For the last 2 years, I have consistently shared my personal review for the year on the blog. 2014 was intense, 2015 got better and 2016 has been even more enlightening. These reviews help me monitor growth and progress and I share here in the hope that someone else might pick a thing or two. So here we go again.
I am excited to write this review this year. And that is because I find it interesting how I went through the year with so many dashes of self-doubt and the occasional question of “what am I really doing with my life?” But somehow, 2016 is drawing to a close and here I am, standing tall, fully content and confident in my realization that I am simply, more than enough.
I didn’t get here overnight though. So I am taking a trip down memory lane to review my journey.
Started out a little rough because I carried some baggage from the latter part of December into the New Year. Sigh. I no dey hear word. Launched Hunter’s Game on my blog. The most amazing story I have written, in my opinion. Lol. Results came in for my first semester and they were fantastic. But I was a little discontent. Lol. I can be silly sha. I mean, who sulks when their lowest grade is a high B only because they wanted straight As? Well I guess a lot of people but still, Smh. I started working out at the gym. Yes, there was a hot summer body and it was months of hard work that birthed the abs and strong arms. Hehe.
Commenced my accountability journey with a close buddy and it was the beginning of improved productivity and efficiency for me. Auditioned for a TedTalk for school. I spoke on being imprisoned in Stereotypes and it was amazing. I didn’t get selected but the feedback was positive and incredible. I think that would qualify as my peak of the month. Also joined the choir in church. Didn’t realize how much I had missed singing in a choir. It was a really good decision. Got a writing gig for a TV series as well. Great stuff.
Lesson for the month: Find a handful of people to whom you can be honestly accountable and responsible. They will save your life.
More rough edges.
I had my first mock trial competition. Didn’t win but I had fun. Got subtly checked by a girl who apparently thought I was hitting on her boyfriend. First time ever. A very funny something. I just maintained my lane subsequently. I still love my face. Attended the Law Ball and it was amazing. I love dressing up for a good night out, so of course I had fun. Lots of writing combined with school work nearly overwhelmed me but I survived. A few disappointments that made me question my privilege and sense of entitlement. Nothing like some rejection to deflate a big head eh? J
A couple of lows towards the end of the month but they weren’t too bad and thankfully didn’t last too long.
Lesson for the month: Times and seasons, they come and go. Nothing lasts forever so relish the highs and power through the lows.
March got off to an incredible start. My awesome, league of his own, truly special friend paid me a surprise visit from Paris. I was just home from lectures that day when I got a message from him that read “from where I’m standing, Aberdeen is a lot prettier than they say.” I squealed loudly in excitement and could barely contain myself. Best day of the month for me honestly. We had so much fun.
But the weeks that followed were not as good. I struggled with more lows. More than a few hard days that seemingly stretched endlessly and were impossible to fight. Then a classmate and friend from my first degree passed on and it was a massive blow. My shock absorbers were ill-equipped for that one. There’s something about the month of March and how it has claimed friends in their prime over the years. I find that really scary.
Lesson for the month: Nothing in life is that deep or that serious. Just do your best then keep your head up, as high as you can, as much as you can, for as long as it takes.
Fantastic month. Spring break. Camping trip with wonderful people from 7 different countries. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world- building camp fires, hiking, finding breath-taking waterfalls, discussing cultural differences and similarities; simply the best.
So I started laughing out loud as I contemplated the experience I’m about to share in this paragraph. I failed an essay I had written in March. First time in my life. I never hessperedit. Didn’t even think it was possible. Ogechi Nwobia, writer of life, couldn’t write an essay on whether the United Kingdom truly had parliamentary sovereignty? LOL. Honestly, what was most upsetting about that paper was the fact that I had put in so much work into it and I had gotten other scholars to review it so I was sure it was perfect. So you can imagine my shock when I got the email notifying me that I had scored a D3. They call that grade a pass but as far as I was concerned, it was a fail. My father wasn’t paying 5 figures of foreign currency for me to be gathering Ds.
I disregarded the email, convinced that it was a typo. Surely they meant to type B3. Never mind that the two letters were nowhere near each other on the keyboard. I was actually on my way out of town to go and groove my birthday weekend in another city when the mail came in so I just ignored it and focused on the groove I had planned. I had a blast. Then I came back and went to pick up the essay on my birthday morning. When I saw the real D3 staring me back in the face, I just became weak. I got back to my flat and cried.
My special ‘league of his own’ friend talked me through it and cheered me up and I eventually went back to the lecturer to find out what I had done wrong so I could fix it subsequently and that was that.
April was a good month in all though. More time at the gym, loads and loads of laughs, lots of dancing and more often than not, a peace that surpassed human understanding 🙂
Lesson for the month: Laughter is music, medicine and food for the soul. Find a reason to always indulge in it.
Took my exams in the first two weeks of the month and once done, I snuck back into Nigeria like a thief in the night for the summer holidays. It felt so great to be back after 8 months away but I took the longest time to settle in. The heat was almost unbearable. I had so much fun paying surprise visits to my close friends. Bestie almost passed out when I showed up at her office, Eloho yelped and pretty much bolted out of the waiting room, Mfon squealed like a baby and I was just so happy to be the reason behind the sparkling lights in the eyes of the ones that mattered so much to me.
Meeting up with the rest of the family wasn’t any different. Lots of laughter at dad’s birthday dinner. Made fajitas and guacamole (as per pikin that has gone to learn something new) and dad in typical fashion said “please bring me Eba.” LOL. Gotta love my dad though. He truly colours my world.
A little bit of Ajala-ing here and there. But it was a relatively good month. Then exam results came out. Let’s just say I realized how foolish I was to have sulked over the first result. Hehe. But I was grateful this time. Truly grateful.
Lesson for the month: Relationships are a priceless gift, value each one on its merit and treasure them for all they are worth.
Resumed work at my former office. Along with work came some really nice groove. Because I was determined to maintain a balance during the holidays. The Social Prefect tour to Gurara falls was my highlight for the month.
Somewhere in the middle of the month, things took a nosedive. I still don’t understand how I went recklessly from 0-100 but I was crashing dangerously and didn’t seem to care. I think I had spent too many months ignoring some hurt and anger that had been tugging at my heart. It was something I honestly thought I had dealt with but had apparently only just buried. So when I let lose, I barely recognised myself. But thank God for good friends who see through facades, who recognize your struggle and who help restore you to normalcy.
Remember my lesson for January on friendship, responsibility and accountability? Yeah. Seun Odukoya is one of those. Seun saved my life. The restoration didn’t happen overnight but Seun set the wheels in motion.
Lesson for the month: Live one day at a time and by all means, own your bullshit.
Lots of meetups and hangouts with my favourite people in the literary circle. Finally met Sally Dadzie. Couldn’t stop gushing. I fall in love with her over and over again, every single time! More screenwriting gigs. Lots of bants and connections with people who had low-key began to matter to me. The evolution of human relations forever fascinates me- how someone can go from stranger to acquaintance and eventually to becoming a core, integral part of your life and daily experiences. More time with the family. We all got together in the same space at the same time for the first time in years and it was amazing.
For no apparent reason, the lows began to return again at the end of the month and I found myself struggling yet again.
Lesson for the month: The strength of your relationships is a function of how much you invest in them. Good relationships don’t just happen, you grow and nurture them.
August was an okay month. More writing, more connections with amazing people, more hangouts/grooves, more of all the good stuff generally. Until someone I regarded a friend manipulated our friendship and broke my trust. Certain things are hard to recover from but forgiveness came over time.
Then the countdown to my departure began. Just like that, the summer holiday was over.
Lesson for the month: Our choices often yield unintended consequences so as much as possible, think through them carefully.
Back to school and into a new flat with an amazing woman. Stress-less flatmates are underrated, honestly. Spent the entire month settling in. Attempted taking on a writing gig that was super stressful, I honestly don’t even know what I was thinking when I took it. I walked away eventually, smartest life choice ever.
There were some fun moments mixed with a little bit of drama but it was the harmless kind of drama which I indulged for a little bit before choosing to walk away because I have since learned to be deliberate in all my dealings and to act purposefully.
Lesson for the month: Know your limits. Human not machine
Returned with season 2 of Hunter’s Game as the characters would not let me be. Writing it gave me such a high. Lol. Another mock trial competition and this time, we won! I was so excited. New friends, deeper connections, then a magical trip to the Enchanted Forest that brought back childhood memories of Enid Blyton’s books. Sheer joy.
Had a small health scare which turned out to be nothing. Still haven’t gone to see my physiotherapist though. Sigh. I no dey hear word.
October was good generally, then an old crush resurfaced. But I can’t for the life of me fathom why we just have the worst timing. Hehe. Or maybe I can. Some things are just not meant to be.
Lesson for the month: Find pleasure in the simple things of life, that way, they are never too far from you
One word- stressful. There were days where I was so mentally fatigued, I really had no idea how I made it through to the next. Made a couple of trips and saw friends I hadn’t seen in 4 years and the timeout was great but I returned to find the stress I had taken a break from still waiting for me. Lol.
November was honestly the most intense month this year. I questioned myself a lot; my plans for the future, my goals, my life choices. Lol. I had a lot of self-doubt and uncertainties and they bothered me greatly. These had been building up steadily through the year and they finally got to a climax where I found myself having no answers and no sureties.
But it was at this point of hitting ‘rock bottom’ that I began to find myself again, slowly. It began with deeper connections with people who held my hands and opened my eyes. It came through my faith in God, a solid reassurance that there is one who sees the end from the beginning and who always goes ahead to make crooked paths straight.
Lesson for the month: You are never alone
It’s been a fine mix with mostly all the good stuff.
Got feedback on all my essays, no more Ds, just As and Bs, Yay! Then came the exams where lecturers threw curve balls. But it didn’t matter to me because I had already accepted by this point that the essence of education is not good grades but actual knowledge and skill sets which can be deployed to solve real problems. So what if I’m unable to memorise all the case law? Do I know the general principles of law required to solve the problem? Yes? Then end of discussion. But the process of preparing stressed and stretched me so much, I was glad when it was finally over.
For my highlights, I received lovely, well-thought out gifts from truly amazing friends. Both times, I never hessperedit. Imagine having a delivery man at your door with a package for you when you know full well you didn’t order anything. What made it extra special was, the sender wasn’t even in the country! The second gift was a collection of Enid Blyton books. This actually brought tears to my eyes. Those books mean a lot to me and revealed to me that people who care about you pay attention to all the little details. My friends are thoughtful and kind and I remain eternally grateful for them.
Current status: Enjoying an incredible Christmas holiday with cousins I haven’t seen in over 15 years. Also hanging with old friends, exploring new cities and generally having the time of my life.
Lesson for December: Choose contentment, you are more than enough.
That was my year in a nutshell. My greatest joy was discovering how much writing I did this year which was infinitely more than I did in 2015. Yay for growth! My biggest lesson was finding personal contentment as well as staying in my process. The ideal life I want for myself will not happen overnight so I must stay in the process and build gradually. I seem to keep ‘learning’ this lesson every year. Lol.
For 2017, my plan is simple.
- Live vivaciously but make responsible choices.
- Read a lot more.
- Travel some more. My goal is to visit at least 4 new countries. A girl can dream no?
- Throw fear out the window and choose love, peace and happiness.
How about you? How did your 2016 go and what are your plans for 2017? Please share in the comment section. Enjoy the best of the holidays!
I remain loyally yours,