Lifestyle

A TASTE OF PRIVILEGE

It was a Thursday, exactly three years ago. I sat in front of my office computer, tense. I was certain that I needed to make the decision, but I was slightly worried about the effect it would have on the special people in my life. This decision was a long time coming. It had taken me several months of dilly-dallying and weighing all that could go wrong. I had discussed it with some people and even alluded to it a number of times, however, I knew down my heart that the time was right. The moment I clicked the “Send’ button, there was no going back. I had resigned from my job at the bank.

The plan from the first day I walked into the bank as a fresh graduate, a few months after completing NYSC, was to work hard at my job and save up for a Master’s degree in Communication. The dream had always been to pursue a career in Communication, and when I was not selected for an internal vacancy in the Corporate Communication department, I began to intensify my exit plans. But it didn’t happen the way I envisioned. I left abruptly on health grounds.

However, as they say, “life goes on”. As I recuperated, I applied to several institutions for the degree I was pursuing. Apparently, with some support like a scholarship or just a bit of financial aid, I’d pump all my savings into this venture.

This confidence to take a leap at a crucial point in my life is something I would have taken for granted until a conversation made me realise that this calculated risk was facilitated by a word I sometimes hate. Privilege.

I discovered that many firstborns at my age were burdened with the responsibility of their siblings and sometimes, their parents. Whatever income they earned were not to be used totally at their discretion. And even though this culture is not ideal, it is the norm for many families in this part of the world. In the light of that, someone like me would have either not had enough savings to kick off the journey or still be stuck on a job because there are “many mouths to feed”. So, even though I do not quite think of myself as a product of privilege, I cannot deny that things would have turned out differently if I did not come from the kind of family that I did.

This is why as I reflect on the experience these past years, I am grateful for my parents who didn’t make themselves entitled to my income and who reminded me several times that they were committed to taking care of my siblings till they were through with university education. I am grateful that even though they expressed concern as I toyed with the decision, they encouraged and supported me all the way. I also hope that I become the parent who will allow her children the freedom to live for themselves as much as possible.

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Nnenna
    September 23, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    ❤ I understand what it feels like in these shoes. ❤

    • Reply
      Chisimchere
      September 24, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Thank you!

      • Reply
        Chioma
        September 24, 2019 at 8:03 am

        …that would turn out to be the best decision ever. All thanks to understanding parents . Those of us who tasted the tips of your communication skills early enough also waited for this ‘privilege ‘ of yours. Well done Sim. Nice one.

        • Reply
          Chisimchere
          September 24, 2019 at 9:53 am

          Thank you, Chioma. I’m grateful for the support you give me.

  • Reply
    Uche
    September 23, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    ❤❤❤

  • Reply
    Grace
    September 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Dear Chisim,
    Thanks for this write up. I can relate on the firstborn responsibility issue that makes a lot of us forget our dreams.
    Thank God for your privilege. I pray a lot of us will learn to do the much we can to assist and also work towards achieving our dreams.
    I am proud of you. A big peek to your mum and dad for supporting your vision.

    • Reply
      Chisimchere
      September 24, 2019 at 7:51 am

      Thank you, Grace. I’m glad you could relate. And amen to the prayer!

    • Reply
      Chisimchere
      September 24, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Thank you, Grace. I’m glad you could relate. And amen to the prayer!

  • Reply
    Ogoo
    September 24, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Glad to read from you. I trust the journey was well worth it.

    • Reply
      Chisimchere
      September 24, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Yes, I believe so. Thanks for always reading.

  • Reply
    Ceejay
    September 24, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Poignant. Thank God for your parents. Kudos to you for taking such huge step.

  • Reply
    Zuby
    September 24, 2019 at 9:40 am

    I didn’t see my name or you purposely left out the list….. because of gini?

    You know how extra I love you for the courage to pull through…

    • Reply
      Chisimchere
      September 24, 2019 at 9:50 am

      Lol. Zuby, you know you have another special list.

  • Reply
    Jay
    September 24, 2019 at 10:43 am

    This does hit home on so many levels.

    And I’m happy that you are able to chart this course.

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