This Stage of Our Lives
Stay with me, and I hope that at the end of this piece you’d understand that there is no one method to figuring out the things in existence. I have been writing this piece for over a year and I have changed the title so many times. I did not pen my thoughts nor did I open a new document page on Microsoft word. However, I carried the thoughts and the ink in my heart. I felt there will be a day when my mind will be able to put everything into words.
The first title I gave this article was “theory of alternative routes” but I felt it was too academic. To be honest, it was the subtitle of an abandoned essay whose purpose was to serve as a review of Kunle Afolayan’s Mokalik. Despite the claims that Mokalik is boring and does not bear the intrigues known with Afolayan’s movies, I think when people descend from their elitist horses, they may see Mokalik as a representation of the daily lives of the people who we are to thank for the repairs of our cars. That is a movie that shows that there are many forms of intelligence and you have to identify yours. But the reality of the play is the reality of one of my closest friend, who after many years in the university studying mechanical engineering had to go to ọgba mecho (Mechanics’ yard) to learn the practical aspect engineering. I have been to his workshop many times and each time I see him holding tools, I wonder where the childhood dreams went because we did talk about a lot of dreams but we did not mention him going under cars. Fulfilled dreams or not, there is dignity in labor no matter what you see out there. Yes!
“Paint Your World” was the other title I coined months after the first title. This one came after I spent a day at my friend’s painting job. Not in the Cosa Nostra’s notion of painting, he is an actual painter. The dedication he puts into his job is astonishing. I followed him to work hoping to assist him with his work but I couldn’t. But when he talks about paints and what best suits a house, I am always left with reminiscing over how a guy who wanted to be an accountant is now so good at painting houses. However, I have come to realize that it does not matter what you set out to be, being and becoming are not simplistic. Nonetheless, you hold the brush to give your life the kind of color you want.
Recently, I concluded that when I finally decide to write this it would ‘write your story’ because whether we publish or we do not, we are all writers with many unpublished chapters. It is funny to me that I am claiming everyone is a writer because when I introduced myself to Biyi Bandele four months and he asked if I was writer, I timidly said no. That is the impostor syndrome I have battled with almost half of my life. Thankfully, I was able to remedy that reaching out to him on LinkedIn. But it is puzzling that a boy who used to be cock-sure of himself carries a wounded confidence. I have found ways to use words to speak emotions when I lack the confidence to speak my mind; just as I have found other means to make a living in the face of financial struggle. Despite this, what I do not do and would not do is allow anyone to be the writer of my own story. I create worlds of possibilities for myself through my actions and that is why I don’t blame anyone for whatever I face in life.
This morning, the title I settled for came while talking about the fortunes and the privation of fortunes of friends and acquittances. No matter what the dreams were, it is imperative that we recognize that despite the differences in approach, we are at a stage in our lives where we do not have the luxury to mourn unfulfilled dreams. This is the moment to hold pragmatism tightly. We had the liberty to dream when we were younger but now is the time to live. More important that we also that in this stage of our lives, we should be conscious that we are in phases of the stage. Nonetheless, what you should not do is make live miserable for yourself because others are at more pleasant phases of their lives. And like unused titles, we are taking different routes to see this existence out and you must be able to either paint your world the way you want it or write your story in your own words and actions. Once you put in the efforts to your satisfaction, it does not matter what people who are not in your shoes say, it is all about you. Take your route, paint your world and write an enjoyable story for yourself.