Your 20s is perhaps the most difficult phase of your life. You are saddled with many responsibilities, confused about what path to take, struck by anxiety, fear, and uncertainties. But you have to keep it moving – pretending that life’s troubles are not crippling your legs.
Your mates are doing just great and you are probably wondering if you will ever amount to anything in this life. It’s difficult to get this thought out of your head because every time, you are reminded of how people younger than you and people within your age bracket are already diving into their first million and first billion and you wish… you just wish.
You have a thousand and one talents and it seems everyone who is in the same space as you are has got either fame, money, influence, or all three. But somehow, you have managed to exist outside of all these. You have a dream to change the world and be the Gandhi, the Mandela, and the Martin Luther King of your generation – all at the same time. But it seems the universe hates you and does not want to be changed by you. It’s like the sad end of a love story that never began.
You think people don’t understand what you’re going through, but that’s not true. Other people have, at various points in life, been in their 20s and they have turned out great! And so young one, you have no reason to be anxious about this time of your life. But you can’t help it most times. How do you explain to people that this madness that comes with being in your 20s comes with some peculiarity? That each 20-ish person has a different kind of crazy? How do you explain it?
You are beginning to find those things you used to condemn appealing. Being faced with the same situation, you can see yourself for who you truly are. You desperately need to justify your mistakes in a world that demands your sainthood even if it costs you your life. How do you tell those you judged how sorry you are and how you should have known better than to judge a pain you had not felt?
You want to punch your friend in the nose – the one who tells you “you are not in competition with anybody, this life na jeje. At your appointed time, you will blow…” You ask yourself why this truth, which is supposed to be comforting, does nothing but wake up a plethora of frightening questions. How do you tell him you are scared you have no appointed time? What if the universe forgot about you and now someone else has your appointed time? How do you tell the 10-year-old you that the ‘big big’ cars you promised to own at 30 are not forthcoming? You remember the beautiful mansions and beautiful families (in magazines and calendars) you told your friends would be yours when “I grow up” and you can’t help but laugh mirthfully. How do you tell yourself that really, “life na jeje” and that you are not in competition with anybody?
You are in a place of finding yourself. Now you question everything you grew up believing: Religion – is there a God? Does true love exist? Why do good people suffer? Why do your loved ones die early? The questions keep piling up. The funny thing is that everyone thinks you got your ‘shit’ together. How do you tell them you still ask Google questions like, ‘how to forget about my ex’?
Motivational speakers are seriously messing with you. Too many principles about life and how to survive your stay on earth spring up daily. Should you save or rather invest? How do these people start with just 500 Naira and are now freaking millionaires? Should you be loyal or should you subscribe to the view that you owe no one anything and vice versa? What about emotional availability? How do you guard your heart and still trust Cupid’s arrows not to cause some serious damage?
You are being urged to get married. “Your clock is ticking,” they say. Every day, you are saddled with the tales of the dangers of late pregnancies and whatnot. Once you clock 30 and unmarried, it must be your village people. You are being forced into desperation. “Why not go see that prophet or visit that prayer house?” How do you tell them that there’s more? There should be more?! How do you tell them their constant bickering about the issue breaks you?
You would like to continue with the list, go on and on because there are a thousand and one pressures. But you remember you have to live this life, run this race and make lemonades out of the lemons thrown at you when you can. However, you should never forget that when necessary, you need to duck behind a chair to avoid some lemons breaking your head.