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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Learning from Pushie...

It is late at night and I simply can't sleep. At times like this, with the kids and hubby in dreamland and me all alone with my thoughts, I can't help but look back at my early days... at the times that shaped me... the people who helped shape me... and tonight I am thinking about Pushie.

What a force of nature! I met Pushie when I joined Imani School in the early nineties. I left Loreto Convent Msongari in Form 2 because I felt like I needed a challenge - I needed to grow. I was so at home there, somehow I needed to shake things up (there's just this voice inside that always lets me know when it's time for change).

So here was Imani School, about half an hours drive from Nairobi, set in the midst of the Del Monte pineapple plantations... yes, pineapple country... what an incredible experience it turned out to be... and one of the people who taught me lessons I carry with me till today was Pushie.

I never asked why her nickname was Pushie, I assumed it was because she was terribly pushy, stubborn, determined, focused. During my first term, there was a debate about whether she could achieve a certain objective... no one thought she could. Infact when I had all the facts I wasn't sure about whether to feel sorry for her or just laugh at her grand scheme. It seemed utterly hopeless and everyone, both friend and foe tried to communicate that to her.

But Pushie was relentless, "I will do it!", she kept saying, "then you'll all see that I was right!" Painstakingly she set out to achieve her objective, one step at a time. People scoffed and mocked her. Her good friends tried to counsel her - but there was no stopping Pushie when she had set her mind on something...

A day at a time she pressed on, the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and at the close of term 3 months later, lo and behold... she had done it! The seniors were in total shock, her class mates (me included) were in awe... Pushie had proved us all wrong! She had achieved the unachievable!

"I can do anything I want to! I can achieve anything I put my mind to!" Those words resonate in my mind till today, 20 years later. To an extent I am where I am because Pushie showed me that anything is possible... but I have learnt that it is by the grace of God and his power that resides in us.

So did you know that you can accomplish anything?

Absolutely ANYTHING...

What an incredible truth...

but hey, before you get carried away with that thought let me tell you the second lesson that I learnt from Pushie...

Achieving her objective was exciting. For the next few months she was glowing, thriving, having a ball revelling in her triumph over the pessimistic masses, but as the time passed the sense of victory dulled and I do believe Pushie got bored. This achievement was no longer exciting and now she was stuck with it! Every effort to get away would place her in a very awkward position considering the lengths she went to to achieve it. Well, six months later she did manage to break away from her now irritating achievement... it was a painful experience though, and once again everyone watched in disbelief as Pushie shed off the incredible goal she set out to achieve.

So the second lesson I learnt?

Be very, very careful about what you wish for,
if you are really determined,
you might just get it!

Wherever you are Pushie, I remember you with fondness and with a big smile, still in awe at the way you taught me to unleash and to discipline the power within.

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