Oh, to find your purpose in life!
You know you’ve found your purpose in life when doing it makes you disappear. That sentence isn't the best but I can't figure the words out so I’ll try to explain.
When you’re doing something you enjoy so much that you lose cognizance of your own self and your being while you're doing it, that’s when you’ve found what you’ve been created to do.
Basically, when a dancer who loves dancing is dancing and they enter a realm where nothing else matters, not even themselves, apart from the dancing, they're doing what they've been created to do.
Same with singing, and writing, and doing research, and so on and so forth.
And this isn’t about doing it in an absent-minded or aloof sort of way, this is when you heart and mind are so connected to the task at hand that they focus completely on it.
I heard that when I was listening to a talk by famous Nigerian writer Ben Okri. I haven’t been able to read any of his work. I tried to read his most popular book The Famished Road some years ago in secondary school, but I just couldn’t. The book revolves around Azaro, a spirit child, or ogbanje, children who are somehow in charge of their own destinies. So they are born and stay for a few years if they like the world, but it they don’t like the world, they die, but somehow come back because of the call of destiny upon their lives. Spirit children are very common in several parts of Africa, but I don’t know conclusively if it’s an actual phenomenon or a myth. But who’s to define that’s a myth? Because I don’t know something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
The Famished Road combines magical realism and fantasy, and also is a statement on colonialism. Anyway, all of this is to say that I considered Okri’s work a little too smart for my teenage head in those years, but perhaps I’ll take another look soon.
In the talk I watched, he also said that writing is like meditation on paper. Basically, the writer is compulsed by the very present, very urgent call of writing and almost like a madness, they must respond. I completely agree. First I’m working with so many deadlines so I literally have to write like crazy.
But also, in writing this blog, there have been times, like right now, when there’s something on my mind to say, and it so compels me that I simply have to say it.
Writing makes time for itself. He also mentioned that, and I think how true it is. I’ve probably had the littlest sleep in this past week since I got to college, but somehow, I’ve also been very active and engaged with my writing. Somehow a blank page doesn’t scare me so much, somehow, re-reading my own words isn’t so tasking any more.
That’s because my writing has made a way for itself. It has taken over my mind and changed my attitude to very many different things that I love greatly, even sleep.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that from the things I said and what he’s observed, I feel closest to God when I’m writing. It’s true. Because I’m working in a creative space when I’m writing, I’m working in tandem with God, the greatest Creator and Creative of all time.
Also, I’m doing exactly what He’s gifted me to do.
Isn’t that crazy?
I hope some part of all I’ve said today has made sense to you. I literally took a little break from my day to share these thoughts on writing with you, and also to encourage myself to keep going.