MY PATH TO SELF-DISCOVERY

A defining story that makes me who I am today.

MY PATH TO SELF-DISCOVERY – By Orichaniser1

My greatest struggle in life is the quest to understand my purpose. Not that I traveled these last 20+ years without constantly seeking requisite help, but for some reason, I can’t quite lay hold on, I find it hard to settle on the ONE goal, that DISTINCT role that I, only I, am in this world to perform.

Growing up in a sequestered, but lively neighborhood in Abuja called Life Camp (an apt name), I lived with my parents, my sister, and many cousins, uncles, and aunts throughout my pre-pubescent years. My family is close-knit, but because many neighbors’ kids were my age-mates, I spent ample time outside the house on various adventures with them, often playing a self-imposed leader role. Our shared love for sport and animals often found us feverishly tracking birds of all kinds – from finches to shrikes, to tantabara (pigeons). We conceived numerous contraptions for luring the birds and caging them. One fateful experience (which I rather not elaborate here) ended this adventurous phase of my life. But the highlight of these childhood years was a corner of the living room in the house that my sister and I, with three close friends designed and called The Professors Corner. It acted as a sort of thrift store (only we gathered items for aesthetics rather than for sale). I spearheaded efforts to gather movie DVDs, books (organized by genre), pictures, and stationery which any of us could access for private study or research. My skill in this transitioned into a permanent love for books and orderliness which translated into leadership roles as a librarian and senior prefect in high school. During this time, I also became fascinated with using PCs which in the early 2000s became popular in Nigeria. Given the skills and interests, I developed during this time and in high school, studying Computer Science in university seemed the surest way to go, career-wise.

Four years of CS in college passed and I was nothing short of distressed. Apart from the close group of friends I made, I felt I hadn’t maximized my learning as I had done in the years prior to college. I finished with neither fulfillment nor viable interest in the field I had devoted the last four years of my life to understanding. This concerned me because although I’d graduated early, the path forward looked bleak. What was I going to do with the life ahead of me given I toiled through the last four with unease?

Storried My Path to Self Discovery

During this period of introspection, abundant prayers, and a constant search for meaning, I watched lots of movies and read prodigiously. I also played football throughout this time; post-graduation, during NYSC in Ibadan, and during an internship at African Community Bridge Foundation. Teaching during NYSC and playing football often made me realize that whatever I did, I worked better in teams than alone. I picked up writing during this time as well, and found it pleasurable. Among the many materials I studied, I watched an interview involving Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And they highlighted a simple important belief. Said Gates, “Whatever you do the most between the ages of 14 and 24 is what you should be doing throughout the rest of your life.”

This single statement spurred me to carry my writing skills to competitions, to apply for and succeed in a Master’s program, and a Ph.D. program in Economics. I might not end up an academic, but the search for meaning from those who found theirs inspired me to where I am today.

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MY PATH TO SELF-DISCOVERY

By Orichaniser1

My greatest struggle in life is the quest to understand my purpose. Not that I traveled these last 20+ years without constantly seeking requisite help, but for some reason, I can’t quite lay hold on, I find it hard to settle on the ONE goal, that DISTINCT role that I, only I, am in this world to perform.

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