The Fear Of Being In An Adult Body

Malik Kolade
8 min readFeb 24, 2021


I have been fearful of many things in my life, but none of these fears has been any intense on me than the reality that I would be clocking a new age today. Damn! It terrifies that thing you call adulthood out of me.

You know what happens when you have grown to be an adult while you are still a teenager. You know the feelings that come with the responsibility of catering for yourselves while you still live under your parent? I do not know if that feeling is exclusive, but what I do know is the more I come closer to being an adult, the more I get terrified of that reality. That someday, I am actually going to be away from home or alone somewhere in an insane city hustling my butt out just to make a living.

Let me make something clear, I still hustle my butt out currently, but I have my parent, the microfinance company, that I can fall back to when things get very dirty and rough out there.

Funny and pathetic if I tell you that I consider my last 7 years to have wasted away. Do not panic, it is just a whole seven years trying to get a tertiary education and it seems like it does not workout for me. Maybe to establish a premise for my argument, I need to tell you that I finished from a Polytechnic in 2019, and this is 2021, and I am still in the process of obtaining my result. Forget pandemic and and the Nigeria educational ecosystem that is soiled in the mud, my school was on another kind of weed.

This, in particular, has muffled up my reality that I begin to ask myself; have I really lived at all for the last seven years? Like how exactly did my seven years passed without me having an account for it? What intangible thing did I do for those seven years that were not even worthy of remembrance?

I know you would argue that it’s not possible to waste seven years without knowing. But trust me, with being my kind of “adult”, I only came to that realisation last year when I had a serious introspection, and today while expecting to be a year older, it dawns on me that except that I had lived for those seven years, I don’t really have an achievement worthy of writing about other than living. And to have been living, I believe, is more than enough.

You know many people always say that it is okay if you still have not figured your life out at 20. That it is okay to still be experimenting. That it is okay to fail. That it is okay not to have the necessities and luxuries of life. That you are still a Gen Z and it is okay if your life at the moment is messy and directionless. But is that actually the reality?

We are currently in a lifetime where at 20, people already have the luxuries of life. I am not insinuating those who do illegal activities like fraud and cybercrime, I am talking about those who know how to cut their onions without crying again, still in there 20s and have hit it big. This makes me question, why would the world tell us it is okay if we have not figured our life at a certain age but still go ahead to oppress us with the luxuries of life? You may not want to comprehend this, but it’s a shitty reality that I have come to terms with.

A lot of my friends are going to disagree with me on this, and that is absolutely fine. My life is really messed up. The mess is not the usual mess, but it is as a result of the mild oppression that my brain processes despite I ensure that I filter out what my brain consumes. I know many who have said the rule to live a fulfilled life is being content, but you know what the reality is? The reality is not about you being content, you can be content with what you have and still be oppressed. And isn’t that a devastating reality?

I am content. In fact, a number of my friends take my contentment to being financially stable, meanwhile the reality is the complete opposite. Every time we have those random discussion, and we start to tease ourselves about our finances and I tell the motherfuckers (sorry for that language) that my finances are negative, they look at me like, “Guy, but you do get gigs na!” But how do I explain to them the reality that you can be rich now, and be extremely broke and poor the next second? How do I make them understand the cliche that the reality of my adulthood is that you will always bear the consequences of your decisions and the decisions taken in your name? Just how do I tell them that I have been living on loan from my every day microfinance company? But that’s the reality of my adulthood, that’s my reality of growing up.

I love the baby boy life. I hate to party or club, but I love to take myself out and enjoy the life of my head. I love to spend money on myself and take myself on vacation. I love luxuries, but I am always content when I don’t have them. But wait, how do I even know if I am content? That’s by the way.

I love kids and family. I love the peace and fulfillment that come with being amidst your loved ones. I love the family vacations at the beaches, the waves of the sea gently subsiding at the shore and the sun beating softly on our black skins. And I will love my wife cautioning the kids while we play with the shells. But you know what the reality is? That I am not sure if all of these would work out as I have mapped them in my head. That reality really is absurd. And it is more terrifying because there is little or nothing that I can do about it.

In your mind, you will starting having some random weird thoughts. That why am I pessimistic? That is my life really messed up like that? But then, we have many definitions to life messing us up. And the good thing is, there is no perfect definition for it.

To define this messed up life, maybe you should start by having the thought of a girl growing up, burning midnight candles and trailing the path of defining success every day. Then the thought of getting extremely frustrated, and reaching a magnitude where her mental health cannot condone the mess any longer.

And as the girl grew to a young HARDWORKING woman, what would you picture next? That at least, life becomes favourable, and she ends up being rich or comfortable. But this is not a fucking Nollywood, she can as well die poor as one who lives hands to mouth. And oh! Save me the bullshit of “why not work smart instead of work hard”.

If everyone claims they work smart, then everyone should be rich enough that they will be able to afford whatever that they need. But no! That has not always been the case. Maybe I should rub this reality on my face, you cannot really tell if you are working smart or working hard. But what do I know? Nothing. So, save your argument on that for something else.

We have at least philosophers and scholars who have influenced and dictated our lives with some mundane definitions, meanwhile how we live our lives is not even our hands. And your motivational speakers will say, “take your life into your hands now!” Really? Lmao.

You don’t have to believe this, but one way or the other we are living in sync with a decree that has been written about us a long time ago. To state it in a clearer term, I believe we are living our lives to make the destiny our lives have been accorded become a reality. I didn’t know I was going to write this part about destiny or a belief in a supreme being, but this is for my friend, Phayoor. I think that guy’s belief about a supreme being is wavering. But I may be wrong.

Where do we go when we die? Or more succinctly, is there another life after death? These are the questions I have had to engage Phayoor in my mind. I need to remind you that my energy saps quickly when it comes to argument. Instead of a verbal argument, I am going to drop my not-so-humble opinion here. But before I proceed, here is something you need to know; I don’t have a background in philosophy, neither in other field of sciences that can make one professional enough to discuss the topics surrounding life and earth. So, consider my opinion as the basis of a constructive argument.

Or perhaps, I should just skip this argument. I’m tired of writing out my argument already. I’m sorry.

Some of you will smile after reading the previous section, and others will be enraged. But I seriously don’t know why you would smile or be enraged. Can’t you just keep your indifferent expression? Can’t you? Anyways, if you are enraged, I offer no apology. I actually need to prep you ahead of what you’d be reading next. Maybe you need to be be furious because you’ll now be reading about how I die.

I have always wanted to die while on prayer, preferably in sujud. I am a Muslim, maybe a staunch one at that, but I flip occasionally between being one and being indifferent to the religion I practise. This isn’t about religion, so don’t get high hope. This is about dying and not leaving everyone behind.

I get pissed off when people talk about death and leave the dead out of it. When they talk about death as if the dead could prevent it themselves. It so much proves our human deceit, how we say we love people but wouldn’t die for them. And yeah, no one is going to die for the other person. As a result, I saw death came slowly, at me, on a frenzied night while I was wasting away in a mother’s hands.

Before now, I had written about my death in conversations in the blue office, but no one noticed, not even the characters that I used! And like I had done in the past, I have hidden this farewell again here, in this piece with unnamed characters. I will take a last deep breath, reality will play Promise by Simi and Adekunle before it will fade into the night with Quarter sliced moons hanging in an ice blue sky. And the next morning, I’ll be awakened to give answers to crime or sins that I didn’t commit.

Maybe this doesn’t talk at length about how I die, but if I had a gun, I’d have done like how Robert Lowell said in his preface to Ariel. I’d have played a Russian roulette with six cartridges in the cylinder.

By now, this would have shifted from a mere write up to a terrifying reality for you. More precisely, if you know me, you’ll make an attempt to put a call through. Maybe to hear if there’s still life in this my lifeless body. But trust me, you’ll not be able to get through. And in the end, you’ll reside to either leaving a comment or a message with the hope that I’ll reply. Maybe, someone will do it on my behalf, I don’t know. But I am certain it’s not me replying. And I want you to believe that is also fine.

In the rough draft of my poetry collection, At The Threshold of A Sane Madman, I had asked everyone how they find their peace, and what echoed as response was what I have tried out.

Before I forget, happy 23rd birthday to me.

Malik Kolade on 02/16/21