I am sharing this for younger people who may have become despondent or lacking a purpose in life for different reasons.
ASUU was on their yearly bazaar of strike in 2013 proudly sponsored by their unfaithful spouse, the federal government. So I couldn't resume school and staying at home sometimes, I got used to watching pictures of events from different newspapers my mum often brought home after mass every Sunday. She often bought newspapers published by different dioceses and church organizations. She said it was her way of also supporting the work of God.
One Sunday morning, I was reading a story in one of those newspapers and it struck me, "Beck, you can actually write for some of these publishers." My writing was awful but it had nothing on my guts. So I searched for the contact of the editor usually at the bottom back page and called anyone I saw his or her phone number.
Some responded, others posted me while one man was really aggressive and told me to focus on my ASUU strike. I overheard him through the phone cursing about his wife not putting enough meat in his soup. Guess he had his own issues at home. I didn't call the editor of Our Nation Newspaper (different from The Nation Newspapers). I decided to visit their head office on Limca Road, beside Zik's house and physically make my pitch to him.
I only had a name and no idea what the person looked like, so when I walked into the first office I saw at the press, I asked for the editor. The man asked why I wanted to meet the editor and I told him I have something he needs. I was bold and didn't really care. I just wanted to talk to the editor and go home to satisfy my curiosity.
"I am Paul the Editor you're looking for. What do you have for me?" The Son of Nebu mellowed. I sat down and told him about my nice ideas of writing articles that would capture a very young audience. I told him how I never really got to read the paper but watched only pictures. However, I can infuse young blood and talent into the organization. He was willing to give me a trial immediately. A new edition was coming out that weekend and he told me to write anything I fancied in line with their guidelines. If he liked it, he will give me half page to write a column.
Well, from this picture taken that Saturday afternoon of August 17th 2013, you could tell both of us were happy. He liked it and I got the slot with a monthly stipend. I continued to write for them and only resigned when I graduated and moved to Abuja for law school.
During that ASUU strike, I also got a teaching job at a secondary school and did some freelancing for other organizations involved in different things till the strike was called off and I returned to school.
Why am I sharing this? I tried a couple of things about 7/6 years ago to figure out where my strength lies. I was open minded to failure, to learning, to being wrong, to not knowing what the heck I was doing and ultimately, getting excited at the next task I was getting involved with. My plan was simple; speculate and do the things I loved till I found my strengths. It worked.
These days, social media sometimes make people think they are worthless and useless. They become afraid of failing, of trying out new things and cultivating the humility to learn through those experiences. They become afraid because failure is seen as fatal.
But I am here to tell you that it is not so. Nobody will give you the opportunity to improve or discover yourself if you don't put yourself out there. I could've stayed home, eaten good food, played video games and enjoyed 2go; the in-thing at the time. I did all of that anyway, but I never allowed it to come between me and finding something I really loved to do and could evidently earn from it in the long run.
This life was given to you because only you can live it the best way you can with your unique skills and abilities. Stop crying and feeling sorry for yourself. Stop saying people look down on you and don't rate you. Start thinking of the many ways you can be better. Here's the lesson worth sharing with your friends and loved ones today; nothing becomes perfect immediately you set forth. You need to be in motion to refine your life, thoughts, ideas, friends, job, love life and a lot of other things in order to make genuine progress.
Whatever happens to you that might break you, take your time to cry if need be but never stop trying out new things.
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.