As a writer in today’s world, often there is that patriotic pressure just to be only a writer and dump all the other things that you are as though that makes you a “true writer.” Excuse my French, but that shit is just unrealistic for me. It might have worked for other writers who tried and tried again and achieved their dreams, but it is just not working for me. It is not who I am capable of being.
This is not a return from honeymoon post and honestly, I am sweating through my eyes as I write this. I do not know whether to start this blog post with an apology for the break I took or with the hope that I am back or a promise that I am here to stay. However, I will share some of my self-finding-revelations from my break since April.
When I decided to take this break, the apparent reason was that I was exhausted. I was doing and being too much that the pursuit of anything at all began to seem meaningless. I needed to take a step back, list all that I was, identify what needed to be left behind and what I could move on with.
The process of separating all these things was quite frustrating. I realized several problems with who I was and what I was doing, significantly, as a polymath. It was more confusing that as a polymath, I felt lost being and aspiring to one thing but at the same time ran a similar risk of feeling lost trying to be or become everything.
Worse still was knowing how to present me to people without having to show only one part of me on one platform and another, on a different platform. I felt a sense of identity crisis for example, going to school and being just a student, forgetting that I am an author and the CEO of Sprinng Literary Movement (SLM), or throwing the whole author and SLM CEO thing out of the window the moment I showed up to work on a Monday morning or even, coming to social media and not being any of these things at all, intentionally hiding my achievements; just posting pictures I think are “peer appropriate” and not so intimidating.
The closest I have come to finding meaning in who I am, what I do, who and where I want to be, is in my writing. However, my writing path is not typical in that all I desire to be is one famous author or that all I am good at is writing creatively: poetry and fiction.
I am a writer, but I have found out writing to be the highlight of everything else that I am. I am not the writer just born to be a writer. I am the kind of writer who loves her job in higher education where I use my writing skills to help people with resumes, cover letters, scholarships, employment and college applications. I am the kind of writer who likes to lead and enjoys charitable work, which I am doing effectively as the CEO of Sprinng Literary Movement (SLM). I am the kind of writer who likes to teach, which I do through the SLM mentorship program and other numerous places where I mentor. I am a writer, but I am also a reader and a critique who enjoys writing book reviews. I am also the kind of writer who enjoys writing poetry, short stories, essays, rants, and blog posts just for self-expression. There are other things left unmentioned here, which sums that I am a writer, but I am also other things as a writer.
This is the closest that I have found to making everything meaningful.
While I have heard numerous “never give up stories” and many affirmations from people telling me that someday, I will be like this famous writer or that writer who won another significant prize, sometimes, I do not think so. I am yet to find a role model who fully captures who I am that I can at least try to emulate. The common one that I have heard enough of is, being like Chimamanda Adichie. Now, I have humorously self-adopted as her god-daughter but unfortunately, she is not me, and being like her isn’t enough for me. This is not to say that I don’t receive the affiliation with gratitude nor that I am prideful; I am only finding my path differently and on my own.
I won’t shy from the knowledge that I am a brilliant writer especially when it comes to creative writing; I know that. However, I am coming to terms with the bugging thought that I am not an ingrate if being a writer is not all that I am. As a writer in today’s world, often there is that patriotic pressure just to be only a writer and dump all the other things that you are as though that makes you a “true writer.” Excuse my French, but that shit is just unrealistic for me. It might have worked for other writers who tried and tried again and achieved their dreams, but it is just not working for me. It is not who I am capable of being.
That I am coming back to blogging doesn’t mean I have figured it all out yet. I have not, and I forgive myself in advance for not figuring it out anytime soon. I also acknowledge that although I am an old soul and wise, I am still a 22 year old and the twenties involves a dose of identity crises and sky-diving exploration. Although I am ambitious and high achieving, I am learning to be patient enough not to have it all figured out or have all my goals achieved at once. I also am learning to breathe, have fun and relax. I am too young to be having grey hair strands out of stress, and I have grey years to figure all these out. In advance, I also have the peace of mind that if tomorrow comes and I change my mind about being all these or being a writer at all, that too is alright and it won’t make me a failure.
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© Oyindamola Shoola 2020