Twenty-two years old and fresh out of campus, I moved to the big city in search of greener pastures. The grass is presumed to be greener on this side of the country where life moves fast. I never understand the logic but since life is no longer painted in black and white I decided to follow the masses. Fast forward to two years later. The point where I realize that we all have different paths and consequently different stories. Life is becoming harder as each day passes by. They say embrace change and embrace it I did and it led me to the story of my life.
Twenty-four years old and life is rapidly changing. A few years ago while I was joining campus, I was a hero. My whole village looked up to me and at me in admiration. They advised kids to be focused like me. Good grades landed me on campus pursuing a reputable degree that was going to land me a lucrative job after graduation. Or so I hoped. but that never happened. Otherwise, the story of my life would have had a better introduction.
At twenty-six years and there’s no light at the nearing end of this youthful tunnel. At the moment, the only feeling I can read from everyone around me is contempt. Even my parents look at me wondering where I went wrong. They genuinely support me but it seems out of responsibility and societal expectations. I was the shooting star in the family, their hope for a better life. I understand that they sacrificed everything to get me through school. But life isn’t working out. I promise I have done my best.
The pressure out here is too much. Society expects too much from me. Most of which I can never deliver because I’m barely surviving. But I tend to be the only one suffering. My colleagues tend to be better than me in every way. My classmates from primary school, high school, and campus tend to have everything figured out. They are living the life I dreamt of having. Where did I go wrong?
I’m currently a delivery guy. I ride my second-hand bicycle all over town delivering food, drinks, and accessories. I deliver food I can never afford. My salary is peanuts but that’s all I got despite having a bachelor’s degree up my sleeves. The other day I came across my classmate as I was maneuvering through traffic. He was driving an Audi A4. I once dreamt of driving such. But that’s all it will always be, a dream. Beside him in the co-drivers seat was a beautiful lady. The ‘fine ghels’ beyond my class. I’ve seen them on Instagram when I’m lucky to connect to random public Wi-Fi. In the back was a toddler neatly and firmly tucked in a baby car seat sucking on to a pacifier.
Thank God traffic opened up and we both had to take different roads. I did not want to hold that uncomfortable conversation. The kind of conversation that fills your stomach with tension as they ask all kinds of weird questions. “What happened to you man?” “You used to be among the best in our class” “don’t worry and keep pushing you will soon catch your break.” That kind of conversation. The kind of conversations that strips you of your self-esteem.
I don’t want to be reminded of my failure. I’m aware of it damn it! Society can be cruel at times. It has divided us into various groups. One group comprising of successful people who have already caught their break. They have families and are already driving. They are living the life education promised us if we conformed to the norm of performing exemplary in school. Their parents and villagers are proud of them. And then there is my kind of group. Shining stars have gone dull. We have tried everything but it’s just not working out. The majority of us have been pushed to drugs seeking to nurse our disappointments and frustrations.
Our circle of friends is rapidly shrinking by the day. They can’t stand our broke asses. People are hanging out with people of their caliber. But even people of my caliber are ashamed or probably battling denial. We are still clinging to our past glories. The kind of fun, hype, and social groups we used to hang out with in the past. groups in which we are slowly being pushed to seclusion.
We can no longer hang out in the club together. They drink to enjoy but we drink to drown our sorrows and disappointments. Instead of enjoying a drink, we are subject to torture. we no longer have similar conversations. They are discussing the drop in price of the new Samsung S21 Ultra Gold The evolution of the gaming Razor Blade Pro 17 and the new Audi A8 sleek model. Then out of nowhere, they offer to go to the nearest fancy restaurant for a bite. They order a single meal that costs $350 per plate. My entire monthly budget is on one plate of weird-looking unworthy delicacies. You act indifferent because that’s not your league. What would happen if they bailed on you?
Internet relay channels the likes of WhatsApp and telegram are not making it easy for us either. Most of us are being compelled to exit WhatsApp groups because we no longer share the vibe. Our once close friends in these WhatsApp groups are talking about taking vacations whose budgets we cannot comprehend. They are arguing about the prices and effectiveness of the new CBC school curriculum. I do not understand how they are planning to tour the African coast next summer. I have only been to a section of our east African coast once. The story of my life!!
Our family groups are no better. They address us with contempt because we are not like our cousins who have progressed in life. Pressure in life is being exerted from every corner of our lives. At 28 the boy and girl child has different types of pressure. The boy child is under pressure to have a wife or at least a fiancée. But where do I find a girl who will tolerate the despair and fatigue that I’m currently facing? I barely have my life together, how do I accommodate another person?
With the current city generation of ladies that expect date nights. For starters, I cannot afford date night meals. Secondly, I get home tired and can’t afford to go for date nights. I know the location of all ideal date night restaurants since I have been collecting meals and delivering to various working spaces in the central business district. But I cannot afford it. Third and lastly, I always get home sweaty and with a stiff hamstring from riding the bicycle all day. what are the odds of finding a lady who will massage my hamstrings and take that as our love language? This is happening to us in the city.
The contempt in the village continues. There’s an expectation to bring at least one grandchild to the village for holiday by my late twenties. I cannot manage that so I’m not given any break. It’s even worse for the girl child. At least they can cut the boy child some slack. A girl child in her late twenties is expected to be married or engaged. Otherwise, they are victims of bad-mouthing. Called all sorts of names and branded. But they do not understand that life is hard out here.
You have tried your best. Done your best but it just doesn’t work out. But they never acknowledge or appreciate the effort you put in every day. In these social circles, they neglect you like one ‘tirry’ during foreplay. Life has mistreated you and you are almost ready to give up. You are close to the tripwire and ready to kiss anybody’s feet provided it pays the bills. Yet we are wondering why the cases of depression and suicide continue to increase. One key cause of mental health is the intense pressure society is exerting on us. Once in a while, you will hear an innocent comment “people born between 1990 and 2000 should be having their second borns by now.” the comment is said innocently but it makes us question our mere existence. But we keep fighting regardless.
So I picked up the delivery job, delivering food I can never afford. You are subject to insult if the order is late by a few minutes or arrives out of order. You are given negative reviews for absurd reasons. That negatively impacts your commission and income but they don’t care.
The story of your life is similar to the story of my life. I understand that you are also going through a hard time. But don’t worry and don’t quit. I am optimistic that one day we will catch our break. Don’t pay attention to the contemptuous glares. Don’t mind what they say. We lose today but we will wake to a brighter day tomorrow to try our luck. Hang in there everything will work out eventually.
I hope you learn to be kind to everyone from the story of my life. Even the delivery guy is a human being who deserves decent treatment. If you are in a position to help somebody, please help and move on. I hope you enjoyed the read. If you did check out our other article you have come from too far to give up. Also, leave your thoughts about this article in the comment section below. Until next time, Adios.