Wahala no dey Finish

Sometimes, it’s hard not to compare our lives with the art we consume. It’s hard to not put ourselves in the position of certain characters because, after all, how else will we know if the work is any good if it doesn’t resonate with us? When it does, it can get hard to tell where our own lives end and where imaginations begin so that what little happens to us leaves us with an exaggerated sense of events.

If you’re in the same field as the artist, it’s hard not to compare yourself with the artist. Even when you’re not in the field, it’s near impossible not to compare your life with that of the artist in the sense that you begin to wonder what stops you from producing such extraordinary work, from wondering why you aren’t a success, just like the artist.

Naturally, that consideration springs from the the exaggeration of the artist’s worth and the subsequent assumption of the artist’s perfection. You begin to imagine that the artist must have a perfect life and that that perfect life seems so near yet so out of reach. And that’s what really hurts, as if the creation of a work so good and its acceptance by a wide audience are the ONLY defining factors for happiness. Of course, they’re important, but they’re not the only.

Somehow, if you’re not careful, instead of creating good work, only the acceptance form your audience becomes the goal. It quickly begins to break down your self esteem so that even reassurances from those who love you the most begin to seem like mere flattery or consoling lies because you tell yourself: “If I’m really as good as they say I am, why isn’t my work getting as much recognition as that other dude’s?”

It may spiral down to you feeling like crap on the days that you should be resting. It doesn’t matter that you have been up to a lot, that you actually deserve the time off and that you’ve maxed out your creative juices for that period, or in that direction. In a way, this is good because it means that you are eager to put in work. It is good because it means that you have a purpose. It could also be detrimental once you begin to think of yourself as unworthy of certain pleasures, especially rest.

It gets compounded if you have no one else to share those moments. Your sense of loss multiplies. That way, when you lose a loved one or when there’s no motivation or inspiration or work, you’ll blame yourself. Because that’s what your stupid head tells you to do. And in brief moments of clarity, you realise that this isn’t your fault and that you should stop bothering so, in addition to not doing or not having, you now have to worry about worrying.

In these moments, what you need is a realisation that some of these things are inevitable because the whole of life is a shitstorm about to blitzkrieg on a giant windmill. In other words, in life, problems are inevitable and if it didn’t take this form today, it would have taken another. You have to remember that your own job is to find something that you value and that you hope to achieve so that the pain you bear will always be worth it.

That, folks, is simply to remind you that problems never end — wahala no dey finish. Until next time, this is Cruise Control and I am Oloye Emeka saying life na cruise, catch am.

For the podcast, click here