Suleiman plugged his ears with an earpiece through most of the journey and I tried to do the same with poor results. I remember it was during the month of Ramadan and my seat in the bus was looking out the window, the scene outside rushed past us but it was still beautiful, it took with it my heart.
There wasn’t much to look at really, it is dry, sparsely vegetated, and in place of trees are these stubby looking thorny plants, but to me, it was grand. The Sahara always impresses me. The powerful sun beating down on that great dry expanse just melts my heart, it takes me into a philosophical mood, reminds me of Allah, The Creator. It is majestic.
When someone goes to the mountain to be alone, or the lake, or the beach or somewhere similar, they experience this grandeur, the vastness and openness of these places force your mind wide open and you see life through a single lens, you will see just how much of it is all noise, nothing to really worry about, that was how I felt on this trip, on my way to Azare. . . I saw life. All the little hamlets and stubby trees we passed, everyone going about their daily grind, oblivious to our existence, it just reminded me how insignificant we are in the grandeur of things. I felt the whole weight of the universe at that moment, looking out through that window, and tears seeped sheepishly from my eyes. I wanted to write a poem about it.
My dreams are probably bigger than the mountains, the rivers and wider than the expanse of the deserts, it is typical of human beings, and I am one of them. I wanted to help people, right from when I was a kid, like a Superhero, it was my dream (you have no idea how much I revel the heroes I watched from cartoons), I wanted to be like them, and save the world.
As I grew matured I noticed something different, wearing spangling suits, jumping off tall buildings and rounding up the bad guys isn’t exactly a day job. So right from when I was about five years old I set out to become someone with a job first (before eventually I become rich enough and start paying off for my superhero exploits). Inventors and scientists caught my eye, when I got older I said engineer, later on I said physicist (studying physics), you know, anything that means I can make laser shooting canons. But something that was very clear in my mind was that I hadn’t lost focus on my real dream, to save the world.
As I grew older I became more aware of what’s happening, what needed to be done and how things work, I became perceptive of cultures, traditions, the environment, history and economy, and I wanted to make an impact in these areas, because apparently this is ‘saving the world’ and not flying over skyscrapers, how boring. I was in my early to mid twenties and I don’t know how to achieve that. I was lost, like completely blind-as-a-bat lost as to what would I be first, what would my business card read? Oh I had plenty of things going, some graphic design, small businesses, manual jobs and some other stuff, I was playing hit and miss with my future but nonetheless doing something and still searching.
Maybe it was the hunger from fasting, or maybe the heat has gotten to me but I had an epiphany in the bus, it came to me in a flash . . . . I wanted to become a writer.
While I was sitting staring out that bus window, coming to grips with my existence, I realised everything I had done in the past led to this inspiring decision, this resolve to become a writer. I have always written poetry, the short write ups I post regularly on Facebook always make my day, I have a job as a freelance writer, wrote official letters back when I was with the MSSN, I created a blog, and while I loved most digital marketing jobs I was impressed by content writing and so I learnt it, all of these tiny unrelated decisions are who I am, they define me, and thank God I realised it, it took a while but I did.
And now that I thought about it, I have my father to thank, for everything. He was the one who printed my first ever story and made a copy to present to my teacher at school, inspiring this little boy to become the man I am today, he was the one who forced us to “Listen” while we watched cartoons together, that perhaps we would learn better English. My father bought books (and toys) liberally and paid for my site hosting and domain when I was struggling with a free website’s limitations. I did the soul-searching, the contemplation and some of the work, but truly, I was assisted by you Baba, I thank him dearly.
I couldn’t have done this all on my own.
I realised with writing I could start a revolution, inspire whole generations, I could publish a memorandum that could change the world, I can literally re-write history. Could there be any super powers more badass? I don’t think so.
So here I was, sitting in a bus full of people, about to cry. I breathed, my heart full, but I was content, very much content. It is not going to be easy but I am ready. I am determined to make this happen by Allah’s will. Of course I identify with a lot of other things and I am not giving up on them, but writing, writing is what I am set out to do.
“Your Work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs.