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My newest pastime is to get up at daylight, just before the day gets crazy, walk to my gate, sit at the shed there and then stare at the street, people watching while I pray and think about my life.

I see this pretty dark skinned girl; she is about 16 years old. I see her most mornings, from where I am sitting, in her black sleeveless top and her blue bum shorts always headed to buy something from the mallam in the Estate. She is using the daily morning walk for cat-walking practise and shaking her bum. You can see all the effort she is making. Sometimes she slips, but you have to give her a pass mark for resilience: she always gets straight back in the game. Then as the cat calls come from bike riders as they drive past her, she gives the bum an extra double shake while smiling at the attention. I smile too as I remember when I was that age and walked that way too (I know, I know, it don’t seem that way now). Some random bike rider slows down to offer a ride but she ignores him. I want to call her, talk to her, but to tell her what? Don’t shake your bum? Besides, it’s okay to be young and stupid I think, as long as you don’t make mistakes you can’t walk away from, yeah?

I also see this lady jogging past with her personal trainer, or neighbour or friend. As she slows down, he encourages her to keep the pace, urging her to “burn that fat”, but from where I am sitting the only fat I see is in her bum. Some people have no idea how blessed they are. I wish… never mind.

I think about my days past, sometimes I try to go over issues with a clear head and then formulate a strategy, then I pray for wisdom and ideas and favour. Sometimes, I pray again for courage not to give up.

This is about my 2015, but for the life of me I can’t remember 2015 go past, so I am sitting here, rewinding back to this same time period in 2014 then slowly taking in my year.

I spent the whole year 2015 struggling to get through the days, one bill after another, fees, salaries, utilities, more fees, rents. Time just sped by, my head bowed through the year, almost mediocre in all my efforts, which is weird because I swore that I wasn’t going to live this way. Going through the motions, finding some reason everyday not to give up, clients playing tumbo tumbo with your payment and me swiftly perfecting the act of alternating between kissing ass (because more jobs) and demanding payment; it’s a special skill, I should write a book.

Today however, I want to count my blessings. In no fancy order, yet top of my list is My Church, HICC Gbagada, there is something about belonging to “a house” and being able to go “home” exactly as you are every week. It is comforting and soul feeding.

Then, I thank God for people, yes, people in general, everyone that I have come across has at some point impacted on me. There is growth hidden even in broken hearts, betrayal from friends, the talks, even the random strangers I watch going about their lives.

Lagos is on my list, the opportunities, the inspiration, doors that open from a system that doesn’t work, ideas that flow because necessities and inventions are a thing. I thank God for the Nos, especially the ones I refused to take and the ones that drove me to seek a better alternative. They taught me that there where there’s a will there’s always a way.

I thank God for Family too, well mostly because they have no choice but to love and support me regardless – it is the way life works. I thank God for even the family that I handpicked – the Evolve Synergy team, our struggles together, refining and defining us.

I thank God for death. It does put the phrase “Life goes on” in perspective. No human is indispensable, least of all me. Create something, Live fully and Die empty are my new mantras.

I am thankful for Hunger, it drives you to create, to be, to make a mark. Hunger creates focus and gets you back on track.

And there is Papi, the 8 year old that has my heart, and my drive, and my ALL. The most important person that makes me rethink everything I do or want to do. Role Modelling is my angle, but it is weird how he is the one who teaches me more than I could ever teach him. I have to count him at least 10 times on my thanksgiving list.

Then finally, I thank God for Love and Randoms. I was on a not so random TV show in Lagos, some random guy in random Columbus Ohio watches it, and random history is made. I thank God for the man that he is, his every mistake and every struggle, his story, his life, you can tell that the man that he has grown to be took a lot of life lessons; he has been there, he has done it all. I am thankful for his creased forehead when he worries about me and about life, his really funny jokes, and more importantly his soul moving, confidence lifting, joy causing, “I love you Ized”.

Now that I think about it 2015 wasn’t such a bad year:

✓ Struggles
✓ Failures / Loss
✓ Fights
✓ Heartbreaks
✓ Deaths

But then, there were all these other many many beautiful parts – life, lessons and love. As a matter of fact 2015 was a great year. So here’s to 2016: May our roads be rough.

 

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Despite all the benefits of trials and tribulations it is hard to say amen to this prayer Ized. May there be light on our paths as we walk through 2016. God bless you for sharing tonight.

There you have it, people. All the posts today were from people who didn’t sign up until we started the series. All our surprise posts went up today and we may yet have more like this. Only way to keep track is to subscribe and tell your friends to do so too! We’re just getting started. 

See you tomorrow friends!

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