The Curse of Being Multi-talented

Opinion

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…

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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?

Responses

  1. Temitope Smith
    If this story is true then you’re so me. I’m interested and good at a lot of things (at the risk of sounding like a braggart esp because I say so myself), so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. I would like to know how I can drop my pieces here as well (obviously insinuating that writing is one of such things)
    Good stuff tho, I look forward to more pieces from you.
  2. Olubukola
    I have so many interests. But I don’t feel it is a curse (No way! the title topic is 🙄 ) I would rather call it a blessing. I ain’t in competition with anyone. I came alone, I will go alone.

    Yorubas would say; “don’t walk with someone else’s time”. So take your time. Invest in your various interests taking them one at a time and shine.

    1. Nonso Post author
      “I ain’t in competition with anyone. I came alone, I will go alone”

      Easier said, to be honest.

      Do you believe blessings can be a curse?

  3. Paul Akalusi
    I kinda relate with this piece cos i’m kind of in the same boat & honestly, it scares me sometimes. Because one thing I know is that there’ll always be time for us to do whatever we want to do in this life….but I can’t say the same for energy. And energy is what not gonna remain with us in the long run. So, the classical dilemma of what to focus on becomes our Cross…or Curse
    1. Bkd
      Are you in anyway related to the Akalusis from Uvwie? I mean the rtd Maj. Akalusi.
      I know a Paul Akalusi who is a singer… that you?
    2. Nonso Post author
      I’m not sure I agree there’ll always be time for us to do whatever we want to do in this life. Not entirely sure. But yeah, I resonate with every other thing.
      1. Paul Akalusi
        it’s a fact. The time you have now will still be the amount available to you 20years down the road. 24hrs! it doesn’t change. What changes is our strength, passion & drive to do the things that we want to or that needed to be done.
  4. Miebi
    I can totally identify with this ‘curse’. It’s been incredibly difficult settling on any one thing to pursue, in full. I think this is a slippery slope and, in many ways, being multi-talented can lead to mediocrity, in the context of not being great at anything, despite being good at many things.
  5. Ojosu Oluwafemi
    You literally live in my head @Nonso. Mine got to a point that i was just so frustrated i just had to vent like you just did. The dilemma of which of your numerous talents should be prime, which of your numerous talents should take center stage in your life. Honestly, its exhausting, not being able to make a choice, not being able to concentrate on one “struggle”, multiple interests competing for space and attention in your life.
    And yes @olubukola i’ll grudgingly agree that it’s a gift, but the drama associated with trying to balance out these interests is not of this world biko.
  6. larz
    Imagine (God, Allah, a genie, a wishgiver) came to you and said thdy want to take all but one of your talents (and you get to choose which one.. To compensate for the loss of these other talenst, they also promised that they will make you the most talented person alive for that talent. Which one of your talents will you choose. [PS- money is not a deciding factor as you will have same level of wealth regardless of your choice].

    The answer to the question abovce is the answer to you question on how do you prioritise your talent. all the best

    1. Nonso Post author
      But you see, this is a whole different scenario. Here, I am promised with being the most talented person alive for that talent. Prioritising, without this will lead to questions like “Should I have done this or that, instead and the likes”
      1. Larz
        But the promise remains. If you divert all / majority of your resources (Time/ money/ training) doing that one thing. You have a shot at becoming one of the best in your field
  7. Olushola
    The thrill of the new experiences attached has also been my doom. I’ve enjoyed it as much as I’ve suffered it. I’m trying to just find the balance. It’s not a curse though, it simply requires balance.
  8. Toby
    Reading through the comments and why are most of you either sounding very down on your awesomeness or trying very hard not to display it so you can blend in with the rest of the sheep.
    WHY?????
    I am Multi talented, i have worked in varying fields and i am happy to say that i am quite successful in these fields (that is until i get bored and look for another source of stimulation)
    Yes it is a hassle constantly jumping from one thing to another and not finding your purpose in life but please answer me this question: What in this life isn’t a hassle???
    You are breed above others. Don’t downplay and definitely don’t think of it as a curse (yes i know blessings can be curses and blah blah but i have an active imagination when i hear curses i think of the monkey’s paw, mard geer’s power from tartarus and the curse of being a night walker) celebrate the fact you are a cut above the rest. Your mind works differently so term it as better. You have thirty six expressions, sweet as pie and tough as leather…use it, your voice can shatter glass whilst you are writing another nobel prize worthy piece, gworl sing away.

    Do not be basic, that is worst than not finding your place (one of which by the way is on here in this site)

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