Growing up I believed I was special. I was extremely good at the things I was good at and extremely bad at the things I sucked at. I was not a regular kid. I never considered myself average. But now I know I'm average. I face the same daily struggles as most people. I'm part of the masses, the ones referred to in most publications about Nigeria. But the annoying part is -- it's very tough to keep up to the average standard. There's nothing average about being average. It's almost a battle to maintain my average lifestyle, and a lot of times I see myself as losing.
There's this concept of Rich Dad, Poor Dad that has infused the society. Everyone thinks the only way to live a better life is to be rich. Make money first, then enjoy. Never the other way round. But what my friend did and said after, triggered a new mindset in me. After crossing out the Adventurous, she said, "Oh no. You're definitely not adventurous. Your are an Excel expert, a geek and definitely an introvert. But not adventurous, not even a bit." I realized that I have been more introvertively adventurous. All my my adventures had a well thought-out intellectual aim. When I went to Cotonou for a month without knowing anyone there, spending more than half of my life savings, and living like I was researching for a vacation magazine; it was because I desperately wanted to improve my French, which I had been learning for 2 years then. When I backpacked round the major riverine communities in Bayelsa state, and living like a fugitive; it was because I wanted to face my fear of the unknown. When I began learning to swim in a river, it was because I desperately wanted to learn to swim. I have hardly done a thing just for the fun of doing it.
Now I'm rethinking my life. I have scheduled all the fun part of my life to after making money. And my strategy has been: Worked terribly hard and smart, then slowed down and enjoy. It is the general trend. It's like pushing a big rock up a hill just to enjoy the sight of seeing it roll down the other edge of the hill. Most likely, you'll be too tired when you get to the top of the hill that you won't enjoy, as much as you thought, the sight of seeing the rock roll down the other side of the hill. I don't want my life to be like that anymore. I'm going to slacken my budget and allow for a lot more adventure funding. I'm going to become an outdoor person. I would do more things, not for the benefits I hope to get, but for the thrill of doing them.
I'm no longer going to put money first. (I mean in relation to living a fun-filled life. In terms of my life priorities, it's: God first, Family second; Friends third...)