And you’re not a machine.
Some ‘OCD’ people would be ready to wrong my neck now, but, really, this is said with the best of intentions.
I read a blog post sometime ago, about the joys of spontaneity and living without anxiety over a plan gone wrong, and I felt like for the most part, the lady was talking to me. We can almost have every area of our life detailed to a T; how we expect to have become in the next five years, where we hope to work, who we hope to be with- this list goes on. And when, for whatever reason, one of those things don’t work according to plan, it destabilizes us and ‘draws us back’, like there’s no more progress.
At 16, I had calculated where I wanted to be by the time I was 21: done with university and just completing National Youth Service. By this time in my young girl calendar, I should have a job, be working at it devotedly, making something of myself, working my way up the ‘mogul’ ladder.
At 24, I hoped to have gotten married to my husband, whom I would have met within the three years since I graduated from school and got a job; probably someone I’d been friends with for a while. The kids could come immediately, if they wanted,- I wanted to be a young mum, and have my life back to myself by the time my kids were grown enough to take care of themselves.
But you see, life is not a phone reminder where you input your expectations for coming days and have them ring out 30 minutes before. I learnt that.
At 16, almost finishing secondary school, I had to repeat a class and change from sciences to humanities-
This is the bane of students in Nigeria who want to feel ‘adequate’ among their peers, with parents who believe that if you’re not a doctor, engineer, or in the sciences, or studying a money-making course, like banking and finance, you should at the least, but at the height of the humanities ladder, study law-
Because I was more active in arts related activities- drama, debates, the Commonwealth, news- than I was with the jets club. It took its toll on me; I lost interest and was adviced to go where I didn’t have to struggle. Being a boarder, I had digested the advice before getting to my father’s house. The days that came after telling my mum I wanted to spend another year in secondary school can not be described here, they should be made into a movie. Because they were epic-hence, another day’s post.
Nigerian mums are awesome- mine, most especially. She put her hand on her head and began to cry.
All that time, I just told myself, Nne, forget it, you’re not finishing at 16 anymore- and that was the beginning of reality for me, I still added a plus one year though, so I estimated leaving the university and service at 22.
I finished secondary school at 17- finished well, I must add, with the best result of my set- but didn’t get into the university till two years after. See how my calendar was ‘re-writing’ my life plan? At 19, how was I going to finish university degree in three years? I didn’t know, that the school I applied to had plans of its own.
That was how I got into OAU to study drama, after two attempts. Then the school began to strike. Any little thing, a strike started, or a lecture boycott, or an indefinite shutdown, or something! If it wasn’t the academic staff, it was the non academic staff, if it wasn’t those, it was the Student Union Government. I woke myself up and adviced myself to let God take control of my life, seeing as my plans were wiped as easily as dust.
So I’m here, still in school, waiting for the school to finish whenever it wants to, moving with the strike/ no strike pattern and just living through it. Because I’m quite certain some people entered the school as teeming youths, but left as old men with grey hair- this is no joke, I have seen pictures.
I scrapped that list. Not having it figured out is helping me breathe easy; because if I go back to that list and do all the math again? I would probably be an old woman before I left this school.
Live, enjoy life, don’t kill yourself because you’re not ‘in charge’ of what is happening around you..
…let me leave you with this awesome quote that I have seen in different places, but will now write in my own words:
‘You might not be able to handle the situations you find yourself, but you sure can be able to handle the way you react to them’.
God really is in control.
And that, amigo, is where I draw the curtain on all the inspiration oozing from my pores, for today.
Love Mucho 😘