I ended 2016 without a job. I just got tired of everything around me, how things were looking at my workplace, and decided to quit (read take a break).
Then I got a good offer, one I couldn’t pass up because who no like better thing, towards the end of the year. I was to resume in January. A much-needed light in the tunnel that was 2016.
I didn’t make plans or have goals for this year. The previous year had made it clear: they never worked for me and I have come to realise that staying true to my yearly plans is like me trying to sing, and boy, I can’t sing to save my life. So, I just went in.
The year started really rough. I was juggling my new job with finalizing my clearance in school. I needed to be mobilized for NYSC, even though I didn’t want to do it, so I still registered for it. The first seven months were so hectic: having to travel from Lagos to Benin four times in two months for clearance, a process that could easily be done online, makes me wonder why we submit all those course forms, credentials e.t.c throughout the university year, and also having to deal with Non-Academic staff, who are either not in the office or just angry for no reason (Nigerian Federal Universities are the worst). All this while, I was working remotely. Also having to travel to Enugu for NYSC (traveling by road in this country is so stressful especially because the roads are shit but the road to Enugu takes the crown as the shittiest), applying for relocation and not getting Lagos, I got Ibadan instead, I wasn’t really surprised as I was expecting the worst to happen anyway. At this point I was tired and disappointed so much so I considered quitting my job. Now that I think about it, I wonder what would have happened if I had followed through, my village people dancing and singing kumbaya while I shake my head and slowly whisper to myself ‘ah, won ti get mi’?
I suck at keeping in touch with family or friends. It’s a continuous struggle, I remember one time my Mum called to ask me if she did something wrong to warrant my not calling her, I was shocked and sad at the same time. This year, I think I tried to communicate more with my folks, especially my Dad. I keep reminding myself that we don’t choose family, and holding on to past hurts is like putting your heart on the floor, inviting people to trample on it and expecting to still be alive.
I struggled with my faith this year – again if I may add. Its been that way for a while now. I think I am stuck between realizing that I have to find God for myself, and questioning the entire premise of religion, especially with the way Nigerians carry religion on their heads.
I still didn’t find love in 2017. I met someone I would consider a love interest, but she can’t make up her mind, one minute she is ready and the next minute she is not (let’s just say she is doing falafolo) so I just left her. To be honest, I don’t know if I can let myself love totally and people not believing I am single didn’t help either. I think the fact that I am broke is enough reason to stay away from love.
Love without money no dey sweet.
-Baba Suwe (Circa 1800)
I still struggled with impostor syndrome this year. I don’t think I have any talent per se, and my passion is spread all over the place with no particular thing laying claim to a higher share.
I still feel like I don’t know what I am doing with my life, which career path I should take, and when all these internal crises will end. I disappointed a lot of people and also had my fair share of disappointments. I keep reminding myself that peer pressure never really goes away because we will always have peers, so no point stressing over what my peers have. It’s so easy to say, try putting it in practice and then it becomes harder than finding water in a desert.
This was the year I was going to save, but the universe always has other plans, all the time. If it counts for anything, I downloaded a few apps to help me save this year, so maybe I will try again next year.
This year, I got to see a therapist for the first time and my fear was confirmed, I was on the borderline of depression. I have come to learn that depression isn’t always obvious and living in a nation that doesn’t take depression serious only makes matters worse.
The Good stuff.
2017 wasn’t totally bad for me. The last three months were really good to me, I got a salary raise, one that came at the right time because I was so broke and no side gig was coming my way. I felt like going to dance naked in the rain when I saw the mail and the credit alert that followed but rain doesn’t fall in Lagos when you need it to.
I had the opportunity of representing my company on a sponsored trip to South Africa. I got to visit Cape Town, Johannesburg and Soweto. The level of development in South Africa is mind-boggling, it didn’t feel like I was in an African nation. Cape Town was the standout city for me, it is so beautiful, every view of the city is so picturesque you will want to have it framed on the wall as a painting. I had such much fun, I got to see Cheetahs, saw Elephants dance, partied at the Cubana in Cape Town, had lunch in fancy restaurants, rode on a Harley Davidson and even went on a boat cruise at the V&A Waterfront. It was a total tourism package and I had the time of my life.
I worked on some very interesting projects that went well. I met a couple of people this year that came through for me and I got reminded that sometimes all you have to do is ask, if you don’t get it, it won’t be because you didn’t ask.
Going Forward – 2018
I just want to be better in 2018, be a better human and show love always.
I want to fall in love, travel more, try this savings thing again, forgive more, worry less, and enjoy life no matter what it throws at me.
Looking forward to the new year.