...so after two degrees abroad, a few jobs abroad and what seemed like I was finally where I needed to be to strategically launch myself into a career I've always dreamed of; with years of sacrifices, planning and hoping, I packed my bag instead, bought a one way ticket and came back to Nigeria to do NYSC.
Ridiculous? That is what a lot of my friends thought. I thought so too at some point.
For the life of me, I am not sure what I was thinking. How did NYSC make it to the top of the list and even become the one thing that I eventually embarked on? I certainly cannot say for sure. All I know is that I consciously started parking my bags in my head even before I was done with my masters. One would have thought that after my masters, I would have searched for all those opportunities I thought I couldn't reach previously, the one reason that made me go for the masters so I could walk confidently and grab most of them. But no, I did not put in a single application - not for a job, not even for a Phd like I would think the familiar JB would, instead I embarked on a journey that I could not tell the beginning or the end myself.
Something I conveniently preferred to idealize as an adventure.
I knew I could pull out anytime it became unbearable. I heard series of stories. Everyone I knew had ridiculous stories about NYSC. Apart from a few people like my sister who claimed to have enjoyed serving right from the stead of the FCT, predominantly, the people I encountered had one story or the other that sounded like they could not wait to recover their long lost lives from the strange places they allowed them to hover, long after they ended their service years.
Abuja, it had to be then. I landed in Abuja. Made a few calls that I thought were very helpful and before I knew it, I was right in the office of the directorate of corps mobilization smiling. The deputy director assured me that I was going to get a place I would truly appreciate. "Most foreigners are offered Abuja or Lagos either way, we understand their concerns," I heard vividly. Lagos or Abuja I could do. Let's leave that part for God to send me to either of the two he felt would be better for me. I didn't want to control it.
Imagine my shock when I saw 'Ogun state' on my call up letter. I quickly cross-checked to make sure there was no mix up somewhere. What was I supposed to do there? Who did I know there? At that point I started to be more convinced that I had made a very silly mistake by coming home for this in the first place and I was going to pay dearly for not thinking properly.
If there is anything I pride myself with, it is my dexterity at strategic planning. I can plan and control things for days. And when things seem like the opposite of what I have in my head, I am usually thrown off balance. There I found my first lesson and I started to document why this was not a waste of time, with that serving as my first entry.
To be continued ...