I’ve wanted to write this post for a very long time. I’ve literally thought about it for months. Something about this article makes me feel too vulnerable about putting myself out there in the open. I saw a couple of posts stating that therapy at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi is free for people under 25 years, being within the age limits, I’ve considered it for quite some time but not yet gotten around to actually going for it. So, I finally decided to write this. Writing relaxes me. Almost like therapy.
I’m not really sure if other 90s babies are going through the same problem but most of whom I’ve interacted with certainly are. If you can still maintain your mental sanity and hold everything together somehow, I applaud you, staying sane in this period is no mean feat. For those of us who are barely holding on, I hope not all the strings holding who we are will snap. If enough of the strings holding who you are snap, all the other strings, not being able to hold who you are by themselves, will snap under the weight and we’ll be left dealing with the aftermath, which I don’t think will be pretty. For all of you still reading, welcome to the darkest part of your life. You’re going to confront who you are, who you really are, you’ll be pushed to the limit and you’ll be tested. Sometimes you might get tempted to jump to the very end of the movie and end things. I’ve certainly been tested severally and somehow made it out relatively alright, however, something about the past few years has made the burden a bit too heavy and I’ve found myself seriously contemplating and entertaining the idea of jumping to the end of the movie. It gets darker, much darker.
I recently read about a research that was done that basically aimed at finding out, from older people, what the toughest age group of their lives was. Drum rolls… It was in their youth (18 – 35). The digital age of social media and streaming platforms has made things exponentially harder. You look at social media platforms and see all these beautiful, happy people living their best lives. You see vlogs of these people, who might even be your friends and age mates, living large and enjoying themselves, visiting places you only dream of and buying stuff you only window-shop on Pinterest, Amazon & Jumia. It’s depressing when you look at all these things and the only thing between you and poverty is perhaps the roof your parents have put above your head. In reality, these people, like us, have their own problems. They, like us, look at others and perhaps even at us and imagine how happy we are and how lucky we are to be who we are. There’s no escaping the sinkhole. Unlike humans, it doesn’t discriminate. It attacks everyone with extreme prejudice.
This is the period in your life where you’re looking at yourself and comparing yourself with where your parents were at your age and you’re almost heartbroken. Most of our parents married or got married early, started families and were already working by age 25. For us, it seems something is different. The depression and sadness are very great. We try and cover it up with alcohol, memes and comedic quips. I, for one, unfortunately, almost always use alcohol as an escape. It’s a terrible habit, I know, you can preach to yourself about the negative effects. The false sense of well being is much better than any real sense of the terrible situation I may be in. Even if for a fleeting few hours, the escapism is quite nice, I enjoy it thoroughly. I don’t fault anyone for engaging in whatever it is they engage in to relieve the pain. A wise man once said that the greatest pleasure in the world is for the pain to stop and, by whatever means, stop it will.
It’s difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. In recent times, I’ve started wondering whether there was ever a light at the end. There was a time when I used to see it so clearly that I could almost feel its warmth. I understood what I was doing, what I would do, who I was and where I was heading. Those were the rosy times. Nowadays, I find myself questioning everything, and whether I even know what I’m doing. I don’t think I do. I feel like I’m fumbling in the darkness, groping at a wall-like structure, not knowing that there’s actually an elephant there that could crush you with one wrong move. I look back at some of the relatives that I considered to be total idiots and I finally understand. I understand why they did it, why they’re who they are and why they do what they do, I get it now. They tried and they failed, they broke. And if I, we, don’t take care, we will too.
In spite of all this, I find myself pondering with great intensity at a special quote I read years ago, “The good news is, nothing lasts forever. The bad news is, nothing lasts forever.” In spite of how things might seem today, eventually, they will end. It makes no difference whether it was a happy or sad ending, it’s an ending nonetheless. Besides, everything that we do and we go through, when looked at after a sufficient amount of time has passed, is all the same. It all makes us who we are. There are no words or quick fixes that will make the pain and uncertainty of the world go away and anyone who claims to have an answer is most certainly a liar. I have no honeyed words for you dear reader, I can only urge you to keep holding on, keep fighting and remember that no matter what you do in life, the worst case is; you try your best, you be yourself and you do what you can do with compassion, honesty, effort and understanding and it goes worst case. And then you move on like everything else.