ARTICLE: I WANT TO BE. ..

I WANT TO BE. ..

There is a question that has been on my mind for years. Yea, it has lingered for so long; since I was a little girl.
All these years I have failed to give a final answer to this question. I might take some time to make up my mind on things but usually when I finally do I stick to it. This is the only question that has proved I am indecisive and that is because my answer to it has kept vacillating. The question reads: What do I want to be? You probably laughed it off after you read the question but really it isn’t that simple. 
About ten years ago, when I was in Primary School I read one of Ben Carson’s books titled; ‘Gifted Hands’. After reading the book I was filled with utmost inspiration and all I could think of was the Medical field. I thought I knew what I wanted to be; a Doctor, maybe a Neurosurgeon or a Medical Researcher that would be involved in finding the cure to herpes, AIDS and all kinds of cancer.
Not long after, I thought I should become a Pastor. Mmnn. .. That sounded kinda fun then. I felt I would be different. I felt I would not act like some kinda ‘holier-than-thou’ but happily give open hands to all those who felt bad about themselves, the bad decisions they made and the really wrong things they had done. I would be an instrument God would use to reach out to everyone not feeling good enough, broken and rejected. Someone told me people don’t just wake up and decide to become Pastors that they have to be called by God. Well, I didn’t get it then. I wondered if God would call me. Then I thought, just maybe I  should not be a pastor.
Later on, I wanted to be a Teacher. I wanted to be the one to break down all the difficult Mathematics and Science problems. To give answers and clarify the different questions lingering in the minds of kids. Teachers teach students who turn out to be in different fields. I felt if being a teacher means I would be part of the process of making a Doctor, Pharmacist, Engineer, Accountant, Economist, Artist, Writer, Politician and maybe a future President, then surely it should be the profession for me. 
Things changed as I discovered I wanted to do more of writing. I figured in my listening and observing I could get the theme of my stories from the discussions and activities that occurred around me. That was it, an Author or a Scriptwriter. I saw myself as one who would write stories about everyone; the good, bad, sad, happy, strong. Stories that will inspire people and make them understand that they should cling unto their strengths, nurture their passion and never give up on their dreams. 
With the rolling of time I was able to think things through. I like acting and being the voice of different characters sounded fun. My conclusion was that a scriptwriter was just too behind-the-scene so instead I should be an Actress. I felt I just might send across the message better by playing out the roles in regards to not just my stories but that of many others. I figured by playing the roles of several characters I could send messages across to everyone that might be going through a phase similar to that of the characters that I played.
My elder sister Ij writes poems and I really love one of her poems which ends like this;
“Go you may, run you may, travel you may. You will be back to your origin; under mother’s breasts.”
Her poem writing was an inspiration to me and while in junior secondary school I saw myself writing poems.
I had a nice response when I presented a poem in school. Hence, I decided to pour my emotions into Spoken Word Poetry. I felt it would be a great means to express myself through words and I could incorporate gestures and good stage delivery. 
I am slim, I feel beautiful and people tell me I have a nice smile. Little wonder as to why I started thinking of being a Model. The thought of being an all-round model was fascinating. Some of my friends said I would make a great Model and that buttressed my anticipation but there were two hindering issues. Firstly, I didn’t think my height was okay for Modeling. I know what you thinking; “She is short!” Naah! I like to say; “I am not very tall” or “I am of average height”. Hahaa. .. Not all kinds of Modeling need tall girls but if Modeling would be my career then I didn’t what to be limited to certain kinds. Secondly, I knew deep down that I would not get supreme fulfillment in being a Model since there are careers I like more. 
My interest in Modeling faded with time. I had to take a subject called ‘Technical Drawing’ which is a basic course for those with the intention of studying ‘Architecture’. In the school I attended it was compulsory for all students in the first senior secondary school year. I was the best student in the course at the end of the year. That made me realize I could become a great Architect. I could partner with one of the best construction companies and ‘map’ out the frame of great, modern and magnificent buildings. Time proved that Architecture  was not what I really wanted.
While in primary and secondary school I was often called for ‘talking’ activities. People said I was outstanding in debates and in the delivery of speech. I was told my layout in delivery as well as my boldness was really captivating. When I was in college I offered a course called ‘Communications Skills’. One of our projects was to give a presentation using powerpoint. I talked on the topic ‘Smile’. Many people liked my presentation and my teacher said mine was the best.  I was requested to do it during our end semester party and in the church we worshipped. Then I thought I could make a good Storyteller or better still a Motivational Speaker.
Way back in primary school it was obvious I liked Art. In junior secondary school I took time and pleasure in doing my art assignments and I was the best in the subject ‘Fine Art’ in my class. In college I tried drawing myself during my leisure. It didn’t turn out as nice as I wanted but it made me smile. I had never considered taking Art as a career, not until I was a 1st year medical student. I have a friend I call ‘Michi’ and she brought with her nice pictures she got from magazines. One night I drew one of them which is a picture of a Nigerian girl in a cultural head piece. When I was through I was overwhelmed and not just because of how it looked. I was more impressed with the fact that I enjoyed drawing it and it made me realize how much I appreciate art. My love for Art has grown and until this day it feels good to picture myself as an Artist.
I am currently in medical school but sometimes I ask myself questions like; Are you really sure you want to be a Doctor? Do you really want to let go of the wonder and magic you could experience if fully in the art field? Will you find absolute fulfillment in the medical field? Seven to ten years from now will you feel you chose the right path? Sincerely, I cannot give a straight answer like ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to these questions. Right now, the answers I have are more like; “I think so”, “I hope so”.
By the grace of God I am multi-talented and I believe God wouldn’t have blessed me with the gifts and talents if He didn’t want me to make use of all of them in a sort of way. I look to God for guidance as to how to boost my potentials and to what scale I ought to use each of the gifts and talents. I want to enjoy the journey to that great destination that awaits me. A book written by Paul Arden: “It’s not how good you are, It’s how good you want to be”.
In respect to my future profession I may not have definite answers but on a general note I think I finally know what I want to be. What I want to be is very simple; I want to be HAPPY!

ARTICLE BY: BRIDGET E. UKENI

My drawing of Michi's picture from a magazine.