Memorable moments as an Average Nigeria Teen

Remember how you felt about your appearance when you were a teen and how your body especially your face and hair filled with foam remains were always capable of conspiracy against you at any time? How your look was everything? Looks were obviously everything in my teen too. How confused, exhilarated, hormonally-charged, love struck, embarrassed, conflicted and scared, you felt as a teen? Well, today I’ll be sharing 10 memorable moments of my childhood. Believe me, it’s all shades of fun, incessant hormonal screams, mean-spirited, laughter and lots more… So, here it goes.

My biggest fear as a teen was illness and rejection. Yeah! You read right. When I had just turned thirteen, 11th August, 1989, I fell into a terrible illness, which locale would pass for fever. The illness was serious, my limbs were weakened and I was bedridden for days. The noise from the compound children always brings cold running down my spine and I felt rejected because none of them frequent my house anymore. The next day of my recovery, I asked mom why I fell ill even though I don’t like it and her response were “its all part of growing up, humans fall ill”. That’s quite hilarious. That moment actually made up for my growing up even though it makes no sense, I wouldn’t forget it in a hurry.

While growing up, I had bizarre imaginations that were too unreal to be true. My very first castle was built from sands at the river bank. I had used my feet to build houses and various structures with sand and I get to play with my friends with the sand and I did construct the best architectural design with sand and my foot. If not for the heavy downpour that washed my castle away.

I and my siblings had used paint bucket cover as wheels and a disfigured hanger as steering for our imaginary vehicle when we collided into an upcoming driver on the wheels of his imaginary car and its was a ghastly crash. I lost a tooth as a result of the accident and I was told not to throw the tooth away during the day time but wait until night time, then say a little wish to the tooth fairy bore throwing it on the roof top of the house. This childhood trick actually allow me believe in fairy tales.

Definitely, I had loads of secrets my parents aren’t aware of while growing up. Like when I and my siblings spoilt our parents bed stand and couldn’t fix it, we had to put it up to look okay, so that anyone of our parents that sits on the bed would be faulted for the already spoilt bed. Yeah! Sinister grin was all over our face when the bed collapse with our dad.

Growing up with parents as strict as mine, there was obviously no feeling of freedom to spend an entire day outside wandering around the neighborhood, exploring and “getting into trouble.” Taking my parents instructions for a ride, I went along with a friend for a birthday party I had no idea who the celebrant was. Obviously, it’s party rice that took us there. Party rice took the better part of us and we lost track of time. We arrived home like the prodigal child but the whipping from our parents was enough to drive the right message home.

My first day at junior high, I had difficulty locating my House Master, hostel and all, then I met him, Deji (I’ll never forget his name!) a loud-mouthed JSS3 Senior bumped into me. He walked right into me and I was expecting an apology but he carefully scrutinized my face from close range and asked with a voice that would pass for a beetle, “Hey, have you gone blind?” Gosh! If I were to be white, surely my face must have been reddened from anger. I had to spew a half baked apology and shrunk off. I would have given him a taste of my lips-whip but as an average Nigerian child I knew better than to upset a senior in boarding school on my first day at school.

Being a teen, I had a mind full of thoughts, being curious over small-small things and much more. One minute it’s seems I’m interested in a new sport, topic in school, or type of music only to completely shift gears the next moment. I recall vividly the night I was asked to prepare porridge beans for the household but I ended up sleeping off in the kitchen. Long story short, I got a resounding slap for a wake up call, from my dad. I honestly, lost all fatigue and sleep because that slap did wonders. My mom could be referred to a slap-dispensing machine. No mischief escapes her. She made to correct with slaps, which were good enough to chase away demons.

Moving onto something academic – even academic geeks wouldn’t agree to loving mathematics right? I still believe Math nerds in my teen, were born during the day when the sun is bright and blazing and their creator didn’t have trouble creating them because he could see properly. Unlike us that got birthed during the night (Laughing out loud) – just kidding. Well I’m proud today to say I got a big F9 in mathematics during the second term of my junior high school and that got me on the verge of repeating a class. Oh! Like it was yesterday, I slipped out of class immediately I noticed the Math Teacher was approaching. I was young, vibrant and mischievous but loving Math was totally out of it. I bet a lot of us can relate to that.

Well, I got quite a handful of crushes but one that stood out was my Physical and Health Education Teacher, Mr. Bakare – brought butterflies to my tummy every time he teaches. I recalled walking gracefully to my mom to deport my new found crush and as an average Nigerian mom concern, she dazed me to the wall with her palms wide open. We all get that. I mean that resounding, brain-resetting slap. That helped wipe my memory of the crush I had on Mr. Bakare. This particular incident can’t be left out in my memorable moments growing up.

Did I ever fall in love? How did I feel when we broke up? Come on! I did fall in love. Remember Deji from my first day at Junior High? Perfect! I fell in love with Deji after my first year in school. We did get along and well things built up and we fell head over each other. This was part of the most remarkable moments of my childhood because I got to experience the bitter-sweetness of being adored by someone I was head over heels with. I must say when we broke up I fell into depression. I was depressed for most of the day. I lost interest in almost all activities, the weight lost was significant due to denial of food, lying idly about more than usual, yet unable sleep, fatigue and loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and I did lost the ability to think or concentrate.

The anguish, the fever, the anxiety, the excitements, the stress: A lot of people do not fully get to remember those early days of their lives not because they never had one but because they want to forget them. The truth of the matter is, being a teenager is hard, right from the beginning, and it doesn’t get any easier. I do hope my moments got you reminiscing; bringing back nostalgic and fond memories, the hurtful ones inclusive.

Joyce

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