The photo above, is from my favourite moments in 2016 (the ones I remembered to take pictures of).
I don’t think we ever really find ourselves. We have learning moments and defining moments, but we are never really “whole.” There’s a continuous process of growth and development. Changes that happen purely because of age, sometimes life changing events. This is my biggest lesson of 2016. I realise that every year, I talk about finding myself and growing, but I’ve learnt that there’s no final destination in finding yourself. It’s a never ending journey. I have grown in many ways this year.
This year, I became a #carefreeblackgirl. I let go of many fears and worries that have been holding me back. I wore more makeup. I rocked my natural hair in many different ways. I became less self-conscious. I smiled at strangers, especially babies. I danced in public a lot. I watched cartoons and laughed and cried and danced and sang along. Long and short, I was a baby girl. I’m learning to celebrate the big things and the small things and to put less pressure on myself.
I’m becoming an adult. I think. But, deep down, I’m still a baby. Me, talking about taxes with my friends one evening after work. Also, me, crying and singing and dancing along to Trolls at the Cinemas. Many of my friends got married this year, and a number of them had babies. Some are getting married next year. Which just tells me I need to make more friends in my age range.
This year, I was happy. I am happy. As I write this, I have a huge smile on my face and there’s no reason. I feel so much joy in my heart when I wake up. Most days, I wake up with songs of praise in my heart.
This year, I found my church. My problem with going to church was that I never found a place that felt like home. Somewhere I could let go and be free. Somewhere where I was comfortable and happy. I found that place in May. I have gone to church (of my own will) this year more times than in the last 3 years combined).
I entered 2016 in a relationship and ended it a singu pringu. In January, my first relationship ended after about 13 months. Fam, I cried. I cried and cried and cried. For a month, I was eating ice cream. My friends would come and buy me ice cream from this place near my hostel and I’d just be ranting and crying. That being said, it was a great relationship and I don’t regret any minute of it. Brethren, let me just say that being single after a relationship is different from being single without relationship experience. I’m not too bothered about this side of my life for now. But some days are harder than others. I went on dates, but nothing really clicked. Kashimawo naa.
On the academic front, I’m still very okay thank the Lord. Next year, I enter my final year in Unilag and I’m very excited about that. I know that I want to get a PhD in Social Psychology after Unilag immediately after. From my mouth to God’s ears.[Un]fortunately, I’m not one of those people who know exactly the one thing they want to do with their lives for the rest of it. I have way too many interests that I love too much to give up one for another. I also don’t believe in being a master of one. I think you can be a Jane of all trades and master of a couple, but that’s a blogpost for another day. Thanks to encouragement from certain people, I’m starting to write again. I went for Aké festival this year. (FINALLY). Even though I went for only one day, I had a blast, and my writing spirit was [re]awakened. I wrote about my day at Aké here.
I want to be a writer. I also want to be a practicing psychologist, a lecturer and a professor, and I have a million personal projects. One of the goals I wrote down for myself when I was 16 was to have BookBarterNG up and running by the time I turned 20. I’m happy to say that that has happened. Thanks to God, supportive friends and an amazing Co-founder (Denike), BookBarterNG picked up beyond what we started in 2015. I am excited about the plans we have for 2017.
I turned 20 in October. I made no birthday plans. I got gifts from people on twitter. Some of whom I’ve never met. My parents prayed for me. I forgave some people that hurt me bad. I let it all go. In November, I started a job at a place I love, working with people I like and respect. Some of whom I count as friends.
I am thankful for the work I did with STER this year. Thankful for my opportunity to work with Stutern. Thankful for the amazing people I worked with. I organized TEDxUnilag, which didn’t particularly go the way I wanted, but we thank God. I also started looking outward. Praying with people, listening to them, talking with them.
I am thankful to God for my sister. My family. The people he has surrounded me with. My girls. My guys. Amazing friends. Friends that I can call at 2am and they’ll pick up. If I’m stranded somewhere, I can call them and someone will pick me up and sort me out. I am grateful for the room of people who have supported me in every way for the past year. People that listened to me cry and rant. People who have laughed with me. People who are doing amazing, amazing things. People I am proud of. Surprise surprise, many of them are from Twitter. And they’ve become family.
Of course, 2016 was not all a bed of roses, but for the most part, it was great. It has been an amazing year. 2016 isn’t over yet. And I am still expectant
I am grateful to my God. My Father. My Friend. My Keeper. My Helper. My Provider. My Healer. My Redeemer. 2017 will be even more amazing. I look forward to celebrating business milestones, marriages, children, and many more things with my peoples.
As always, my DMs on Twitter are always open and you can always send me an email if you want to talk about anything. Or nothing.
Grace and Peace. Love and Sunshine. And all that good stuff.
P.S. I feel like there are a lot of things I forgot to add. I need to try journaling in 2017.
Well done Lade. This is the first time you are writing review after your teen years. We cannot see you as small girl anymore. You even entered relationship. You are becoming Iyalode. On becoming ni.