If you can buy yourself a drink, you'd be fine.

We live in an amazing time. Everyone has his definition of what a fulfilled life is and he pushes it down the throat of everyone. Your strengths and limitations are not considered. Your past failures; your fears, your distrust for a system that has failed you severally is not considered. You had rather met their parameters of success or you are declared less worthy.

This may not sound so different from what you have read or heard in the past but if you can pay for your drink and do not need the aid of a machine to breathe, then you’d be fine. All things will fall in place for you at the right time. The only thing you have to keep up is doing something. You can’t be caught sleeping. Do something. Do anything that gives hope to the next man, your neighbour. Do volunteer jobs if the other jobs do not come through properly. Everything has its season and when yours comes, through your works, you’d be glad you did not give up. I spent six years at home after secondary school. I couldn’t get a university education. When I was admitted, I’d either not get the tuition or because I was on a job, I would not get a loan to enable me go through with my dream. It was a long period of despair. Friends I grew up with made headway and even finished from the university and I grew more into myself and depression set in. There were times I would feel invisible, like I was not relevant or a certain path was not meant for me. But somehow, I picked up some habit, of reading and writing. I got trained in the art of screenwriting and poetry. I attended workshops on short story writing. The period of my waiting became the period of my training. I made sure when I was paid the little money that passed as salary, since I could not save, I bought a book. With the knowledge from the book, I was an empowered man who was vast in things far greater than the office where I served as office assistant. Few years passed and I sat for another examination. I got admitted to study at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, a school that was far at the extreme of the eastern part of Nigeria. I loved to travel but I hadn’t been to the location. I felt that I would not spend more than a week in Nsukka. I tried but it was uneasy. There was small support from a friend but every month end I was in Port Harcourt looking for something that would help keep my head going. Luckily, I made some friends and started projects on campus that got me occupied. I started a magazine and a show for YouTube. It was now clear that to be distracted from thinking too much, I could channel my energy on being helpful to my immediate society. I did. I even started a weekly poetry gig on campus and when it was time for me to graduate, I did. I was a man of multiple experiences. I couldn’t see the end from where I stood when I wrote that entrance examination but I hoped and did my work and it worked for me. I believe that you will be fine. Worry less and do all that challenges your mind and you are not far from your victory. Life comes at us quite differently. But in it all, that’s life. And only the hopeful find their rhythm even when it is uneasy. Bura-Bari Nwilo is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness. It is available on okadabooks.

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