The New Phase | by Harrison Okeke

We all couldn’t wait to be adults when we were kids. We were all eaten up by the thoughts of having our own money, driving our own cars and having to make decisions for ourselves like our uncles and aunts did, didn’t we? We were jealous of how free and rich they were but were oblivious of what they went through behind the scenes.
We couldn’t wait to finish school, serve our fatherland and start living this dream life. We thought it would be easy, I thought it would be, you did too but here we are now.

One month after rounding up my service year, which I was going to write about until I read Kunle’s and decided not to waste my time because he wrote an epic piece. Moreover, I didn’t have as many experiences as he did so, I decided to talk about something that we can all relate to now. Let me tell you what I’ve come to know and you’ll probably relate to also.
It’s funny but I’ve started feeling like a stranger in my house. The so far futile search for a job has made me spend most of my time at home doing little or nothing.

Waking up on a Monday morning and not having a job to hurry to is very weird right now. I think it’s just me but everytime, I feel like my parents are angry with me whenever we cross paths or sit together in the sitting room, when I’m on my phone, I even think they’re angry at me for just breathing, lol. I just feel I should be out there now, chasing my own future and not making them uncomfortable in their house because that’s what it feels like I’m doing.

Those Uncles and Aunts that promised heaven and earth aren’t picking calls anymore, the ones that are answering are either still promising or giving excuses. Some have already made it clear that you’re no more their headache and you’re responsible for yourself now. It’s disheartening but I totally understand now, I am now seeing first hand; how hard it is to be an adult, it’s not easy for anybody, we all have our own battles and I like to believe that nobody owes me Jack!

My friend, Yomi, just bought his second car; a Benz. I won’t forget the first day I rode in it. I just sat there humbly, arms folded, the AC wasn’t on but I was cold. To be honest, it felt like I was on a plane. I thought to myself “guy na this kine life I wan dey live?” I later told him how I’m currently searching for a job, he laughed and told me not to waste my time looking for a job that will overwork and underpay me, adding that he will show me the way only if I have the guts to be able to afford his luxurious life (we all have friends like Yomi). Days later, and I’m still thinking about this scary offer..

These days, I’m more conscious about happenings around me. The chaotic yet beautiful nature of Lagos city is what I’ve grown fond of but these days, things seem clearer and more meaningful to me than ever. Like my friend, Lewis will say… This is real life..

These days, I’m on the road and I’m thinking.. I wouldn’t want to be that vulcanizer who probably has 5 kids at home, or the old man walking around with a plate begging for alms or even the driver of this bus I’m in who’s too old for this job but has no choice so he takes the risk just to put food on his family’s table.

I wouldn’t want to end up on the streets or on the express way, hawking pure water, gala and recharge card, running to and fro under the sun and in the rain, risking my life just to make little or no profit at the day’s end. Or like the young men popularly called agberos living under bridges, bruises and scars all over their body from countless fights they’ve engaged in, hustling to get just enough money for dry gin and weed. I wouldn’t want to end up like that.

That promise you made to your mom of building her a house, buying her all the fancy clothes and flying her abroad is now slowly looking like a farce right?
Nobody knew it would be this hard, neither do we bear the thought of being this clueless at this point.

You’re supposed to be sitting in your office, on the 40th floor of a reputable oil company now; calling shots, making calls and getting richer just the way you planned it as a kid but none of this is looking possible in the nearest future if you’re telling yourself the truth. Lo, It has become glaring that reality played a prank on us as kids and we’re just now finding out.

Barely a month into this new phase, and I’m already whining and lamenting how hard life is, especially in the current state of the country. it’s funny because my parents have been on this grind for years. I’m amazed by their strength and determination but now is my turn and I can’t let them down. They’re the real MVPs and they deserve some accolades, seriously!

Right now it’s like a contest. Nobody wants to be second best, nobody wants to be the one everybody hides from, everybody wants to impress or possibly oppress the other. Everybody wants to pose for the gram and upload on facebook for likes and comments even if it means faking it… Nobody wan carry last!

You’ve even started playing the busy card, intentionally making yourself unavailable, looking for every chance to narrate how busy you are but you and I know you have nothing going on in your life Lol.. How long can you keep up with this lie?

Even though I’ve thought of calling Yomi back like a thousand times, I haven’t, because I figured that his path may not be for me. I’ve learnt that even though he’s miles ahead of me right now, I’ll get to the finish line at my own time

Welcome to the new phase where faking it till you make it is the new craze. It’s like a race now and you feel like that WhatsApp group was created to keep track of your pace so you’re worried, you want to leave the group because in there are people who can’t wait to oppress you with their progress. Calm down, take your time, good things cannot be hurried. You’ll make it!

Published by KONG

Harrison is not a lazy Nigerian youth. He has passion for writing, loves art and nature.

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