An Interview With Self

Writer: Olanrewaju Lawal


Who are you?

I’ve been struggling to answer this question all my life, because I don’t really know. I just know that I’m a kind-hearted person with fears, worries of what tomorrow will be. Sometimes a simple being, other times a complicated being whose cronies find difficult to understand his eerie character. In short, I don’t really know myself. And I hope that someday, somehow I will be able to answer this question correctly with the right words.

What do you think is your purpose in life?
I wasn’t born with a manual so I never knew what my purpose was while growing up as a kid. In fact, I was never curious about Writing and it never crossed my mind to do so. All I wanted was just to live a good life and that was it. But during my teenage years, I discovered it myself.  I discovered something that would later change my perspective about the world. I started asking questions from knowledgeable people to satisfy my curiosity. Why do we exist? Where do we go when we die? What happens after we die? These are the questions that reveal my purpose in life to me. So my purpose in life is to make a difference in people’s lives, to obey the Creator of my life knowing that I will make account of my deeds to Him, someday.

What are you afraid of?

I know this very well, so I’ll go straight to its answer. I am afraid of not waking up the next day. Every day, before going to bed at night, my thoughts are always filled with, “What if I don’t wake up tomorrow?” “What will happen to me if…” and other macabre thoughts. Simply put, I’m afraid of death. Not because I don’t know that death is inevitable, but because I don’t know what will happen to me afterwards and that terrifies me a lot. And because there’s no guarantee of a life well lived, of a prosperous life after my death, of a life-time legacy which I so much covet for, so this makes me fear a lot. And nothing can stop this fear until the “Certainty” approaches me.

What does freedom mean to you?

Freedom can simply mean the will to execute whatever one wishes as long as it doesn’t deter others’ freedom. Freedom is abstract and it’s subjective not quite objective as some people try to define it. There’s no concrete definition of what it is. Yes, it’s a birthright just like choice is a personal birthright. We’re all born as free agents but what we do with our freedom counts a great deal. My definition of freedom is different from others but there’s a consequence for what I use my freedom for. So in this case, freedom, for me, is a restricted, subjective, abstract phenomenon which can only be defined and defended by self.

What does it mean to be human?

It’s difficult to define. Human is the most complex and complicated being in the whole universe. Anytime I see anything related to human, this is what comes to mind: love, cruelty, ingenious, hypocrisy, passion, hatred, jealousy, empathy, creativity, generosity, mistakes, failures, success, disappointments, joy, laughter, beauty, cowardice, vulnerability, courage, and then I see human again. Because all these things make humans human. Without all these, human will never be human again. So to be human is to accept who you are and work at being better.

What’s religion to you?

Good attitude and character, this is what religion means. It’s a means to purify the soul of man from greed and hatred in order to achieve nobility. When this is lost, then the purpose of religion is lost.

Why are you interviewing yourself?

Because I love to write and because I want to answer some questions which have been running through my mind for a while.

What does writing mean to you?

Writing, for me, is a struggle against silence. By silence, I mean those things that we were told not to talk about or do without any logical or rational explanation; the things that have become a shackle, holding us back from pursuing things that’ll cause us to progress in life.