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I can picture you in the deafening silence of your empty one room apartment, sitting still on that now shaky single chair of yours that leans against the peeling wall by the window side and starring with wist at sharply dressed passer-by’s marching eagerly at dawn to somewhere the spark in their eyes promises to be hopeful. You are asking yourself how you can ever catch up when you seem to be tethered with a rock in the bottom of the ocean. I hope you know it is not a crime to find yourself in the last position when the fans clap only for the first to cross the finish line and clinch the coveted prize; as long as you don’t forget yourself there on the field of play and try to just finish according to your own pace. I hope you know that’s all that really counts. I hope you understand that the strive to always be first is fueled by a competitive drive laced in a sense of insecurity. I know the words threatening to leap off from your throat to match your furrowing brows is, “How could that even be so?” Get this- excellence on things your imprint is found on is non negotiable. But what would you be caught doing if there were no audience to please? I hope with your stripped bare answer, you can see it is not a jail sentence to not always be first if the goal is just to feel superior to others. I know you wonder how some got so lucky to be living life the fullest shade of neon, when all of yours, like the blackened air hanging over your room is the color of black. I hope you know that seeds germinate in the dark, the medicines that cure your pain to health are best potent in the dark and most of our mammalian relatives are nocturnal; see? They are very active and productive in the dark. I hope you see the color is not the hindrance but what you do both because and in spite of. I hope you know it doesn’t mean you are lost even though you seem to be the one left behind in a fast moving world, so long as you put in your sweat equity, it is okay. For nothing remains permanent. Every situation is a puppet in the hands of change. I know this for certain because life is never a straight path and is well renowned to resist our conformist mathematical calculations of it. I know that tidbit can itself be a depressing fact. However, I hope you realize that it is okay to occasionally feel depressed once you don’t dwell forever in it and let it become your life’s focus. I hope you know that, too, is okay. For what fun we will be stealing from life should it’s attendant challenges be plucked away from it’s skin. What will be left, will be life smoothened to complete perfection. I hope you know that perfection can become the major ingredient for a boring life, one caught in the wheel of monotony. I know it is possible for you to be in doubt over this but I hope you know that records have shown that even lottery winners soon realize to their dismay how impossible it is to continually exist in that initial state of euphoria and bliss. I hope you know the aim is not to make less of someone else, to spread a smile on your face. But to give you a glimpse of a reverse side rarely seen blaring on newspaper headlines as they do when it is a win. I know it is possible that you take a look at your left hand and the fourth finger is bare of a dazzling diamond band. You raise that hand and let it rest above your brow, you intend to disguise that you are shielding your face from the sun; but by now you must know I know you better to tell the disguise is really to shield the worry lines etching on your forehead. How could you play blind to the fact that you are most importantly enough and whole as you are much less appreciate there’s no scarcity of a better half nor is their an expiry date to meet someone that makes your heart sing. In case those annoying witches in your village have gathered to sit pretty in your head and make you debate within of the existence of an expiry date for coupling up, I’d like to know who certifies it? One thing I know for certain is that NAFDAC doesn’t. Finally, I hope you know that the scars of life aren’t there to suppress you but there so you can appreciate, thrive and enjoy the beauty that is life.

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This article was first published on 7th November 2018

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