Dusk: Bunmi

It was 2013. A new year. New yes, but that wasn’t new. New years happen, it wasn’t novel. It was just another new year.

But for a newly minted not quite an adult who ended 2012 ranting and lying on a bed of disappointments and shame, it was going to be different.
So she decided, it would be new, she would be.

There’s all them dreams and aspirations at the start of the year…all them uncertainties plaguing her soul, the fear of the unknown, and the somewhat overwhelming need to just get it right this time.

Then came the end of the first quarter. Her birthday was done and dusted, things were all rosy. Although, exceptional couldn’t describe the 90 days gone by, there were 9 months more and she heaved that first sigh of relief.

Second quarter, smooth sailing still. She had designed a blueprint for the year and the building was coming along quite nicely. Couple of ripples here and there but nothing she couldn’t get by. Or so she thought.

Then came the third quarter, and with it unforeseen, uncontrollable circumstances that stalled everything and unravelled the fabric of all her plans. Still she tried to make something of the setback. What she got was something that was okay on the surface but when probed was more or less nothing. Underlying all the banality that filled those days was the persistent nagging feeling that she was behind in everything that mattered …music, books, places, people – Life. She tried for a September to remember (as cliché as it reads), wanted it with every fibre of her being – a flagship month where everything changes. She learnt it’s never enough to just want.

Then it was the final quarter and she went into October still rallying to make something of the year. She put it all aside to be Omotoyosi to her mother and Oluwafunmilayo to her sister. Although she got to the 11th hour before ‘re-learning’ to focus. She’s saying better late than never, for, she found peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s the best thing that happened to her this year. It became her 2013 keepsake.

I had clearly envisioned this year at its start and in the manner of best laid human plans and a higher being up there…I didn’t get what I wanted or thought I needed, I got the things that truly mattered!

Bye 2013. Hey 2014, let’s see the stuff you’re made of.

Merry Christmas in advance peoples.

P.S: :* 016 for all the laughing, planning and living we did this year. Senilore ({}) for being there.

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Such a coded post. Merry Christmas to you in advance too. 

Day 24: Dammy Genesis

See, I’ve had to learn a lot about this country, its people and humanity in general this year. January began for me on the job. 

In military boot camp. 5 months training down, one to go. January was to be my last month in training before commissioning.

All those months of pre-dawn jogging, hours and hours of perfecting parade, weapon drills, spur of the moment mandatory frog-jumps, crunches, double-ups, fatigue, locked in an enclosed facility for 6 entire months. January was finally here. The expectant air was palpable.

Commissioned at the end of January.

Unfortunately, I happened to be one of the offficers who got deployed to Maiduguri in February.

Borno.

Middle of a senseless war.
Heat.
Sun.
White sand.
Heat.
For months I saw deaths. 
Tasted loneliness. 
Heat.
Fear was a Barrack-mate.
Knew courage.
Heat.
Fought Hopelessness. 
Grew in faith. 
Comprehensions of depression.
Became desensitized. 
Heat.
Somehow kept faith through it all. 
Became stronger.

In April I questioned everything about life when a colleague close to me was brutally ripped out from this realm. I lost all faith. Lost strength. 

In April, I left. Redeployment. Home.
Enough.

You heard of PTSD? Yeah. We snuggled together in the same body; ate, slept and woke together from April till June. 

Man, those first couple of  months? I was the poster child for silence. 

Lots of Introspective revaluation. 

From the first half of 2013, I had gained a new understanding and appreciation of (for) life however, so I wasn’t in silence for long.

Gradually learned again how to laugh completely. 

Gradually learned to walk without feeling the need to do a jackie chan tuck-dive-roll into the nearest unoccupied bush for fear of stray bullets.

Gradually eased into the acceptance of this semblance of normality as reality. 

First attempts at socialization were bad. I had nothing (normal) to say to people I used to know and I couldn’t relate with mundane gist. 

August found me settled at my new command. Peace of mind, that which had seemed like a myth, was starting to know my name. LOL. I was becoming Dammy again, albeit wiser, more tolerant. About 500 years older in spirit. Less inclined to sweating the small stuff. So much more reserved. 

My ability to laugh (at and) in spite of myself or conditions never faltered though and for that I’m grateful to God. 

I actually wrote several happy, funny (if you say so) blog posts during my travails. Some of the posts were written while my spirit was at its lowest. 

Thankful to Kelvin (the monster who severally made me make myself laugh with my own posts) and Terdoh (for actually coming to witness my commissioning ceremony). 

By October/November I had (faithfully) gotten back to my Church, and gym, and resumed my saturday French classes.

I even sat for an examination certifying proficiency in French earlier on in December.

I don’t have all the answers (yet). But I’m learning how to ask the right questions. 

2013. The year that tried to live up to the year that broke me. Yeah, as Crinkum-Crankumish as this year was, it wasn’t even the second worst year that’s happened to me in the past 5 years. So go figure.

I learned how to accept bullshit to reduce aggregate bullshit this year. 

Learned the value(s) of silence. 

I also learned never again to ask the “Can things possibly get any worse?” question. They usually do.

Most importantly, I have learned (now more than ever) to look out for my own interest as well, instead of acting like Father Theresa all the time. 

Because when you find yourself needing to either move or sink in shit’s creek? You’re the only one who will be there to wonder why you have no paddles.

And oh yeah… December 31st of this year will make it exactly ONE entire year since the last time I drank Alcohol.

Like, No Alcohol.

Like, at all.

Like, 365 days.

Like, Not even one drop.

LOL. Get it or nah, it means a great deal to me that I was able to decide to drop a habit and I was able to. *Highfives Angel Michael*

Here’s hoping 2014 will be better to me. And to you too. Amen.

Reviewing my year here with you guys has been all sorts of cathartic. 

Thanks Efe for having me on here. Hope you understand now why I couldn’t write as I had proMISED THIS TIME LAST YEAR AS I WAS SORTA KINDA IN MILITARY HELL AT THE TIME YEAH? OKAY. 

BYE GUYS AND PEACE, LOVE AND A CARTON OF THAT FISH FLAVORED BISCUIT TO YOU AND YOURS. MINE TOO. 🙂 

**OFFS CAPSLOCK**

Sent from TheBatmobile®

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God was your strength this year. Welcome back. Had no idea you were in those zones in 2013!  Had no idea you were even commissioned! Thanks a lot for sharing Dammy.