2019 rolls in and to be honest, it was a mess! A colossal mess. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was like a meeting was called and the agenda of the year was, ” Mess Patricia’s Life.” And honestly, I felt the impact of that meeting. When I say everything could go wrong, everything did. My health deteriorated. I was in hospital almost every two weeks. And I am not talking about a visit. I am talking being hospitalized. When tests are done, there is nothing absolutely wrong with me.
Nothing! My doctor even commented that I am the healthiest sick person he has treated. At that point what do you say? The social enterprise I had started with a friend was dying and going nowhere. I knew it was going nowhere but having birthed it ten years ago, I was like a mother not willing to let go of her child. I knew that I had to let go a couple years before but I am not that kind of person. I fight till death and eeehh, I was dying- literally and figuratively. When it reached that crucial point, my spiritual parents- Mr and Mrs Mugenyi- Banange, you guys, I love you so much!! You saved me.
Anyway, they packed me off to their home in Entebbe,yes..it is just by the lake and I did nothing for over a month- I ate, I slept and I put on weight. I am still struggling to let go of it. It is true: ‘A moment of the lips, a life time on the hips.” But every kilogram is a reminder that when you are down, you are not really down. God sends people into your life to stand with you. Many think it’s money but you guys, do you know the power of someone just being by your side even if they say nothing, someone standing by you? It is everything!
So after much deliberation with the parents, all the back and forth, yes it was not all just about putting on weight on ‘The stand by Patricia agenda‘, I had to write a vision and a plan for my life. Eeehh, I couldn’t think. There was so much noise in my head because life happened but after a month or so, I began to realize my first love. It was Stories. It has always been stories.
“Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is that to go on living I have to tell stories, that stories are the one sure way I know to touch the heart and change the world.”Dorothy Allison
I guess you are wondering why stories? Well, as some of you know, I have sickle cells anaemia and the first thing I remember of my life as a child, probably at two years of age was getting a sickle cell attack in the middle of the night. I don’t understand this thing by the way. It always happens around 2am. It makes no sense but I digress…..so I remember my dad whenever I would have a sickle cell attack would put me on his back and take me for a walk at 2am. You guys, I had the best daddy ever!! Dads out there, please read to your kids!!
So he would take me for a walk and tell me stories, many stories and somehow I would fall asleep and wake up with no pain. That was the power of stories to me. Stories have the ability to inspire, to encourage, to create a movement. So when my spiritual parents asked what I was thinking, feeling, what God was telling me- It just burst out of me- Stories! Now mind you, I was not yet sure what I was going to do with stories but I believed I would know. Come mbaya mbaya.
When the night has come And the land is dark And the moon is the only light we’ll see No I won’t be afraid Oh, I won’t be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me So darling, darling Stand by me, oh stand by me Oh stand, stand by me Stand by meStand by me~ Ben E. King
I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I knew decisions had to be made and I had dillydallied for too long. When I came back from my month long hiatus, I packed up my bags and moved back home. Yes, back to the family home. I closed shop with the social enterprise and bid it farewell. I started from scratch, from zero. Was I afraid? I tell you the night hours and I became good friends. I spent three months and more just praying and meditating and ofcourse eating. No judging! I needed comfort and if I found it in a chicken pie or cream donuts from Shoprite, you must just allow!
But slowly by slowly, a light did appear at the end of the tunnel. God started to make my vision and mission clear and that is what I held onto. I got out a new journal- what can I say I love books, journals, notebooks- cute ones, please and nice pens and began to pen my vision and mission. My mission is to inspire and empower women and creatives to embrace their stories- you know those stories, the good, the bad and the ugly to unlock their creative potential to design authentic and purpose driven brands.
Why do I do that? So that in the end, my vision comes to pass: Creating a generational movement of people and brands who know who they are and boldly proclaim, ”This is Me!”. It is all about walking in the freedom of expression, authenticity, adventure, creativity and empathy. These are my values. It has taken awhile and a lot to finally arrive here but when I did, I was like ok….but how? I realized that it was to be on a digital platform and my first step- starting with a blog.
2020 rolls in and I begin the planning. I decided to launch it on my birthday June 8th 2020 as a sign of new beginnings and that is what I did. June 8th 2020, my first blog post, The Metamorphosis of Ayo of my blog This is Me! was published. I was excited. It was happening even if I was not too sure what I was doing but I would learn along the way. As one of my mentors from afar, Marie Forleo says, ‘Everything is Figureoutable!’
So imagine my delight when this week, just 6 months later, my blog This is Me has been nominated by Afrobloggers as the best Blog under the Wellness category in the whole of Africa. You guys, I can’t describe the joy I felt. It was like God was saying all the confusion, all the change, all the pain, all the tears, all the shame was not for nothing! I have got you!
You people, I cried. I cried not because I was so happy but because I realized Jesus is truly the author and finisher of our faith. That in Him, I find purpose. I find direction and that sometimes you just have to take a step of faith.
2021 rolls in and I joined Harvest Institute, a leadership institute under Worship Harvest ministries with a vision to raise skilled(hands),strategic(head),servant (heart) leaders who will bring transformation to every community in which they find themselves.
I joined this institute this year with the intention of challenging myself because this year the theme for my life is Let my light shine– yes I wrote about it, you can catch it here. And thus I wanted to let my light shine through my leadership.
The first class was last Saturday. Congregating with over 200 leaders was amazing. I was pumped up. Ap. Moses Mukisa takes the stage and guess what he says….You guys, God can speak loud. He quotes Howard Gardner, “Leadership is the ability to create a story that affects the thoughts, feelings, actions of other.”
I almost fell off my seat- STORIES! Are you seeing the power of a story? He even goes on to break down authority. I know you are not seeing it. I also didn’t see it until Author……ity. My eyes widened. Like literally! I was like you mean all along-For there to be authority, there is an author- the person who writes the story. That person is the leader.
So I am going to ask you exactly what he asked us- Who has the pen in your life? Who is writing the story of your life? Who is leading your life? Because the story of your life is being written every single day whether you participate or not. He even went on to say,” You can’t change what someone is in charge of. You can only change what you are in charge of.”
My dears, I took a step of faith. I had no clue where I was going. How it was going to be. All I knew was that it would be about stories- collecting them, writing them, editing them, publishing them. Where it was to end, I was not sure but as they say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
What story are you willing to write about yourself? This is the time now to TAKE BACK THE PEN and write your story. It’s as simple as that. One step! Then another step! And soon, that thousand miles will be covered because you know what…We are leaders. We are writing our stories. We are authors. Come on, say it with me, “I am an author! This is me!”
So Bambi please, stand by me and help me write my story- I am an award-winning blogger! I have said it and I have believed it. But now action is required so please vote for me. Just go to this link below and vote This is Me! Under the wellness category.
NAME: This is Me
LINK: Just click right down below
Thank you so much for all your votes! Apwoyo tutwal! Asante Sana! Share the link with all friends and family, inlaws and outlaws, boyfriends and girlfriends, neighbours and everyone who can VOTE. Let’s bring this home and rewrite the story of my blog into an award-winning blog.
To Harvest Institute 2021, Yes, you can win an award for writing a blog!!!! Bambi, don’t think our leaders at Harvest Institute ask things of us like writing a blog post fffwwwwaaa!
CHEERS TO TAKING BACK OUR PENS, CHEERS TO WRITING OUR OWN STORIES, CHEERS TO LEADERSHIP!!