I threw it away ...


Going by my grades in my penultimate year in the University one could classify me as one of the good students in my class. I was earmarked by my peers, lecturers and myself to get at least one distinction, but somewhere along the lines of my final year, I lost sight of that vision. I became content with ‘almost’, that sense of knowing that I could get those grades became enough for me. I got satisfied with the idea of the reward and not the substance of it. Perhaps I also became lethargic; the incentive lost its appeals.


I was chatting with my neighbor the other day, the conversation swiftly took a turn on the most plied street of human conversation; relationships: initiating them, maintaining them, ending them. As we talked I couldn’t help but observe how shortsighted and over sensitive the periscope through which we view relationships has become over the years. Much like the situation in my university days we have become too familiar with the idea of a happy relationship and grown lethargic to the fine tuning of one.


We’re a throwaway generation.


It breaks my heart to write this but I have thrown away dreams, jobs, and ambitions when the going got gruel some. It’s not an intentional action, it’s not a conscious choice, and more often than not it comes across as a wise and learned decision at the time. We weigh the odds and find them not in our favor.


We become this way when we learn to run but don’t learn to walk. This becomes a problem when circumstances insist we stroll across the pastures of life, to drink up the scenes around us, to learn the details of our journey. I imagine it would be like asking Usain Bolt to walk from the starters’ blocks to the end of the tracks, it’s not hard to do but at some point, he might itch to run through it. Most times we can’t control that itch and we bolt through the process, sadly life unlike the tracks isn’t very forgiving, those lessons come back to haunt us. Thus when the slow process starts we give up not because we lack the right skills or resources, but because we are geared up to go a certain route and pace.


We have been sold a fable; if it’s your life path it will be manageable. Note that I didn’t say easy, we have gone past expecting it to be easy; we are prepared to handle whatever comes but we often not prepared for the tenacity of the problem or how swift time is to make an exit as we try to wrestle the problem to a corner. I find these situations similar to ironing an over dried rich linen/wool/cotton outfit on low heat, without water, spray starch or a good ironing surface on a Monday morning. You take a shower, cream your body, and set out to iron said outfit under given circumstances above. Soon you start to sweat, you panic as time runs faster and the outfit stays unresponsive to your best efforts. The image of a perfect you in that perfect outfit slowly start to lose its appeal, the knowledge of you as the perfect person who makes the outfit shine becomes emboldened. And in a flash, the outfit is tossed aside and another chosen.


Note the outfit isn’t abandoned or destroyed; it’s just not the one for today. The impetus to do more is gone; slowly it’s relegated to the shadows. In that same vain we throw marriages away, dreams, friendships, jobs, beliefs, etc. because they wouldn’t fit the way we wanted, and we tell ourselves the show must go on.


We throw things away because we have become trained in the act of perseverance, persevering to the next high, not to the end of the present one.


We throw away things because ‘I’ isn’t used to seeing ‘U’ ahead in the queue.


We throw away things because our brainbox is now automated and like the voice on the other end of the phone it only repeats what it’s been programmed to say.