Monday, 9 January 2017

PROGRESS REPORT


If I had the privilege of choosing the kind of life I would want to live by the Maker, I would have opted for a more luxurious life; get out of school, get a job, get married and get old gracefully – but that was never to be.

When I got out of the University in 2010 with very poor grade, I immediately knew I would have it tough in the job market which was getting increasingly tougher as more graduates get churned out annually. I braced up for the challenge by allowing myself to be possessed by the can-do-spirit – whatever that means.
                                       
I still sit and wonder, sometimes, what really went wrong with my brain during my undergraduate days – how water entered the coconut while still on the tree – but I give thanks to God for everything. I have come to realize that nothing happens to me by mistake. They always add up.

2016 is over and 2017 is already short by 9 days. For some reasons, I owe a debt of gratitude to 2016 while looking at 2017 with renewed optimism (Please ooo… I did not plagiarize Goodluck Jonathan’s concession speech).

Those that have been following my post on social media would have noticed how subtly I shy away from disclosing personal issues but I write this, not to brag, but to encourage those going through tough times in the country, particularly at this time of recession to look inward.

My NYSC was delayed for a year because of the circumstances surrounding the computation of my result. During the one year of my service delay, I started teaching Nursery II class – doesn't look like a man's job right? But I did excel!

I learned a lot from those kids. My first attempt at publication was inspired by them and I look forward to the day I will visit them again. I dropped teaching to begin my service in 2012. My service year was uneventful (the secondary students I taught whose lives I thought I could impact with my lifestyle and preaching turned out to be a colossal waste of time) and I will add it to the 4 years I wasted as an undergraduate.

I went back to teaching after my service year but this time I handled primary section. Inasmuch as I love teaching kids, I did not find fulfillment doing it – plus I needed money. Serious money!

I resigned after a year – I did not quarrel with anyone or did anyone shout at me, I took my action because I knew the direction I wanted my life to go – and I joined the SURE-P program. It was during this one year that I made more effort to work on myself, having realized that aiming to work for others was diminishing in success.

By the middle of 2015, I started writing for many contests and exploring the option of freelance writing and with the help of Eneoko Chisa I got a head start. By the end of 2015, I was becoming familiar with the concept of freelance writing.

While still teaching, I also started a small recharge card business and along the line, I moved from one shop to another in the market collecting empty sugar sacks which I sold. I also typed exam sheets for schools – and several other things I did to make ends meet which I don’t want to mention here. I became a relationship adviser, found love and learned to be more disciplined with my time; some of the things I did in 2016.

I didn’t learn to value my time from any rosy sermon by the way; I learned it the hard way. Sometime in 2015, I had become an addict to the internet and social media and there was this secondary school classmate I chatted up often (Name withheld). One afternoon I chatted him up as usual and his gratitude to me for doing so was, “e be like say you no get work, this one you are always online”. It really hurt me because I was that jobless – the truth is always bitter.

2016 was a defining year for me. Firstly I went back to school to break away from home and the frustrations that was mounting with it. Left with no options, I took freelancing serious, keeping late nights, bidding for jobs and all. And the effort paid off. By the grace of God, I have more work than I can finish every month and I get to reject some, for the ones with higher pay.

One thing I asked God in 2015 – when all efforts to secure a job faded – was for Him to help me 'eat from my brain' – and I meant that literally. I may not be a good writer like Chimamanda Adichie of Elnathan John but I know I level up to an average writer.  The sad reality is that we often abandon the talent God has bestowed on us to look for crumbs.

Yes, following your talent is not a merry ride. It is never an easy path to take and if anyone should tell you otherwise, they are just trying to set you up. Believe me. I know the uncertainty, the doubt, the fear of failure the pressures from family and friends. I have seen it all but what goo has ever come easy – not even for Jesus Christ. You need to pay the price.

Today, I am totally anti-social, not because I hate to party or catch fun, NO. I am paying the price for the path I have chosen and some days I only get to sleep for 2 to 4 hours. It baffles me when my peers say, “I am forming too busy” because I don’t attend their annual meetings but I do believe the end justifies the means.


I live my life not to please anyone. I follow my convictions and do what I think is right for myself and for my family. I am still in taking the initial crucial steps to being a man – whatever that means – and I am hopeful that the God who commissioned us to go and conquer the world will not let me down.

4 comments:

Radiant said...

I heard it once that "when you jump up, you come down, but when you climb up, you stay up". It can only get better. Keep doing your best wherever you find yourself. God never forgets our labour of love. He rewards just at the right time. When it will not be a curse but a blessing.

Anthony Emecheta said...

Thank you Radiant. This is really heart warming

Ruchi Bhargava said...

I must say, your journey is an inspiration. Just follow what your heart says and you'll reach the top of the world. I wish you good luck and success in your life.

Anthony Emecheta said...

THank you Ruchi. Your mesage is inspiring to me