When Purpose is Staring You in the Face
Being on the cusp of adulthood, I am in a place mentally where I have broken free from the expectations I once upheld in one area of my life. The pressure to graduate safely into a pillow in the form of a City job with a competitive salary. The sight of my graduate friends sitting at home gaining pounds around the waist rather than in the bank is enough to thrust me into any graduate job that may come my way. My education and experience all point to the 21st century path into corporate Britain. But I am not having it.
All it has taken is a turbulent year and some deep introspection to finally drop all notions of chasing something for security. An unease has been simmering within me for as long as I can remember over the uncertainty of my dreams and future. Realising that I am no different to any regular person in their early 20’s was the first step to not allowing the weight of this world hold me down. I cannot afford to be over worried with financial or job security at this crucial time in realising my true desires and passions.
I have never considered myself to have any amazing talents besides my ability to communicate and use words. But ‘reading and writing’ is hardly the talent you want to share with peers when asked, “What is your best talent?” Choosing school subjects along with the advice of, “Choose what you are best at” was always a stressful experience. I love to read and write about the things that I enjoy and appreciate. English Literature and Philosophy being the only two most aptly fit for my talents was frustrating in honesty. I love to learn about many things across the board and not being the shining all 10 A* student I wanted to be was slightly bruising throughout education. But the stellar grades in English (in particular, that 500 word commentary on an advertisement featuring phallic graffiti receiving endless praise from my teacher) was enough for me to know I can surely do this writing thing.
My close friends often mock my awkward use of elevated vocabulary in very ordinary social situations, which were arguably excessive at the time. Yet, I am convinced that the words I read assimilate into my brain upon the first read, lie dormant in my memory and then unexpectedly roll off the tongue when a sentence calls for it. It is a personal phenomenon I cannot explain other than to call it one of the curses of being well-read.
I have read since the age of 3. I rapidly consuming the great hardbacks on the bookshelf of one of my first homes in South East London, and a result of this consistent stream of knowledge is that my thoughts have formed into running editorial pieces begging to be scrawled on just about any platform. My Twitter account is prime evidence of that. Full of sporadic thoughts to threaded think pieces and healthy lashings of my sense of humour. It is time to break outside the realms of Twitter and establish my own platform.
Reflecting back on a small period in my life, moving around frequently, from Britain to Nigeria and back, and not immediately settling into a home displaced my passions and my personality. Adolescence saw the demise of my profound love for painting, designing clothes and reading literature. ‘Olamide the student and not much else’ was born. Somewhere along that line I decided I wanted a career in law.
I am glad to say that my naive determination to become a lawyer has now been cut short, but has been a long time coming. Admittedly, experiencing a meltdown at my legal vacation scheme two years ago and realising I should be a writer should have been the first sign for me that this was not the path intended for me. But there comes that anxiety again that my time in education will all be for nothing if I do not become the lawyer I know I could be. Abandoning this ambition is not a matter of ability, rather a matter of doing what I truly am destined for. What will drive me to be the best, rather than settle for a cruise through a standardised career.
It has since been a process of detaching myself from the idea of the career I convinced myself that I deserve. Expressing these experiences through journaling and allowing my creative spirit to reawaken is forming part of the rediscovery of Olamide pre depressing adolescence.
Tumblr is a huge part of that for me, having maintained a *secret* blog for many years now, archiving some of my deepest musings during a troubled time. In a sense, I have been a writer all my life.
I refuse to label myself as an ‘aspiring writer’, rather as someone who writes regardless of whether or not it features in a job title.
Writing has saved me in some of my darkest times and I am here to share my words with the world.