I’m seated on a bench somewhere in Nairobi going through my life. Why am I seated here? I am not ashamed to say that I am shamelessly watching people. I love watching people. How they interact, how they make friends, how they stir drama and unrest in an otherwise peaceful situation…how they flirt. It’s intriguing how situations can go from harmless to rowdy when it comes to animals. This just shows that we should learn a lesson from plants: be peaceful. When the wind blows they stay rooted and peaceful.
Anyway, by now you must be wondering where this is going. I have always been a contradiction, a walking paradox, troublesome but endlessly caring. I have been used more than once to fulfill others selfish purposes, although oblivious at the time (and no I did not do anything illegal). I would not dare because my conscience would haunt me each second. Anyway, this has led me to take up a crucial role in people’s lives (those that I know); That of matchmaker. Not just for lovers, but also for friends. I’m proud to report that about 94% of the people I have played matchmaker with (unknowingly of course) have remained in long fruitful relationships; both romantic and platonically.
This, rather unfortunately, has led me to this bench today, and the misery right next to me that has no company. Maybe, just maybe, no one was made for me. Even those that I had the most remote interest in, I have ended up making a match with someone else close to me in some way. I have no idea where I go wrong or right when it comes to this, but as always, to someone, I end up simply as ancient history. I make the introductions and leave the picture. Oh sorry, sometimes I’m pushed out of it too, a case of cropping or photo shopping.
It is now, in resignation, that I accept that, the one for me just maybe isn’t out there. Maybe I’m impatient, maybe I just haven’t looked long enough, and maybe I’m just not good company. I know not the real reason I find myself perpetually in this position of matchmaker. Perhaps I was born with this as my purpose… well, won’t that be lonely. But I accept that maybe love isn’t for me. That maybe I’m meant to bring it to other people. This would make me a really successful matchmaking empire, true, just no love for me maybe.
The lesson though that I take from sitting on this bench and looking at others as I reflected on my life is that: it’s never really been about me. It’s always been about what I give to others. Their joy has brought me joy also. And I found myself in the position of ‘trusted counselor’ numerous times. Those that were, and are still, my friends rely on me to maintain their happiness. I’ll settle for that. I’m bringing joy to people of the world even in those times that it is at my own expense. Their joy brings my joy, everyone’s happy. I am already making my small mark in the world. And who knows, maybe one of these days, on these escapades, the phrase “counselor, counsel yourself” will apply to me when I find my ‘the one’. Doesn’t everyone?
Jane Pauline Pamba,