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2014 was quite the year. At the beginning of the year, I made no plans, had no goals, nothing. It was all in the air for me. I really didn’t know what to ask, I was too content where I was (lol).

This year decided to show me pepper.

First off, I didn’t get hostel space, so I had to pay someone to get space in school for me. The dude walked off with my money. I couldn’t go back to tell my dad, so I went to stay at my aunt’s place. Problem solved right? Wrong. I won’t get into details, they are really nice people, but there were a few issues and some miscommunication.

As a result of coming from outside school, I got lazy, and was missing classes. It didn’t help that I was seriously thinking of transferring to another course, so I was very lax. One time, I missed the deadline for an assignment in my core course. I went to the lecturer’s office, only for me to get there and for the lecturer to be totally uninterested in my assignment and wholly focused on getting into my pants. I started avoiding him, and as a result, missed more classes. Long story short, I didn’t do too well in my first semester examinations.

Second semester, my aunt said I couldn’t stay with her anymore, and I had to move to school. I ended up staying with my former roommate as a floor squatter (floorie).

Sometime during this semester, my laptop got stolen (my course is one that requires the constant use of a laptop). At some point I realized that I was enjoying playing the victim a little too much, as it was a convenient excuse for everything and anything. I had to do a total recalibration, or as total as I could manage, and so my second semester exams were significantly better than the first.

Lots of good stuff happened too.

I was made the captain of a female football team (The Panthers), and it has been the ride of my life. We lost our first two matches to the other team by two goals each time, but for some reason, the crazy ladies on my team chose to stay. They have become a second family for me. I had never thought I would have female friends, and here I was, with almost 20, AT THE SAME TIME.

I also became an ambassador for a charity organization that tackles gender-based issues and I got to travel, meet people from other parts of the nation and learn a lot (someone just called me out of the blue because he felt I would be interested).

I learnt the value of relationships, and about cutting people off and keeping in touch. I’m the worst person at keeping in touch, and this year showed me why this wasn’t ideal. I wouldn’t have had a place to stay if I hadn’t kept in touch with my roommate (which I did without great enthusiasm, I’m ashamed to admit).

I made a lot of friends this year, and stopped associating with a number of people too.

I read a lot of books.

I learnt about pain and loss. My roommate carried her baby to term, had her baby a week to exams and the baby died four days later, three days before exams. He wasn’t ill.

I wasn’t as close to God as I should have been, and I regret this. However, I got one message loud and clear, the fact that I tended to be judgmental, and I needed to stop acting like a Pharisee (almost threw a good friend away because of it).

I learnt a little about heartbreak, having to let go of a relationship before it even began, but after letting go, I realized that it would never have worked. I’m grateful for the experience, even though I didn’t see it then. At some point, I felt something was wrong with me, because I had never had a boyfriend, and almost made a costly mistake in my haste to date. I had to relearn how to love my own company and solitude, which I had started to believe was a bad thing.

I learnt about assertiveness, and being selfish with my time and with my presence. Still working on it.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to work, and to not have to be wholly dependent on anybody for anything. The best thing that happened to me this year was when I realized that I was on my way to fulfilling the dreams I had written a long time ago as a kid, and somehow, someway, I had found my way to that path.

Today’s my birthday (December 5), and seeing as I didn’t write down any of my plans, I’m not sure I achieved all I should have, but I’m grateful for how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned and all I’ve had to do and lose to learn.

So, here I am, at 21, still a celibate single pringle, and perfectly content to stay that way for the nearest forseeable future, making no apologies for who and what I am, and getting back pieces of myself I chipped off to please other people.

I’m rounding this up with a list of people I’m thankful for: Aunty Joy (anafricandiva), Nasr, Mabel, Tito, Euphemia, Funa, Uncle Efe and Orange. This year would not have turned out the way it did without you in my life.

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Thank you very much for telling it like it is Sharon. You actually have a gift for expressing yourself in writing. Watch it and groom it too. Happy birthday in arrears.

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