Day 26: Bankole

*deep breaths*

Yes I do a lot of breathing exercises now because I’m almost always anxious.

Anyway, I survived 6 months of 2016 and see ehn, I am very thankful. The year started out in the most stressful way I can think of. Finances were upside down. I had no friends in my new city, my depression had me in bed at every given free time, I considered just freeing school and moving back home to Nigeria because I was home sick and the biggest blow of all, the destruction of the Naira.

Writing this right now, I still don’t understand how I managed to crawl out of the emotional hole I dug myself into at the start of the year.
So at the start of the year, I had big hopes for the following:

1. Do great in school: Well I’m done with my first semester and I ended up on the dean’s list so I’d say that is going well right now.

2. Write my Canadian Securities Course: Well, I haven’t even registered lol. I’m already saving up for it tho because this is something I want to do myself. The universe cam clutch for me around April and I’ve been able to find a stable source of income so for that I am thankful.

3. Get a Job after college: Hopefully when I am writing in January, I will be able to say this happened *fingers crossed*

4. Make friends: TBH this happened in the weirdest way lol. One day I had none in this city and the nest day, I woke up to a handful. I’m actually really proud of myself because this is something that’s a little hard for me because of my nature of being somewhat closed off and detached.

All in all, 2016 did take a turn for the better right before my birthday and although there have been a few hiccups, I’ve had a really wonderful summer so far. I hope the second half goes even half as well as my summer so far and I’ll be able to say 2016 was good to me regardless of depression and anxiety trying to ruin it for me.

Bankole

Thankful.

Dusk 25: Motunrayo

1 Corinthian 2:9’Eye has not seen, or ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’

And I do, truly. So, naturally, in 2016, I’m waiting to see His magic in me – Me, January 2016

I saw His Magic alright! See, God came through for me. I’m still struggling a lot in some areas, but I am thankful.

I got a job. In a field I had always wanted. Like it literally dropped in my laps. I wasn’t even searching o. I had plans to just be a baby girl and put work on hold, but God said no. Who starts a new job on a Friday that isn’t even the start of a new month? Me. See, my boss did not even see my CV before he offered me the job, to start the next day. True. When I was leaving he just said something like ‘I’ll take a look at your CV to confirm you’re not catfish (He didn’t really say catfish sha, but I like that word). I started. In two months I got a promotion. Note: Confirmation takes 6months. Magic no 2. It came 5 days to my birthday too. So I had something to celebrate. Now, when we have status meetings, and HODs speak, me too I speak.  ME! Me, Motunrayo. Small, tiny, innocent, me! Me that people walk into the office and ask if I’m the new IT student! Wonder of wonders.

Jer 29:11 ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, say the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’

Remember that project I talked about here? I did it! And it was awesome! I’m not even joking. I had the best people on my team, and we did beautiful things together. It was a relief project by the way. We went to Ajegunle and distributed some relief materials on GoodFriday. You can view pictures here : I’m having another by the end of the year, on a much bigger scale. If you want to donate, please hit me up, God bless you.

I also joined a tourist group. I’ve started actually traveling. This, I am really excited about. I have met new people. Quite a handful of wonderful people that I have gradually come to love or respect or both. I am one who is quite wary of letting people in so it has been (is) a gradual process. I think I have actually begun to form friendships with real life, breathing females. That is a feat! Fingers crossed I don’t mess these up.

John 14:27 ‘Peace I leave with you, my pace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’

For the rest of the year, I am going to declutter. All the pain and hurt I couldn’t let go of before, BYE. Everything in any area of my life that brought me sorrow, BYE. No more mind games. If I want to talk you, I will call you. If I miss you, I will reach out. If you don’t want, I will carry my kaya and go. World is not war fa.

Putting all my Energy into getting my mojo back. Spring in my steps, smile on my face, joy in my heart, peace in my mind, money in my pocket. Haha.  You. People. Are. Not. Ready.

Motunrayo

P.S: PreciousHeart, my best friend, is getting married. This is bittersweet for me because she promised me she was going to do away with men and we will get married and live happily ever after. Now she has gone and collected ring and the only thing she can think about is Bayo. Sigh. I love you, babe. God bless you both.

Day 25: Mosimi

The Girl Who Lived

I think if I were to write a book about myself, that’s what I would call it. I loved Cassie Daves June recap format and I decided to use it in my Mid Year Review.

Making: I was inspired to make my own pasta (Fettuccini) by Tobi of All I Do is Cook. I learnt from that experience to invest in machines, less stressful and so freaking easy.

Eating: More healthy stuffs and less carb thanks to my Doctor’s order. Sigh, no more Road Chef’s sweet potatoes fries.

Drinking: Lots of tea. I am a certified Tea Addict. I am always looking to get different kinds of tea

Reading: Beast of No Nation. The following books I have read this have made some kind of impact on my life -100 Headlines That Changed the World, Me Before You (I laughed, I cried, I shipped like crazy and I stayed up most of the night to finish the book), Elnathan’s Born on a Tuesday, Chimamanda’s Americannah and The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma.

Wanting: To enjoy life, experience life, travel a lot more.

Playing: Pokemon Go (I recently started playing it and I just can’t stop) – It has also helped me in achieving my 10,000 steps per day goal (2 birds with 1 stone?)

Wasting: Lots of time watching series and movies

Creating: A 30 Things Before 30 Bucket List.

Wishing: That I can improve my Food Photography skills.

Enjoying: Cybersecurity (One of my goals was to improve my CyberSecurity skills, I am happy to say I have improved greatly – that is to say I am loving my Black Hat right now).

Loving: My Self #SelfLove

Wondering: When the next Shuffle event (see Shuffle The First here) is going to take place.

Hoping: For more collaborations, opportunities and ideas

Marvelling: At what God is doing in my life. I got a job offer with an Oil Company outside Nigeria which I totally didn’t expect but grateful it came by. Still wondering if it was a good idea accepting it. I guess time would tell.

Wearing: The dress that wasn’t my size earlier in the year. I am so proud of how far I have come along.

Opening: Myself to things I would never had tried some years ago.

Thinking: One of my goals this year was to travel within Nigeria. I am happy to say I have conquered 2 summits in Nigeria (Olumo Rock and Idanre Hills). I am looking forward to climbing my next summit (Oke-Ado, Ibadan) with Truppr.

Feeling: Grateful for the gift of life.

Mosimi

In Summary, this year has been awesome so far, looking back, I am still on track to achieve the goals I set for myself and I am happy to say that I have already met some of them. While the road hasn’t been easy, we stay pushing as usual.

Day 24: Nimi

Oddly enough, I wasn’t sure how to start this entry. I literally just got in from a baby shower (where I ate baby food blindfolded cos I wanted to win a competition; baby food is horrible! Never be a baby again, they do not make tasty food for the little ones!!!), and I’m in that strangely content place… while I decide if I have the energy to go to my favourite Naija bar at 1am.

I guess that’s a good place to start, the feeling of contentment (even though I fully acknowledge how temporary it is) is something I did not feel earlier this year when I wrote the things I was hopeful for, so yay hope J.

First, I got my ‘genuine belly laugh till you cry (or pee in some cases, I can’t even lie)’ and they were amazing! I can honestly say I have had so many moments of joy in the past few months. And you know those moments I spoke about? Those “deliciously salacious things that have me looking back & smiling every once in a while”? Yeah…I had me A LOT of those too. Let’s just say baby got her mojo back 😉

Second, getting back to being creative has been a bit of a tricky one.  I definitely have been better than I was, I would like to thank the person that eased me back into things and is patient with me as I flexed muscles again.  I also know I need to be in a certain environment for things to improve even more….I’m working on that one. Who knows, maybe in January (you will do another one in January 2017, wouldn’t you Ola??) I may have a new story to tell on this (see Fifth*)

Third, do better with my people.  I don’t think I’ve been as good as I wanted to be with this one, better than before but this still needs massive improvement. I think some changes to certain aspects of my life will help this.

Fourth…..well I didn’t have a fourth in January but I think I got one I wasn’t expecting. I am grateful for it, I am happy with it and I will be keeping it.

*Fifth (an additional one) a career change, I am fully looking into writing in some form full time. It is needed, I am putting it out there; universe, abeg hear and deliver o. Oh, and abeg I still like material things, so let it not be the starving artist kind of job jarey)

All in all, it has been an unexpected few months, the world outside appears to be imploding but in my little corner, I am happy; so maybe, just maybe this hope thing works. Plus I’ve seen 2 of the 5 babies I am expecting this year… If that is not hope in its purest form, I don’t know what is.

Nimi

This image is of WAKAA The Musical that came to London (from Lagos, full of absolutely talented Nigerians!!). It was such an amazing show that had me feeling exactly where I am right now, the laughter, the fun, the hope (eh, eh, you see what I did there J ) with some nostalgia mixed in.  Besides after seeing some of the pics of the gorgeous contributors, I could not let the side down. I am currently looking how I feel.  I don’t know who is asking me to go out at this time at night (or morning). I’m old now, let me go and find my bed jarey.

Day 23: Ogenna

I am convinced 2016 hates me. Not the way you hate a sibling, I mean, real hate, the way you hate your lecturer for giving you 69/100. The way you hate standing from your bed to turn off your lights when you’re comfortable in bed. The way you hate when your phone screen breaks, the way you hate… I’m sure you get my point.

I’m sitting in the living room of my family house writing this, watching Inside Out at the same time and I wish I was a cartoon or 5 years old or just dust. See, I’m tired, T I R E D, tireddd, knackered, worn out, exhausted of this ogbanje 2016. It should just come and go and be going, it has do for it.

I came into 2016 with a promise of sobriety but is it not me again? I haven’t actually been drinking like a sailor, it’s just been a drink or two here and there.

As I’m typing this, I’m tired, I’ve been unnecessarily lazy these past months, no zeal, no motivation, nothing, zilch, zero. I’m tired, of myself, of my mediocrity, of this sin that I continually commit, this demonic sin of just being extremely ordinary.

Anyway I’m going to go over my plans for the year which I wrote down in January.

So, here goes…

Online journal, look at me and look at online journal, I wrote for 20 days and stopped writing. Nna, it’s not easy to write every evening when I don’t have energy to even lift my hand. So yeah, I failed at that.

Learning to keep to my word, That actually is going great, I’ve just stopped making offhand promises. If I can’t do something, I just say no. Like – No. (No is a full sentence, trust me, there’s no comma after).

Apologizing for my feelings – I HAVE STOPPED!!!!! WHO ARE YOU AND WHO IS YOUR DADDY TO MAKE ME APOLOGIZE TO YOU FOR HOW I FEEL? MY FRIEND TAKE A SEAT. ACTUALLY HAVE SEVERAL SEATS.

Disappointment – I don’t even expect much from myself anymore so I don’t really get disappointed, I’m actually too tired to be disappointed.

Graduate – working on that, a few hiccups but we dey move dey go. My first semester results are rolling in and they’re good so far, there might not even be a next semester for me after this second semester.

Pray – I can’t lie, I don’t pray every day. I try, I really do.

Read up to 100 books and write more – look at my nose like 100, it’s not working. At most, I’m at 20. Haven’t been writing much really but I’m working on a piece. Maybe I’ll be done by the end of this year.

Buy myself stuff – LOL. Nope, isn’t happening; I’ve spent most of my money on family members and friends. Nothing for me really. But I have managed to save some money when I’m not spending said money on family members.

Realize relationships aren’t do-or-die affairs – this one, I have done. Honestly not ready for a relationship so I’m just low-key and all. But loneliness kills, I won’t even lie (especially when everyone around you is in a relationship)

Learn to play the guitar – I know how to play 6 chords, that’s all. If you like, judge me, that is your business.

Travel more – I’ve left owerri just once; I just might be a tree finally.

Learn a language – I’m still on that, gradually progressing.

Pay attention to people who love me and appreciate them more – Nope, isn’t working. I’m terrible at keeping in touch.

Lose weight – I’m down by 10kg, went from 86 to 76kg, not by choice but by stress.

Face confrontation head on, not every time ignore.- I’ve been doing this, I’ve gotten a wee bit aggressive at voicing my opinion, because of late, people (men) have been trying to shut me down (bloody sexist animals) but threatening to bash someone’s head with a wheel spanner + my height does much to prove I’m not someone to be messed with.

All in all, 2016 hasn’t been nice, I’ve been depressed; I have been worn out, bone-bloody-tired. Being a house girl, driver, baby-sitter and everything in between and going to school everyday from home isn’t really helping me much. No privacy, no time to rest, read or anything and the tiredness after the long day at school combined with the 45 minute journey on the bad roads… See, please, just put me in rice.

My project work isn’t going too good, I have seminar defense 4 days from now and I’m not done with my report, a lot of obligations but I’m going to watch Tom and Jerry just after writing this.

I. Cannot. Come. And. Go. And. Kill. Myself. Goddamit.

2016 please just come and go and be going.

Bye. Just bye.

p.s. I’m still smiling. The smile isn’t tired.

Ogenna

p.s. again. I said tired like a hundred times in this post, go ahead and count.

p.s. one more time. It’s my birthday in less than a month. Yay.

Dusk 22: Oluwadamilola

Damilola

This is the moment of truth. I suppose, it is almost a public confession. When the time came to write this essay, I had to return here to see what I had hoped for in my January post. To be fair, I read the article fearfully. However, I realise now that I was filled with so much hope in January. I am grateful for this year, I feel I have grown in several ways, I understand myself better. The journey has not been perfect, but it has been worthwhile.

Hope for God
It wasn’t until a few months ago that our fellowship changed. I began to dwell in His presence instead of driving through. I started writing Him letters like I used to. Things looked different from His point of view. I am still hoping for more of Him.

Hope for Friendships
I was once called a hermit, due to my recluse nature, this year I have returned to that. On this hope Rania Maria Rilke’s words proved true; ‘ We are unutterably alone, essentially, especially in the things most intimate and most important to us.’ I continue to hope and pray to be a friend worth having.

Hope for Love
Yes, I waited, and God was indeed saying no. NO in capital letters (I’ll write about it one day). I am happy that I can smile in reflection with a tremendous amount of joy in my heart. Falling, growing or being in love is something I always admired from a distance; I always thought Cupid never had an arrow for me. However, I know now that Cupid never had anything to do with it! Hope is still alive for love, but I am also falling in love with my writing, cooking, reading, working on my blog (check it out – damiloves.com) and walking in my purpose.

Hope for Tears
I do not think the fountains dried this year. However, I cried more to God as opposed to wasting tears on trivial issues. I found that pouring out my heart to Him always yielded better results. I remain eager for tears of joy.

Hope for Motherhood
I understand motherhood a bit better this year. As I see my friends become wives and mothers, I appreciate the labour of love parents pour out even more. It is a joy I hope to experience one day.

Hope for Purpose
There it is, an analysis of my year so far based on my initial hopes for it, I dare say, I am smiling as I write this. There are so many things I still want to accomplish, and a few things I want to experience. Dreams I want to fulfill, recipes I want to try, places I want to see. I remain motivated by grace.

Day 22: Demisola

I almost didn’t get to this.

Finals. Finals as in final finals started today.

I’m constantly telling myself to calm down. “He showed you what he could do during the mocks, calm your blood”.
Since this is supposed to be an update thing, I’ll just go with the January post (I’m semi-panicking. I should be studying. I can’t concentrate)
1. Swagged out graduation- that’s on the way. By God’s grace. Insha allah. Let’s see if that prize thing is feasible. Doctor Demi is about to hit you with all shades of awesomeness.
I’ve already passed a secular to my family, lover and friends. Nobody should make any mistake and call my name without adding ‘Dr’ o. Dr baby. Dr love. Dr sweetheart. Dr ore mi. Dr padi mi. Dr my daughter.  If you know me I’m telling you now o. I’ve warned you. Because hian. 2008-2016 is not beans.
2. @Case_Notes_ is flourishing o. It’s a wonderful something. And I just expanded my tentacles. Another small business started a few weeks ago. I should probably just go and open one shop somewhere. This school business is just demo. I like this buying and selling thing a little too much.
3. Oluwafeyikemi. My Pépè.My rock. My nigga my nigga. Still.
4. Fitfam. Lol. No such thing happened.
5. Travel. Not yet. After exams maybe. Baecation is needed.
6. God. I’m talking to him more. That’s all I can say. Nowhere near where I want to be with him. But I won’t give up.
7. Be less stubborn. Loooooool. Another loooooooooool. See, Ekiti blood is Teek. Too Teek. Still as stubborn as ever.
So far I’ve given less of a shit about people’s foolishness. Less stress in my life. You fuck up, I just ignore/cut you off. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing to be that dismal of people but really, who has time for stress?
8. I’ve not changed my car… Yet.
9. Aunty Yinka turned 50 o! Party was great but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have loved to because ‘ademisola, your uncle from kafancha needs 5 plates of pounded yam. While you’re getting those, aunty lagbaja needs you to serve her friends on that table. Bla bla bla’. Helllloo o? There were servers hired to do this rubbish o. Ha.
But in all, I’m glad I was able to do this for my mum.
10. It’s been a great first half of 2016. Ive been super stressed the most of it, but I’m still happy. I honestly can’t look back and pick any seriously sad moments.
I got scammed twice in the space of 3 weeks a few weeks back. Hit me big but for some reason I didn’t think about it. I should have been crying and wailing and gnashing my teeth but somehow, God took control. Barely made a dent in my mind. Coming from someone who over analyses and over worries and overthinks everything? Growth.
Ps- western union needs to die. A horrible death at that. But I’m not angry sha. I’m not angry.
2016, you’re on the right path. Let’s get this!
I don’t have a photo to go along with this so I’ll just bless you with this old slay-selfies. It’s been a slaying first half really so…
Demisola
God bless you brother. God bless you sister. Nobody holds the key to your  happiness but you! Go forth and be happy!