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My name is Justin Irabor. Hello. Say hi, people. It is the polite thing to do.

Okay.

*Disclaimer: I am unaccustomed to soul-baring. First time I did that was on 0Toxic’s blog on January 5th this year (I have something for the number 5, fun fact.) If it looks like I glossed over some detail in my narrative, forgive me. And forget. Thanks.*

I made several promises to myself this year, and I’m going to review my year along those promises.
This year, I took on extra responsibility at work. I resumed fulltime as a community manager at the office, and it has been a challenge of sorts. While I consider myself a rapid learner – and an even faster unlearner – it has always been something of a challenge for me to lead a team.

I’m a lone wolf, you see…

This is evidenced by my previous leadership positions, where I have gotten in heated arguments with my subordinates because I want things to work well, or alternatively, everything’s lethargic and my team makes no progress at all. (I have found that, as a leader, I am either too autocratic or laissez faire, no in-betweens).

This flaw in leadership dynamics was seriously put to the test. The business I work for serves a demographic that is above my age range, and I make jokes no end about being the youngest person in the office. This would be fine and dandy, but every single person under the team I lead is older than I am.

The team I manage works remotely, and I led them for almost a year – starting from my NYSC period – but the first time we had a physical meeting (and they saw the ‘boss’ behind the emails), I lost respect quickly. After the meeting, my team started responding sluggishly to my messages, and some of them actually told others that I was a ‘small boy.’ LOL!

I had to let a few of them go (I wouldn’t lie: I felt an unhealthy thrill writing my first termination letter),but I also learned to respect their geriatric pride (lal) and I taught them to respect me by simply being awesome enough to grudgingly defer to. True story.

I’m not a perfect leader. I have a short temper. Instead of carrying people along, I’d rather shoulder the entire responsibility and get the task done, but I am work in progress.

Financially, this has been an interesting year. I was never broke, but interestingly, I wasn’t as financially igberaga-ic (leave the word, yeah?) as last year when I wasn’t under full employment.
I have attributed this to the following reasons: last year I was a corper (free N25,000) and I was working remotely for my company on a temp’s allowance. Being freshly graduated, I stilled the ‘freelancer’s ginger’ and I worked on earning an additional $200-$250 on the side per month.
These factors contributed to the baby boying I did all NYSC.

Then full-time pay came. I signed my full-time employment contract that, I’m sure, relinquished my soul to the company and now I can do nothing else but serve the boss. I have caught myself awake by 3am, working on some report, or a new content schedule, or whatever. I usually swear loudly, “what the hell is this shit?” then promptly fall asleep.

The point I’m trying to make is, where my income stream in 2013 coalesced from a fork in the ocean, in 2014 I had just one stream that, though constant, wasn’t as ‘flex-worthy’ as last year’s.
(Let us not forget that shoki happened to all of us this year. We opened our hearts and let shoki in. God, I can’t look at you guys right now.)

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Relationships. Haha.

I mentioned on 0Toxic’s blog that I didn’t want to date any girl until I was sure I had worked on myself. Okay now.
Fam, na im I work on myself finish, come go outside dey find babe. GUY. Appaz I can’t form hard to get ‘cos I’m already hard to want. Cry with me.
Anyway. I am single, but I have had lots of hits and misses and half-relationships this year. It’s the reason my dear sweetheart Stephanie calls me a whore. Someone has suggested that I’m scared of commitment – and mentioned that I only began this shallow interaction with the opposite sex after my 3+ years relationship crashed. Haha. They know nothing, Jon Snow.
I’ve fallen in love. I’ve fallen out of it. I’ve made friends. I have people I no longer speak with. Inside this small 2014 oh.

Spirituality.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter for long enough, you’d find I’m religiously bipolar: today defending the cause of the cross, the next day telling you why the entire bible is illogical. My spirituality is still molten and it is forming. I know I will arrive at something, but I don’t know what. I just know that whatever I eventually stick with – atheism or deism – my conviction will be rock-solid. That’s that.

Family

This year, I became the neutral and objective moderator in the house. A lot of domestic disputes broke out this year – with none of them concerning me, because I’m a cool cat and sturvs.
One of my brothers is hooked on these wrapped herbs that when introduced to flames, release odoriferous matter that upon an extended period of nasal ingestion, brings about reddening of eyes and faux happiness. E dey smoke igbo.

It worries my parents no end. My kid brother’s gearing to go to school and become a someborri in life, but his big bros is happy to smoke and feel alright. My dad has gone hoarse from yelling at him. So has my mum. And I usually just say, ‘e go dey alright.’ He has been a major feature in domestic altercations. Some are quite so dramatic and exuberant as to actually bring the boys (read: neighbors) to the yard.

I have counseled my father (a man I used to feel tongue-tied around), my mother, my siblings. In short, I have counseled any living thing in that house that has the Irabor surname. Let me tell you. The greatest kick I got this year was from my father saying: “Justin, you are the best version of me there is.” (He didn’t actually say that, but there was one time he was looking at me and his eyes were now moistening. It’s the same thing, tbvh.)

I acquired some MAAAD skills this year. Made some bad-ass friends too, but apart from the badness of their asses, they were really awesome to me this year. Lest I forget: I hit that 2k followers on Twitter this year too. (LOL you’re saying Twitter is not serious? Leave it, yeah? I have 2k+ followers.)

Also, my twitter feed this year totally kicked last year’s ass. I could write an entire book based on my timeline interactions.

All in all? 2014 was an awesome year, but what with Boko Haram and Goodluck Jonathan, boy, am I glad to see it go!

Guys, reach under your desks and find taped underneath a bottle of Hennessy. Raise your bottles (glasses are for poor people).

To 2015.

*Clinks*

[PS: If your year was just bad for no good reason, I gotchu. Here’s a photo of a giraffe in a suit. Sweg

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It gets better next year, okay? I promise. Vundie’s honor).

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Reading Justin is always a pleasure. Ah. I hope you realise that being brutal has to be balanced with making the right friends. I think you’re getting the formula of success all right. Thanks for sharing. See you next year 🙂

This evening we will have Daisy (Her Gorgeousness) on here for her take on the year. Do not forget to subscribe if you haven’t and go share with your friends. See you!

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