I have the most amazing little sister. Well, she tends to bring the best out of me, and I love to call her my blessing. Technically, her name is Blessing. She is three. Well, before her, I used to think that cuddling up and inventing a story to a child so that they could sleep was a dumb western thing. I thought it is some betrayal to the African in me. Our African parents are not the kind that would tell you a story until you slept; girl, sleep and kill the lights while at it. If I am, to be honest, my parents are not the touchy kind. My mother hugged me for the first time when I was in high school, and she would stay for even a month before calling me when I was on campus. Not that I am complaining, my mum is amazing. I know she loves me in her weird way as I love her. I also know that African parents have a different way of showing love; putting food on the table, good education, and a roof on your head, and that’s it. That is how it had been at home before Blessing came into the picture.
The girl stole my heart. I am always the first to hear her call out in the night when she needs water; I never have to wait for my mum to answer her call; I literally rush out of bed when she calls out. I never go home empty-handed because I hate the look of disappointment in her eyes when she asks, “Cha, nini iko kwa Bag?” (Cha, what’s in the bag?). She has these puppy eyes when she wants something from you, and you can never say no to her. She is our last born, and now I get it. I get the reason why last borns are just so full of love and life. Well, there’s also some aspect of being entitled and spoilt, but let’s not spoil it here. These children come into the picture when the parents have figured life out; they have settled, and they have finally figured out that they are stuck with each other, so they had better work it or work it. These children come into the picture when “life” is a bit easy; thus, they live to their fullest. Oh, how I envy my little sister.
So yeah, my perfect sister. We have this game we play when I want to keep her occupied enough so that she gets to eat supper. It is called a “No Blink” game. We gaze into each other’s eyes, and the one who gets to blink first loses. The only rule in the game is to keep your eyes on your opponent without blinking. One is allowed to use whatever trick at their disposal to make their opponent blink first. I win most of the time, but where is the fun in that? She will sleep if she finds out I am winning all the time.
One of the tricks I get to use in the game is talking to my other sister, Emma, while directly still keeping eye contact with Blessing. She always falls for it. Her trick, however, has been in her smiling. Whenever she smiles, I sort of blink, and I don’t know why.
I recently saw a meme that stated something like, “I miss you if you wanna.” _funny, right. The meme explains how people of this Century dread looking like they need someone; it has been made to look like a bad thing to miss someone. People have made it look like weakness, just like our No Blink game. The 21st-century love is some No blink game to most of us. The problem is we never know when it’s time to stop the games and be serious for once. And the saddest thing is that it is all hidden in the funny memes. I am a meme lover.
The No Blink game for me in a relationship scenario are things like not being the one to text first, say “I Love You” first, initiate a meaningful conversation, or say “I miss you” first. The list is endless. We have built up these many walls in the name of protection to find out that we are locking ourselves out on so much more. Baby Blink.
Blinking includes saying sorry when you have wronged someone. You will never be right about everything, and being right doesn’t feel so good after all when the other person ends up being hurt. What is the point of being so right and so alone? Apologizing doesn’t make you weak. It makes you the bigger man, as I said earlier.
Blinking sometimes is compromises. She is not 100% as you envision her to be but is there anyone like that on the planet? He might not fit the “list,” but 70% is an excellent place to start. Go easy on finding Mr. or Miss Right and work on being the Right one yourself.
Blinking sometimes is leaving when you know that it is the right thing to do. When you gaze for a very long time, it might make your eyes dry, and for some of us, we have stared at the same thing too long that it is sucking us dry. Baby Blink. Blink and walk away. You are not Jesus. You can never change anyone, and only Jesus can. So Baby Blink and blink long.
I told you my trick of making Blessing lose in the game is to talk to my sister while still keeping eye contact with her. This in the 21st Century love, is the way we’re just so busy throwing tantrums in social media, talking to other people instead of having a decent conversation with the person it is meant for. You won’t die if you slid into their DM and talked things out like mature people will. Baby Blink.
The exciting thing about the game I play with my sister is that it finally ends. It ends when she has finished eating, and then we are no longer opponents but two people that love each other. We are a team_ she would wake me up in the middle of the night for water, and I would gladly bring it to her. She would ask me to tell her a story, and I will because we all know it was just a stupid blink game.
In relationships, you ought to be a blinker, blink often. Learn how to get the baggage out before it sucks you dry. Learn to say sorry. I love you. I miss you. Learn to be vulnerable because that’s the only way you will get to build something meaningful. This is not a war, and if it was, your partner is not the enemy here. You are a team. So Baby Blink.