‘I heard that this secondary education doesn’t help anymore these days until you have a university education,’ said Father. ‘I think you should join that train. I’m willing to try my best to get money for you to go to the university.’
I’d always thought about going to the university since some of my colleagues were there already, but because my parents couldn’t afford it, I tried not to bother myself. But hearing this from my dad stirred up new hope in me.
‘I’m happy about this, Dad,’ I replied. ‘I’m ready any time you want me to start.’
Dad really tried because he kept his words. And Mum too. They both made sure I went to the university. It wasn’t easy to get the money though. When I went home during the holidays, I helped them with farm work, from where they got money to fund my university education.
Thankfully, that time has begotten a new season for me. A season of a better life, which means I don’t have to go to the farm again. Education has brought me out from the farm to the city.
But it’s been how many years now and I’m still undergoing education. Even though I started working years ago, got married and already have children who are schooling already, I’ve had to register for many courses. They call it upscaling, or what?
It seems the cycle isn’t going to end, though.
My parents are in their house, eating their food and thinking of how fulfilling their lives have been. The friends I left in the village are still there, building houses, expanding their farmlands and vomiting children in scores.
As for me, I’m on the street, sweating by 5am in the traffic, navigating my way from Lagos Mainland to Lagos Island. I’m in the office from 8am to 5pm, performing office duties, shuffling files and sifting through documents. I’m on Google Meet by the day and on Zoom at night, attending meetings and online classes. It’s a sleepless lifestyle I live even though my bed is soft and comfy. It’s a hungry stomach I keep even though my house is full of food and my pockets full of money. I’m always drowsy and I yawn during meetings while the Googe Meet and Zoom apps stare at my indolence.
They say if I stay at home without upscaling, I’m living too comfortably and I don’t have a vision. They say at every time of my life, I must be taking a course. I must be learning a language. I must be learning a skill. Who knows, any of them could be the game-changer for me until I find the perfect life my heart desires.
But it’s a cycle that has no end, turning and turning me ‘in a widening gyre.’ And as I move along with the revolving pattern, I try to remind myself that there’s no perfect life anywhere.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t upscale. In fact, I’m currently taking my Harvard MBA course online. Two years ago, before the pandemic hit, I heard that Spanish was becoming a prominent language in the world, so I’ve been attending both online and physical classes, learning the language. Also, because of my tendency for creativity, I’m currently learning video editing, graphic design and web design.
I’ve always loved art since I was in secondary school, so I thought this was the right time for me to start honing my drawing and painting skills. I started learning that last year and I’m still on it.
They say the future of our country is tech and no one will have a place in it without understanding tech, so I’m already taking a coding class. And because I’ve always wanted to study law but my university never gave me the opportunity, I applied as an undergraduate again and was admitted to one of the prominent universities in the country this year. I’ve been attending the classes too. Mind you, I’m doing that for the sake of my country’s judicial system and will like to be a Judge someday.
I hope I’m not overwhelmed with all these tasks I’ve put myself into. For your information, I’m not trying to please anybody. I’m just trying to add value to myself as much as I can.
I hope it pays off.
And while it does, I hope to have these conversations with you again.