There’s always two ways to do an end of year review.
There’s the analytic way to go by themes and topics (which I really favour) and there’s the emotional approach which is to just play around how the year made me feel. Let’s catch feelings then, shall we?
I felt fear this year. Fear of not being loved, fear of being taken for granted (used because I was convenient), fear of being broke/out of a job, fear of not being accepted, fear of being found out, fear of being weighed on the scales and found wanting. I wish I could say I found an answer to these fears when they popped up, but I wasn’t always able to. Rather I changed my behaviour in certain areas of my life, especially my relationships and I count this as a loss. I mean, people will do what they want to do, right? Life will always happen despite your best laid plans, right? It’s still just up to you to keep being true to yourself. Yes, gain wisdom and sow what you want to reap, but don’t give in to fear and jump out of your own skin please. Right? Right.
I helped organize some interesting events this year (some parties lol) and a volleyball event. They went quite well and I was happy to be talked about by people who were impressed by my team’s work. Of course, with success comes higher goals to aim for. Guess who’s taking stuff national in 2018? Yup, your MCM. I was also fulfilled by seeing my friends get married or promoted or employed this year. It was almost as satisfying as seeing myself get those things. Truly, if we support one another, we would move forward faster and be happier and less stressed.
This year more than any other, I connected with some of my friends a bit more. I don’t know what it was, I don’t think I really did anything special. Somehow people were willing to talk, to open up. Even in this end of year review series, it’s not like I had to reject any posts for being tepid or guarded; somehow every single post had this vulnerability about it without my having to ask for it. What happened to us this year? Did we just all grow into each other and find out we could relate to each other much more than we expected? I love you all. Thank you for Story 2017. I hope the world gets to hear our stories more in 2018.
Music, movies, books, travel, gestures, looks, and the absence of some of these things moved me a lot this year. My first son pulled on hot water onto his face just as I walked into the house one evening. I was touched by his reaction and his general attitude during his healing process. Thank God for healing. I was touched all the times he fell while trying some new stunt.
Feelings for my family run strong. It feels like fear would melt if I were ever called upon to defend them. It’s not even funny that people try to come for the things that matter the most to us: stealing our food, stealing our light and resources in general. You get pushed to the wall and would unlock certain reactions no one ever expected or wanted to see. This year I learnt that certain visceral reactions are not very farfetched from me. This year I was moved to my core and I hope for their sake that I never see anyone as a threat to my loved ones circle.
Music was something else. I found myself dancing this year to Kiss Daniel, Davido and Wizkid (I don’t dance). I found myself reacting to H.I.M and H.E.R. I couldn’t shake Teyana Taylor, and I couldn’t argue with Kendrick Lamar.
This feeling was really connected to the previous two. To truly know someone is to love them. You really cannot love someone you don’t know. Which is why intimacy is the first step to love. Want to fall in love? Truly have someone open up to you and see if you can’t find anything in their past, present or dreams to love them for. Open up to the right person who values your heart and expressions, and find yourself bending over to make them happy. Look into their eyes without saying anything for 5 minutes, read all their unguarded emotions and see how easy it is to hate them afterwards.
I felt loved by my family, my friends, my sacrificial lover, my sons, my team mates at the office, and my volleyball fam. People went out on a limb for me this year. People moved heaven and earth to encourage me to do stuff I thought was impossible. I accepted favours from people I would never have thought to accept (for fear of see finish) only last year. Thank you dear friends: Olumide, Babbi, Francis, Bisola, and Akin. Thank you Mexico (lovely people). Thank you Houston roads and police. Thank you London. Thank you Google translate and Google maps lol.
I can’t explain how I got to be so broke so long this year. Wait, I can explain but I’d rather not. It just felt like a huge squeeze the entire year. External requests, increased food prices, car troubles, school fees, extra baby things, house move. I’m so thankful I didn’t end the year in debt. I learnt a lot about simple personal adjustments, about asking people to be patient, about being patient with people, about the role of shame in personal financial requests. I learnt these things so regularly that it feels comfortable to be broke now. Like, it’s not something I’m so afraid of again. But I only know I would never want to be more broke than I was this year. I feel a little bit more pain for people who have good ideas and the execution skills and no money to execute their dreams. I wish we had proper friendly loans in this country, and people who would be happy to pay back on time. Our entire credit system cannot withstand any storms of life. Sighs.
At the stage of life I’m at, I’m actually looking for stuff to do to maximize my potential. When self actualization is classified as a need, people look down at it (instead of up ironically lol). But Efe, it is very important to find your purpose in life, and identify your chosen love sinks. It’s that half-time of life where you check what is truly important to you and how far you have expended your resources in reaching those life goals. It’s the time when you ought to have explored as much as possible of your life interests and decided which ones to narrow your focus on because you simply do not have as much energy as before any more. I’m a solution looking for a problem at this point and I hope God leads me to where he feels is the most important plot to spend his resources as he has given me.
I’m extremely thankful for the lessons of 2017, and I’m looking forward to building on these in 2018.
Thank you all very much for joining us on this 2017 Stories review. It’s been an extraordinary journey. I feel like I’m meeting you all for the first time this year. It feels like we can pull through whatever challenges we face, after listening to the war stories of some of our friends here. I can’t wait for what 2018 has in store for us.
P.S. We went back in time and arranged about 15 posts in the calendar since a lot of posts came in late. Take your time to scroll through these posts HERE and don’t be shy to comment and share with your friends.
Happy new year!