Dusk: Tayo

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

I started this year with little or no expectations. I wanted good things, obviously, but I only intended to freestyle and see what the year held for me. One of the paramount things on my mind though, was to be done with the compulsory one year suffering (NYSC) in one piece. I looked forward to serving in a law firm so I could get a year’s worth of legal practice that eventually would or would not convince me to practice for a while longer. My place of primary assignment turned out to be way below my expectation and every minute I spent there felt like I was being choked in my own misery. I looked forward to 6pm like my life depended on it. I didn’t need anybody to tell me legal practice wasn’t for me. 12 allowee alerts and a year later, I became free; free to fully follow my dreams and become a business owner.

Madam Karakata.

I registered and began to fully operate my business sometime mid 2013. I’m grateful for all the opportunities we have had as a growing business this year. I won’t say it has been tough, neither will I say it has been easy. However, I am sure I don’t have any right to complain. I have parents who believe in my dreams and are willing to raise most of the capital I might need. I have a supportive man who pushes me to up my game and is constantly springing new ideas for my business on me. I have sisters who absolutely believe and advertise me for free. I have a passion for what I do and I believe in the future of my dreams. I don’t think I could ever ask for more without seeming greedy.

“Of two sisters, one is always the watcher, one the dancer.”

Anyone who knows me can confidently tell you I am my Sisters’ keeper; I hover around them like a Mother hawk. No, I’m actually way worse than a Mother hawk! I watched one of my sisters fall in love this year. Last year, I had watched her go through some not so good experiences that left her disillusioned with life and ‘friends’. Now she’s stronger and wiser, and I know her life is still a bundle of unfolding miracles.

Another of my sisters is smarter and braver and business savvier and such a single pringle. I admire her countenance to life and I have realized I am constantly hounding her with calls about my business ideas. I know there are times I weigh her down with my endless calls and chitchats about my ideas, but hey, she’s single, I’m somewhat entitled to all that brain and free time she has on her hands  -__-

I watched my baby bloom and blossom. She has always been assertive, but with her, this year has been one long roll of I-can-be-blunt-and- get-away-with-it attitudes. She carted 12 out of the 14 prizes in her class, she started tailoring classes this year and she is more frugal with money she makes from her own sweat, LOOL. I watched my protectiveness learn to take a back stage as I reluctantly allowed her to start taking public transport on her own. Even though it means calling her a million times a day to confirm and guide her movements, I am glad I am finally learning to give her just enough space so she can discover how to be an independent teen and take care of herself in a world that gets more dangerous by the day.

“Falling in love is like jumping off a cliff, you just have to believe and let go.”

I entered this relationship with ‘ALL’ of the 3 months relationship experience I had garnered in my whole life, and like I quickly learnt, the experience wasn’t going to be enough to keep my relationship. Heck, it wasn’t even going to be relevant. Being single for so long bestows on you flaws like selfishness. I was selfish with my emotions and love, and all I could ever think of was me. Lots of fights and loads of patience later, I jumped off my cliff of doubts… I realized I have the most amazing and patient man in the world and making us work is all that’s important. I have learnt it is about us and not me; I don’t count in the equation, we do! My heart still lurches whenever I think of forever, but hey, I am taking baby steps and that counts.

Grandmas and parents.

No matter how pessimistic my grandmas are, I am grateful they are still agile and alive. And oh, one year closer to seeing my children, nieces and nephews. This year more than ever, I am also constantly super duper thankful to God for my parents, He couldn’t have given me better ones.

“True friendships comes when the silence between two people are comfortable.”

My best friend travelled for his masters’ degree and I almost cried when he called me from the airport. It wasn’t like we were seeing each other that often, but then, he was moving further away from me. Luckily for us, our friendship transcends distance. I realized and came to terms with the fact that friends are usually there for a reason and a season, and if or when the season expires, just let go. This year, I’m lucky to have been ‘re-blessed’ with Yetunde, Olivia, Chioma, Bolu girl and friends like sisters and brothers. I’m glad we understand silence doesn’t mean the end and our friendship matters a lot.

Live and let live.

I can’t change the world, nor can I change the way everyone thinks. I can’t comment on every tweet fight there is, I can’t change the fact that retards abound. Not everyone will believe you deserve to be happy and that doesn’t remove from the quality of your happiness. I now know and believe these, and I have discovered peace (the type I won’t trade for acceptance and validation).

“We don’t stop when we are tired; we stop when we are done!!!”

I lost weight!!! I had always wanted to lose weight since forever. So, it wasn’t surprising that at the beginning of this year, I hoped 2013 (unlike other years) would be the year I would finally possess my God-given shape. Fast forward to May, I started using the workout DVD Mr Amazing bought for me, diligently followed the fitness tips from @Delaterre on Twitter, and I watched my body take a new shape. I dropped more than 2 dress sizes, and I’m rocking my near Kim Kardashian shape (my small cooking pot belly doesn’t count -__-).  I feel good, I look better. It is an ongoing fitness and diet battle, but my hidden hourglass shape gats unleash its full self.

Spirituality

This is the only New Year resolution I remember having. It even made all of my monthly resolutions, but I found myself too lazy to read my Bible, and even when I eventually did, too scared to meditate on what I’d read. I admit I have done a whole lot of thinking this year, but I look forward to basing my thinking more on what the bible says. I have made up my mind that in 2014, until I pray, read my Bible and meditate on it; my data services will remain off. Entertainment cannot separate me from the love of God.

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

One person can’t have it this good in a full year, I keep thinking. At least 2 years ago and the year before this, we had the assassination scares, and the accidents, and the near miss fuel outburst on the express way that had my dad fielding his officers to scale fences with barbed wires to escape the fire that was catching on. We were constantly fasting and fighting physical and spiritual battles. This year compared to those other years has been a ride. I still get scared: what if the next call I receive will be the one to ruin my year? What if the devil is just bidding his time? But then,

He who keeps Israel does not slumber nor sleep… Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.

I am a better person than I aimed to be this year; God did exceedingly beyond all I could have asked for. I don’t know what 2014 holds in store for me, but I know who is holding my 2014. I am looking forward to knowing Him and the power of His resurrection and learning to take time off my busy schedule to enjoy the true joys of life. I look forward to watching Madam Karakata bloom. I look forward to love. I look forward to living an amazing life filled with extra pleasant surprises.

I look forward to telling someone in 2015: 2014 was a fantastically fabulous year!

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“Entertainment cannot separate me from the love of God.” Amen, sister! Amen!

Guys, for some reason I totally enjoyed the two posts today. I feel blessed to read all these and I’m grateful that we all can find like minded people to resonate with like this. It’s one of the joys of 19th Street. Bless you all.

Day 21: Wale

2013…

There are many ways in which I could choose to write about how 2013 went for me. It was a year filled with joyful moments, sad times, disappointments, anger, some depression and thanksgiving. I choose to be thankful and see things from the glass half full perspective knowing that in the remaining days, Baba God could just decide to fill the cup to overflowing.

To understand my outlook in 2013, I need to talk a little about 2012.

I concluded in MSc degree in December 2012. That year turned out to be one of the best I ever spent. My MSc was fully sponsored by an IOC and it was luxury for me all the way. However, it turned out that the likelihood of being offered an appointment by the company was slim so I started looking elsewhere.

2013 started on a bright note. I was relieved to be through with my MSc and I felt I needed a few weeks to rest. I ended up resting for 7 months! 

A lot of other things were happening though.

I made a conscious effort to be closer to my family and I tried in my own little way. I’m the only guy in a family of 3. I used to have a younger brother but we lost him in 2002, the year I left secondary school. I guess I reacted to this in a bad way and this way was by isolating myself. Time spent in school away from home and in my room while at home ensured that I never really bonded with anyone in my immediate family. I resolved to change this in 2013 and I believe I’m getting better.

We organized a birthday party for my mum this year. Seeing her happy that day remains one of the highlights of my year. She had never really celebrated her birthday before to my knowledge. So, I arranged with my sisters, invited a few friends and put a smile on her face. I also had 2 major disagreements with her late this year. I’m happy my dad didn’t support anyone but resolved it amicably or I would have just disappeared into my shell in the family. Thank God we disagreed to agree and all is now well.

God also gave me a nephew this year. I’m so happy to have him with us. Though it took a long time before I garnered courage to carry him (I’m not just comfortable carrying babies, I’m scared I’ll drop them or something) I’m happy I did at some point and I love him so much.

My best friend moved to Yankee in August this year. He was sent on cross posting by his accounting firm and he’ll be there for 2.5 years. He’s worked extremely hard for it and I’m very happy for him.

Back to my job hunting. In the beginning, I was positive that things would sort themselves out in no time and I’d get an excellent job. Weeks turned into months and my happiness index nose-dived with no positive feedback from anywhere.

However, there’s a spin to my job hunting. In the middle of all the happenings, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I turned down an offer from an IOC!

Let me explain, Sometime in February, I got a call to come for a test with a certain IOC. Few weeks later, I got a call that I passed the test but that the test was for a 2 – year foreign masters’ degree in the IOC’s parent country after which I’d be given a job offer. It was an offer difficult to reject and I seriously toyed with the idea of taking it. The downside was that I already have a masters in same course they wanted me to study (which they were aware of) and I felt the 2 years was an absolute waste of my life. I ended up rejecting the offer the day I was supposed to go for my visa interview.

One of my other major disappointments during the year was being called up for a job test and interview by the same company that offered me the Master’s scholarship. About 6 of us were called and we were supposed to do the test in the morning and interview after lunch. Somehow, after passing the test, I was called in and was prevented from going for the interview because someone felt I was likely to pass the interview and he didn’t want one person (me) to have  2 offers (job and masters) from the same company. I felt terrible after this episode and almost got depressed as a result.

However, God showed up. Out of nothing, A Petroleum engineer who was consulting on a project for a company brought me in to assist him on that project. Incidentally, I had to work in the office of the firm he was consulting for and after 2 weeks of working there, the MD of the company offered me a job. I didn’t even have to write a test or do any interview. He just saw my work for those 2 weeks and made me an offer. It’s not the perfect place I would love to work but I’m learning that God wants to take me through this life and my career, one baby step at a time. And I’m grateful.

And to my highlight of the year. On the 3rd of March, I asked my sweetheart of many years if she would like to be my Wife, And She said YES!!! She’s been with me through it all, she knows me inside out and 1 year after buying the ring, I gained the courage to ask and I’m thankful she agreed to go through life with me. So, by the time I’m writing this next year (hopefully), I’ll be married to my heartthrob for eternity.

On my relationship with God, I’d say I’m in a transitional period. At some point, church lost its appeal to me. I wasn’t losing my faith, I was just not moved by organized religion and especially the way we practice Christianity in Nigeria. I might end up changing place of worship in 2014. I pray God leads me in whatever decision I take. I pray he holds my hand every time I ought to pray. I pray he draws me close to him once again and never lets me go.

Finally, I just want to say I’m thankful to God for how the year panned out. I didn’t have all I wanted but all I ever needed, he provided. And this is my summary for the year – 2013 was the year God showed up and provided all I needed. I’m thankful for those friends that were there during the dark times. God bless you guys.
Here’s to a 2014 that brings me a better Job, a successful wedding and a better relationship with my family and God.

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The struggles you had to go through in these mid life formative years are the stuff men are made of. Congratulations bro.