I ended the 2016 review by saying “I have never been as excited for a new year as I am now! For 2017, I hope to be JOYFUL! It won’t be a smooth ride but I pray and vow to be joyful through it!”
Launching into 2017, after the mess and all that was in 2016, I was determined to be joyful. My key word for 2017 was to seek Joy, find it and hold unto it no matter what situations present themselves. Let me just say, I wasn’t joyful all the time but I tried and it was my most fulfilling and defining year yet.
So here are some of my highlights…. and lowlights … meh.
Satan tried it!
Early in 2017, I got into two accidents within a month and half of each other. I skid on thick ice literally three minutes away from home on my way from work. Destroyed my car which wasn’t even a big deal compared to the fact that my life literally flashed before my eyes. Everything happened so fast. I remember thinking to myself “this is it” in seconds and then I heard the loud bang- I slammed head-on into a street pole. Now, if you know the tough metal material street poles are made out of, you’ll understand. Later, I got another car and on my way from work on a day that I was supposed to be off, someone slammed into me from behind and destroyed that car too. I left both accident scenes with just minor headaches and a better car each time. Satan, ntoi!
My Health? It’ll be alright.
I had my second surgery in May to help me breathe better. Each time I go under general anesthesia, I worry about not waking up from it. This one was just as smooth as the first one and my only worry as I awoke from sleep was asking the nurses and everyone who came into my room “am I pretty? Like pretty pretty?” I’m not even that vain so I don’t unsten. Unfortunately, towards the end of this year, I learnt that I may need another surgery. But it’s all good, my God is in control.
Meat for what?
I switched to a plant-based diet/veganism to see if that would improve my health issues. So far so good. Who would’ve thought that a shrimp loving meat junkie could become a herbivore just laidat? Sigh. Eating a plant-based diet 96% of the time is honestly one of the best decision I have made for myself ever. My energy level is high, my skin feels like butter and I sleep better than I have in a very long time!
Seeking joy, Finding Minimalism and Embracing Simplicity
Like I stated earlier, I started this year, wanting to be more joyful. I was determined to do whatever it took to be happier! That meant, evaluating and eliminating everything that didn’t bring me joy. I had always admired and desired to live simply but I never found the courage to do so. Part of that is because we live in a society where having less is viewed as being poor. This year, I was able to learn that my desire to live simple was valid and doable. So there it began, I started letting go of things. I began this year with enough clothes to last me an entire year without repeating any. Now I only having a few key pieces left. Everything I’m keeping in my house are things that are functional, purposeful and joy giving.
This also is evident in other areas of my life not just things. I had to face the reality of letting some friendships die. I stopped pacifying friendships on life support. Many of them were hurtful demises but I definitely worth it. Letting go of this that didn’t bring me joy meant creating space for those that did. New experiences, new friendships, new perspectives.
I have truly never been happier in my life. I share this journey and tips on my blog (asakemi.com)
So you can call me a blogger
I’ve been wanting to blog and have attempted on and off since 2009. I knew that with embracing minimalism and simple living, I wanted an avenue to hold myself accountable. This blog serves that purpose. I didn’t let fear stop me anymore, I launched this blog and it is growing beyond my wildest imagination! Starting this blog has helped me grow tremendously this year. I am a lot more devoted, analytical and mindful. I can’t even begin to stress the great things that have occurred as a result of launching this blog.
I Found a Hobby
All my life, I dreaded the “what’s your hobby” question. I realized in 2016 that other than work, volunteering, school and church, there really wasn’t anything else I spent my time on. I wanted to change that in 2017 and I decided to find things I had interest in and see how things go. It was photography and blogging for me. I started with my old iPhone, enjoyed it and decided to splurge. So now I own full frame DSLR with prime lenses. Say whaaaa? And I am even getting inquiry from brands to do product photography for them and collaborate. SIDE HUSTLE anyone? Ah yes! Shameless plug: Follow me on Instagram.com/asaakemi where I share this new love and lifestyle J Come indulge be inspired!
Start a business, they said, yen yen yen
I started a business late 2015 which I wrote about in 2016. This year the initial thrill of being a new entrepreneur waned and I faced the reality of growing a business. I felt the fear of almost seeing my business, my baby crumble. Thank you, Buhari. I almost gave up hope but for my amazing business partner whom I will always be grateful for! That guy is truly God sent and I am super excited to do business with him in 2018. It will be so lit! ah!
I’ll end this by saying…
Dear God, I didn’t mean to wrestle You. You are still God and I am not!
I was a stubborn child this year, my heavenly father is probably giving me the side eye as I write this. I did things I knew God wasn’t proud of. I nagged him like never before. I made him promises and broke them multiple times, I tried to help him by doing things my way. He disciplined me. It didn’t feel good but it helped our relationship.
I am grateful that he spared me! He didn’t give up on my even through my messy situations. He didn’t deliver me to my desires and wants. The pain I felt almost 4 years ago in certain areas of my life made sense this year. I am truly grateful. More than anything, I am learning to fall in Love with my first love again. Every day is new for us. My new-found simple living and minimal lifestyle mirrors Christ to me. Jesus, the savior of the world truly dignified the ordinary by being born in a smelly manger and living a simple life as human. How incredible!
I hope in 2017 to truly let God be God! Will I still nag Him in 2018, you bet! He’s my father, if I don’t nag Him, who will I nag? But I will be mature. I will do better by his grace.
2018 will be LIT! There’s so many things in store and so many opportunities to grab! While I focused on Joy for 2017, My key words for 2018 will be Seek, Peace, Explore, Commit. I’m excited to see this manifest. Follow my blog as I’ll break down each of these there!
I wish you all a beautiful 2018!