In class 6, I participated in the annual music festivals. We had a choral verse performance and we had reached the provincial level if I’m not wrong. This was 2005 and I was barely 11 years old. I remember very well that this is the choral verse from which I learnt the words emaciated and withered.

After our performance, we were chilling and waiting to be taken back home, drinking the usual soda with a quarter loaf of bread. Someone cracked a joke and while we were still laughing some high school students, a guy and a girl, passed us holding hands and appearing all gross. And we were all like okay…

These were the days when we, the boys, feared girls. Like for real. They were always bigger than us then. Always louder and ready for a fight, or so I thought.

Every new term, our class teacher would re-arrange our sitting positions. And she liked mixing us up like no one’s business. We had these old-school desks, and the worst-case scenario was when you were told to sit between two girls. They would bully you the hell up. Kaa vizuri. Andika vizuri. Toa mkono nione text book vizuri. Hebu amka usikalie dress yangu. Nipe ink. Leta pencil. Wapi rubber. Utavunja hio ruler. Blah blah.

There was this time, the class teacher shuffled us and I was told to sit next to this scary monster. Nowadays she’s a friend LOL. We didn’t talk for one whole month, I swear. I’d come to class, sit and wait for the lesson to end. Then as usual, the atmosphere cooled down and we would talk a little and even laugh at jokes.

Anyway, back to this music festivals day. Seeing these two adults, as we then thought them to be, walk past us being all grown up in front of everyone, made me wonder if I’d ever grow up.

Someone suggested they were in form 3 or 4. And I was like, that’s only 4 or 5 years from class 6. The difference in appearance, and in perceived “freedom” seemed massive. But in age it was only a 5-year difference.

I never believed, at that time, that Form 3 and 4 would come and pass. Time didn’t fly back then. And there was no pressure to think of the future, worry about what might happen.

6 years later, now to the night before my last KCSE papers in high school, I literally couldn’t believe that High school had come and was over. I remember being all happy and scared at the same time.

This was also the case a few weeks ago, when I finished my University coursework and I was writing this post over here.

One moment we are here, the next we are somewhere else.

This post was supposed to be about working hard. I just don’t know why I started reminiscing about the past stuff. Maybe it is because of all the things I have always promised myself to work hard on throughout the years.

There’s never enough time.

Think of all the things you’ve always said you’d work hard on. The business you wanted to start. The talent you wanted to pursue. The dream you wanted to try out. The book you wanted to write. The job you wanted to get.

In university, I kept promising myself to work hard on many business ideas, many projects, many things like reading books, attending important events and following dreams.  Many of these were never achieved. “I will do it. I will do it.” And I ended up not doing anything. The procrastination monkey got the better of me.

Now that I am outside, free of any time constraints, free of any of the things I used to believe were holding me back, I would like to tell myself that I can pursue all my wants in life. But it is all castles in the air if I don’t try every day.

It is all a waste if you don’t try every day of your life to force yourself to do something. The motivation never comes. Time is flying. And in 5 years we’ll all be older and tired. 5 isn’t a small number. Think of a 5-year-old and a 10-year-old. Think of a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old. Think of a 15-year-old and a 20-year-old. Where will you be in 5 years?

The answer to anyone’s next 5 years I have always believed is in the things one does every day.

I am 22 and I’m crying that growing up is a trap. In 5 years, I wonder how bad that trap will be. 5 years is just the time since I was in first year to now. 5 years is also the time difference between me in class 6 and that form 3 high school couple.

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