2018 Recap

I was having a hard time writing this and so I decided to reread all my previous yearly recaps. Let’s see how this goes.

Wow. 2012 and 2013 were really shit years. 2014 was a good year. I’m no longer close friends with many of the people that were super important to me that year, but such is life I guess. 2015 – 2018 were also good years.

Yeah, so 2018. This has been an interesting year.

Workshops and professional life.

I started 2018 with a job. By the end of January, I didn’t have a job anymore because my role was made redundant. Funny thing is, I was planning on leaving the job by March (I wasn’t feeling very useful anymore. I gave myself March because I felt I would have saved up a bit. I was also supposed to travel for a few months. I thought April, but it turns out it was June. Besides, I ended up not going at all. So all’s well that ends well I guess).

I became a freelancer. I didn’t get any work in March. I still don’t know how I survived that month because literally no work. I got a short term consultant gig, and then landed a job at Interswitch in June (In August, I got to travel to Kenya for a little over a week in this role). I left Interswitch at the end of October to start my new job at a global technology company. The best part is that I didn’t apply for any of these things. They all reached out to me. I wrote about this here if you’re interested in that.

When I started out as a UX researcher a little over 2 years ago, as far as I knew, there was only me. Thankfully, there are more and more organisations recognising its importance, and part of the things I want to do next year is empower more people to take the growing opportunities.

I worked on over 20 products and gave over 8 workshops to over 120 people including secondary school students and graduate trainees. I gave a talk and sat on a panel at Google Launchpad in March. I was a Design Partner for Interswitch SPAK Innovation Challenge. I co-facilitated a Design Thinking Workshop at Andela’s Women in Tech event in March. I was on a panel at Figma Africa’s meetup in May. I traveled to Owerri to do a UX masterclass. I spoke at Google DevFest Lagos in November. I’ll be in another panel later this month, God keep me in good health.

School and learning.

Glory be to Jesus, I am now officially a graduate of the University of Lagos. I finished with a first class (4.88 CGPA), best in my department, and best in my faculty. I knew I wasn’t graduating valedictorian by February (sad face, because I really wanted it. Just to dead the narrative that you can’t graduate valedictorian and have a fun life. I was really tired of reading all these I never went to a party stories). I already knew I was best in my department, but I was surprised about being best in my faculty.

I did not publish any academic papers (lol). I got an A on my project aka undergraduate thesis. Topic: The psychosocial correlates of sexism. I had planned on applying to go and do my PhD in Social Psychology for 2019, but Human Factors/HCI/UX has stolen me from Social Psychology, so I’m looking at doing a masters in that area for 2020 instead.

Earlier in the year I participated in the Udacity Data Challenge and was later placed in the Data Foundations Nanodegree. I should finish my last project this weekend and earn the degree. I had hoped that I’d have finished it by the time I wrote this post, but life has been busy.

Projects and other things I enjoy doing

I didn’t write much this year. 15 articles at last count. I didn’t read much this year. I don’t know what number I’m on because I accidentally deleted some of the tweets in the thread that I was using to keep record.

I started SheDesigns after months of deliberating. We’ve been getting positive reviews. We did a challenge in October/November which didn’t quite go according to plan, so we’re looking at how to make that better next year.

I got a press pass to attend Aké which was fun as always. I’m still getting questions about BookBarterCo, so next year, I’ll do some user research and see if it’s something I want to revive or not. Maybe next year, I’ll be able to hire someone to manage some of the other things that have been on the back burner.

I travelled outside Nigeria by air for the first time this year (before now, road trips to Benin and Togo in secondary school). It was for work, but travel is travel. I hate flying but I definitely want to travel more next year.

In April, I started restaurant hopping with two groups of friends. This has been fun. My faves so far are South, The House, and Salma’s. We’ll continue next year–there’s no shortage of places to go in Lagos.

Relationships and personal life

For the last 2 weeks of December last year, I was in the hospital because I had had an “accident”. I wrote about this in my review last year, and I promised myself I was going to try to continue to live my life to the fullest and do things I want to do without worrying and second guessing because ELKAFT. You can die any time.

The Friday before I was supposed to resume at Interswitch, I was in an accident. Nobody was hurt, thank God. We spent the whole day at the police station because the nonsense man who hit us was making unnecessary noise. I mean you hit us. Instead of you to be happy that we didn’t die. It also reminded me about my accident last year. So I did what I promised myself and lived.

I dyed my hair, then cut it (within like a month). I bought a wig. Now I’m growing it out again so I can loc it next year. I saw stage plays. I went to Ibadan with my friends and drove around Ibadan with my friends and sang along to songs and stuck my head out of a car screaming.

I applied to speak at conferences and meetups. I spoke up more. I became even more active in the Design community. I reached out to many of the people I’d been too shy to tell I wanted to meet.

This is how Lade entered relationship towards the end of Q3 2018. This wasn’t even in my plans for the year–I wasn’t thinking about it at all. I had planned on meeting people and having a great time and then I realised I always wanted to spend time with this man. I’d spend the whole day with him and when I went home I’d be thinking about him. Even writing this, I’m smiling. So I found love (thanks to Twitter and Afropolitan Vibes). I received flowers for the first time in my life. I did a photoshoot and wore a crop top for the first time ever.

I also learnt last year that I am blessed with people and it was reinforced this year. I have the most amazing friends ever. Honestly. The best.

Me and God, we still dey. I went to church a couple of times. Now that I’m back home (moved back in September) it’s a bit harder. I try to pray and do my devotional every day.

Adulthood is a scam sha. I’m not sure how I did with saving. I did okay I guess. I finally opened a mutual funds account, so yay! Someone needs to create a platform for millennials who want to invest but are confused by everything. Not to teach us, but to like help us invest the money and track the investments.

Also, it’s so hard to keep up with all the people you care about when you’re no longer in the 4 walls of school and everybody now has a job. I want to list out all the people that made this year great for me but that’s a lot of names. So, you people know yourselves. The Room, The Republic, TOGC, X Ladies, Big 5, Next Billion Gang, 😇& 😈.

I turned 22 this year. I’m more scared of growing up and less scared of it at the same time. After such a long time of being everybody’s baby sister it’s weird. I’m trying to pass it forward–it being helping young(er) people find their footing the same way many people on Twitter have helped me and continue to help me find mine.

Next year

I’m really excited about next year. I think. I’m excited about creating new and more memories with Nnanna. I’m excited about traveling with my friends (I want to say alone. There are many things I enjoy doing alone, but after doing that this year, I don’t think travelling is one of them.) I am excited about taking giant leaps career wise. I’m excited about making more money. I’m excited about meeting more people and strengthening my existing friendships.

A teeny weeny part of me–the pessimist I’m trying to shut up–keeps nagging me with thoughts about how the past few years have been great, so next year might not be, so here I am telling the voice to shut up because I will have a $&@%ing amazing year.

Lade Tawak

My interests are wide and varied. I like books. I write. I volunteer. I always like to meet new people. I enjoy learning, teaching and arguing. Twitterr: @deaduramilade Email: Ltawaq@gmail.com


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