“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

It’s April 6th, 2017. I’m in my dimly lit apartment. Before me is a knife and a disinfectant. I can’t decide which of the two is the more efficient tool to ease me into the afterlife.

Until then, I’d been the dream child, with stellar grades and a prestigious career. A wife, kids, and a Forbes’ rank were all that was left. However, I didn’t care much for these things. I didn’t love my job. I didn’t want a wife and was on the fence about children – truths that could pluck me from the top of Nigerian society and throw me into the basket of deplorables.

I’m therefore thinking, “why not go out on a high, while the family is still proud of you?”

Hours pass and the tools before me remain untouched. I can’t bring myself to lift a finger. I quiver in shame at my apparent weakness. I reluctantly abandon the idea of suicide as I realize that something else must perish in my stead.

It would take weeks and my uncle’s death before I finally figure out what.

It may be uninspiring but ever since, my aspiration has been to be myself and do what makes me happy. Today, I take classes to learn, and not for the grades. I accept jobs that interest me, irrespective of the pay. If along the way, I manage to change the world, great. If not, that’s great too!

But no longer will I reject life so that the expectations of others may live.

— Zubby Achara