Musings

Are We There Yet? – 365

Picture this, a pair of eyes peeking out into the sunshine from behind blackout curtains and the following words bouncing in the air like bubbles…

Are

we

there

yet?

A child is born and once they start preschool, no matter what age that is, their lives begin to revolve around waking up, going somewhere to learn, and sleeping at night. Of course, there’s a lot of stuff in between but slowly this becomes the essence.

In primary school, competition begins straight up to university where it’s a do-or-die affair. ‘Your choice will determine how well you do in life’.

All through university, this knowledge weighs down on them and then they graduate and are pushed into this cutthroat world where few ever find the ‘right’ path – whatever that is. They trudge and struggle, through countless job applications, interviews, rejections, jobs, and moments.

It’s always a matter of the next one. In primary school, they look forward and work toward secondary school. In secondary school, they need to pass all their subjects so they can get into the university program they want. University comes with its own struggles because who’ll hire a failure.

Then they graduate and wonder what they learnt all through their school years because apparently, grades don’t matter as much in the real world. It can even be argued that experience isn’t the determining factor – it’s all about how well they can prove themselves. How well they can present themselves as a good fit for whatever.

And then, slowly, they begin to wonder, ‘are we there yet?’

When do we arrive at this place we’ve been practicing so much for? When do we get to the other side of the struggle? When can we take a breath, let it out, and know it is done?

When do we get there?

Wherever ‘there’ might be, one truth is that it’s different for everyone. Some are born into their ‘there’, some have it given to them in preschool. Some never had to struggle, ‘there’ was always there and theirs. Some achieve it in university or even earlier.

On the other hand, some struggle all the years and still wake up, old, gray, and hunchbacked wondering if they’re there yet.

The size of the dream will determine the distance to ‘there’ and the time it might take to get there. But for many, they don’t get to decide the size of their dream, it’s thrust upon them and they never get the chance to reconsider. It’s all the reality they’ve ever known and so, they will fight tooth and nail to achieve it.

And still, like a mirage, there remains out of reach. In its questionable nebulous form, always seeming both within and out of reach.

And behind all of these, there’s that child who’s developed the habit of waking, going somewhere, and sleeping at night. There’s that child who’s been trained to reach for something they aren’t even sure is there.

There’s that child asking, ‘are we there yet?’

Are we there yet?

©Ọrẹolúwa Matẹ̀milọ́lá 2022 All Rights Reserved

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