The long wait has finally ended. What I anticipated for nearly a year finally came to pass few days ago.
On April 1st, 2019, I resumed as a Software Engineer at Andela. You might be curious as to why my resumption took so long, but that is a long story and a distasteful one for the most part, and I have neither the time nor the emotional energy it would require to tell it to you now, sorry. It will have to be a story for another day.
For the moment I just want to mull over the possible changes that this big step might bring to my life.
I love to read. I so so love to read. I also like solitude. Sometimes I crave to be alone. Other times I just have to get away from myself as soon as possible and socialize with other human beings or else I would probably go mad.
I love things deeply. I find profound joy in simple things. I have a tendency to become obsessed with anything I happen to like. When I like a book for example, I don't read it only once. The law of Marginal Utility fails me in this respect. The more I read and re-read the book, the more I want to read it.
Before this job, I have been mostly independent and free. Back in Cameroon, I was living a life that had once been only a distant fantasy to me. I had rented a nice, cozy mini flat and stayed alone in it for almost two months. I had the room, the parlor, and the kitchen all to myself.
I would sing, dance, make faces at the mirror, and then laugh at myself. I would do work on my laptop in the parlor, in the room and in the kitchen and there was nobody to restrict me. I would lie in bed, on cold tiles on the floor of the parlor and the room and read books on my phone if I wanted to and when I wanted to.
The solitude I have always yearned for was finally mine. It was glorious. I reveled in it.
But it was not to last. At the back of my mind I knew life was just biding her time and waiting for me. Now she has finally caught up with me.
Now I have officially identified as a Software Engineer in a land foreign to me (Nigeria). The implications of this big step on my once serene life terrifies me just to think of it.
No longer will I hide behind my laptop in the privacy and solitude of my cozy room and work on whichever project I choose and at whatever pace I choose.
Where would I get the time to read all those books that are waiting to be read? In the next 6 months at least, a mere 30 minutes spent reading is going to be an enormous sacrifice on my job. Will I ever feel the cold of those floor tiles on my skin as I lay on the clean floor in the company of a nice book?
Will I have the time to make faces at the mirror and laugh and sing and dance?
I no longer have the full freedom to work on my side projects. I have to turn my back on those projects that seem to me to be very promising. Will I bear the anxiety of contemplating what I might possibly be leaving behind?
What will be the effect of our separation on my relationship with my friends?
Some of my friends used every trick in the book to convince me that I would be better off financially without Andela. They are good friends and I believe they have my best interests at heart. Yet I stubbornly disagreed and insisted on coming.
I knew the cost, yet I came. That glorious, nomadic, blissful life of solitude... I was stripping myself of it. It is a classic case of what motivational speakers would phrase, "Leaving the comfort zone."
Now I have to wake up each morning at 6:30 and prepare for work. I have to carve out a whole hour of my day to be spent traveling to and from work. Every morning and evening of every working day I have to enter a bus that is so old and rough that if you are not very careful the way you sit, it might even give you blisters on the butt.
Despite all of this, I came not because I wanted to "leave my comfort zone," but because I knew that I owed it to myself to come. I knew there was never (or would never be) a better opportunity of having a corporate experience than this one. This is the time I can spare two years of my life learning without too many responsibilities. If I tried to look for a different opportunity at a later time in my life, it might come at an inconvenient time, when the weight of my responsibilities would make this a near impossibility.
So I am here with all of my heart. I am here to learn and connect and grow and play and make new friends and have fun.
There is more to life than running after money.
I hope I never regret this decision. I pray God guides me through this journey in the same way that he has guided me to it.