’s bags of rice that needs kupetedwa (winnowing) and Aunt came to call me so we should go get started. Did I mention it’s so cold outside right now?

Kothyola nandolo (pigeon peas)

Mums everywhere, I appreciate you even more! You are such heroes! May your house always be tidy, may your ufa not run out anytime soon, and may your Shoprite trips be more pleasant.

And to all those who are showering me with “tivina liti?(When are you getting married?) I have one simple answer. On the afternoon of my birthday, my sister and I witnessed a couple fighting outside the gate of our home (yes, a physical fight). They only stopped when we told them we were going to call the police on them. That, to me, was a reality check. As much as y’all want to vina (dance), I do not want an unhappy marriage. So, let me take my time, preparing and praying. Muzavina. You’ll dance. Don’t give me phuma kaye (pressure).

Here’s to getting older, wiser, and realising we will never stop learning.

Last day as a 24 year old. Dress: tailor made (bought the jean material in DAPP, curtains section).

Shoes: Legit. Top: New Look.

Posted in Growth, Lessons, Lists, Modest Dressing.


  1. I’m becoming addicted to reading your posts. They are authentic and cunningly honest and sincere. They remind me of the Diary of Anne Frank. God bless you and may He continue being your Guide as He has always been.

    I think those ought to be pigeon peas and not cow peas, haha!

    By the way, I used to have a blog of my own when I was teaching at Chancellor College, some 14 to 15 years ago. I can’t even remember what I titled it today. I haven’t stopped writing yet, though – but they are stories in my heart. I just can’t find the craze of putting them down on a page.

    • First, ha! You’re right! It’s pigeon peas! Let me quickly edit that. I always mistake the two.
      Secondly, thank you for the kind words. Truly.
      Thirdly, please remember the blog title! I need to read it!
      And lastly, please, WRITE. Put it on paper. You’ll thank me later.

  2. Oh wow, this is a beautiful piece.
    As long as you know where you are heading those little obstacles should not be a hindrance, instead they should motivate you more that you are in the right path! 👏👏👏

  3. This is my first time on your blog and I’m actually impressed,. So many relatable issues on here..

    I feel I have some catching up to do on the other articles posted..
    God bless you

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