I know they say the future is bright; that we can only shine more and more until the perfect day. You want to know what I think? I think the future is blank: very, very blank. It’s so empty, time travellers can’t go there because it hasn’t happened yet. And in my sincerest opinion, no matter how hard everyone tries to predict the future, by reading palms, studying stars, saying various incantations to a very lifeless and deaf moon, the only thing that is certain about it is that no one knows what it holds. Not on earth, at the very least.
At a certain age in a person’s life, they supposedly experience something called, ‘a date with destiny’. During this date, their eyes become open and they begin to see their future in front of them like it’s a Hollywood movie. They realise the kind of person they want to be, the kind of car they want to own, their career, the kind of person they want to marry, some people even discover that they are gay. I get envious of these people; I call them the lucky ones. You know why? Because, I never got a date with destiny. No, I mean that literally. The girl I liked called Destiny out rightly refused to go out with me, because my toes were too long and scary, and she also thought I was emotionally detached. I don’t blame her though; it’s her loss. Anyways, as per the figurative date with destiny, I never got that either. Here I was, a young boy of average height, weight and stature, and I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I mean, I could say it to you or give you an answer if you asked, but I wouldn’t believe what I said 100% of the time. I was so troubled, that I began skipping classes just to see if anyone would miss me in them. You know: if they noticed I was absent and went on to ask after me when school was over, I was obviously important to that class and should totally focus my energy there. If they didn’t notice I was gone, then I probably had no future there.
That seemed to work at the time. And when my JAMB form arrived, I filled in the career I was most sure of at the time, Medicine. Everyone seemed to enjoy having me in class, both teachers and students, plus everyone thought I had a good enough IQ to be a success in that field. Some people just encouraged me, because they heard it paid a lot of money, so I went in. After a few years of gallivanting from one course to the other due to the inefficiencies of Nigerian Universities, I finally began studying medicine. Then I saw that it wasn’t all I had hoped. I began to see that it involved long working hours, a lot of consistent studying, a very high memory retention capacity, a lot of pressure, a load of responsibilities, and even in agreement with Grey’s Anatomy, a lot of drama. I began thinking I couldn’t take it anymore, that I was going to die old and unaccomplished, get buried with so much more than I gave out to the world, my expectations, my promise and my prospect all wasted in the God-forsaken medical profession. I began feeling like this wasn’t my calling, and fate has tricked me into this bottomless pit of work, work, work and no play. Due to my loss of hope and will-power, my performance began to drop. I flunked tests I was known to pass easily, I argued with teachers, I became detached from the school environment, lost 70% of my friends and other stuff. Then I realised that by thinking too much about my future, I was unconsciously destroying my present. Due to my fear of never being all I wanted to be, I was jeopardizing all I could ever be. Because I was killing my most valuable time: the present.
I still haven’t had a date with destiny. Mostly because my toes remain long and scary and I’m still a tad emotionally detached. But no, seriously, I don’t know what kind of man I want to be, what kind of house I want to live in, which hospital I’m going to work, what I’m going to specialize in, which girl I want to marry, etc. I still have no certain idea what my future would be like, and I’m okay with it. Albert Einstein said, “The reason for time, is so that everything doesn’t happen at once”. I don’t bother myself about tomorrow, or the day after that, my specialty, my career, my wife, my hospital, even my undying love for Destiny. Because now I understand, that the future is never really set in stone; it is volatile. Its volatility is greatly dependent on the ever recurring present. We make our own future by what we do today. Whenever I remember this, I smile. Because even though I have fears, worries, hopes, and dreams I may never accomplish, I know that I just have to do my best for each day and everything is going to be alright.
Victor Enahoro Ohwo