There’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Lick a finger and hold it up to see which direction the wind is blowing from. Of course it will have to be on an expedition to some deserted forest/desert, like in the movies. You don’t do the lick-finger thing every day.
Won’t it be nice though if one could do that with life? A way to tell where the wind is coming from? Because if there was a year that needed a lick-finger hack, it was 2016.
There is a fist around my heart; loose, but it squeezes sometimes. My aunt died early this year. I had never lost anyone so close to me so the grief hit with alarming weight. I hear her voice in my head as it sounded over the phone when I was late coming back from work: ‘Mary, when are you coming? Should they make amala for you?’ Or ‘We cooked beans o.’ She’d have them cook beans because I like it, even though everyone else in the house hated it. She told the best stories and could scold for Africa. I lived with her for about eight months and when I moved out I didn’t go to see her for the longest time; I put off visiting month after month. And then she died.
She was buried on my birthday and it felt right somehow.
Mama we made it.
I have wanted to be thirty for as long as I remember. There was this magic to it, to the figure. It felt like a final confirmation of my adulthood. No mind that I have been adulting for a very long time as the reverse trustfund baby that I am.
I learnt I ‘scare’ people. I always sort of suspected but I got plenty verbal confirmation. It doesn’t stop people from coming close to me, thank God.
There is supposed to be a moment, one moment that encapsulates everything 2016 was for me.
That moment happened a few minutes before I sat down to complete this review. For close to two weeks I had been flailing in shallow waters. Going through the motions but not really feeling much. And then I spoke to someone and this person ended the call with ‘love you’. This is not someone I am very close to but those words reminded me. That I am loved. And that’s what 2016 was about for me.
God’s love, the love of my mother, the love of the people who care about me, who see through my grumpy exterior to the warm person inside, the people who live with me and understand my moods and put up with all my foibles.
I am rich in people. I always say I don’t have space for any more but they just keep coming with all their wahala.
I lost my faith in Nigeria this year. All of it. I had too many times where I just sat down and cried out of sheer frustration of being a Nigerian. A part of me used to believe it will get better, that there was something we could do to make it better. That part of me died.
The year moved at a steady pace. I quit one job because I wanted to go back to school and get my Masters (I wanted to “bag a Masters degree simply so I can force myself into a serious straight line” – Justin). I got another job and fashied school, not like I was very enthusiastic about it.
I love my current job, my boss is the most specific person alive, he wants things just so and it’s helping me better with my work and be even more of a planner than I already am.
I started saving! After years of trying, this is a huge deal for me. Even though there were many hiccups, family emergencies and the like, I started saving.
I put myself out more as a freelance writer and editor this year and got a lot of opportunities. I got my first proper ghostwriting gig and even if I do say so myself, I did good. I was invited to speak at two events and it reminded me how much I miss public speaking.
Procrastination was and remains my biggest challenge. I constantly almost-sabotage my personal runs playing hooky with the instant gratification monkey hanging onto my back. I need help.
The only romance in my life this year was the one I read in books. I even carried my big head and signed up on a dating site. After messages like ‘baby I wnt to partner u,’ I ran. It is not by force.
2016 was (is) a trial in itself. But when it comes down to it, even though derica of beans is N300+ and bottle of groundnut oil is N600+; we’re still here eating fried beans and dodo.
Hello Jite dear friend. 1986 people are the best. We love you too and love that we can always count on you for the roses of love in the thorns of honesty. 2016 was a great year on becoming for you.