Milestones & Survival
I would be lying if I said I grew up believing that adulthood was going to be a walk in the park.
I dreaded it right from the days I ran in the streets of my little ghetto community in Lagos in my flower panties and white back-to-school singlets. I saw a lot of adults mess up and they were written off as failures, one-hit-wonders and wrecks. Frantic family members and nosy neighbours would sternly advise me to make good life choices at all times as there’s no announcement as to when a bad choice would ruin one’s life. Sometimes, they drove home their point with unbelievable stories of how someone they grew up with took the wrong turn and never recovered. Sometimes, the stories ended in death and the fiery flames of hell.
Who wouldn’t dread that?
So I join the cool kids to say “adulthood is a scam” because it’s how I feel like a child again. It’s how I compensate myself for dreading adulthood and finding it almost exactly as it was painted to me. It’s also a reward for not looking forward to it.
It still feels weird for me to say I’m an adult and it’s probably so because I don’t feel like it on my inside.
I don’t feel very different from the little girl who sang Que sera sera with her eyes closed, assured that life was going to be all good because all I wanted to be was a good person. I don’t feel different from the teenage girl who did all she could, against all odds to protect her dreams, her ideas and her vision. I certainly do not feel different from the failing young adult who thought the world was just wrong.
But feelings aren’t all there is to life. So, here I am making decisions that could make or ruin me. I decided to stop my full-time role at the agency I had worked at for 2 years and stepped out to freelancing in Nigeria, in a pandemic year! People think it’s a bold move. When I tell the story, I play an inspirational soundtrack in my head, let the tune carry my words to my listeners and I enjoy the thrill in some of their eyes as I conclude with the success I was able to enjoy.
After freelancing for over a year and working on establishing my personal brand because that’s a thing you need to do in this modern world, I decided to go back into full-time employment. And in a sector I’m unfamiliar with and a company I’d never dreamt of working at (in case you were thinking it’s a dream job, it isn’t). I’m in a new environment, in an unusual space, feeling all the highs and lows and easing into life. At 27.
The compensation is that I think I know what I want in life and this path I’m on would help me get there, someway somehow. I shouldn’t also deny the joy I feel to be a part of a team where people celebrate and honour my success; where they listen to me and where they see me as relevant even though I’m new. It isn’t a dream job but it’s a good work environment that some folks wouldn’t mind in their present work realities.
So, I am still who I was but I’m also who I’m becoming. I write, think of creative ways to connect brands to their audience, care about how to use creativity to drive sales and I care about conversations that fuel creative expressions and writing.