With great enthusiasm, we gallivant, perhaps, not entirely aimlessly, but directed by the pleasure we gain from it.
We are new to the environment after all.
We meet people, new people; fellows out of which great friends are eventually made. Sons and daughters of men destined to touch our lives one way or another; and perhaps, to be our significant other.
There are ups and downs, some moments to live for, others to forget.
We go through times of pain, anger and frustration. We get broke, fall ill, and even fall apart. But we never give up. We share moments of joy and laughter that are indescribable; moments that play a big role in shaping our memories, our lives.
After all, that is what we are here for.
The system gives us four dozen months (in some cases, five or more) to learn to become experts in the line of career we have chosen for ourselves. In a word, we have four years to shape our destinies, or so we were made to believe.
As members of our new environment, we have conventional sets of rituals we are to conform with. It is a major requirement in being a successful member of this unfamiliar place.
We sit, or stand, in vastly congested chambers housed by dilapidated structures, listening to older versions of ourselves. They were just in our shoes scores of months before, trying to find purpose for their own lives.
Some of them stand before us, instructing us, while making efforts to obfuscate their proliferated frustrations. Frustrations they have accumulated from the reality of their broken dreams. They sometimes look upon us with mixed feelings of anger and pity. If at all they tried, they were very poor at concealing what their eyes reflected.
We make vows to ourselves, we would not end up like these lot. We have it all figured out in our heads; we have plans, ideas, and we believe in them.
The rituals of our new environment do not hinder us from having the time of our lives. Amongst ourselves, we spend those times doing dissimilar things, in our separate ways. We
all do things differently; we are of varying backgrounds, personalities and kinfolks. It is not unexpected.
While others derive their satisfaction from social events and sexual gratification, among other things, we get ours from the admiration and appreciation of the beautiful design of nature.
We are lovers of nature.
Beautiful pieces of literature, art never ceases to gain our attention. We cool off with long sessions of video games, while blasting bootlegged music through our low-priced headphones. Music with deep lyrics that touches the soul are our favourites. We spend our days reading books, expanding our horizon of knowledge.
We never say we are better than others, we are just different.
We love that we love these things.
We have periods when grand assessments of our rituals are made. We go through these periods wearing stricter faces, and sometimes unkempt appearances. We put in our best efforts in the preparations.
This period is literally what determines our fate in this new environment; and consequently, in our lives.
Little regard is given to our previously established daily routines and personal lives. We unregretfully desert them, and establish new, temporary patterns for ourselves. Our once strong and affectionate relationships with our beds are now victims of sudden deaths; just like the fate of a child in the luring hands of a psychopathic serial killer. Of course, we enjoyed it while it lasted.
For in the coming days, we spend the nights far away from the warm embrace of our futons. We form new interim relationships with desks, tables and chairs. In haste, we lose our need for sleep.
All to ensure our purpose in this new environment is not defeated. That is not an option.
It never has been an option.
We are sons and daughters of men and women who toil unrelentingly from sunrise to sunset, and even sometimes beyond. They are determined never to allow posterity to condemn them
for neglecting or failing at their sacred duties. We share in their determination by doing our parts.
We are never going to let their efforts be in vain.
We make memories of cold dry harmattan nights; our fingertips in constant fear of conjuring small painful electric charges from the door knobs and window panes; electrostatic shocks, they call it.
We do not dwell on the inconveniences; the end will justify the means. That is what keeps us going.
Though not as swiftly as we pray, this period eventually passes. We hungrily run back into the waiting arms of our previous routines. We reconcile with our beds, and in their ever loving manner, they accept us back wholeheartedly, and unlike our female versions, they put all that has happened in the past.
Our affectionate relationship with our futons is strong again, with a burning desire to spend all our times in its warm embrace.
As the days go by, we realise it is time to go home. The days have been enjoyable enough. We have relaxed, had fun and enjoyed great moments in the company of friends.
Now, it is time to go home.
With our totes clutched firmly in our hormephobic fingers, we run along to our tenements, while our biological manufacturers wait eagerly for our return.
And just while we are settling down to the comforts of our abodes, we realise how much we are missing where we just came back from. In our solitude, memories made with our amigos flood our minds.
Our thoughts roam to that introverted friend that has a secret crush on his well-endowed colleague; to that perverted friend that spends all his free time getting high on hydroponic weed, and cracking dirty jokes; or to that religious friend that frequently and consistently attends fellowships and pious programs, while never relenting in his efforts to make holy people out of us.
We impatiently count the days, as they go flying by.
We wait for that day when we pack our bags and head back to our new environment. Another period of routines, rituals and grand assessments is upon us.
But unlike before, this environment is no longer new to us.
As a matter of fact, to some of us, it is beginning to feel like home.
Akinpelu, A. (08076544715)