I wonder whether you have noticed that nowadays life has become mostly a show. A freaking reality show, at that! The ‘glorious’ culture of expenditure has found a nice warm permanent place in our society. There is only one prominent way to go; spend and display it to the world. If the number of reality TV shows cropping up every dawn and the number of posts on Facebook and Instagram laced with crude opulence is anything to go by then our is a system now founded on materialism. You have seen it, maybe you have even typed and posted it. The shopping bags scattered on your bed, the shoes in your closet, the fancy weave and snapshots while at diner in exotic places. If you can’t afford it, then photo shop it. By all means show you have more.
Yeah, that is the system our materialistic selves have created: Where everybody wants to be perceived as the richest, the coolest and most pertinently the biggest spender. Do you know what such a system does to us? It makes us pretenders. Editors of our own lives bearing the hope that we can sell a redacted image to the people who follow us on Instagram, those who are our friends on Facebook and those physically around us. Using #hash tags, make up and filters to selectively expurgate our disappointments and dissatisfaction, to attain picturesque for presentation to the world. The problem is the pretence monster gets addicted after the second and third bites. So we become serial revisionists of our very own real lives, literally living double lives. Wearing costumes to present ourselves to the world and only taking them down behind our shut bedroom doors and under our heavy blankets. When you take time to think about it, you will be startled by the silent honesty that lies behind closed doors, the truths that are silenced at the rise of the sun and only find life when the moon and stars become visible in the sky. As if this truth only trusts the moon and stars to keep its secrets.
That is our world. It is the society we have built. One with an insatiable demand for more. They say pretenders are worse than murderers, what’s worse in this world than being behind the line that separates murderers from other averagely good people. But you know what? Even in this crazy ass society, it does not have to be so bad. And for this reason, when you have someone (s) in your life who doesn’t care whether you meet the shows standards or not you should thank the good Lord for them, love them and hold tight to them. If you have a friend whom you can hangout with without feeling the need to masquerade in a costume, then that is your gold in the town and you ought to guard it zealously. A person who doesn’t think when you are broke you are suffering from an alien disease, which has a sponsor at the top list of the cures. An individual who tells you-“my dear friend this race is freaking tough but let’s keep running.
As a person you only have a pair of eyes which can only focus in one direction at a time. But when you have a great friendship with you, you get an extra pair. This means you have a clear front and back view of life. It means you can beat the chameleon at its legendary monocular vision advantage. You become a goddarn superhuman! A monocular vision comes in handy in this town. Opportunity is everything. Sometimes it’s the peculiar line that divides the haves and havenots. When an opportunity is behind you, you’ve got a friend to tap you on the shoulder and whisper to you- “go get it!”
The converse is true for threats and dangers. You can’t see all of them in variant directions at the same time. You need someone to watch your back.
By now you have figured am talking about a great friendship. No, am not talking about your drinking buddies whom you only meet at the end of month and avoid each other when you descend from loyalty to being a church mouse. It’s not your girlfriends who together you have created a Whats-App group going by the name of- (Bitches Rule This World!), where you share news about the latest acquisitions in your closet before you rip off the price tags. This is not about a Facebook acquaintance who likes each of your posts including the lame ones, far from it!
Am not even talking about will-o-the-wisp kinds, who text you so you can avoid the Acoblow gatekeepers. Or the girls you went to Twerk School together.
This story is about people who show up when it’s thick and thinnest. People who can’t keep mum and watch you head down mistake Ville. Instead they will do everything in their power to pull you back. They are never afraid of pointing out your gaffes, not so that their hearts beat when they belittle you but because they care too much about you. They always correct you with tough love.
The kind of people who will drag you out of the house on a Saturday morning so you can attend a Centonomy event together! Yeah, those are the kind!
I don’t know how many great friendships one can have, but I’m a believer in the proverb- ‘good things come in small packages.
The shy girl lands a friend
When I joined high school, I had short hair. In fact if I wore a pair of trousers anyone would be excused for thinking I was a boy (yeah, it was that good/ bad). I was admitted to a girls’ school and most of them were brought up by parents who were modern and kind enough to allow them to grow their hair. My parents parental guide book lucidly stated that long hair was a distraction from the pertinent goals a young girl should have for herself. You know, like straight As in class and staying away from boys lest they infected you with a pregnancy at a young age and worst out of the wedlock. You would think that my peculiarly short hair was the queerest thing about me that set me apart from most if not all the girls. But no, it wasn’t. Rather, it was my introvert nature and shyness that highlighted me from a crowd of girls. Meeting confident and beautiful girls who spoke good English with exotic accents didn’t make my situation any better.
For the longest time possible I was a lone wolf-who followed the popular students desperately riding on their glory? Every friendship I invested in was driven by a sheer need to belong. To be part of! I ended up feeling like an outsider, irony ha! I never experienced true and solid friendship until I was two years old in high school.
You see just like normal teenagers, while we were in form two our hormones were on fire. Some of us became unruly and stubborn and when it was time to cross over to the senior class the teachers decided to make some major changes in our classes. So after a teachers meeting with the prefects an agreement to reshuffle the students was arrived at. The decision was received with mumbling but the wheels were already in motion; some students in West class moved to East, some in the North moved to South and those who remained in their former classes were paired with new desk mates. The idea was to break the amity that had been created between the students which according to a teachers+prefects consortium was the key precursor to unruliness.
Being an introvert my flaws, were carefully tucked and packed in my pockets so I wasn’t moved. The outspoken trouble makers were most affected. You know.., those guys who a minute could not pass before they tapped somebody’s shoulder and begin telling tales of their boy crush, or flashy lifestyle or just nothing! Those students who hopped from one class to the other while it was a quiet night prep! The folks whose names incessantly appeared on the noise makers list. Yeah, those people, they are the ones who had to labour to carry their desks across corridors headed to their destination, a new class.
The rumpus saw me get a new desk mate. It was tradition to rebel a new desk mate, a cold protest of sorts to show allegiance to your former desk mate whom you laughed with and dodged punishments together. Normally, the mutual rebellion would fizzle out after a few days, a week tops. So after a short lived rebellion, I began to notice that my new deskie and I had so much in common. We were introverts who opened their extrovert pages only when absolutely necessary, she too never received any love letters from boys in our brother school (lemme clarify that I had no idea why she didn’t receive any; at least not then. For me it was because after writing a couple and not receiving any reply my teenage heart was weighed down and I just gave up writing.) The icing on the whole top however was the fact that both of us loved writing.
Over the two years we built a great friendship. One that survived the distance life in higher education put between us. A friendship that has stood for eight years: In victory and defeat, good and bad times and in hope and despairing moments. A friendship that I have ceased calling a ‘friendship’, instead I refer to it as a blessing. Because that’s what it is- a blessing. Blessings bring out the best in a person, you shelter under blessings in raging storms, blessings do not push you to camouflage to hide your true self in exchange for acceptance; no! Blessings help you change your negatives with patience and love; and sometimes they make all the difference in these crazy ass streets.
Dear reader I wish you something bigger, something that the word ‘friendship’ can barely describe; I wish you the best blessing (s).