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I have looked forward to writing this review all year and then when it was time, I stalled. I kept stalling because I wasn’t sure what to write and how to write. I mean I knew all the remarkable things to talk about but didn’t know how to talk about all the other seemingly insignificant things that were somehow tied to the remarkable things. I do have to start from somewhere eventually so I will segment my review into the first half of the year and the second half.

2015 has been my year of living, learning and growing. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t really set any resolutions. I just wanted to grow in all areas and hopefully find my purpose. I did grow significantly but the latter goal hasn’t fully worked out yet. The year started on a good note for me. I had been job hunting and attended interviews upon interviews with no success. I finally got a job in February. Honestly I’d say I settled because it wasn’t what I wanted and the pay wasn’t encouraging but taking the job meant that I would be earning a monthly pay, and would no longer be sitting at home idle. The job turned out okay although I hated it initially because it was very restraining creatively and I barely had time to do anything for myself, plus the job expectations were crazy. To my surprise, I actually started enjoying it as more responsibilities were thrust on my shoulders. At this point life seemed pretty good; I didn’t have so much worries.

Around April, I lost the one I called lover which was a low point for me and had an effect on my self-esteem because of the horrible things he did. I soon bounced back from that when I met someone else who almost swept me off my feet, but that also wasn’t meant to be.

In retrospect, the first half of the year went by pretty fast. I was doing well at work and learning so much daily. In fact, I developed a pseudo-passion for the job which I lacked in the beginning. I was also struggling to do what I enjoyed on the weekends. I was going out much more, volunteering more, meeting people, learning more about myself daily and just having fun. I felt like I was getting to the point where I had it all figured out. My personal goals seemed achievable, I was standing up for myself more, putting myself more out there and it seemed to me like I was finally on to something. But there was still this lingering feeling of fear, confusion, uncertainty and anxiety. I had so many ideas but was so confused on how to execute them. Also, my business didn’t quite pick up as I had hoped, but that’s probably because I didn’t put too much effort into it.

Then the second half of the year happened and I felt like my life stopped. In fact God showed me what’s up. He must have been like ‘Girl you’ve had yourself enough fun, it’s time to show you what life really is’. See, I was not ready! My job didn’t look like it offered any encouraging long term prospects and I didn’t have any other viable options so I decided to take up the long standing option of working on my masters. I also received a scholarship offer which was pretty hard to turn down. So I packed my bags and baggage and moved to the land of the white man to commence a master’s degree. I was happy to be getting away from the smothering shelter of my parents (read my mum) but I was also too uncertain of the future to be excited.

After barely two months, I was miserable and it wasn’t because I was homesick. I was finding it hard to keep up with everything, I wasn’t doing well in school, I missed my friends, everything was different and I just missed my life back home. ‘It would get better’, they said. ‘You would adjust after a while’, they said. And then a favorite line which I absolutely detest hearing, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be fine’. Well I hoped and prayed and tried even harder, but no changes; I was still failing. This was particularly hard for me to deal with as I was always that good student who never had to worry about failing but here I was struggling so hard and yet it seemed like I wasn’t even making an effort. I am currently fighting against academic probation as that would mark the beginning of the end.  See, God has been dealing with me and teaching me lessons. At some point, I felt like I was dying inside and not living.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, one night at the end of October, I came back from school to find out that my apartment had been broken into and all my devices stolen. That night I asked God what He was up to because I honestly couldn’t take it anymore. It seemed like He was bent on breaking me to teach me a lesson. I almost became depressed. No one around seemed to care and I was so angry at so called ‘friends’ who didn’t show any empathy and were seemingly oblivious to what I was going through. There were days I was so certain I couldn’t make it through and would go home and cry my eyes out because nothing made sense and I was just plain unhappy.

God answered my question about three weeks later by surprising me with a brand new laptop which I didn’t have to pay for. The day after, I got my old laptop back intact. That experience was overwhelming and totally blew me away because it was so obvious it was God. I truly felt comfort after that like God was telling me He’s got my back. I had been questioning myself on if I actually made the right decision moving here and I felt like that was God confirming his position on things. It really has been tough, but this second half has really taught me so many lessons I don’t think I would have learned if I was still back home. For one, it’s definitely brought me closer to God as I have realized I can’t do it on my own and He does hold my future in his hands. I find myself calling on him more often these days.

The year was sort of life changing for me in the sense that I had to choose between what I love to do and would rather be doing, and what I have to do. Basically I had to be realistic and tail the route that would offer me a better life. Some days I feel really confident in my decision and feel ready to take on the world, other days (most days), I just feel lost.

My relationship with my parents is still so good. I fought with my mum so much early in the year and just couldn’t wait to get out of her hair, but now we are like best of friends. I’ve come to conclude that we are better off far apart from each other. I’ve lost friends and have some strained friendships right now but I’ve also gained new ones.

I am still not sure in which direction my life is going and sometimes I feel like I am just marking time. But I also feel like I am starting to get a hold of my life and gaining some control in the way things are going to go. I’ll share some brief lessons that rang true for me this year and hopefully someone can identify with them:

  • Nobody is obliged to do anything for you. That’s the truth so accept it. Work hard for your success, own it, live it and be proud of it.
  • Nothing good comes easy so be prepared to work hard.
  • Procrastination is a big thief of time. Don’t postpone what you can do now.
  • The true beginning of freedom comes when you stop caring what people think about you and how they see you. I recently started living this, albeit hard, but I am loving it!
  • A little (a lot of) introspection is very good for the soul
  • Tears ain’t never killed nobody. Cry your eyes sore, if you must, then pick yourself up and try again
  • Be conscious of how you come off to people. This cost me a job and almost cost me another one. I’m grateful to my boss and ex-colleagues who later pointed this out to me.
  • Everyone is going through stuff. Don’t be mad at people for not reaching out because they may have stuff going on too. Sometimes you be the one reach out.
  • True friends aren’t necessarily the ones you’ve known all your life or the ones who you grew up with. They are the ones who are sensitive to you, the ones who are always there when you need them and who you can always count on no matter what, for a good chat and a good laugh at least. I realized recently that I have more good friends than I actually thought I did.
  • The need to speak up more. I internalize everything which I have come to realize is not good. You know how you feel and what you know but the person sitting next to you doesn’t know unless you tell them.
  • I swore I was beyond this, but one day it hit me that I was unconsciously underrating myself. Subconsciously, I had concluded I couldn’t do certain things but then I realized that my thinking clouded my judgement into not giving my best into the little I could attempt. This affected my performance obviously but I just never realized. Your mindset is everything!

In the New Year, I hope to keep growing in all aspects of my life, get better grades, get a better hold of my goals and aspirations, learn a skill, craft or two, do more things that truly give me joy, keep learning and discovering myself, find my purpose and fulfill it. In all, I am so grateful to God for the gift of life, good health, sound mind and the hope of a bright future.

See you all in 2016. Happy holidays!

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I absolutely love your brand of introspection. Thank you so much for sharing with us dear friend. Happy 2016.

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