Buddy, I can tell you this, growing up, I had dreams big, small, inconsequential and downright foolish, (to others, but not to me). Some, I have fulfilled, but a lot; I have not even scratched the surface off. Cos, thing about dreams are that they ossify, and given the ravages of time on life, you chuck them away and face reality (always the advice given). But why should you not make your all or at the least some of your dreams come true? Just because others scorn and deride what’s important to you does not mean you should quit. Fine, as life goes on, it may finally dawn on you: You’re not going to play for the Green Eagles, or discover the cure for malaria. But there are other valid insane dreams that you absolutely must pursue. Otherwise, what was this life for?
The Dream of the (Tiny Little) Thing You Were Meant to Do Look, we all know what I was meant to do: sing like an angel (except that I can’t sing) or write the equivalent of Things Fall Apart (except right now, It’s this article) or become an entrepreneur par excellence (except I’m still working at it). At times, the big yucky struggle of our life direction and purpose is just well,
too big and yucky to contemplate. Recalibrate therefore; Take a day off. Figure out the tiny little thing you were meant to do. My friend Valeriewas meant to dance. On weekends, if she can find music, she shakes it until her feet hurts. My friend Chinyere was meant to write, so she does, in spite of holding down a day job working for a bank in Abuja and been a mom and a wife. My hubby was meant to write poems and scripts [stage plays&screenplays]; and he has done quite a bit, and needs to continue. Point is, find your one tiny little thing and make it a big part of your existence.
The Dream of Having a Child in Your Life
Nobody wants to talk about this. It’s too sensitive. It’s too personal. It’s too painful. But just about everybody has some version of these thoughts: You couldn’t have a child, or you could, but you didn’t find the right partner to have a child with. Or you had children but wanted more, but nature did not cooperate. Or you had a child but wanted more but got divorced. Or you had a child, but something awful and life-rending happened. All of the above are big deals, but this is the most heartbreaking; you don’t think that with your problems or your history or your hang-ups, you have anything to offer a child. Of course, there are exceptions to what I’m about to say, but for those who are normal balanced persons (not violent or creepy or insane), you have something that a child not only will find instructive or beguiling but also needs. It will be the niece or nephew, granddaughter, god child, friend’s child or even neighbour’s kids who you befriend after catching them doing one stupid thing or the other and you find the courage to say “Hey, I used to do stuff like that too. And by the way, it never produced any kind of happiness. And by the way, if you want to talk about this, without your parents knowing, I am available.’
The Dream of Feeling Good in the Morning
For most of us, getting out of bed each morning after a certain age is physically uncomfortable, not in a massive, disease-riddled or car accident kind of way. Either, we’re just overweight and out of breath, or we’re relatively thin but with throbbing joint pain. We get soul- crushing headaches due to stress or break out in hives due to an unknown ailment. Furthermore, none of us are doing much about it. We’ve been to see doctors, herbalists, and even weird healers that scared the heck out of us. Note to us (me included, due to my weight and bad diet): You’re not done until you feel good. Get back in the game. Quit, find, and solve whatever so relentlessly ails you.
The Dream of the Amazing, Life- Changing Trip You Don’t Have Time For
Studying the haze over Table Mountain in Cape Town, thinking of seeing the Pyramids in Egypt, dreaming of driving from Lagos to Accra: Let’s face it, if you live in Lagos, these are trips that require time and money. These are also trips that, perhaps, sitting in your kitchen or cubicle, you’ve built up in your mind as the one badass, awe- inspiring journey that will finally make you into the badass, awe- inspiring ‘Ajala travelled all over the world’person you dreamed of being. It’s hard to admit, but you are who you are, regardless of whether you’ve been to Seychelles or not. And, honestly, who you are is somebody who needs at least one week of hard-earned vacation spent not at home trying to save money so that one day you can go where you’ve always wanted to go. Crop the dream; shorten the length of your stay or replace the destination with a similar but more achievable goal that exacts no jet lag (say, Egypt for Obudu Cattle Ranch) and just go! The thing to realize is this: It’s not any one particular geographic place that’s haunting you; it’s the idea of not going anywhere at all.
The Dream of Finding the Person Who Gets Your Cockeyed Take on Life
No, not marriage, something else entirely, though sometimes includes marriage. Need to eat ‘Agege’ bread and ‘akara’ without been made to feel like a local champion- check; going bohemian when everybody else is dressed to the nines and they are sniggering about it behind your back, and he or she stands up for you and commends your quirky style of dressing – check; getting your shaved head in the place of the ubiquitous Brazilian, Peruvian, Indian and whatever ‘ian’-hair that is the rage- check. Believing the different, dancing to your own tune, seeing the world through a certain prism and he or she totally gets it- triple check. They are out there and often where you least expect it, the people that see life through the same lens as yours and understands and flows with your vibe. Keep looking.
The Dream of the Hero
Some of us dream of saving a damsel in distress been harassed by area boys, who after you have warned to stop harassing the woman, it falls on deaf ears and they have the gumption to come at you, ka cha! Who is Jackie Chan now? I have had similar dreams. I have deep, developed fantasies about a rogue band of terrorists storming into a shop or mall where I am present, at which point I transform into a sexy, karate- chopping warrior woman, complete with machine guns and machetes, and kick the butts of all the evil masked offenders, only to take off running into the night at high speed to preserve my secret double identity, which no one in the mall could have guessed at looking at me. This is not going to happen. But Ihave been the warrior of giving money to my friend when her hubby will not bring money for food, who otherwise would not have had any food for her kids; I have been the ninja of at least two friends who thought they could never have the joy of motherhood, supporting their dreams to adopt in a society that for some weird reason (given the sheer number of children in need) harrumphed at the very thought. And I have been the superhero of hearing the pain in my daughters voice even when not vocalized, as some twerp in school took it upon himself to bully my lovely daughter, coaxing words out of her and formulating a plan to deal with this atrocious behavior, telling her ‘nobody should be allowed to hurt you, nobody’ (fine, she did not implement as agreed) but she found her way of dealing with the situation.Point is, she got it that it could be dealt with. You too have pulled off the heroic and inhumanly possible on the way to life and you will again and again and again. Most dreams are also part reality (otherwise we wouldn’t believe them), and reality happens to be a condition that gives you plenty of chances through your life to rise to, no, soar through various occasions.
The Dream of a Traffic flowing Lagos
Look around you, it’s already happening. Have you been to Orile and onwards, towards Mile 2 lately? What you see is for real. One fine day, in this Lagos, if you live in the aforementioned axis, you will leave your car at home and enter the metro to come to at least Iganmu and that in multiplier effect will mean fewer cars on the road. Then at another time, another metro will be built to connect Ikorodu to the Island, looping along
Surulere, another through Ikeja, starting from Iyana Ipaja to Marina, and before you know it, it’s a Lagos moving with minimal discomfort. How do I know? Did you know Lagos could be greened the way it is right now?Look around.
The Dream of Fat-Free Anything
Eventually, this one will come true. Yes it will. I will sit down to a plate of fat-free food that taste so good (without any weight gain or guilty conscience afterwards) that I will be compelled to eat it before stick thin women and men, including my son and husband,so much so that they will encourage me to have more and I will daintily decline. And here is why: There is some smarter, equally round scientist out there in the world who has exactly the same dream as well as an imagination, that can visualize waist-reducing, full-fat, Nigerian food.
The Dream of the Airplane That Actually Flies
When your itsy bitsy baby has grown into a perky five year old and have watched enough Bob the builder, one day, she or he is going to become Adamu or Sade the builder. He or She will make cars out of paper, string things around and ask you to ‘help him or her make it work.” You will be so painfully aware of what they want, for you to know how to build stuff that functions and to be able to teach them how to build same. It gets worse, because at this point, you know that all his life, people are going to dodge this by telling him to ask for toy cars and airplanes or just enjoy pretending the noise and sound and motion of an imaginary remote-controlled car and airplane. All that is fine of course, as we’re not all engineers or the Wright Brothers. But there was a time in your life when you wanted to do something: fly a plane or catch a butterfly or draw a human hand that looks like a hand. This skill is actually possible. Excavate the longing you used to have, practice and master it, even if that skill is more than rusty. But most of all, you will have to be available and ready to listen after a hard day’s (why that term by the way?) job in Lagos, to what your child is saying right? And between the both of you, you will have time to do something that matters to your child.
adapted from www.oprah.com