Their Dreams; My Dreams
I was born an engineer, at least that was what my dad used to tell me.
“Son, I want you to be among the best engineers in the world. At least you need to bring home a Nobel Prize for Physics or Chemistry.” I can still recall vividly his ambitions for me whenever I came top of my class or graduated to the next level in my course for education. At times when his drinking buddies came over to our place to share a beer, he would call me.
“Mike, come and show these gentlemen that there are several invention yet to be discovered by man and you are working at that.”
Those were the dreams that he had for me. You should see how frustrated he was when I announced my new course of life.
My mum was different. He wanted me to be anything that he felt would make me great; for instance when any of the family member fell sick and taken to the hospital or a doctor called over for treatment, my mum would fantasize how one day she would love to see me become a doctor.
When watching the evening news, she would tell me how great she would feel if I became a news anchor on cable TV. There is a time I remember we were watching Formula One and mattered how I would make a great driver; and another time when out in the garden a plane passed over us and she was quick to comment that I should consider becoming a pilot. Simply, everything was fulfilling for her till she learnt that I wanted to become a photographer.
Dad should have been the one most disappointed with my decision, but the day I announced to them of my decision, it was mum who broke down in tears.
“Why son?” she cried, “Why do you want to let us down?”
“Have we wronged you? What has gotten into you?” That was mum. Dad didn’t utter a word. Sad as he would have been he just went to the freezer and helped himself with a beer.
Maybe he was overly disappointed. Maybe he knew how hard it was to change me from my ideologies. But I ended up becoming a photographer.
What could have turned me from becoming dad’s favorite engineer or mum’s jack-of-all-trades?
My new dream began after graduating from high school and was waiting to join college. By then, I had applied for a scholarship and surely it went through. I had planned to study Analytical Chemistry and because dad was so happy about this he took us to Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels, Texas, USA. We went there as a family — dad, mom, my younger sister and me.
I must admit the set up and theme of the park stole my heart. As they busied themselves with roller coasters and carousels, I was there taking shots from my dad’s camera.
Not long, I got bored by the rides and left them to explore the park. Everything about it was stunning. The beauty and splendor made me really happy. I didn’t know how it all started but I felt that I needed to take pictures of everything about the amusement park.
Maybe it’s because the parks that I had visited previously were about education, exhibitions or those funfairs that every kid should be taken to, but this water park made me feel that taking pictures was my thing. And that’s what I exactly did till evening when the battery of the camera got low. By this time, I felt that photography was my thing. It was my spirit. It was my life.
I knew that I had to pursue it as a career. Do it professionally. I wanted a fulfilling life and the opportunity was here. No matter how hard my decision would break my parents, I was not going to back.
Today, I’m a great photographer; I’ve visited many.