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When you look at a person. Any person. Remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them…

I always struggle to write anything personal because I like to be private. At the same time, I read other people’s stories and I wish I could be a lively and uninhibited girl. I’m too cautious and sometimes, it’s not cute.

After accepting to do this, I started asking myself why I wanted to do it. It’s not my thing. I almost didn’t want to write again. In fact, I’ve written this over a week ago. Each time I check, I edit it and try to see that I’m not giving out too much information. I don’t know how to be out there, telling people what’s going on in my life. Of course, there’s the option of being anonymous, but then, where’s the fun in that? So this is me doing it!

I won’t lie, 2018 has been one tricky year. It’s tricky because if I think about it, it looks like a blur. No major milestone but when I look at the goals I set, it looks like I achieved half of it, so it’s not entirely bad.

Broken

I’m never broken. I’m usually the strongest in the pack but 2018 broke me. I cried a lot this year. In fact, my friends ‘saw’ me crying one time. It’s a first. I can’t remember ever crying in the presence of anyone, not because I don’t want to but it never comes. But honestly, I’m tired of this “hard girl” life. I want to be like everyone else. Show emotions and all of that. So I texted my friends “I am tired”, I sent voice notes, saying the same thing and crying. They called me but I could barely speak. I was finally letting it out. I was crying in the ‘presence’ of someone. I was wailing.

“Have you eaten? Should I send you money?”

“If you have to cry, do it. You are a human being, it’s okay to cry.”

“Tariah, please don’t cry now. Your life is perfect. What do you expect me to do then, if you cry with your life like this? Mine is worse” (This was the funniest consolation I got that night).

“Tariah, please don’t do this now. You are like my strongest friend. I don’t know what to say to you…”

I mean, what do you say to the friend that’s supposed to be the strongest. The one that talks to everyone else to stay calm. The one that always has a solution. I can’t remember what triggered it but I couldn’t help it. I think I was just thinking about my life in retrospect and how nothing has ever come easy for me (well except excelling at school).

The wailing didn’t last long. After a while, I was calm. One of my friends sent me money to take myself out the next day. She said “Ice cream should help you feel better”. The other one came to pick me. She said “Come to my house for the weekend. Precious is here to make you laugh”.

Every time I think about my friends, I feel like I’m not worthy to have them as friends. I don’t consider myself a fantastic friend. Lord knows, I’m never this emotional. All I do is think about solutions as soon as you complain. Scold when I feel like you are not doing it right and I expect you to know and do better. I’m usually too hard on people and most of the time, it clicks after I’ve done it. Then I go back to have a normal conversation after saying “no vex”. I’m learning emotional intelligence. Baby steps but I’ll get there.

In this same 2018, I considered dropping out of school. LMAOOO. This is the funniest thought I’ve ever had in my entire life. It stayed as a thought though. I never mentioned it to anyone because honestly, I thought I was reaching. This is the first time anyone else would hear about it. It’s unbelievable coming from me because I’ve successfully ‘deceived’ everyone including myself that I enjoy going to school. Turns out I’ve been lying to myself.

Graduate school is showing me pepper. It broke me. In fact, It’s still breaking me because it’s taking forever. I waited for my project supervisor for over 2 hours one day, the man finally saw me, then canceled almost everything I spent weeks writing. I couldn’t help it, I started crying. At a point I started asking myself, what are we doing all these for? I mean, why do I have to go to school? Can I just get to the point where I’m successful already? I’m tired. But then, I want to be an academic so I still have more school to do. At least 3 more years of school. That’s why I didn’t bother with the thought of dropping out. It was a reach really. LOL.

Goals

  • Get two certificates
  • Academic excellence
  • Register my business
  • Save money
  • Buy a phone
  • Take my parents on a vacation
  • Read 30 books
  • Buy another sewing machine
  • Buy an overlock/industrial weaving machine
  • Stay in a relationship

This was exactly what I wrote in my diary on December 31, 2017. In this order. I set these goals for myself. Now I’m evaluating my year and I realised I didn’t achieve everything but I didn’t do badly.

Certificates

I took a course in Conflict Analysis, Project Design & Management with the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) in March. I was happy but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to become an Associate member of the SPSP and also of the Institute of Chartered Mediators & Conciliators (ICMC). I missed the SPSP conference in 2017 because I was broke. I planned to attend in 2018 but I couldn’t make it to the general conference again. It happened around July in Abuja and I was busy with my sister’s wedding in Port Harcourt. I missed the training with the ICMC this year too. So I didn’t achieve this goal.

I also started about 3 courses online and didn’t finish them. I started the YALI online program in January, went through it for 6 months. Ticked everything on the requirements but for some unknown reason, my name wasn’t on the list for certificates. I got tired of sending emails. This part of my goal wasn’t it but we move.

Academic Excellence

This is the most depressing goal I set in 2018.How do I measure this when I can not see my grades? Apparently, that is the standard in this school. Yeah, I’m sure I’m doing very well but I’m not sure if I’m doing excellently well. I had a standard as an undergraduate. It was excellent but I wanted more. I hoped to do better than that in graduate school but I have no idea what’s going on. I mean I’ve done two semesters in this school, I’m on the third and I don’t know what my grades look like.

My dissertation is taking forever to finish. That’s literally what I’ve been doing since May. Graduate school is taking forever to finish. Almost every time I cried in 2018, it had to do with my dissertation and why I’ve been on one thing for over six months. I’m tired of family and friends asking if I’m not done with school yet. I’m tired of not moving out of this phase. I’ve been in graduate school since January 2017. It’s almost 2 years. I’m honestly tired.

Business

I achieved my set goal in April after going through it for months. Lush by Riah isn’t doing badly. For a self-taught tailor, I surprise myself every time. I make mistakes but then I learn from them.

I manage two other startups and boy! I always wondered where this energy came from because before 2015, I thought the only thing I could do was read and pass exams. But look at God! I’m an entrepreneur. Nice!

Save

PiggybankNG came through like bangdadadang! One of the highlights of my year. I didn’t save so much but I did save money. The story behind this goal is funny and ‘heartbreaking’ but I’ll celebrate this one. I saved!

Buy a phone

The last time I bought myself a phone was in 2013. I had just gotten N50,000 from a philanthropist who decided to reward outstanding students from his hometown. I was so happy and proud and I decided to use the money for something I really liked. I did it again this time because piggybankNG helped me save money.

Take my parents on a vacation

It breaks my heart that I didn’t achieve this. I really wanted to take them somewhere away from home. Planned for their anniversary but it didn’t work out. They totally deserve it. We’ll try again next year.

Read 30 books

Joker! Next?

I’m such a lazy reader. I set this goal to help myself read other books outside school but it didn’t work. I read about 3 books this year. It’s embarrassing to say the least. I read two books from Chimamanda Adichie, “Dear Ijeawele and We should all be feminists” (in 4 hours). I enjoyed reading them and I learnt so much. I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I started some other books that I didn’t finish reading like John Grisham’s Painter House. I created a book club on WhatsApp but then, I’m still being me. Laid back.

It’s funny that I set this ‘unrealistic’ goal. Knowing who I am. Smh.

Buy another sewing machine

I achieved this in June. Thanks to my customers and piggybankNG.

Buy an overlock/industrial weaving machine

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do this. So we move it to next year.

Stay in a relationship

LOL.

I didn’t make any effort with this. I feel like I have bigger issues to deal with. Like focusing on school, getting a job and maintaining my businesses. I think this would figure itself out when every other part of my life is settled. And I chose “stay” because it’s easy to get into one. Staying is where the work is.

  • Another highlight of my year was the call I received in January. I get paid to do what I enjoy doing – play on the internet. It’s fun.
  • I met a new friend this year. I’ve been wondering why the friendship didn’t come until the end of the year. But it’s still 2018 init? The friendship looks promising and I’m here for everything that comes with it!

Here’s to a “not so bad” 2018 and cheers to a better 2019! Thanks to everyone who made it beautiful for me. I love you.

Tee.

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And just like that, you became everybody’s friend. God bless you with happiness in all your endeavours. Thank you for sharing 2018 with us. Much love.

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