Why You Shouldn’t Give Up Your Dreams – Olubunmi Ajai-Layode


I love India. It is on my bucket list to visit there before I shuffle off this mortal coil. I almost went a few years ago. But my husband stood in the way. It caused a big strain in our marriage so, I shelved it for the sake of our marriage and till today, I feel resentful whenever I remember the opportunity I lost. I hope to have that opportunity again.

I was working as a Project Analyst up till about four years ago. However, my last three contracts were all cut short for one reason or the other. The first was my contract at Visa. They were sponsoring the Olympics and they made a strategic decision to only keep contractors that worked on projects that were necessary for the smooth running of the Olympics and to down all tools on I.T so as to not cause a regression of the various software. It would be very bad P.R if people were unable to use their Visa cards during the Olympics as Visa was a major sponsor. I was one of the contractors whose contracts were not renewed.

My next contract was at AXA, a contract to permanent role. I struggled on the contract as it was a budgeting role. My contracts were not changed to permanent. By this time, I was actually wary of living in England. I wanted to shuffle between Nigeria and England. Initially, my husband agreed but when the time came for me to go, he changed his tune and said he could not do a cross continental marriage. I then decided to job hunt again and got a role at BSkyB. I was enjoying the contract only to be told that Sky was not continuing with the project. I was released.

I was broken. I could not stop crying and descended into a downward spiral of depression. I decided that I would do what I had always wanted to do and that was to open a Spa in Nigeria, incorporating Western and Eastern massage therapies. For the Western one, I chose Swedish and for Eastern, I choose Ayurveda. I did my research on how and where I could do both together and cheaply and with minimum time. I saw a school in Kerala, India.

And that was when my husband insisted that I could not go to India. He insisted that I had to do it in England. England was much more expensive, took longer and I did not see any school that did both and where better, to learn Ayurveda than in India.

We were tottering towards a breakdown of the marriage. I eventually gave in to save the marriage. I had spent the money that I was going to use to set up the business, with nothing to show for it and have not been able to raise that much money again. And I regret it. And I feel resentful about what I gave up.

I hope to still be able to do what I would so love to do. I don’t want to go through life wondering what could have been. If I had that money again, I would insist on a win-win situation between my husband and me.

Nobody’s dream should be sacrificed for another.

A few days ago, I tuned in to my Facebook friend’s live video and that was the topic she was talking about. In her own case, her husband wants to go and do business in Nigeria and she is on board with it. She is worried about Nigerian girls causing issues concerning her man. In my case, my husband was worried about Nigerian men causing havoc with his woman. My Facebook friend accepts that she should not stand in the way of her husband’s dreams and is ready to make compromises to a win-win situation for her husband and her. I believe this is the right way to go. If not, the person who sacrificed their dream would quite likely be resentful of having to do this. I know that I am.

A friend of mine who is a marriage counsellor told me of a man who came to her for counselling. He was distressed and resentful. He wanted to extend his business to America, but his wife was needy and could not do anything on her own. So, he sacrificed his business dream of expanding in order to be at his wife’s beck and call. He has been masking his resentment, but it seemed like he had reached explosion point.

I firmly believe that for a marriage to be happy, sacrifices have to be made by both partners and the two should look at obtaining a win-win situation.

I don’t think that anyone’s dream should be sacrificed for another.





Written by