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THE UNCANNY SIDE OF ADULTHOOD

THE UNCANNY SIDE OF ADULTHOOD

Dear Sam,

It’s been over forty-five days past the ultimatum you gave me on two issues. And just in line with your first prediction, I never “blow” as a writer. In fact, I am broke!

Adulthood isn’t going as we thought as kids. I have come to realize that by the nature of birth one could be at a disadvantage in life. After being unemployed for a long time, this is my third job in six months and I wouldn’t mind switching again! I’ve had multiple breakdowns, an existential crisis and I’ve almost been raped once. I’m mentally stressed and amidst many other woes, I’ve had my heart broken with quite a handful of failed relationships {It is argued that heartbreak is a rite of passage to adulthood}.

On my first day of resumption at my new job, the government welcomed me with a sudden increase in fuel price. Disastrous yeah? Sometimes I wonder if the system really cares about the younger generation or about her citizens. Besides the fear of being molested again, I am terrified of walking alone. Our neighbor was robbed on his way to work last week – we were happy it was “just” robbery, that he wasn’t injured or worse, kidnapped or killed.

People are angry at how the system has failed. Everyone fears being killed or kidnapped when they leave their homes. There are no jobs, and even the ones you find offer minimum pay for maximum stress – like my third job and previous ones. I had to choose my misery. Crime amongst the youth has become a lucrative business. I feel frustration all around as I leave the house every morning. The country is in chaos with ethnic and religious divides threatening its existence. I pray Nigeria makes it past the next election.

I try not to look like my problems, but on some days, I don’t have the energy for the pretense and I simply don’t want to participate in the affairs of this world. Not to sound suicidal but one time I passed by a bridge, I thought I could feel the water call me, like the ocean called Moana. Unlike Moana though, this wasn’t for a higher purpose.

I missed the Eucharist last Sunday and someone said my prayer-less life is a result of pride. That I don’t think God can answer, that it’s because I think I can go through life all by myself. After listening I asked, “what if it’s because I am too overwhelmed that I don’t even know what or how to pray? What if I feel so drained that there is no energy left in me to utter words and all I can do is hope God hears the unsaid words?” There was no answer to that. We both just had to wallow in the silence that followed. I forget to check up on loved ones and they think I’m a snub but I missed my birthdays too and nobody seemed to notice. Everybody wants me to be there for them, to be a certain type of person, live a certain standard and they’re not even seeing that I am struggling to be there for me too – I am struggling. Nobody is listening! I feel so withdrawn from reality and this makes me feel like a failure. Damn, I am not even 30 but social media, has set certain standards on what it thinks I should be and shouldn’t be at a certain age in life gives me sleepless nights and makes me question the essence of my existence.

I’m tired. I am trying.

I know this is not the progress report you’d hoped for. I have made bad decisions, terrible choices, been in confusing situations. Life has met me in ways I never bargained for. It surprises me though that I am still here, trying to win.

Forty-five and many days after you said I’ll quit, some of my articles and poems are still being published online and featured in hardcopy magazines. A book is in works but I’m still writing with hopes to “blow” as a writer. A Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer, Orange and Man-Booker prizes are not impossible anymore. Burna won a Grammy, and I know that someday the world would drink from the intoxicating wine of my literature. I’ll just give myself time.

Gbogbo wa la ma a je breakfast.

I have plans on delving into the movies too. An Oscar awaits me there you know? I’ll talk about the other thing you said I’ll fail at in my next letter.

Till then I’ll bask in the Euphoria of my present wins – I’m alive, I have a family, a roof over my head, friends, a hopeful mind, a grateful heart, the gift of writing, and I can still put up a hearty smile.

So long bro.

Your friend as always,

DHESERT CHEQUER

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