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The past 2 years have been about accepting and letting go, discovering and rediscovering, learning and growing… 2015 has been different in a way I can’t explain. Let’s just say that God majestically sat down and pruned me this year. He took me through the many highs and lows of 2015 and schooled me at every turn.

The year started in a sort of rush, I wasn’t prepared for it. Between my parents and boyfriend, I had been pressured to go back to school to study for a Masters degree. I was encouraged to seize the opportunity I had while I was still young and had a chance. Somehow, clumsy Omotayo couldn’t find her international passport. Time was flying past and my University had given me an ultimatum to resume before a certain date or defer my admission till the next academic session. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t find it until it was too late to apply for a visa and I would take it as God’s way of showing me it wasn’t yet time for me to start that phase of my life.

God probably laughed at me in Swahili because I eventually found my passport beneath a heap of my mum’s clothes, applied for my visa on the 30th of December, got my passport back 5 days before resumption deadline and rushed to book my travel ticket. Whew!

I should have had an inkling of how challenging the year would be from Muritala Mohammed International Airport. It was practically impossible to give my boyfriend a goodbye kiss even though we roamed the length of the airport trying to find a perfect spot. All we kept seeing were soldiers and my mum’s face.

Me: Mum, excuse us for a minute. We want to get something at Mr. Biggs, we will be back soon.

Mum: Let’s just all go together so I don’t have to start looking for you all over the place.

Me: Errrmmmmmmmmmm

That was how my mum and the soldiers kept blocking our P until it was time to board the plane. We sha found a way to get in one struggle side hug. I would later learn that long distance relationship was a thousand unit module I had to add to my growing pile of academic work and I wouldn’t pass it in flying colours. We have fought, said our goodbyes, made up, cried and somewhere in between chosen each other all over again. How we are still standing in front of this broken mirror is beyond my comprehension, but it keeps showing us what we have is so rare, it deserves fighting for. We are still fighting, fighting for keeps.

They tell you Bar Finals are the hardest exams you will ever write in your life. Someone lied because Law School exams didn’t make me cry (ok, maybe I cried my eyes out when I saw my results sha). MBA drained me of all strength and mental alertness. There were days I was sure I would pull through, and there were other days I felt I must have been insane to not pick a LLM Postgraduate course instead. I thought I was made from tough material; imagine my pain when the material tore halfway through my MBA programme. I am not a crier, but I cried so hard, my boyfriend realised I needed to be saved from myself. He kept telling me I wasn’t a quitter and it would all be worth it in the end. Guess who scaled through the academic session. Me!

Between life, school and part time jobs, I still don’t understand how I managed to keep up with running madamkarakata.com. All I know is that the business has been growing, customers keep increasing, I don’t owe staff salary, all overhead expenses have been paid for and we still have enough left over. Madam Karakata has taught me comparison is the thief of joy and we are growing at the exact pace we need to expand and not crumble. I can’t wait to take my baby to the next level in 2016. I am ready!!!

I enjoyed my vacation in Spain but Italy was the country I fell in love with. Something about the tranquillity of Rome gave me the strength to rediscover the truth about myself and accept it in a way I have never done before. I experienced clarity and peace overflowed in my heart. For me, Rome was my “City of God’ for the year. I still have a 20 euro cent coin from my trip to serve as a souvenir of my victory and the joy in my soul.

This year, God came through for me in unspoken ways. He raised ‘stones’ for me. Everything I needed, His Hands provided before I asked. I kept trying for a part time job at an agency that required prior experience, and it looked like there was no way around the requirement because experience can’t be stolen. I randomly walked into a job fair later in the year, met some representatives from the agency, and told them I would love to work with them even though I had no prior experience. They said my lack of experience wasn’t a problem and the agency would train me.

Just like that? Who am I that God is mindful of me? Tiny me, Big God. Imagine how hard I laughed when I discovered that a colleague wanted to play the jealous card of office politics with me by throwing fake smiles at me while discrediting my competency behind my back. Still I rose, because God hasn’t brought me this far for mere mortals to bring me down.

I had a friend yell at me over 1 Euro and in that split second I realised in this big world filled with people, you are truly alone and I need to make the right financial decisions for myself and my children. Hello 2016 savings, we are entering these investment trousers together.

I found friends in the oddest places; friends that stick closer than a brother. I’m super grateful I met Mandy who welcomed me so lovingly into her life; I now have an extended family from Zimbabwe. Yetunde was always a ping away and my once a quarter conversations with Dimeji were refreshing. I had Olumide and Olivia check up on me regularly and Bolu was the ever dependable best friend who proofread my assignments before submission. My sisters are everything and Jomiloju has made me laugh and fall in love anew everyday of this year. Through the eyes of my little Madam K, I have had a glimpse of how God loves us unconditionally. I hear children do that to you all the time.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until December that I fully stopped fighting for control of my life. I have stopped worrying about what will happen 3 years and a decade from now; everything good will come. I’m still learning in this new territory of trusting eh, but it feels good to finally have Someone bigger than me carry about my burdens without a cost to me. He knows the end from the beginning, biko why should I be anxious?

This year, I have watched myself grow, I have watched myself fail and fall. I look back and see how I could have acted differently along the way, but I have no regrets. That for me is the greatest form of learning: knowing that no matter how much I beat myself up, the past cannot be changed. Realising that there is no rush to hit it big before 26, time and chance happens to us all. Learning that God has me covered, my extraordinariness will always shine through. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I wear my emotional scars with pride.

The year is fast approaching its end, but I know it won’t end without my miracle happening. I have to shout my testimony from the rooftops at Rhema. So 2016, be good to me. Let the winds continually stay at my back and let it set my feet on the right path. Amen.

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I wish every young person could read this. Some of us don’t understand this adult life. We don’t understand this trust life.