For whatever reason I tend to remember events very vividly from when I was 10-years old. I remember how much I cried when my mum had dropped me off at boarding school. How that for the very first time I had felt so lost in the world. I had to learn to live without mum and dad. How that I determined I was going to be first in my class and achieved it. How that I realized how cruel the world could really be….thanks to those wonderful ‘seniors’ as we had to call them.
But more interestingly, I remember coming home for one of my breaks and we were just having small chat with an uncle that lived over at our house; that is with my then 8-year old sister and 5-year old brother. I was fiddling with the guitar stand while jumpy Dara was sprawling across the room with a plastic hanger. The younger brother was seated with his stunt cute legs crossed. “Uncle what did you ‘tudy in univetity” the brother had asked. My uncle then went on to explain his profession as a Chemical Engineer as the questions kept hitting him from every angle of the music room. I’m sure he thought to return the favour and started us on our own series of questions. He started off with me; I’m not sure if that was because I am the first born or because I hit him with the most questions, “IBK, what would you like to be when you grow up?”. I remember just being blank for like 10 seconds…
From the first time this question was ever asked to me till this point, my answers had morphed from Optician to Dentist, to plain Doctor….now it was here again, the question. “I don’t know” I blurted out as Dara wouldn’t stop repeating, “I want to be a medical doctor, a doctor, doctor..”. (They did not ask you, Dara, lol). I might been intimidated by her over-eagerness to steal my ‘shine moment’.
A few hours later that day, I had meditated over the question over and again, thinking about what I really enjoyed doing and my best subject in school. Eureka! I knew what it was going to be and I absolutely loved the sound of it. I ran from where I was in search of my uncle, my mum, any adult who would really appreciate what I had just discovered about my destiny. “Mummy, Mummy! I know what I want to grow up to be!” Oh! Mama… she must have heard this for the umpteenth time; I had hoped that the thrill in my voice would hint her that this was the real deal. My mum probably caught up in the cooking she was doing just wanted her peace. “Mummy, mummy!”. No response. *Louder* “Mummy!”. “Yes! Yeees!! IBK! What is it?!; What do you want to be?!” said Mum in an almost frustrated tone. “Rap artist-Scientist; I want to be a Rap-artist Scientist”, I said as quickly as I knew I had her attention. I could see the giggle slip through her teeth. Uncle just walked into the kitchen from outside just in time to hear my grand declaration…
14 years down the line and really, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. I’m currently doing some scientific research masters in Biomedical Engineering, with a few spoken word pieces out and maybe 1 or 2 attempts at rap; but rap is a form of poetry so yeah, the 10-year old’s prophecy still stands. I look back and I am amazed every time. Maybe 10-years old is the magic number. Maybe there’s something inside of you that just knows what you are meant to be and achieve. My advice, Please pay attention to that niche. You wouldn’t be fulfilled anywhere else.
My 10-year old philosophy was confirmed(lol) when I heard @ahdora.speaks explain on a live interview that she knew what she wanted to be at 10 years old, and it’s been on the same path several years after. For the past 4 years or so I’ve heard my last-born sister say she wants to be a ‘Dancing and Singing Nurse’; that is, since she was 10 years old. Each time she says it, I have a smirk on my face. Your dancing and singing nurse is in Grade 10 now. Let’s see how this 10-year old philosophy stands.
Do you remember what you had determined to be when you were 10 years old? Are you somewhere close to that or has it changed so much different from that? I’d like to hear from you :).