In The End
In the end, it will occur to you that your end is nothing like your beginning. Maybe it is possible that we agree that it is a little bit like your middle, but certainly nothing like your beginning. The bulk of the things you value now, the bulk of things you love now, the things you are ready to die for; they did not matter this much in the beginning. Things like ideas and beliefs, like feminism, like gender equality, like education and literacy, like poetry, like faith, like God. In the beginning, fragments of them existed, like shards from a broken glass. They stood at the edges of your life and made no actual sense. But as you progressed in your journey, some things fell apart and the center could no longer hold and the whispering thoughts at the edge of essence came into full being and held up your being. They are the things that define you now, the things people know you for, the things you find meaning in; the things that never existed in the beginning.
In the end, there will be many regrets. There are shameful regrets. In the end, if there is any sense of responsibility in you, you will be honest with yourself. There really is no point lying to yourself when you are standing before the firing squad, is there? In the end, you will realize that you could have done more. No matter how much you have done, you will know that you could have done more. All the excuses you used to give yourself will fade away. You will realize that you could have attended more classes. You will see that it was stupid and foolish of you to sleep your life away while your colleagues were marking attendance or at the very least, doing some other good thing with their life while you spent your time in dreamland. You will realize in the end that you could have done better. You will go through your results and see a shameful score. How did I get 11/40 in this C.A.? Then you will remember that was the semester the lecturer gave an impromptu test and you were not in class that day and you joined the company of foolish men to say things like, ‘He won’t use it. He can’t use an impromptu test.” Well, there you are.
You will have to admit to yourself in the end that you could have done better. You could have done better. You could have made a First Class, if you wanted to. This, of course is not true for everybody. You will agree with yourself that you could have saved more. You could have made more money. You could have taken better care of your body. You could have spoken more in class. You could have made more friends. You could have been a good person. In the end, there is no deceit. You will remember the things they used to tell you then:
Stay close to God.
Attend a fellowship. Be active.
Join an association. Be active.
Join an NGO. Be active.
Do all assignments. Mark attendance.
Always network. Make friends.
Start writing your CV from the time you know what a CV is.
Always take leadership positions.
Don’t enter stupid relationships.
Attend conferences. Attend seminars.
In the end, you will see that the people who kept on telling you these things were the ones who actually loved you. The ones you ran away from. The ones whose calls you did not pick. The ones whose messages you did not reply. The ones you called ‘church brother’. The ones you called ‘bookworm’. The ones you called oni wahala. In the end, they will be ones who matter.
In the end, you will realize that school is not scam. It was never scam. School will forever be relevant. Maybe the system is changing. Maybe the methods are evolving. Maybe your own school is lagging behind. But then, it only makes it harder to succeed, not impossible. It was never scam really; you just chose to be dopey.
In the end, some people will stop being your friends. You will realize that you need more than your Marlian badge to get a job, or an internship. You will see that there are many opportunities, too many in fact, but you are not qualified. You will know now that perhaps you should not have gone for that party, or that meeting, or that hangout, or that sleepover. Or perhaps you should have.
Some regrets are useless and inconsequential. These regrets should not be called regrets really. They do not deserve the word. They should be called something less serious, less meaningful. These min-regrets are the little things that you could have done, that you did not do, but no longer matter. For example, I could have read The Old Man and the Sea earlier than I did. But then, it doesn’t matter because when I finally read it, it only made me more depressed and curious as to how depressed a person can be without committing suicide. How long can you stress the cord of depression and it won’t cut into two? How long can you run on the tracks of sorrow and not meet an oncoming train on its way to hell? How deep can you be in the sea of depression to write such a sorrowful book? How depressed can you be to leave a strain of depression in the genes you pass down to your family?
Do you know that Ernest Hemingway killed himself? One warm morning in April 1961, Hemingway, with the help of a shotgun put an end to his own existence.
Do you know that Hemingway’s father had also killed himself? In fact, after the incidence, Ernest Hemingway had commented, ‘I’ll probably go the same way.’ Well, he did go the same way.
Do you know that Hemingway’s sister and brother also killed themselves?
Do you know that Hemingway’s granddaughter also killed herself? It happened in July, 1996. She was forty-two.
Do you know how depressed you can be for the strand to enter your blood and flow to your generations after you?
Do you know?
HAPPY NEW YEAR.