I would be glad that I finally got the opportunity to leave the hustle and bustle of Nairobi…even if it would be for a little while. We would probably share my veggie sandwiches, tortilla chips with hummus, apples and probably some plain old H2O. I would ask how you have been since our last long phone call. Did you manage to remodel your apartment? Did you manage to bargain down the prices for that TV stand that we saw along Ngong Road that you were going to repurpose as a fancy bookshelf?
I would probably go on a tangent about Ryan Holiday’s new book Perennial Seller. Although it just came out on July 18th, I am pretty excited to get my hands on it. I have just finished reading Ego is the Enemy and I have to confess that Myleik sealed the deal when she hosted him on her podcast. Yes, I have been following both for a while and no, I was not deterred by the fact that he worked with Robert Greene whose book 48 Laws of Power did not make my personal all time favourite non-fiction reads. You would allow me to tell you how amazed I was by the way Ryan has been able to distill various episodes in Greek, Roman and even American history into lessons about the ego. For a guy who quotes a lot of American politics, sports and military strategy, he has got my attention.
You would probably argue that there is no much difference with his books from conventional self-help despite them being classified under the business/psychology. I would rebut by saying that the thing about Ryan Holiday and his contemporaries Cal Newport and Adam Grant (because I picture them hanging out at Ryan’s ranch) is that I don’t feel like I am being “pitched” by sleazy snake oil salesman. Plus, I learn something new from them.
Speaking of Adam Grant, his book Give and Take has been on my mind. With greater reason since my recent incident when someone wanted to engage my freelance writing and editing services. For free. I have never been so mad that someone would think that I would work for free just because we had a good business relationship. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind volunteering my skills when I can but it all depends on the person’s ask and not on the person not banking on my naivety. In addition, there are instances outside my church activities that I would genuinely work for free.Having that “break-up conversation” was worth it because it eased the mental burden and I am so grateful to a couple of friends who gave me a kick in the butt. This also brought to light how much easier it is to give advice than to take it. I have read a gazillion articles about negotiating my worth but not quite put it.
We would segue to talk about French women and their fashion sense since they seem quite unapologetic and comfortable in their own skin. I would excitedly tell you about my latest YouTube fancy: Justine Leconte. She is the bomb.com. Justine has inspired me with her career shift from business to fashion. Justine, she has made fashion a bit more accessible because she breaks everything like she is talking to 10-year olds but at the same distills so much knowledge and feel more empowered to make better fashion choices. I think I have reached my saturation point for clothing and book hauls. Finding her channel was definitely a breath of fresh air.
This has also inspired me to take on a minimalist streak. Shopping is definitely an addiction that one just can’t switch off like that. I mean I would love to walk to various Toi or House of Leather (the near equivalent to a Dollar Tree or Pound Store) and buy only the things that I actually need. I have to admit after the 30-day no-book-buying ban in June inspired by The Financial Diet, I have been able to exercise more restraint in bookstores and inama bookshops than I give myself credit for. Nonetheless, I would subtly hint at wanting to receive Erin Loechner’s Chasing Slow for my birthday Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that Book Depository does not ship to Kenya and somehow, I am really not keen on ordering from Amazon while back in Kenya. But still, I seriously need to take down my TBR
Speaking of media, I missed the S-Town train despite many people include some IRL recommending it to me. Well, 2017 is not over yet, so there is still time a bit of time left. I totally agree with Read Create Repeat Homeschool, who recently talked about her major slumps lately including podcasts? I definitely agree with her: fewer podcasts and more music and more dance. Shower routines definitely count. By the way, have you listened to Josh Wilson’s Blown Away? That song definitely gets me on my feet. I would recommend this song that I got to know through Samantha Lindsey ( her minimalism channel is pretty awesome too). It’s definitely contending for a spot on my wedding playlist.
I would probably ask if you could recommend a Spotify-esque app that is available in Kenya. I still haven’t found a replacement. As I mentioned in my 2017 goals, I want to revive my love for classical music.I have been loving Halidon Music and Brilliant Classics playlists on Youtube as I work but I would love something more…mobile?
I am so surprised at the number of female authors that I have read unknowingly and from diverse genres. For some reasons, I have been purchasing a number of books authored by Catherine Marshall, I am sure that you recall Christy TV show based on her books that used to be on KBC eons ago. I found a prayer book and read Julie (which I loved) that she authored a few years that made want to find out more about her life. Coincidently, I found A Closer Walk and Beyond Our Selves on the streets of Nairobi, which I am looking forward to reading by the end of the year.
Still, on the subject of awesome women, I would ask if you have watched Wonder Woman. I would gush about how much I enjoyed it without meaning to. It has been a while since a movie made me reflect on so many historical, philosophical and spiritual issues all at the same time! Then we would shout out loud as if on cue: Les Mis! I was scared that all the hype would have affected my perceptions. Nonetheless, I will definitely watch it again and not just because of Chris Pine. Even without the super powers, her character is definitely worth emulating. I would ask you what would you if you were not afraid or what super powers you would like to have.
When we finally got back, I would tell you that I am glad that we took the time to hang out together. It is definitely nice to take a break from the usual coffee house circuit. You know that I don’t mind sitting in cafes but so far, I have not been able to find a barista in Nairobi who can make a mean Earl Gray. You also know that I love home fries with loads of mushroom sauce. But sometimes, it gets a bit boring to not to have a variety of vegetarian/vegan options in the CBD. Plus, I had missed stepping on the grass and do a horrible rendition of “the hills are alive with the sound of music”
Before we part ways, we would share our plans for the remaining five months in 2017 and I would remind you to pray for our country. We both know that every general election brings a strong sense of angst and I would wish that would get it over and done with.