The years are coming at me thick and fast. It is yet the start of another year for me to journey through this cruel voyage of life. Sucks to celebrate New Year and your birthday in a space of four days. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. It is what you do as you age.
I spent the last year largely alone, coming to terms with so many things. And sometimes all a man needs is a cigarette, a lager, or a tot of something poisonous, Fally Ipupa in the background and shooting breeze. Slaps are really good than your grandmother’s thick, well-brewed tea.
Upon reflection, here are 37 things that I have learned. But before I start, do you ever see how ugly we look in our older photos, say those taken 13 years ago?
1. Only sit at the tables you are invited to sit on.
2. There will always be people who will have problems with you. You can mind your business all you can, but there will always be nosy people, rumor-mongers, witches, and others for whom your mediocre and mundane life will always be their business. Pray for those.
3. Sometimes, you have to make decisions that will break your heart but will give peace to your soul. Whether it is a breakup, moving to a different city/country, changing your barber, weed supplier, or whatever, do it. Life is not static.
4. When people who like to play victim hold the mic, your side of the story doesn’t matter.
5. You will make enemies as you grow. In your family. Friends. Online. Everywhere. You can’t be too careful enough.
6. Some help comes with horrible chains attached to it. You better off being miserable than accepting it.
7. Sometimes, your pride and ego are your best defence. It is how you remain dignified and stoic in a world that wants to pull you down.
8. Often, I feel we have not given Prezzo his flowers. He is the closest we ever came to building a celebrity culture. He had a good flow, too (underground hip-hop lover, skip this)
9. Sometimes, swimming to the destination, you don’t need some bridges. (Check No. 6).
10. Often, your vulnerability is a source of entertainment to other people. Some friends are sadists by nature, and they derive orgasmic pleasure in schadenfreude. Be private. Be guarded as much as possible. That opening up stuff can be a bad trap. Not everything about you should be known out there. For men, clean your mess yourself most of the time. Have two trusted lieutenants to help you wherever necessary.
11. Some men gossip worse than even the worst female gossipers in a market.
12. Obi Trice in Snitch said, “Nowadays, your circles should be small as hell.” That is beautiful advice.
13. You can’t friendzone a woman. She will hate you more than she does a murderer. I’ve never seen a more aggressive woman than a woman you just tried to tether to a post in the friendzone. Have you ever seen a marauding buffalo?
14. Often, shit gets worse. Not better. So, gather all the grace to handle any shit, even when it gets superlatively horrible. Chill, bro. Panic and anxiety can no more solve a problem than chewing gum can solve an algebraic equation.
15. Good women are gifts to the world. Surround yourself with those. They bring the best vibes and energy to life. Warm thighs, too.
16. Always create room for disappointment. It is a constant in life.
17. Draw your boundaries around your life. Guard their territorial integrity. Many people are determined to disrespect your boundaries. Defend your boundaries as Israel defends herself. When you respect your boundaries, people will respect them, too.
18. Learn to say NO to things you don’t feel like doing or participating in. Don’t over-explain. NO is sufficient.
19. Losing friends as we grow old is a natural part of life. There is nothing you can do about it.
20. The only way to leave a party or where people are drinking is through an Irish exit/French farewell/Dutch goodbye, whatever they call it. No one cares if you leave. You aren’t that important anyway, come to think of it. Pay your bill if you have one, though before you vamoose.
21. You gotta show up for yourself. Please.
22. Girls can waste your time on a good one. Don’t entertain the wrong ones.
23. Let go of people whom you no longer share ideals, dreams, and perspectives with. No hard feelings.
24. It is the woman who determines a man’s libido.
25. For men here, get head. Bust a nut. More frequently. Safely, though. Nothing is more scintillating. Also, good for your prostate.
26. Complain less. Do more.
27. Your true family and friends will never abandon you. Don’t abandon your true family and friends. Always show up.
28. Is there anything we can do to make roasted cassava taste better? I always feel it should taste better, but nobody has hacked a formula to kill off the bland taste. The red pepper does nothing on it.
29. You can do it if you give it your best shot.
30. You are only as small or as big as you imagine yourself to be. Don’t shrink yourself. A little bit of delusion goes a long way. It is how politicians do it. It is how women bag high-value men. Use the same approach to life.
31. Nothing will ever substitute the place of good books in our lives. Nothing.
32. Take a funny girl in a dress on a road trip in the countryside. Let her control the playlist. And listen to her stories. When you stop for lunch, go for kienyeji chicken. Always. When in a safe place, park the car, recline the seats, and talk some more. Read the mood lest you be like me and start telling her about characteristics of Tundra Forest and other Temperate types of climate. Never ever make a girl yawn, kid. Makosa.
33. For men, especially single ones, replace your beddings every week. Clean bedsheets and duvets add to the quality of sleep. Which is good for your testosterone.
34. True love is possible. Don’t give up. Don’t let your cynicism kill you. There is someone for everyone.
35. Don’t take shit too personally. Be easy. Always.
36. The goal in life is to be a high-ranking soldier for your peeps. Don’t fail them.
37. Live happily. Stay sharp. Stay focused. And grind harder.
Here is to a great year of purpose, positivity, possibilities, and winning.