What Do You Do?

by Grace Njeri

What do you do?

The question that makes me want the earth to open and swallow me when asked. In all honesty I used to get major anxiety attending a family function with those uncles and other relatives who feel the urge to ask what you are up to. 

In a matter of seconds, the conversation goes like:

That relative: Hi Njeri ” as he or she hugs me happily”

Me: Good! How are you?

Them: Fine thank you.

Them again: Where are you nowadays!!

Me (In my head): Jesus Christ what brought me here?

Me: I’m still at home “looking.” That’s the answer I want to give because it is easier than saying what I do because the follow-up questions after saying what I do will be aggravating.

*Side note* I have gained a lot of experience from giving the “Still at home” response severally so allow me to take you down that road to show you why that was a good answer but why I still won’t give it. 

Them: Where are you nowadays!!

Me: Still at home “Looking”

Them AGAIN: Haiya! You’re not anywhere?

Also them: Do you know your uncle so and so?

Me: Shyly says No.

Them: Haiya? You don’t know uncle so and so? His mother and your grandfather are cousins.

Me: Rolls my eyes invisibly.

Them: Calls uncle so and so. The one I don’t know. He too thinks I look familiar but he’s not sure whose child I am.

Them again: Imagine Njeri hasn’t found “somewhere”

Them again: Send him your CV. He works at this and this place he can get you “somewhere”

Them again: Exchange numbers and emails so that you can send him your CV.

Them again: You know your cousin (their daughter/ son) works in Nairobi too with the X organization.

Them AGAIN!!! When you go back to Nairobi ask them to show you how to apply for jobs. You guys talk right?

Me: My eyes have met my brain at this point and I have maintained a grin too the whole time – trying to say respectful crap the whole time.

*Another Side note* After I send my CV to this uncle, and call him a few times to see if he got it. That’s the last time he shall contact me.

 See why  I won’t choose that answer?

So what answer do I go with?

Them: Where are you nowadays?

Me: I’m in between jobs

Them: Where?

Them again: Your mother had mentioned that you were working with XYZ company.

Me: Yes!!! But I know my mother could have lied for me and she forgot to tell me what she told them to get them to quit with the questions and give me a break. I don’t even want to get started with the I am a blogger story because that will not go well.

Me Again : Just crossing my fingers and hoping someone will come and interrupt this pointless conversation.

Them: You know the place you get just hold on there and then you shall work your way from there.

Me: Yes, *Inserts correct noun.*  I think they are calling me in the house. Let me go see what they are saying.

Me again: Phew!!!

Let’s face it though, they rarely let you go that easy.

Now if you have chosen to go the business way it gets worse. There you are with your new start-up but in your mind it’s a whole empire and here comes the relative / family friend with the unsolicited advice.

Them: Njeri what are you up to nowadays?

Me: I decided to start my own business

Them: oh really? * with lots of dismay on their face

Them again: What is your business about?

Me: I pour my heart out and give the profound explanation emphasizing all the things that inspired me and how I believe in and love what I am doing and how I am so so happy.

Them again: You know you should be very careful with a start-up you need some real work experience before you get into business.

Me: (In my head only) Have you heard anything I have said? Why do I even talk to you?

Me Again: (In real life) Yes!! inserts the same grin from before. * The one suggesting I’m glad I talked to you but I honestly can’t wait to get away from you.

In all seriousness, I do believe that we should be proud of whatever it is we are doing but if you are one of those people with pestering questions, please ask cautiously and take notes in your head and go home and google that what they told you they do. Even better don’t ask unless someone genuinely volunteers the information.

Back to my outfit:  This cute number has really brought out the girly girl in me.

Photography: Mwaniki Weddings

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17 comments

King Slimfit April 11, 2017 - 12:19

It is actually worse when you just began university and you still tell them you want to be a blogger. At times I’m forced to say it is just a hobby.
Great piece though.

Reply
Grace Njeri April 12, 2017 - 13:31

King Slimfit I feel your struggle. Keep doing what you enjoy!! Cheers!! 🙂

Reply
Njeri Mbugua April 11, 2017 - 17:54

So relating. Good one Njeri

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Grace Njeri April 12, 2017 - 13:32

Thank you Njeri Mbugua

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Wamuyu April 12, 2017 - 07:21

I can relate veerrry well. Good point there ‘just be proud and comfortable of what you do’. Nice piece.

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Grace Njeri April 12, 2017 - 13:33

Absolutely Wamuyu!! Thank you for reading too 🙂

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Ythera April 12, 2017 - 12:02

I think you and I should be besties! I quit my job to venture into writing and now the grief! My mom is yet to come to terms with it, though dad is quite understanding. The looks I get when I say I’m working towards travel blogging! ‘Is that even a career?’ Lawd..hehee.

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Grace Njeri April 12, 2017 - 13:35

Ythera we totally should!! I can only imagine. Keep doing what you love and stay away from those with endless questions and most importantly doubt in what you are doing.
Cheers dear!!

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Lily Njeri April 13, 2017 - 09:20

You are doing what you love and you’re great at it. Keep doing it baby girl.

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Grace Njeri April 14, 2017 - 10:38

Thank you Lily 🙂

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Corazon April 13, 2017 - 15:14

You have no idea how this post is like comfort food, the frustration is real especially to EXPLAIN to the FAM and the side eyes and desperate concern for you to get “serious” with your life. Thank you.

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Grace Njeri April 14, 2017 - 10:40

Corazon I hear you!! Yet you are very serious with what you are doing, they just don’t take a minute to understand what you are trying to do. 🙂
Cheers girl!! :-*

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Vicky Faustina April 13, 2017 - 19:02

Hi.I really love your your work like literally!
I’m an aspiring blogger and trust me I never miss any post!
great work
oh and by the way I saw you in Garden city with your twin and was afraid to say hi,girl you walk fast!Maybe next time…?
Love and love!

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Grace Njeri April 14, 2017 - 10:42

Aaaaawwww Vicky!! Thank you so much.
I really do walk fast. Please stop me next time 🙂 I stop just as fast.
All the best with your blog and send me your link when you’re all set up. 🙂
Love and love!

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Lily April 20, 2017 - 17:55

It is well written… wish you the best.

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Ruguru Kimani July 16, 2017 - 18:02

I totally feel you. This post is amazing! I am a blogger at excitingparenting.com. My blog is big but no financial return yet. No relative understands why you are not making money yet, I am lucky that I am still in medschool but they clearly do not follow!

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muthoni August 30, 2017 - 14:33

I totally get you!!story of my life

Reply

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