Do you know how many times I’ve backspaced this intro? I can’t quite get the words for a good intro. Something that will make me feel like ‘now that’s a way to say I’m turning 20!’ Well no words can. So there: Today I am 20. And yes it is none of your business.

Early Sunday morning, October 2nd 1994 there was this nurse struggling to make an infant cry. I would sue the nurse right now if I knew her name. She really hit me that day. I didn’t want to give in I swear. Tried really hard. But her slaps… So I decided “What a way to enter earth!” And I let out screams until they started praying for me to shut up. It was remarkable. I feel as if I can remember that day.

If you’d ask me what I think of 20 year olds when I was 10 years old (in class 5), I’d probably say “They’re big men who know how to do things”. Not the exact words maybe but something like that. Men. Who know how to do things. Now I see how life really is. Do I see the difference between me now and me in class 5? Yes. Physically. But deep inside it is still the same. Nothing has changed. I may know a lot more now that I knew then and I may reason better than I did back then but the plain truth is: somewhere inside I’m still the same. And most assuredly, this must be what is making me wonder. Men? Who know how to do things?

 

Time flies so fast. I can’t count the number of times I have confused the events of 2013 with those of 2014. 20 seemed so far when I was 10 yet it has come so fast.  Before I can plan it all out. I haven’t even made arrangements for this. At this rate I’ll marry and be 30 without knowing it.

However 19 taught me a couple of things:

  1. Little Things Matter More Than the Big Things

It is true. All the big accomplishments I have made, looking back, are as a result of the small things in life. The friendships. The prayers. The discussions. The arguments. The trust. The helping out of one another. Hope, faith and love.

Sometimes we expect big things. And we want them like boom! But that shouldn’t be the case. Things take time. Some take too much time. But that’s just the way it is. Great things take time to build. Even great friendships and great relationships. Time. So be patient. Take life slowly. Value the smallest of things.

  1. No One Knows What They’re Doing

I know people love looking like they are the most focused beings on earth. Like they have everything figured out. And the pressure is on each and everyone of us to be like that. Truth however is nobody knows what the hell they’re doing in their 20s. We lose ourselves, we get back up again. We fall down, we rise up. We make mistakes, we regret, we figure out better ways. It is life. Try. The wrong thing is not trying.

  1. Fail. And Fail Early While You Can

It is good to learn as early as possible and the best way is by making decisions. They might fail. And when you fail while this young you have time to correct your mistakes. 19 has shown me this. I have failed in very many attempts at things. But each time I tell myself I’ll forget that and try this.

  1. Be Happy and Make Friends

Waste your time not being happy and you’ll regret these moments of your life more than anything else. Make friends who’ll be helpful. Not ones who seek for your doom. Be the good friend so that you can have good friends. Be the example so that you can have examples in your life. Be the best and you will draw like people to yourself.

19 wasn’t easy. The lecturers plotted to kill me but I made it out alive. An infatuation plotted to murder me, but we’re cool. I’ll forget everything in a couple of weeks. Focus on my new year the way a cop focuses on not missing the 100 bob bribes. The way a certain lecturer of mine focuses on giving us supplementaries. Don’t even ask about the infatuation.

I am still awake writing this. The birthday messages are flowing in. The only person who’ll SMS me already has. The rest will WhatsApp or fill my Facebook Timeline. I had opened my timeline prior. I know their fingers are itching to type their wishes. Some are laughing out loud that I’m 2o. Disclaimer: You’re not allowed to laugh at me because I’m younger than you. It is like laughing that your days on earth, practically, are fewer than mine. BURN. There! You’re all owned. I doubt Grace (who must punctuate my name with the word ‘baby’) will call me a baby ever again. Same for all the others.

Now let me address another issue. Have any of you watched Big Bang? You know Sheldon? Harriet started the whole thing of calling me Sheldon. Then Steph and Olivia. Whitney laughed at it too. On the holiest days of the year I am ending this. Do I look like that guy? Do I look like that confused man? A presumed scientist who has many sofas but still sits at one spot only and picks on anyone and everyone. I am not him. Next semester you’re not calling me that name again. If you do, I’ll call my nurse. See, I’ve made it a priority to find the first woman who made me cry. She will beat you all. Paloma might even fall down whilst reading that bit. But she won’t be spared by my nurse either. If any of you call me Sheldon, you’ll meet my nurse! I’m happy I’ve addressed that publicly. The argument is ended.

My sisters are in school, but I’m sure one way or another their huge (and funny looking) cards will arrive today evening. I don’t know how they do it. My folks card will also be here in the morning. And the word ‘SON’ will be proud all over. You should see their smiles everytime we mention the fact that I’m turning 20. My dad even told me, I am making him feel old. What do they want me to do? Stop time? Or should I say I’m 19 forever? I have heard this somewhere: girls remain 24 until they’re 40. Then don’t let me know your age.

Nobody loves growing. Nobody but me. Today I’m 20.

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