Since I began reviewing my year in 2014, this has been the ‘hardest’ to write. Or should I say, this has been the laziest I have been to write. That’s probably because my 2018 can best be described as a slow year, a passive year even and for someone who is always about one activity or the other and constantly on the lookout for the next best thing, I didn’t quite know how to handle it. The year is winding down now and I only just getting to accept that this slow pace is okay. It’s the only way I can keep my sanity. I mean, considering how the last few years have been for me, it was as though life was saying to me “slow down baby, you’re moving too fast.”
I keep saying “slow” because the only thing I seemed to ‘accomplish’ this year was finishing Law School and getting called to the Nigerian bar. Which in itself doesn’t feel like an accomplishment, but ho knows, maybe in reading through my journal, I will find high points I may have missed.
I participated in two gratitude challenges towards the end of this year and it shocked me how hard it was to find reasons to be thankful on some days. And this is how I know 2018 was really not that ‘great’ a year. Oh well, as is my custom, I will do a monthly review and end with my goals for 2019.
The year began on a sober note. I had to do some personal assessment and I realized I was really not as infallible as I thought. LOL. And this is coming from someone who should know better. Humble pie isn’t the sweetest to eat but I think it is the healthiest. So there was that.
Attended Bestie’s brother’s wedding in the East and had a blast. But not without some close brushes with annoying local men that really had me moving mad. Your average uneducated Nigerian man is toxic and the disrespect towards women, totally unrivalled.
I returned to Lagos and settled into school work again. Hung out with close friends and was grateful for feedback that mostly everyone was doing well and winning all round. Amidst the tumult of the month, one key thing stood out:
“Everyone needs a superhero once in a while.”
The month started out with me struggling and feeling overwhelmed with school work. But my parents were incredible anchors that kept me from drowning. It was also Shekinah’s birthday, one of the most amazing men I know and that turned out to be the perfect excuse to take a break from school work and let my hair down for a bit.
I’m reading through the rest of my journal entries and to be honest, I struggled quite a bit this month. There were times when I was just about ready to give up on myself even but Mercy said no. My friends came through though. There were beach hangouts and lovely dinners and willing shoulders to cry on plus ice cream and warm bear hugs without an iota of judgement.
The Lenten Season began and I resigned myself to a month of waiting on God and building spiritual capacity. An important prayer I prayed this month: “In my moments of uncertainty, Father let my hope in You be strong enough to make me wait on You. Let my heart rest sure and easy in You.”
“We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll, fastened to the rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.”
Started out on a high note with close friends pushing hard and showing up for me back to back. I was genuinely overwhelmed with love. Bubu completed his ATC course and the pride in my shoulders ehn!! All the shoulders pads in the world would not have sufficed. Didimma got engaged and I thought my heart would burst for all the love and joy that filled it.
I got a medical diagnosis and my faith took a major hit. I think the problem was largely how the doctor broke the news of the diagnosis to me, almost like it was some sort of death sentence. (I don’t have a terminal illness, so don’t worry. Lol.) The rest of the month was an endless cycle of a cocktail of emotions- frustration, faith, sadness, hurt, hope, worry, peace. Etc. But I had the support of loved ones and family and that helped a great deal.
I fasted and prayed and cried to God like I have never done before and well, I ended March with my faith and peace intact.
“Even the strongest people have personal crises they deal with. Check up on all your ‘strong’ friends.”
The term ended for Law School and oh the joy that filled my soul. A great deal of the mental stress I was undergoing was a direct effect of being in that system and boy was I glad to take a break.
I find that April is generally always a good month, perhaps because it’s my birth month. But the first best thing to happen this month was Eloho’s wedding. The way my heart was sweeting me all the way to Benin ehn, you would think it was my wedding! For all the love and warmth Eloho brings to my life and the lives of others around her, it was a huge privilege and blessing to be able to share in her moment. Eloho, God bless you and uncle C. I love you both immensely!
Next was my birthday. I wasn’t particularly excited for this year’s because there was a lot about my life that I didn’t quite have figured out. But my birthday came and I was surrounded by loved ones who threw me a surprise pre-birthday dinner (that had me knocking and punching some people for their deceit in a bid to pull it off. Lol) and subsequently enjoyed a small, quiet dinner on the birthday itself. My heart was warm and full.
Two of my favourite humans returned home from Europe and we had the absolute best time!! I had not seen either of them in months (that felt like years) so we did our best to make up for lost time. Hangouts at the mall, late nights out and loooooooooong conversations. LOL. I had the best time really. Oh, my court attachment was this month too. It was interesting to observe how the Nigerian justice system works.
“No one really has their life all figured out. Las las, we are all winging this thing. Relax, you’ll be alright.”
Started out with the birthdays of bestie, my twinnie and the younger brother. Back to back turn ups. Lol. I had made two applications in previous months towards the advancement of my career that fell through. The rejections didn’t sting that bad, oddly, I just kept it moving. What did manage to get me down though was the realization I was still uncertain how to tie in all my major interests in order to move forward with my ambitions after law school. Let’s just say this was something I would worry about often for the rest of the year. I began actively studying for the bar final exams.
Was on a radio show where I talked about my writing. Had a lot of fun with that. A random conversation with a friend inspired new travel plans for the year. Reviewed my adulting skills and realized I sucked at some parts of it. But that’s life, innit? As stated clearly in my journal- “See, abeg, mi ole wa ku”
“Which one of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”
We welcomed my niece- Chimdiuto Munachimso. I unlocked a new level of love I could never have imagined existed. Chambers attachment was just there. More exam preparations. Raced to Zaria during the public holidays and spent the entire time glued to my niece’s cot. Enjoyed the World Cup matches and all the banter that came along with the games.
My trip up north brought a lot of nostalgia and unearthed long forgotten, buried memories. But my gratitude remained for a beautiful history that is past while I look with hope to an amazing future that is to come.
More progress with exam prep. Messed up an application for another career move and missed the deadline and I was so frustrated, I cried. It looked like the universe was conspiring to not give me anything I wanted along the lines of career advancement. Sigh. We move still.
“Everything good will come, you just need faith and a great deal of patience.”
July began with the nastiest waves of panic attacks to ever hit me in a very long time and I was worried, very worried by the trigger. July was hard. The exams were upon me and I was dealing with stresses from multiple angles that I was not mentally equipped or prepared to handle. I didn’t die though and at the end of the month, with the MCQ part of the bar finals behind me, I was grateful to be standing.
“Nothing is worth sacrificing your mental health and peace for. Absolutely nothing.”
The much anticipated bar finals exams came and I was thankful for the ease with which I wrote the exams. The pressure had been insane, I had done all I could to prepare and once the exams were done, I took a much needed and well deserved holiday to Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire with my bestie. We met up some other friends and had the best time exploring. I wrote about those trips here and here.
“Times and seasons will come and go. Nothing lasts forever.”
I went back to Zaria for Muna’s dedication and resumed full time nanny duties. Lol. Shout out to mothers all over the world. Y’all are the real MVPs. I know how many times I wanted to pull out my hair because of Muna. LOL. And yet, every single time she smiled at me, I thought my heart would burst with love. My phone is filled with so many pictures of her ehn! Eish!
I started my fitfam journey this month. The thick life was really not for me. Lol, okay, maybe some parts of it but the chubby cheeks, Christian mother arms and bulging belly had to go. Plus I really couldn’t reconcile getting so close to a size 14 from a size 8. So yeah, the movement began and it was hardddd. We welcomed my goddaughter this month and my heart that was practically bursting with love expanded some more for the lil munchkin.
“When your friends and loved ones win, you win too.”
Another month babysitting and watching Muna grow. Remarkable I tell you. More on the fitfam journey. I battled unforgiveness this month. I didn’t even realise I was still holding on strongly to something that had happened years ago. But I think I eventually found a way to let it go.
Results came out this month and I passed the bar. All my friends passed too but my excitement was largely for Dolapo who made it through despite the insane bricks life hurled at her throughout the Law School period. You’re still my hero darling! Shout out to you!!!
This month mostly felt slow and uneventful and there were lows but we found a way to keep it moving.
“Even time needs time. This too shall pass”
November was practically more fitfam and more babysitting. The call to bar ceremony was this month and yours truly was officially a confirmed lawyer. I wasn’t over the moon with excitement. Lol. I dunno why. I guess I was bored by the fact that it was done and trying to figure out the next big thing. But the parents were very proud and hosted a small dinner reception in my honour.
“Constantly find reasons to be thankful even when you don’t feel like.”
I returned to Lagos after 3 months of being away. Queen came home for Didimma’s wedding and we all had a blast. It was the first time us 3 were getting together again in over 2 years.
Made new friends at the wedding and generally had a grand time.
Travelled to the East for the holidays and it’s been nice.
December had a few lows but summarily taught me another level of contentment. I feel like every year, there are deeper levels to contentment that I unlock and this year rang so true. I learned that contentment is not merely a state of mind but a way of life. True contentment is expressed not just by the words we speak but by the actions we compel ourselves to take. It is rebelling against the natural order of things- consumerism, selfishness. True contentment is in reminding yourself that what you have is enough and shutting down avenues that make you covetous of what belongs to others.
So I guess it wasn’t totally a bad year altogether. Not the best year yet but not so bad either. I am hopeful for 2019 though. Already making moves for the year even and my goals are simple and clear:
- Build capacity in my field. Take courses, attend conferences, put out those applications, and gather experience.
- Drop down to and maintain a size 8. 65-68kg plis dear.
- Travel some more. Would 4 countries be too ambitious? Well that’s the goal. Throw in a bit of local travel as well. New cities are always a great idea.
- Publish my ebook(s). (I can imagine some of my close friends rolling their eyes at this because they know how long this has been coming. But hold me accountable and I promise I won’t disappoint).
- Give back. Volunteer with Charities/NGOs.
- Live my best life basically.
How would you summarize your year? Share with me in the comments please. And let’s hear your goals, dreams and aspirations for 2019.
I pray the New Year is good to you. I hope you live your best life in 2019 and I hope you find all round contentment. Happy New Year guys!
Ps. If there was one thing you could do in 2019, what would that be?