The next phase of my life came slowly but steadily. It crept on me like the first trickles of menstrual flow down the thighs… first hesitatingly, then gaining a little speed with more confidence and then, gushing like a burst dam.
The little comments started;
“Where would you even want to work.”
“What are your classmates even up to.”
“Don’t you think you should start doing something?”
Oh, and the Becquerel stunts… dear God!!! All those times this little girl would remind me that I am jobless and that means I cannot be a doctor. There even came a time I had to bring out my stethoscope to remind her that I was no joke. I was not going to be laughed at under my own father’s roof. No, hell no.
Then we graduated to the prayer points. My lovelies, when you start featuring in the family prayers, morning and night, at breakfast, lunch, dinner and pre bed snack, just know the matter don reach the jugular. The prayers for induction date had eased into prayers for right placement, into prayers for open doors and break opens or breakthroughs, into prayers for divine favour. Alrightttttt. Hold up y’all. This thing is not that hard. Let’s all calm down, shall we?
The hustle began
But, as the year drew to an end and my friends started talking of one uncle or aunt working it for them, I started wondering,
“what then shall become of the daughter of Oladeji?
What if when finally I am ready, there is no space left? Or whatever is left is far from palatable but I would then have no other choice but to swallow whatever pride I have like hot amala which i find utterly repulsive and just accept it? What if I am now left behind in this journey of life????” So, I finally got into the ‘mood’ for work. I mean, I am doing this adulthood thing so long as God has me alive, so, the earlier the better, right?
Looking back now, I think if we had been told as medical students that we really do not need to plunge into this next phase so fast, I would not have gotten worried at all. I was helping out my aunt at her shop and I was actually enjoying it. I was meeting with different people on a daily, telling them why they needed to buy things that I myself could not afford at that time and I was being paid for that. I wanted to travel, to know places, meet even more people, taste all sorts of meals and I actually almost did. Until, I was once again reminded that to do all those things, I needed money. Thankfully though, I at least got my international passport. That saved me a lot of stress later on. In fact, it saved my life just as my mum’s big silver handbag that I originally did not want.
So, as I was saying, I do not think many of us were told about the other options that existed in the time period between graduation and securing the job. The closest we got was that we could find any private hospital in our community while we waited. In as much as that is not a bad idea, it still defeats the purpose of broadening the horizon of fresh medical graduates and making them realize that individual journeys differ. Yeap, I’ll close this chapter with that.
Individual journeys are not meant to be the same. They just, of a necessity, have to differ in pace, setting and direction. If you do not let this sink in, you will be moved by every okoto meow and skrrr you hear or read.
My relocation to Abeokuta was SUDDEN!
One minute, I was in Osogbo trying to determine which of the rabbits would survive induction, Christmas and new year, next minute, I was seeing green cabs. Green mother earthing green cabs!!!
I mean, this was me still telling the Knight, “maybe Calabar or some other eastern state is where I would finally do this housejob.” My big daddy, Prof. Obono had made calls to try and get me a place and all I needed to do was send in my documents. I was already preparing to learn, murder and relearn Igbo or some other dialect?.
Then, my uncle told daddy to call my other uncle and right in my very before, a call came through asking me to show up at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeoukta the next day. So, I’m in dad and mum’s car and I’m seeing green cabs and it all feels surreal. Somehow, I was supposed to be hailing these cabs for the next one year seeing as the post medical school life did not come with a car as gift. Somehow, I was supposed to be paying these cab men for the next one year. Just look at, that one just threw a wide-spread, chubby-fingered waka at the other driver?️. The family friend guiding us started mentioning bus stops and I couldn’t help the laughter.
“We just left Itoku, that is Sapon (sounds like sanpona to me), then we should get to Iyana Mortuary. If you want to go to Ibadan or Osogbo, the park is at Asero (asaro nko?).”
The weird names continued and I could totally imagine myself telling a cab man, “I am going to Iyana Mortuary.” Hehehe, please why not the mortuary itself? You want to get down at the junction and do what?
Surprise dead bodies?
In search for accommodation
With the help of the Knight, I was settled in with a friend of his that same day and the search for accommodation began in earnest.
Apart from not wanting to be a liability and extra burden on this friend, one of the reasons I wanted to find a place fast was that the dogs in the lady’s compound were not friendly rara at all. The thing is, even if those dogs were barking kumbaya my lord, I still would have thought they were discussing how to share my flesh, blood and garments. Dogs are not my thing and the closest dog to me right now is Eva and that is because I am consoled that if it ever feels like tasting human meat, it will, out of courtesy of course, first sample Debby’s own.
We went to different apartments and ladies and gentlemen, we saw terrible things!
First of all, these guys in Abeokuta actually rate themselves too much and I will keep saying it; it is their proximity to Lagos that is fanning their pride and making their head swell like garri Ijebu. How do you construct a bedroom with the kitchen sink in situ, ensure the only bathroom and toilet are in the sitting room, away from the bed room and still have the audacity to tell me to pay 150k for a year? Or what do you take me for when you take me to an uncompleted building… no doors or windows yet… and you’re telling me to see the big picture and drop 200k? Wait, does this big picture have anything to do with the house becoming mine? Does it have anything to do with you hastening your efforts to make the place conducive for living?
It got to a point, I and the Knight sat down in front of one shop at Iyana Mortuary and we just talked. We talked and laughed and made comments and I am sure the shop owners were wondering what sort of guests they had just received. That was my conversation cafe for the year ahead and it was at that moment, I realized again, how God had beautifully orchestrated my housejob.
When we were almost ready to go home, I remembered my Ibilola had resumed at FMC and was not complaining of sleeping under the bridge or anything, so, I concluded she must have gotten a place. Few calls later, I was standing in the empty space I would later turn into my own crib.
A Little Note:
Thanks guys for the close to 40 views again on our first post in this series. It really means a lot. How about we try and up the views to something close to 100 today? I don’t know if you have thought about it but this blog is setting out to be another source of income for me apart from the ‘not pale, anicteric, yada yada’ i’ve been up to. Thank you in advance.