So my 5yr old is torn between being an engineer and a medical doctor+pastor….the ‘Doctoring’ + ‘pastoring’ must go together (in his mind)…

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Why? Engineers fix things, doctors fix people, save people and ‘heal the world’ while pastors are always smartly dressed in their suits. He associates pastors with 3pc suits, he loves suits and has also come to associate wearing them with very serious occasions.

Both boys have also formed the habit of smiling and waving at uniformed men anywhere they see them…and would often dilly dally on whether to introduce being a policeman into the equation.

My 3yr old wants to be a doctor….just because he likes the feel of the stethoscope around his neck.

You see, we have one at home and they take turns playing Doc Mcstuffins with it, checking everybody’s heartbeat and palmbeat, headbeat and tummybeat, etc etc.

It’s a very wonderful stage where anything and everything is possible, driven by the power of innocent vision / dreams. How they would feel about these professions and where they would be in 20-something year’s time is left in God’s hands but we can definitely take steps to guide them in making the right decisions.
Guide, not impose or force them into our preferred career choice when the time to really decide comes. Personally, I have my preference for what I view as ‘noble’ and ‘right’ where careers are concerned and I have narrowed it down to two for them. Can you guess these two careers? 

Whatever my desire for them, I strongly pray for the grace to allow them naturally follow their passions rather than mine in accordance with His will.
As a kid, what did I want to be when I grew up?

Hmmm…What did I want to be?
A teacher…
Dearest mom was one and what nobler path to thread than hers? What greater inspiration for a life career than hers?

Teacher are pretty, graceful, knowledgeable, patient in imparting the much needed knowledge into the future leaders entrusted into their care.

Teachers are compassionate, often not rewarded enough for their labors but not to worry…the great reward awaits in heaven.

I would be a pretty little teacher shaping lives while cruising in my Volkswagen beetle. No offense, mom. (that beetle was equivalent to the present day Hummer jeep in my young eyes)

>…then a Banker.
She would stroll by every morning impeccably dressed in pretty ‘rainbowy’ clothes.

She’s without spot or blemish in an eight year old’s mind. The clothes would match her shoes, every little detail well coordinated…down to the umbrella shielding her pretty head from the rains and rays.

Oh, what a noble profession to aspire to?
I would become a banker and have all the pretty clothes in the world.
…then a medical doctor.

Gazing up at the nice and sweet white-clad young man tending my bandaged left eye got me hooked. A foreign growth had just been excised from under my left eyelid and from my hazy-star-struck view, I could see that doctors are always impeccably dressed, neat, sweet, nice, bespectacled, knowledgeable and professional with clean cut beards.

The fact that my ‘nice and sweet white clad young man’ was altogether handsome got me totally enraptured with the clinical discipline.

What other profession commands respect as much as the white-clad clan? Never mind that we have blue-clad and green-clad and all sorts of clad ‘doctors’ now.

I would also have the bonus of being the savior of the universe starting with little girls in distress.

A medical doctor, wearing clean white coat all day long while saving young lives I would be.

..then a writer. I love me all the African Writers Series from mom’s library.

So rich and so captivating in all their story telling.

From Achebe to Elechi Amadi to Camara Laye to Ngugi Wa Thiongo to Flora Nwapa to Ekwensi to Okri, I loved them all and still love them. I would be locked in their world for hours, sojourning with them through the words so carefully crafted to hold a young heart forever.
Then I started dreaming of how to become like them and connect with countless other young and old ones alike.

What a legacy to bestow upon mankind, leaving forever words inscribed on marble hearts.
A writer I would become.

Then fate divine came to the rescue of a <span
Firstly I got an opportunity to tow the (available)accounting line in the higher institution, never mind my science background. But tried as I might, I just couldn’t get the hang of it and I rightly swerved into the engineering line after a month or so of struggling with book-keeping.

Finally on graduating as an electrical electronics technologist, the first available job that came my way after NYSC was… teaching
Long after I had forgotten that childhood dream.

I succeeded in teaching junior class for three frustrating months and couldn’t get away fast enough from it all. I love teaching but I just wasn’t cut out for that ‘kind of teaching’, I felt like fish out of water.

(Hint: public school in Lagos…’very big’ kids with small manners who preferred smoking marijuana to sitting in a boring class discussing ‘machines’)

Fate to the rescue again as I secured a better paying job as an electrical engineering technologist. Oh bliss.

I had totally forgotten my love for the white-clad profession in the current day realities….but then fate again intervened…and I met and got married to a member of the white-clad clinical ilk who is busy trying to save the world right now, one life at a time.

And now…I am still a teacher, will forever be. Running after the young ones all day long, instructing on what’s right and wrong, tackling endless questions and home-works.

And I am forever a writer, preserving my thoughts in the eternal ink of time. Inscribed in space to float until eternity.

But how close or how far am I from my childhood dream(s)?

Truth is, I am still living the dream. Neither far nor close.

…and I also ask me now…does it really matter what I wanted to be when I grew up seeing as one is forever growing and the home stretch is still decades away?

…and who says we cannot be all we wanted to be or all we dream t of becoming? Who says we could only be one thing at a time?   

…and does it really matter how near (to) or how far (from) those carefully crafted dreams we are?

To our growing selves: you can be anything you dream of…stop worrying about what the future holds as nothing ever changes from worrying, only entrust all into the care of the One who holds the future while working hard…and it matters less how far away or how near (per time) to those dreams…the icing is in realizing that the journey is as important as the destination…enjoy the journey and believe the best…be giddy with happiness off-course, midway or wherever you are…savor the joy of the endless possibilities always stretched out before you.

What would you say to your 8year old self, today?

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3 Replies to “Future’s Past…Past’s Future”

  1. I also remember as a kid, I wanted to be several person at different times, because I was easily influenced by what I saw and heard, but one thing for sure, I never wanted to be a doctor or lawyer as our parents dreamt of then!…You remember those times chei? If not doctor, then lawyer, or Accountant then engineer…ahahaha. Teacher ke? Secretary ke? One dare not say that o, during my growing years …ahahha…how times have changed now….and so glad. Now to your questions;

    I wanted to be a nurse or teacher as far back as I remembered.
    I had only one dream.
    Not close, but I taught during my NYSC, and did private lessons, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
    I would tell my 8 year old self that; She should have listened to her heart and followed it passionately.

  2. Ain't we all influenced by sights and sounds?

    Like most parents back then, I remember mum particularly wanted a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer…and she tried to guide, not force us along those paths. God bless her soul.

    What a sound advise…listen to your heart and follow it passionately.

    Thanks, ND.

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