I’m pleased to share with all of you the details about what has without doubt been the best year of my life. I’ve reached out to more people, more people have reached out to me, I’ve asked for help a bit more than I’m used to and I’ve got an even larger phone book.
I like to imagine myself as a smoother talker than writer. When I talk about my life or anything important to me, I can easily come off as deep and I deliver an incredible amount of insights, plus I worry less about punctuations. The only struggle would be to maintain my husky baritone.
I spent Christmas and New-year’s day alone in Port Harcourt. My hosts travelled to their village, I was just settling in town so at the time I couldn’t be away from work for more than four days. I was raised like true Spartan so the fact that I had to eat noodles all the time didn’t hurt me much.
The start of the year in Port Harcourt would have killed me but my hosts and my friends were really nice. I usually do not put my opinion out there except it is really important but I never let an opportunity pass to say “thank you” to the people who have made my life easy and it is largely because of them I’ve chosen to write this review this year.
I remember after moving into my own place this year in Port Harcourt, my friend called and told me I could go pick up her big TV and kitchen utensils she had left in town when she moved to Lagos. I got this really cool TV and thought it was too fine to be in the house alone so I stretched my resources even further like a Yoga master to put a couple other things in place; I even paid for cable TV and bought a generator.
That night I got back from work after they installed the cable and I felt great. I felt like a true Port Harcourt first son. I felt like I had started making it in life. Then, children of God, the devil struck. There was no power, I was chilling quietly, enjoying my thoughts, then I heard this little spark from around the TV. I heard another bang, and that was when I saw smoke.
I jumped from my king sized bed, ran and hugged the TV. I put off everything in the house, took the TV off the wall and I saw really black smoke. I started thinking of all the people who threatened my father after he left the village. How do appliances get burnt without power supply? I checked to be sure I had done my morning devotion, complete with asking with forgiveness for “sins of omission and sins of commission”. That night I couldn’t sleep in my bed. I laid on the bare floor like a Spartan and woke up around 3am with intense stomach pain. I pinched myself and I was not dead. I checked my appliances and they were still burnt. By 6 am that morning, I got into my running shoes and started trekking towards Artillery. The plan was to face that Bayelsa axis, trek towards Mbiama and go face my village people once and for all. Remembering all the emotions I experienced that day still makes me laugh.
I concluded my post graduate research internship in reservoir geophysics this year and it was everything I hoped for and more. I realize that the experience was that good because the people I worked with did their jobs. They were always there to help and they didn’t stop me from thinking big. If I thought something was possible, they didn’t stop me from trying. I realize that I couldn’t have completed my research if all the nice guys I spoke with didn’t make out time for meetings. I’m totally thankful.
My woman is the best. I can’t imagine life with anybody else. I say this from my heart. I don’t feel any rush of blood or chemicals or micro charges down my spine. I don’t have to think to know that Uche is the best decision I’ve made. We still fight about how she arranges money in her wallet (she doesn’t arrange them in order of purchasing power) and her lack of the spirit of sportsmanship when we play Ruzzle (She doesn’t allow me win as the head of home) but I wouldn’t trade my Uchechukwu for anything. In 2014 we have become a finer team. We have grown as a team and I think I understand her better than all the wicked men who call her trying to explain how they should have asked her out in Uni. You people think we are playing here.
I met Uche’s dad this year, in the capacity of agile suitor. I explained to him how I was the young man for the job and he seemed really impressed with my agenda for his daughter and my knowledge of physics. You guys can be sure I did not let the team down. Uche met my family too. Mama Timi hugged her many times and danced, looked at how beautiful my Uchechukwu was then looked at me with a gaze that acknowledged my deadly hunting skills. Making progress with our relationship meant we had to do a lot of travelling but we are glad we were able to close that out.
Something remarkable happened when we went to Lagos. Around that Jibowu-Yaba area, about five Lagos touts tried to take her bag from her. I screamed “This is the warrior of Ogolobomabiri, you cannot harass my woman, we shall fight to the death!!” Then I took the bag from them like a knight in shining armor and pushed one of them. The demon possessed one among them and he pushed my head and looked ready for a fight. Then I knew I had to take it easy. I held my Uchechukwu’s hand and swiftly crossed the road. I’m sure I proved to her my fighting credentials as a proper Ijaw man that day. I remember she looked really impressed.
This year I took a bit more risks (I think). I finally learned to swim and passed my swimming tests. Children of God, this is a very big deal seeing that I come from the Ijaw creeks. At some point in my life, I had told myself that the only way I might find myself in water deeper than 6ft would be to be chained and thrown in with a crane or to be thrown in by a team of well-fed young men, and even then, only after I would have fought and pleaded and reminded God how I never bought yoghurt with my offering money like the other kids in Sunday school.
This year I learned even more to be at Peace with myself and other people, I learned to listen, I became even more compassionate, I learned to speak up more even for complete strangers, I learned that falling in love is the easy part.
People won’t always treat you perfectly but if they ever have been kind to you, never forget.
Thanks to the Iheanachos, my family, my friend Rosemarie and everyone who came through for me this year. I’ll never forget.
My name is Timi.