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I met Esse (@theFakeEsse) in the comments section on a blog post that mentioned Ugwu. X_X She is the undisputed Skype contact champion on all our…. #OkBye

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If you’re reading this, then I didn’t hit the Delete button for the zillionth time in a row and I actually turned in this particular post.
First things first, MERRY CHRISTMAS in arrears!!!! 🙂

2011 was… interesting. I was in a new country, faced with new and different, exciting challenges, suddenly my biggest problem in life wasn’t constant power supply anymore. I was going through ‘first world challenges.’ Pretty cool, huh? I now had to worry about taxes and school loans and my credit rating. I had to worry about a winter that was too fucking cold and a summer that was worse than freaking Sahara. I missed my mummy.
I consider most of the major events in my life this year, as high points. Reason: I turned every one of them to a learning opportunity. So, while I’m not happy with where I am, I’m excited about where I’m going. In school, I was doing wonderful, my GPA was amazing by ANY standard, I was even asked to become a mentor for first year students *wears cool shades*. Then, I relaxed. I couldn’t be too bothered anymore. I failed a course so bad, I had to retake it *removes cool shades.* My grades suffered all round. What I learnt: Sometimes, you’re suddenly faced with this period in life where you’re not excited by anything, or only excited by the things that don’t matter. It is up to YOU to get yourself out of that situation. I had to give myself pep talks just to get out of bed. I began to have conversations out loud with myself. When I said it out loud, it was like there was a person I had given my word, I had to keep it. It’s like I was bound by law to keep it. So, that helped. And if it doesn’t work for you, get a new hobby, something that makes you want to get up and start the day. Start a new routine. Learn a new language. Or get professional help (guidance counsellor, psychologist etc)

I can be a people person, when I want (which is not very often.) But this year, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a lot of family. Perhaps, too much family. I was going crazy. They were everywhere I turned and I wanted to shoot them all. I kid you not. But they were there, good times and bad. And I love them for it. I’m expecting a new niece any time now. I’ll get a nephew in another few months. Of course, the first thing I thought about was how much of time my time would now be dedicated to babysitting cranky newborns. I became desperate to run away. And then I lost my friend and I cried because she was too young and too pretty to be dead. And then my aunty died. And then I cried. And cried some more. Out of pain and guilt. See, I hadn’t talked to any of them in almost a year. Perhaps, if I had called my aunty once in a while, she’d know I loved her. But now, I can only hope that she knew. I can only hope. What I learnt: To appreciate my friends and family. Don’t be too scared to say I love you. Life is too short for iranu. Spend time with family. Call up that long lost uncle. Visit that old friend. Reach out to those people that mean something to you, and let them know that they do. I’m not running away any more. I cannot wait to hold my newborn family and babysit no matter how cranky they get. *Adjusts halo*

This year, I handled more money than I’ve handled at one time in my entire life. I had money like I was running America’s cash flow (at least, it felt that way. :)) Then I got so broke paying for a $3 .00 bus ticket and watching the coins disappear hurt me physically in my chest. And I’m not proud, I just don’t like to ask for help. But again, family came through for me. So, almost more than anything, I’m thankful for them. What I learnt: I don’t think I learnt anything. I was broke and angry at the world for not thinking it needed to be giving me money. Why wasn’t money mysteriously appearing in my bank account? But, this is the interesting thing: while I was broke, I never once lacked. I didn’t have any money in my account, but I wasn’t hungry, I had clothes on my back. I believe it had everything to with my giving. You might or might not agree, but I do believe that givers never lack. It may sound like some religious cliché, but it’s worked for me all my life. I’ve been broke, but I’ve never really been lacking. It’s important to give to those that don’t have as much as you do. Even if it’s old clothes that don’t fit anymore. Even if it’s a little time every week at a soup kitchen. Givers never lack. (Repetition is the law of deep and lasting impression. You’re welcome. :))

Now, the people I ‘met’ are kinda the highlight of my year. Considering the fact that they made such a huge impression on me, it’s important that you note that I never met all these people face to face. *Sigh* I know, it sounds sorta pathetic, but this is my story, you can write your own. I ‘met’ the witty ones that could turn everything into a joke, and the smart ones that knew something about everything, and the ones that struggled to be either or both. Interesting that online social networking turned out to be my major source of entertainment and a wonderful ‘fountain of knowledge.’ 
Distance didn’t allow a lot of this relationships to attain their full (P)otential.  I realized what it felt like to want something desperately, and just not be able to reach it. And then to watch that thing go because well, it’s not yours and you can’t really lay claim to it. *Sigh*
(Notice how this paragraph is about romance? Bad ass! *Tongue out at Efe*)

No washing, but Efe is one of the best people to happen to me this year. Efe and a few others I won’t mention because they know themselves. (Yes, Beauty, you in particular.) 

There was nothing singularly spectacular about this year. I didn’t find true love. I didn’t win a lottery. But I went a step further in my self discovery journey. So, that’s a good thing. A word that suddenly became very meaningful to me is Gratitude. I suddenly realized how much I had to be grateful for. And Plus, I went to a Cirque du Soleil show. That’s awesomeness on so many different levels I can’t begin to explain. 😀 (I had to find a way to get that into this post. Feel free to be jealous.)
The first day of this year, a man I hold in highest regard said this: “Stop asking what the year is going to bring for you. They year is inanimate. It is what you make it.” I was listening to him, but it was later in the year I actually heard what he was saying. So, 2012 is going to be awesome for me. Cause that’s what I’ll make it. Sure, things will happen along the way, but I’ll be grateful to God for the distance He’s brought me. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a great and safe New Year.
I also hope you have a 2012 as awesome I plan to make mine.
God’s blessings to you and yours.
Peace, Love and Chidinma (yeah, they’re all Igbo chicks.)

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Much love, Ifunaya. Her name means love, and she is one of these hot chicks mentioned above. (Managed to rhyme, see?) Tomorrow’s post by Tolu is especially inspiring. Don’t miss it. 🙂

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