Live your life, not the life

It's always you against the world
It’s always you against the world

Today is one of those days you don’t know whether to be sad or happy. I got a call as I was about to leave for work (Yes, I have an actual job) and the conversation spanned over 15 minutes. I barely spend more than 4 minutes on a call and even that is stretching it.

The nature of the call? Nothing to smile about. If it was a jam, it would be one of those Ciara being dumped by Future and pretending she’s not hurt tracks. Out of respect for the individual that made me write this post, I won’t go into specifics but I’ll sure as Kenyan teachers, strike where it hurts.

You see, when I was growing up, most of my friends were significantly older than me. It was all cool until they all graduated to high school and I was still in primary school. That was the case in high school and university as well. All this while I always thought to myself, “How come these guys get all the girls and money?” Over time I became comfortable with the fact that I wasn’t at the same level with these people at any given point in my life.

As it stands, some are managers, others successful businessmen, while there are those still trying to find out what they are really good at. Does it bother me? No, it doesn’t bother me one bit. One thing I learnt as a child is that a duck and chicken are all birds but they don’t have the same abilities, don’t taste the same and don’t get the same reviews. Do I want to drive a G Class one day? No, I want to be driven in a G Class on more than one day, but I’m not willing to lose what I’ve built over my two decades.

I’m young, barely two and a half decades old. I’ve grown up in two very different eras. I’ve seen the good life where a few thousands could do a million things and the life where a million can barely fulfill a thousand wishes. The pressure of making it ‘Big’ is constantly poking me. People looking at me and wondering, why haven’t you made it yet? I was the kid with potential but now I’m a just a young man still getting my potential going.

There’s a very big problem when a 20 year old wants to live the life of a 40 year old. True, there are isolated cases of young people that have hit life’s jackpot and laughed all the way to Swiss bank accounts. Does that bother me? Unfortunately, no it doesn’t bother me. I’m not comfortable with where I am but I’m content with what I have. Whoever said money is the root of all evil was probably a reincarnation of some god because that’s as true as it gets.

They say fake it till you make it but never tell you the price you have to pay. There’re many things that make a man but a good reputation has to be at the core of the man. A good reputation means people respect you. If people respect you, you’re most likely a person of virtue. So why would you want to lose that for a moment of madness?

You say circumstances led you to that situation. What circumstances? If we handed everything to circumstances, wouldn’t the jobless have a reason to delve into crime because life is almost unbearable without employment? You always have a choice, whether it’s a good one or a bad one.

I see people writing that they don’t do anything to impress anyone. Bitch please! I won’t bend over either way for anyone but I’ll certainly want to impress. When you have people driving state of the art cars, living in plush neighbourhoods and wearing the latest designers but can’t point at anything tangible they’ve done in life; who do you think they are doing all these things for? I usually come off as disinterested whenever anyone proposes anything that I believe is against who I am.

I’d understand you spending money to impress a section of your family because, I mean, buying you mum a fridge or your dad some reserve whisky is worthwhile. Those are people that nurtured you, but your friends? Why would I want to please people that know my lifestyle? I’ve drank the cheapest brands of alcohol available and as much as I’ve graduated to slightly expensive ones, I’m not going to live beyond my means to make myself an alpha male.

I know you’ve read it in papers, books, candy wrappers and even adult magazines; WE ARE NOT THE SAME! Equality is a fallacy that will never be achieved. When some people have no legs, eyesight, hearing, hands and other normal bodily functions, when will we ever be the same? Take your situation and make it work for you.

By making your circumstance work for you, I certainly do not mean you should do anything illegal. The forbidden fruits more often taste better but always choke you. I’m not much of a role model and I’ve always made that clear. I’m not rich either so I won’t borrow money to bail you out when you’ve been arrested for fraud or impersonation. I can go out of my way to bail you out for getting caught smoking weed because there’s no one you’re putting in harms way other than yourself.

I’ll repeat it a few more times, don’t go out of your way to make yourself something you’re not. You’re a special individual in your own right. There will never be another you. Even if people plug you as the ‘Next Michael Jackson’ don’t take it as a compliment. Look at yourself as the next you. Once you peg yourself on someone else’s success you can never walk out of their shadow no matter the time of the day.

Once you start appreciating who you are and know that you can only be better than yourself, you won’t have to struggle comparing yourself or trying to impress those around you. Your situation and circumstances will do that for you. They say you only know your friends when you’re down but when you trip over your shoe laces that they warned you about, there’ll be no one to pick you up without rubbing it in your face. Live your life, don’t struggle to live the life. Just don’t be comfortable being average or mediocre.

3 thoughts on “Live your life, not the life”

  1. I understand you completely.The struggle to make that potential energy become kinetic is real.Everyday i hope and pray that I am following the path that was meant for me and that i am maintainig the original me , not becoming a copy of someone else.
    Well written Ted.I think my post THE RAT RACE covers the same.

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