Finally done with college? What now?
Oftentimes, I conduct an audit of what achievements I’ve made so far in life. For someone at whose heart the arrow of midlife is aiming, it’s an important yardstick, lest the shocker of years running downhill toward old age catches you out of guard.
You see, success as an artist is hard to quantify. A painter friend swears that an artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one. We’ll all agree with her verdict.
To imagine and depict things artistically is virtuosity all right. And this finesse is not for Jay Walkers.
Being fulfilled in the inside – the filling of tart for any genuine artist –is the crowning glory.
Oh, perish the vainglory.
While trying to locate myself in the radar of success, I often slip into the bog of comparisons. Comparing myself with fellows I’ve known all life.
You see, some of my cronies have had what you might call phenomenal exploits, without seeming to hyperbolise it. Half my class in college have flown to Europe and the US. Opportunity. Grand opportunity.
Those still plying their trade locally are running mega projects with the state, or multi-billion dollar NGOs. As higher-ups. Or as hangers-on. But does it matter? Talk of big money.
Once you exit college, colliding with some shots is a bear. I’ve met friends in town by coincidence, and subtly, very subtly, out of design.
Graduates invent ways of meeting with chums, and yarn about their experiences in college. Which is pretty cool. Soon, this becomes an unsustainable luxury, and withers thus.
If you think that I am painting after-college-life as a frightfully grim phase, you are off the mark. Put your sabre back.
Everyone has a post-college tale. Sometimes a fantastic spiel bearing all the hallmarks of unreal. Other times a depressing tale. But a story anyway.
Recently, I embarked on a mission to establish what former colleagues have been up to. My small research unearthed a lot. When I say a lot, I mean total baggage.
The duo of Rob and Jude are no more. Natural causes, and cancer. Devastating.
Rebecca, who we called Bex out of fondness, was a temp in a government agency when a monolithic corruption scandal rocked the department. Apparently she was receiving hundreds of thousands of shillings in allowances, yet her role was, well, neither here nor there. You understand the Kenyan way of things, don’t you? That.
Then the chicken came home to roost.
Ted caused me a heartache. The bloke fled the country, and joined, good guess, a terror gang. This guy though always exhibited an inherent penchant for havoc.
Sue is married to an irredeemable booze hound with 800 kids. Could life get more toxic?
Sharon is a professional lesbian. A quick way –isn’t it? –to earn an easy buck. And bills must be paid. I won’t mind her shit.
Kimberley, by all means, was our class socialite. She raped the law. How so, stabbing a rival in a nightclub it was. According to some wind, she was wrongfully implicated. The bottom line is, she’s behind bars. For three.
Job lost one eye. In a catfight. With his wife. The poor chap was tanked-up when the woman, the trigger-happy sort, descended on him with blows Tai Chi style. A mono-eyed Job is laughable to imagine.
LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Then Saul. Our high school bully. I stumbled upon his brother a week ago. According to Julius, his sibling ‘went the way of the deep forest’. That’s French euphemism for departed. You get it, no? The chap stopped a police bullet. Robbery.
That is about as harsh as life has been to some of my friends.
Every being has distinctive abilities. Says conventional wisdom. And that comparing oneself is tantamount to lack of self-pride.
But let’s face it, folks, shall we?
Would you follow a blind alley because you don’t wanna carry the tag of a mimic? If aping is the surest path to a worthy life, to hell with the philosophy.
How has your life been after college? Before you say it, bear this in mind: we can’t all be equal. What you regard as immaterial might take others more than a lifetime to attain.