by Ado Aminu
My mother, if she remembers this incident [from what I shared yesterday], might muse not without a certain amount of wonder, about how I have contrived, or if it is more acceptable to her to lay the blame at fate’s feet for how my life has turned out, how fate has contrived to do about exactly what my 4-year-old self wanted to do all along, “everything.”
I did study the sciences, came close to becoming a Physiotherapist, became an Agriculture major instead, went into the media post-Uni, and now I write about the things that stir my passion and I funnel my anger at the global patriarchy whose violence pokes its vile fingers into everything. For now.
There are dark days and tortured nights, when the voice of Mistress Aina and her disappointed looks at my initial reluctance to make a choice haunt my dreams and waking reflections, and on those days and nights I would second guess every choice, diminish every accomplishment, beat myself up for not sticking to a master plan not of my own making, and wonder over and over again if perhaps had I endured the misery I feared, from a lifetime of living dreams not my own, might have been more bearable than the dark murk of second-guessing and self-doubt I now live in. These are my demons, and I cast them out every other quarter, but they lurk and stalk and slither back into my head the instant I let down my guard.
But there are good days too. And on those, I am able to breathe in the fresh air that seems to have a quality all its own, like what I imagine vaporized freedom tastes like. Every breath a testament to weight lifted that I didn’t know was there. I live my aspirations, and though most of them are far from attainment, and have an element of fickleness to them, like steam rising into cool air, I take great pleasure in knowing I got here, this is what it means to live, this presence of self at every point in a lifetime, for satisfaction must not only be found in the destinations but in every step of the journey.
So, when one writes a story in Literature class for the first time, and stands to read it out to an audience of 3, professors inclusive, that is a thing of joy. When one hosts their first radio program, having been trusted enough by the producer to not botch a live broadcast, that too is a thing of pride, and on and on it goes this nourishing self-awareness, until one day we walk headlong into our unpredictable mortality having lived an all-round satisfactory life albeit dotted with life’s signature stumbles every now and then.
For now I am here, as are you, and that is where we belong.
Joy, Inc. is a teaching and media company mainstreaming the research and evidence on human flourishing and positive emotions to transform the culture and build a new generation of Africans focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many.