2017

Picture courtesy @ladisays

I spent the last couple of days considering how shallow I want to sound in a review of my year. I have been doing this thing where I am trying to be absolutely honest about myself but I don’t even think I want you to know me that well. This year has had a lot of things and this is me telling you as much as I will allow myself be honest about.

The Beginning of things

At the beginning of 2017, I had a job as a content writer for one of you people’s fav tech companies, I was a brand ambassador for what I think is the biggest online food vendor in Nigeria, I had just been accepted into the second round of a design internship screening. I had a pretty pretty girlfriend (she was pretty cool too), I had money in my account, I was getting back into a grind at school; attending classes and studying in the library. I had just acquired a domain name for an idea I had been nurturing for a substantial amount of time. I was doing regular French lessons. I will say I was pretty happy, with dreams, expectations and shit. Felt the same way you guys probably feel right now, telling myself about how this was my year and my greatness was around the corner.

The End of things

Now, I am unemployed, have been for a couple of months. In the past, I have been the kind of person that’s typically always trying to be busy, doing something. Right now, I am just the guy that’s in between shit. I am single. I am the broke-est I can remember being in 4 years. I am somewhat scared I will not graduate school next year. I have put a pause on the idea I started working on and the domain and hosting just expired. I haven’t done any French lesson in 1 month. I am just off the back of the latest in a series of rejection emails and I am simply begging the universe for a win. Do I have dreams and expectations and shit? Probably, sometimes, maybe, yes. I don’t think 2018 is my year though or at least that’s not what I am telling myself. I am just trying to do it and write something else at the end.

The Middle Of things

I am one of the many people that have resolutions. I am one of the few that work hard to keep them. I had 15 resolutions on my list at the beginning of the year. One of the 15 was cancelled leaving me with 14. Here’s how I did. I bought food for at least one person every month of the year, some people I wasn’t even friends with. I did not buy my mum a phone for her birthday, I bought one for mother’s day. I bought an iphone, I lost out on the internship I applied for at the start of the year but got offered two later on and had to turn one down. I made 3/5 of the amount of money I planned to earn this year. I couldn’t make any money from the idea I started working on. I didn’t get published at all this year, mostly because I didn’t write for the first 10 and half months. I have received about 10–15 rejections since I started writing again and submitting my stories. I started a technical blog which I kept going for a couple of months. I learnt to cook more than 5 new dishes (actually did a three day crash course at a culinary school). I took my girlfriend (during the part of the year I had one) on as many dates as I could. I wanted to buy her something really expensive for her birthday; I bought her something I could afford. I did not perfect my French. I did not learn to illustrate. I tried my best to restore people’s faith in humanity, I cannot conclude on whether I was successful in this one.

Some things Unplanned

I started a podcast, recorded just one episode. The podcast is supposed to be me reviewing books. I started listening to podcasts again(one literary and one religious) I went for three art exhibitions that I can remember right now; they were all different types of exciting and completely varying kinds of experiences. I joined a book club. I went on a road trip with my family to the village (this one wasn’t totally unplanned, we go almost every year.) I started a new blog, it’s called ‘published notes’ and it’s basically me practicing writing essays. I did a whole bunch of courses on udacity along their front-end developer track. I learnt python and php programming languages. I learnt to use adobe illustrator, premier pro and Photoshop. I also learnt to use lighthouse for editing videos. I learnt to edit videos, did this while helping a friend with a youtube channel. I took two hiatuses; one from the internet because I was feeling overwhelmed; one from twitter because I was terrified at how much everything there just seemed to be sad. These two times, I realised that no one notices when you are gone. I drank a lot of coffee. I read three non-fiction books… And I liked them (who would have thought?)

Some things learnt

I learnt that I do not have an eye for details. I learnt to work on that. I learnt how to cook a bunch of new things, obviously. I learnt that I tend to live my life in short burst of adrenaline. I learnt that a lot of things are inconsequential. I learnt that you don’t stop loving someone, you stop trying to. I learnt how to be content with what I have, even when very little. I learnt to always keep moving forward. I learnt that all the mechanics and electricians and generator repairers in this Nigeria don’t know what the hell they are doing. I learnt that Nigeria (Lagos in particular) is trying to kill me. I learnt that I have a lot to learn. I learnt that at every point when I think everything is shit, there are probably worse things ahead so I should get over it quickly and move on. I learnt how to look happy when I am sad. I learnt that you can find motivation in the oddest of places. I learnt that sometimes people help you and don’t know it and that’s nice. I learnt to pray. No that’s a lie, I just say whatever is on my mind and that’s often a bunch of random shit but I learnt that that’s fine too.

Some things started

I started writing a book, again. I started submitting my stories and stopped posting them. I started studying film. I started designing (this is complicated, a better way of saying it is “I started thinking I was designing”) I started reading a book and never finished it. (This is new for me.) I started writing in my journals (plural yup. I typically just write my thoughts.) I started having periodic anxiety attacks. I started talking to one of my favourite people (everyday) again.

Some things liked

Being in a happy relationship, that was nice. Doing well at work. People caring about how I am doing. My birthday. Books I read. Time spent with friends (I am tempted to name names but I will go on forever). The begger in front of my office. Things I wrote. Time spent with family (btw my younger sister had a hella great year and I am so proud and happy for her).

At the end of things

At the end of things, I realise that I couldn’t possibly ever summarise my year. I could try but whatever I write couldn’t possibly do justice. At the end of things I am alive. At the end of things, I might say that if given the chance, I’d do a lot of things differently but truth is I will not be given the chance. When I think back to this year, I might remember it as the year where I experienced personal growth by seeing myself flunk a lot of things, I might remember it as the year where my self-confidence was at its lowest, I might remember it as the year where I helped (or at least tried to ) as many friend as I could because I realised that helping people made me feel very happy. At the end of things, I have no idea how I will remember this year but at least I can read this.

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