By Wangeshi Wambua, in Hungary
“Whatever you want to do, to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it” Maya Angelou.
When the state of emergency was declared in Hungary last March, due to Covid 19, nothing could have prepared me, as a foreign student, for the loneliness and homesickness that followed every time I thought of my husband and children back in Kenya.
The catch-phrase STAY AT HOME left me completely disoriented, this being a very crucial semester for me as far as my studies are concerned. However, I was lucky to have no lectures for this semester.
It was a blessing in disguise for me since being the winter season; I hated the early mornings and hoped against hope for a solution to completely avoid the heavy layering of clothes to brave the cold. I was therefore very excited that the early mornings were interrupted and I was going to work from home; who doesn’t like that anyway?
On the first day, I prepared breakfast and enjoyed solo dining thereafter embarked on my research work with frequent unnecessary casual breaks. This contributed to nonproductive consequent days, and obviously I did not expect a different outcome.
The Covid-19 situation continued bringing more confusion with different government directives and WHO updates that translated to the long drawn out days of staying at home. I must confess that I was beginning to grow apprehensive and grappling with thoughts of catching the next flight to be with my husband and our children back home.
Bit by bit I was becoming an emotional junkie with trifling teary episodes and destructive eating habits completely watering down my dedicated weight-loss investment.
I needed to do something ASAP!
I called myself to a project meeting. Project meeting because I was about to make some long term decisions that needed lots of commitment and sacrifice from myself. It was necessary to halt the vice that was slowly blossoming launching itself to its 300th hour. I quickly came up with TOR [terms of reference].
One cannot pour from an empty cup
Understandably I needed to recoup my weight loss victories hence this was top of my list. Second came the need to replace the negative emotions and third journey into exploring my talents and impact a life.
I had already envisioned how I wanted to achieve my desired objectives. I purposed to be intentional and organize my days to minimize time wasting and plodding. The resolutions included waking up early, making my bed, settling myself to my study desk and achieving my three objectives either daily or on alternative days.
Maintaining a healthy life style was one of my 2020 resolutions. I had done quite well for myself so I knew what to do and straightaway I swung into action ensuring I was on the right Intermittent fasting schedule and moderate physical activity plan. I tried all sorts of home workouts of which most I was not motivated and ended up being an uphill task. I was determined to find what could work. I slowly developed a love for walking and jumping rope. These have contributed to the recommended weekly 150 minutes of aerobic activity for an average adult.
“One cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first” Norm Kelly. That forms the basis of achieving my second goal which was replacing the negative emotions. This one I did not need great effort to achieve as I set forth to creating time to engage in activities that I love doing. Am talking about those activities that left me with a buoyant spirit. Listening to music and dancing to routines from YouTube was how I would spend my break time after several hours of trying to figure out which statistical test to apply in my research work.
Previously, I would do a video call to my husband and breakdown in tears and start a pity party. This left me distraught and homesick. I resolved to praying, engaging our daughters in purposeful phone conversations, occupying my mind with daily self-positive affirmations, loving myself more, learning a new make-up hack and implementing it, watching motivational clips as I ate my apple and reading inspiring literature.
I like to learn new stuff and cultures.
I would describe myself as multipotentialite, in simpler words, I have many different interests and creative pursuits. I have the ability to transform simple ingredients to a delicious meal with minimal efforts from baking a cake, making fluffy chapatis, delicious samaki wa kupaka, mouthwatering chicken biriani, yummy Italian lasagna and pizza, the sweetest mahamri, tasty fruit cocktails and my favorite tamarind juice, the list is long.
I pride myself on having a keen eye for pieces which when put together bring out perfect spaces. I love crafts just that I have not been keen on growing the talent, I know somewhere at the back of my mind that I can draw and do graphics (drawing and design was one of my high school subjects). I am very good at improvising.
Personal beauty is close to my heart and I am able to give a perfect manicure and pedicure (you can challenge me on this one). Make up application is therapeutic to me and I can spend hours on end watching tutorial videos as well as devote money to stock up my cosmetics. I am laid back and adventurous. I like to learn new stuff and cultures. Having a nursing background, I have an instinctive sense of emotions of others and I effortlessly reach out to friends, family, and other persons. I bring people together and maintain my linkages.
I have found myself sharing my life experiences with people to mentor and motivate them especially my university students, friends, acquaintances and young girls. I am one person who is determined to succeed in whatever my heart yearns for even when I have to try again and again and again.
Having enlisted a few of my talents, I sought to explore my talents and keep myself occupied. I decided to start writing and here I am. To keep myself accountable, I have purposed to keep a journal and jot my thoughts. Affirmations empower us with deep sense of reassurance that our hopeful words will become a reality.
During Covid-19 I am intentional on living in the present focusing on the future
I am living these declarations and this drove me to do some inspirations Writings on the wall I face while studying to motivate me when I feel I like throwing in the towel. This may look simple but having them in a place I can see every day, they keep me accountable for my actions and compel me to give my studies the best and motivating me to become the person I want to be.
During Covid-19 I am intentional on living in the present focusing on the future, I am on a journey to encourage friends and make available my talents to those who need them. In social media groups I am participating and sharing knowledge that I have with those who need my help, I am empathetic with myself and with others as I spread hope, am practicing my creativity and looking for positive ways to adapt to new changes.
“Always remember that something that may seem so small to you could make a world of difference to somebody else” Jodi Taylor
What do I want to be during corona?