Sometime ago, on a WhatsApp group I belong to, someone asked a question. She said, “What if you wake up to find that for the past ten years, everything that happened in your life was a dream?” A number of people who responded, rejected the thought. Ironically, I not only welcomed the idea, but I also wished it were more than ten years. I wanted it dated back to the year I completed junior secondary school. I felt that if I could start life afresh from that year, I would make a more informed career decision. I have been angry at our guidance counselors back in school for not helping us discover our academic strengths early enough and guiding us through getting the suitable subject combinations.
I was in the sciences but I wrote poems every night, took part in every debating competition in senior secondary school and was very active in the Press Club. I attended JETS (Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists) Club meeting just once or twice and that was because our Chemistry teacher made it compulsory for us to attend. I couldn’t concentrate during Further Math classes and the only time I was fully attentive in a Chemistry class was during “practicals” – just because “practicals” were more interactive. I won’t bother you with more details of how I struggled through school, trying to excel in a field I had no inclinations to.
But I had a conversation with a friend and he said,
“If you find yourself on a road that you feel doesn’t lead to your destination, don’t kill yourself over the distance already covered. Look carefully, you will find a route that will still take you to your destination”
Life happens to us all in different ways. Some have guides who hold their hands early as they start off on the road to fulfillment. Some people have to listen to the birds and detect direction from their chirps. Some of us have to get lost in the forest, stumble, cry for help and draw the attention of a kindhearted hunter to help us find our way.
You can’t sit and mourn for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter how far away from your passion you’ve wandered. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t set out on the conventional path to fulfillment. Look around you. There are other routes that lead home.
PS: Get ready to laugh…
So, In the spirit of birthday celebrations, here’s a throwback spanning 2006 – 2016
[2006: This picture cracks me up every time I see it. Starting from the gloves worn with the skirt and blouse to the pose. Put the blame on my cousin, please. It was his wedding.]
[2007: Forget the eye pencil I used in lining my lips, this picture was the real deal then. It got me numerous admirers. I just don’t remember what I did with them.]
[2008: I can’t explain this. I just know that for every inexplicable facial expression, there’s a shutter-happy photographer waiting to capture.]
[2009: I can’t find anything wrong with this one, abeg. I just want to show off my innocent looking face.]
[2010: My last birthday as an undergraduate. I was feeling on top of the world that day. Even my hairstyle bears witness.]
[2011: The slightly oversize NYSC polo shirt and my feel-fly pose is everything!]
[2012: My friend, Mary, used my face to do ridiculous experiments while learning make-over and I never complained. Kindly hand me the medal for Loyal Friend of the Year.]
[2013: Call this a poor attempt at pouting and you won’t be wrong. I have learnt to stick to my talent and strengths.]
[2014: In the absence of a boyfriend, take a picture where you look like an MTN advert love-struck girl.]
[2015: You don’t expect to find only funny and awkward photos in my throwback, do you? Calm down. I can be “tush“, sometimes.]
[2016: Something must have convinced me that taking a picture like this will increase my chances of becoming a Nigerian Senator.]