So, What Are You Going To do About Your Situation?

My life sucks, he said
What’s wrong with it?
I don’t know. Everything?
No. Be specific. You’re a scientist. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?Don’t think too much…just select. Like…which part of your life sucks?
He paused for a minute.

He used to practice Judo. He’d stopped for a month now. Things weren’t going as planned — school, work, life. There were things he couldn’t exactly control. And there were things he didn’t know he could control. We walked for an hour an a half. He bought me supper. And we talked.

I told him my story — worried I’d seem narcissistic. So I tried to focus on the key moments- my mother crying, the moment I knew I couldn’t keep lying to my parents, the regret I bore for years.

I told him about 2002. How thrilled I was during my literature classes. I still remember Achebe’s Things Fall Apart as my first real, African read.

2005. I had great grades at the GCE Ordinary levels. Hence, counselled into studying science at the highschool — because that’s what smart people do. Even though I knew I wanted to study Literature, French and History so as to become a translator.

2006. I have a 9.99/20 average in Chemistry. My term, jeopardized. The matter is fixed. I still shiver when I think of the consequences of failing in secondary school. All those who hadn’t made it, on the night before we returned home ( I went to boarding school) will stand in front of the student body. Name called, you march across the hall to the podium. Emotional torture.

2007. I barely make it at the G.C.A Advanced level. I love Biology. Mostly because of my inspiring teacher — Miss Dora Banboye. I hate everything else. Doesn’t stop me from following my peers. Doesn’t stop me from writing the entrance exams into Medical school. Doesn’t stop me from feeling incredible useless after I fail the exams.

Because, you know, that’s what smart people do.

2008. I don’t write exams during the second semester at the University. I’m tired. Frustrated and lost.

2009. I get a second chance to make a first impression. I pass the entrance exam into Medical Laboratory Sciences. I hate it. But I can’t tell my parents. Because, you know, good children don’t break their parents’ hearts with such information.

2011. I didn’t tell him about 2011. I don’t like talking about this. It was a dark time. The time I had my first real depressive bout.

2012. My mother wept. My father didn’t talk to me for weeks.

“Ok. Kamga , tell us now. Please. You don’t want to study MLS”, my mother said. Her voice came out of her throat with difficulty. “What do you want to study now?”
“I don’t know. I just know that this is not what I want”.

Do you think I’ve figure my life out? I asked him.
Why do you think that? 
Or is it because I
SEEM to have figure my life out?

We both laughed.

I got into the University in 2007. I got my bachelor’s degree last year (2015). I started my blog in 2012. I quit an internship that could have led to a favorable job — twice in the span of two years.

I’m currently working on three creative projects I love. I’m compiling a collection of poetry, picture stories, and a short story collection.

I do social media for a friend who runs a small business I believe in- 5G Technologies. I learned audio editing by myself and started my podcast. I’m taking a video editing course to start a vlog. I have incredible friends. I write with an amazing woman on Self-ish. I have beautiful conversations in my Snapchat with beautiful people. I’ve attracted a trailblazer as my mentor. I look better than I did in 2012 . Well, that’s what I’d like to think *wink*. I read more books in a month than I did the whole of 2015. I As I write this, I have food in my pot — food I cooked.

I’m not who I was in 2002. Or 2005. Or 2015. I’m not who I was yesterday.

Neither are you.

I’ve been reading James Altucher since 2012, I said. Chewing on my Sharwarma.

He has this thing he calls “The Daily Practice”. He says that whenever he’s done it, he’d noticed massive changes in his life in 6 months.

Everyday, take care of your four bodies:

  1. Physical body: Eat well, Sleep well, Exercise.
  2. Emotional body: Surround yourself only with people who care and love you. Cut out the rest. Avoid crappy people.

3. Mental body: Write ten ideas a day. Read. Exercise your idea muscle. It atrophies if you don’t.

4. Spiritual Body: Read a text of scripture daily — Koran, Bible, whatever your religion . Meditate. Practice an attitude of gratitude.

But do you know what gets me this happy?
he replied.
I told him, I have my dark times. When I feel exactly like you do. First off, no one’s problem is bigger or smaller than any other person’s. Think about it. Like…right now…I’m hungry. And you’ve bought me food. Think about the people who can’t even afford this food. Or a friend like you to buy for them. Or the people who don’t even have electricity. What about those who have no eyes?

Or ( I felt the dread rising) those who are dead. Right now.

Tell me bro, isn’t there much to be happy about? Don’t you think we should be grateful for what we have?

We stopped at the University junction.

I’m going to do as you say , he said. Thanks.

I stifled the urge to tell him that it didn’t matter if he thanked me or not. That if he didn’t practice these ideas, none of it would matter.

Remember bro, you always have a choice. Every single day is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. 24 hours to change the game. Malcom X is your hero, right?
He laughed.
Yeah. That dude went to prison a genuine criminal. How did he emerge?
A genuine hero
, he said.
Voila. You always have a choice bro. And time is more expensive than money.

“So,” I asked “What are you going to do about your situation?”

Hi. I’m Tchassa Kamga and I love writing. I currently live in Buea, Cameroon. I host a podcast and I freeze stuff on Instagram. You can find me onTwitter,Snapchat and Facebook as well. Together my good friend C. Befoune, we started Self-ish where we share personal essays on self improvement, content creation and human relationships.

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