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Maybe it was because we were arguing, maybe because the night was ridiculously hot, maybe because deep within each one of us, insane anger bubbled but there we were, ten minutes to the beginning of the year 2012 and My mother, my brothers and I were stuck on the outskirts of Lagos, in a broken down bus and somehow still hoping we’d make it to church. We didn’t.

THAT was how my 2012 had begun.

I had no hopes when the year rolled in, a lot of expectations but almost no hope because I’d given up on the fake smiles and let myself descend into the sort of sadness that makes you blind to everything and everyone else. You see, in September 2011, my boyfriend of 3 years had looked me in the eye and on the same couch that he’d asked me out on, he’d broken up with me. It couldn’t have been easy because my boyfriend had been my best friend for so long and I had been completely myself with him. So with the New Year, I wasn’t quite sure if I was coming or going. The talkative me was gone and even my mother was scared. Many times in January, I noticed my mother watched me closely, but I was too exhausted to care. I was furious with the economic turn that the country was taking, but I wouldn’t get up to go and Occupy. I had stopped trying to be friendly or to be a friend to everyone else. After all, they would all hurt me and leave, and I’d be back to square one. Maybe I wasn’t even worth it! I swore that I was never going to risk that again.

Oh but that was just the beginning.

My parents officially split up this year and although I remember telling my mother to leave my dad some years back, when it finally happened, it was messy. Maybe I need not have been but I was scared for my mother. She’s very much like me and somehow, in the midst of my own darkness, I watched my mother go through so many of the same intense emotions that I was struggling with. In more ways than one, we were on our own. In a few short weeks, I had lost my hero to the world and my dad and I had the biggest, most intense fight where I told him in explicit terms how much I hated him. Maybe he thought I said it out of anger, which I didn’t so I made it a point to show him how much I hated him. I cut him off.

My brothers began to struggle with school. My mother was not working and her shop was barely making a profit. I was trying to make ends meet with the lousy job I had and we didn’t even have accommodation. In a way that was the most important, my father was missing. My family was in the worst place it could ever be. My brothers were sent back home and at the point where I just wanted to end it all, I lay on my bed, knife by my side and thought and thought and cried. I realized how weak I really was. Too weak to even stop the pain from eating me alive, too weak to kill myself.

But God works in mysterious ways. One day, my mother dragged me to church and as I stood, I started crying. I was so hurt and angry with God, with myself and it wasn’t even February yet. But on my knees that day, some sort of peace came over me, for my heart, for my family and for the one person that I couldn’t stop praying for. I listened to my still small voice. I know that sounds weird, but somehow, listening to my inner voice saved me. So when my ex boyfriend called me, I was shocked. He had come to realize that maybe, just maybe he missed me a little too much. LOL. I left my crappy job and put myself back out there. In one day, I’d gotten three amazing offers, none of which I even stressed for because they called me without my application. The offices wanted me to start immediately and maybe now is a good time to say, maybe I should have taken that DealDey job. Lol. But it has been good so far and I’m learning a whole lot where I’m at.

Quickly, July became September and everything was good for me. My mother was getting better (Lord Knows I had missed her twinkling brown eyes and dimples). She began to look very hot (believe it, *giggles*) and I was in a better relationship with my best friend. The turn-around in my life made me sooooooo dizzy and so sure of where I was going. Everything (well, almost) that I had prayed for was happening. I was happy but the struggle had not ended because my brothers have had to manage a whole lot more than they deserved to. My brothers are still struggling with school but I know something more is coming through for me. This year, I finally opened up myself to the idea of this marriage thing and I think The Boo is almost always dancing when I nod and agree that we’ll have 3 kids.

Two weeks ago, I realised that I had a gift of foreknowledge. I don’t know the protocol of these things but my closest friends sort of knew before I even did. It’s a weird gift really and just to prove I was right, I tested myself over and over and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t know the protocol for when you have the gift of pre-emptive knowledge so I’m still a little surprised. For years, I would always say that things were going to happen and they would but lately, it’s been more intense than ever. I don’t even really know how to explain it, or how it happens. I’ll get the hang of it, by prayers. I’ve also realized that my friends really know how to weather an “Emotional Hurricane Oyin”, because trust me, i was a real b”£%$^ this year.

Weirdly and unexpectedly, I made some good friends this year, via twitter (which i thought was impossible) and otherwise. I’m learning from them and they encourage me, my talents, my skills and help me sort out the mess in my own head. Also, for the first time in my life, I actually weighed 43kg (don’t laugh, it isn’t funny). I’ve come to finally accept and appreciate how God made me. I could finally look in the mirror and say, “Oyin, you really are a beautiful girl. I mean, look at that nose!!” I don’t know if you can understand that my statement is not borne of pride, but acceptance. Now I’m at that place where nobody can make me feel badly about myself and how I look. (it’s all breezy up here, *giggles*). It was a struggle for me to get here because I used to look down on myself a lot, I used to second-guess myself too but now I think Oyin is pretty cool. I’m (sometimes) in a foolishly happy place.

Well, so this year has been a true test for me. A test of my faith in God, a test of my faith in myself and I’ve realized that I’m way stronger now than I could ever imagine. I KNOW that 2013 will sort out my brothers’ education, and maybe I’ll learn to forgive my dad for not being the man that I thought he was. (maybe I’m too much of a romantic). I intend to take every window of opportunity in 2013 because I KNOW there are going to be a lot of them! I can hardly wait for the new year to see where the opportunity for the fresh start that I’m about to embark on leads me.

I LOVE SURPRISES!!!

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And we love you too Oyin.  🙂