IF ONLY YOU CAN TAKE THE -SENSE FROM THIS POST AND ESCHEW THE "NONE"
The most difficult age for any man is probably between 24 and 29 years, the pressure to be something, to be someone is so immense. When you look around you, everyone seems to be doing something for themselves, people seem to be living a life you only dream of.
You have applied for jobs and the results have been more disappointing than Daddy Shokey's shot at Presidency. Sadly this is the age when most guys lose it, the age when if not careful, one is consumed by alcohol or drugs because the disappointments becomes too much and you find alternative ways to face reality.
Worse is when a few people you studied with have been lucky enough to land jobs, soon your circle of friends grows thinner. Mostly they don’t even cut you out but you be real with yourself and cut yourself out. I mean what will you do when you are in a WhatsApp group of friends discussing last week’s trip to the Csrribean and planning another road trip to Solomon Islands while you're not sure of what your next meal would be? Most times you'd follow the conversation silently, all alone like a cross on a grave. Soon you realize this is no longer your kind of crowd because the more you stick around the more the pressure to be something takes a toll.
You know when stories about house parties come up and you act deaf because you don’t know where an extra 5 guys would fit in your flat. I mean have you ever sat in a group of people discussing and dissecting the new policy being implemented by the government and how it is adversely affecting the nation on the market or how British Airways offers shit services and you can feel your heart whisper to you "bro this is chest pain hour, can we just go and find a group that talks about job opportunities and small firms willing to pay N18,000 monthly despite being an LL.B holder".
But you sit there as these people get lost in their lifestyle conversations, you're like a secretary taking minutes in a meeting. You're totally forgotten like the N500million the Federal Government gave ASUU, 2013. Once in a while, one of the friends will turn and ask if you need another drink and you wonder if you should just say No and head home... but head home to what? So you grudgingly drop in the "I will have just one last one" lie!!!
After a few years of job hunting, you are now ready to take anything even if it is to smell a rich man’s farts as long as it pays, so you end up as an office messenger in one detergent company in town. To imagine that 4 years of studying and getting a degree is now reduced to picking and dropping off letters. and if you are not doing that, you are being sent for cheap lunch by the employees when they are broke and they can’t order with hello food. This is when conversations about where people studied surface, you go silent, it’s no longer of any use to say you also reached University. Once in a while you will bump into your now well off classmates, they would offer you lunch, ...but not even eating the meals at Mac'Donald's will make you feel better about yourself. In your mind you wish instead they would give you the 30k and you sort your meals for the next couple of days.
As usual, you'll have photos taken and uploaded on Instagram after the meal, but always it’s your face that would look the odd one out. Not even the best filters can hide a face which has borne the city dust and survives on boiled beans.
The worst mistake you can do during this period is to try dating. There's nothing that a person going through such times can offer in terms of today's idea of love. How are you going to do evening romantic walks when you're tired from walking, delivering letters in offices around town? What will you tell your lady when she says she wants to go for Lord of the Ribs show at Eko Hotel and Suites? That your financial religion doesn’t allow it?
This is the age when you sit back and watch the ladies you would want to date, dating or getting married to guys 10 years older than you. And you can’t blame them – it’s only that your life seems to be progressing slower than their goals in life. Some of the ladies you meet during this period, if you are lucky will be patient with you till you hit or they hit 28... and if by then your life is still in disarray like Manchester United's performance in the EPL this season then my friend, be prepared for a walk out. This is the age when you learn a lot about life, if you can hack through this stage, your only hardship would be losing your parents. That’s if you are still lucky enough to have them.
This stage teaches you a lot about perseverance, about appreciating the small wins you have each day. It teaches you something about friendship, love, career growth and personal responsibility. This is always your rise or fall moment depending on the choices you make. How you live your life in the 30’s is determined by how you would have handled your life in this phase. I haven't been long in my 20's but I won't wait until this phase reaches me before I start doing something about it.
That's why I always ask, "What are your dreams, and are you working on your dreams today?"
I am Hon. Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine
Member representing Constituency III, LAWSAN Legislative Council, University of Uyo.
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