Early Adult-hood: Episode 1 – “The Transitioning”

“Your parents aren’t always going to be there for you”; if you are Nigerian, this phrase would most likely have been said to you, most especially by your parents. However, they always dreaded the day we will be on our own, while our ‘innocent selves’ anticipated it. Well, the time has come for us at Fibbs and most of y’all reading this, to leave our homes in search of our promise land.

So today, we’ll be sharing our experiences with this transition. Just so you know, it’s not as cool as they make it seem in movies. So, yeah,enjoy the ride…

Question: While you were younger, were you always eager to grow up, and why?

Banji: Of course, I think everyone was eager. Mine was because I always wanted to explore other philosophies of life, and yeah, because I had (and still have) this weird habit of rubbing a towel all over the bottom of my feet. I still don’t know why I do it, but it feels good and they never allowed me do it at home.

Ike: Well, yes, I guess. I mean, who doesn’t desire freedom and liberty to do as they will?? To go out when you want, return home when you want, drink what you wanna, eat what you wanna, and uhm, smash who you wanna?? (LOL!!)….

Biola: Yes, I was. The idea of independence and freedom from doing my parents’ bidding all the time was appealing to me, then. Especially those times when I was forced to vigil, when I would rather sleep.

Question: What’s the most shocking thing about being an adult?

Banji: I have to pay bills. Like, for a while now, I’ve been taking care of my feeding and that was fine, until three weeks ago when I had to pay NEPA bills and security bills. I mean, when I came to the realization that I just paid bills, I was like, “shit, there goes my lion king money”.

Ike: Well, I stayed alone off campus while I was in school and was already accustomed to the whole bill payments and all, although I was paying them with “my hard-earned father’s money”. What I would say threw me off balance was finding out my parents were actually serious about not paying some of my dues anymore. Like, they legit left me to the wild……Damn!

Biola: Like Ike, I already started the independent life from my parents when I was barely 17. So I would say the most shocking thing has got to be the you’re-on-your-own-factor. But, it’s not totally shocking, because it was anticipated, but dem no tell us say nah like this e go dey dey. That the adult ride ain’t rosy at all *sobbs

Ikechukwu Gbogboade

Question: How has this transition changed you?

Banji: Basically, I experienced a major decline in human interactions and keeping up with conversation. Not like it’s okay, but I’m just too tired to start and continue conversations. All my girls have moved on to greater things, and now I just eat dinner by 6 pm and leave the house by 7am. And yeah, I now tuck in my shirt.

Ike: Well, I guess I experienced the same withdrawal from people, especially my family. Also, I couldn’t maintain relationships, so I just stopped trying. Needed a whole lotta “me time” to adjust to the new phase, make career choices and also devise means to carve out a niche for myself.

Biola: I must admit it has changed me a lot. Cos growing up, I was very difficult and my parents and siblings found it difficult with me as I was practically rebellious. I only did things that pleased and appealed to only me while I was a child. But adulthood has made me go soft and very diplomatic, I must add. As I now consider how my actions directly or indirectly affect those around me and those I claim to love. So I would say, ‘adulting’ has made me more mature with my choice of behavior.

Biola oladiji

Question: Your worst day during this transition period?

Banji: It was a fateful sunday, I fell sick and I was weak as fuck. I couldn’t get off the bed, and I was in bed till like 4pm, shivering and hadn’t had anything to eat. Then I realized that I was alone and there was actually no one I could call, and I had work the next day which was supposed to be like my official first day. So I gathered all the strength I had left and started to look for a pharmacy. To make matters worse, I was new to this environment and didn’t know anywhere. Fortunately, I found a small shop, then I entered, so I could make enquiries about where to get a pharmacy. That’s how I vomited, and they were now pouring water on my head. A man walked up to me and asked if I had any relative around. I swear, I haven’t felt so alone in my life.

Ike: Awwwwwwn, that’s so touching, Banji. I would have asked you to come cry on my shoulder, but that’d be gay. Anyways, for me it was the day I was broke af. I called my mother, I mean the woman that born me, and she said I was on my own. Never have I felt so betrayed in my entire life. So, I allowed my mind run wild and I started thinking of what I could do to make money. Well, that was how my love story with “Forex” began!!

Biola: Uhmmm… trying to think. Have I really had a bad day??! I kinda take every day/incident that hits me with a truckload of optimism. But if I would have to say one, I guess it would be days I had to call my mom for ‘handouts’. When I was 19, I kinda made a promise to myself to get some financial independence and start pulling my own weight and it sure started well as I had a lecturer who liked me and always called me for jobs, and it was really paying. Somewhere along the line, I stopped working for him and though I was independent and jobless, the bills didn’t know to take a pause and gimme a break *laughs. So at this moment when the bills kept piling (water, Nepa, Lawma bills), I just had to call home. Although mom was happy to oblige and send some money, I felt strange asking after 2 years of independence. But come to think about it, even the Federal government gets loans from our colonizers *opens arms

Question: Is there anything good about this transition?

Banji: Yeah! I can rub my feet with a towel to my heart’s content, eat what and how I like, and well, I’m still trying to figure out the rest.

Ike: Well, yes, I guess. Obviously the first positive thing is the fact that now I can manage money. Trust me, if you gimme 10naira, I can manage that shii for a week (lol!!). Also, it has helped me focus and become more goal-oriented. I mean, ignorance has never been as “bliss” as now. Back then, I used to call people, burn airtime and time looking for gist, now, fuck all that!! Make all men dey dem dey!!

Biola: Yes, yes, yes! It is a period where you do you to figure out YOU. You get to experience the world in your own eyes and define it through your own experiences and none else’s. Growing up, parents told you to go to church, stand and pray, lay your bed, blah blah blah. But this is the age or period you ask the important. WHY??!! Here you give yourself a good enough reason as to why you’re doing what you’re doing/told to do, or you totally debunk it and form your own basis to life. Yeah, like my friends have said, it could really be a difficult moment as one might experience withdrawal and the likes, but it’s a YOU MOMENT FOR YOU!

Question: What do you think is needed to survive this transition?

Banji: it’s basically just finding your balance and learning from your mistakes.

Ike: To be honest, I think it’s best to prepare for this stage before going into it. Exposure is very important, cause you’d need it in the real world. Broaden your horizon, look for what suites you, what makes you you, what puts a smile on your face, and what you enjoy doing best, then use that to carve out a niche for yourself. That I think would give you an edge cause the maddest thing is being yourself is what makes you different now. Also, getting opinion polls from people is not necessary, forget it, make that mistake and learn from it. We pull back to gather momentum to shoot for the sky. Recap: Exposure, be yourself (regardless of what anyone thinks or says), learn from your mistakes.

Biola: To be honest, having a mentor. I’ll admit it is a stage to figure you out and all of that. But then again, it’s a very difficult moment with lots of uncertainties that could rock one’s boat. And wouldn’t you want an experienced captain to help steady the boat when the storm comes rocking?? Ask most adults what their biggest regrets are, and 75% would say they wish they knew then what they know now. So, a mentor would be my first pick to survive this period with barely a scratch.

About Banji Coker 155 Articles
Banji Coker is a Nigerian poet, writer and spoken word artist. He is the author of two poetry compilations, Just seventeen and October feelings.

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