It is shortly after Highschool that you have left home to go live in the wild city of dreams. Nairobi. You term that as freedom. I mean, not having to live everyday under the same roof with your parents and younger siblings at 18 years old, and not having “anything” to do really, no obligation to read or study for whatsoever reason, no homework or examinations to worry about. Nothing. All you feel you need to do is live, whatever that means.
That period after Highschool while waiting for your results is every emotion. You have the sense of being an adult. You remember you wanted to grow so fast and now here you are confused at what to grasp next. This time you feel you have all the time in the world and there is an obligation to show up for everything that is happening around you. You can never say you have no time.
This is the time you want to experience almost everything that you weren’t allowed to because it came with an adult tag. We get our Identification card at 18 years old in Kenya. That card is magical. It opens doors and I have seen some youths lying their age or faking their birth certificates just to get it earlier for God knows what. What is the rush kids? There are youth who become so obnoxious and can’t respect their parents and are literally rude to them because they possess an ID card. It’s like a pass to do absolutely anything you want as if you are the only person on earth.
Highschool results are out and you almost wish they weren’t. Because you are doing absolutely nothing or rather you have no drive to do anything and no one is poking you with judging questions of, what do you do? What are your plans? Your ready legit answer is you are waiting for your results to decide what to embark on.
That is such a safe cocoon to be in. But how long?
I mean there are focused people who already know what they will do. Some even start working on their passion. Some feel they will fail and already have stuck up ideas on how to survive. Some feel they will pass and they know there is no University for them due to a few problems here and there. Some don’t want to study further. And so on.
So when the results come out, you know you have to let your choice be known. The world is watching you and waiting for you to act on your choice. The pressure begins to squeeze you left right and center. Lucky are the ones who score great grades and directly get scholarships. They just need to show up. Some of us become entirely confused. We have goals yes but we can’t seem to move a finger.
This is the period most of us get lost. It is a dangerous period. You might find yourself constantly questioning your existence and purpose. You find yourself lonely. Then you start hanging out with anyone thinking any company is good company. This is where some of us indulge in careless sex, drugs, alcohol and want to have money to live the life we think we deserve. Some of us will do anything to get that money. We will talk of how broke we are, it’s as if we have worked all our life. As if we have a salary. We are adults. We have that pass. We are 18.
You have a lots of people tell you you are good at this certain thing, another says no this isn’t for you, yet another says you have to do that. Society is too loud you can’t even hear your own voice. If you are that one who the parents won’t forcefully take to that certain collage or university, then you stay back and wallow in uncertainty and fear.
What you know deeply is time doesn’t stop. But you don’t want to think about it because you become anxious. Anxiety trembles you.
You watch your ex-classmates going to second year and you haven’t even enrolled anywhere. You are still stuck in deciding what is best. You watch as some of your friends welcome their offsprings. You swallow hard. Not that that is what you want but because everything that is happening around you is a painful reminder that life is going on and you feel yours isn’t.
You are exhausted by people still asking what you want to do. You have done all the short courses that you could still waiting for your major thing. Those short courses are skillful but they ain’t shit. You know this. They are not a degree. Or a Masters. Because everyone wants you to have one. You feel since you are not doing something “important” with your life you shouldn’t be dining with whoever is hosting you. You aren’t contributing to anything in the household you are and that is enough guilt. Not to think that some people will start taking advantage of you and you have no say.
You have nights when you feel worthless. Prayers aren’t working you feel. You question what is wrong with you. You have a loving and supportive family but you still feel like a failure. You don’t even ask for pocket money. What for? You are an adult and you don’t want to rely on anyone yet you feel crippled to do anything about it.
You want to be a lawyer and you go for it. You are enrolled in a great University but you don’t show up on admission day because you talked with law-drop-out student and their reasons for that made so much sense. At a certain point you want to be a cabin crew and all you need to do is pay up and start a 9 month course and afterwards start earning good but you do the math and it is too much fees that can take you through nursing school.
Deep down you realize you have always wanted to be a nurse. Strings are pulled and you have an interview at this well known great nursing school. The commission loved your interview even though you cried at the point when they ask you, why nursing? You tell them your calling is to help the sick like you wished you could have helped your sick dying mum. You are such a messed up timid child inside and they see it. They see the honesty. You are now convinced that a corporate job isn’t for you. You are that person who will cry at the boardroom. That sucks!
It’s a new dawn and you receive news of when to start the nursing course. You are happy and excited. Again, for some reasons here and there you never show up.
Will you ever show up?
…Continuation on next post