My father passed when I was 3 years old; the many consequences of which are not related in obvious fashion to any of the points I’m going to try to make here, but it’s a fact find makes for a nice enough starting point for the bit of meaningless nonsense I have to get out of me, so bear with me. Lying on a shelf in my room under a box set of J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings trilogy which I just had returned to me miraculously unharmed from a friend of mine is a 1994 issue of PC magazine which belonged to my old man. It’s dated September 14, making it exactly 2 years after I was born; a fact which, after all these years still manages to fill me with strange excitement.
But I digress. This PC magazine is only one of several things which have influenced my various interests today. I point to this magazine because it is the earliest encounter I can recall with pictures so vibrant and sometimes downright ridiculous that they made me want to take some of my own. Being an only child I understandably had quite the close relationship with the single mother sweating her ass off to raise me right so perhaps it was in a bid to be like her that I unwittingly inherited her voracious appetite for literature. Or perhaps it was something more inherent; that might explain whatever it was my primary one teacher saw in me when she made me wait after school one day to give me a book filled with tortoise and hare stories because she could tell I was interested in books. But yes, books and images; these are my only two passions.
To borrow a line from someone very dear to my heart, the problem with that last sentence is not that it’s a lie, it’s that for a while I found myself forcing whoever it is that exists in my mind to believe it was true. I am perhaps the steeliest realist I know, but at the same time I manage to be more than a bit of a wild dreamer. But every now and then I wonder if I am betraying myself or perhaps performing some horrible act by expanding my mind to frontiers beyond those which I can logically explain my interest in a la the paragraph above. I find myself questioning my motives for these passions I have but at the same time I wonder if that’s only the case because for whatever reason “reaching far” is, to put it one way, not cool.
Yes, I suffer the pitiful fate of being one of “those people”; the ones with designer/stylist/entrepreneur/producer/a million other grandiose and possibly obscure professions in their twitter bio. Not to say any of those are part of my “weapons of choice”, or that I have said weapons in my twitter bio but that’s neither here nor there right now. But it is for this, apparently despicable crop of individuals for whom I attempt, as you might have already figured, to prove a point today.
It’s all too easy to condemn, or perhaps mock an individual for aspiring to several different things at once. Hey, there’s more than enough evidence of people simply crashing under the weight of the very many titles they place on themselves. But then, the illusion of skill being greater when concentrated on one thing is just that; an illusion. I could very easily call myself a musician and a musician alone and still end up sucking at it like – insert name of musician you consider awful here-. It’s probably even easier to dismiss something for being a “fad” or a trend, as popularity, is obviously a terrible thing.
This of course ignores the fact that people supposedly jumping on said fads might have stories of PC Magazines and Tortoise and Hare stories of their own. It also neglects to consider that, with the slightest manipulation of semantics, anything can be popular, and what is…”mainstream”, for want of a better term, in one social setting could very well end up being “alternative” in another.
But before I go too far in my attempts at analysis and get even further lost in what I suspect might be coming off as my own pretension, I’ll end with a quote from Stephen King’s Dark Tower Set in the hopes that perhaps, someone else may find meaning in it as I have;
“So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely crosses our minds. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little.”
About the author: Lekan Olanrewaju is a Geologist-in-training who, for the most part hates having to make statements where he describes himself as he tends to expose the pretentious side of him which he’d rather pretend didn’t exist. But when pressed he tends to find himself rambling about such random things as “creativity” and ambitions and passions which generally centre on writing, photography and filmmaking. Oh, he also likes food. A lot.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.