Somewhere on earth, in a room which may or may not have a spatial location, a board meeting is taking place.
*The man at the head of the table rises and throws a file on the floor, scattering its contents all over the room*
What is this rubbish? Two thousand plus words for a ‘year in review’ post? Because the owner of the blog’s first name starts with “E” and ends with “e”, you think that’s liberty for you to write an epistle abi? Rabbish!!!
Who even wrote it sef?
*Two individuals raise their hands*
Femi and Sawyerr. I should have known. You think you’re the only ones who lived this year abi?
And Mallam, what were you looking at when this was being written?
I beg your pardon, but I’d rather you did not take that tone of voice with me. It’s been our year collectively and we were all supposed to chip in, not allow these two run amok with the post. If there is anyone who should receive any reproof it should be you Nocturnal, as chairman of this board.
*sigh* This is ridiculous. I guess I’ll have to handle this myself. Y’all can chip in (without being nuisances) if I forget anything. Deal?
*In unison, they all answer* Deal.
Good day everyone. It’s such a pleasure to be here again on 19th Street. Can’t believe it’s been a year since I was here last. So much has changed in some areas, while in others not really. Generally though, I learnt a little more about myself this year and did some more growing.
*sips from his glass filled with a dark liquid*
I usually already know what my year’s theme is going to be before it begins. It’s kinda intuitive. This year was different though. I really didn’t know what to expect, so I decided to be open minded about it. Thankfully it paid off, because it was a full year: high points, low points, plateaux; the things that make a year hard to forget. Let’s get into it then, shall we.
The year started with me losing my last grandparent (my maternal grandfather) in January, after a battle with illness for a few months. The upside to that was I got to travel to Sapele, for the first time ever, in February for his burial. My mum was grateful that my brother and I could be the support she needed in that period. My dad’s arrival and short stay was a VERY pleasant surprise for everyone, especially my mum.
January also saw me breaking up with my girlfriend, when we finally accepted that the challenge before us was one that we couldn’t surmount even with love. Things were cool initially, up until Valentine’s Day (that was a bright spot), but got worse than either of us wanted. Thankfully, we patched things up not too long after and we’re cool now.
May was my darkest month. As a teacher, nothing in this world can prepare you for the death of a student; especially under the circumstances in which the loss of this one occurred. All I will say is, I knew Bernard Ogilo for almost two years, but his memory will live on with me for a WHILE. Rest in peace aburo, may God continue to comfort your family.
Still in May, it became clear that I wouldn’t be going for a Master’s this year because I couldn’t secure a scholarship, even though I had been offered admission. It hurt initially, because it felt like I was going to waste one year (guys don dey old mehn, nahmsayin?). But it didn’t take too long for logic to DKB me back on track and make me see the opportunity that I’d been given to do my job to the best of my ability for yet another year.
To wrap up the lows, losing over 11GB worth of pictures in February almost made me break down in tears. But hey, they’re simply memories right. The best way to fill such a void is to make new ones. Thankfully, I’ve made a whole lot of those this year.
This year started annoying enough with the fuel subsidy removal brouhaha and the attendant farce that was the Occupy Nigeria movement. I am grateful because it allowed me channel my inner cynic and (sadly) be proved correct that nothing significant would come of all the posturizing and unnecessary noise making. Hey, I even did some exercise, with my brother, and walked to Ojota on one of the days. The best thing to come out of it though was that my holiday was extended with light throughout.
In April, my dad moved back home from Abeokuta after six years of living and working there, and coming home rarely. Of course my mum was happy he was back. For the rest of us though, it was kinda bitter sweet. I hardly go out, but let’s just say not needing to explain too much is something I now miss.
In retrospect, I’d say the highpoints could be grouped broadly in two categories; unexpected blessings and weddings.
I “HULK SMASHED” the TOEFL in March. The best thing about that exam, was that the area I scored the lowest in, in my GRE was the only area I scored a perfect 30 out of 30 in; writing. I felt like Spartacus must have felt after killing Batiatus. *Shouts “CAPUA!!!”*
Also, later in the year I was able to take an online course organised by Coursera and obtain a quiz achievement award. (Y’all should check it out regardless of your field. They’ve got courses for everybody, and the coolest thing is, it’s FREE!!!!!! Go to www.coursera.org thank me later) Believe me mehn, I didn’t think I would get it considering how many tests I kinda flunked, but God was merciful.
In June, I fulfilled a desire that had been burning from early in the year to go to Ghana (considering I’d never been outside Nigeria. No, FESTAC and Ajah don’t count, seeing as they’re colonies of Lagos). What made it the coolest was I didn’t pay a dime for the entire trip. I was selected by the primary section at work to replace a colleague from my section because there were already too many females from their end. To put it succinctly, it was ÜBERCOOL.
Can’t talk about professional high points, without talking about the trip to Greensprings School Lekki for the 2012 AISEN Prefects’ Camp with a (really pretty single female) colleague of mine. From the embarrassment on the first day, to the games and dancing on the second day and then the attempts by our students at matchmaking my colleague and I throughout the three days, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and the perfect way to usher us into the midterm holiday week.
I should also mention the fact that in October I was promoted (without any financial benefits o, ehen. I can see some people smiling already) from being only a class teacher to an assistant year tutor position after one of my colleagues changed schools. It’s an increase in responsibility, but at least it shows that my presence is being felt far beyond my lowly designated position. I pray God helps me perform these admin duties (which I kinda hate) the best way I can.
The Ghen Ghen International podcast began recording in August. I won’t go into details as to how I became a member of the team, but I will say it’s been an awesome privilege to work with people as amazing as Panda, Reptile, Walker, Deejay Klem and Luminus. I will forever be grateful. It’s impossible to remember this year without remembering the hilarity that is the average studio session spent recording that show. It’s unbelievable.
I also had the opportunity to feature twice *Activates Keke and D1 accent* on the award winning, world famous, The Sirkastiq Centre blog, *deactivates* during the “Perspectives” series and the “For Uncoloured People” series. It was a wonderful experience to push myself past my comfort zone, and seeing people say they enjoyed both posts made it all worth it. Maybe I’m not such a push over after all. Maybe Dania, Bankole, Saka and Walker haven’t been washing me like I seem to think they have. Sha sha, it feels good to be able to identify with TSC.
*Presses swollen head*
Weddings, Weddings, Weddings and MORE weddings. More friends of mine got married this year than in any other year in my entire life. On average, I went for a wedding of a friend like every month of this year. Funny thing about most of my friends that got married this year, they were dating for a while. From PeeGee and Ore who dated officically for almost 3 years, to Toye and Amaka, and Dami and Ayo who dated for 4, to Yinka and her hubby who dated for about 5, to Elemo and Tosin who dated for about 6.
At this point, let me answer all of you who have been asking me when I will marry seeing as I was a groom’s man thrice (the third time I got the complete outfit of suit, shirt, shoes, tie and pocket square FOC. LAU LAU tinz, nahmsayin?), my answer to you is…oh look, a Masseratti.
This review would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the fact that I discovered karaoke this year and needless to say, my social life has taken a turn for the better. I still live on Twitter for the most part, but I also go out from time to time.
Speaking of Twitter, I met some AMAZING people yet again this year because of that social network. Makes you wonder where they were all your life. I also kinda got into a situation as well that threatened my job (tongue in cheek), but as with most things of that sort, it’s fun to remember it now and laugh over it. It was indeed a year of cruise.
Aha! Yes, I got my Samsung Galaxy SIII this year as well, heralding my official entry into the “Coo Keeds” strata of cyberspace (looks at Chef Fregz and Obi Somto and smirks). It’s truly a beautiful phone and worth the dent it put in my savings.
I also should add that Christmas On The Streetz organised by two amazing ladies (shout out to Maddy and Ada D Body. Love you darlings!!!) gave me the best Christmas I’ve ever had. There really is nothing like giving of yourself and substance to people who don’t have as much as you do. It is love in one of its purest forms, and it is beautiful.
On a final note, I should add that my spiritual life took a real dip this year. My consciousness of God’s persona and power has not diminished. Neither has my gratefulness for ALL the things I’ve seen Him do in me and for me this year. But, I am nowhere near where I was last year, spiritually. 2013 presents an opportunity for me to fix that, but it will require that I dig VERY deep. I do know though, that God is waiting for me to do so, and that reassurance does help.
I will stop here. I’m sorry it isn’t as short as I would have liked, but hey, you stayed till the end. So, thank you for reading. And thank you once again, Efe, for this opportunity. Till we meet again, I am Nocturnal, and on behalf of everybody on The Board that makes up Oluwafemi Sawyerr’s consciousness, I say…may we all live to see 2013 and experience it to the FULLEST.
*drains his glass and teleports*
*Background voices suddenly become clearer*
See that imbecile. Didn’t he use almost two thousand words just now too.
You dey mind am. And he didn’t even mention Mallam Memes. Rabbish and neinsense. Tueh!
Wo, let us be going o jare. Issokay.
I finished this with a smile on my face and a shake of my head. Guys, this is the second perfect English article in this series. The challenge is up for anyone to find grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in it (tongue in cheek).
One really subtle lesson on here is the power of self-improvement. No matter what it is, the opportunity to travel, write tests (even if they ain’t compulsory), do online courses, participate in writing for an audience and collaborate on a radio show are golden nuggets in any personal safe. Mallam I hope all these are in your resume. We celebrate your 2012 and your other years in advance. Thank you very much.