I truly feel like Eze, in Eze Goes to School– that novel that was a right of passage for anyone who enrolled in primary school in the 80s in Nigeria. This past week (my 1st week at school), I have had to come to terms with learning in a controlled environment; working on assignments and quizzes for grades; and being a team player to my 15 classmates. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why/when I decided to go to school, and whether it is a full time or part time program? I will speak about it here.
You should begin by reading my 1st post here where I spoke about the reason I quit my job in Nigeria. Essentially, it was because I knew I was bone-tired and exhausted with the cycle I was in; I had been tired a long time too. But I wasn’t sure if I was tired of living and working in Lagos; the politics and lack of infrastructure in Nigeria; tired of my profession at the time or all three issues combined. Indeed I have spent the last 5 months in Canada working to unravel my source of tiredness. I haven’t gotten a final answer, but I definitely have more clarity about myself and what I could be doing to find more fulfillment in my life.
After I applied for and got a job here, I was pretty excited. In fact this is a feat I am still very proud of. I wrote about how I secured a good job two months after landing in Canada here. However, when I resumed to work that 1st week and after the initial excitement wore off, it was a struggle getting back into the 9-5 schedule. I began to dread waking up in the morning and going into the office. One major reason I think was because this new job in Canada reminded me a great deal of my job back in Nigeria and in all the negative ways. I had uprooted myself from my life, my parents, my family, my boyfriend, my friends in Nigeria to start out fresh elsewhere only to have the same anxiety in the pit of my stomach early in the morning. What was the whole point then of the shake up in my life? The thing with courage is that the more you exercise it, the better you get at it.
So, in the 2nd week of my new job, I resigned without a concrete plan. Loooooooool 🙂 Really 2018 has been my year of experimentation, jumping 1st and asking questions later. A lot of well meaning articles online will tell you to have a backup plan before leaving your job and they are very correct. In my case, relocating to Canada was my backup plan; so the decision nor too get k-leg laidat. Another reason I was quick to quit was because I have some money saved up to cover my monthly expenses for a number of months. Thirdly, there’s a social welfare system here that cares for the vulnerable compared to Naija so if all else fails, at least that one sef dey.
That’s how I quit my new job in Canada and stayed indoors for two straight weeks- hovering between intense excitement and intense fear. The third week, after moping around my room for a couple of hours and calculating how expensive my monthly rent was, I downloaded the audio book version of Mark Manson’s- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and listened from the beginning to the end. After I was done, I shook off my paralyzing fear and began scheming for the next stage of my life.
I wrote down all the topics and areas in life that interested me and started streamlining until I got down to facilitating/teaching. I did some research on schools/programs I could enroll in here in Ontario and I realized my Permanent Residency status enabled me to enroll for any program as a domestic student. Of course, being a domestic student means you pay domestic school fees which typically is half the tuition of International students. I also did some research on OSAP and discovered I was eligible to receive provincial government assistance to support me in paying my tuition.
And that’s how my journey to becoming a student began. I presented my Bachelor’s degree from Nigeria, my credentials assessment document and put in an application for graduate studies in one of the Universities in Ontario. I’m learning to trust this process of becoming. The biggest fallacy of living in these times of social media is falsely believing that everyone else has got their sh*t together. Izz lie ooohhh. We are all just doing the best we can, given the circumstances we find ourselves in, and our belief system.
And so for the next 8 months, I plan to apply myself in school and find ways/opportunities to becoming self employed and eventually running a business. The 9-5 life is sweet oh, but I think I’m at a point in life where I am looking for more meaning in my career life. I don’t have a clear picture of how everything will turn out, how the puzzle fits; but I have found that honoring oneself is a great starting point.
I keep trusting and believing today because that’s all I can do. The path is unclear still, but we move…