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Ori To Ma Jeko


We never learn.


Or maybe I should speak for myself. I don’t know.


Have a lot of alone time these days – and with that comes reflection.


Maybe too much of that – because I used to not live with regrets; I mean when I do things they’re usually well thought out. Especially things that involve someone else. Other people.


It’s the same reason I do not ask for advice. I am responsible for my life – so I do whatever I think is best.


Let the cards fall where they may.


But it’s at that point where all I see whenever I try to take a look around are the mistakes I’ve made. Everything I’ve done wrong.


It’s becoming harder and harder to be hopeful.


The title of this piece is actually half of a Yoruba saying; ‘ori to ma jeko; to ba wo moto a yo ri sita pe olomi tutu’ which loosely translated means ‘the head that will get knocked; even in a car will poke itself out to call for cold pure water’.


In other words; karma’s a bitch. Or maybe; more specifically, fate’s a bitch.


As said before, alone time makes for a lot of reflecting. And reflecting makes for regrets nowadays. Observing past relationships (all relationships; not romantic ones alone; thank you) I observe a pattern. History keeps repeating itself because I am the one anomaly; I have that one ability to fuck things up in astronomical ways. I like to take time after the end of one such; take time and reflect on whatever I did wrong – figure out where I missed it.


But then; I end up doing the exact same thing all over again.


I never learn.


So these days I come to ask myself – ‘what’s the point?’


I mean – why bother? I know all those cliches – ‘today’s another chance to get it right’ ‘you can always do better’ and all those positive self-help bullshit lines.


I know them – and these days they don’t mean much.


Things are always going to be this bleak. I’m always going to be this incredible mess.


It is what it is. I hate pity – so spare me none.


I remember a time – not so long ago when I settled into life as an atheist. More than anything else, that perspective made me understand that I am in control of my life – whatever happens to me happens because of something I did or didn’t do. I learned to take responsibility for my actions.


I mean, Nietzsche did say ‘Christianity is a religion for the weak’.


It took a while to understand that God is not assuming responsibility for my life. He’s giving me a choice; a better way to live – but surrendering to that is up to me.


Maybe that’s why He’s been awful quiet lately – the reality that I don’t think I really want to be happy.


Sounds insane, no?


I just look at the ‘happy’ things around me – and I shake my head. Because happiness doesn’t last. There’s no such thing as a happy ending. This world is NEVER going to get better – trust me; it’ll get progressively more and more hopeless.


Why bother?


Sadness is a security blanket for me. I know it – it’s familiar. It fits like a perfect-sized shoe; like a surgeon’s gloves. It doesn’t come disguised as something else; it doesn’t pretend. I know it.


And because I know it; I’m comfortable with it.


Happiness? Not so much.


You see; I’ve come to come to feel that it really doesn’t last. It’s exactly like perfect weather; in Lagos – only temporary. And it comes with disguises too. Looking like it’s here to stay – and then vanishing; almost as quickly as it showed up.


It’s an illusion. I’ve come to accept that.


So, I’m no longer swimming against the tide. It is what it is; I understand that now.


Don’t worry; however. I am not going to commit suicide. Not anytime soon. There are voices in my head telling me I have nothing to live for; but I make it a point to ignore them even though I agree. Maybe I don’t have anything to live for; I do have things that live for me.


So why am I putting this out here?


Because I’m not the only who feels this way. I’m not the only who’s asking God; anyone for a reason to keep going. I’m not the only guy who scrambles for the darkest corners when the lights come on – because he is afraid that the world will see just how ugly he is feels.


And also; for all you self-righteous judgmental fucks out there;




Scratch the ‘ONLY’.



19 responses

  1. bshaba

    This is a very naked piece that reflects a shared experience of most growing adults. One question i’ve been asking myself lately is ‘what’s the point of it all?’ and every now and then I wonder what will happen if I die now. I’m not suicidal & I’ve been afraid to share the thought so I don’t scare the people that love me but reading this reassures me that i’m not alone.
    Life is tough and it often feels like a repetitive cycle of mistakes and aborted dreams but every now & then, I feel God in the little things like the abandoned flower pots with the most beautiful flowers in the midst of weeds on my way to school.
    Everytime we hit the low points, the light will come on & we might run to the corner of the room to hide but it will reach us & shine on us to expose the beauty beneath the scars. God cares.

    Thank you for sharing as always. God bless you sir.

    October 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm

  2. I love you. You know that.
    Through the darkness, the short bursts of light and through the darkness again.
    I’ve been dealing with my own phases too. And I never talk about them because I always tell myself that talking will not change anything. And it’s ironic and hypocritical because I’m usually the one trying to lure people out of the comfort of their dark places.
    Suicidal thoughts? A few times. Nothing worrisome. Just fleeting. But I always find a reason to keep going somehow.
    I was telling a friend a few weeks ago, our lives are all connected. Somehow. Shared experiences. If we talk more, we’ll realize that we aren’t alone and somehow that feeling keeps us going even if just for a little bit.
    You are not alone. And thank you for sharing.

    October 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

  3. Oh Mr Odukoya, you always manage to strike a nerve. This was me 8 years ago. The one thing that kept me was the fact I was a coward, and then I knew I would only come back to face the same vicious cycle.
    I see darkness all around but I struggle to make a conscious effort to focus on the light that seeped in back in those days. Mind you today’s not so rosy, the demons still revisit but I know one powerful thing that simple cripples them. I know JOY!

    Compared to JOY, happiness is a wuss. It’s moment by moment, most times triggered by events and always fleeting. Unlike Joy. Oh let me tell you about Joy.
    You Seun are a JOY! You know why? because you bring hope and brightness to lives you can’t even imagine.

    I will not dismiss your pain or emotions so easily because i have days when I want to drive and never come back. But then I tap into my JOY.
    Joy is that thing that remains regardless of outcome of everything else. It’s knowing that Seun will take tomorrow if it’s given and be glad for it. It’s in little things like caring and having a nobility in spirit that caters for your fellow man without gain monetary or otherwise, but a content sigh that at least one or two people got you.
    The concept of God and him allowing shit happen in our lives is quite simply one of the most elusive thing to man. Though for people of faith, we believe it’s a system of cause and effect.

    As I believe in reincarnation, i always was a wimp in the suicide business back then because I knew I would come back and face same trails until I find my lesson , learn it and move along.
    You sound like many folks I know. Folks with simple convictions and kind hearts, but who can’t seem to understand why the same shit keeps happening to them. Folks like me 🙂
    You are meant to serve my dear. Servitude of a greater calling and until you embrace it and give it all you got, happiness will visit aplenty, but Joy will hoover in the background.

    I get you beyond levels you could even comprehend but you are not wasting your time.
    It takes a place of Joy to open up to such vulnerabilities, and I believe in your depths, you probably already suspect you are meant for greater stuff.
    It doesn’t mean you’ll not find gratification in this world of ours ruled by economic dictates, because you will be compensated…but perseverance is key.
    You keep it real. Ever since I encountered this opinionated but fair young man some 3 0r 4 years back, you have evolved into a calmer soul,lol
    If all else fails to uplift that freakish mind of yours, then please think of how beautifully you bring words and feelings to life. That in itself dude-man, is sheer JOY 🙂

    October 18, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    • bshaba

      Thank you for this, thank you.

      October 18, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    • I don’t know what to say. Really.

      But thank you. Thank you so much.

      October 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

  4. Everything everyone has said above I concur with only that they have put it better.

    You, Seun will have the light shine so bright on you one of these days. You will wait and wait for it to go off but it won’t. You just be patient and remember you are loved.

    Cheers darling.

    October 19, 2015 at 9:29 am

  5. tk

    oh yeah, all of this is so me. Happy today, sad the next one week. I stare at my soul from out of my body and i wonder if everyone else is just acting the happy scene.
    Timely eh
    Maybe I haven’t found anything to live for just yet; I do have things that live for me.

    October 19, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    • Isn’t life grand?

      Keep it there, bro. We’ll get there.

      One day it’ll all make sense.

      October 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm

  6. This is me.
    This was me.
    This is me.
    A bit of me.

    I might not know shit Seun, but you’re strong. I think you are. You’ll be fine.
    I always ask myself what’s the point of it all. Make a name? Fulfil purpose? What purpose? What if I don’t want to do anything? What if the simple things I live for and enjoy are just enough – laughter on the faces I care about, being with family, doing what I love even if it doesn’t rake in mega bucks, etc. Simple things.

    But we’ll still get that daily prompt that there’s more to life. Yes. But Solomon’s right too – it’s meaningless vanity in the end. We’re still gonna die and it won’t matter – none of this would – when we do. So theres more to life. But some of us just don’t care about this ‘more’.

    October 20, 2015 at 8:44 am

    • Powerful comment, Deoye. Like – what’s the point of it all?

      Thank you bro.

      Now how about that drink?

      October 20, 2015 at 9:11 am

      • Ah yes…that! We should really get around to it in a week or two max. I mean it!

        October 20, 2015 at 12:37 pm

  7. This is deep…the depths of melancholia.
    You are not alone.
    There are days the concept of God doesn’t make sense and you just want to dump it, and then you find that of all the things that don’t make sense, it’s the sanest of them. So you pick it up again
    Life is a struggle, Sometimes you just want to drift ashore the tide and care less about where it takes you, and other times you swim against the tide…and then you ask why, and all the efforts and energy seem useless- an endless cycle.
    You toil with thoughts of just dying, not killing yourself, but just ceasing to exist, and the thought gives you peace. You embrace the thought.
    Happiness seems like the ever elusive utopia, always out of reach.
    The most asked question of all time “what is the point of all this?”

    October 23, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    • Yeah bro.

      One day it’ll all make sense.

      October 23, 2015 at 7:42 pm

  8. Sigh!
    Maybe I got into my own fits of this unknown feeling early in life. Happy go lucky this minute and on a downward spiral towards a calmer disposition the next. I get hyper, like a burst of saccharine is bubbling in my veins, then I try to rein myself in because I know one small event can get me tumbling down the dark alley of something totally different from that initial giddy feeling.
    I have many times asked myself “who am i” and “What’s my life about?”. I never have been suicidal but I’ve tried to imagine how everything goes on behind me, in my absence.
    Growing up in a strong Christian setting always made it easy for me to see the ‘God factor’ as the answer to many questions, even if the answers didn’t really come the way I wanted.
    I have found a reason to be around here. Do acts that will live after I’m gone. These acts will be immediately forgotten by some and will always be remembered by some others. The ‘some others’ who will appreciate what I lived for are the ones who urge me on. I will live, and then die one day, but like those whose lives live after them, I will live, knowing my life will live after me. That’s enough motivation.

    October 26, 2015 at 9:21 am

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