When I read Skills’ post, I felt something I could immediately relate with and I asked to do this. So much happened and changed in my life in 2012. Very evident from the fact that I am actually doing this.
Of the many talents I have been blessed with, I don’t think writing is one of them. I tried to make it look like the previous posts from all the talented writers and bloggers, but… Anyways, here goes nothing.
I remember very vividly how my year began. It was a very lonely time for me even though there were so many people around me. I just spent my first Christmas without my usual friends and family. My highlight on New Years Eve was hearing Oliver Twist on the BBC New year eve special and listening to Michael McIntyre’s jokes while sipping Vodka and Ribena. It was unusual not spending this night in Church, so at the stroke of midnight I dropped my Vodka to say a short prayer. I asked for three things:
–> Success in my MSc. that wasn’t going according to plan at the time
–> Getting a very good job
–> A real relationship.
A little about me before we move on,
I’ll admit having it rather easy in life prior to now, compared to many people. I’ll admit being a bit spoilt and procrastination is/was natural to me. I love helping people with their challenges and I rarely seek/get any help when I need it. Partly because of pride to ask; I try to keep as much to myself as I can and when I finally try to open up, for some reason people don’t believe I have issues I can’t handle being Mr Fix it (No Anenih).
My usual tactics weren’t working for me anymore and I knew I had to do things differently. I made a conscious effort to stop procrastinating, stop listening to people who only want to discourage you and do what needed doing, regardless of any impending disappointments.
The disappointments came in thick and fast, in all areas; Uni was kicking my tiny behind, I was getting the usual morning emails of “we are sorry….” from prospective employers and the babe I was chasing put me on “its coming” (I later found out I dodged a bullet). On the bright side, this helped me to understand that all my efforts and talents counted for nothing without God.
I started praying a lot (mostly not be discouraged) and continued digging in.
I gave myself ultimatums and deadlines, tightening loose ends and doing everything in my power so I wouldn’t blame myself for not doing all I could. I did my last bit of applications to stop the disappointments and focus primarily on my schoolwork, which now included my demanding thesis.
It was a full laboratory rig experiment that demanded many results and the pressure from my perfectionist supervisor wasn’t helping.
The year went on, still lonely with so many people around me. I hid it behind fake smiles, football and all the work I had to do.
Fast-forward a few months, nothing much happening, my life still moving at the speed of light and me trying to catch up all by myself.
Results from the last semester started filtering in, all very good, some so good, they exceeded my high expectations completely.
I got feedback from prospective employers for tests, interviews and assessment centres. Finally life was moving on.
At this point, 24 hours wasn’t enough for me. There was so much to do in so little time with very little help available. I was losing sleep because there was so much to do and my mind was not at rest. Everything here was new territory to me; I was clueless 70% of the time. I needed an intervention.
I left my first interview confident but apparently the interviewers had different opinions. In a few weeks, the letter of disappointment came in the mail, just before my final exams. Perfect timing! I tried to shrug it off to properly prepare for my exams, but we all know how our minds work. During my exams, I got another assessment centre invite. Perfect timing again! As if the pressure on me wasn’t enough.
I dug deeper, prayed harder and did everything in my power to combine all I had to do. Confidence on an all time low, I decided to forge ahead on all fronts.
Long story short, I got the second job. I didn’t expect it. There were too many hurdles: online tests that didn’t submit at the other end, forgetting my suit in the coach (and chasing it down like Mo Farah), hotel booking gone wrong etc. (this is another story entirely). Getting the job was the highlight of my year at the time. There was finally something to look forward to.
The only problem was that at this point my thesis was an absolute wreckage. Six months of my work went up in smoke because of a very very tiny error in a program I wrote. It was as bad as you can imagine. I was already fearing for the worst that I wouldn’t finish in time, the job would be gone etc. etc. I could only get limited help, because I was working on something quite complex. I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I was desperate, so I started asking for help. Anybody and everybody. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I think that episode of my life happened to humble me. It made me open up more and ask for help.
My supervisor kept piling the pressure on me. I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed to reset my system, I needed my friends and family, I dropped everything in Cranfield and went home to Nigeria. It was a perfect time since almost everybody was going to be around.
The trip was perfect. Everything went according to plan; I cleared my head, regained my strengths thanks to my awesome friends and family. It got me fired up for the home stretch. This was also the first step in re-establishing contact with HER.
When I came back, I worked round the clock to get everything done in time. SHE was a constant source of encouragement on my up and down days and I started to think… why not if not? I had known her for 4 years now, we really should have been together many times before now, the blinking bulb could be changed to one bright lamp. She was pretty much everything I was looking for and more.
I asked the naturally tentative, procrastinating me to take a back seat and I let her know how I felt in a ‘que sera sera’ way. Interestingly she shared the same sentiments. Today, we are together and working things out everyday as life shoves its lemons at us.
Back in Uni, my thesis was a success. I was even asked if I would want to continue work on it as a doctoral research, but I declined before he could finish saying PhD. I’m done with school indefinitely.
I started work the same week I finished from Uni. Apart from the transition period, packing and living in (the very dead town of) Scunthorpe, it has been almost perfect.
The year that started all gloomy and lonely is ending on an all time high. I can’t thank God enough.
I know this sounds like a Pentecostal church testimony but…. I started this year on a very very low note. I asked God for three things and today,
–> I have completed my MSc. With stellar grades
–> I have a job where I’m constantly learning and applying my two very different degrees
–> I have someone in my life I’m looking forward to taking a huge leap with
–> I have learned (the hard way) not to be proud to ask for help
–> My mum has finally retired after 35 years (God bless her hardworking soul)
–> I have another nephew
–> I have met some absolutely wonderful people and
–> Good things are happening to the most important people in my life everyday.
If I have any disappointments it would be:
–> Spending my birthday in the lab with ultrasonic sensors
–> Not winning the Cranfield summer football tournament, and
–> My job still keeps me away from the most important people in my life.
For as long as I can remember, I believe 2012 has the best year of my life so far. Its been that kind of year. Thank God the Mayans were wrong.
If you are reading this, it means I didn’t lose you in the middle of my ramblings or you just skipped down here, anyways, thanks for reading to this point.
I don’t want to limit God, so here’s to an even better 2013.
Well bro you just discovered your latest talent: WRITING. The logical flow to this hints at a brilliant mind and a man with greatness ahead of him. With God by your side, impossible is nothing!
Please rethink the Ph.D. We need your mind in the academia. Thank you very much Muyiwa 🙂
Guys and girls, the finale post comes up by 6 pm by Olatokunbo, my brother from another land. See you then.