Great! It’s morning again. Another day begins, just like the previous one. I look at the “Each day brings you closer to your goals” sticker near my bed but it just doesn’t ring true right now. I have to get up and like a zombie, go through a slightly edited version of yesterday. When did life become so hard?
I follow the rules, study, listen to my parents, try to be nice to people, pray, but I am not getting anywhere with this. I’m in a time loop where the only thing not affected is my age. Are things really going to get better? Because all they’ve done so far is get worse fast in most aspects and get better slowly in some. Each day that passes brings along with it a sign that dims my once bright expectations for life. And through all that, I’m just supposed to keep pushing forward without missing a beat?
A life constantly stifled by a career that gets less noble and lucrative every day in a country that is sinking under its own weight. Yet expectations from me and the people that I love are higher than ever, constantly fed by the thing we see on the media and the stories that we hear about how sweet life can be. I’m tired. It sure doesn’t help that I have to fly to get to a place that other people, privileged people, can just walk to.
My mind is weak from stretching reality to meet expectations and shortening expectations to meet reality. My bones hurt from the effort of wading through waters whose currents antagonize me. I can’t stand up because I am weakened by the fear of the bleakness ahead. The fear that trying is going to change nothing. That the path I choose may not be the best one. That maybe if I choose different, I would be living a better life. The constant taunt of young people in politics, entertainment, business and so on ring in my ears. The pictures of their lives flash behind my eyelids.
All I want is a good life that impacts other people. Sure, I’ll be a doctor soon. And then, what? Maybe I should just quit while I’m only slightly behind. I could write blogs or go fully into graphics design. I could be a model, or a fashion designer, or start a farm. Make the predictions come true.
So I turn away from the sticker and pick up my phone. I should find out the protocol for dropping out of school or transferring to a department where I’ll have enough time for my business. My classmates are clowns; they’ll make jokes till tomorrow if I ask on the class page. Maybe I should check the school website. Oh, WhatsApp messages. My group members have been in school for an hour? Parkinson’s disease? Might actually be cool to see that, but I have something to do first. Or maybe I could just give today a chance. Another chance for the career that I love but does not seem to love me back.
So I’ll get up, dress up and step out. Step out with nothing but the memories of yesterday and the expectations for today, carrying with me the uncertainties of tomorrow. And if this “zombie” gives you a smile, you better believe it takes a lot.
BY ADEYANJU MARIAM