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We can’t get it right all the time you know? You’re allowed to go crazy and ballistic once in a while to let out the stress from that pressure. What pressure you ask? The pressure from our teachers, parents, future kids and ourselves. The pressure to write a good story before the lead in that pencil finishes.

The quarter-life crisis is a period of life ranging from twenties to thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult. The term was coined by analogy with mid-life crisis.

Once a kid is born, he/she is handed a yellow writing pad and a yellow HB pencil with a tiny red eraser at the head. This kid is expected to, in one page of life, write a good and compelling story with neat calligraphy and good composure. It’s like once he/she is born, there is an assigned supervisor looming over his/her shoulders waiting to point out a mistake or waiting to remind him/her that there actually is no time.

Most times, these kids just sit there and stare at the blank yellow walls in front of them trying to cook up stories that are interesting, successful with a little bit of adventure and with a happy ending. It just has to be perfect!

I have watched young 21-year-olds slip into depression simply because he/she is expected to just grow up and turn in the first paragraph of his/her story. This young adult will then proceed to task him/her self to make sure that this story sells and that the looming supervisor (who is creepy by the way) approves of this story.

Don’t get me wrong; pressure can be good sometimes but it definitely gets bad especially when this kid has sharpened his pencil too many times in a few minutes. It would only be a matter of time until the pencil suffers from the pressure. Some of these kids may chew of the red eraser, some may break their pencils in half and some may just pick their teeth or clean their ears with it.

You know what makes this pressure worse? The fact that Mr. Crazy Supervisor doesn’t tell us that there is a box of a billion or more pencils somewhere in the corner of the room. He doesn’t tell us that we are imperfect and so are our stories. He doesn’t tell us that we get to have potty breaks and tea breaks. He also doesn’t tell us that we have a choice to just get up and stretch our legs and our brains from all the thinking and processing.

This pressure is what causes pencils to be broken and torn up. Mr. Looming Man’s shadow scares us into abandoning our writing pads. This pressure is what ruins a lot of stories, a lot of lives.

The pressure from Mr. Crazy Shadow to be that perfect person with the perfect story written in clean handwriting can make you go crazy. Crazy enough to chew at that that pencil until all that’s left of it, is a few yellow pieces of wood and black lead. Well, don’t be scared or feel bad about it because there are more pencils and these are the second chances you get at writing even better stories than you intended.

Quarter-life crises are real and trust me, it’s not something you would want anyone you know, love or care about to go through. Spread the word and help these people realise that there is always a second chance at building their lives. Simply because the shadow in the corner seems like it’s expecting you to have bought a car and house, doesn’t mean that you are a failure or are useless. Just fearlessly ask for another yellow pencil and give it another shot.

It only gets better.

-Nduka Ifeoma (@femaleigboarch)

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