After 6 months of ruminating on the same scene in my head, I still don’t know what the hell went wrong. No really, I don’t….
Actually, it was 8 months. 8 months of rumination. Time wasted.
4 years ago, I met Mr. Charming and fell head over heels. Moved across the ocean into his house (Stupid girl!). It was new, Scary, fun, strange, exciting, cold, cozy, lonely and all sorts of emotions.
For some reason blame myself. Must be some sort of grieving stage.
Then one day….
‘I can’t do this anymore’.
Oceans crossed, new language mastered and new reality accepted as norm then boom. “I can’t do this anymore.”
New language learnt, not mastered.
Puff, went my “New family”. Puff! Along with the “New friends”. Not even an “I heard what happened, I hope you are fine.” Puff! Went my security.
To be honest, I cut the rest of the article. It’s amazing how one can get fixated on an idea of perfect and even feel entitled to it. Nothing i write here will change the situation. However, it’s good to have some emotional release once in a while.
You are right. I´m back. I can’t believe the last post was in 2015 – 2 years ago.
Where have i been al that time?
In my comfort zone. Where i had enough love, enough money and enough time. Yes that is possible.
But now for the first time, i am alone. In my own house having to live with myself. Not easy but i love it. It is the first time ever, i am in full control of myself.
“Aren´t you alittle too old to be experiencing this for the first time,” you ask.
Well, yes. I lived with my parents for the first 20 years of my life, then university (with all sorts of roommates) and then 6 months of severe burn out/ undiagnosed depression then Norway – First with AIESEC and then with my Ex. But since i fucked up my perfect love, here i am all by myself.
It is the first time i am worried about the electricity bill – i make my breakfast in darkness to keep the save on the bill and no one but myself to clean the house for. I realised one thing, i am so spoiled. Super spoiled for a girl (woman) that grew up in Kayole. My parents are miracle workers for raising a diva out of 1960.
Anyway, maybe I will be back here soon or in another two years but in the meantime, know that i am busy growing up and visiting my friends cute babies.
It’s been one month and a half since i started my new job. Still very excited about it. I have amazing colleagues, a massive challenge in a role i never knew would exist but its all i have been dreaming of. Ok, maybe this honeymoon phase is blinding but you get the drift, I am so stoked about it!
Through out this year i have been really challenging myself, my fears, bad habits, my skills and to a greater part my personality. I did a hike in January this year, Mt. Suswa; going from the gate of the park, to the crater, round the crater and back to the gate. It took me 12 hours. This was the toughest hike of my life even if i include Mt. Kenya on the list. Mt. Suswa topped it for me. It could be that i was not really prepared, could be that it was just a terribly tough hike or the fact that Mt. Suswa is pretty unspectacular most of the way up and down. I digress.
Since then i decided that resilience will be my value to work on in 2015. I am the kind that doesn’t have one big ambition in life like be rich, CEO, athletic or whatever. I take my life one step at a time and so is my planning.
This value has turned out to be the best to work on in a year when i was also looking for a different job and a certain sense of having control. The Norwegian unemployment rate is 5-8% so there are jobs. The only challenge is Language skills. If you do not have them, forget it. Forget about working in a Norwegian company. God knows i tried but if i only depended on my language skills i would have very little chance of having a job by now. Luckily there are Norwegian companies that have English as an official language so hurrah! The challenge, competition for the few english positions is even tougher. I learned several lessons.
First and very practical point, you must fit the expectations of your soon to be employer if it is a normal job. I had to update my CV with a friendly and professional photo that gives and impression that i am one of “us”. Cultural issues are an issue that may bosses do not want to deal with. You must seem either open enough or exactly like a Norwegian or the people in the company you are applying for. Do not over dress or under dress.
Follow your gut feeling. If i listened to all the comments i was getting about me not being able to get the job or the work permit for one reason or another, i would not have gone for the interviews but i had a feeling that this was meant for me.
Constantly review what you have tried so far and then change it if it hasn’t worked. Change you CV, your strategy e.g. call first before sending CV etc
Set your standards of what type of person you want to work with, it is not only you being recruited, you are also recruiting a boss 😉
On your first day do not over dress. It raises the bar and also the barrier between you and your new team, boss and colleagues. Note how people dress in the organisation when you go for the interview. Dress one notch, really tiny notch down.
Ask for meetings. With your boss, teammates, anyone you think you may work with. If they say no, it is ok but chances are that they will say yes especially if it is 30 minutes or less. Rarely do you need more than that for an information meeting. You will not understand alot either. Ask people for advice. Who should you meet, what should you do? What is the expectation of you in the role?
Set clear goals with your boss. This you can read all over google, it is no trick. It just has to happen.
Bite slightly more than you can chew, then chew it all. This provides you a chance to challenge yourself. Get an adrenaline kick and a chance to impress. Do not be afraid to fail. Just learn and move on.
Mimic. See how others do it in terms of talking to each other, raising a point, reporting etc. Every organisation has its way of doing things and they are not able to tell you this is how we do during induction into the company. It is mostly going to be practical stuff during your induction period.
Brag Sheet. Count all you eggs. All of them and document it. It helps you track how you are doing. A brag sheet is where you document all your achievements.
10 tips are definitely enough but please feel free to ask me for specific questions and i will try to collect my thoughts.
I am happy that i am writing again 😀 So Stoked!!!!
If the “Mt. Kenya Climb” is on your bucket list, then get ready for this awesome adventure with us. “Xtrym Adventures” has 100% success rate.
This was the introduction statement on the event page.Joining the hike was a commitment to finish, the moment we reached the mt. Kenya Sirimon entrance gate, there was no turning back, point of no return, we called it.
A little quiet probably from worry, all i had in my mind is that i had to summit come rain, snow or sunshine. They all showed up at some point 🙂 I was worried that i hadn’t joined the team on the preparation hikes and my training plan in Oslo didn’t go very well. I got several bouts of deadly flu that put me down for two weeks and reduced my strength to new lows, i could barely walk up flight of stairs. Never mind the overall lack of motivation.
“Caroline, I am worried for you, i don’t think you will be fit enough for the hike,” Jon (my boyfriend) to me, two weeks before the hike.
I shared the same sentiments but i was more excited, curious and full of anticipation of what lay ahead. I hoped to get snowed on in Kenya, “that will be so cool,” i thought. I wished for the rain too, i had all my expensive rain gear which i didn’t feel that i had gotten their worth yet.
Many people knew each other, they had hiked together for three hikes before, i had only joined the final timed preparation hike which i didn’t feel i did so well since i am a number 1 maniac, anything else is dissatisfactory to me. Small talk was my only option, no previous jokes or conversations to pick on and Dancun the only person i know had 29 people to entertain.
I cruised through day 1 until the first camp at 3300m above sea level. No altitude complications and no muscle pains. Day 2 was a long day so i slept as soon as i was done with the few tasks. With showering off the list it was only brushing the teeth left and removing the dusty outer layer.
Day 2 was early and long, i hate anything long so by noon i was quit bored, demotivated and a little bit annoyed by the guides that kept telling me that it was just around the corner yet we weren’t getting there. I also had promised myself not to pee in the bush. I failed terribly. Just when the next camp was 200m away, i couldn’t hold it anymore, i had to pee, there and then.
Day 3 was to start at 2am. We started at 3.40am headed for the summit because it was raining. I had experienced some altitude trouble the previous day so i was somewhat worried and slow paced to avoid the headache this time round. It was amazing to be snowed on in Kenya, along the equator. That was pretty cool. Everything else was torture, slippery ice, head wind and rocks. When i reached the summit, i was angry at myself for taking myself there and even paying exorbitantly for the hike, other hikers that were recklessly sliding on the ice mostly due to their shoes lacking enough grip and the guide for not going at my pace (I was quit fast). I took a selfie and off i went towards shipton camp for tea which had a touch of milk and that i had really grown fond of especially when the cooks started giving one thermos of sugarless tea. What we found at the camp instead was a feast. Sausages, toasted bread, porridge, noodles you name it, it was a feast! They told us that it was Brunch and the next meal was at old moses camp, 17km away.
High altitude and exhaustion can do a number on you. Even the most fit members of the team struggled through the last 800m altitude. You should always have enough sugar, water and take it easy, you simply can’t run up to the top of the mountain, not a serious one 😉 Respect the mountain and accept that it is on top of the food chain. That’s the only way to survive if you are as competitive as i am.
It was really great to hike with the group i hiked with, very intelligent, funny and caring team of 29 that came together to push themselves that little bit harder. Not that they wouldn’t have enjoyed a cold drink with friends over easter, i personally would have but what story will you tell of it? I certainly made new friends: Some who can bail me out of trouble, take a good photo, help me open a new business and certainly those that could save my life if i ever need it. I really felt that it was the best way of networking. All guards and titles down, and everyone just being human.
During the hike though, i really needed a friend for warmth (sleeping in 5 degrees C with no heating is quit an uphill task), a poop friend ( nothing beats a good number 2 session after a tiresome day filled with candy and all sorts of starch for energy) and definitely a moral support one, someone to tell you that we are almost there and that it is soon over.
Mwangi our guide was nothing short of Godsent telling stories when i was getting delirious with fatigues and pulling some other guys up to the summit despite have injured his knee the day before summiting. He is the best guide ever!
Among the must carry things there are some i felt i really need to highlight. You need more than this.
Snacks – You really do not need so much but carry lots of candy and a portable water bottle
Waterproof boots – Please try take a shower in them to really check that they are waterproof because there is nothing more uncomfortable than frozen feet. You will cry all the way up and down. Check the grip too.
ORS – tastes like shit but does the job, hydrates and replaces lost ions (remember chemistry?)
Hiking poles will save your knees a whole lot of pain.
Power bank – Such are the times when we are living in, cars can go hundreds of kilometres without reiterating while a phone can barely last you 8 hours with it power.
If you are hiking between April and August, you may need ice- cleat
Good guides with endless stories, you forget how long the trek is if you are talking or listening to someone
The mind of a Ninja – Mt. kenya is less about how physically fit you are and more about how mentally strong you are
A hot water bottle, a friend willing to sleep close to you for warmth or both 😉
Arimis – For warmth, sunscreen, lip balm …. for everything!
Have your water within your reach, no one owes you the service of getting it from your bag.
Carry a light day pack
Have your hands free
If nothing above inspires you to try mt. Kenya, here is my last try. The view is AMAZING! Nothing can compare to the freshness, the rarity and intrigue of plants and animals that dare to live above 3000 metres above sea level.
Death will come to you whether you like it or not, all that matters is where it finds you and what your story will be once you cross the line. Make it interesting.
The first article to read after the Mt. Kenya hike was by Magunga about a certain smartly dressed somali decent law student that he used to see at university. That young man happened to be among those that shot more than 140 people, most of whom were students. An interesting article shedding light on what a terrorist looks like, well camouflaged in the system and unsuspectable.
Its good to have two sides of the coin but not this one. I will not acknowledge his side of the story.
I refuse to acknowledge that he was a law student just because i was once a student in a Nairobi based university and was well dressed. That i have met someone like him and probably talked to someone like him doesn’t bring his actions close to fathomable. I may not be able to identify with the Garissa students and their way of life but i identify with their ambition to try and make something of themselves even if it meant going to a university in a not so safe area just to get an education and hopefully get themselves and their families out of the desperation of poverty.
I refuse to acknowledge him as a Somali. Kenyan somali or otherwise. It is those same Somalis that hide some of the students. Helped out during the crisis either as police or just civilians.
I refuse to acknowledge him as a muslim either. Whatever part of the Qur’an he chose to justify his actions. I can quote several bible chapters that would justify me killing. I still chose the peaceful quotes or the encouragement quotes of my religious book.
I refuse to empathise with his situation coming from a marginalised community that was terrorised by the previous Kenyan government. Many communities have been marginalised, terrorised and thoroughly dehumanised by governments all over the world. It is not right or even fair but nothing justifies these specific actions.
I refuse to acknowledge that he has a name. That he even is a he. ‘He’ can only be used for humans or some animals that we love dearly. I refuse to acknowledge that he is human because there is nothing humane in killing hundreds of people. Whether or not those people annoy, disagree with or in this case, don’t even know you.
I do empathise with the parents but they didn’t lose their son to the Kenya security forces bullets, they lost him to Al-shabaab. The day he chose to kill, he died then.
I refuse to empathise with ‘it’ as i will refer to him from now henceforth. It’s cause, ambitions or even love for good dressing. The only ambition ‘it’ had, this creature was to kill as many innocent people as possible on the fateful Thursday the 2nd April.
#147isnotjustanumber it is innocent young Kenyans that had dreams and a bunch of terrorists that took them away. Terrorists that are inhumane, tribeless, faceless, religious-less killers that deserve to neither be name nor have their faces shown. Terrorists that do not deserve my pity, empathy or to spot my conscience and neither do they deserve yours. If it were up to me, they would even be counted!