As a norm, I don’t publicize my blog post highlighting how my year went – because that is an incredibly personal thing to do (hey world, come see my life on display). But I still appreciate being able to put up an highlight.
I hope you learn from this, since you’re here. P.S: No pictures because picture-hunting and merging will be such an additional task. ❣️
What has this year been like?
If I did a monthly recap for my blog, will that be good enough? Or if I compiled memories captured through pictures as is commonly done?
This year I got on a platter of gold what most people grovel for. This year I enjoyed companionship and love. I experienced speed.
Since 2018, I came into a phase of not knowing what lies ahead. You say who does?
But I knew by experience what the song lyric “when I trust you, I don’t need to understand” really meant. I miss the crystallized years – after 100 level, comes 200 level, then 300 level. But now, who says after a first-class degree from law school, a top-tier law firm is next? Who says? What decides the next level of your life now? Acceptable societal norm? And even when the next level is clear to you, the steps that make the journey up, aren’t. In 2020, I’ve come to the phase where I respect the need for financial freedom. I’ve put in the hard-work but seen the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong but it is God that shows mercy. I’ve been this close to my hope but had it taken away – interesting bit about it was that it didn’t crush me in the least. Didn’t depress me. I understood what a wise woman had said to me “pray thoroughly about your steps. If they don’t work out, you won’t be devastated about them. You’ll know God has a plan but if you don’t pray, wow, losses will hit you hard”.
In December this year, when I thought it wasn’t possible anymore, I have met more people. Stretched further and grown wiser.
I don’t count my successes in terms of recognition and money, I count it on inner wealth. Am I richer in wisdom? Have I converted my experiences into strength of instincts and perception? I’m my greatest investment asset, so I read and inflect. I have learnt about myself that I have a poorer self-esteem than I should have. I have heard God re-emphasize to me the need for sacrifices – Psalm 50:5. In my year, I have travelled a lot and it was hitch-free on all counts. In what counts hugely, I escaped the virus!
I love my process. I shared with mister lover sometime during the year the amount of work I put into a certain project vis-à-vis what two other people I knew did. To think they got a good result so speedily, I felt cheated by life to have taken the thorough path. You know what he told me? I summarize it as the excellence of my process. My system. It wasn’t about the project but about my excellence as a person. He led me to see the theme of thoroughness and excellence in different experiences in my life. I’m driven not by the need to
relass and be taken kiaruf relax and be taken care of, nor by the need to hustle and hammer, neither by the need to be vindicated for my efforts.
I’m driven by the excellent spirit within me. (pray in tongues here. Lol). This reminds me of what a brilliant man told me this year when I went visiting “excellence is a result of spirits – I didn’t say the holy spirit! But spirits. Wherever you find excellence, spirits are at work”. So it makes sense to me what the wallpaper I created in 2019 was for.
Grateful for the support of friends I enjoyed this year. For finding family in an unexpected place, and at an otherwise difficult time.
For the stubborn but cute puppy, Jack, we got this year. Jack’s grip is strong. Jack’s will is strong. Jack will wear you out. It turned out that when I got back home, we didn’t have a carer for the dogs anymore so the responsibility fell on all of us. Mehn.
To have a snap shot of my year, I went through my gratitude journal and was surprised to see what my thoughts centered around on January 2nd. Crazy.
“Dear Amala-loving Nigerian (from the south-west I suppose), no food vendor in the Nigerian Law School, Bwari campus premises, deems it fit to sell good amala. Pitiable”.
Dwelling on these ephemeral matters in less than fourteen days to my bar exam. On that day, I made the tenacious trip to Bwari kitchen to get amala fele, after which my assimilation rate increased.
Going through pictures, boy, I’ve had an interesting year. It’s interesting how a year can mark a phase in your life. This was to be my NYSC in a top tier-law firm year by my calculations, or since NYSC posting came out and read Port- Harcourt, I figured it should be spent vibrantly doing community service and relating with other young corpers – both lawyers at work and other professionals.
It wasn’t. It was blocks. Blocks of babysitting, playing the guitar, sorting through my sensitive emotions, travelling, caring for dogs, acting as a lawyer while terribly navigating new wig cluelessness, organizing programs, incalculable hours on the phone talking to the same person. Whew! It wasn’t my projected service year but it was fun. I made a new family this year and it may bemuse loved ones to know I moved out of my comfort space – at least considerably.
I read more articles and blogs than I read books, especially in the second half of the year. I became very professionally-inclined in my readings. I blogged lesser than I’ve done in recent years. Second-guessed a lot.
My gratitude journal reveals that on January 1, I thanked God for my blog’s growth and the many countries my blog got views from. Moving through the months, I was thankful for friends and gist, for my CLASFON family, for my exam week, for being a fine girl (there are days I realize), for each exam, for God’s presence, for everything jare (January 19). Skipped on gratitude journaling again till March when I travelled for my NYSC. Then I was grateful for the family that lodged me, for food, naps, books, friendships, a toddler, strolls and shopping, exercises, gist, for being the sole recipient of a man’s love, for family, a photo-shoot, cooking of moi-moi and fried rice, toddler tantrums, emotional sensitivity. Looking through my April gratitude journal, it seems all of 2020 was in April because what is this?! Mehn. It was my first month to settle down properly in Port-Harcourt, it was the month Corona virus took the world, and particularly Nigeria, by a storm. Everything was new. And cautious.
My baking classes started in June and the days were stressful. It was a physical and mental task. I began learning to play the guitar too. Took on some projects virtually. Boy! I came on the team for TKP radio and had to make recordings. There were threats of returning to camp which were quelled, only to finally happen in November and December. I had been thrust into a different year than I envisaged.
July opened with dad’s birthday and the release of my law school result the same night. For the congratulatory craze that followed. Had my first visit to a spa. Goofy times. For new songs and lengthy bible-studies.
For the journey home in August. For a family photo-shoot that turned out well. For taking on the dogs. Whew. For deep discussions with mister lover. For direction as regards my career’s vision, though the steps uncover slowly. For knowledge and learnings.
Returned to Port-Harcourt this month (December) and moved in to NCCF family house willingly – who would’ve thought? I’m still waiting for how the family house story will turn out. I’m grateful to meet different people. Minister to, and be ministered to by different people. And to enter a new year from this location – discomforts and all.
When guitar rehearsals started, I was of the opinion that our instructor was biased towards my friend because of past family house relationship they shared “aunty this…aunty that…” (NCCF family house language) it annoyed me small. Lol. We later became good friends. Stephen did real well and if ever you want to learn how to play the guitar in Lagos, I have the right contact. Guitar rehearsals were fun. My fingers suffered and my emotions occasionally suffered when I had to rehearse alone because suddenly the good sound I was able to produce two days prior went on a sabbatical. Lol. If you want to give me a gift in 2021, you may pay for a voice training in my name, because apparently your singing affects your playing. I sing on keys different from C (that’s the most I can say) but I play on key C. Lmao. I’m actually better than the jokes I make of myself (disagree at your expense). Grateful to have taken this step this year.
One of the things I’m most grateful for this year was that I learned how to pacify a toddler, clean up after a toddler, feed a toddler and endure the tantrums. In my first two weeks of living under the same roof, the whole toddler thing got to me. Yells of NO, cries, spills, – everything I wasn’t used to. I couldn’t believe myself later when I could (sometimes. Lol) meditate in the middle of that. Wow. Look who grew. I also began to read up on raising toddlers. As the softie that I am, I have a million and one pictures and cute videos with my toddler. I love that she loves me too. End of story.
I’m also grateful for the grounds mister lover and I covered on several fronts.
My return to Abuja for my call to bar was also memorable. Better put as nostalgic for me. I started writing on the event but never published the post here. I had some nerves. “What if something goes wrong with your clearance and you’re not called to the bar?” Imagine my concerns the day before when I was running late for my initial clearance at the Supreme Court. I have a video to that memory. There was no cause for alarm after all, it ended up being a beautiful week. Wore brand new everything and ordered food like a boss, because it was whose call to bar? Debby’s (and because of provision which I don’t take for granted).
I had concluded this post before realizing I didn’t include my first-class result under this sub-heading of interesting gratitude. I’m grateful for the result only because it was a manifestation of claiming by faith what grace had made available, and not because I think an excellent result is the only way to a great life. I didn’t get my result by being the most ambitious Nigerian Law School student, but by the excellent spirit within me and His purposes. Glory to the Lord.
(I’m sure you’re sad to the see the post is ending. I am too)
Because the trajectory of each year is never sure, I’ll leave you with one of the wise words I penned down this year:
“Does what I am feeling or doing have its roots in the contentment of faith or in the anxious insecurity of unbelief?” that will help you in hundreds of little and big ethical decisions.
This is important, dear friends, because we walk by faith and not by sight, year in, year out. God bless you and I’m eager to see what 2021 highlight will look like.
If God be for us, who can be against us? Shout it on the rooftop!
Your online best friend,