I turn 30 this December, and it feels like the end of an era. I’ve had a hard year grappling with this thing, this fear of the big three-oh. It was harder because I didn’t know exactly what the problem was. I knew that I felt tense and uneasy, but I had no clue what it was about. After some sessions with my close pal and life coach, I figured it was fear and disillusionment. I had this perfect plan of where I’d be at 30, and it’s not even close to the place I’m at right now.

I’ve heard people say they love being 30. They love the freedom and the peace and the wisdom that comes with this age. I thought they were nuts. How can all this turbulence be peaceful? But I’m learning a few things about 30, and I’m learning it’s okay to get old. I’m finding out these things – and I doubt that they’re related to my age, but I know when I tell stories in the future, I’ll always start with ‘Ever since I turned 30…’

Photo by Michael Khateli

There are still some things I’m battling with, and I’m grateful for the people in my life that help me through it. I’ve learnt that it’s okay to want someone and still choose not to have them. Which is why in the last three days, I’ve been content to simply stare and daydream, because acting on my wishes is a stupid, stupid thing, at least in this scenario.

The scenario, of course, is a really pretty boy [or three] that I’d like to rip to pieces with my teeth, metaphorically speaking of course. Two of them would be bad because, well, they’re celebs, and they’d brand me as a groupie. The third I will avoid because … well … two things. One, I’d be traumatized if he turns out to be really bad in bed, and two, deep down, I’m still a lady. I don’t want to be treated like a w***e, and when you walk up to a guy and say you want him, that’s really what you’re asking for. So for now, I sit and stare and smile, and I wonder what they’d do of they could only read my mind.

I’m still trying to learn that you can love without possessing. I want to just accept this boy I love, without struggling so hard to make him mine. Things are just easier that way. Besides, when you love something, you lose it, so I’m happy just to hang around in like. I want to know that I can have him when I want, but that he’ll never feel I have him on a leash.

I suppose it’s why I don’t quite trust relationships. They come with complications like, you know, jealousy. When you’re friends with a guy, you can giggle when he flirts with you, then you can stop looking when he flirts with someone else. When you’re dating that same guy, well, cat fights. I’m not going to get into marriage and my arguments against it because life is fickle and love is moreso, but I’m glad that at two months shy of thirty, I’ve finally let go of the happy-ever-after. I don’t know what that means, since my heart is so big. I guess I’ll leave it open to love what it can, and to take what it can get.

I know I’m a very emotional being, and I play with my emotions by hiding them. I figure if you don’t know what I feel, then it isn’t really there. But I’d like to get rid of the conflict and stop acting as if. I know I’ll get there, someday, somehow. I just need to go easy on me.

Photo by Michael Khateli

At Safaricom Kenya Live, I watched as Nameless did a number with a fan. He was singing ♫ Karibia ♫ and he called this girl on stage and did a sexy dance with her. The crowds started heckling and the girl scurried off stage just as Wahu showed up, and Nameless reproduced the dance with his wife. I guess to most people, it was part of the act, but I found myself thinking a whole lot. I wondered if I’d let my man do that, even if I knew it was his job. After all, Chege had been rubbing her up earlier in the show.

Of course there was a lot of preamble. Nameless said repeatedly that it wasn’t serious, ‘Kidogo tu, si kwa ubaya’ and when he summononed Wahu to take over, he said it lightly and they were both laughing. When both routines were done he even told the crowd, ‘See? We’re still together.’

I like that Nameless and Wahu are so easy about things. I guess they have to be, since they’re both in showbiz. But in my mind, I wondered about their conversations earlier, whether he asked her for permisson, or whether she’s one of those rare people who don’t know what jealousy means. Did she mind that he was getting hot all over some other girl, or did she think it cool as long as she would reap the fruit? After all, there was a pretty evident … um … bulge … but maybe she knew that she’d be fixing it at home. Maybe it’s something that they do, like this couple I know that pretends they’re apart at the club, just to see which one of them will get hit on first. Maybe Nameless teased her about it later as they lay in bed alone, asked her if she was jealous and enjoyed her reaction.

I wonder how the girl felt, if she felt used, if she felt like a pawn in this little flirting game. But maybe she was glad just to be touched by a celeb. After all, she knew he was married when she went up there, and she looked genuinely worried when Wahu showed up. *shrug*

I know if my man was doing the grind with some girl while I was watching, somebody would die. I guess that’s why I choose to steer clear of relationships. I don’t want someone to have the power to twist my heart. Also, I’d rather not go to jail. Besides, I have such perpetual random crushes that I wonder if I’m built to be monogamous. I’ve never cheated while in a relationship, but I worry I’ll get bored of the man that I love, or that he’ll get bored of me. I fear that I’ll be jealously insane each time he flirts with some girl, and that I’ll claw the eyes off his hot boss, so I prefer to avoid feelings completely. In an ideal world, I could learn not to feel jealous, but it’s true that you can’t help how you feel. You can only control what you do about it. So for now, my defense is not to feel at all, and when I do, I try hard not to show it.

I do have guys I care about. I can’t say it doesn’t hurt me when they hang with other women. But I figure that as long as I’m not dating them, I have no right to feel that way, so I can shut up and ignore the feeling till it goes away. Then someday soon, I’ll learn to love someone and not make them be mine. I’m well on the way already, and I can tell you, it’s an amazing feeling.

I have a special someone in my life right now, and we have a good thing. No demands, no possession, just genuine affection, companionship, and honesty, no holds barred. It’s a beautiful thing, and it’s one I hope to keep for a long, long time. I always wanted a friendship like this, but I didn’t expect it to happen, so it totally blindsided me. Still, I’m grateful for my pretty one, and I hope this special thing we have will never, ever change. I’m also glad because if and when it does, I know that we can be honest and deal with it. That’s all I want, and for me, it’s the best that I can get.

♫ At this point in my life ♫ Tracy Chapman

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