Been a minute. Long time no blog. So this post is for young,up-and-coming/working your 1st or 2nd job, mainland to island commute, don't got a car, female. Basically if you're a chic still in that struggle stage of life. For want of a better title, I'm leaving it as is.
Being a young girl/chic/fashionista in any city of the world can be tedious but Lagos is ohhh soooo peculiar. The other day I was on my way to a morning meeting and it was rush hour (7-8am), there was the usual slow moving traffic around cms area. I noticed this chic trying to get into a bus and next thing you know an aboki carrying this huge sack just stained this poor girl's crisp clean shirt. I was just like... Are u for real??? I wanted to slap that aboki on her behalf like whattt!!! And then it just took me back.
See eh if your job is close to your home or you have a job that pays you enough not to go through the rigors of the typical 9-5 Lagos nightmare... Just thank your lucky stars. Because it is hell
I have had friends quit their jobs because if this. During our struggle days as we like to refer to it, a friend said to me. "Ifeoma I was in the bus and I looked around me. There was a fish seller, a gala hawker and a noisy preacher and I just said to myself nna eh this is not me" (her job was not in the central business district so there were no commuters like her) as funny as this may sound it really isn't funny. Personally I've had to question my whole life and ask my maker questions like why is life like this. You wake up early in the morning sleep at 12midnight only to do it all over again. Unruly conductors, traffic, getting robbed et all.
Is there a way to survive this, well it's hard but tough times call for tougher measures. If this is your situation I guarantee you that if you apply the following measures your life will be a whole lot easier.
1) you know that time of the morning when the sleep is so sweet... Girlllllll you better get up! You can do the rest of the sleep in the bus or on your desk before work starts. It's better you leave home at 5am and you're too early than being late. Busting into the office all sweaty, looking like yo ass was in a molue fight cos trust me by the time Lagos morning traffic finishes dealing with you eh! Oh You've not yet done your makeup?? Shiiii
2) A former colleague once said to me "work no dey finish". You know that thing you do when it's past your closing time and you're still at your desk making sure you finish all you planned to... Stop it from today! Once it's 5pm or whatever your closing time is..make sure you azonto out of that b**** as quickly as you can cos I'm sure you know the amount of traffic awaiting you. You see if we tell ourselves the truth, there are so many things we do during work that's just unnecessary and can wait. Things like social media. I'm sorry but you know you're guilty. You say let me just go on twitter for 5secs and 20mins later, you've ended up on YouTube. Hmnn you're killing yourself o. My last 9-5 was in media but social media was strictly off limits for me until work closes. Except it's extremely important. Something newsworthy happened or I needed a certain info for an impromptu article asides that ...nada! I'd rather spend the time being of value to my company coming up with ideas and strategies to make work easier so I can be more valuable because there'll always be that time when you're due for a promotion or you want a raise. What moral justification would you have to ask for anything if all you do is faf around and be on bella naija weddings all day?? I'm not saying that cutting out all these means your to-do list will always be clear at 5pm but it will let your conscience be clear when you're packing up for the day.
3) Try to maintain a health life off work as much as you can. It helps to keep you sane.For instance reading a book on your commute to and fro work is quitee nice. Once a week stay back a little late after work and have a drink or watch a movie with friends. If you're a Lone Ranger that's fine too you can go for a nice cup of ice cream. Just do something fun. Now I wouldn't advise you to go hop in a bus after wards cos you may get robbed pls take a cab. I know it's expensive but your life is worth more andddd you can afford it babe.
4) Take care of your appearance.The fact that your life is struggle at the moment doesn't mean it has to be written all over your face. Eat healthy and drink lots of water. Things like working out. If you live in a gated community, there's no reason why you can't have a quick run in the morning even a 10min run is fine. I would wake up at 4am so I can get my workout done. I mean you're sitting at your desk all day. It isn't quite healthy. If your area isn't quite safe to go out in the morning, simple jumping jacks, skipping, squats are a nice way to get your heart beating faster. Pls what is it with some women wearing heels to stomp all over BRT parks I don't understand are you trying to find a toaster at the bustop? First you damage your shoes next, you damage your hips. When you're much older you'll wish you didn't. Pls pls pls find a nice pair of flats or flip flops for walking around in.
5) Always be on the lookout for something better. Get yourself equipped with skills required for that dream job you want. Either by taking part time courses or internships. Dont also forget to dress for the job you want (Thank God Almighty for high street) . Be prepared for whenever that opportunity comes knocking. Network with friends so you know what's going on. Tell people you meet what you're looking for. You never know who is listening.
Lastly, always maintain a positive mindset, be optimistic that your struggle is not forever even if you have to literally say it to yourself every now and again.
This is a photo of me at my last 9-5. I don't do that anymore. Is life still stressful. Yes and no. It's stressful in a different way. I get to plan my time so I obviously don't get stuck in traffic everyday. I've learnt the importance of making myself valuable to clients and I'm still learning. Afterall I still have my whole life ahead of me.
Ps- feel free to share your different experiences or tips in the comment section. I can't forget when some fish seller stained by skirt on the way to work. I had to stop at a shop to but a new pair of ridiculously expensive trousers. It took me sometime to forgive that s***