Dusk: Yinka

Welcome to the final days of 2013 and I hope you all have had loads of fun throughout the year. Shout out to @HL_Blue for hosting this review and thank you to the readers in advance.

All protocols are duly observed…

In 2013, I learnt how to make having fun and progressing in life correlate to a very cool result. This year, so many thoughts I had were changed and they improved my way of living personally. I didn’t spend money like I had a bottomless pit somewhere nobody knows about. I also performed a bit more and where it mattered in school (I play the flute), I became more responsible and I can happily say that I balanced my flair for extra-curricular activities with steady improvement in my academic results.

This Fall semester I joined the “FA” – the student body that organizes the soccer league in our school, and it has been a flattening experience. I thought all we would do would be basic statistics, scores, and just compile the table. Unfortunately, I was so drained by the amount of internal politics involved in organizing the league.

As I got appointed by our head of sports, I found out that we had a constitution that’s outdated and thus reduces our powers to being able to do nothing but dish out petty sanctions to teams that fell foul of the law, thus the punishments didn’t affect much. We had a lot issues on the pitch that really could’ve been prevented, and while some of them were resolved, it left me stressed personally and I really couldn’t wait to leave school at the end of the semester. There were problems caused by all parties involved, from the FA itself to the team officials, but I believe I’m better for the conflicts I was involved in because I learnt about which fights to cock my guns to and which ones to keep my sword in its sheath. Before all this I was just going all out on any arguments or problems I had with people and it hardly led me anywhere, so I’m thankful for being a member of the FA and I really hope we won’t have many issues next year.

My performances this year were quite mixed. In May, I played in an award show attended by teachers and the “who’s who” of the school to positive reviews. I enjoy myself when I’m on stage doing my thing, but the happiness when someone you’ve never seen in your time in school stopping you when you’re about to enter an office and saying “…I enjoyed your performance at the awards show the other day” is nothing short of magical. I had another performance on Independence day whereby everything that could go wrong went wrong. I couldn’t memorize all my notes and I forgot some on stage, and the DJ was experimenting with the beat he was meant to play on the background. My third performance was way, way more enjoyable all round, because I performed with a band. The rehearsals were thorough and fun, and even if I didn’t play a lot of songs that day, I had loads of fun and the sleepless nights before the D-day were worth it.

But 2013 wouldn’t be a fun year without the people I spent it with. At the beginning of the year, I got a roommate who understood me inside out and complemented me in each and every way. My room felt more welcoming to me whenever I was opening the door because I knew something stupid was going to be discussed, and it was much more relaxing after coming from some boring class. I had another close friend who was quite intellectual and we never stopped arguing about anything; he always seemed to have a grand plan for everything in life and I always enjoyed bursting his bubble. Even if it was just for one semester, we had a great time together and I’ll never forget the memories we spent together.

2013 hardly had any lows, but one probably would pass over to the next year. I have a Finance teacher who doesn’t know how to teach. I’d tell him to explain more and he’d dodge the question by saying we should “refer to the textbook”.  What makes everything annoying is that he doesn’t understand the mathematics involved and it makes his “tutorial sessions” so burdensome and I always leave them with headaches. One day, I got angry with him and I told him everything I hate about him, and since then we’ve had this vibe between us that isn’t exactly welcoming. I honestly wish I don’t have to do any class with him next semester.

I honestly can’t wait till 2014 though. I plan to graduate in May and I hope I don’t get distracted to the extent that I prevent that. I’m also looking to do my masters before NYSC just to get books and classrooms over with. From a more leisure perspective, I can’t wait for the movies (even if Fast 7 was postponed to 2015).

Once again, Merry Christmas, & Happy New Year in Advance

Y1nka

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Sooooo this quiet Yinka is a stage performer with the flute?! Nice! This was a smooth and easy read. Thank you for sharing!

Day 3: Demola

New here? Click here. Enjoy

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To Grow Till I Die

I have a very boring life. Sometimes, I get out of myself and try to spice it up with some fun idea. One of my fun ideas is to write a note to ‘future me’. I keep these notes and re-read them after a period of time. The last time I wrote one of those was in early January 2013. I was alone in my very cold room without the usual exuberance of family experienced during festive seasons.  Truth be told, I re-evaluated this forever alone behaviour and chose not to write another.

But, I kept that one. And I read it recently. Reading it made me burn it with even more anger. Anger at how little I could tell of my future. Anger at how I am at a place in my life I could swear I would never be six months ago.

I got a new job. I moved from being a very entrepreneurial private sector person to working in the public sector. Or, as I like to say to my friends: “I’m merely a civil servant who tries to be on seat as often as he can”. I am learning to live in a time zone I didn’t know people lived in. I speak spatters of a language I didn’t know existed a few months ago. Oh! And there is the satisfaction of being upgraded from ‘immigrant’ status to ‘expatriate’ status.

All this is happening so fast, I sometimes feel dizzy from the speed when I try to wrap my head around the events.

Mid last year, I chose to live out of a suitcase for a year. I chose to let my mind roam. I chose to forget the worries of the world. I got a good excuse (a postgraduate degree) and started living out of my life. This experience opened me to interesting lessons. I trusted myself enough to take that step and it led me to a greater level of trust.

Trust today, because I realise there is very little I can predict about the future. It is one of the many benefits of being a Christian. That peace of mind one gets from believing a supernatural being will take care of you. One just gets to show up and do your bit and forget other things. I especially enjoy the courage that allows me scream the iconic word ‘WHERESOEVER’  from the hymn Oh the Future Lies Before Me

For a very long time I thought of Kenya as Wheresoever. It is the country you go to when you don’t want to leave the Nigerian madness but don’t want to stay in the Nigerian madness. I got to experience Kenya a little more this year and realised my Kenyan friends exaggerate when they complain about the levels of incompetence in that country. I got to fly Kenyan Airways a couple of times and I was amazed at how punctual and efficient the service is, even when they fly from the famous Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. For Kenyan Airways, departure time actually means the plane is leaving that country’s airspace at that time. I still can’t understand why a flight I was on departed 30minutes before schedule. All of these made me think a lot about how much we can learn from the “bad eggs” of society.

I have an uncle who believes things are either bad or good. There can’t be midpoints. He insists nothing good can come from my friends, especially because they don’t speak in tongues at every turn and they hold very ‘unbiblical’ ideas. I want to write him a note to tell him how flying Kenyan Airways has taught me how to be a little bit more punctual. I have learnt enough to not lose breath flying through departure checks trying to see if I can bribe God with gifts if She makes me not miss this ‘last’ one. I want to remind him of the cousin we lost this year. She was not very religious but was one of the most wonderful people I ever met. Sometimes, I try to think of reasons why she is not chilling in ‘the heavens’ and I can’t find any. Yet, she was not so religious.

And, thoughts like these make me wonder. Are we somehow doing religion wrong? Is religion about asking some supernatural being for money and success? It seems to me that the more serious humans are with religious activity; the farther they are from humane behaviour.  Perhaps, we need a little less religion. Perhaps, one could participate in less religious activity and be more cautious about humanist ideals. I could even start a society of Christian Existentialist Humanists and a community such as Alain de Botton’s School of Life.

Anyone who knows me well knows I fell in love anew with Alain de Botton this year. He helped rekindle my initial love for Philosophy, only in much simpler terms and expressions. You see, my undergraduate degree was in philosophy and the hardest part was explaining to everyone why I chose to study philosophy. Most of my family members agreed I either had a perpetual poverty wish or I had serious mental health issues. Thankfully, my mum somehow convinced herself I knew what I was doing and never took me for any kind of check-up. She would only sigh and nod anytime she asked me what career options exists for a philosophy graduate and I replied with something like: “You see, it is not always about the money, it is about the big picture”. To which she always replied with something like: “I have kuku told you my own. Big picture cannot buy you a house and pay you children’s school fees”. Sometimes, I would test her patience a bit and ask her why she assumes I want a house and children in the first place.

Rediscovering practical everyday philosophy made me learn to ask myself why the small pictures were necessary, what filters to apply to them and how all of these fit into the big picture.  I have learnt to ask this of even the smallest details, like this blogpost.

I have learnt from these asking that neither ‘Demola, nor Kanye, nor Sway has the answers. We may never have the answers, even. We only just need to keep searching. To end each day or month or year a better person than we started.

To grow till we die.

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I resonate with this piece for some reason. Whether it’s the philosophy, or the Gospel faith, or the fact I went to Kenya this year I don’t know. Demola here is no longer such a total stranger. Thank you brother.