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Founder’s Week Blog Winners: From another’s point of view

This article won third place in the 2020 Founder’s Week students’ blog competition. Students were required to submit a 350 – 1000 words article on their experience of the pandemic based on this year’s Founder’s Week theme: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive

My mother and I have always been insanely close. She and I are almost always on the same wavelength. Sometimes, we do not even have to use words to communicate. She can just throw a certain look my way and I can automatically tell what she is thinking. It feels like we are sisters sometimes rather than mother and daughter. We often get confused for siblings in public, much to my mother’s delight. She always has the most radiant smile on her face when someone thinks we are sisters. It makes her feel young I suppose.

Why are we so close? If asked to pinpoint the exact reason why, I would say it is because we are very similar. It is almost as if I was born as a carbon copy of her. We both have a dry and witty sense of humour, we have the same taste in books and music and our personalities are almost the same. However, being so similar is not always smooth sailing. We easily get on each other’s nerves because of how similar we are, especially during quarantine.

For some reason, when quarantine started, we began to fight a lot more. Usually, we would have our little disagreements, but nothing quite at this level. It started with small disagreements here and there. I forgot to take out the garbage, she did not like how I did a specific chore, or we would disagree on how to do a particular thing. Like her, I am a bit of a perfectionist, so when someone critiques how I do a certain thing it feels like a jab at my competence. After a few weeks of constant disagreements, it started to feel like nothing I could ever do can please her. I did not realize it then, but I had begun to resent her a little.

I have a problem with talking about my feelings and tend to bottle them up. Before long, I exploded when she was nagging me about not having picked a course on KUCCPS. This fight was more vicious and vitriolic than any fight we had had before. It was a culmination of weeks of indignation and anger on my part. It felt like I had reached my breaking point.

Our relationship had taken a heavy hit and for a long time the damage felt irreparable. The tension between us after the fight was palpable. Our conversations grew to be sparse and curt. Every time we were left alone together in a room, a deathly silence would envelop us. There was a chasm growing between us and neither of us knew how to fix it.

My mum was the first one to reach out and try to fix our relationship. One Saturday, she took me out for coffee and we just talked. It was then I realized that I was not trying to look at things from her perspective. She explained how stressful quarantine has been for her as well, and the constant fear of getting laid off had her really stressed. She went on further to explain that she did not intend to come off so strict and overbearing.

I was so wrapped up in how I felt, I forgot to look at things from her point of view. Like a petulant child, I was only wrapped up in my struggles and pain. I could not look outside myself and see I was not the only one who was in pain. After our candid talk, things slowly began to return to normal between us. Quarantine taught me to look outside myself and be more patient with others. It is a work in progress but I feel I am taking steps toward being more patient, like the way our founder taught.

This article was written by Shanice Akoth Ogundo, a first year Bachelor of Laws student.

 

Would you like to share your experience of living through the circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic? Kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu

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