Not Many Things Count Now

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Everything starts with a question

Growth comes with many things — change, awareness, and most importantly, questions. On the one hand, you’re asking the questions: where do we go from here? what comes after school? when do you start doing real numbers? On the other hand, you’re getting asked questions too. What’s your next step? Are you considering law school? And of course, your mother wants to know your girlfriend. 

everything grows. it's destined to change

This wasn’t the case six years ago. I simply was getting bathed in water by friends and random boys who heard it’s a nigga’s birthday. Time flies, but most importantly, time takes. It redefines. What mattered six years ago no longer counts. Priorities have changed. Responsibilities have assumed a new role. 

I’m leaving this school

this werey school

I mean, if I pass my final year exams and the long essay, I’m out of here. It’s been a long seven-year journey characterized by different emotions. Excitement, frustration, glee, indifference, and many others that words can’t aptly describe. Nevertheless, my experience here has been rock solid. Particularly because I feel sizably fulfilled by my journey here. Was looking through my documents a couple of weeks ago and saw the number of things that I’ve done. It astounds me. Not for the novelty of those things, but the sheer fact that I did all that. 

But hey, I’m leaving this goddamn school. Why on earth would I even want to stay a day longer? 

Proof is in the Progress

Life’s wired to center those who record progress. It’s less about fairness and more about results. You don’t want to be the guy they tell to remain patient. That things will come around. Of course, things might come around. The question is when. Nobody likes to be the guy that waits. You might. I don’t. I like to take a radical approach to life. But that’s not the same advice I offer to everyone. 

It’s crucial to understand when the time’s right to pivot. To move. To say your goodbyes to a phase and embrace something new. Something more rewarding. The ability to discern is perhaps what sets certain people apart from others. All forms of success are often centered around knowing when to explore (a new thing) and exploit (a realm you’ve found foothold). 

But these pieces of seeming advice are nothing for real. Who tf must I think I am to have that understanding? When, in reality, success might just be a case of being at the right place at the right time. Nevertheless, while there isn’t a manual to how the thing works, there are fundamentals — and these fundamentals hold true. You have to work. We have to work.

If you want top dollar, you have to do top dollar job

This is by far one of the favourite things I now tell myself and people. There’s no circumventing the work you have to do to get the things you want. The earlier we come to terms with this fact the quicker we can get to work. My fav quote here is from Wags. “I don’t love that I wake up to work every day, but I’ve got a nasty addiction called money”. Doing the work is a process that’s difficult to sidestep. And we only get to mastery through practice. 

This is why there’s an advantage to starting early. You make your mistakes quickly and move up the ladder. But haha, this is sweeter to say than the reality. Working can be stressful. A lot. I suppose that’s why we need to take breaks and find different ways to energize. 

On breaks, I make regular visits to Awolowo avenue — among many others. Something about that place thrills me, especially at night. Cafe 24 is quite a favourite place. The chills, the music, the soup. But more than that, Plat’num and its surrounding areas are constantly filled with interesting things. The girls hustling for their night pay. The scenes. The curses. The raucous. “Fine boy, you go do?” No dear, I’m not. But hey, thanks. On one of such nights when I used to take bikes to the Cafe, I had an interesting encounter with the bike man. 

He starts by saying “brother, olohun oo ni je ki a ri ija oloso o” (forgive the absence of intonation, but you get the gist). It’s indeed funny to me when I hear things like this. If you’ve witnessed the display of an angry sex worker, you’d understand. It’s definitely not a pleasant scene. So, I understand when the bike man says that prayer. We laugh about it and that lands us into another thing—yahoo boys. Here, his comment is squarely on the pleasures these boys get but he’s unable to afford — even if he works every day of the month. He says, once again, how would it feel if I could also lodge one of these girls and have the fun time of my life. You both laugh one more time and things continue that way till you get to your destination. 

He (the bike man) says he’d be having the time of his life if he could afford to pay sex workers as he pleases. What I understand from this is that our conception of life is different based on our realities. What he considers the time of his life is not quite on my radar in that regard. I am not even saying I don’t love women. I, in actual fact, do. But proximity redefines needs. The same way growth widens perspectives. 

That’s why real care starts when you begin to touch money

We, humans, see patterns (negative) too many times for them to be repeated. But do these patterns repeat themselves? Very well and most times. As you can imagine, it’s often not that people don’t know the right things to do. They just always assume they are smarter than the last person. Smarter — until the same thing happens to you. 

One of the indices that come to the fore is money. Mistakes are more imminent and stupid decisions lurk around the corner when you start making (meaningful) money, especially as a man. That’s, in fact, when you require proper guidance, sense, and most importantly, patience. 

Anyway, no one is coming to save you

No one is coming to save you. But this is one of the many things wey dem no de tell person. Life is tough. It’s a capitalist world. People won’t tell you anything. The harsh reality I constantly have to remind myself of is that we’re our own saviours. Of course, people will contribute to your journey in one way or the other. But the crucial part of it, the part that positions you for those contributions, the part that allows you to make sense of the help people offer you, the part that goes to the root of it all — rests with self.

But I’m optimistic. I always am. You need a healthy amount of delusion to navigate this life. It’s in the utter belief that things will work out (irrespective of the circumstances) that they eventually do. Everything good might not come. But just what if they do?

23

Jordan year. Might as well do Jordan things haha

Outro

Life is all about the evolution

I give up, I give in, I move back a little

I live up, I look up, now I’m back for more

You can dream but don’t neglect the execution

I give up, I give in, I move back a little

I live up, I look up, now I’m back for more

Time is short that’s what somebody told me

I give up, I give in, I move back a little

I live up, I look up, now I’m back for more

Too short to keep following your homies

I give up, I give in, I move back a little

I live up, I look up, now I’m back for more

— J Cole


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