Every three months I enter a new phase of world literature where I learn to contrast different periods and decide what it is they were trying to communicate to their readers. For so long I’ve looked down on the suggestion that writers strongly meant for a bowl or a particular hue to represent something, and it is us, the critics, teachers and students who have united into a great force to keep ourselves busy by dissecting what was never meant to be studied with such precision and in such detail. Because I think to myself, aren’t great works of literarure written after getting the famous flash of inspiration that is often spoken about? Who sits down to draw schemes and decide that he would write in a way that portrays romanticism or medieval culture or realism? Studying these periods where literature has been famously grouped helps to dissuade me of my fixed mindset and I can now agree that there is a methodology to writing.
The fickleness as I would call it and the cry for something new by these literary creatures is something I would compare to the jews struggle for dominance with God. It’s a weary situation as can be seen by the discarding of all ideas and adopting of new ones with the hope that this time around, man would be changed, society would be reformed and we would be rid of what makes us so base and artificial. Romanticism which idolized the simple man and the peasants and nature failed and realism was adopted in the mid nineteeth century . Naturalism was one of the branches of this movement whose aim was to depict things just as they were. The basic idea of this movement was that we were unable to change the course of our lives. Whichever way it was headed had already been predetermined by our genes, environment and social conditions and so we were not in any way authors of our destiny. The idea of fatality and determinism. This must sound familar already and you must be thinking Darwin. Social Darwinism is what this was called in the time when it’s founder Emile Zola, the French Novelist set the ball rolling.
The Americans more than others had a lot of influence with gaining momentum and incorporating all the coldness of a laboratory dissection to human society without any sentimentality. Men were creatures, more correctly beasts and were ruled by instincts which could not be understood. The universe usually was not kind to them :
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.” –Stephen Crane
Aweblue, studying naturalism —which is very much a breath of fresh air because for once I do not have to read about the oppresion of the feudal lords or of gods or the bourgeois , and only have to settle into the inner world of man as he moves in a way that could be quantified experimentally and described as mere reaction to this and that disturbance— is interesting. It brings up questions like free will and how much of it is dependent on us, on nature verus nurture, on predestination and honesty , because here we don’t mince words. Nothing is doused in the flowery hyper romanticisaton of the romantic period and here we find that God is dead.
Social media has run down mad over the case of Kemen from Big Brother Nigeria, and as much as one tries to exclude herself from awon world people, as a social critic or even more correctly( since we began with the world exclusion and exclusivists naming) as a world critic, the issue finds its way into your backyard.
Kemen, a contestant for the big money comes from AkwaIbom state. He was caught molesting T-Boss,a fellow house mate.I remember when the irrelevant pride that courses through ones veins because of finding a ‘ brother’ like us in the house was pumping hard from hearts, ignoring the reality of how very little we knew about him as a person; his truthfulness and sexual perversion, darling.
The bridge has collapsed of course and the brother is coming home after being disqualified and there is still the issue of molestation and who is to blame.
I think we are changing into a world where we have made an exception for risk factors related to the perpetuation of rape. For our electric appliances, we have conditions to follow to prevent damage, for our cars, we have driving rules, which even when followed correctly can lead to death through no fault of the driver. He just needs to be in an unfortunate situation with many variables at play. Luck, chance, his time to die. It was/is not his fault. For rape and molestation, there has grown a peculiar deafness and blindness and a contemptuous outrage of the mob as it drowns reason and logic. Common sense and reality appear to be the enemy as if these things could be avoided.
How does one avoid the facts when the facts follow you around as your very existence? Every human is at risk to die just by virtue of being alive. No one is safe. Safety is an illusion. The world has been designed to kill us in the end. A realistic world asserts that crime will exist for as long as the world exists. Rapists and molesters will too, and this requires the conformity of victims to supply themselves actively or passively( just by being present and alive). This paints a bleak picture because as you can tell, if Jane avoids all the sadness that life has to offer, there is the probability and statistics to back it up that Jennifer might not be so lucky. One person has to experience this, sorry. This is reality and not utopia.
So whenever people ignore the facts about what happens in a real society whose ancestors have had to grapple with the situation of rape from the very foundations of the world and pretend that it is its generation that will make men saner to its women, it becomes a stretch too far in the leap of hope. We would not need a new earth and heaven if this could be achieved. How is it that behaviours that put its most popular victims are being mocked?
Men should not rape women. This is true. No one should steal. This too is true, but somehow we know people will steal still. The old news is people will rape too even when they shouldn’t and just as putting locks, getting security and protective measures do not prevent crime in its entirety, but maximizes the effectiveness of deterring criminals, same with rape.
We know fully clothed women in the comfort of their homes, good women, by general moral standards who get raped still and in even more vicious ways than their naked and ‘out there counterparts’ and this is not about victim blaming, but does this now mean that after accessing facts of how a near dystopian world operates where the majority of men would have it forcefully with naked women who keep shaking their tits at them and utter no in the same vein, gyrate forcefully and at the same time pushes them aside in an enviable act of unvirtual oxymoron ,gets drunk in an environment where her female counterparts are doing no better as well as being outnumbered by strange men in the same space whose sense of morality she cannot judge adequately, that taking measures would not be wise?
Reality is that there are people out there who are not in control of their behaviour. This is their problem. The times have shown that women who are naked and drunk and in isolated spaces are at risk of being misjudged in their pure intentions of just existing and not being taken advantage of. To restate this, sober women have been taken advantage of and will be. The only sure safety tip is to be invisible as a woman as even death does not prevent violations of the body. With this knowledge at the back of our minds, wouldn’t it still be wise to keep on mentioning that we can and should try to protect ourselves while waiting for our utopian world, which being a pessimist in this very issue will probably be never? Can we try not to be in at risk situations as we recognise that not every one will restrain himself from taking advantage of us?
I call it a day on this issue
Martha, Martha, I come with my ‘do you remembers’ . Do you remember the time when we both read about the Hobo kid? Your first time with suffering, with seeing dirt on a child. And the men–rowing their boat. The red Indian? The story will always feel like Talcrum powder;smooth and sweet. The little girl as she looked into the water to find out if she was beautiful or not. The fairy who told her she was not beautiful inside. The tears she cried as she wept off her ugliness. Do you remember?
The joy inside of you as your heart sang. A new day, a new life , it seemed to say. It sayed, do you know? As you spat on the grass and rubbed it with your feet, always imagining that you were somewhere less rural, somewhere where the hedges did not remind you of goats and smoke from wood. You never had goats. Your grandfather had passed for dead before you could meet his cows. It wasn’t pretence. He had really died.
The stories you used to tell, of how Aunt Georgia once walked from one end of the forest to the next all by herself. I learnt from you that a grand aunt was not a magical creature with a halo on her head because you told me of how yours hated her own grandchild. How do you love your child and hate your child’s child, you asked me. I did not know. I could not tell, because like you I could not understand. This was how we learnt that things happen with no meaning, that life was in many ways filled with senseless acts and you were that grandchild.
I’ve not heard from you in a while, Martha. You don’t say hello to the ladies by the flower shop anymore. Your windows are shut and you scream a lot. People say its unbelievable how Martha drowned a child but you don’t remember, might never remember.
In the faith walk, you learn again, don’t you, that you were made for more. You will never be filled to the brim as I cannot be exhausted. I am infinite, pure and everlasting. This is why nothing satisfies. You just never will be and this was planned before the foundations of the world. Look at a cup of tea, filled, ready to be drank. Left on its own and untouched, the water evaporates. Nothing remains the same forever, they deplete. I cause it to be so.
What you want is intense. What you need is all consuming. You were made to be consumed totally from within and without. This is the way you were made, but the environment is poor. The world is poor and you will never get what you want from it. Be not deceived, you want to know that your every move is accounted for, that someone knows what you think and feel, and provides for you every second. If you were to ask this of a human, they would snort and think you weak, soft in the head, and why exactly are you not chasing after independence again? The anti -lie of the situation is you were created to be totally dependent. Dependence is your default position, My child. This is why independence feels alien, unnatural. So you try again to depend on the things you can see, feel, touch, and yet again they mock you, they fail you. Your dependence was in the wrong direction and on the wrong things.
My dependent, I am the rock, the solid ground, the palm your being is held by. I am the wings which shield you. Be dependent. Lean on me when you’re not strong and I will carry you. Lean and I will not shame you. Lean because you will never stand firm apart from me.
The gap is too wide, the best care and love and attention of this world will not fill it. My place in your life cannot be erased, the footprints I have made cannot be filled by seven billion people combined with generations past. Just imagine! That trillions and trillions of angels, shining and full of power cannot fill the gap in your soul. What you need , child is immeasurable, timeless, so great and powerful. It surprises you because you are so small, so absolutely tiny that from space, your scientists tell you about your insignificance compared to the planets, yet your hunger is insatiable, bigger than all the planets combined. Your hunger is like a basket underneath a fountain. This is for your safety, for you were made to be filled by the lion of Judah.
Without stalling, this is not a pretty post with fancy words or anything. I’m going to use cliches and weary statements as they come, because I feel like those old people we dream of becoming who do not care anymore what people think of them, of what spectacle they become in front of people. Rules burden me. Maybe not rules, but living like I have to do so and so and be like this and that, after a while, it all just crashes. I just feel this severe vexation in my soul and I’m like hold on, just wait a minute. I’m a resilient person, I can endure things, pretend I don’t mind, but one day, when I feel the bland taste from my soul, I just stop and I stop right there and drop everything. By everything , I mean everything. I have been cynical and feeling internally sarcastic, and just upset about things that are strange to be upset about. Things like the fact that I don’t have much to be upset about and yet I felt unhappy. I was unhappy because I should not be unhappy for not being unhappy. I know, it doesn’t make much sense.
Today, I feel at peace with myself. I feel like a different person. Like I wore someone else this morning, or maybe I have become a future version of me. Again, doesn’t make so much sense, but this post is not to make sense, but to write just what I want. Pardon the in depth indulgement of myself. Its all about me. Just in case, anyone wants to comment at this point, please don’t. Maybe another time, as I will not be responding to anything under this post. I really can’t and don’t want to engage except on my own terms and time. I felt I was giving too much of myself, and I am in some ways. I am sharing bits of myself, wisdom I have gathered, ideas, and it feels like I am not getting any in return. It doesn’t feel right. If no one is intentionally investing in me, I don’t see why I should have any kind of regret if I relegate them to places on my priority list that I can attend to when I feel i need a supplementary hobby. Again, pardon what must sound like a bitter complaint and a terrible way of summarising persons. It’s just one of those reality checks as I evaluate well enough the kind of things I have allowed to camp out on my limited time. So dearest people, I will be generous and know that my reward is in heaven, but I will do that with wisdom, no vex. If I get sparsely, I will not invest either. I need to grow. Can’t expend energy on things that don’t bring any returns. Can’t and won’t take crappy talk downs because I am tired . I am honestly tired. People are afraid of you when you’re tired. You become an alien and they run from you like you’re a masquerade. They don’t understand you then and this is a good thing. If that is the authentic you, or the you of the moment, they are not worth your limited time.
Someone might wrongly think this has to do with problems, or too much work or whatever. Please don’t do that. I am fairly annoyed just thinking about it. I am fine in those areas, but when you forget your email address, the one you use so frequently and spend an hour plus trying to remember, and suddenly remember it again the next morning. Also, when you forget where your hair salon is, even after taking the right bus and trekking to the right place, you know something is up with your brain and if you feel you need time to be on your own, to drop all your projects and pretend you have nothing to do, pretend you have no business with the activities in the world, and just not talk to anyone unless you really feel like it, you really should listen and do just that.
You belong to no one.
She was, as they say, crucified with Him. As it is written, the girl is one of a kind, loved, beloved, the apple of her Fathers eyes. A wanderer, an idol worshipper, she has lost sight of Him. Loses sight many times, a dissenter, but loved, loved by Him. She was.
She was crucified. She has everything. She owns the world, yet she staggers. The angels are for her, the demons are underneath her. The lands, the entire world, she is not a stranger. Her father owns it all, yet she makes herself small, invisible, and her surroundings scare her. It doesn’t work the way it should.
She thinks. I dare not make a mistake here and in this place, if not, I will have nothing. She forgets that she cannot have nothing. She Is rich, a jewel, a powerful and elevated bride, unforgettable, very important. There’s a file of her sealed with blood. The blood of God Himself.
She runs, she stammers thinking she is called to represent the people she has been called to serve. She thinks she is part of them and that this is very prestigious. She is in awe of them, forgetting that there is no time to be in awe. She is a servant, but not theirs. Her allegiance is not for this world. Hanging too tightly, she loses grip of the one who is as close as her breath, the very one who remains with her in the dark, the one who has her life in Him.
She loses her peace for crumbs of bread. She forgets her position in the army of saints. What is my number again, please tell me? Why do I stick my hands so often in the can of worms, please explain to me? For I do the things I do not want to do, and the things I want, I cannot do.
For I formed this oath of love for my pleasure. For I made you to love me with all your heart and mind and strength and nothing less will do. All things were made for me, He says to her. All things belong to me. Who can stand before me? It disturbs her that she is not as dedicated as she should be to Him. He troubles the waters because He wants her back. He wants her completely and will pursue until she returns.
To the oath of love who fears, who will not trust completely, to her, He says, it is time to repent of your fears, for all things belong to you whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,
Do you sometimes wake up to the truth about life in general etcetera? Days when you do not want to go to work because we will all eventually die, so what’s the point prolonging the days to the event? Do you repent thereafter when you remember that we are not our own and must live this life until the one who made us decides it is time to come home? Do you then wonder how to go ahead with living this life when you realise you are stuck between agreeing to not take your life but not living it in a way that would please the one who made it, and taking your life and still not pleasing the Lord? Do you feel overwhelmed with all the things you feel you need to do before the day closes and end up being overworked with little visible progress? Then this post is for you and you must think I am a good advertiser.
I am a perfectionist is some areas of my life. I have timetables I don’t follow, even though any enlightened person would see how well structured my life would be if I gave them a sincere try. Instead of dividing goals into smaller chunks, I throw caution to the wind and immerse myself in an activity, hoping that before the end of a day I would have become an expert in it. Experience has proven to me that I am just elegantly insane with the habit, but habits are hard to kill, so, I eat very late, I don’t sleep on time and when I finally hit the bed, I still think about the numerous things I have to accomplish. This means , I don’t have a true balance, as I neglect my health, exercise, and even prayer time just to work on things I feel are important, and this is bad. Having too much to do can make you lose your motivation and excitement at work, meaning that by the end of the day, after a particularly bad burn out, you could end up not working for many day s on a project, and are more likely to give it up than if you took breaks from it and stopped when you felt it was becoming a horrible chore.
My advice is simply this: stop trying to live in the future.every effort counts. Do something small each day to draw you closer to your goals/targets, but not everything. You cannot possibly do everything at once. Little by little is the way to go. Step by step 🙂
This verse in Colossians 3 is such a good reminder:
For you have died and your life is hidden in Christ (ESV)
There is no other way to live life that to find where it is and Christ holds it. He holds our purpose and the next step. To know , we need to ask Him and to be able to do that, we need to spend time with Him.
Verse 24 of the same chapter states plainly :
You are serving Christ , and verse 23 reminds us that when we do everything for His sake, we will be rewarded. This is especially useful for those of you who feel like no one at work appreciates what you do, that your earnings do not correspond to the amount of work you put it. Sometimes you even work for free. Remember, that even then, it counts. Recession and minimal wage have got nothing on you. Inflation cannot deflate your reward.
Finally, verse 15 says: let the peace of God to which we were called rule our hearts.
What I understand brethren, is that we have been guaranteed peace, life and rewards for living this life for Christ’s sake. What better way is there to start a day, where everything you do has been guaranteed to be a gain when the Lord is involved?
Now that we’ve gotten past the dramatic topic, and past the paint on the floor that looks like blood but isn’t really blood,except that it is quite the stuff blood is made up of, which certainly means it is blood. Might not be period blood, because hey, how far can you go already, but still,
you know wah I’m saying? .
Following the demystification of communication and interactive conferences surrounding the topic of menstruation, whereby an army of female sufferers, bonding over unpleasant and bloody circumstances have decided that it is about time we spoke about this thing that has been plaguing our nether regions( you did not hear me right), I have decided to contribute my own quota, as I am an able member, quite proficient in the art of embarrassing my behind. Well,maybe not as proficient as some people, but I have had my own share, is all I am saying.
So I understand quite well, even without that gentle nudge on the head with a shovel in the intelligence upgrade department, that the majority of people who read my blog are of the male community and so are quite clueless as buzzfeed videos tend to show about what a woman feels like when she is on her period, I still think a little education would not hurt. Also, entertaining the possibility that not all women are the same( a hypothesis of faith obviously) , this would mean I am a bit clueless myself about other women and their periods.
If you’re familiar even at the sense level with the idea of karma, you’d know that a person reaps what he sows, which means that as one of those spared by the gods of period pain who does not suffer this frightful thing as many of the female community,a part of me if not all rejoices at the sheer amount of favour that must be falling on me for me to experience this in such large amounts but the other part( how it left the whole to stand on its own, I do not know) says that someday I will pay for it. Maybe I will give birth to twins or have a really painful childbirth .Yes, this is Karma ,according to Elizabeth.
Well, just yesterday I was counting all my blessings pertaining to my female anatomy and i was still drunk with the wonderful impression and vibes the body I own was giving me when sometime in the evening , I got those reality checks. Quite literally in my head. Yes, I had a headache, the unique period headache which made me nauseous to the power of oh my God, I knew I would not get away with this pain free period life forever. So brethren, I don’t have a great appetite, and going by menstrual stereotypes, I am just waiting for the unlucky person who has been destined to irritate me and get some claws in their throat( but I am a wonderful soul , so this is definitely untrue now, isn’t it. I mean, I can’t do that, right?)
Who am I kidding anyway? I did not write all these just to mention minor things as such. The thing is women have horrible blood leaks in public places in this life, and the internet is a great place to comfort yourself anytime you experience such. Since I’ve pretty much squandered my Sunday in petty and quite useless activities because I cannot do anything with the mind fog, I’ve decided to add mine to the list, blog about it and call it a productive day. Brethren, period stains are the worst, the metallic smell of blood is so ugh! And we get embarrassed many times in the course of our female existence when we misjudge, when our underwear plays games with us and when we have long days that compete with out need for sleep and less auditory torments. In other words, on such days ,like yesterday 😣😣😣😣we sometimes find ourselves flying from one extreme to the other as our hormones have a field day. In other words, we dream of a day when it will all end.
Nobody ever thought I’d commit suicide. I never thought I’d get to the point where available hope wasn’t worth looking forward to. People think those of us that get here are devoid of hope. We aren’t. We aren’t starving. Or dying—least not literally. There is a chance i could put up with this—these daily losses of my crumbs-for only-God-knows-how-long. But I’ve reached this decision, to use the exit, and beat these things to killing me.
I used to think I had absolute control over my bodily functions—thought the guys shot in movies were weaklings who hadn’t mastered their bodies or lacked the ability to control it. I was thinking under the influence that, I’d witness my own murder and could pull out of it or get help if need be. But I actually pulled it off at my first try—something I never achieved my whole life. So, no college, no jobs besides menial labour, no friends, no family.
I think my brother will be hurt the most. Fuck! I know. Reading this will make him cringe but the last two words in the previous paragraph will rip his heart into smithereens. I know I owe him, if nothing else, exoneration; from the repercussions of my demise—catering to ferry my body to our hometown for a small funeral attendants will be indifferent about. The attendants, mandated by our similarity in surnames, will feel devastated. Because, they have to put on nice dresses and waste petrol to arrive at an occasion where I’m the subject. I can imagine the whole scenario, and its distaste. I wouldn’t be there if I could. They wouldn’t be there if I could stop them. But I can’t do anything. The same powerless life I detest, I lead.
Then, the incessant references to that “wayward, lazy relative who ended up very badly” will ring in households as deterrent to my cousins ‘ recalcitrance. Did I really kill myself in spite of putting all of this into consideration? Well, if you’re reading this, chances are, I’m already cooling off my heels in hell. Since I’m still a Christian, and from what I gather, your soul is put to death as recompense for putting your body to death. The irony. You never asked to be born, nor can you live YOUR life the way you please, any more than you can die when you deem fit. Yet, you’re made accountable for the life and come under fire over its perceived misuse. Natality is a tight rope I’ve always regretted walking.
None of this would ever have happened.
I hope never to see your faces ever again.
I didn’t feel much better after writing that, but there were minor improvements. I didn’t feel tired, just this massive body weakness that looms. I felt raw, like I was regurgitated by a fed up monster. This note I wrote was to be my last bullet—the panacea that would suffice if all else failed. Not as though all else hadn’t failed yet but you get the idea. So I dropped it off somewhere only accessible when I’m done here.
Mahmoud—one of those guys always smiling and playing nice; jovial nature withering away under the slightest inconvenience to his person—first came to mind. I called him,
And convinced him to post it to his blog under the guest author category—tag it horror, fiction—whatever he could come up with. People will only ‘read’ it when it becomes ‘non-fiction’, maybe a year later. Say, there is an atavism of my terminal illness which will check me out before I can do so myself.
Today, I left for Dar es Salaam—a city I haven’t been to since I was in the single digit age range—because they’ll say,
“You were a soft black boy—a misfit—better die troway!”
Going to Dar es Salaam with no definite refuge lying in wait, I knew what was in store for me. When we got past Kibaha, I happened to see these amputees by the roadside, making jokes, in spite of the pessimism shrouded future hanging above their heads. Their teeth acutely discoloured due to lack of maintenance. I just thought of it; they cannot even masturbate. I thought,
“Certainly, they’re not alone. Someone at home loves them. Even if they were descendants of Job, God will definitely give them that one reason to smile, as they waddle about like penguins.”
“Well, maybe they’re so jolly because they’ve never known better, nor seen better. They aren’t intoxicated by the coveting spirit of competition, to thrive, succeed, make a name for themselves. I mean, they see the flashy cars scurry past every waking hour, but they’re satisfied knowing they’ll never be in those. Or scared of speaking bad grammar and getting laughed at.”
How come I feel worse than they do? I appear so far away from them, can sound intelligible at times, but not intelligent enough to make any tangible produce off the so-called intelligence. What type of intelligence is that?
I’ll say, they don’t feel embarrassed because, success is relative to the launching platform. For people without much education, they’re probably doing great. I have received much more, and its painful when it doesn’t reflect in my output.
All of this might seem absurd to you: what sort of redundancy will cause someone not to want to survive, or struggle for life, even now in 2009 when the world is full of opportunities? Case in point, your world may be full of opportunities, your friends’ too; you only realise how hard it is for me when you’re faced with hiring me, or having me as a colleague.
Bus dropped us off at Ubungo terminal a few minutes ago. Passengers starting to disperse like ants interrupted from a sweet spot by a nosey finger. There isn’t any sign of my uncle Simkoko yet. He alone do I know in this city. My mom was sceptical when I told her I’ll be lodging at his place during my stay. She said he’s wily and highly susceptible to disappoint. What if he never shows up and stops taking my calls like he did when my father’s body was brought back to the village and he fervently assured us he’ll be there to receive it? Maybe that is how some beggars became inducted into the profession. Might just end up amongst them; and you’ll be none the wiser. Maybe, become the first suicidal roadside beggar; but you’ll be none the wiser. Say, it becomes a fad across the whole Tanzania. Then when this pioneer receives deserving media recognition, that blog post I sent Mahmoud will get read.
Written by my friend,Raheem Sadiq
I can remember some very distinct moments in my childhood and teenage years connected with the question of what I was to become. For a long time, I’d said I would grow up to be a doctor since it was the choice smart kids who did well at school seemed to choose without even thinking much about it. It was prestigious and made me proud to say it.
My mother bought me dolls and even once a whole box of toy medical supplies for my doll. A neighboour saw me playing with them one of those few days when I was still bold enough to go outside and let people watch me without feeling the need to hide, and he asked me if I wanted to be a doctor and I said yes. When I was about eleven years old, I sat outside in the evening with my mother and someone I called aunty who was living with us at that time, even though we were not related in anyway, and I realised that I was about to get into the interesting world of secondary schooling. I was giddy and kept on repeating so many times about how I was a big girl. I still wanted to be a doctor then. In secondary school, my classmates kept slum books where we wrote down our hobbies, best friends, ambitions, likes and dislikes.
Last year, one of the most troublesome in our set shared pictures preserved from her slum book of us and shocked us all. Keep in mind that we left secondary school in 2010, so that’s a really long time to keep a book in great shape. We saw what we had dreamt for ourselves. This was before I removed myself from the whatsapp group created for us , because it had become toxic. Like big brother Africa, its only a matter of time before tension builds up. In most of the slum books, I wrote that I wanted to be a doctor, I might have added that I wanted to be a writer in some and in others I wrote I wanted to be a pastor, and on a particularly ambitious day, I wrote that I wanted to be all of the above.
I did not get the cut off mark in the aptitude the first time I wrote to get admission into medical school, maybe because I was unprepared. I was in ss2 at the time and in my first term. So I skipped many classes and went for lessons with ss3 students instead and joined them to write waec and neco. I was the only one the principal allowed to do this. Others who wanted to try in my class had to go to different schools to write. If I had wanted, I would have gotten admission to study a different course, but I decided to return and complete my year and retake the exam in my ss3. I got admission and my name was second on the list at the university of uyo, akwaibom. This was about the time my mum died leaving me with a shattered psyche and I dropped out three months later. I have since lost the desire to do medicine or anything related to science. I realise now that I am more art inclined even though for a long time , I’d inwardly seen my fellow art students as less intelligent and useful. This is the result of a Nigerian education where more rewards and competitions are available for science students, leaving those interested in the arts to feel like second class students. I have since moved from this limited way of thinking and surprisingly, I find science inclined people who are not as equally interested in arts and culture boring.The tables have indeed turned.
I am currently studying linguistics Aweblue, after many failed attempts at getting admission which I don’t have time to go deep into, and unlike Medicine or any kind of very specialised course, it can be fairly ambiguous what one is to do with the degree upon completion. If you Google this up, you will definitely see a lot of places where a linguistic degree is useful, but it is this very wide spectrum from which you can choose from that can make you undecided about the next step and makes you ask yourself the questions ‘So, what next? What do you you want to do with your life?, and the famous stale question of the century about what ones purpose in life and passion is.
Aweblue, being a huntress of solutions and believer that they are not hiding from me, I went to look for information. From learning that we should do what we have a passion for, to being told that passion is highly overrated and just a feeling. Feelings pass and so what was once a passion might not interest in five years and so on. That passion should be what follows one and not what comes before. Also, that a purpose in life is not some rigid fixture, never wavering and malleable. It should be flexible and ready to confirm to the needs of modern world. I learnt too from another lady on tedx that we should always study what motivates us, people who have lived in situations that were far from ideal have always pushed themselves to work hard to never be like their mums or dads and so on, but after realizing a moderate and stable level of financial protection and stability, they feel useless and wonder what they are living for. It is necessary at this time to choose a new reason for working, a new set of motivations and maybe a new career that engages you and allows for more self realization.
All this is fair and sweet to learn, Aweblue. To say I don’t know what I like doing is a lie as has been pointed out many times by people who have secret knowledge of passion and purpose. Yet, there is also a differentiation between these things and ones hobbies. I like writing and even when I have lost readers and loyal people as I would call them, I write still, even when it is me who remains at the end of the day to be faithful to. This is one thing I have a passion for. Maybe I am yet to discover the rest, maybe I have already discovered them but do not want to mention them yet to you, but the thing that worried me a lot until recently, when I got to study for myself, is not passion or purpose per say, but privilege and just plain luck.
Humans of New York has been in Argentina for days now, and of all the pictures I’ve seen so far, this one left me thinking about the things I have mentioned. Here is a woman who could have been someone else, who works harder than many people, has the constant weight of feeling she is not enough because of how bleak the prospect of getting out of this limited way of living and she wonders if she can accomplish her dreams.
This happy slogan and others equally like it has been used by proponents of the positivity religion to make it look as if dreaming enough, and hard enough with regularity can somehow shoot you to the top. It’s a feel good drug and a selling point for advertisers who want one to reach for the stars, become great, and standout. It is possible, many people have somehow, in spite of terrible and immeasurable obstacles become persons we look up to as physical embodiments of the word ‘ miracle’ . But this number is a small number out of the millions who strive to get out of their current situation. Rarely do we hear, as HONY commenters rightly pointed out, the fact that not everyone has the same starting point, not every one is privileged, and most times, the great people in life have been strategically placed by some force controlling history to be just who they were at certain periods. If not, how would you explain the existence of people like john the Baptist and Judas who betrayed Christ. It is an argument for destiny, for an appointment that makes no allowances for hard work so much as it does for chance, luck and must pure destiny I have stated already.
I can’t say that people in situations like the woman in the post were created with no thought about their destiny however. In fact,as I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about this, I see places in her story and indeed in the lives of people who are living lives where they wonder how to get out from the persistent gloominess and dissatisfaction they are living under. I am not an expert and also am trying to see just how not to live a life where I get blurred out of the relevance scale. I do not want to be irrelevant, but for whom? For what reason do I want to be useful?
I’ve come to accept that there are things we just cannot change.I cannot for example bring my mother from the dead, or make my father young, or create some wise older siblings to help me make better decisions, create a rich and connected extended family, a magic wand to bring back the years that seem like wasted years or pay for tuition at Cambridge. I may not now be able to pass some examinations and be known as a genius and a young one who has made her country proud in so and so area. There are many things I could list if I was in the mood to be more imaginative. So, yes, I do not have lots of privileges that the people who will rule our nations someday currently have, and who might earn more than me have etcetera. These are clear facts, yet unlike people who might not know about the other fact that our steps are ordered and we do not live lifes rules by arbitrary factors when we become Christians, I have this knowledge and this in a sense is my privilege and going back to the Hony story, this is what I finally noticed was lacking in all the comments about chance and luck and how it was not the woman’s fault that her life was that difficult.
There are questions one needs to ask and make sure that one lives according to those answers. I believe that we need to know why we ultimately work and for whom. The bible says here
Work To Please God, Not People. “Whatever you do, work at it with allyour heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV)
I believe that anything God touches becomes powerful and no matter how much competition there is, and no matter how many people are doing the same type of work, if every person dedicates his work to God, He is able to take away their anxieties and make them equally unique and hard to replace, because they would not be working for an organisation or themselves , but will be doing things as a service to Him and God knows how to replenish and make things, in this case people special.
Aweblue, it is easy to say and saying this makes me feel more optimistic about the future, but I also have enough experience with forgetting and it is for this reason that I am recording this for the days I might be prone to wander away from truths about my existence.