By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu
I am having a minor mid-life crisis. Actually, it's more like a quarter-life crisis since I'm not even 25 yet. I recently reviewed, in chronological order, my previous articles. Don't ask me why. It must have been one of those times when I was so "jobless", anything seemed like a good idea; or perhaps it was during a period when I had so much to do and so little time to do it that any action which deferred work was a minor rebellion against the shackles of life's incessant toil. You know those times--we've all had them. Anyway, for whatever reason, I did it. I went on a psychological journey that started with "Why weren't things better before now? Because I wasn't there to make them better [Ode to my Generation]" to "We're not the promise of tomorrow but the regrets of yesterday [Out with the Old, Forget the New]."
I embarked on a journey with a youthful spirit filled with the zest and unshakable confidence of youth and arrived with a tired, hesitant, slightly apathetic stranger of the "repressed spirit and quenched optimism [Lamentations of the Exiled]."
What happened? No earth-shattering events and no epiphanies took place. Just a gradual awakening to the realization that I was slowly passing my life in a daze of work deadlines, school projects and mundane activities.
The fires have cooled and the passions have dulled and it all happened so suddenly, so quietly that I didn't even have time to gasp and lament their loss. My visions of revolutionary change (or any change) are but dim echoes of their former selves. My muse has fled. I have discarded sheets of paper lying around; they're the unprotesting witnesses to unfinished articles and malformed thoughts. My writing has always been an indication of my innermost being. If I couldn't feel it, I couldn't write it. It is that simple. Now it seems nothing touches me deeply enough to be written about.
How did I come to this? Some people would look at the symptoms and pronounce this strange illness stress or depression. Maybe it's a little bit of both, but it's neither. Maybe it's a natural part of growing up, but it's not. Perhaps I'm shedding my innocent, rose-colored view of the world for a grown-up's practical, more cynical one, but I'm not.
I have always had the conviction that I can succeed at whatever I put my mind to. I know that I can make some difference, tiny though it may be, in making things better, one person at a time. I've always known that it takes plenty of hard work and commitment. I've always known it wouldn't be easy. My philosophy has always been "do as much as you can with the little you have". It still is; except now I'm not sure if I'm giving less with the more I have, or what I have to give is slowly being buried under the weight of other, less important things.
I am not afire with the passion of my ideas or strengthened by the determination of my convictions or aglow with the brilliance of my philosophies. I am simply running on me. On faith.
Maybe it's not so bad.