maureen ochieng
4 min readSep 22, 2020



Just like the title suggests, it always look like a dream. A very bad dream that you cannot wake up from however much you try fighting it. Ever heard of Sleep paralysis? Well that’s how this nightmare works, you are really awake and aware of everything around you but then you can’t move a limb and you find yourself struggling and fighting really hard to wake up. I mean this paralysis attacks in different ways, some people experiences it as some sort of shortness in breath whereby you feel like someone is trying to strangle you to death, others would feel numbness on the limbs and joints hence making them paralyzed for some time. This condition doesn’t last forever, normally takes at most 3 minutes of struggle and Walla! You are awake and free.

I hope you still with me, this was just an illustration of how the mid to late twenties nightmares behave. For those who have never experienced this condition, maybe you can read about it or ask a friend who has it to explain.

So you have graduated from campus passed really nicely and ready to concur the world. “Education is the key to success”, they said. You got the psych, you are really excited to get employed and earn your own money, move out of your parent’s house and earn your freedom, start your own life, you know, get married or marry or whatever, meanwhile life is staring at you with a side eye like “mmmmh this one!” I wish I could insert the meme here, but you ‘all know that bird heheeehe! I’m sorry if you can’t relate. So you start sending those applications internships left, right and center, attending interviews every week but the worst part is, they don’t communicate after that. And then you wonder what the hell you did wrong. After a year of trying you decide to get off your high horses, you are ready to settle for less, finally,with your big degree neatly laminated and stored far away.

So you start applying for the jobs you once looked down upon. The ones you thought were not for degree holders. And surprise! Surprise! These recruiters always like such people, the ones with big degrees so that they can pay you peanuts coz they know you are finally desperate and you won’t say No They are always very quick, like you apply today, the next day you are being called for an interview which mostly always have like 1–2 people on the panel, mostly one though. The interview is never well structured just some personal question nothing professional and Walla! You passed “dear candidate “and you are requested to start working the next day, I mean how easy that was!

Your first month is done, you are too tired already but your peanuts are in your bank account, you look at them but then console yourself ati “At least I have something going on” So you motivate yourself to continue working hard.

After six months of trying, you are already tired of the routine work and that’s when hell breaks loose. You start asking yourself what could have gone wrong if you could not have settled for less. But then you remember this is the only interview you passed and got a job, all the other opportunities blue ticked you.

For ladies most of them would consider getting married and be house wives at this stage, that’s called “quitting” ladies don’t do it, it’s like hiding from the reality of life, but for the boy child they will have to continue struggling to make ends meet so as to be able to provide for their future families while some of them will get depressed and commit suicide. Kindly ladies and gentlemen, suicide is never the answer stay hopeful, pray and always have something, a goal or someone who makes you wake up every day to fight.

The secret here is saving as much as you can, especially when you don’t have responsibilities and kindly don’t have babies when you cannot afford them. I know someone would ask, “What do I save while they are paying peanuts” well my answer would be “save them peanuts” even if it is 500 or 1000, saving doesn’t mean you deposit 20k or 50k every month in your savings account. It means you save the little that you got. As “Haba na Haba hujaza kibaba” with time your little would have grown and you can decide to invest on professional certifications or invest in a business or something that you are really passionate about.

So you are almost 30 years or in your mid-thirties., you have invested your peanuts and out of nowhere, your hard work starts paying, you get control of your life and you can now see how clear the future is because you already know what you want and you don’t feel lost anymore. In a Kenyan’s language we say “kuomoka”.

You have finally got your life together and you can now think about family and settling. I am not speaking from experience but I have witnessed someone struggle like this and it motivates me to push even harder. Just because you feel lost right now doesn’t mean you’ll be lost forever, eventually you will figure everything out and get control of your life also, and don’t you ever try speeding or slowing down God’s time. When He says it’s show time then surely it is. So hang in there, have good intentions and continue working hard.

This is exactly how sleep paralysis or nightmare works, it doesn’t last forever, you keep fighting it until you wake up, if you give in you die on your sleep, unfortunately that’s the bitter truth.



maureen ochieng

I write what is in my mind, what I experience day to day, what i dream about in form of poetry,scripts,short stories or just educative articles.