Life Is What You Make It

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By Momodou Ndow

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a happy hour memorial for a legal executive who seemed to have had it all (the big house with a pool, luxury car, exotic dogs, and multiple fancy trips), but he hung himself in his hotel room while on vacation. He was only 39 years old.

Life has taken me to a few places and I have met many people who know a lot of things about a lot of stuff. Some of these people exhibit all this knowledge at parties, work functions, or any other gatherings whenever the opportunity arises. They often talk about the highbrow schools they graduated from and will quickly articulate their accolades and qualifications. Many unwittingly live a life of adulation and of silly affectation. Then there are the folks who gossip all the time about who is doing it with who along with why, when and where.

Life is funny that way. You have flaunters bragging about the stuff they have, or gossipers chirping about who, why, when, where and how. And although I may not have the same pedigree or either a clue about what they are going on about; I am alert. I continue to learn and grow and I can experience many things in my own unique ways. And the best thing about it all is that, well, I can write about it!

Of course, there are the “live tojal” video “makers” and “watchers” types too now; they subscribe to all the rumor on Facebook and enjoy hasteh ak tojal. They want to pull you in to watch with them by sending you invites. Yes I ignore the notifications when I get them and I decline to watch those “tojal ak hasteh” videos when they are forwarded to my inbox – because I refuse to consume garbage! I sit in wonder during these interludes of eavesdropping or casual encounters of small talk because sometimes I have no clue exactly what these people are aiming for. Things somehow find their way into my ears, but I chose not to consume it when it gets me too lost, especially when it has no real nourishment for me.

Conversely, I have also met the uneducated, the poor, the humble, and the overall

genuine who also know stuff but share it differently; authentically. What I learned from them, to me, is even more valuable because it stays with me, aiding my outlook on life. I am not sure how much I know compared to the highfalutin or the all-knowing social reporters, but I remain a perpetual student of life and try to share every little thing that I learned, which I deem valuable.

Over the years, I discovered how to navigate in this world with a strong sense of street-smarts and a healthy dose of wisdom; all the while, I consistently grow, I learn and attempt to expand in unique ways: emotionally, spiritually and even intellectually.

I do not have excessive accolades nor am I dripping with pretentiousness poured into me via an advanced degree. I do not have “the millions”, but that’s not what I am interested in. Ok, I lied. I will take a couple of “the millions” purr fage aye tuti sohla, but then that’s it, I don’t want the rest of “the millions”. Maybe this sounds corny but at my core, I know that my good health, my own inner peace, and being comfortable in my own skin are worth everything, and I consider these my success in this simple Life of mine.

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