A few days ago, I met a friend for lunch. He works for a tax and audit firm in Lagos. We were bunk mates in NYSC camp and were posted to the same local government area. We had not seen each other since after the “passing out” parade even though we now lived in the same city. We spent minutes asking each other what happened to our blooming bromance and why we didn’t hang out as regularly as we would have expected. It was basically down to WhatsApp and the occasional calls when there was some hot topic on the table – you know, the kind of stuff that texting cannot deal with.
So, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, we went to this restaurant on the island and had lunch. In under a few minutes, we became carefree black boys talking about everything we could remember. He had called it quits with his camp girlfriend (a move I saw coming), and had been promoted within a year. Asides that, he was considering moving to the island, closer to his office, because it was more convenient for him. Dami was such an open book and that was all going on in his life at the moment, or so he made me believe.
Then we turned the tables, and started talking about me and how I was looking fatter. I didn’t need to be told about the extra pounds I had gained. I knew it for myself and always attributed it to the high amount of carbs I had been taking. I literally eat rice every day, but that’s not the point. I spoke about how the price of houses in Lagos left me with no choice but to comfortably enjoy my room in my father’s house and how my new job was everything I hoped and prayed for. It was during this conversation it dawned on me that Dami didn’t even know I had found a job. I was an editor at one of the big media houses in the country and got the opportunity to do a lot of travelling, to write or just do some sightseeing.
Later on, he spoke about all the other things I intended to do with my life. Somehow before NYSC came to an end, we had discussed a couple of prospective things I could do with my life. Graduating with a degree in a science-related field was one of the biggest mistakes I made and I was convinced I wasn’t going to take it further – at least if I really wanted to pursue a career I was actually passionate about.There were also plans to do a lot of writing, but being a lazy writer kept that in a box filled up with many things.
In that same box, there were dreams of founding a startup. Asides that, I was already into fashion: styling major editorials and productions in the country and even planning to debut a new collection. Not to bore you, I also may have told him I was going to go into radio and TV. The basic summary of it all is that I am multi-talented and arguably good at quite a number of things. And here’s where the problem sets in.
Not to be demeaning or anything but, for a guy like Dami, tax and audit is his life. He knows he’ll probably die working there. He’s bad at karaoke so I’m sure he won’t audition for The Voice, and he sucks at acting so Nollywood is cancelled. I cannot even think of an industry, asides teaching, where Dami will flourish and I am still not convinced he’ll make a good teacher. On the other hand, for someone like myself, how do I pick out what exactly I want to sit down to do for the rest of my life – especially when this would mean relegating my other interests to mere hobbies or things I only do during my leisure time?
Sometimes, having many interests feels really daunting and difficult to deal with, especially when you take a look at your peers and look at how far they’re reaching while you constantly remain in limbo, trying to make a decision. Dami has a life ahead of him that’s going in one clear direction. When will my life ever be like that?