The most difficult age for any man should be between 24 and 29 years, This year is my 29th, not that its my birthday, no, that is long past, someday in march, and I don’t celebrate birthdays-yes, I feel some of you, especially ladies, rolling them eyes and asking ‘who doesn’t,,?’, well not me.

You see, I have never had a birthday cake baked or bought in my honor. Never seen my name on a cake. I don’t know how it feels to blow a birthday candle. See, we didn’t grow up celebrating birthdays as tots. I can’t remember that incessant birthday song being sung in our house. Ever. I certainly don’t recall any cake cutting. Or a balloon being hoisted. Mom – good loving mom, RIP – would remember it was our day and wish us a happy birthday. Maybe a special meal would be whipped – sausages and bacon for breakfast,,,okay, let me stop exaggerating, there were no such things, and this is not about birthdays altogether

Between this 24ish-29sh, the pressure to be something, to be someone is so immense. When you look around you everyone seems to be doing something for themselves, people seem to be living a life you only dream of. You have applied for jobs and the results have been more disappointing than Besigye’s shot at Presidency.

Sadly this is the age when most guys lose it, the age when if not careful one is consumed by alcohol or drugs, because the disappointments become too much and you find alternative ways to face reality. Worse is when a few people you studied with have been lucky enough to land jobs, soon your circle of friends gets thinner – mostly they don’t even cut you out but you be real with yourself and cut yourself off. I mean what you will do when you are in a WhatsApp group of friends discussing about last week’s trip in Zanzibar and planning another road trip to Kigali while you are not sure of what your next meal would be?

Most times you follow the conversation silently, all alone like a cross on the grave. Soon you realize this is no longer your kind of crowd because the more you keep around the more the pressure to be something takes a toll on you. You know when stories about house parties come up and you act deaf because you don’t know where an extra 5 guys would fit in your house. Have you ever sat in a group of people discussing the new iPhone on the market or how British Airways offers shit services and you can feel your heart whisper to you “boss this is chest pain hour, can we just go and find a group that talks about boda boda“.

But you sit there as these people are lost in their lifestyle conversations, you are like a secretary taking minutes in meeting. You are totally forgotten like one of a woman’s breasts during foreplay. Once in a while one of the friends will turn and ask if you need another drink and you wonder if you should just say No and head home, but head home to what? So you grudgingly drop in the “I will have just one last one“ Lie.

But after a few years of job hunting, you are now ready to take anything even if is to smell a rich man’s farts as long as it pays , so you end up as an office messenger in one blue chip company in town. To imagine that 3 years of studying and getting a degree is now reduced to picking and dropping off letters and if you are not doing that, you are being sent for cheap lunch by the employees when they are broke and they can’t order with hello food. This is when conversations about where people schooled start, you go silent for it’s no longer of any use to say you also reached University, it doesn’t matter – you have resorted to surviving.

Once in while you will bump into your now well to do classmates they would offer you lunch, but not even eating the meals at caffesserie will make you feel better about yourself, because in your mind you wish instead they would give you the 30k and you sort your meals for the next 5 days. As it is the norm you will have photos taken, and uploaded on Facebook, but always it’s your face that would look odd one out – not even the best filters can hide a face which has borne the city dust and survives on boiled beans.

The worst mistake you can do during this period is to try and date – there is nothing that a person going through such times can offer in terms of love. How are you going to do evening romantic walks when you are tired from walking delivering letters in offices around town? What are you going to tell your lady when she says she wants to go for Nile Gold Jazz Safari? That your financial religion doesn’t allow it or what? This is the age when you sit back and watch as the ladies you would want to date are dating or getting married to guys 10 years older than you. And you can’t blame them – it’s only that your life seems to be progressing slower than their goals in life. Most of the ladies you meet during this period, if you are lucky will be patient with you till you hit 28, and if by then your life is still in disarray like Liverpool’s performance in the EPL then my friend be prepared for a walk out.

This is the time you realize you are getting old because people you meet seem to be much younger, and they make you feel worse by the way they talk or even walk. Like, here is a girl in our office, a campus girl called Zuhura, who has been hired by the PR to handle some social media things. She’s a mouthy, brash, witty, and quite hysterical.  She’s about 20-years old and offers a window to the weird world of what youth is nowadays. She speaks funny, says weird things, follows “famous” people on twitter I’ve never heard of, watches even weirder videos and listens to music I don’t fathom and laughs at things I find odd. The generation gap between us is so wide you could grow wheat and bananas on it and still have enough space to raise turkey in time for Christmas.

But then this is the age when you learn a lot of about life, if you can hack through this stage of life the only hard moment in your life would be when you lose your parents – that’s if you are still lucky enough to have them. This stage teaches you a lot about perseverance, about appreciating the small wins you have each day, it teaches you something about friendship, love, career growth and personal responsibility. This is always your rise or fall moment depending on the choices you make. How you live your life in the 30’s is determined by how you handled your life in this phase.

I have been here,,,yah REALY, I hear you bad it was,, but that’s a story of another day altogether. I have had worse during this period, But this year, on my 29th, I finally got my sunrise,,,

SHARE WITH YOUR PEERS IN THIS AGE GROUP TO MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND EVERYONE GOES THROUGH THIS PHASE BEFORE THEIR SUN RISES.

#mwanaaReginah

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