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!

Dusk 20: Michelle

2016, if you’re reading this I hate you and I like you. See, I can not make up my mind as to why you are notoriously annoying. Don’t get how I’d order pizza and you give me just dough, it’s like I’ll beat the rest outta you.

My year’s been what it is, got its ups and downs like most years do and I haven’t ticked a lot off my to-do list.
Been trying to get some woods in the fire of my faith daily, the goal is a wildfire. Some days feel like I’m adding water but I’m banking on God’s grace.
It’s still the year of mercy Misericodes sicut pater – be merciful like your father is, I haven’t been quite successful at this but I’ll try still.
Some of my learning plans for the year were paused because of some professional exams. Thankfully, one paper is off my list. *sigh* It gets deeper by the day, can’t even do one leg in one leg out. Hopeful that I’d get to continue some of my online courses soon. Been in and out of the working population, will find my fit soon.
I’m really thankful for this year, for everything I made out of it. It’s been a good one. My WordPress account is there waiting for my words but I’m not ready yet. I’ve gone out more and I miss the couch when I’m out. I also am grateful that I got to cultivate meaningful relationships and for memories that made up part of my half-year.
A friend said: “One thing that never fails is hope”
Cheers! To Hope!
Michelle

Day 20: Seun

OMG, Totally forgot that I was supposed to do this, Sigh, exactly the same way I’ve forgotten to do many of the things I wanted to, and vowed to do at the start of the year.

This year has just been a blur, and sadly I find myself no better than I was at this point six months ago when I penned my hopes and plans for the year here.

It’s been an odd year thus far, filled with a lot of pressure (most of it self-generated), a lot of introspection, some brainstorming and loads of learning. I have read more books this year than I read in the last two years combined. Financially, the times have been a little hard, though I was fairly prepared for it and so though at times I have been bowed, my back remains unbroken.

About those things I said I was going to do earlier in the year, let me see just how far I have come

  1. I haven’t learnt graphic design “finally” but I learnt how to design websites. That has to count for something, I guess.
  2. Get my first book published? Haha, Well I still have five months more (I would have to finish the book first though)
  3. Blog more often? Rotflmao! The amount of times I’ve blogged this year can be counted with no fingers. Zilch, nada, zip, zero.
  4. 2016 so far has been better than 2015 on the spiritual front. My church attendance is still not as much as it should be, but I’ve been active in the house. Personally, my morning rituals have not been this consistent in years.
  5. I haven’t told many people about Jesus though, five months is a lot of time to improve here.
  6. Increase my income, create a third stream? Second stream has practically dried up, working actively on opening a new stream
  7. I currently weigh 1.5Kg above 70Kg. Meeting my weight loss goal is inevitable at this current pace.
  8. I thought 2015 was a bad year for my friendships, 2016 has been much worse. I seem to have a problem making new friends and a bigger problem staying in touch with old friends.
  9. Be very, very happy? At least I’m happy.

Prior to writing this out, I had simply (maybe simplistically) concluded that the first half of the year was a failure. Writing this opened my eyes to the steps I have and am still taking in what I consider to be the right direction, and while it’s not been all champagne and fireworks, the year smells like it is going to be a delicious memory at the end of it. I pray yours will be the same too (a delicious memory that is).

Dusk 19: Moyin

Sigh *gets on podium*

What a year it’s been, what a year.

Life, if it is going to be abundant, must have plenty of hills and vales. It must have plenty of sunshine and rough weather. It must be rich in obfuscation and perspicacity. It must be packed with days of danger and of apprehension”

-Tai Solarin

This year has been strange. There have been really, really hard times yet in those hard times, a light has shone bright enough to not be ignored. I sit here two days before my transfer viva and can boldly say I’ve come a long way. This time last year, I was on the verge of quitting the bloody thing. But a good friend sent me this quote and I’ve been reading the whole speech every day. 

At the beginning of the year, I said a few things about hope. And those things still stand. I’m just a bit more cautious with my hope. There were a lot of things I wanted this year to be and a lot of them have not shown up. In a way, I grow wearier with the brokenness of the world every day. It seems like you wake up every day to bad news. So I will look back at some of things I hoped to achieve this year and then talk about some of the things I secretly hoped to achieve and see where now.

1) I didn’t do the 5K because of  complex reasons but I can go 30 minutes on the stationary bike so that must count for something, I guess.

2) I’ve not really bought a lot of desserts this year so guess this one is a moot point.

3) Reading. I’ve read a lot of books this year, about 40 so it seems I might be able to hit 100 touch wood. 

4) Holidays- I’ve been on two weekend trips so far and I’m going away for a week from Friday so guess who’s winning now. 

5)Alone time- this is the one I can say I have achieved totally. 

6) Feelings- I haven’t been scared of my feelings. Elizabeth Gilbert says she talks to her feelings like ‘hey fear, I can see you’re here but I’m not going to let you deceive me’ and that has been my way of operating this year.

7) Be the best me- My job or school has been really interesting this year. I’ve been stuck on something, thought I had discovered a way out and then realised it wouldn’t work. (I’m a scientist, in case you’re confused).

moyin2

Pancreatic cells aggregating

8) Talking to God -work in progress, watch this space.

9) See above

10) Wait till the next day- this one has worked because I’m very lazy.

11) Social as in church? Done. 

12) Checking in- it has been more like them checking on me, but it’s been better than other years.

13) LOL

14) I don’t know about a plan, but every good thing will come. 

Now to some of the things I did achieve:

1) This year has been one of massive self-development. I’ve been setting myself up for September ( the final year of actual work for my PhD). Completed one year of leadership college so now I have a diploma in Transformational Leadership and Executive Management from the Institute of Leadership and Management. (Yes, it’s a big deal)

2) I quit alcohol on the 1st of January and am still sober. Might drink after my viva though, we’ll see.

3) Been serious with therapy. I’ve let it sink in that I have a problem and medication alone cannot solve it so now I take my medication, go to therapy, exercise and eat well because my brain and my mind need me to.

4) For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been writing a gratitude thing as part of a project called thank you notes by Justin Wolfe. It’s helped me with my gratitude, I think. 

So there you have it. Loads of things and loads of things yet to be done. But there’s hope and hopefully, there’s strength. I’ll leave you with this quote from Lucille Clifton’s Won’t you celebrate with me (highly recommended)

Come celebrate with me that every day something has tried to kill me and has failed”

Here’s to more rough days and happy days and days that fail to kill us.
 
Cheers.
 
P.S: I love quotes, can you tell?

Day 19: Shirley

Last year was a blur. My dad died and everything else warped and faded into anger. I accepted it. I was ready to ride it into 2016. I shared in my post for 30days of Hope how just letting go of that anger and feeling hopeful again was enough goals for me. I still feel that way. The beautiful thing about having open ended goals is that everything becomes a win. Its great motivation for mornings when I don’t feel like getting out of bed and felt bad about it. Proper self-care has been a major theme this year and even if I haven’t achieved anything else so far, I would be proud of that.

But I have.

I adopted a puppy.

Shirley

Chrystal

 Apart from the fact that owning a family dog and owning a dog living by yourself are two very different levels of commitment, that single act has influenced a number of positive (-ish) changes. I generally don’t do well with changes, I have a deep buried instinct to fight change and I did for the first few days (and still am on some level I’m sure) but somehow, I have a whole new routine. And it’s kinda cool. Getting out of bed first thing in the morning to let the dog out becomes easier when faced with starting your day cleaning up dog shit.  Making out time to play twice a day (or she’ll wreck my house) means I’m subconsciously more organised with time management and meal prepping means I’m making better food choices. I’m also learning to be more patient (she is resisting training and I’m resisting the urge to kill her) and she makes me laugh like a thousand times a day. The best part though, is that I don’t talk to myself anymore.

If you asked me right now I how I was feeling, I would reply very honestly and say, vulnerable. Nature shows us that you are most vulnerable at a time of change and growth so I’m learning to sit still and wait. Who would have thought staying still would be so hard? We are naturally inclined to move, chase… progress. Progress doesn’t always mean movement, sometimes be still and solidify, strengthen… make roots. The one specific goal I will set for the rest of the year is finding a service, something to give back to society. Nothing strengthens your roots more than being in service to others.

I’m still terrible at cultivating relationships. I suck at people. Therefore, I stay thankful for my friends, I really don’t know why they still stick around. It’s been a hard year, three friends each lost a parent and for the first time, losing my dad didn’t make me sad. I was grateful because it helped knowing exactly how they feel and how to be there for them. I found the silver lining.

I am most proud of two projects that were conceived and executed this year. Finishing has always been a challenge for me… finishing good, most importantly. Some days I feel like I should be doing more, but proper self-care teaches me to remember to be proud of what I have done. It only takes one moment for things to change, I can enjoy my small wins. I can also be excited about the other projects due to be completed by end of year.

Another goal would be to make more time. I find that it’s cool to list all the great things I want to do but never getting around to do them because there’s just no time makes the whole exercise pointless. So I decided I’m going to take out a specific time block and just go do something on my list. I’m guessing, the amount of time I can carve out would determine what I do. The plan is too do something sha

I’m happy to say I’m in a good place. SO, I’m just going to sit still and enjoy it.

Day 18: Olumide

I’ve spent the past few days wondering if it was a good idea to say yes without hesitation when The Fantastic Mr Toxic called for this follow up to 30 Days of Hope. In hindsight, it was probably a stupid fucking idea (can I curse Tox? I really like it when I can curse [I also like nested brackets – they make me happy {which is why you should leave this whole mess in, Tox. Thanks and God bless}])

Seriously though, why did I agree to write a 30 Days Purposeful entry when the sum total of my previous post was “I’ll try”?

Well here it goes. We’re halfway through the year – or at least I’m halfway through my year – and I’ve tried.

The end.

Or is it?

I’ve tried to keep my happy face on, to stay unfettered by the self-caused and life-wrought struggles on my path. Brethren, it is hard.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Sometimes what doesn’t kill you just makes you want to curl up into a ball and wait for the world to end. The problem is when what doesn’t kill you is your own damn self, you’ve really got a problem.

Notice that I switched from ‘I’ to ‘you’. It’s a defends mechanism. We do it without thinking, deflecting our self loathing onto others because – I’m no psychiatrist. I don’t know.

But here’s the thing. Even in the doldrums, there is good in the world. I made a group of amazing friends. Online, of course. And even though we’re not completely sure how this group friendship thing is supposed to work, all great relationships are confusing and amazing and all of that jazz. My best friend has forced me to answer my phone regularly – even non-essential calls.

I started working on a joint-EP with an old friend from uni. (Hehe. Uni. How very Anglaterran of me. Yes I made that word up. Bite me.) We’re almost through, and it’s been a fun experience so far.

I’ve been rambling. Let me stop.

So yeah.

I’ve hated this year.

But.

I’m still ok.

I’m still taking on 2016 and refusing to be bowed by the absolute madness that it’s unfolding as.

Olumide

Dusk 16: Ashiwel

I don’t like appraisals. You sit there confronting inconvenient truths about your hitherto assumed awesomeness and a knot forms in your stomach.
I really wanted nothing but for 2016 to be the fireworks. Instead, I think that I have spent a considerable chunk of it staring at the universe, scowl on my face, growling, “Not today, Satan”.
I mean, the fireworks came but someone forgot to bring the matches.
Of course, there are things to be thankful for; friends who stick closer than brothers, work that pays above average, strangers who have faith in you , challenges that don’t break you.
But right now, as of this moment, this is not the 2016 I ordered. We’re only halfway through and 2016 is already looking so broken, we’re considering dipping the world in rice.
Ashiwel
Still, we move.