26: An Ordinary Life

Before I started to write this piece, I picked up my pen and a foolscap sheet and the n proceeded to list out all the years between 1991 and 2017

Why? I was double-checking my age.

I have to be sure- I am going to be 26 tomorrow.

On a whim, I Google the number ‘26’ and the results are decidedly uninspiring.

The first result is from Wikipedia- “26 (twenty-six) is the natural number following 25 and preceding 27…”

I sigh. The other results are even more irrelevant

There isn’t a movie or song titled 26? I am mildly disappointed. I might be approaching a most unremarkable moment of my existence!

I have paused everything else to critically assess my life, more specifically the last one year-a perfect reflection of my life-and perhaps take a step in a different direction.

If my life were to be examined under a Liferoscope, the summary of the findings would read something like this:

“He is a snotty introvert who has spent half of his life playing video games, reading books and mostly doing nothing. This might explain why he is currently single and has only a handful of friends. He seems to have no goals, apart from always wanting his friends and family to be happy, and has very little worldly ambition. As of this moment, he is not committed to anything.”

Sad, isn’t it? I agree with you.

Admittedly I am ashamed of myself. I am ashamed that not only does the above succinctly describe this last year, it also rings loud and true for the decades past.

At the start of 2017, freshly graduating from College-forming American boy is what I do best- I had no goals and whatever dreams I might have had then, have since been erased by constant idleness.

Eagerly, I joined an online book club with the intention of reading a book every week for the entire year. As you can imagine, I fell short.

As of this moment I have read 34 books- I just did a count.

Not bad huh?

Nah, it is bad! This typifies my commitment issues considering how much I love reading.

You also think there’s still time to level up? Let us take a minute to analyze that- I read 34 books in 10 months, that’s an average of 3.4 books per month.

At that same rate, it would be a miracle if I completed at least 6 books by December 31st.

And even then, I would still be about a dozen shy of my initial goal of 52 books.

So you see, it is really bad!

This year, with brimming enthusiasm, I commenced my NYSC program in Northern Nigeria. Now I can’t wait to get out.

You wonder “Why, and to go and do what?”

Don’t ask me, it is complicated.

I scratch my head vigorously as I try to remember a noteworthy event in an otherwise pallid year.

Nothing comes to mind and I really have to stop scratching now, lest I displace the surviving stands of hair on my already bald skull.

Please go on and shake your head for me.

This year my relationship with God has been a peculiar game of hide and seek. I have been the one doing the hiding and in times of crisis, running to God for help.

God never moved.

This year I crested a particular wave of romantic, albeit toxic, feelings and somehow managed to hit rock bottom without much damage. I learnt more than I’d known in my 25 years.

The question you really should ask me is how many of such romantic feelings I’d experienced.

My reply is again complicated.

On a final note of woes, this year I got to a whole new level of being broke. This isn’t the ‘I-still-have-some-change-to-manage’ scenario, I am referring to the humbling ‘I-have-no credit-no data-zero cash’ level of being broke.

How come I am still here sef?

A silver lining in this dark script is the deep respect and gratitude that I have come to feel for my friends and family. Being far away from them has left me wanting more and more to be with them and make even happier memories.

I am at my happiest when I am with them.

As the dusk of a largely uninspiring 25 sets, I am not gunning for immediate giant strides in an attempt to retrieve a wasteful past.

But I have started to take baby steps in the right direction.

In this new year, I am going to set goals and keep a journal to that effect.

I am going to be committed to my reading and running goals. (I have run a measly 90+miles this year)

I will quit standing on the shores awaiting the parting of the waters; I will bravely step in, feet first.

As for that my favorite game of hide and seek, it is decisively ending- erepa has ended.

This year I will start work on my first book and I will travel!

My 25 is in now in shock, for I have finally dared to hope.


I believe in Love.

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