A Bad Week, Not a Bad Life
I have been trying to, for the past three hours, write something to you guys. I thought it would be fun to write about relationships—because we’re all fascinated by them to a certain degree, then I also thought a newsletter on multitasking would be something you’d love to read, but I am honestly feeling so frustrated at the moment to write anything inspiring or lovely or educational, especially when I don’t feel inspired at all.
As a matter of fact, I feel horrible. So if you feel horrible too, please don’t read this article where I tell you everything that has been stressing me lately. You can do without the bad vibes, trust me. Because my present frustrations are all I can think of at the moment, I’ll share them with you guys.
So let’s dive in!
The Light Situation.
Living in Nigeria can be so draining. I didn’t have light for an entire week. I came home one day, and my friend told me that she heard the transformer blew. That was the start of the most stressful week ever. I don’t have a gen yet, and the nature of my life requires 24/hr internet connection (I work in social media), so I had to run from school to the houses of friends to charge my stuff and use their light supply. I really don’t like bothering people, so I felt awkward despite knowing my friends probably didn’t mind much. It was an odd situation to be in.
Upsides: I got to hear plenty gist about the spicy things people did over the weekend ;)
Downsides: I didn’t feel comfortable, and my laptop + charger is super heavy, so carrying them everywhere was stressful.
No light meant no water, which honestlyfuckinghell - I wonder how people lived before the invention of boreholes and electricity-powered plumbing! I had to buy bags of pure water to do things around the house (whenever I was at home). It was stressful as hell. It also didn’t help that there was no cash and the network for bank apps was super terrible. All of this compounded into a living nightmare.
On Thursday morning, things were so bad. I walked downstairs to see if I could find water, then realised that it was environmental, so no stores would be open until 10am. As luck would have it, I saw a Mallam rolling a wheelbarrow with kegs of water and asked to purchase two. He told me they were 150 naira each. I said no problem. I would transfer to him. The old man shook his head. He wasn’t going to collect transfer. I felt so lost. Back upstairs, I had only 50 naira left from a stash I had been managing for two weeks, but it wasn’t going to be enough. I begged him to accept the transfer, and he shook his head - no.
So I walked down the street to see if there were any POS outlets (giving out money for ridiculous transfer charges). Nobody had cash. At this point, I could feel the tears bubbling in my chest. Please don’t judge me, I was in distress. I needed to be out early because I had things to do, and I was just stunned and overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of it all. Something that ordinarily I would have given the man 500 naira and collected 200 naira change, I didn’t have it, and I couldn't access it. I wiped my tears furiously as I walked back to tell him that I couldn’t find cash. The Mallam turned to me and asked, “where is your house?” I was confused, but I led him upstairs, past three flights of stairs, and he waited patiently as I brought out my buckets to have them filled. Once he was done, I walked him out, holding my phone and ready to transfer to him. “Don’t worry,” he said as he stood by the door, smiled and left.
You guys, when I say that that was the kindest thing anyone did for me this week, I mean it. Thinking about it now is causing my eyes to well up again. Gosh. He didn’t have means of transfer at all, yet he gave me water, for free. His livelihood. I pray I see him again and give him something because that was so kind. So so kind. God bless him.
It’s the way typing this I feel an overwhelming rush of gratitude. Human beings can be so amazing in our ability to love and care for each other, even strangers. It stuns me every time. Later that day, I managed to get 5000 naira for 2k charges. It sounds dystopic, but this is why voting for the right person is so important! Things need to change!
Almost got an aneurysm from the number of times I tried to open Access Bank’s app this week. On one occasion, I waited for 45 minutes before I could transfer 200 naira to buy a bag of pure water. The embarrassment! Not to mention how unreliable USSD codes were as well. NOTHING was working. Discovered Pocket App on Wednesday because someone mentioned it on Twitter, and honestly, it has made my life easier. At least I can now send money and generate a receipt. God bless Odun Eweniyi.
Almost everyone I know working a 9-5 is currently going through it. Met a friend who graduated last year today and asked her what the most significant difference from her time at school was, and she sighed and said, “at school, you can read for exams and think, okay, after this one, I will rest. But out here, there’s no break. You can be having the worst day, but you still have to show up.” I understood perfectly.
There is so much uncertainty in international and local affairs, but slack channels are booming with ideas and their executions, and there’s nothing much you can do about it. Really miss being a child and having to worry only about whether I did my homework well enough to get a shout-out in class. This adulting thing is not giving!
Not to mention capitalism is really making me a boring member of society. I should be having the time of my life, kissing boys and whatnot. Instead, I’m saying, “Can you hear me?” on Google meet on a Thursday morning and designing content for campaigns on weekends. I dread having to live like this in my thirties, but I also know that I have to work more to afford leisurely Mondays (unless my dad pulls up with a foreign bank account that has 24 billion dollars to my name).
Can someone please tell me where all the time is flying to? Are the days really growing shorter, as they claim? I blink, and it is 2:00 pm. I yawn, and it’s midnight. What’s going on? I came across this concept - Time Famine - some days ago, and it felt really relatable. I have all these things I want to do in a day, but there’s never enough time to do them. I wake up, go to school, work, come home, gist with my friends and sleep. And repeat. It’s a cycle that feeds itself, and now I am starting to understand why people can do the same job for years and wake up in their sixties, unsure of how all that time went. When Sauti Sol said that time flies like a thief in the night, they meant that shit.
Anyways, that’s all I can think of at the moment. Yesterday I packed my things and returned to my mother’s house because I felt so tired. My room was just the way I had left it, except for a big green plant in the middle. I don’t know why my mother had kept it there. In the midst of all the disorganization and the dust that had settled on the surfaces, the plant was green and flouncing, vivid, like hope. A part of me softened up as I stood and watched it—unsure of what to do with its bigness and greenness.
In a way, that’s how I feel about life at the moment. There’s chaos everywhere around me, but I feel hopeful that things will get better, because there’s a tomorrow! It just doesn’t make today any less annoying. Lol.
So I’ll be home for three weeks, and I am really praying I am able to harness this time to live as abundantly as I possibly can, with as minimal stress as possible. I will watch my dramas, create content (I have missed being active on Instagram) and try to get sleep. I will work, write, read and eat. I will make the best of the time I have.
That’s it for this week’s newsletter. Thanks for listening to me rant, guys. If there’s anything bothering you, feel free to use this post as a soundboard. Rant in the comment section, if you feel like. Engage with other people’s comments too, if you have something comforting to say. Writing this made me feel a lot better, and maybe it could help you too!
Tomorrow is Election day. Go out and vote, please. I wanted to add “Vote Wisely” but I don’t trust some people’s wisdom, so please vote for the candidate that does not belong to the party with the broom or umbrella. You know the one I am referring to. His first name is also that of one of Jesus’s popular jingo disciples, and his last name means “heart” in igbo. That’s the wisest choice right now.
Thank you. Always, always rooting for you.
Media I Consumed this week:
Reading: Still on a Broken People’s Playlist by Chimeka Garricks. I am finding it a tad bit -notmystyle- but the prose is simple, and the stories are varying degrees of soulful, so I will see it to the end.
Watching: Because this is My First Life. I love this drama so much. I will talk about it on a later date. I don’t have the words at the moment, but I feel like it’s so apt for where I currently am in life. It’s so underrated.
Listening: Rema on my mind! I love Holiday so much! The music video was also so cute. I am also loving Angel Baby by Troye Sivan, and Let me Down Slowly by Alec Benjamin. In my sad city girl era. Will update the 20 Something playlist with these tunes.
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