“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold. Happiness dwells in the soul.” – Democritus
Do you resume work on Monday and immediately start looking forward to the weekend? Do you feel your life is an endless routine, like you are on a loop? Feel like you are stuck? Unproductive? Uninspired? Lost? Like you are wasting away? Do you feel you are not living, but merely existing?
Do you crave more from life?
First day at the office this year, I said to my colleague – “that’s how by December 31stwe will realize we’ve practically done the same thing every day, all year round.”
Sounds boring, in it?
Each day we arrive at the office, carry out our routine, close and resume the next day…same cycle.
I carried out a survey at work. I went round asking my older colleagues what their initial plan was. On the average, most planned 5-7years but well, those plans have all been shoved. The consensus is they got married, had kids and so, priorities had to change.
In other words, they have settled for their present life even though they do not really feel
happy fulfilled. Kids and the responsibilities (school fees et al) have to be taken care of, so its goodbye to their aspirations.
Is marriage the end to dreams and goals?
Are we supposed to shove our bucket list down the trash once we get married?
Little wonder why they call it settling down, ‘cus all I see around are people settling for a basic life of routine centered around making ends meet and taking care of their children while missing out on life’s adventures.
They say it’s the sacrifice they have to make for their family and loved ones but…Doesn’t happiness come at the price of small sacrifices? Key word – small.
This is one major reason I am skeptical about early marriage. Someone who hasn’t seen life or experienced anything would get tied down and then the responsibilities start piling. One day, they’ll look back and start questioning everything. Your youth is over and life has passed you by. No memories, no adventure, all you have is resentment and it feels like your youth was taken from you.
Some people are very okay with the conventional domestic life and that’s very fine. But for us who want more from life, for the dreamers and explorers, that kind of life is too basic to cut it.
I want that at the end of the day I can truly say I lived and experienced life.
Early this year I craved taking a six months break. Six months of not working. Six months of travelling and exploring. Meet people, experience different cultures, open myself to life and all that there is to it.
Six months of clarity and doing those things I love – writing, exploring music, go to live concerts and sing along to every note while screaming at the top of my voice, develop my photography, enjoy quiet moments by the ocean, climb mountains and maybe jump out of a plane, learn how to sew my own clothes. Maybe finally, I’d learn how to ride a bicycle and best part? Write about all my experiences, make candid videos and document it all. Store it somewhere, so in future I can always relive the moments.
“Living the life goes beyond travelling. It is about living a life without worrying, doing the things that you love, loving the life that you live and loving the people that matter” – Graceville
Major thing that held me back was the fear of the unknown. After the six months break what next? What if I want my job back and can’t have it? Or find just any other job? Am I ready to start my own business?
Back in the day, I used to say if I can just save so and so amount of money, I will place it in investments and live on the interests. That way I won’t necessarily have to work in a corporate environment. Sacrifice the early years, raise capital and live on the interests such that I could be in control of my hours enough for me to purse the arts and survive just fine.
But then, I know all too well the crippling fear of financial insecurity. It’s almost like, no amount of money is enough. You just want to keep amassing more and more, mostly to feel secure even though you don’t feel fulfilled.
“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” – Maya Mendoza
No matter how much one has, he is never satisfied. There’s nothing like ‘I have enough money’. You’ll always want more. We say, let me hustle and make money first, later I’ll enjoy life.
Sad reality is we keep hustling all our lives, wanting to rake in the billions. Even when retirement comes, we all know Nigerians do not know how to retire. We must always hustle. Like we can’t just chill and actually have a life.
Let me put it this way, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but at the end he realizes life passed him by and he never truly lived?
Hopefully when we get to that point where we realize life is more than having thirty billion in our account it won’t be too late for us to change our lives.
I knew I couldn’t afford to resign and take six months off (Recession is such a common word these days), so I told myself; enough of putting my life on hold. I was going to balance work and life. There’s no waiting for that perfect moment. While working and striving to earn, I can live life as well. I would travel, I would explore my hobbies and still live this life even while working long hours. It’s all about balance and a conscious effort to create my own happiness. Enough of the fear of the unknown and safety net.
Jobs fill your pocket. Adventure fills your soul…
Being too safe can be limiting. I’m trying hard to break away from the societal norm of graduate, get a job, marry, have kids and wait for death. This can’t be all there is to life.
When I share ideas about life with my friends, right from University days, most times I get responses along the line of’ ‘you shouldn’t have been born in Nigeria/Africa’. Well, maybe, but this is my reality. I refuse to conform to the standard society has set out. I need to, I have to see the sights and find happiness in the little things of life.
Sometimes I look around, and I see people going about their daily lives. I wonder what their story is. I always wonder if this is exactly how they planned their lives to be. So much frustration around. People settling for an average life.
Most persons are okay receiving salary at the end of the month to keep themselves and family going. But that’s just a basic routine. Nothing exciting, no adventure, no exposure…
How can one live without desiring more from life? Some people are just floating through life, without any aspirations, just there waiting for life to happen to them, just existing and not living…very sad.
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” – Jojo Moyes (Me before you)
I take cue from the conversation I had with a good friend. She said this is her taking charge. Since she was little, life has been happening to her, and all she could do was settle and manage what was thrown at her. She was over it. It was time she stirred the direction of her life and forge towards achieving all she’s dreamed about.
We all have an idea of how we want our lives to be. Enough of the wishful thinking, the only way to achieve our dreams is to consciously work towards achieving it. So, enough of the fear of what people will say as if they are the wardens of your happiness. It’s not too late to gather up all your scattered dreams and build the life you love.
“Start over, my darling. Be brave enough to find the life you want and be courageous enough to chase it. Then start over and love yourself the way you were always meant to.” – Madalyn Beck.
Well, what do I know? ….I am but just a kid