I have wondered lately, when I’ll be able to be like one of those. You know, those who wake up with one goal. Who chase after said goal tirelessly; investing time, degrees, jobs, promotions to the attainment of said plan. You know, those who study one thing, specialize in that one thing, get further degrees in same and get employed in what they’ve always wanted. Read more
Music or nah?
‘Mom, I want to study Music’ I heard my little brother say from across the room. I unconsciously closed my book as I directed all attention to the ensuing conversation.
My mother took some minutes to regain her composure after such shocking news my brother had so lightly delivered. ‘Why Music?’ My mother finally asked.
‘I love music. I don’t imagine studying any other course. To be honest, nothing else interests me.’ He spoke out of sincerity.
My mom paused for a while before she spoke ‘we’ll discuss this when your dad returns’.
We all knew what that meant. It was never a good thing. It was more like facing a panel of unbreakable opinions. I was quite curious about the end of this news my brother had courageously exposed.
Jide, my little brother was the musician of the family. Everyone knew that. But studying Music as a course? That was a hobby gone too far. I couldn’t help but admire how gutsy he was. I was never so bold to confront my parents about my interests. I was the perfect kid, you may add. Graduated top of my class. Followed dad’s career path of being a Diplomat. I love my job. But then again, I can hardly hide my inclination for fashion designing. The first time I mentioned that to my dad as a kid led to an outburst of laughter I had never heard before. In but a few seconds, he had successfully crushed whatever desires I had of pursuing fashion designing. As I said earlier, I love my job. Or am I just trying to convince myself?
‘Funmi!’ My mother’s voice pierced through my thoughts.
‘Yes mom’ I abruptly responded, following the direction of her voice which led me to their bedroom.
‘What’s wrong with your brother eh? Why does he insist on disappointing us?’ She barely waited for me to close the door before she began her lamentations. I quietly sat beside her on the bed and leant her the listening ears she desperately needed, pending when my dad would return from his conference.
I was a bit confused at my mom’s undisguised displeasure at my brother’s decision. If anything, she was the more liberal one in my family who believed in pursuing one’s dreams. As a successful social worker, she always used herself as an example when it came to the wholehearted pursuit of purpose. So why was this different? Why was mine different? Not like I ever pushed for it seriously. But why was this different? I returned to the issue at hand.
‘Mom, what’s wrong with studying Music?’ I was clearly treading on enemy territory with that question but I just couldn’t help it.
Just as I had expected, she gave me the look. The look that a typical Nigerian mom gives her child who is asking a rather stupid question. She began to voice out her fears on how he would be perceived. The son of an honourable Diplomat turning out to be a musician? After paying so much money for school. She heaved a deep sigh and secured her face in her palms. She was so concerned about the perception that would come our way from the thousand unrelated acquaintances she had. I didn’t know what else to say so I quietly enjoyed the silence.
Although we had lived abroad for well over 10 years owing to dad’s career, my family was still as African as our skin colour. Of course remaining true to who we are is a major plus but often times, traditional thinking such as this leaves me rather frustrated.
I tried to ease my mom out of her fears reminding her of famous musicians who even perform for the presidents and ceremonial heads.
‘Just imagine the honour it would be to see Jide performing at the President’s ball or any elitist party’ I babbled relentlessly. Trust me to see the silver lining behind every cloud, I was known for that.
That seemed to brighten her up a little as she lifted her eyes as though seeing the picture of the future.
‘Our son could become a famous musician ‘ she thought aloud. I nodded in affirmation.
Jide who had been eavesdropping smiled and hugged me as I got out of my mom’s room. I admired his dogged nature and I believed in him.
‘Don’t get too excited. Mom spoke with dad and he said it’s either you go to Julliard or you study something else’ a smirk played across my face because I knew my brother as a hip hop artist who didn’t really appreciate classical.
‘That’s not a problem’ he said with a wink and skedaddled.
I wonder what would have happened if I had taken the leap of faith as he did. If I turned my so-called fashion designing hobby into reality. I can’t start crying over spilled milk jare. It’s too late. Or is it really? Is it ever too late as long when you’re still alive and breathing?
©Mfon Etuk, 2016.
What do you think about the idea of influencing your child’s course of study? (bearing in mind that kids never really know what they want). Would you rather say it’s a way of protecting kids from the disappointments that come with pursuing hobbies? As a parent, would you allow your kid study any course (even when you know it’s not a serious money-maker)? I’d like to hear your thoughts!
A friend of mine gave me the liberty to shop online for my birthday gift and I was so excited about it. 😀 I get to do what I love- shopping- and I also get what I love- a gift! I got right to it with such gusto as though it was a task that would earn me a pay check. I found my eyes straining as I had been glued to the screen for a little above 4 hours! Oh my! When did shopping get so hard? So many choices to select from. There were some I’d like but find out they were only available in smaller sizes 😦 While for some others I just couldn’t find the colours of my choice amidst the vast options. If you’re very selective as I am, you would go item by item, scrutinizing each product till your heart settles for the one- the right one. Sometimes ‘the one’ may just end up looking completely different upon delivery or it would not fit perfectly as it did on the model 😦
So what’s it about choices? Why did God give us the will power to choose? Why doesn’t he just make the choices for us?
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live- Deut 30:19 (ESV)
Well, I think it makes us responsible for the consequences when we make the choices ourselves. If not, we’d blame God in the end by saying something like Adam did;
The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.”- Gen 3:12 (MSG)
There would always be choices to make; what to wear? Who to marry? Where to school? What to study? Where to live? What to buy? And many more! But hey, don’t despair, don’t be confused, God still promises to guide and direct us while making choices. He gives clues to help us in making choices, for instance, ‘choose life’.
As you go on through the week, remember to seek God’s opinion when making choices and listen for His response and you won’t regret it! 😀
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. –Isaiah 30:21
Thanks for reading!
3 down, 23 days to go!
Stay tuned to this site for the A-Z challenge! And yes, I’m still accepting topic suggestions 😀
Lots of love,