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This post could go so many ways and probably will anyway. I’ve always been a drifter, emotionally, mentally. ‘Extremely fickle’ my sensei says, but it’s much deeper than that. Probably why at the beginning of the year I put an end to my annual New Years Resolutions and ripped up my bucket list. I was being rebellious at the time attempting to break the norm but I was unwittingly setting the pace for the whole year, and I don’t regret it, not one bit. The harried person that I am, I’m terrible with dates, even the roughest of time frames. But then, there were no special dates, no defining moments, no life-changing epiphanies, no, 2012 was a year of learning, a series of slow, often painful lessons, more or less growing into myself. I didn’t learn anything about myself this year, which is not a bad thing, I’ve always been painfully self-aware, but I learned a lot. Now I’m not saying these things are the truth, I’m just saying they’re what I learned (in whatever order):

Music Heals: You probably know this, but don’t fully understand it. Music saved my life in 2012 (don’t roll your eyes, I’m not going to include a download link at the end). I’ve always been a big music buff, but this year I learnt to properly listen to music, to soak myself in it, wallow in it, let it wash over me, course through me, cleanse me. Whether it was Florence Welch straining her Lungs, or Lykke Li and her kooky Wounded Rhymes, Lana lamenting/celebrating her mortality, Birdy weeping over piano keys, Angus and Julia Stone and their warm cookie-dough sounds, Frankie and his smooth soprano, Sigur Ros and their ethereal, haunting melodies or Regina Spektor’s eccentricity or even AZ in all her glorious ratchetness. I lived from one bridge, one hook to another, and I loved every minute of it.

Loneliness is a disease: it will claw at you and scrape your insides, hollow you out, but that’s not nearly enough, no. You’ll collapse in on yourself and it will still work on the individual pieces, if you let it. Lord I crawled back from the edge so many times, in the arms of friends, or floating on the bridge of a song. I’m not on solid ground yet, but I’m getting there.

I learned that you won’t always find the forgiveness you seek.
I learned that your mistakes cannot be undone.
I learned that life won’t always give you what you think you deserve.
I learned that your second chances will be spat upon and discarded.
I learned that pulling an all-nighter and chugging coffee won’t guarantee you that A.
I learned that you can’t stop people from walking out of your life.
I learned that ‘they’ won’t always like you.
I learned that you cannot fake affection (at least not for long).
I learned that that awkwardness never really fades with age.
I learned that burying your head in the sand just dirties up your hair.
To hold your tongue and take a deep breath and a step back
But I also learned that your scars give you character
To carry along that stone you stumbled over
To find warmth within in the dead of winter
That a baby’s giggle is the greatest anti-depressant
The beauty in companionable silence
The magic in watching the sun rise

I made friends, wonderful wonderful people I’d give an arm for.
I struggled with my spirituality. Mother says He’ll flip my world on its head when He’s ready (hurry Big Guy, I’m so tired.)

Most importantly? I learned to walk, to keep my back straight and my head high, to perfect that easy grace, drop that adolescent stoop, arms lax, lazy eyes. The haughtiness and polite aloofness of a prince. Nowhere near the swanky proud lion I’ll become, but far from the scared cowering cub I was a year ago.

My mane is taking its time to grow out and my thin frame is under constant strain, no way equipped for the proud bearing I’ve assumed, but like I said, I’m growing into it.

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Thank you very much Emmanuel. Continue growing.

Olumide will take us through his year on here tomorrow. See you 🙂

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