Monday, 9 December 2013

Where Did All The Adventure Go?

So my sister made the mistake of buying a George of the Jungle DVD. As expected, my nephew watched it. What she didn’t anticipate however, is just how much the impressionable kid will take a liking to the protagonist. He watched it everyday. He got bruised everyday. The poor kid was either falling off the dining table or couch or railings or the bed. In his mind, if George can do it, so can I. He never factored in stuff like body doubles, film tricks and landing pads; he had no fear.

I find that same trait in a lot of children, it’s the reason why they can fight and forgive a million times a day. It’s the reason they fall, get injured and then go right back to do the same dumb thing that got them in trouble the first time.

I remembered my nephew when during a conversation with a friend of mine she told me how as a tiny 100 level student she went to see the Vice Chancellor of one of Nigeria’s finest Federal Universities over some irregularities with her admission and quite fearlessly demanded the issues be rectified. The Vice Chancellor found her fearlessness quite amusing and rectified the issues as she requested. After some thought she whispered "I wonder where that girl went."

I remembered my nephew again when an acquaintance quipped "I was once like you." He had asked me some questions regarding a project I’d initiated. When I answered them, he smiled ruefully as if to say "Don’t worry, with time you will calm down." I wasn’t surprised when I asked him what happened to him and he said matter-of-factly,  "life." How does life happen to a man in his early 30s? 

Everywhere I turn, I see people, old people, young people, living within boundaries; boundaries they have created by themselves. No zest, racked by self-doubt, playing safe, working dead end jobs, living by the book, having a midlife crisis before they even turn 35.

The dance between destiny and survival is an unending one. It’s one that every individual has to continually juggle. While we dream about what can be, the reality of our existence puts us in check. Sometimes, the need in our present is so enormous; we put purpose on the back burner hoping to get back to it sometime. Sometimes it simmers, waiting hoping for attention, sometimes the fire untended, dies out.

So when I come up with yet another idea and I’m told all the reasons why it may not work, I tell them simply “Allow me fail.” I want to know I did everything I could and things didn’t work out. I never want to live my life thinking ‘what if?’

I want to explore, be happy, have fun, travel, meet new people, laugh, cry, read, learn new languages, try new recipes, learn how to dance salsa, play tennis, swim, employ people, mentor people, be mentored; write songs, sing songs, cut my hair, grow it back, roll in the sand, pray more, give, marry, have kids, watch them grow, let them go, volunteer, watch the sun set, watch it rise… I want to live.

How about you?

©Naomi Lucas

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