Monk. Astronomer. Artist

First written on 11 August, 2016, on Facebook.

 

Monk. Astronomer. Artist. Architect. Priest. Psychologist. Lawyer. Monk. Historian. Writer. Physicist. Painter. Actor. Activist. Academic. These, at different times in my life, are the things I have wanted to be, or have been pushed to be, or now am, or know that I would one day be, or one day want to be, or will never be.

In the beginning, it was Astronomer, because child years of Discovery Channel made Mars so cool, until I learned I needed to know Mathematics for that and so I let it go. Through childhood, it was also Artist, because I could draw, still can draw: a solid dream. Then it became Monk, because I’d stumbled upon St Gregory the Great’s biography of St Benedict, a life-changing booklet called Life of Saint Benedict, Benedict who remains my favourite saint. Then, without leaving Artist and Monk, I moved on to Architect, because an aunt studied it and I heard architects made cool money.

All through this time, people were pushing hard: you go to church everyday, Block Rosary every night, you’re so quiet, you need to be a Priest. But Psychologist walked in instead, because another aunt had studied it and moved to London and I felt I just had to go to London to know what London People were thinking, because that was what psychology was in my world: a people-reading manual. Then teachers and classmates put Lawyer in my head because students who are good in arts subjects have to study Law. Then Monk returned: but one evening in 2012, after a conversation with my mother, it fled forever. And Historian took over fully: “Professor of International Relations” would look cool on my resume.

Then in June of 2012, while reading Half of a Yellow Sun, Writer, an inchoate want that had always been there since childhood, became serious. Still is serious. But Physicist remains a dream I will never fulfill, never helped by that film The Theory of Everything. And Painter is a world I would be fully alive in. And Actor, because Cate Blanchett and Daniel Day-Lewis blow my small mind. And Activist, because this world sucks so fucking bad. Months after I first wrote all of the above on Facebook, Academic strolled by and, boy, I grabbed it.

Months on, nearly two years on, I still want.

14 Replies to “Monk. Astronomer. Artist”

  1. Theory of everything lol. I can relate.
    Aeronautical engineering was the first for me. I didn’t know what it means but it sounded complex and back then, complex was cool.
    Then there was pastor. I was a preaching prodigy as a kid. While my friends read novels, I consumed the bible, especially the stories. I led fellowships and I remember neighbours telling my mother that I was something special.
    Then footballer. But I quickly realized I wasnt good enough so I opted for sideline duties. But again, there didn’t seem to be a structure in place to pursure coaching dreams so it went with the wind.
    Currently torn between physiotherapy and screenwriting.

    1. Lol at “Sideline duties.”

      I read the Bible’s stories also — the Old Testament up to Judges, Deuterocanonical Books, the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Revelation. Just the stories. Aeronautical engineering was my elder brother’s back then. Physiotherapy and screenwriting: I suspect one can feed the other, assuming I’m entirely sure of what physiotherapists do.

      Thanks for reading, Ayodeji.

  2. Doctor, Archeologist, Teacher, Policy Analyst, Academic, Writer, Activist, Banker. This is the order of mine. I have imagined myself as each at one point. Most still live in my subconscious as dreams never to be fulfilled. I don’t imagine there will be a world or a time when some of these dreams can actually be actualised. Recently I surrendered myself to become a writer and I suspect this will be the lasting tag I will be known for.

    But I find myself sometimes wondering about the accidental choices we make with regards to the careers we choose. This year alone, I took several steps to actualise some of these tags and struggled with them. And yet, some careers are easier than others, some of them even have heartbreaks hidden in their futures but yet they are the ones we choose or they are the ones that choose us. How does one know the path to take? How does one follow a path which surely despite the obvious heartaches hidden in between, one can stay with?

    1. Interesting. How did I even forget that I once had Archaeologist lurking in there somewhere?

      This, “I don’t imagine there will be a world or a time when some of these dreams can actually be actualised,” is IT, sadly.

      On a level, it sucks that success isn’t even enough to maintain interest in a career.

      Thanks for dropping by, Tolu.

  3. Aww. This is extremely relatable. Astronaut was my first big fixation, because it was just so cool. Nigeria fixed it. Like yours now, it’s writer, and Nigeria is looking to fix that too.

    1. Nigeria “fixed it”? LOL!

      Nigeria fixes way too many dreams for us. But, A I, if it is still in there somehow, if you are still interested enough to pursue it, have you thought of leaving?

      Thanks for reading, A I.

  4. Beautiful one Eze. Many people in Nigeria pursue certain careers for the money. If you do not want it, your family will make you. I remember my first choice was to study theatre art. I use to, still, revere the world of character making, directing and scriptwriting even though I did nothing about it. Right now, I am happy writing my wild thoughts down on papers.

    1. Chidinma Ada Unachukwu, I think you just might still fulfil that theatre dream. As you are a writer, who knows, you might one day find the spark for film lit.

  5. Nigeria and her realistic fixations are so strong. Everyone of us, at each stage in our growth line, tend to have one dream or the other, but at some certain stage we shade some off, and others are kept hanging somewhere in us yet to be fulfilled. I always wanted to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a dancer, or a footballer, or a writer, or a psychologist even. Although I’m still rolling on one path, having learnt a fragment of each, I pray it never sheds off.

    1. I pray they never shed, Nonso Njoku. And I hope you find success in the one you’re in, because it’s success that mostly calls the shots as regards whether or not we fulfil former dreams no longer entirely in our eventual paths, because with success in one you may find time to do the rest.

  6. A Pastor, then a Teacher, then a Journalist, then a Psychologist and finally a Lawyer. That was the order for me. But, I ended up studying Mass Communication at the university. People call me a writer because I write poems and sometimes prose. I do own a blog too.

    One thing I know for sure is that I want to live a happy life (whatever that exactly means). I would end up in the classroom somehow. Or probably teach from the comfort of my room. I can do that with technology.

    This is a beautiful piece.

    1. Victor Ugoo Njoku, I find it interesting that Pastor was your first dream — it takes a certain emotional generosity to want that from childhood. And Teacher, it catches up with us all, doesn’t it? Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Your writing makes me remember childhood.

    I had wanted, somehow, decisions still gathering my head, to be a medical doctor. But, I was not sure.
    I was still not sure, pondering on every opportunity that by, on every dream that seems true.
    I would become a writer. A banker. A nurse. Whatever people did and became successful.

    But on one day, at the JAMB registration center, I will make that decision. And I did too filling architecture. Years had rolled by and I am slightly worried I would grab whatever passes my way.

    Nice write up.
    Thank you for taking me back to early memories.

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