Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Twelve Paragraphs, One Year

In January, you were invincible. You had it all mapped out in your head. Finish service July 2nd, do a little marketing for your book from July through to when you’d get admitted into school, perhaps September or October. And you have to get admitted into school this year because school is important, even if the entrepreneurship institute you enrolled into last November says differently. So you would study as hard as you ever had.

In February, you were calm. You met Elnathan John for the second time, he was awesome again. You met Abubakar Adam Ibrahim; you were captivated by The Whispering Trees when you read it for the first time. You were captivated by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, too. He looked like you imagined the writer of The Whispering Trees would look. You wanted to be a writer more than ever before. In February also, you were in love with a genius who liked poetry. You felt that she intimidated you more than she loved you. You had thought you read a lot of books but compared to her, you were a novice at reading. Like your last relationship, you began to look for ways to end it before it began. In Nigeria, the elections were postponed and the political atmosphere was so tense, you were sure a military coup would happen.

In March, you were disappointed. Your book was billed to come out that month but it did not. And so you were disappointed. It was not just the fact that people were not trustworthy that disappointed you. You realized also that no matter how hard you tried you were more tilted towards introversion than extroversion. This broke your heart into a million pieces every single time you thought about it. You wanted to be more outgoing. Your 2012 nightmare came back. Your ankles got red again.

In April, you were defiant. Your book came out online but since only a few people could access Amazon kindle, you did not say much about it. You started writing your second book; you titled it HOW TO BE A PERSON: A BOOK OF SHORT STORIES.  You loved the stories you were writing and you had a plan. When you finished the book, it would not be published in Nigeria and even if it would, it had to be a reputable publishing firm. The Nigerian elections came by and Nigeria won.

In May, you were relieved. Your genius girlfriend broke up with you and you were relieved. She loved Robert Frost more than she loved you; the only thing worse than competing with a poet for the love of a lady is competing with a dead poet for the love of a lady. We remain friends. You were relieved also because Muhammadu Buhari won in an election that was mostly peaceful. There were no backlashes. You found poetry more than ever before.

In June, you were humble. Your book of short stories was going better than you expected. You saw a theme playing out, and for the first time, you realized why you were writing How to Be a Person: you wanted to relive your Secondary School life, this time, as your characters; people who were more vociferous and overwhelming than you could ever be. You finished Looking for Alaska for the seventeenth time this year. You travelled home for your birthday and scaled the Mount Patti again as you decided you would the first time you did it in December of last year. You began to study in earnest for the entrance exam.

In July, you were happy. You passed out of NYSC. It was a hell of an experience. You loved every other second of it. You met people: smart, stupid, silly and serious. You made friends. You lived. You also passed the entrance exam you wrote and you were invited for an interview. You learnt that life is short.

In August, you were bored. After the interview in the first week of the month, which you thought you aced, you came back home and you were bored for most of the time. You continued How to Be a Person but you got stuck on many of the new stories. You tried to write poems but you realized the not so surprising fact that you were bad at it.

In September, you were confident. You had an entrance exam for anther school around the middle of the month and you were confident because you expected that there was no way it could be difficult for you. It was an English Proficiency Test and you decided that you were sufficiently okay in the English Language to score nothing less than an 80%. You did not work nearly hard enough for an 80% so your disappointment at scoring less than that when the results came out was surprising. But it was not really a bad result, you comforted yourself.

In October, you were worried. Based on precedents from past years, the school year was supposed to have begun in the first school and so when the month rolled through and you did not hear anything from them, you were worried. Your book of short stories could not have been going better so you drowned yourself in writing and intentionally locked away the thoughts of failing to get admitted.

In November, you were sanctified. You found religion more interesting than ever and so you studied the Bible and Googled about some other religions and decided that religion was fantastic opium. Indeed way better than ignorance. You got the admission in November and you were surprised by how, for some reason, it seemed not to matter that much anymore. November taught you all over again that life is short.

In December, you were peaceful. School resumed and so you were back to studying for the first time in years. You thought about your book of short stories a lot but you did not write anything significant. December is not over yet so you still look forward to the remaining few days, but so far, you feel that the year has not been too bad. The only disappointment was in your book release date being shifted and you got over that long ago. Next year will be better for you. Amen!     

*Thank you for reading my blog this year. You will be better than you are.

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