A minute ago we were young

Do you know the feeling that comes with crossing over a decade? Let me tell you about it; when you’ve just hit 20 and puberty is waning like the embers of a dying fire, you’ll think that the world is your oyster. Your body is still energetic enough to handle the charged nights out with whiskey and ice and repeat it every damn weekend. Adolescence is paving way to youthful elegance, acne is clearing from your face, and your skin is picking up a smooth caramel complexion. Beards are growing on your chin, you’re morphing into a man. It is a good time to be alive, believe me. Even your folks now agree with you that you’re ‘not a kid anymore’, so eventually, they let go off your hand, the same hand that they held for the past twenty years, and whisper in your ear, ‘You’re a big boy now, go into the world and become’. Then they stand there with tears welling up their aging eyes and a prayer building up in their big hearts as they watch you leave because to them, you will always be their chubby little boy. You, on the other hand, wallop away excitedly into the world with a smile on your face and a poem on your pink naive lips;

There are infinite possibilities
People who are skilled with great abilities
Searching for great opportunities
Getting a head start on those possibilities
I’m one of them
So many there are more than some
I would like to become: 
An artist, fashion designer, photographer, 
graphic designer, model and some kind of writer…

Life is a party when you are young. You have a lot to celebrate; youth, newfound freedom, the future with its immense possibilities…

Actually, it is in one of these parties that you and her met. She had a glass of wine in her delicate palm, and her silky shiny hair was flowing down to her shoulders. On her she had this bare back maroon dress that accentuated her curves and complemented her flawless chocolate skin. It was just after midnight, you were drinking whiskey, and you were in that place where you’re tipsy but you’re also drunk. The deejay was conveniently setting the mood, she was swinging her hips sensually to Ella Mai’s Boo’d Up and you looked at those seductive eyes and the soft pink lips as she hummed along to the lyrics; ‘grab me by the waist and pull me closer’, and you were indeed stunned and boo’d up.

You remember walking to her table, offering your hand for a greeting and asking her what her name was, and with a smile she said…’My name is Claudia, what’s yours?’

A few drinks later you were getting cozy and you stared deep into her doll eyes and you’d swear you saw the stars in them that night. Nevertheless, your story was like a Hollywood love tale; boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl gets pregnant, and boom, a bouncing baby comes along. You’d grown up believing that the big bad world revolved around you, but when that kid came along, it stopped and started revolving around that baby; the sleepless nights spent rocking the stubborn thing to sleep, the sudden visits to the doctor, the fights with Claudia about who’s turn it is to change the diapers. Your love became strained, and your souls bled. Sweet names like moon-pie and honey bunny change to less adorable ones like baby daddy and baby mama. The sex evolved from spontaneous mind-blowing sessions to the ‘let’s wind this thing and go see why the baby is crying again’ kind of thing.

Young couples with kids will tell you that the most profound thing that ever happened to them is that; getting kids. Kids remind you that there is something in this world that still is beautiful and pure. But what these young couples might also tell you is that kids demand a lot of attention, time, effort and money, and that’s only before they become rebellious teenagers and start experimenting with drugs and sex, get tattoos and boyfriends twice their age, and that you’d better be a prayerful person when that happens because sometimes all you can do is pray.

When that young bundle of love came, you found yourself having to juggle between tending to late night baby-related emergencies and waking up to early morning boardroom meetings with your boss at work, then to catching pints with your mates at sundown.

When you live like that, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself, and to get caught up with the demands that come with being in your mid-twenties, and the expectations (sometimes unrealistic), of your family, friends and peers amidst those you have imposed upon yourself. Then before you know it, you’re 29 years old with a beer belly that pushes against the steering wheel of your Vanguard whenever you drive your young family to church every Sunday.

It is this same car that you’re now seated in as it cruises on the busy Thika Highway alongside other cars, some elegant and magnificent, and others that are just meant to get you where you need to be. Isn’t that how life is; there is always going to be a car better than yours, but happiness comes from loving and cherishing yours with all your heart? These are some of the thoughts that are crossing your mind at that hour as you head home to Claudia and the kiddo. Your eyes are fixated on your journey home, mind filled with so much worry that you don’t pay attention to the beauty of the neon glow radiating from the imposing street lights standing on either side of the highway to illuminate your path.

When you’re just about to turn 30 years old, you start to wonder where the decade went. Where all the energy to sip whiskey all night and still wake up for work the following morning drained to. Where all the time to make poor decisions was spent on. Where all the good people you’d always wanted to settle down with disappeared to. It always seems like a minute ago you were young and ready to conquer the world. Now, you’re silently hoping that your good days aren’t behind you already, that the world is still a place of immense possibilities, that regardless of how old you are, you still have a chance of becoming great. Perhaps that is all that matters? Perhaps hope is all that we have.


Featured Image: www.pixabay.com

Poem excerpted from: A world of infinite possibilities; Bianca Edwards


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