It’s 10am on New Year’s Eve and I still don’t know where to begin. I started this year on a high; healthy, money in the bank, a wonderful support system of optimistic friends and family and a faith that could not be shaken. I was untouchable. I am not anymore.
I had an arrogance that stemmed from always getting what I wanted. My philosophy has always been simple; anything is attainable if you work hard at it. I applied that in work, my relationships with other people and so far it had worked for me. That philosophy hasn’t changed but I learnt some other lessons this year that I am most grateful for.
One. I am not the master.
“Jesus, the Master of my fate;
That lies in wiser, abler hands;
And I am captain of my soul
Only if He besides me stands.”
I forgot to look to the source as regards a lot of things. I made mistakes with work, believed too much in my abilities, made rash decisions and fell flat on my face. I made mistakes in my relationship; I forgot to put God first and lost a treasure. I learnt. I am grateful.
Two. I will not always understand God’s will, but He always has a plan.
“Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them” (Ps. 139:16)
I’m not a stranger to death but this year it hit me hard. The death of a friend so full of life, so full of promise, an amazing friend, left me shaken. I didn’t accept it as God’s will. I couldn’t understand why. I still don’t, but I am grateful that I knew her. I am grateful that in her short life she touched so many of us and even in her death she inspires us to be better people.
When my friend’s mum died a few months later I almost cursed God. Such a wonderful person, breadwinner of her family (their father had passed on a few years ago) and a woman whose faith in God I always admired. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the funeral. I couldn’t bring myself to grieve. Funny how her son was the one comforting me months later and helping me accept God’s will. I am grateful for you Ifeanyi. Thank you.
Three. Forgiveness takes time.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV)”
“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest…”
My best friend and I fell apart this year. Sucks because I saw it happening yet I could do nothing about it. I fought, I begged, I got mad. Went back and forth for a few months till I couldn’t take it anymore and got off the emotional roller-coaster. I judged her. Even when she apologized and tried to make amends, I judged her. I hurt her with my unforgiveness. I hurt myself. I was so filled with self-righteous anger that I didn’t allow myself heal. I am sorry. I forgive you. Everyday. Please forgive me.
Four. I am human. I am flawed.
“There’s a thin line between a saint and a sinner. A thin line between looking out for yourself and being a selfish asshole…” (Daywalker)
All of the mistakes I made this year humbled me; knocked me right of my flawless white high horse. I did a lot of things I swore I’d never do. I became selfish and put my own selfish desires above others so many times and embraced the asshole in me. I thought I was being ‘smart’ but I wasn’t. I was only becoming unbecoming. It’s easier to play victim than to rise above bullshit and become a better person or at least try to be.
Lastly. Don’t ever quit.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” (Nelson Mandela)
I have found God’s strength in my own weakness. I refuse to be defined my experiences, to play it safe, to take the easy road. I’ve tried coasting, burying my head in the sand and it sucks in all honesty. So I’m done with that. I’ll never stop trying; to be a better person, a better son, a better friend, a better lover.
I’m grateful for the people in my life that allow me be all these things and push me to be more. For my family, for the friends that have become family, Kelvin Steve, Adeyemi Fatona, Vivian Aigbe, Christopher Ogbuehi, Dania Idam, Toluwaleke Odunuga, Olisaeloka Obi. I love you guys.
To my lover, my friend, Adumaadan, thank you. We’re just getting started. I love you.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
(Invictus- William Ernest Henly)
Here’s to many more fruitful years Victor. With these lessons learned so far, they can’t be anything but. Thank you for sharing bro.