Birthday Post: Ambivalent Adulting
Ambivalent: Unsure: having mixed, uncertain, or conflicting feelings about something.
Adulting: The practice of taking responsibility for your own life, making decisions that shape your life and doing the things you should do.
Earlier in 2018, I made a mistake. A childhood friend who I thought was my brother duped me. He got hold of my bank card somehow and emptied my account. He denied it but I later caught him after an investigation that spanned 2 months. I felt bad and made the mistake of judging friends like that for a while. The decision was shortsighted but thank God I was able to move from it. I got help to move when I thought of all the amazing friends around me. I wrote in the acknowledgment section of my undergraduate long essay that I had an A grade in making friends then. Most of the friendships have endured and have led to a lot of things that I do now. I cannot mention everyone but I remember fondly the younger friend who just sent me money after I was defrauded. She, instead of asking for money from the big brother asked how I was coping and helped. The other numerous times that friends have rescued me also helped me not to throw the baby with the bathwater. One bad friend does not make friendship bad.
A lifetime of happiness: no man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth. — George Bernard Shaw
Like this post, I am a broken man, in several ways. The past year has been one of introspection and I have had to remember incidents that were otherwise repressed. I once saw a quote in Dr. Gbenga Fasiku’s office and I knew right away that it applied to me. I am writing it for the first time since I saw it in 2014: “I am not a genius but I am a terrific package of experience.” I am a tapestry, beautifully woven by God Himself. A product of varied experiences; the good, the bad and the ugly. My patches are slightly obvious but they are beautiful. Now I pride in the experiences that have shaped me for without them, I would have had it too easy and monotonous. What is the fun in monotony anyway?
Epictetus- No man is free who is not master of himself.
I learned in the past year that I need to be slightly selfish with myself also while staying responsible and adulting. I need to master myself and be ready for the future that I desire. I need to do it for family, and for the country. This introspection is important for I concluded that once your 20s are divided into two, it is a roller coaster from there. Even friends whose parents can afford to fix in multinationals have had to contend with issues like the undue interference of parents in their lives, career decisions, choosing a life partner, victimization at work and other issues that ensure that the ride becomes bumpy. For me, I limited my life to my relationship with God and took decisions solely for me, ensuring that I was led by the Holy Spirit. I am in a constant state of damning consequences and living the life I really WANT to live. I am mastering myself first. I am negotiating existences. One moment I am one regular guy, the next, I am living the alte life. To some people, I am a good boy, some others see me as a bad one. I am someone’s friend, another’s bestie, another’s brother, another’s son, another’s subvert… In the process of negotiating the existences that make up the tapestry, I try to hold on to my basic values of generosity of spirit, diligence, honesty, loyalty, and respect.
Greed makes you vulnerable.
This is perhaps the biggest lesson I learned in the past year. I don’t ever want to be vulnerable. I never want to have to blame myself for whatever unpleasant experience I have so I guard myself almost to a point of being overprotective. I was praying one day and this was whispered into my ears. I thought deeply about it and let it guide me. I treat greed in all its dimensions. Greed for money, for the opposite sex, for food, for material things…I don’t want to be vulnerable so I am eschewing greed, daily.
Eniyan Laso (People are my clothes)
That is the literal translation of the Yoruba proverb but when examined deeply, it is true that the people around us are what makes us who we are. No one is ever self-made, NONE.
Happiest Moment: It will be moments because I had several of it. The time when a friend came to my house bearing his appointment letter, the time a friend showed me his offer of appointment mail and the other time he got a raise. The time a friend got a new job. The fellowships won, the scholarships, the grants and all the periods when I had to rejoice with my friends. I want people around me to win because these moments inspire me and give me joy. I can only imagine how happy a man I’ll be when friends I shared little money with begin to lead movements and make billions. May we all win.
To disobey without disrespecting
In my personal decision to build up myself for me, I learned that I have to sometimes disobey others. Not because their guidance is not good but because it is not for me. I have to really ask myself if the bar set by the older people around me is what my target is. Once my goals and the plans they have for me don’t align, I just go with my goals. It has been a tough journey but I have had to disobey others while ensuring that I do not disrespect them. Tough but possible.
To stay at peace without staying aloof.
Also, I have had issues with people in times past. Sometimes my fault and sometimes the fault of others. Either way, I ensure that I apologise and I go back to ask myself why it happened. If it was about me, I change my ways and if it was about the other person and it is not immediate family, I just stay aloof. I am aware that the Bible requires that we love everyone and I owe everyone love. That I cannot control for it is in my nature as a child of God. The one I can control is association. Love is basic but association is a choice. No matter the toxicity someone exudes, I have to stay loving the person but association? Not me! I don’t want no unrepentant offender in my inner circle.
You owe your dreams your courage — Koleka Putuma
The dreams are mine and I know I have to fight for them. Some two years ago, I learned the principle of deferred gratification from Ademola Akinrele SAN. The video is worth watching and I recommend it to all my friends. Taking it further, I know that the journey to my dreams is an extremely tough journey. I don’t ask that the journey become smoother, I only ask for the grace to make the journey in peace. I just want to have the peace needed to have it easy. Easy is relative and I want to be the guy who stays calm in the midst of the storm.
My word for the new year is “Forward”. Forward is a word with many meanings but one thing is constant about it, action. I know that going forward is going headlong into life, I know that it is risky, ambivalent and uncertain but I am willing to embrace the uncertainty. No one is ever promised tomorrow anyway. Like all mortals, I know not what tomorrow holds but I am sure that I have a God who knows. The one who is the beginning and the end of it all. Rest assured that He guides me and reflecting on his promises for me, I am assured tomorrow. I just have to keep going forward. I also know that I can rest when I need to but I should never quit.