The Multifaceted Butterfly

800px-TwoLorenzOrbits.jpg“We can be whatever we want to be and do whatever we want to do…all we have to do is dream it and work towards it” – says almost everyone these days.*Yuck* That my friend is a myth (I stand to be corrected). It doesn’t always work that way.

For multitalented people – those who have the ability to different things from sometimes unrelated fields- we cannot all be what we want to be, neither can we do all that we want to do. We can only achieve 50% (or thereabout) of what we want to do or be and most times at a huge cost- mostly psychologically and sometimes emotionally. Now, I am not going to bother you all and myself with the numbers and scientific evidence. Why should I, when I am already a living proof? Why should I bother with the scientific gibberish when I know some others just like myself?

One time, I tried having a conversation with a friend who was multi potential and sent a text that read “Sup”. Her reply was, “My dear, I am stressed and almost confused… I am getting fat from stress eating … I always have gas in my system … I have zero fun …the heat is unbearable … there hasn’t been light for the past one week here…” Jesus!!! All I asked was “Sup” and she poured out all of that and more. But you know what, I understood. I really did. These complaints are just a small part of the price we pay for being creatively multitalented. I call it the BUTTERFLY EFFECT – the consequences of being multifaceted like a butterfly.

Here is the thing – some of us are so multitalented, so much so that we are capable of doing many things; and contrary to popular belief, it can be really frustrating and confusing choosing what to do – career wise and especially after graduation.

Take these butterflies for example (not using real names):

°Rose studied Mass communication as a course, designs and sews as well, writes and blogs and is also a public speaker and female MC.
°Ken is studying Economics, is a bad ass songwriter and rapper, a mean photographer and sketch artist.
°Linda is studying architecture, a bad ass professional dancer, and also a writer and blogger and sometimes a doodler.
°Fina studies law, is a great doodler and sketch artist, a writer and sometimes dabbles with jewellery making, which is actually good at.
°Ada studied Economics and is a good radio presenter. She is a bad ass accessory and jewellery designer and maker, content developer and writer and sometimes doodles quirkily.

These people and so many others have been blessed with more than talent and I know most of you would be wondering what the problem is exactly because all you see is one person with so many options to choose from- especially as a source of income.

Yes, we have so many options for future careers but the downside is, we struggle greatly deciding which path to follow and which choice would be more optimal. The process to choosing can be very chafing and oftentimes, turn into a state of depression. During this process, we tend to lose friends and shut people out – only very few of them understands and are very supportive. Some people would perceive you as ‘unserious’.

So to my fellow butterflies, here is my two-piece: There are and would be many periods of anxiety and self-doubt, but it ‘dun’ matter. The first thing we should do is to let go of the need for approval – even from ourselves and just do the first thing that feels right. Never try to overthink things because that’s when the self-doubt and negativity begins to work its way into our heads. Make your circle small and never ever try to explain yourself and your dreams/goals (consistently) to people who don’t understand – some of whom only hear what you say but don’t listen. And according to Lisa Rivero, ‘Optimal adjustment’ is key; that is finding a blend between personal abilities, personal preferences, and requirements and rewards (especially from workplace environment). And for heaven’s sakes, you are allowed to make mistakes – after all, you have so many options at your fingertips.

And to the people (parents, friends, etc.) who have these double-edged sword of giftedness around them…learn to identify that we are really different people and that the process of “toughen up” or “being serious” with our lives and exactly what we want to do would only take longer time when you tend to badger and make us seem stupid.

STORY- I ASKED FOR FUN 2

Later that night while we were having dinner, I decided to share my new discovery with everyone.

“Daddy, why didn’t you tell us that papa had a second wife?” I asked


 

“Second wife kwa? Who told you that?” he asked

“Ahn ahn, the boy that lives in that small house behind nau. The last son of papa’s second wife” I continued.

“Hian. There is nobody living in that house. You have come again with your mischief. Please don’t scare your siblings. First you were complaining about the food, now you’re coming up with scary stories” he replied in dismissal.

“But-”

“Ekene will you shut up and stop being stubborn. Eat your food and stop scaring your siblings” my mum interrupted.

My parents never gave me a chance to talk. I felt adopted at this point. It was almost as if they hated me. I didn’t care anyway because I had someone to talk with now.

The next two days went very well for me. I wasn’t bothered about the food or the prayers anymore because I always looked forward to gisting with Peter. I would go there and stay for hours and then leave when I suspected that my mum was looking for me. The best thing about it all was that nobody ever noticed I was gone. I guess they were too bored or something. On the fourth day, during our conversations, I decided to ask about the old man I saw twice at the window and in front of the house. He told me that it was his sick uncle who was always asleep. After I asked this question, Peter suddenly became distant and quiet and I became uncomfortable and so I decided to leave earlier than usual and probably come back another time.

I told him I was leaving and he followed me and closed the door behind. I was walking out of the porch when I saw my dad.

“Ekene! What did I tell you about that building? Do you want to wound yourself? Are you stupid?” he said as he walked towards me. “What were you doing in that house?”

“Papa, I told you that grandpa’s son lives there, you refused to listen to me.” I replied “One fair tall guy stays there. His name is Peter. How come you don’t know him?”

“Peter? This girl are you sure you are okay? Come and show me the person” he said as we walked back to the house.

When we got there, I knocked on the door the first time.

“Peter!”

I knocked the second time and to my surprise, the door fell off it’s hinges to the floor inside the house. This was odd, we stepped inside the house and it was like a dream.

The sitting room was full of logs of wood piled up at a corner, there were thick cobwebs everywhere. The floors made a squeaky sound every time we moved around. The furniture looked very old and worn out. There were rodents everywhere. I looked up and a part of the ceiling had fallen off leaving a gaping hole there. It was like the house had gone about 100 years into the future all of a sudden.

“B-but, I sat here, right here” I said pointing to the smaller couch. “Peter sat here. W-we were talking and eating. Just here.” I was confused.

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STORY- I ASKED FOR FUN 1

When my mum announced to us a week ago that we were going to the village for our Christmas holiday, I felt like slapping the excitement off her face because I didn’t understand it. In plain terms, I hated my village. There was no network to chat, no electricity during the day, and I had no friends to talk to there. My dad is the eldest in the family and so he has the oldest kids, all we had was ourselves and smaller cousins who couldn’t understand or speak English. It was terrifying.

For the past one week, we had been having the same daily routine. We would wake up at six to pray with the other families in the compound. I never understood the songs they sang or the prayers they said because it was all in my native dialect. My mum usually gave me the stare during these prayers because I simply kept mute and looked around like I was in a museum. After prayers, breakfast would be served from the communal local kitchen that always made my eyes water with all the smoke from burning firewood. It was either fried plantain with pap or tea and bread. No indomie, no eggs, nothing!

The last time I complained to my mother about the food and my father overheard it, I got the shouting of my life.

“You are still 16 and under my roof! What I have, you eat! If you do not like the food, go hungry or get a job. Nonsense!”

Oh lord, when was it going to end?!

The worst part of my day was taking my bath. The bathroom was about six meters away from the main house and not only was it untiled and slippery, you had to walk all the way back to the house with the harmattan breeze drying you up, making you cold and cracking your already cracked lips. This happened to me on the first four days of our stay until I devised a means to manage it: early baths.

I woke up as early as 5 o’clock and took my bath behind our house before it was time for prayers and that solved it all for me. Or did it?

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