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Building Your Dream (House)


The Plot for The Dream

Once upon a time a young couple decided that it would be a wonderful idea to build their children a dream home. After all, as a civil engineer and an architectural-interior designer they had built and designed homes for many clients over the years. There was no reason why they could not do the same for themselves. They pooled their talents and resources and began, excited to bring this romantic notion into reality.

They searched around the small city they lived in looking for the perfect plot of land. It took some doing, but eventually they found a beautiful spacious enchanting – overgrown forest. It was not exactly the manicured lawns, fruit-tree orchard, rock garden, and sprawling home they had imagined, but they figured that with a little imagination and a lot of sweat they could transform this space.


The Foundation

They purchased the land, and set to clearing it. They brought their children to see it on a sunny Sunday afternoon and they were overjoyed. The little boy immediately set about climbing the mango trees and exploring the grounds, while the little girl remained busy in her mother’s shadow. She was annotating her parents’ conversation on what needed to be done and who needed to be employed into a to-do-list. With a straight face she documented it all in her little pink notebook with the matching fluffy pink pen.

Months went by and at every stage the parents were fully involved and the children were present. The little boy and little-er girl saw the overgrown forestland transformed into an empty lot, then a dangerous site with deep holes and markers that were the foundation of the main house. Then the children saw the 6-feet deep gutters filled with bricks and cement, large metal steel rods emerging from them and finally, they saw the structure begin to rise.


The First Floor

Slowly but surely as the little girl crossed tasks off her to-do-list and the little boy played on the sand mounds and concrete mixers, what was now a large concrete slab started taking shape. As brick was laid on brick and the walls rose on the slab something was taking shape. Guided by their parents, the children were able to envision which blocks belonged to which rooms. The girl’s favorite room was the dining room, because her daddy had told her that right above her head, same shape, same size, same design, would one day sit her bedroom.

Eventually the first floor was built, the scaffolding made of wood and iron was propped up against the building. This was the boy’s favorite time of the construction. He ran and climbed tirelessly, excited to be balancing on bricks and beams that marked the immersion of the second floor. The little girl did not go past the stairs most days, she was afraid of heights without walls. However both were ecstatic, their house was becoming a home – the bedrooms were being built. Eventually the walls went up, the little girl gingerly navigated her purple flats through open doorways and half-built walls avoiding nails, wooden planks and broken bricks. Soon the parents made plans for the roofing to commence.


The Completed Structure

About a year and a half after the parents stepped foot on that overgrown plot of land, there sat a beautiful house with a green roof, garden out front, orchard to the right, rock garden in the back. With much consultation to the initial drawings and blueprints, large investment of time and resources, continued encouragement of one another, and the unrestrained and relentless excitement of their two pre-teens which powered them along, the dream house was built.


Living in the Dream

The first night in the house was spent with joy that cannot be replicated. The four-person family shared one giant mattress on the kitchen floor. The windows of every other room were boarded up on that first night because the fittings were yet to arrive. The structure was built, the house was plastered but not painted, and the decoration was yet to commence. Building dreams sure takes a long time.

Between that inspiring vision and that amazing finished product there was a little blood (site accidents) and much sweat and tears. Building that dream house was not all fun and games, neither is the construction of any other dream. How do I know this? Because my father was the structural engineer. My mother was the architectural-interior designer. The house and the pink notebook were mine. The youthful exuberance was my older brother’s. This was our house.


Building Your Own Dream House

Building your own dream (house) block-by-block sounds inspirational and beautiful. However the actual process involves so much grunt work, so much patience, and so much determination. It will take your time, it will take your resources, and it will take your willpower.

The first step is realizing that you are not only the visionary, but you must also be the architect, the quantity surveyor, the laborer, the foreman, the engineer, the interior decorator, the everything.

From start to finish you must renew your commitment and keep the vision before you. You must motivate yourself to keep going when you’re knee deep in concrete and sawdust and it doesn’t look like much. Go back to the blueprint and find what it was you set out to build in the first place.

I am not here to scare or dissuade you. I had the most beautiful memories in that house. My family had amazing memories in that house. Our classmates, friends, and acquaintances had the most amazing memories in that house. I dreamed big dreams because of that house and in that house, and I’ve woken up to achieve them ever since. That house was worth it. And so are your dreams.

Dream building is not for the fainthearted, but it is worth it.

Keep the blueprints before you, get ready to play multiple roles in the execution of them, get to building and don’t give up before your structure goes up!

Zeni St. John

  • SR St John

    I never realised you had such vivid memories of the process of building our house. Indeed much planning and dedication is involved in the construction of our dreams.
    Most times the process of building our dream meets with delays just as the building of our dream house did but we kept the bush around it cut and continued to visit the site. When you continue to envision the goal, the completion of the dream, you don’t give up rather you do what you can and that which you do, no matter how little, breathes life into the dream.

    August 15, 2016 at 8:22 pm Reply
  • Joanne

    Wow Zeni, this post just answered the questions I’ve been asking myself the past few days…. Thank you for opening up and sharing this with us girlie… Xoxo

    August 15, 2016 at 11:22 pm Reply
  • Edith OKEKE

    Good job. This is convincing me to take some steps towards achieving a dream. This is what this is all about : making positive changes in the lives of people. Congratulations !

    August 16, 2016 at 10:50 am Reply
  • Gloria Adamu

    I am inspired. Lovely write up. Personally, i have made alot of bad choices in life with unpleasant consequences. Keeping the blueprint before us will serve as a guide to achieving our dreams. There is sure no hurry in life.

    August 17, 2016 at 12:43 pm Reply
  • Udodirim

    To think that every structure or part of our well being and all that concerns us starts with a will to build to taste and perfection, having so much details that none should be overlooked if you really have something in view. this write up surely would keep one thinking. thanks Zeni

    August 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm Reply
  • Sekyen

    Truthfully I’ve visited that house, I remember it. Sometimes I pass there when I visit that town. It’s still a lovely house… but the story about how it came to be makes it even more special…….

    September 24, 2016 at 8:19 pm Reply
  • stare przepisy kulinarne

    Very good website – bookmarked

    April 26, 2017 at 9:01 am Reply

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