Beautiful, Unemployed and Faking Normal

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By Hedwig Arinaitwe

Waking up in the wee hours to get ready for work is the wakeup call I miss so much, I am the allergic kind but its mysterious how allergies never ever snagged up on me in those very cold morning showers. My boss always had a wink for me for being the early bird that catches the worm. He was always guaranteedmy availability anytime of the year.

I could smile more if this narration was still on daily updates in my journal, it all blew with the wind and left me so dry, cold and in fear to tear. My job contract ended early this year, Lucky enough I foresaw this vehicle coming, I cried and lamented before the actual pickup. When the four wheels finally arrived I was already fresh and in the right mood to get off at the final stage.

That balmy afternoon I opened my house door and sat just beside it, analyzing how dirty it had got over the time that I was too busy compiling success stories, working so hard to bring change to Ghetto communities and getting absorbed into climate change theologies.

I grabbed a sea foam green wipe, one that I loved and cherished. I started cleaning my door, scrubbing every little scrape of food and making foam in the water, my neighbors probably thought I was just embracing a week leave but deep in my heart I was trying to figure out how I am going to be stuck in a house  that often abandon for months on work trips. My relationship with my house was just an entanglement. Now I was stuck with a door I never cleaned and a ceiling in love with rusty cob webs.

When the wipe was muddy brown and the beautiful sea foam gone I threw in, tears returned with an itinerary. I saw my life change from the amazing sea foam green to muddy brown and no hope of a detergent to retrieve the original color.

Living in denial and telling me that we are going to be fine was my breakfast, brunch and dinner. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep and as months went by I started to experience something I always bragged about never letting in. I slid into depression, that I would wake up in the middle of the night, grab a knife and pierce through the wall, at times I looked at my skin and imagined cutting through it. But the coward in me resents scars more than Uganda waragi with a pineapple flavor.

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My curtain window is pink and full of princesses saying ‘’Keep Dreaming’’, I would open my eyes and it was the first re –assurance that I was stuck home. Then something happened to the world, an unexpected zombie sneaked in on earth and left a dangerous flue. Was I scared like everyone else? You guessed right I was sick worried about my dry pantry. I didn’t care if the disease knocked on mine.

Covid-19 brought me cakes and éclairs, my worries were gone in a flush. Like they say the joy of Christmas is family. The lockdown period was more like a Christmas vacation that united me with family. Very supportive, understanding, I experienced a new kind of formation. I come from a family that believes in prayer. We prayed at different intervals and I somehow found a bundle of calmness and peace in prayer.

I got closer to my creator although I still got challenged by my Uncle asking where I see myself in five years. The only thing I was sure of was I wanted to be RICH and complete my Masters before the age of 28. So I adjusted my morning alarm to 6:00 am when the world is just breaking the shell. I would roll my hand to my laptop, connect my hotspot and start looking for jobs online like a desperate housewife that needs a new bra.

I am the kind that applies for everything on the internet and when a rejection comes through, I just rejoice that they at least wasted their data to give feedback. Some would open like tulips and bring great news but I know one thing for sure. I NEVER GAVE UP.

My friends didn’t even know about the hell I was going through, my hair was never dry; at least there was a pretty ribbon to compliment the look. I came from buying bottled drinking water to boiling a jerry can, my electricity bill over flooded and power tapped out. I hate candles but I have developed more love for the manufacturers over time. The supermarket attendant has probably scrapped my name off the daily bread order list. My smart phone too left me. My bed never leaves although it makes my back pain. It is most likely filing a divorce.

It is one thing to be unemployed and it is a death row if you’reunemployed and female. The other gender is likely to see fresh meat in your compound. You know they are carnivores; they love to tear apart and dirt the clean clothes on the hang line. They will come with kit Kats and stilettos in Gucci or Versace. It is more like a battle field and the secret to winning is never take your eyes off your opponent .Otherwise the referee may render you beaten and shy.

It is a normal thing that when your unemployed and job hunting, you seem to want to channel all your time, energy and attention into finding that perfect new position. Don’t lose yourself in the process because that won’t pay your bills. Identify some ways to bring in some shillings so that your home girls don’t delete your number for being a bug.

Being home and jobless is not wasting time. Practice patience and allow your brain to think, pressure yourself to create, innovate and embrace the opportunity to be a boss than giving in to depression and self pity. Build relationships and take care of the plants in your vicinity.

About the Author

Hedwig Arinaitwe is a buzzing feature writer,environment,development blogger and journalist with Red Pepper Uganda. She is a Future News Worldwide Alumni, a journalism program by British Council
She loves to travel and meet new people.blog link; fnmlab.wordpress.com

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