It is such a random, mathematically insignificant number. It does not have the authority that so often accompanies numbers that are multiples of five or the all-time authoritative 10. 25, 30, 40, 50, etc. are numbers that carry an aura of authority, with a halo hovering over them. If you are talking about age especially, these numbers can somehow get you an interview with someone as grand as Bikozulu. In addition, these ages provide clear landmarks in life.
I want to graduate at 25…
By the time I am 30…
At 40, I should have…
But not so for 27. It is so insignificant that the only thing worth writing home about it as a number is that 27 is a perfect cube. Or it is a composite number. But then again, except for some math enthusiasts, who cares for perfect cubes and composite numbers? If you asked me, (which I know you won’t because, well, I am 27), I would tell you I don’t care about perfect cubes or composite numbers either.
This insignificance is magnified in gigantic proportions when 27 is not just a number but age. Who even admits they are 27! What do 27 year olds do with their lives? They are neither in the sexy 25 or the decidedly adulting 30 year old marks. Are they even allowed to advice anyone? On what exactly? Perfect cubes? If a 27 year old tried advising me I would smash their head with a mallet and leave them bleeding under the cloudless and now treeless Mau Forest.
A 25 year old surely needs a swift kick on the rear when he thinks (and wrongfully so) that he won’t survive the breakup with his high school or college sweetheart and has put his life on auto-pilot, drinking himself silly, being an ass and a dark source of pain to any girl who tries to love the mess he is. Or a hand to hold as he grapples with the uncertainty of completing school, moving out and career choice. At 30, 35, 40 and 50 years of age, folks can pause, reflect on the past years, take stock of their achievements, mistakes, losses, and – after balancing the books – they can come up with lessons they have learnt about life.
Not the case with 27 years of age. Nothing happens at 27. At least nothing worth mentioning, really. granted, i am making sweeping stereotyping here. I probably should specifically state that this is about me at 27.
For some weird reason, at this immaterial age, you should have figured the direction your life, moved on from your past relationship, financial stability is a less abstract concept, and finding other ‘more important’ things other than yourself. Asking for advice on matters like relationships, personal finances, spirituality or career path at 27 is akin to asking where babies come from at 17 – plainly dumb and embarrassing.
It is such a shame to admit that there is a possibility, however minimal, that a man is still lost at this age. I say a man because this sex is the one that seems to struggle the most with these things. The fairer sex seems to figure most of these things earlier in life. I honestly envy how girls seem to know everything about their life: career, who to marry, number and names of children and where to invest. Well, they know almost everything except the one question that has caused so many innocent men ulcers, depression and hypertension: ‘WHAT WILL YOU EAT?’ if i have learnt at least one thing at 27 is this: Whether at two or 92, a woman will remain indecisive on what she wants to eat. Take me to FIDA!
Anyways, I am 27. It’s been two years after completing my undergrad. I have changed, of course. I have acquired new tastes and preferences, abandoned old ones and retained others. Among the newly acquired traits is an irredeemable hatred towards healthy, physically capable men who insist on taking the elevator to the first or second floor while carrying nothing but their lazy asses. I still maintain that I wholeheartedly loathe DJs who say ‘Fire Baby’ in their mixes.
I have been thinking about life up to this moment and my thoughts are scattered, as are my finances.
At this age, the idea that I am still finding myself does sound not as sexy as it did two or five years ago. It has become stale and flat. It is like jerking off to the same porn video for too long. Absolutely non-captivating. Whereas back then the idea (of finding myself, not jerking off) elicited feelings of courage, adventure and wild manliness that was admired by many, now it evokes a sense of irresponsibility, fear, immaturity and constant doubting of self. I feel I am no longer young and in possession of dreams and illusions. I need a routine, cash flow, a plan. A concrete plan. It’s not like I am just lying around doing nothing. It is just that there seems to be no tangible progress. Small wins no longer excite me. It is that phase where you feel like everything should have happened yesterday. I have expended my energies on several things. I have become a jack of all trades but a master of none. And yes, I have been happy while at it, to a great extent. But these joys have been masked by the uncountable blows life has dealt me. There is the sour that always accompany the sweet and when served in close intervals, it completely masks the spasmodic moments of joy that characterize this phase of life. One is left doubting each move and thinking of all the possible alternatives they would have chosen hitherto
I’ve made friends and I have lost others. Some to petty and stupid things like politics. To these, I feel nothing but gratitude for their riddance. Others I have lost to my ego, pride and seasonal life’s ups and downs. These, I regret the most.
Others it was just natural selection. Our growth curves, our circles of friends, money, spiritual awareness, etc. were on different planes. There was no way or even need to keep up. To these folks, no love lost. Some we accidentally bump into each other and absent-mindedly agree to the infamous line ‘we should meet up, bana. It’s been long’. Something we both know we won’t do but because we’re both innately good humans, we let it slide and wait for another random meeting.
As some people walked out on me others died on me. The latter, I don’t hate. I have cried for them. They have made me realize how fickle, vaporous life can be. Seeing someone your age just fade away and with him all his dreams, ambitions and youth, has a way of catching you in the race of chasing after the good life. And in a moment you realize death is not for the sickly, old or thugs or the witches. It dawns on you that anyone can die. That shit is life changing.
I have loved and lost. I have learnt and grown from it too. I have had accidents – both good and bad – and I have survived them all nimbly with but scars to show for them, of course. I have had breakthroughs and I have hit dead ends too. But again, isn’t that what 27 should feel like: bitter-sweet ?
Of all the struggles I have had the last couple years, the most disturbing is the idea of God. Considering my whole life is a series of events that cannot be logically explained and opportunities that cannot be attributed to anything I possess as an individual, or my good family connections, being lost as far as my faith is concerned is not a luxury I can afford. Not that I doubt God’s existence. Far from it. I just cannot reconcile some aspects of God. It is dumb. If the lady who gave me, inter alia, a big nose and a good heart heard about this nonsense, I bet she would have all her church lay their hands on me. Some slapping the hell out of me. Thankfully, she still thinks I am a good egg. Even in my godlessness.
27 is not all rosy for me. But here I am. Amidst the darkness, I will probably keep waking up to this life for as long as I have breath in me. I will celebrate with the good souls in my life.
Let’s do this, 27.