I had decided a long time ago not to live the normal life. To not be defined by my nationality, my race or more recently my ethnicity. But it had never been easy. Like gravity, normal somehow draws you to its center and then it becomes a daily struggle. In the past, I struggled with road rage, I struggled with disappointment, I struggled with my health, I struggled with paying bills, I struggled with keeping commitments. More importantly, I struggled with what people thought about me and their approval of me.
2016 was that year where I fully came to terms with the fact that all of these things I struggled with were optional. Totally optional! And not only that, there was no need to struggle. All I had to do was stand up, clean the sweat off my face, drop my heavy baggage full of struggle and just walk out.
In 2017, I don’t struggle.
Struggle is what Lagosians know and I refuse to be a Lagosian. Corruption and recession are what Nigerians are talking about. I refuse to be a Nigerian by accepting that the quality of my life is dependent on the economy of the state. No, I won’t be accepting the statistically biased adjective, ‘Yoruba demon’ through inappropriate social behaviors.
What I want in 2017 is to walk more freely in this freedom that I have been gracefully gifted.
Two weeks to the new year, I brought out my journal to scribble down what the end of 2017 will look like for me and it was beautiful. In 2014, my stomach had been given a name— Audu. That’s what they called the pot belly. 2016, I had lost it. It’s now a stomach. At the end of 2017, I had written, my family and colleagues will call me Mr. SixPack. No, I won’t just have those sexy abs, every single person who took on the Audu joke will be tired of me flashing my abs until they confess that my name is Mr. SixPack.
At the end of 2017, I would have given of myself more than I have ever given before. Hey! It’s not because I have been so blessed. It’s really because it’s more blessed to give than to receive. There has been nothing given to me that I got by myself. I will be proving that. And I am full of hope on this.
I am so grateful that I have the priviledge of daily working in a multinational. But I don’t want to stop there. I am hopeful that at the end of 2017, I will have the ultimate dream of working on technical projects that directly impact the lives of people positively, and doing this in a work environment that’s totally independent of location.
It seems like the moment you strike 30, the questions, inquiry and the pressure to start a family mounts up like never before. I have started seeing sense in why I shouldn’t ‘be alone’. In 2017, I hope to be the right person to the right person, and concluding plans to starting a family in 2018.
Above all of these, in 2017 I hope to have taken off ‘self’ and humbly be that person others want to emulate.
In an ancient letter to the Hebrew people, someone wrote, faith is the evidence of things hoped for.
I have this evidence.