Day 30: Stanley

“We used to fight for building blocks. Now we fight for blocks with buildings…”
-Jay Z (D’Evils, 1996)

I failed Digital Marketing. 42%. It was a surprise to me and everyone else who heard about it in my class.

The day after the result came out, I found out my brother had been arrested after he had not come home for 2 days. I spent the next week going to Ikoyi Prison and Tinubu Magistrate Court, and I was exposed to the decay and deeply ingrained corruption in our prison and court system.

I think failing Digital Marketing was God’s way of humbling me. I had become too confident in my abilities. Plus, in retrospect, there were certain things I didn’t do right.

I submitted my Integrated Communications assessment early this month – results are out in September – and I’ll give Digital Marketing another go from August. There is an option to take Customer Experience instead (Digital Marketing is an elective module), and I have a feeling it will be easier, but I have never been known to do easy.

The journey to becoming a Chartered Marketer still has some ways to go.

Instead of starting one company, I am going to be a part of starting two, with the first being the mother of the second, and the other companies we will create. All potential directors finally met and agreed on next steps. I am excited by the possibilities of what we can achieve.

I am currently at about 17% of my investment goal for 2016. Too poor. Recently, I have started doing some financial planning. I have never been a spendthrift, but I have never really created a budget for daily expenses like food, transportation, etc. It’s mostly been: earn income, save, pay tithe (it’s been better this year, but still not consistent) and spend the rest until the next income comes. I rarely plan for large expenses. I just expect to make the payment with a bulk sum when income comes in or just borrow against my savings. It’s a habit I’m working on changing.

Barows 21 isn’t where I need it to be. The campaign launched earlier this year didn’t achieve the set objectives. This is largely because I did everything on my own, in terms of implementation. I want to make a big decision about the business by the last quarter of the year.

A Thousand 1000 now has 145 donors. That number is nowhere near the 1,000 donor objective we set. But after worrying that we might not achieve the objective and that would mean we failed, I experienced a moment of clarity – we can’t fail. No matter what happens by December 2016, with 145 people coming together to support our IDPs and ensuring 100% transparency, we have already succeeded.

My 9 – 5 has been one of highs and lows. With just about 6 months in, I am thinking about moving again. If I do move soon, it will be my 5th job in less than 2 years.‎ Remember, I quit the last one after 6 months. Sometimes, I am angry with myself because I know happiness starts and resides within me. What am I searching for then?

Still looking forward to my first trip out of Lagos this year. Travelled to Ibadan a couple of times at the beginning of the year, but that was for market research, so it doesn’t count. Once I can start using my leave days, I am heading out of town.

It hasn’t been a perfect year, but it has been better than a lot of years I have had as an adult. I am not homeless like I was between 2011 and 2013, I am slowly getting my finances together, and looking forward to great things.

It’s all the Lord’s doing.

Stanley

Day 30: Stanley

“We used to fight for building blocks. Now we fight for blocks with buildings…”
– Jay Z (D’Evils, 1996)

I failed Digital Marketing. 42%. It was a surprise to me and everyone else who heard about it in my class.

The day after the result came out, I found out my brother had been arrested after he had not come home for 2 days. I spent the next week going to Ikoyi Prison and Tinubu Magistrate Court, and I was exposed to the decay and deeply ingrained corruption in our prison and court system.

I think failing Digital Marketing was God’s way of humbling me. I had become too confident in my abilities. Plus, in retrospect, there were certain things I didn’t do right.

I submitted my Integrated Communications assessment early this month – results are out in September – and I’ll give Digital Marketing another go from August. There is an option to take Customer Experience instead (Digital Marketing is an elective module), and I have a feeling it will be easier, but I have never been known to do easy.

The journey to becoming a Chartered Marketer still has some ways to go.

Instead of starting one company, I am going to be a part of starting two, with the first being the mother of the second, and the other companies we will create. All potential directors finally met and agreed on next steps. I am excited by the possibilities of what we can achieve.

I am currently at about 17% of my investment goal for 2016. Too poor. Recently, I have started doing some financial planning. I have never been a spendthrift, but I have never really created a budget for daily expenses like food, transportation, etc. It’s mostly been: earn income, save, pay tithe (it’s been better this year, but still not consistent) and spend the rest until the next income comes. I rarely plan for large expenses. I just expect to make the payment with a bulk sum when income comes in or just borrow against my savings. It’s a habit I’m working on changing.

Barows 21 isn’t where I need it to be. The campaign launched earlier this year didn’t achieve the set objectives. This is largely because I did everything on my own, in terms of implementation. I want to make a big decision about the business by the last quarter of the year.

A Thousand 1000 now has 145 donors. That number is nowhere near the 1,000 donor objective we set. But after worrying that we might not achieve the objective and that would mean we failed, I experienced a moment of clarity – we can’t fail. No matter what happens by December 2016, with 145 people coming together to support our IDPs and ensuring 100% transparency, we have already succeeded.

My 9 – 5 has been one of highs and lows. With just about 6 months in, I am thinking about moving again. If I do move soon, it will be my 5th job in less than 2 years.‎ Remember, I quit the last one after 6 months. Sometimes, I am angry with myself because I know happiness starts and resides within me. What am I searching for then?

Still looking forward to my first trip out of Lagos this year. Travelled to Ibadan a couple of times at the beginning of the year, but that was for market research, so it doesn’t count. Once I can start using my leave days, I am heading out of town.

It hasn’t been a perfect year, but it has been better than a lot of years I have had as an adult. I am not homeless like I was between 2011 and 2013, I am slowly getting my finances together, and looking forward to great things.

It’s all the Lord’s doing.

Stanley

Day 29: Fifi

What is it about time that makes you feel like you are not enough? What is it about keeping records that make you feel like all you have achieved is not enough?

My birthday was two days ago. Weeks leading towards my birthday, like every year before it (since I became an “adult”), I battled with depression.

Ambition is a dangerous thing. A little too much ambition? (there is no such thing though- it’s a myth) – is a recipe for an ungrateful life.

So I have simply refused to be ungrateful. I will not spend this post bitching and moaning about what I have not achieved. I am grateful that I have goals worth achieving.

So here is where I stand.

Learn to direct properly. I am grateful that I haven’t shot anything yet. Gives me room to learn so much more, and when I finally shoot (Please God, let it be this year), it will be so much more. By the way, fear is a liar.

Learn a new language. Se un poquito de espanol. I speak a little Spanish. Muy poquito. Only a little. And it is only what I have learned off the internet. And I am grateful. Ask me again when the year ends. By the way, fear is a liar.

Learn to ride my bike. Took my bike to the gym and tried to ride it. I fell. It hurt. Never rode again. I am grateful that I still have my bike and I am still open to learning. By the way, fear is a liar.

Get Fit, Eat healthier. Started going to the gym more. Lost weight. Put it back on. I am grateful that I could lose weight in the first place. There is hope for me yet.  By the way, junk food fear is a liar.

Buy a power bike. This has been postponed till further notice. Let me ride the powerless bike first. I am grateful for my sense of adventure. By the way, fear is a liar.

Travel. Ghana. Kenya. Thailand. I have gone NOWHERE. But I am grateful that this is because I have been too overloaded with work to think of traveling anywhere. I am grateful that I love my job crazily enough to pause. Time for traveling will come. By the way, fear is a liar.

Fall in love. I panicked for a while that it sort of happened earlier in the year. He reassured me that we were still just friends and I let it go. I am grateful for friendship. And if love does not come, I am still grateful for the fact that I am most happy with myself. And I still freeze with fear at the thought of giving up myself for another, in a matter of speaking. By the way, fear is a liar.

Ineffable Euphoria will hold in October, if I have anything to do with it. We will enter the slums, we will give out our food and produce baskets. The plan for a Food Bank, I believe will still come to pass. I am grateful that my mind has no limitations and fear again, is a liar.

7 months ago, I had plans. A lot of them did not happen the way I hoped, but there is time still; and still so much to be grateful for. I’m alive, I have an awesome job, I can tell people that I was part of the crew that brought RMD back to TV, (shameless plug- Watch Hush on DSTV 151 – 8 pm Weekdays, THANK YOU!). I have the opportunity to create, to bask in words – which for me is nothing short of bliss.

My status is changing, there’s no more decline. I’m on my way to better days.

Fifi

 

Dusk 28: Frances

On my face before God.
That’s what I have spent the better part of 2016 doing… on my face before God.
Frances
I didn’t think that it was going to be so hard, when I wrote in my 30 days of hope post that I was going to be praying in tongues for an hour each day in 2016, I imagined that I would do so just to build up stamina and grow spiritually.
But no.
My prayer time this year has consisted sometimes of me laughing in the Holy Ghost but also more of me crying from tears and pain in my heart.
 
Like where is the fulfillment of the promises for 2016 Lord?
 
Everything that has hurt me, I have poured out in prayer.
 
No, I didn’t get into LEAP Africa after I was interviewed.
Yes, some persons think that I currently am walking slowly, not catching up with my peers…
And I almost thought that God had forgotten me…
 
I poured it all out on my face before God.
 
2016 has been a gut wrenching, faith trying, hope against odds, choosing to trust that God knows what He is doing in my life kind of year.
7 Months gone…
And definitely not what I expected.
 
But then in a lot of ways I have also seen God come through for me in most amazing ways. It’s also been a year where I have wept the most as the reality of how much God loves me hit me.
 
Entering a taxi and having just 150naira in my purse and the next person suddenly pays for me…
Writing my NYSC book with no idea on how it would be printed and suddenly just getting “I felt led to sow into your ministry” from almost everywhere I turn.
 
Going to NYSC Camp to market my book and getting fresh ideas on writers seminars, etc.
 
Getting alerts that blow me away when I think of it all… on how God funds even the littlest things that He tells me to do.
 
No, I didn’t get into the job I interviewed for, I didn’t have a 9-5 income but oh, I have experienced God’s provision in ways that I cannot even start to write about.
I cried and still cry when I think about how much GRACE God has poured out on me.
 
Meeting a High Court judge who “something” just tells “support that young lady”.
 
Having ideas for more books upon books as I pray and then getting alerts to fund the books even without me asking…
 
So what can I say about the year so far?
 
Yes, some dreams have been realized.
My NYSC book was published! Yay!
No, some dreams still haven’t been realized, lots of God’s promises still not in physical manifestation yet…
 
But there have been wilderness seasons…
Dry seasons…
Stay at home, write on the blog, write and edit my books, then mop the floor, read your Bible, pray and stay on your face before God kind of season…
Wondering if God is still with me kind of season…
Wondering why my life is different from everyone else’s…
Why am I being pruned by God so?
 
Ah, but then He always reassures me.
I am not alone.
He is with me.
He hasn’t forgotten me.
He is with me.
 
And that is the reassurance I have for the remaining part of the year.
 
And at the end of December, I KNOW certainly, I will have even much more testimonies to share of God’s goodness and also of a deeper relationship He has brought me into with Him as a result of all 2016 has being…
 
And so here again, I share the words I left Church with yesterday…
 
“I am saying Lord, that I chose to believe (again).”
 
The wind of change is blowing in… and I chose to believe AGAIN.
 
And because I have seen so much birthed out of staying on my face before you, there will I continue to be…
On my face before you. 
It doesn’t matter if it’s just tears that flow as I pour out my heart…
All that matters is that on my face before you, all is made right and there I will stay.
There’s no where else to go.
 
And so cheers to everything you promised for 2016 being kicked into full gear 🙂
 
PS: I expect that birthday gift I asked for from you to come in ways that will blow my mind away 🙂 
Birthday is just a month away you know? But I am sure you already know 🙂
*Waiting*

Day 28: Juachi

Juachi 28

So I just had a pretty awesome, fire-inducing conversation with a BFF of mine so I figured I better put this all down now.

2016 has been, not for the lack of other words, a very annoying year. It’s amazing because I’m reading my post from January and wondering if that positive, semi-hopeful, slightly hippie vibe I’m getting can be pickled, bottled and stored for the winter of emotions that come up later. You’d think after a lifetime of experiencing the same emotions I’d have figured it out by now but nope.

So, I turned 28 in April. It was pretty awesome. I had just left a job I had begun to dislike, I was slightly broke (this is a real thing) and feeling like I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. In time though I remembered all the many things I have been through and how God has surrounded me with so much – family, friends and talent. Like I said, awesome!

It’s been that kind of year so far with emotions in waves and stress and pain and love and headaches and bloody mosquitoes.

That said, I started writing again, only four posts so far but I really like them and they were ‘honest’ and writing them felt amazing.

I haven’t traveled anywhere yet – I’m not sure Ogun State counts for me at this point. I did get to that Lagos Business School area once though.

I launched a collaboration with TwentySix.co and a T Shirt design collection as atelierNOYAKA. These two projects have been a big blessing to me this year and I have learned so much working on them. I have new collections for the Independence Day celebrations and Harmattan coming up and I am excited about that. So holla if you want to collaborate on anything design, I am so game!

Also worked on a construction project, a new set design for the Ebe Ngoli talk show, custom ‘art blocks’ for a client’s children and four and a half paintings (also a thing).

I haven’t bought a violin yet and am worried that this will be one of those ‘annual resolutions’ that never get done. Ah well.

Started work on one academic paper this week – I foresee days of pain ahead but I’m going to enter it for a conference slated for next year. So, fingers crossed?

Ok, so my year does seem kind of great in retrospect but all these blessings came with trouble that had me in my deep, dark slimy feelings at one point (see clip Howl’s moving castle) and high off my own supply the next (also clip from Howl’s moving castle – it’s a pretty awesome film, the books are even more amazing).

A lot of peace though – to look at decisions I’ve made and know that even though it probably wasn’t the best idea it’s okay because I will learn from it and surrender more control to God next time.

It’s been tough work but growth and ish no?

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.