Friday, 31 January 2014

Lost in Translation

My younger sister called me in November and after all the pleasantries and small talk, she said “Andy, I will be legal in two weeks”. Apparently, she was going to turn eighteen in two weeks and so for her and anyone approaching that age, it is a huge milestone. In an African family, 18 or 25 doesn’t really mean anything as long as you are still under your parent’s roof. Now that particular conversation with the sister made me pause because of the type of person I am; I get to analyze, over analyze and then come to whatever conclusion I choose in this little mind of mine. For goodness sake, what is “baby” being excited about being legal? Vote? Drink? Smoke? Drive? Marry? Just what? See how I deliberately skipped the part about boys? Anyway, maybe it was just a simple comment which meant nothing but I let my mind wander. Lesson one, everything changes. She may be baby sis to but an aunty to another person, besides her mum got married at nineteen…

Let’s talk about last year; I didn’t start 2013 with any resolutions; I just started it happy after having a wonderful Christmas with friends, family and loved ones. I had this vibe that it was going to be a good year and I was where I wanted to be, with the right people around me and a lot of things worth being jealous of. The beautiful life, plans and resolutions changed, not for worse or better, life as usual just has its way of redefining existing definitions but ultimately I think I forgot all my resolutions at a point and just lived. Lesson two: At every point in life, even at your worst, someone out there thinks you’re having the time of your life and if you look closer you may find that you actually have it good. But then again, it is the half full or half empty. Religion tells you to be content with what you have and where you are… Call me blasphemous, but I translate it as “be thankful in all things but never get comfortable”.

Hello 2014, my colleague was going to church one evening and I told him to pray for me, I specifically said tell God I want to be happy this year because that’s my only resolution. We got into this small debate about why I should ask God for Joy as opposed to happiness and bla bla bla. Truth is my interpretation of Joy is: Laughter and light at the end of the tunnel, which means I will have hard times but come out strong and so I choose happiness because I don’t want that rough patch. I think I have had enough for my life, plus hey it is all about translation right? Lesson three: Being positive may come off as cocky and wishful but it beats negativity and constant pessimism.

We launched a new company on the 1st of January 2014 (I’ve added this so I can come back to remember the date when I’m old and wrinkled), who knows if it may fail or blow? The only goal was to play with the idea of a business model and see it to completion then move on. Coincidentally Facebook turns 10 this year while Zuckerberg turns 30. Another young man Evan Spiegel just turned down $4 billion from Google and $3 billion from Facebook to buy his company and at first I thought he was raging mad, then I asked: If Mark Zuckerberg had sold Facebook when he was 20, would he be who he is today? Translation: I remember how I looked at 30year olds as really old when I was much younger but now we are kissing thirty or just over it and officially proper old. My consolation came from a song where they said “20 is the new 30 and 30 is the new 20”, but then again that is just an excuse to be irresponsible said my over analytic mind. They say it is not about when you make it, but that you make it and you make it the right way. Is that an excuse to sit and wait for magic to happen? Lesson four: That idea you have, try to act on it, if it fails you either try again or get a better idea.

I should stop now. Life is all about translation, are you lost in it or making the most of it? I may never know but for now, we ramble randomly…

Randomly yours
That Andy