DRENCHED IN CONFUSION THIS NEW YEAR?
Yesterday, I put up a question on my Instagram Story, asking people to share their 2020 ask in one word. My word was ‘Courage’; I am asking the universe for an abundance of it.
When the answers came back, I noticed that for a lot of people, ‘Clarity’ is their word for the year. Hours ago, I had a conversation about how dreams become heavier the older we become. How, if we’re not careful, they lose that shine youth possesses in abundance and begin to take on a dull hue that threatens one’s sanity. The price for failure becomes steeper.
I studied Microbiology at the University. It was a course I chose myself, and one I enjoyed immensely up until my 200 level. At that time, I was like “dang, this isn’t what I should be studying”, and so I threw myself into journalistic activities on Campus and spent my final year in school being a student and President of the Union of Campus Journalists.
By the time I graduated, I was incredibly confused. That gap time before NYSC was one where I constantly existed somewhere inside of myself, dredging up answers to the questions that swarm within me. My 3 month internship the year before had been done at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, where I met some pretty amazing people and had some of the best conversations with strangers. It was also the place where I crossed off being a medical microbiologist off my list.
So here I was at the end of 4 years with a degree, and the solid knowing that I was going to choose a different path. I knew exactly what path was mine; I wanted to work in Communications and in the Development sector. I wanted to tell human stories, amplify great work and connect people through the power of words, images, motion pictures, and experiences.
I knew where I was going. But how was I going to get there?
“All clarity begins in confusion.”
The statement above renders me silent for some seconds, and then it makes me go “so true”. Because it IS true. Think about a child who is taking her first steps; you can tell that she is not certain of how it’s done but she holds on to a table, stands on her wobbly legs and puts one foot in front of the other anyway.
When I was trying to figure out how to make this transition from a degree holder in the sciences to communications, I began to do things that mattered to me. I volunteered, A LOT. One of those volunteer opportunities where I handled some communications geared towards the organization of a conference led me to the first job I got after NYSC, but that’s not today’s story.
When I got to camp, I applied to be a part of the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS), got selected and was the News Editor for a period. During Service year proper, I had a short stint at Cool FM, Kano, as a co-anchor of the show, Corper’s Diaries. I started a book club for my students where we read books and shared stories.
There I was, this Science girl, taking small steps in the area of my interest and doing Communications.
There is nothing wrong with being confused. We’re all confused at different points. Life is this huge thing that I think it is unrealistic to expect that you will always have your next steps figured out. There are just so many possibilities, and it is natural to arrive at crossroads.
The danger is in letting those crossroads render you immobile, which we allow to happen too often. When we are confused, especially when it seems like everyone else has it figured out, it’s easy to do nothing and simply go with the flow.
Resist that urge that tells you to self-preserve by staying immobile.
I do not have all the answers. Perhaps I have none, but here are three things I can share with you on how to un-drench yourself from confusion.
- Ask yourself what you care about
I care about impact, about women, about storytelling, about freedom, about growth, and about development.
The things that I expend my energy and resources on have one or more of these threads running through them.
What do you care about? We must all take the time to ask ourselves this question periodically. When you do, even a bit, don’t sit on that knowledge. Do something with it. If you’re trying to get a job as a writer, start writing and share your work. If you want to work with an NGO, start volunteering your skills with one.
You have to meet your dreams somewhere, and that begins with having some understanding of what that looks like. Notice I said ‘some’ and not ‘all’? That’s because it gets clearer as we go. Don’t try to figure everything out at once.
Don’t be afraid to practice.
Not with everybody; with a few select people.
Sometimes, these people don’t have the answers too. A lot of times, they don’t. But maybe they will have a word that will be what you need in that season.
Maybe, if they know what you need, next time they come across a vacancy that seems suited to the path you have chosen, they will remember you and share with you. Perhaps they will mention your name during conversations in ways that can give you a hand up on your journey.
People can’t help, if they don’t know what you need help with.
- Learn, learn, learn
Any kind of change or mobility requires that you build capacity.
Read a lot. Read targeted material. Take courses. Start today.
It’s the 2nd of January, and I want you to know that we all have questions. We all have areas that we could use some clarity in. You’re not alone, and there certainly is nothing wrong with you in particular.
Life is long; give yourself grace to have moments that are muddled. Give yourself grace to figure those moments out.
I am rooting for you hard this year.
Love always, from another human on this journey.
Thank you very much for this post! I needed it!
You are always so welcome!
“You have to meet your dreams somewhere” this jumped at me!!!! Our clarity is in motion… We just have to start something or start from somewhere perhaps anywhere. I also can relate to your journey. I started out as a science student back in College- started with pure chemistry (till date I still ask myself “what in the world was wrong with me back then”) later moved to microbiology and finally Mass Communication!
“You have to meet your dreams somewhere” this jumped at me!!!…Our clarity is in motion. We just have to start something. I also can relate to your journey- started out in college as a science student. From Pure chemistry( long story) to microbiology and then finally Mass Communication!….
I am also rooting for you! the journey continues right!
Amazing, Simi! Thank you for sharing that part of your story, and I think it’s important that more people have these examples. Is it alright to email you?
This is an amazing piece and a really inspiring one!
It took me a while to clearly figure out what I was truly interested in. Although I had always trended that path of my interest, but then, it was more muddled than clear. So, I started making conscious efforts to take it a step at a time; here, clarity came in, and I was able to create a list of my real interests. And I think, that has been good for me.
Thank you for this beautiful piece dear sis!
Thank you, sis!
We often meet our dreams in motion. I hope that the journey continues to make sense.
This is a beautiful read in its honesty and how heartfelt it is. Thanks for sharing your moments. Cheers to the ever-evolving journey of self-discovery.
Thank you, Leke!
And many cheers to this journey.
Thank you for sharing this. I’ve had a couple of conversation with few people thus year and I realise most people aren’t sure how to walk this. This is worth sharing.
Thank you so much, Stephen. I hope you’ll share.
I was just talking about this today, about how I’m so so confused about how to tie the threads of the things I want.
This year, what I need is more clarity of purpose. And guidance.
This was helpful, as always.
I’m glad it was, Lara.
This is so apt!
“All clarity begins in confusion”
I’m taking this home, and with me, all through this journey. Thank you!
You’re most welcome, Bibie.
May the seas be kind.
Taofeek Idowu Ganiyu
What a great piece!!!
“All clarity begins in confusion.”
“The danger is in letting those crossroads render you immobile, which we allow to happen too often.”
These are my two major takeaways from this piece. I will keep them in my archive for when I need them, which will be soon.
I am always in awe of your sagacity, Omolarrs. You write flawlessly, in my opinion, and literally, every article you write has a message.
For me, 2020 is for courage, direction – which is pretty much the same as clarity, and awakening. I will definitely be referring to this article a number of times in the near future, God keeping us.
Thanks for blessing us with your gift, your experiences and your being. I’m particularly glad I can relate to some of the things you share. You are realistic in your writings and I particularly appreciate that.
Well done, Tawa. I’m motivated to keep going and not let uncertainty render me immobile; which happens sadly too often.
Honestly, I could never thank you enough for the sheer volume of positive energy you bring into my spaces. Thank you!
As long as we keep moving forward in the direction of our dreams, the dots will eventually connect.
It may take some time, yes – a lot of great things do. The key is not to despair in those moments and to keep moving forward.
I am rooting so so hard for you.