So I met Yinka during one of the interviews I attended while in search for a job sometime ago.
She was so desperate and in a rush. It was glaring and written all over her.
Eventually, we both were not picked.
She was devastated.
I remember she shared with me about the pressure from home and a lot she was going through. She was driven by a need to catch up.
"Akeju, I had lost a number of years. So I want to overturn those years I'd wasted."
"But you need to be patient . This phase is normal; and we all have to go through one or two phases before we eventually 'hit it'. So we keep trying!"
"Akeju, Now is the time I need to catch up or never."
I remember "Catching up" was her word.
Some weeks later.
I rang her, so as to check on her.
I was surprised when she told me she was already working in that same company we both were not picked.
"How come? When?" These are questions I asked.
She just smiled.
"You can't understand"
Later, that same night. I urged her to tell me how she'd find her way into that organization.
Then she told me, one of the key interviewers proposed she meet him for lunch in a hotel in Marina. Which she went.
That was how she got the job. She didn't give me details.
She said to me,
"Akeju, what are you talking about?!
N7million annual pay and a good official car with other benefits.
Just tell me, you are not happy for me."
"Well, I am. Just want you to take things slowly"
After that day, we never get to converse again. I would ring her but she won't pick.
Then there was this day she sent me a text after she had seen my missed calls.
She was in the hospital. In critical condition. I was stunned!
I paid her a visit. Her appearance had changed.
She looked old.
She told me,
"Akeju! Guess my age."
I said, "40"
She looked at me, "Akeju, I am just approaching 34."
But she looked 40.
She spoke with so much pain and regret.
"I Paid the price i needed not to pay."
That was all she had to say repeatedly.
Her health was deteriorated. Coupled with marital woes.
Money does not bring happiness.
It does not bring fulfillment.
Money is a good thing. But it doesn't answer all things.
Following, I saw her obituary. Her heart had packed up.
I got hit with the news of her demise. While I had many thoughts going through my head.
Are you also trying by all means to catch up or in a haste?
Don't be in a hurry.
You're going to burn out.
You'll get to the place you do not want to go.
Take it one day at a time. Give your all and be hopeful.
Work to live.
Don't live to work.
No one wins the race that way. Ask those who'd gone before.
We all, will get there in time.
Aspire for the best and for the top.
But not at the detriment of your life.
Your life don’t worth the exchange.
Do not because of today, burn out.
Do. Not. Burn. Out!
© Oluwanishola Akeju