They say life comes in cycles of 7 years. Well, my third cycle just ended. Today is my birthday (I turn 22) and 2015 was quite the year for me.
To make this easy for myself, I’ll do my best to do a month by month recap of the year.
I started January with lots of hopes and dreams. Getting married to (one of) my crush(es) was one of them. That was really stupid.
Stupid because God had been telling me to let that situation go and I had been struggling with it, because I had somehow convinced myself that letting go and putting it in God’s hands was akin to giving up. I’m still suffering from the effects of not letting go totally (PS: I knew I wasn’t ready to be married but I was still chooking head there. Please don’t ask).
As I reflect on this year, and all the years before it, I see a pattern. I’m one of those people who has a hard time letting go once my emotions are invested. The reason is because I rarely invest my emotions in anything or anyone, so in my mind, because I’m invested, it HAS to work. Well, this year taught me that very very few things turn out how you want them to. And in the end, you’ll be grateful they didn’t.
Still on January, something I had been praying for for years came to pass. On the 6th of January, I received the gift of speaking in tongues. I can’t even begin to tell you all how amazing that was, and how it affected my spiritual life. I now have a direct line to God. Wow.
In February, I had the opportunity to travel to Abuja courtesy my Charity organization (Purple), and when I went, I met up with someone I had been talking with but had never met. We agreed to see, and that date, till today, is the best date I’ve been on. Now, because it was so great, I convinced myself that this was it. My final bus stop (poor guy, he had no idea). I saw him another time, and we kissed. Now, this on its own isn’t significant, but it was to me because of two things:
1. I had said I wouldn’t kiss anyone (else) till I got married. I had gotten tired of meaningless lip locking which leads nowhere, especially if you’re totally celibate.
It showed me that you can say what you want and be convinced that you’ll never fall till you’re put in a real-time situation, and then you realize that planning and execution are two totally different concepts. And I was annoyed because I really didn’t want to (not that day, at least), but I did, because he initiated it, and I didn’t say no, despite all I had promised myself. It told me that I wasn’t over putting other people’s interests over mine, and that I hadn’t become properly selfish, not the way I needed to be.
2. All my feelings of final bus stop disappeared with the first kiss, because it was wrongly timed, it made me realize that I had been a pushover yet again, and probably destroyed a great friendship, and worst of all, the spark I had thought would be there wasn’t.
After that episode, I decided, for real this time, that I wasn’t going to be intimate with anyone else, not even in the tiniest form, till I was good and ready (When the Pastor says, Kiss the Bride), and I made it till December. Brethren, I didn’t die or spontaneously combust. In fact, I’m enjoying being emotionally untethered to anybody, and I don’t intend to change that anytime soon.
The rest of the first half of the year was spent in 1st semester of Year 4 of my course, and I had written down that I would get at least 4.5 in that semester. I didn’t get it. It was a huge disappointment, but I however got the highest GPA I’ve had since I entered school (3.84). I was sad because I knew I didn’t read as I should have, even though I read more than I had previously, and I also learned that it is very important to say what you want and stick with it. Don’t turn left, don’t turn right, just stay that course and do the needful and you’ll get it. I kept vacillating between two scores and ended up getting neither.
In July, I started my IT and that’s a story for the end of this review.
In August, I bought a form for the Miss UNILAG Beauty pageant. I had tried out in year 2, but didn’t make it past the auditions. I decided to give it one more go, I owed myself that. I needed to know that I had what it took to be Miss UNILAG, and other people agreed with me. Audition day came and I fell sick. Like, can’t get out of bed sick.
I never, ever, EVER fall sick.
It turned out I had acute malaria and a respiratory tract infection. At the same time. It was quite a shocker to realize that I was human after all. And it also scared me. Was God saying I shouldn’t contest? Then I remembered that God doesn’t send bad things to teach his children lessons. He can use them, but he wouldn’t make me unable to get up, eat or breathe properly. That’s not His M.O. (He’d most likely just not let me get into the contest).
Anyway, guess what? They postponed the audition. So when audition day came, I was fully recovered. I was shortlisted into the top 15 contestants, and that experience was amazing. I was a size 10 at that time, but one of our handlers came to me and told me that I needed to lose weight. Not that I was big, but the other ladies were so tiny that it made me look fat. I dropped two dress sizes in two weeks without working out or starving myself. All I did was eat right. It amazed me.
I didn’t win Miss UNILAG, didn’t even get in to the top 5, but after the contest, one of the organizers called me aside and told me they had no say in the judges’ decision, but he had read the report I had written and it was beyond brilliant, and that I should not give up. His words were the best thing that had happened to me that day, and they spurred me to keep being me. I might not be what that pageant wants, but for another, I’ll be perfect.
I saw another pageant being advertised, Miss Kanekalon, passed the picture audition, went for the physical one, didn’t make it, even though I was sure I would at least get into the house. Long story short, my friend won it. We had contested for Miss UNILAG together and not gotten anywhere, but now she’s 2 million Naira and a car richer. This experience taught me to farabale and not rush into anything to prove a point. Because that win wasn’t mine, it was Esther’s. That’s why I didn’t get in.
Oh, did I mention that I didn’t get a bedspace and had to squat with my friend? I met a set of roommates that I hadn’t known could exist. Mean, malicious, and deeply resentful for no reason. I never expected it. But that was only some of them. One has a PhD in lamenting, and the others were total sweethearts who were only annoying occasionally. I hope I never have to sleep on the floor against my will again.
On my internship issue, I made a mistake with my registration and wasn’t able to register my company name with the IT department. What that means for me is that if a miracle doesn’t happen in the next week, I’ll have to defer this semester and do it after my final year. This means that I’d have spent 6 years doing a 5 year course because of one button that refused to be pushed. Sigh.
In unrelated doings, I entered a Porsche for the first time in my life this year. (I’m a car fanatic, so that was pretty sweet). The man was a rich man who was trying to toast my friend and I got to ride in his car because I was with her.
No complaints here.
Also, In November, my friend died. He had just finished his final exams in school. Ready to tackle the world. Worst part? He committed suicide. Why? I have no idea. Does it hurt? Very much. The worst part was that some hours before I heard, I deleted him off my bbm. I felt that since he didn’t want to talk, I’d delete him, then when I saw him, blast him for not keeping in touch. Only for me to hear hours later that he had died the night before. And I had deleted him off my BBM. Why? WHY?? I’ll never see him again. What if I had reached out instead when I noticed he was quiet? What if I had refused to let the friendship drift into limbo? He was always there for me when I needed him.
Rest in Peace, Ndifreke. You are missed everyday.
This year, I learnt the importance of giving. Now, I make it a point to give as much of myself as I can. My time, my money, my advice, my love, my heart, and because it’s the most important, I’ll say it again: my time. Giving of myself has helped me to not focus on myself, to see the bigger picture and to not hold things too tightly. I’m grateful for all the opportunities to give and I look forward to more.
I was also made the President of GEMSTONE UNILAG, and I got to meet Fela Durotoye. When I did, I told God that I want half of that man’s passion for Nigeria. If I have half of it, just half, the things I could do would be unimaginable. The GEMSTONE journey hasn’t been as I had hoped, but I’m confident we will get there.
I’ve also learnt to outsource and not bear burdens on my own. Not every time micromanage, sometimes delegate.
I kept modelling, ushering and hostessing, and everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve been the one they don’t forget, the one that leaves a good mark on them. Another of my Miss UNILAG chaperones told my roommate, her friend, that I’m exceptional. I’ve heard it so much this year that I’m inclined to believe it, and make sure they never have to change their minds.
My walk with God has been up and down, mostly because I’ve not learnt to be patient. Always in a hurry, often removing myself from where God has positioned me. I’m working on it. He’s working on me. I hope I learn to sit still and just bask in His presence. I tend to forget that he loves me, even when I’m unlovable, and I’m writing this as a reminder to myself.
I have plans for 2016. Great plans. Plans that will make sure that the next 7 years of my life will be the best ones, the defining ones, and will soothe the pain of the preceding years. And I’m confident I’ll get there, because I have my Father, my Saviour, my Best Friend and Comforter holding my hand as I go along.
This review is dedicated to my friends. The ones in limbo, the ones far away, the ones I see every day but don’t speak with as much as I should. I’m sorry. I promise to be a better friend, whether you want me to be or not. Life is too fickle to be holding on to meaningless things.
My name is Sharon, and I wish myself a very happy Birthday.
I couldn’t stop reading until I was through. I feel so many things happen to all of us but we are not paying attention to remember them like you have so vividly. I’m scared wondering just how much of my life I am really living. I need to remember landmarks like this. Thank you for sharing, Beauty Queen, Birthday Girl. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.
This evening we have a newcomer to the series on: Blossom. Do not miss it. Come back at 5 pm!