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Yooooo, where do I start from?

I know where to start from, it was a rhetorical question, I always know where to start from but not how, it shows in my everyday life, which is why I’m always making lists, feels like I can’t do anything without first writing it down.

Dem use list swear for me – My written pidgin is life, my spoken pidgin? Be like suffering. I. Effing. Digress. They said I shouldn’t be swearing all the time, so here goes.

Hello,

Ogenna here, or Nwanlecha, or Sunshine or Survivor if we’re going by what this year has been like for me. I try to write a review every year, if not because of anything, just because I want to check my growth rate, know if I’ve remained at the same place I started the year in.

My review is usually month by month and I just realized I can do this because I always have pictures of things that happen, I try to document my life through pictures.

January

When the clock struck 12 on December 31st/January 1st, I was hit with crippling anxiety. I was in church and I couldn’t pray. I knew the cause of my wahala; I had started NYSC in November, 2017, and by the time I went home in December, I didn’t have a PPA.

So there I was in church and I told God, “Hi Sir, it’s you I’m believing in; it’s you I’m turning my face to, it’s you I know, over to you”.

Started off the year with visits to family.

Went back to Owerri from Anambra on the 6th.

Went to Port Harcourt on the 9th to sort out my monthly clearance and get my posting sorted out. I decided last year that I wanted to teach for my service year so I went to a school and asked for a request letter, took it to the council and my local government inspector tried to use me to shine, but God pass am. I got my posting sorted out and stayed back in Port Harcourt to report to the school and let them know I’d start teaching in February. Before I left Port Harcourt last year, I had nowhere to stay, I was supposed to live with my cousin but she said no last minute, her sister too said no, so I was technically homeless (God forbid, I’m not homeless in Jesus name) thank God for Gershom, he’s the best guy really, he let me stay at his place for my short stay in January.

Came home to Owerri and started organizing myself to head back permanently to Port Harcourt, sometime during Christmas my cousin said she had changed her mind, that I could come live with her so that was sorted out.

My sister stayed back in Owerri after Christmas so I was enjoying spending time with her which sometime ago would have been strange because all we used to do while growing up was fight. Sometime around the 3rd week, I fell out with a friend – this year I realized just because you’ve been friends with someone for a long while doesn’t mean you have to be friends forever.

I went to a wedding on the 20th, my iPod got stolen, I’m not ashamed to say I might have cried a little bit.

Anywayyyy, I was shuttling PH-Owerri for my CDS throughout the month of January (I thought if I missed it, I’d get an extension on my service).

On the 28th I started using my piggybank account, the plan was to save 10,000 out of my allowance every month, I didn’t know how I wanted to do it because I wasn’t going to get paid at the school and I had made up my mind to not ask for help from my parents during my service year.

30th of January, I packed up my life and moved to Port Harcourt. I got to my cousin’s place, and realized my cousin had left the country and her younger brothers in the house. At least I got my own room, all I had to do was feed myself and buy fuel for the generator; I was happy.

I started class on the 31st of January; I was going to be teaching 100 + boys and 1 girl. I don’t know how I did it but I did that shit and loved the hell out of it too. 

February

I was teaching 2 days in a week; had CDS on Fridays, then Radio Rivers part-time unpaid job on some Saturdays, so I could afford to go home to Owerri and spend Sunday to Tuesday in Owerri. I did this a lot; travel that is.

Valentine’s came around and I got roses, chocolate and a customized mug from the Kechy, the loml and I’m not ashamed to say I might have cried a little bit.

By February, I was more or less living in Gershom’s. I’d go to class on the days I had to, then go back to his (we were teaching in the same school, same subject; Mathematics).

February wasn’t very good for me, I went through periods of having next to no spending money and refusing to touch my savings. I was/am lucky, my big sister started sending me an allowance so I had something to fall back on. There were days I wouldn’t eat, not because I didn’t have money but because I was scared of spending the money I had.

By 24th of February, my cousin said I’d have to move out because she was relocating to Lagos (apparently the move had been planned since last year which made me ask why she even let me stay at all).

I spent a while at Gershom’s again. All I did was cry. I was trying to get a place for myself on my own because I was tired of not being settled (I’m scared of two things in this life, not having a sizeable sum of money in my account in case of emergencies and not having where to lay my head). So I went home to complain to my parents and let them know. My mum made a couple of calls and got me two options.

February went just as it came, quick.

March

I moved into my uncle’s house on the 4th of March and this was one of the best things that happened to me this year to be honest; God really did put angels on earth for us. I had never met my uncle before now. I had heard of him though. But when my mum said he’s a pastor, I was like, “nahhhhhh, not interested in staying with any judgemental person”. She said, “meet him first, you might like him”. My mum called him on Saturday to say I was coming to say hi and that I was looking for where to stay, he said there was a free room in his house and I was welcome for as long as needed. On the day I met him, he came to get me from where I was, he had bought a toilet seat to replace the one in my would-be room, it was emotional for me, felt like he was doing more than necessary to make me comfortable.

I moved in and the first day I went to work from the house, my aunty packed me lunch while packing lunch for her kids. I’m not ashamed to say I cried a bit.

March was good, it was amazing even. My aunty is a baker and I’d been looking to learn to bake for a while so when I moved in, she’d literally drag me with her and make me write notes while she was baking. I felt loved, I felt welcomed, I was with family.

End of march, I went home.

April

I went to Enugu for a wedding, which was amazing. I came face to face with educated misogynistic men; made me feel like I’d been protected from the average Nigerian man’s venom all my life. I reconnected with an old flame at the wedding. We started talking again (I’m awfully scared of commitment by the way).

On the 5th, my best guy got married and it was sort of a reunion cos my best friends from secondary school came through. It was an amazing time, I made new friends, I was happy. But all good things eventually come to an end, everyone left and I sort of just drifted through the rest of April.

My routine was simple; sleep, watch anime, drink, sleep some more, see Gershom, Uche, Ani and Josh.

End of April, my sister came back and I was happyyy.

May, June, July

These months were pretty eventful.  

  • I baked my first solo cake (it was a strong 4/10).
  • Joined Stand To End Rape Initiative Port Harcourt branch and became head of support,
  • Went for game nights with my best guys,
  • Went out more,
  • Set my first exam,
  • Saw Pampam after a long while,
  • Watched a lot of Anime,
  • Continued my Google x Andela Front-end dev classes on Udacity,
  • Started “talking” to someone,
  • Started talking proper to someone who would go on to become one of my best friends and one of the best things to happen to me this year, just that his brain touches,
  • Witnessed my mum become Ezinne,
  • Started doing yoga and got myself a yoga mat,
  • Quit my unpaid radio job after the producer started moving mad,
  • Started talking to someone I had a huge crush on and as usual the crush disappeared,
  • Tried to learn to play volleyball.

August

Yassss birth month!

On the 4th of August, we did a walk to sensitize people on the importance of getting their PVCs and actually voting. We did that! We walked from Ikwerre road to SPAR then on to Airforce. After the walk, I went to a Bole festival with my best guys, then home for game night. 

I can pretend that through out the year till August there weren’t days where I wanted to jump off a bridge or something, but that would be me lying. On these days I told the voice in my head to shut the fuck up.

Moving on. On the 14th of August, I went to Abuja to take a break from adulting because I didn’t kill anyone. Spent time with my sister and my friends and had the best birthday ever. Like play like joke, I’m 23, I never esperred it guys.

I just want to say I have the best family ever and I wouldn’t trade them for anything (except a lifetime supply of chocolate).

I came home on the 24th; Ola’s wedding was the next day. This was my 3rd wedding this year (seeing as I am scared of commitment, I hate weddings dear).

I. Had. Fun. Got drunk, passed out, woke up, drank some more, and eventually went back home the next day.

Met someone in Abuja and we started ‘talking’, – chairlady of the talking stage – that’s me. Eventually it kind of fizzled out.

Came back to Port Harcourt and just drifted.

September

Spent the entire month of September without alcohol and completed my daily writing prompt – I deserve a prize to be honest.

The month was pretty uneventful except for the birthdays of my favourite people – Uche and Munna.

October & November

Not a lot happened at the beginning of October.

On the 18th of October, I dropped the clarion call; I said I was not doing again. jk, jk, my 1 year was over. I did it; I survived 1 year as a corper, with all the traveling, all the ups and downs.

By the 20th, everyone started moving back home. I cried, emotional is me.

22nd October, I packed up and went to see my love of my life, Ada in Uyo. I hadn’t seen her since May of last year. I spent 5/6? days in Uyo, then headed back to Owerri.

I spent November mostly feeling sorry for myself and applying to jobs. Job hunting is depressing, I have to admit. Didn’t do a lot in November really.

December

Came back to Port Harcourt and I’ve mostly been spending time at home. The first two weeks of this month have been some of the happiest weeks for me so far, for reasons I’m not quite willing to share with the world right now. But yeah, there’s that.

I’m mostly applying to jobs, getting into writing competitions, getting rejection emails (my goal is to get at least 20 rejection letters/emails next year), watching anime, baking and trying to eat more.

This year has been grand; it has had its downs and lows but I loved every single minute of it.

I discovered a couple of things this year; even when I’m happy I still want to die, that I love my family a whole lot, that I don’t know how to accept gifts. I’m actually an amazing person; I have an amazing support system, God loves me (I mean, I knew before but yeah, He came through for me this year).

I did a couple of things I set out to do this year and it makes me happy.

These are the goals I set for 2018:

  • Front end development classes – I started
  • Baking classes – I did that 
  • French certification – I’ll do it next year, I wasn’t able to combine it with my teaching and all the other stuff
  • Save up – I saved the money this year. If you’re reading this please show me how to invest
  • Travel – I did travel just a bit
  • Buy myself stuff – yes
  • Learn a new word / fact everyday – well I tried, I mean while I read books
  • Tin box account – so I just equated it to having a piggy bank
  • Get myself a new laptop – well my middle name is broke so I didn’t do that
  • Lose weight / register at a gym – yeah I lost weight but I didn’t register at a gym, I started yoga though so that counts
  • Read books – read a whole lot of books this year, a lot of short stories
  • Let things go – I actually didn’t let things go in this year, I started facing them head-on, I started fighting for whatever it is I wanted and if I felt like oh yeah this isn’t right, I would fight. I added raging to my feminist. Not every time peace. Sometimes, scatter everything
  • Play a sport – yeah, tried volleyball, the coach made me do 50 sit-ups at once and that was it for me, no dear, thanks dear.

All-in-all, 2018 was amazing and I’m grateful for life, love, family and friends (this isn’t an MTN ad).

2019 hellooooo.

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