I remember exactly where this picture was taken, when it was taken and exactly how I felt in that moment. It was the eve of my 25th birthday. I was sitting on a ledge overlooking the River Seine in Paris and there was a wellspring of happiness and perfect contentment, bubbling from deep within my heart and overflowing well over on the outside.
In so many ways, 2017 has been my year and if you have followed my reviews since 2014, you will agree with me. 2017 was the year in which I lived my best life, maintained my authenticity and deliberately chose to be happy.
At the end of my 2016 review, I came up with a relatively simple plan for 2017.
- 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.
And as the sun sets on 2017, my heart is bubbling over with joy and contentment because I lived out my simple plan for 2017. And I will share that journey, as usual, with a breakdown of each month.
2017 began on a really high note for me. I was in the US with cousins I hadn’t seen in over a decade and as the turnup Queen/Minister of enjoyment that I am, we were moving across cities and lighting the entire place up. The first couple of weeks in January were super LIT!!!
I returned to Scotland in the middle of the month and my body broke down from excess enjoyment. Lol. But there was the amazing Bridget to nurse me back to health.
February was good to me. My mooting partner and I won the semi-finals of the Main faculty mooting competition for my Law School and I was really excited and equally nervous for the finals. I was mostly buried in school work in February and then I had moments of doubt with one of life’s numerous choices. Look, fear is such a killer. We must learn always, always to replace our fear with faith. It’s really hard but it’s well worth it.
Mooting finals came and we won! It was surely the best way to start the month! The result of this win was that my name would go up in the “hall of fame” at the Law School library as one of the winners of the 2017 main faculty moot. I was super pumped.
I lost an essay competition I’d entered into but this didn’t dampen my mood at all. I had a lot going for me and I was super content. School work was a bit intense but I powered through. I lost an aunt this month and it hit me hard.
On the up side, I began making active plans towards my travel goals for the year and that had me excited for the most of March. I also realized I’d put on some ridiculous weight and it was time to hit the gym again. Being thick is attractive to some people but I wasn’t sure it was for me. Heh.
On a whole, March was really, really good to me. Especially the 8th of March 🙂
The best month. Always the best month!!
It began with a lot of pressure with school work. Then my Schengen visa came through and mans got on a plane to go see the city of Paris for Spring break.
See ehn, find you some good friends. Honestly, find you some really good friends who think the world of you. Because the month of April for me was made perfect by some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I spent two weeks of the Easter holidays in Paris touring, laughing and living my best life without a single care in the world. I had people who ascribed the highest level of value to me go out of their way to prove their love for me in kind words and dinner on a boat cruise for my 25th birthday. I still can’t get over it. I shed so many happy tears that day (yes, I bring on the waterworks pretty easy. Sue me.) My birthdays have progressively gotten better through the years and this 25th one legit took the cake.
Of course I had to embarrass my friends by turning cartwheels randomly in the middle of the streets of Orleans. That’s my trademark. Constant unruliness.
April was really, really good to me. I laughed, a whole lot, I smiled till my cheeks hurt and for every single day of the month, my heart was full.
Final exams. I’d been preparing through the semester and when they came, I felt really ready. And after the exams came the groove. Next to April, May was another awesome month. I hit my travel goals when I went on a Euro tour with my cousins. From London to Rome to Barcelona to Paris and then Frankfurt. I hit my target of 4 new countries this year and it was really exciting. Travelling opens your mind in more ways than you could ever imagine and I was so glad I could do it.
Rome was warm and welcoming. I definitely want to go again sometime. Barcelona was mehh at first but then we took a hike up the Montjuic castle and the view was so rewarding plus the salsa with gorgeous, waist-winding Latino men? Yes please!!!!!!
I’d been to Paris before but we checked out new sights together and Frankfurt was more like a quiet getaway- a time to rest from all the travelling.
Best believe I stamped my signature unruliness across Europe though, cartwheeling at St Peter’s Basilica, dancing randomly at malls, train stations and on the streets. Lol. So, so extra this one. The Lord be with the man that chooses to wife me.
May was really, really good to me.
The month began with depression. It was as though my enemies reckoned I’d been having too much of a good year and they had to get me. I failed one of my courses. Ok not fail like I had to rewrite it, but I scored a D which is as good as a fail in my books. And that totally unexpected grade knocked the wind out of my sails. That should have been one of the easiest courses, I had worked so hard and it made no sense at all. But Abba had a lesson coming.
Anyways, I spent the weekend with my phone off, crying and just totally out of it. But Eloho came to my rescue and so did Mr. N. I know both of you will read this- bless your hearts for being such incredible gifts to me. And bless your heart too dear Bridget! I can’t imagine how unbearable it must have been, living with me for those 3 days but you are such a gem.
Guys, find you some really good friends that will move mountains for you. ‘nuff said.
Ah, I was saying Abba had a lesson coming. Almost 3 weeks after the results came out, I showed up at my graduation not exactly excited. Another degree in the bag. No big deal. Well, until I received my certificate and saw that I’d made a Distinction. See, when you will and run and Abba decides to show you mercy, it is such a beautiful sight to behold. I wept happy tears (Yes, again with the waterworks. Sue me na). Hard work for all the 2 years had paid off. Baby girl had an LLB with Distinction.
Definitely my favourite grad picture 😁
And then the day after, I got on a flight and moved back home to Nigeria.
The first leg of Law School resumed in Bwari. I got frustrated by the registration process that took 6 hours but still wouldn’t finish. (If only I knew what would happen in Lagos a few months later. LOL.)
There’s something about coming from a system that works down to a place where inefficiency is the order of the day. I still can’t wrap my head around it. And no amount of mental preparation was enough to equip me for the madness.
But in the midst of all the chaos, I met good people, made new friends and tried my best to settle into life in Nigeria. For whatever it is worth, this is home.
Ah. August was a really good month filled with lots of love, laughter and wide and wild smiles. Law school was still on but there were so many good vibes coming my way that I didn’t feel any pressure. I also did more reading this month and that left me feeling happy.
Snuck into Lagos for small weekend getaway and I totally had a blast. September started on a really good note for me and that long weekend away from the stress of school was so needed.
I read Trevor Noah’s ‘Born a Crime’ and it was brilliant. Totally my book of the year.
Wrote Bar 1 exams which were pretty ok. Just like that, 3 months of Bar 1 had flown by and that phase was over. At the end of the month, I moved back to Lagos, supposed city after my heart. El Oh El.
Food poisoning had me admitted at the hospital with drips and injections being pumped into my system for a whole day. Was quite a horrid way to start the month, but I bounced back. Commuting around Lagos was super stressful, I lowkey began to contemplate my supposed love for the city. Fam, Lagos is stressful. (Note to Mr. N; if you remind me about that blogpost on falling in love with Lagos again ehn…)
October was a good month, save for the stress of commuting. I met up with a lot of old friends I hadn’t seen in years and made a couple of new ones too. Of course you know by now that I am people person. Relationships and human interactions in general excite me.
Hehehehe. Bar 2 of the Nigerian Law School resumed in Lagos and I spent one full week doing registration. I almost went mental! To think that I’d complained about 6 hours in Abuja months before, only to come and do one full week in Lagos. I am tired of Nigeria abeg. Send help.
Classes began and they were every bit as intense as I’d been warned they would be. But then again I am Oge, the poster kid for workaholism so I fell into step after a couple of weeks.
Then I had the opportunity to do something really amazing for a short gig and it worked out so well. I was super happy and proud.
This month has been a fine mix of everything. I had a meltdown after struggling with power issues in school. It wasn’t just the power to be honest. So many things about being back in Nigeria had been chipping at me over the last 6 months. “Death by a thousand cuts” a friend called it. And so it was that I found myself in my room on a Sunday morning wailing buckets and nearly cussing myself out for moving back to Nigeria. Brethren, send help.
I made it through the remainder of school and fled to the comfort of my mother’s arms the moment we got a break; after my body reacted violently to the stress it had endured of course. And then I came home to super amazing news such that all the suffering I’d endured so far suddenly became inconsequential. Abba remains super faithful.
My 2017 is nearly at its end and I am so grateful for all that the year has been for me because just like I set out to do this year;
- I lived vivaciously as you could tell from the numerous trademarks of my unruliness across different cities.
- I read a lot more books than I have in the last 3 or 4 years put together. 12 in total. Hopefully more next year if Law School will let me see road.
- I travelled a lot. 5 new countries this year even more than the 4 I originally set out to achieve. So proud of myself and so thankful too.
- I threw fear out the window and chose love, although to be fair, sometimes it did feel like fear was hanging on the window sill mocking me and daring me to shut it out completely. I still have some work to do in that department. As for peace and happiness, those pretty much sum up the entirety of my year.
My writing suffered this year. I didn’t write any series for the blog even though I had a couple I was working on. School pressure never let me make enough progress to begin sharing and I certainly did not want to start and leave you guys hanging. If you read Damage Control, you’ll understand. But I did some screenplays and I’ll be happy to share when production is finally complete. The blog grew to over 100,000 hits this year. Thank you guys for sticking around. I will make up for this season. Best believe.
For 2018, I plan to keep it even simpler- Stay authentic and keep living my best life.
It’s the parents’ wedding anniversary today. 3 decades and then some. May 2018 for you be as fresh and flourishing as the love I see them openly display for each other. It is the absolute cutest thing.
Love, Light and Positive Vibes!