Dark 15: Tobi

I didn’t want to have any plans or goals for this year, because “what if?”
But towards the end of the last day of 2015 I had to. Because…
He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I ask or think… So 2016 here I come:

This is the year I go all out….
On my walk with God
On my relationship with my family; nuclear and extended
On my relationship with my friends;
No I won’t be afraid to say no and draw boundaries where necessary,
But I will reach out more…

This year I will read all the books I have bought and hopefully stop going on a book shopping spree(lol)

This year I will go all out on my dreams…
That blog; yes I said it!! I will work on it.
I will pick up my pen and paper (literally) and start writing again.
I will take extra courses…
I will send in those applications without second guessing myself anymore.

This year I will save more (please say amen).
To achieve that, however, I will need to learn how to be financial savvy (English) but hey, I got a plan…

This year… haven’t got it all figured out, but I am excited and a bit scared about the unknown,
But that is where faith comes in, yeah?

So my anthems for this year are:
Oceans by Hillsong
The Voyage by Amanda Cook

#Leggoo


And it came to pass that one year later, Tobi looked back and realised that all that she had prayed for and aspired to had seen fruition. And she was thankful.

Dusk 15: Temitope

🎶Happy birthday to me🎶

Wow! I know at the time of writing this, it wasn’t my birthday yet but I know this would be posted on the 15th which happens to be my day. Well, well, God has been good and life has been a journey.*as usual* Last year did I have a party? *thinking* Yeah I had a little party with my fellow corps members at the time and I was the first ever to do such.*Talk about leaving a landmark*

Which brings me to the realization of one thing, 2015 was a good year! *It feels good to use ‘was’ in a 2015 sentence*

It was exciting at the beginning as I was looking forward to going back to Anambra state, my place of posting. I was really blessed with the people there especially the corps members that made life bearable in the ‘village life’ of Anambra. It was my first of such experience. *as we seldom travel to my hometown to have a proper idea of the village life*  It was real village life and I’m glad I made the best out of it. I handled a lot of responsibilities throughout my stay there, from the beginning to the end. I grew up spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. I gloriously finished my service year, October 2015.

In 2015, I realized how bad my country needs God’s intervention. A lot is wrong with our system and we need help!

I finished my second book with the help of amazing friends and started the third one.

I learned gratitude. “Be grateful in whatever situation you find yourself, some people envy your not enough” -©Temitoria2016

I was also blessed with my present job which I’m growing to love.
Relationships were forged in 2015 but some didn’t last the year, I believe it was better that way. For others, it was worth every single trial and fight, of which I’m glad.

Here are my wishes for 2016. *Believing in my mind that candles would be placed on my cake🙈*

In 2016, I hope to:
*Grow more spiritually. Its an unending progress.
* Officially start my baby project, Unashamed People
*Finish my third book and get my work to a publisher. Its high time!
*Make my website a .com. Which became possible few days ago. Visit temitoria.com show me some love.
*Believe more in myself. I really want to.
*Advance educationally. Maybe Masters.
*Reconcile broken relationships. I hope to mend with some people this year.
*Grow my own business which is currently running.
*Write my love story with my true lover. Uhmm… My gigs know what this means😉
*Take life easy. ‘Jeje’ this year jare.
So help me God, Amen!


Lol. I feel like my hand is being forced here… But I’ve got no qualms with saying very Many Happy Returns, Temitope. I hope this new (birth) year brings all that you hope and dream, written and unwritten, to fruition. Flourish!

Day 15: Ameena

New year resolutions have never been my thing. Growing up, I always wondered why people waited till the start of a new year to bring out that blank page and fill it up with numbers, words and bullet points… However, the last few months of 2015, I suddenly found myself reflecting, needing and wanting; so when I suddenly stumbled on Toxic asking people to join in his 30 days of hope, I saw this as a sign – thank you Toxic for giving me this opportunity.

————

Have you ever asked yourself – am I happy?

I’ve always considered myself to be a happy person – like everyone else, I have happy moments in my life… but then one day someone asked me ‘Are you happy?’…

I realized even though all had been well in my life in 2015 – I still needed more and I hadn’t really thought about it until I was asked. Somehow I had spent this year putting the needs of others before mine – most of which I truly enjoyed doing – I just now need time for myself… to focus on my own growth!

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Helen Keller

As a mum, I guess it’s very easy for you to let your world revolve around others – your needs sometimes seem like nothing compared to that of your child. After all, I am perfectly capable of handling myself in any situation. I need to constantly remind myself that I too am a person – with dreams yet unfulfilled. This 2016, I plan to reclaim parts of myself, one step at a time while also trying to be the best mother I can be for my child.

————

If you were asked to describe yourself – what would you say?

I would say I am an…

Artist

Optimist

Nonconformist

I started writing (again) late last year (Check out my blog here. Thanks). I really hope I can grow in my artistic element this year. I still consider myself to be in the ‘Budding Writer’s Association’ (even though some of my friends disagree – thank you for having faith in me).

“I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.” Socrates

There is nothing more liberating to me than my freedom of self-expression, being able to coin words from feelings. This is me; raising a glass to 2016 – putting my work out there, being vulnerable to criticism, meeting other artists and learning from them.

————

I took time off work since May 2015 (motherhood and all), and I still have another couple of months before I go back  – I cannot contain my excitement!!!

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it” Ralph Waldo Emerson

2016 is my year to re focus on career development. All this time has passed and some of the people I left have moved on to greater things. I feel like I’m going back to a stagnant life I once knew. I had not so good news regarding a couple of changes I was hoping for. However, I stumbled on this verse recently and I felt like it was meant for me at this moment in time.

“And He provides for him from sources he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in God, sufficient is God for him. For God will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has God appointed a due proportion” Quran 65:3

I will have this framed and I will hang it in my house – so that it will be a constant reminder that I should be patient, for the best things come to those who don’t give up.

————

Hmm, this fitfam business is not easy. I’ve never felt the need to be fit or to exercise. I’ve been a size 6-8 all of my teenage and adult life… then comes the whole bun in the oven phase and the scales tell me I went from 53kg to 70kg LOL.

I had never been more depressed in life – watching my body change in ways beyond my own control.

“The human body is the best work of art” Jess C. Scott

I currently weigh 55kg after working my butt off!!! And I plan to stay that way in 2016 – so bring on the burpees, planks, squats – I am ready!

————

Friendship!

I don’t think I’ve been the best of friends to some of my friends in 2015. I guess for some part, I got tired of being the one always reaching out. Why could they not reach out too? Too busy?? Well. We’re all busy. We’re all pre occupied. We all have our own things going.

I was angry – but then, I guess got over it. I became ok with not reaching out, not checking in. Then the year went by, and some of my other friends lost their friends to death – and suddenly everything I was angry about seemed minute.

“ The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but a few discover.” Joseph Addison

I hope to be a better friend this year. More phone calls, text messages and when time and distance permits, we will have a fun hangout like the good old days. Making new memories while walking down old pathways…

————

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West

… and do it right I will this year! Living free, pushing myself to be a better and more refined version, taking chances. For every second spent doubting is a second of life wasted.

Raise your glasses guys – this is a toast to 2016… may our dreams be fulfilled, and our dreams accomplished. Hopefully I’ll be here again for 30 days of hope 2016 🙂


I’m in awe. I’ve known Meena all these years and had no idea she writes… and does it so beautifully. Now, me finna go read up her blog and familiarise meself. Bless up.

Day 14: Annie

I started writing this post on the 4th of January due to my increasing concern that, although I really really wanted to do this, I just couldn’t. You see, I fear that I’ve forgotten how to write. And as I write this, I remember that writing actually made me happy… and yet I can’t seem to make those words flow like I used to.

2016: My year of learning
How to write again
How to speak French
How to swim
How to travel (alone, if need be)

How to make true friends and nurture them to lasting
How to make consistently smart financial decisions

How to truly forgive myself and move on from my many regrets

I figure there are some things on my to-do list that are way overdue and there is no time like the present to get them done. After all, I’m not getting any younger. 😦

2016: My year of ticking off overdue goals.
Finally get my full UK drivers license
Finally qualify as a solicitor (I qualified as barrister/solicitor in Nigeria in  2006. I feel like a decade later is kind of a befitting time to become properly dual qualified, no?)
Finally actively get involved with volunteering/charity work (see it’s always been one of my dreams to own an NGO/run a soup-kitchen, how I have never actually actively done ANY charity work is beyond me. And this must change this year!)

2016: My year of getting it together
This is the year that I stop mucking about and finally get serious with Abba and my faith. Call me Jacob, cos I ain’t letting go till He blesses me. If I can’t trust my Abba then seriously WHO can I trust?! I have GOT to finally let go and just let Him.

You will seek me, and you will find me when you seek for me with all your heart – I’m taking massive liberties with the paraphrasing but yeah, this is how my soul remembers the verse so we’re all good.

This is also the year that I start attracting the right people into my life (I have a history of attracting emotionally/geographically unavailable men. Don’t ask. We could be here for weeks.) It ends now. When we know better, we (oughta) do better. N’est-ce pas?

And speaking of doing better, I gotta get my health and fitness back into gear. This is the year. Y’all gotta keep me accountable. We’ll work on specific goals later but a girl’s gotta drop at least 10kg by December. (Size 0 here we come, the runway will yet see my strut!!! Aluta continua!!!… I kid, I kid) But seriously, I gotta load that summer body by December peeps.

So there you have it, my hopes (and dreams) for two thousand and sixteen…
*And now I realise I’ve even forgotten how to wrap a post up nicely…sigh. This one needs prayer and fasting iz laik. :(*

Annie and I met offline for the first time last year after being online friends for a long while. We would get closer after that and I would then discover her amazing blog. Yeah, I just put her on blast there. Lemme add to the pressure to get her writing again. Tee hee hee.

Day 13: Kathy

The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to take stock of our lives but I am clueless, in a fog, bollixed, spaced out. I had totally forgotten I was supposed to send in my entry and when I remembered, I said screw it. I was scared. Scared that writing it down would “jinx” it but hey, who fear don epp?

Last year, health wise, I was a mess. I felt I wouldn’t see the New Year but God had other plans for me. This year I plan to be healthy. I am tired of battling with issues I felt would either kill me or make me useless for the rest of my life. Issues I am still not comfortable discussing. I plan to take my health seriously. Exercise more. #Random, It’s not just twitter. Last year I got the best medical help from a doctor on twitter. God bless her kind heart.

I got my dream job last year but this year, I intend to take up a side hustle. One can’t really rely on what you get paid. I love cooking; hopefully I can make it earn me money. I have also always wanted to be a radio host but I have been shy. Finally overcame my shyness and sent out my CV to a broadcasting house. Fingers crossed. (By the way, if there is anybody who knows anybody looking for people to act, maybe in a web series, hook a sister up). I also intend to sell more medical equipment. If you need any, any at all, ask a sister. man must wack.

I was on the prowl last year, the year of #seizethebae. I really wanted bae. Maybe I was too desperate or just unlucky but see ehn, I loved and lost. Ever fell in love with someone who didn’t even know you existed? No?? Well, me neither. Lol. This year, I am not even stressing myself. If he comes, good. If he doesn’t, still good. At least loneliness hasn’t been known to kill anybody.

I have the best support system. Friends who have seen me cry, seen me at my lowest, held my hands and had my back when I thought things were never going to be fine. This year, I intend to appreciate them more. I know I am not the best when it comes to keeping in touch, I know I have this bad habit of replying messages in my head instead of actually typing them out but hey, I promise to change. It’s going to be a gradual process but I know you guys will always be there for me. Thank you for everything. I am also presently making new friends, I really hope I don’t mess that up.

This year I want to deepen my relationship with God. Yes I go to mass, yes I attend charismatic renewal meetings but it isn’t enough. I want to fall in love with him all over again. I want to stop seeking the face of God only when I have a problem. I want to always be in constant communication with him.

I want to travel more. I want to save more.

This year, hopefully the book thingy works out. I know I have been lazy about it. P.S: Lade if you are reading this, I promise to change.

This isn’t all, I know I have forgotten some things, but I intend to go forth and pursue my dreams and not let short term failures deter me. I intend to find my inner strength and remain grounded amid the storms of fate. Like an ancient tree, I will bend with the wind and not break. As Johann Wolfing van Goethe once said “character is best forged in the strong billows of the world”. I will remember to enjoy the journey and be patient. As the ancient Chinese proverb stated “be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still”.

BRING IT ON 2016, IT’S GAME TIME…


“Are you olatoxic?”

“Me? No o. Who or what is that sef?”

“Well, I’m Kathy Esan. I wrote on #30DaysOfHope last year.”

“Ooooohh… Hi. I’m olatoxic o”

And that’s how I met Kathy last December – in dramatic fashion. And how she signed up for this year’s exercise – in person. Which I think is really dope. If you’ve got a radio gig, a cooking assignment or medical equipment to purchase, holla at her and be a part of granting her a fulfilling 2016. You might just find it fulfilling.

 

Dusk 11: Aidee

Happy Birthday Aidee!

When I think upon Your goodness
And Your Faithfulness each day
Im convinced its not because I am worthy
To receive the kind of love that You give
But Im grateful for Your mercy
And Im grateful for Your grace…

Imela, imela…
Thank You my King!


 

I hope to keep this short and sweet.

2015 started on a good note and ended on an amazing note. 2016 has continued on that amazing note and I know it can only get more amazing.

In a couple of weeks, I get joined in holy matrimony to my best friend, partner in Christ, lover… I get new parents, new siblings in addition to the ones I already have (totally wild!). – I hope I’ll be a good wife, daughter and sister.

I hope/pray for divine health.

I hope to let my light so shine before men that they might see my good works and glorify my Father in heaven.

I hope for great personal growth and development. I hope to learn the discipline to do the things I need to do to get where God is taking me.

I hope to be a better friend, better person. To be kind. To let my light shine.

I hope to eat cake, lots of cake. To smile. To laugh. To cry tears of joy. To have lots of happy moments.

I hope to have faith, always. To continue being hopeful! To always remember to give thanks.

I hope to celebrate many more birthdays, sing more songs of thanks, love God more.

Here’s to an amazing 2016!

May we never lose hope.

May we never lose the gift of faith.


Very Many Happy Returns, Aidee. The new life you are about to live shall be filled with good things. Your husband shall ceaselessly be a blessing unto you and call you blessed. Your home shall shine constantly with the brightness that is hope.

Amen.

 

Dusk 8: Aminat

It took writing this to make me realize some good things did happen in 2015. Almost everything I had penned down on this platform was achieved. Even when I wasn’t consciously thinking about doing them, they just seemed to happen. Like there was some magic dust Olatoxic or those that read it sprinkled on every word I wrote in last year’s entry that made them all come true. I guess this law of attraction thing works.

Last year I said 2014 was the year everything that could have gone wrong did. I was wrong. There were worse off things that could have happened and they did in 2015. Yes, I belong to one of those “Finally this bloody year has ended” group.

Things were looking good at first and then all of a sudden, the down spiral. There was just a month left to end an almost amazing year and it all went wrong. I lost faith…I lost hope…I started to get weak spiritually…my best friend chose to walk away…*sighs* I guess this is why I didn’t see the good things that happened until now. I don’t know what hurts most; relationship heartbreak or the heart break you get when someone you hold dearer than yourself throws it all away.

But I didn’t die.

I got to live another day. I got another opportunity to rewrite my story.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do; Live and rewrite my story.

I want to learn to have faith again. I want to be able to be hopeful again.

I want to learn to trust again. There’s something Yoruba people say about a horse that throws you down. The fact that someone or some people chose to abuse your trust shouldn’t make you shut the world out, so I want to climb that trust-horse again. One year is too short to measure my success but hey, it’s a start.

I wrote my fingers stiff last year. I can’t even remember how many books I wrote. I call myself a writer now. The fulfillment you get knowing that your bills are being paid from something you love to do is out of this world. But I doubt it beats knowing it’s your name that work of art carries. Ghost-writing has paid off and it’s still paying off. But it’s time to start writing my own books even as I ghost-write. Baby steps but we’d get there soon. Maybe even get an actual writing job too because, to be honest, I don’t think microbiology is for me anymore.

I want to find love and I want love to find me. I think I am ready now. It’s time to stop fearing the unknown.

A friend asked what my greatest fear was sometime back and I didn’t answer because I was scared to say it out loud. Saying it out loud made it real. How could I say that I was afraid of being completely, truly, happy. So scared, I hold myself back from my own happiness. And then I read this;

“When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.”
Stephen Richards

So most importantly this year, no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen), I would not stand in the way of my own happiness.

I look forward to being truly happy again.


Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing a returnee write about how (almost) everything they wrote the previous year was achieved/actualised. Lends some credence to the power of undergoing this exercise. Thank you Aminat for sharing that. And may the new desires you have come to fruition as well. Amen.

 

Day 8: Afoma

2015 was quite an interesting year. I set really big goals and while achieving them, found myself in battles I had no idea how to fight. I literally had to live each day by faith, trusting God, Staying strong, sometimes breaking down but getting it together again and just forging ahead. Somehow it worked, I ended the year victorious and of course in a pool of tears (of joy). However, the thing about battles is that it reveals your character (both good and bad).

So this year, I’m working on some of those “kinks” I saw in me last year. No lofty plans, just focusing on one at a time, taking it slow. The power is in the consistency. I have laid out a monthly plan that breaks down into daily routines, with books I need to read and I have 2 accountability partners who have been given permission (not that they need it anyway) to call me out anytime, anywhere. Like every change, it will be tough and slow but I’m not backing down; I’m not staying the same. Sometimes you get caught up in the whole “What of folks that have known me to be this way for years, will they believe the change?” phase. Tbh, I’m past that; they will be fine, I don’t care.  I have given myself permission to change and that’s all that counts.

I kinda started having honest conversations with God last year; like if I’m scared, I tell him something like “Father, I’m scared. I’m not even going to front; this challenge I’m facing terrifies me, but then again I know You own the whole world, nothing shocks you, You love me and You got this even if it doesn’t feel like it. You got this! ….”.  My closeness with God has got to be improved this year; spend more time with God, not just talking to Him but actually listening to hear His heart and building up my faith bank with the Word. Stepping up soul winning; why would I want to enjoy a loving relationship with God alone? Plus my life has got to count, I can’t be a weist!

I’m going back to volunteering as a teen mentor, its such a privilege to mentor another human being and the inner joy and fulfilment I get in return is what I would not trade for anything.

I’m graduating this year; this is a major milestone in my life and I really cannot wait to have time to myself and just live! I have always loved Power Engineering and academics but after this Master’s degree, I’m taking a break to live my life, biko.

This is to a 2016 that is already shaping up to be amazing, wonderful and the best year I have had… YET.


Afoma’s take breathes with a sense of honesty I find admirable. No frills, no thrills, just a whole bunch of sayin’-it-as-it-is. From your lips to God’s ears, Afoma. And multiple Amens.

Day 7: Osisiye

IMG_2001

2016 – The Year I Die After

Mente de Moda. Maddox. Conversation with my mentor.
How d’you think you will die?
‘Fall off my bike’
But you said you don’t ride fast?
‘My instructor got hit cos a trailer driver opened his door to take a pee. How d’you think you’ll die, sir?’
Stupidity. One of my staff will let me down one final time
‘I’ll like to die riding though’
I think you mean you’ll like to die on your terms

I want 2016 to be the year I can die after.
I’ve died before.
But I’ll like to truly die – and not struggle.
I am excited about death.
I am the one who stares long at the corpse. I was the one who snuck into my grandma’s room after she died at 11 p.m. and the ambulance could not come till morning.
I know the many faces of death – the cold hand that drops hard, the grey on the skin, the spongy fingers and the shiver. That shiver, I hear it’s the ghost passing through you. I believe.
But we have talked too much about death and the dead don’t read.

Last year, I had a pseudo-death. I talked about this with Efe.
I resigned my job, stopped book promotion, stopped hanging out and stayed with my dog for 90 days.
I would like to live like that but I can’t, my savings is running out.
But more than my savings is this, I am unfulfilled. I still wanna own a farm with a horse and set up a charity and adopt an IDP and know God. There’s a lot left, still.
That’s why I have to come out again this year.

But what if I do most of these things I wanna do? That means I can die.
I hear someone say it’s never enough.
But it is. See, I’m a Christian
In John 19: 28 – 30, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
And in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Paul said ‘You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting – God’s applause!’
There’s a stage you get to in your life’s work and you know you can go after, I wanna get there.
Maybe it would be after my second book, just that it’s not a book.

Thanks for having me.


 

Osisiye’s novel, Sixty Percent of a True Story’ is available at Terra Kulture & Laterna and on Amazon & Konga

Day 2: Coco

Faith Over Hope

Happy New Year, everyone!

I already shared a major part of my hopes and goals for this year on my blog (very shameless plug :p). I’m hoping that at the end of the year, possibly with help from amazing people such as yourself, I will have accomplished all that I set out to do. So, why am I here apart from to solicit readers? I’ll jump right in.

I read as many end of year reviews as I could last year and most them just made me really uncomfortable. I had a tough year, but it was nothing compared to what I learned some people went through. Even on twitter, people were thanking God “for just surviving the year”.

Last year, prayer worked wonders for me. This might be the point where some of you begin to argue about how much you’ve prayed as well, but I’m not here to discuss how much you’ve prayed. I’m here to encourage you not to give up. The clouds are heavy with your blessings, and there will be a downpouring.

This year, I’m focusing more on prayer and faith than on hope. So, for everyone reading this and for everyone connected to you, this is my prayer this year:

  • That you will find rest. You will reap your harvest this year. You will not work tirelessly in vain.
  • You will be satisfied. Everything you do, you will do excellently. You will never fail.
  • This will be your year of going from glory to glory. You shall rise higher and higher. You will soar like an eagle. You shall rise above your peers. Your competitors shall not see your back.
  • This year, you shall live in a plane of health. You will live in a realm of wealth. You will live in the realm of prosperity.
  • This year, your head will not reject your crown. Your bum bum will not reject your throne. Your spirit will not reject your helpers.
  • This year, you will accelerate. You will overtake. You shall move upwards.
  • This year, bad news shall be far from you. The cackles of the wicked will be far from your tabernacle. The plans of the wicked shall not come near you.
  • This year, death will not know your address. Death will not visit your children. Death will not visit your family.
  • This year, you shall be fruitful! Whatever you lay your hands to do shall prosper.
  • This year, you will be empowered! You have power over sin. You have power over your enemies. You have power over serpents and scorpions. You will live in strength.
  • This year, there will be no abortion in your life. There will be no miscarriage in your life. You will be pregnant with testimonies and you shall deliver.
  • This year, you will arrive at your destination. You will arrive at the place of your testimony. No power will cut short your progress.

I find decrees like this work best when spoken as words of affirmation daily. You may look yourself in the mirror and speak them to yourself before you go out every morning, or personalise them and speak them into your life during prayer or at random – I do both.

I pray that you find unspeakable joy this year in everything you do and in every situation you find yourself. I pray that you have a reason to smile every day and a reason to give thanks every night before you go to bed. And even when you feel like you are about to hit the ground, and even if you do manage to fall, I pray that you find the strength to get back up and keep going.


Coco took the selfless route and blessed you with her entry. I feel like she deserves to be blessed too.

This year, Coco, fulfillment shall be yours every step of the way. Your heart shall know only peace and your mind shall know no trouble. Your faith shall remain unshakeable. You will be favoured in the eyes of every person you come in contact with. Have a mighty blessed 2016.