Tuesday, June 2, 2015

THE PARABLE OF TREKKERS


Being a child was so much fun and at times I wish I never grew up. I know it sounds crazy but that’s how I feel right now. Whenever I look back and reminisce on those days, I wish I could sleep and wake up twenty years younger and relive the experiences of childhood even if it were just for one day. Adulthood and its huge share of responsibilities has a way of cutting out all the fun and when you look back for a second at all you had to forsake for the sake of growing up, you can’t but wince and sigh. That’s my story presently. 

Why do I say this? I realize it’s been almost a year since I last dropped a post on this blog. Talk about one hell of a hiatus! What have I been doing all this while? The only answer I could think of right now is that I was being a responsible man – a husband, a father, a C.E.O, a church minister and so many other things all at the same time. I should also mention that since my last post, I have become a father to another beautiful baby girl. She’s going to be nine months old in a few days time.  Talk about time’s flight.

At some point, I was beginning to think I would never write anymore – really, I still feel that way. I’ve begun several (emphasis on ‘several’) posts on my laptop in the last one year and after the first five lines or the first paragraph, I would suddenly run out of steam and stop. I’m actually hoping that doesn’t happen with this post as well. Of course, the fact that you’re reading it shows that I made it this time and you can’t imagine the extent of my elation on this singular achievement. Trust me; I know what I mean here. Imagine a dancer suddenly losing his dancing skills or a singer suddenly losing her voice; that’s how it has been for me in the last one year. It just seemed as though things that used to be so easy to do became a bunch of much hated chores.

What really happened to me? I still don’t know. I’ve tried to blame this on my ‘huge chunk of responsibilities’ but then, I ask myself: Am I the first person with these responsibilities? Of course not! There are lots of people with much more on their plate and they still find time to fulfill their passions. Writing used to be a passion – a big one at that – for me but somehow, that passion has continued to slip away. As much as I try to shake it off, the resultant feeling hurts. I want to go back to those wonderful days again and perhaps, now is the time!

The spate of recent trekking embarked upon by a number of Nigerians for particular reasons got me thinking. Initially, I considered the idea as outright silly and stupid. For chrissakes, why go through the stress of trekking all the way from Lagos to Abuja to show your solidarity for a newly elected president? Why trek all the way from Abuja to Bayelsa to show your appreciation for a sitting president who simply conceded defeat in the polls? I believe there were numerous cases of trekkers all trying to outdo one another. I even heard of a newly wedded couple who embarked on another trek from Warri to Otuoke, Bayelsa and with their three-week old baby in tow. The entire initiative sounded ludicrous to me and I simply considered these people’s actions as baseless attempts to attract unnecessary attention to themselves and curry some executive favour. I actually began to write a post on it some weeks back but after the first paragraph . . . you know the rest.

Regardless of my lack of conviction or appreciation of what these people decided to do, I have to admit that they did something heroic. They all set out to do what a greater number of Nigerians would not do. The underlying connection they all share is their resilience and determination. They refused to pay any heed to the possibility that people like me would laugh at them and consider them silly or crazy. Most certainly, they got discouraged by people around them who said it was a pointless act but they decided they would do it anyway. The first man who did the trekking perhaps was the real hero amongst them all by virtue of his position in being the pioneer of the scheme. The others who came after him would probably have been ridiculed and labeled as desperate imitators or copycats and the likes but they simply didn’t give a shit. They decided to go ahead anyways and I have to salute them for that.

Getting my steam back is going to take a lot of courage and determination. I would have to brush the dirt of my shoulders and keep walking again. The more I sit back and look for excuses, the more time keeps passing me by and in a flash; it would have been ten years since my last post. I really wouldn’t want that for myself. I wouldn’t want to look back sometime in the future and begin to smile and sigh as I remember ‘the good days when I used to write’. I rather choose to look back then and remember the days when I couldn’t write as well as I would be writing then. I want to look back and remember days like this when it was hard to get back into the game but still I did. That’s when I would be truly proud of myself. In spite of the responsibilities and other things that seem to want to block out my original passion, I choose to stick with that passion. Like Johnny Walker, I’m going to keep walking! Or better still, I’ll keep trekking!

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