Life is long and twisted; a journey full of adventures. Whereas some are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, others are born and brought up in destitution. In our day-to-day environment, luck, fate and destiny intertwine and determine our future. However, man, being the contradictory creature that he is, is always striving to cross over to the other side, either knowingly or subconsciously. The grass is always greener on the side. Whereas some people are always striving to go up the social ladder, gain riches and earn respect, others are busy squandering their riches on a path of rapid self-destruction. The world is segmented on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, language and most importantly, wealth. A rich man has no trouble crossing any laid-down barriers. He or she is embraced by the rich and the poor across races and ethnic boundaries. However, at the end of the day, there is one resounding question: do we really acknowledge and accept our backgrounds and current situations or are we too busy working towards changing or safeguarding our future?
I was lucky to be born in a wealthy background. My father is a successful businessman. I cannot remember a single instance when I failed to get what I wanted: from toys to real cars. My requests were like an obligation; they were always met. I had a surplus of every item I dared lay my sights on. However, material possessions can be deceiving. At times, I felt empty, lonely and heart-broken; a feeling that only those who have been brought up by nannies and house-helps can understand. I was consumed by an inner craving that leads one to a deep, attached relationship with people who are otherwise not part of your nuclear family. Whereas every object of desire would be delivered on a silver platter, my feelings were in turmoil, detached, and I was in need of companionship.
My childhood is just like a fairy story: perfect from an exterior perspective but marred and in tatters within. It was all plush and pomp. We used to live in a bungalow full of servants. Life was easy as it gets; no work at all. My parents, since time immemorial, have always been busy. My father has a wide network of businesses that keep him tied for days on end. My bedroom was a colorful and cheerful room full of toys, drawings and pictures. On the wall, just above my bed’s head rest, was a photograph of my parents and me. I used to stare at it for hours on end, intrigued by the smile on my father’s face, my mother’s ‘laughing’ eyes and the bubbling bundle of joy that I was. I rarely saw my father smile, let alone laugh. In fact, I rarely saw him at all.
My mother is a business lady. During my childhood years, she was a house wife. Despite this fact, I rarely saw her too. She was always caught up in numerous meetings. Well, at least that is what she always told me. Whenever she was free, she spent most of her time painting on a big board which was located in the balcony. During these painting sessions, no one was allowed to pester her; not even me; her only child. With time, I came to dislike the drawing board for it kept me away from her whenever she was at home. I hatched a not-so-clever plan that would put an end to this. Once she left in order to attend one of her numerous meetings, I splashed a can of paint on her precious board, destroying an almost complete painting in the process. That evening, on discovering that her board was ruined, my mother was breathing fire and brimstone. I was the obvious suspect for I never ceased complaining about the painting board. She came into my room and checked my hands, only to see traces of paint. She gave me the spanking of a life time on my bare bottom.
My teenage hood is a reflection of my childhood. The fact that I came from a well-off family coupled with the fact that I was bright and I always managed to be in the top quota of my class was too much for me to handle. My parents were always busy. Therefore, I had no one to share my everyday experiences with except a few friends. I lacked somebody who would give me advice and present a solid perspective from a mature angle. Cars and cash have always been at my disposal since high school. With a little conviction from my friends, I started taking beer. At first, I stole these from our home. We would then team up and organize a party. This was no problem since my parents were rarely at home. Being the only child, it was quite easy convincing our housekeeper to allow me to hold parties at home when my parents were away, either by offering him cash or gifts. The fun in holding parties soon faded off. My friends and I decided to fake identity cards in order to be allowed in clubs that were otherwise restricted to those above eighteen or at times, twenty one. Whenever a club’s security team became suspicious, we would slip a note into their pockets and they would then allow us into the club. Life was like a roller coaster: beer, money and girls; a partying man’s dream realized too early.
College has been no different. In fact, I have moved from being bad to worse. Not only have I continued the all day and night partying culture, but I have at times ‘graduated’ from the consumption of alcoholic drinks to drugs. I was first introduced to marijuana in my first year’s freshmen bash by a friend. I felt high, mighty and relieved of all responsibilities. Little by little, I became a regular user.
Needless to say, my academics have suffered. Despite the fact that I managed to score some of the best grades in high school, I have failed several end of semester of exams. Whenever I am not on drugs, I feel lonely, dejected and care-free. My parents already know about my drug addiction and they have tried to advice me against it on several occasions. However, on all of those occasions, I have lacked the will-power to reform.
However, after talking to my parents last week, they advised me to visit a counselor. I booked an appointment which I consequently attended on Monday morning. She was an understanding, warm and receptive lady and we immediately struck up a nice conversation. I poured my heart out and she listened attentively while making some short notes. She then advised me accordingly and encouraged me to visit her more often in order to keep track of how I was faring. This lady has strengthened my resolve to put my life back on track. She sounds confident that I can successfully quit drugs, both face-to-face and on the phone. For the first time in my life, I have found someone who has complete faith in me. I have decided to turn over a new leaf, and I am confident that with her help, I will succeed. With drugs and alcohol out of my way, I will work hard in my end of semester examinations and ensure that I graduate with honors. I have always admired entrepreneurs, such as my father, and I hope that I will be a successful businessman in future.