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This review was going to be a rant. A rant about how my year didn’t go as planned, how I feel like I’m running in circles, how I kept opening new journals because the old ones were a mess I didn’t want to see and couldn’t deal with…

And then God said to me “Omotayo, if you take a moment to sit and think deeply, you will realize the things you ought to be thankful for are way more than the things you want to be sad about…

That was all the clarity I needed to write this review. I have divided this review into Thanksgiving and Lessons: Thanksgiving for all the things I shouldn’t taint with moaning and Lessons for all the things it looks like I lost out on but in retrospect are pathways for moving on.

THANKSGIVING

In no particular order, I’m thankful for:

Life, good health, an ample dose of determination, opportunities and the hope of better things to come.

My super supportive parents. I mean, how many parents will watch you hang your wig and gown, put your certificate away in ‘my clear file bag’ then go all out to support your business after paying for all those law textbooks?

My bearded hunk of a Mr. I started this year convinced I would end it as a single pringle. I had no basis for my breakup fears but I guess talking about them helped prepare us for the fights that came along the way. Issues arose like giants but we stood firm like people who had taken vows. Compromises and extra doses of love. We took a couple of steps in the right direction. I fall deeper in love everyday and 1st Corinthians 13 remains my formula.

My beautiful ‘pain in the ass’ sisters, my aged and strong grandmothers, my best friend who recently bagged a LLM, our housekeeper (Mummy Hannah) and friends that have become family.

Oluwajomiloju Ivana. I don’t know of any baby whose news was received with so much tears and uncertainty. Apparently, “you are about to be a father” and “you are about to become grandparents” make people cry in some circles. I was the only dry eyed person because I believe babies are blessings even if it’s hard to see at the time… God worked overtime on this precious gift. Everyone loves Ivana, and there’s no reason not to!

I’m grateful for madamkarakataone. m. See, I launched my online retail store on my birthday the 14th of April, and today marks the 8th month since it was launched. I so wasn’t prepared for it, I have made a lot of mistakes, I have learnt a lot out of the books, and I have lost some hard earned naira. But when all is said and done, I’m The Madam of madamkarakata.com and quitting doesn’t come up in my dictionary!

The nerd that designed madamkarakata.com.

All the in-laws God has blessed me with. We had 2 family weddings this year. 2 bouncing babies have come into the picture and a 3rd baby is due in February. See, my family is getting larger and I have finally become an aunt with a hole in her pocket.

Africa magic Yoruba, ewa aganyin, boli (and the faithful boli sellers who smother me with discounts and jara all the time), the smell of gbegiri and palm oil stew while driving past my favourite buka, hot puff puff and roasted yam. These ‘little things’ give me a joy I can’t explain.

The ability to be thankful and truly happy for others.

The capacity to love and forgive.

LESSONS

I learnt that:

Life has a lot of shades and hues between black and white.

I can’t do jack without Jesus. It’s different when you say it just because you should or when you hear other people say it. I know it and I believe it, that I am NOTHING without my Savior.

Sometimes it’s okay to love yourself more than you love others. I found a balance between being over caring, being selfish, and saying no. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m learning fast.

Business is hard and not for the faint hearted. It’s the road less taken and a very dusty one at that. I learnt not to apply legal sense in judging people. In business, everyone is a crook and fraud until proven otherwise. Business wise, I got my heart broken real bad. I gave everyone the benefit of doubt forgetting that for most people it’s all about the paper. I lost money, energy and hope somewhere in between. But hey, experience has erased the maga sign that was boldly written on my forehead!

The race is neither to the swift nor the battle to the strong. All the professionals and businesses I needed to work with and that I spent months searching and yearning for all fell into place at the same time. I didn’t have to lift a finger. This has taught me to always work with God’s clock because nothing beats God’s time. He makes everything beautiful at the right time.

If you don’t want your cash trapped indefinitely, don’t give out or render services on credit. Onigbeses aren’t respecters of nobody!

We live in a highly depraved and sexual world. The few decent men and women out there actually deserve medals.

I have been waiting too long for life to begin. I have been more focused on the destination than on the journey. I realized I can actually stop to smell the roses and not be left behind. I can stop to dance in the rain and still catch up. Life is what I make of it; it is not a competition and I need to run my race at my own pace.

I am not Olivia Pope! I can only try so hard but I can’t be everyone’s fix-it-all. Nowadays, I do my best and leave the rest. I am determined to not be too worn out to love myself.

Jesus loves me and that makes all the difference.

2015?

MBA. Expanded business. I will finally be living alone (just like I have always wanted to before getting married). I look forward to a new phase of life. To a journey yet untraveled and the road not taken. To my becoming. To everything good that’s coming. To being my own woman and His woman. To dragging the Mr. traveling. To enjoying the journey and realizing the journey is the destination. To understanding the power of His death and resurrection, loving Christ more and actually making time to study His Word. To seeing and experiencing the world afresh. To my coming out. To blooming. To Omotayo.

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*raises glass* I love the way you write!! Thank you for sharing dear. Wear your battle scars with pride! And those are some lovely faces in that photo. I know you’re one of them but I can’t seem to guess which one. LOL

Tomorrow we will be welcoming Lade (diary of a new mum) and Abigail to this year’s review series. We are just getting started. See you!

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