Day 24: Nimi

This post has kinda been like last year went for me. Mind so occupied with junk I lose track of the important things.  My apologies to the author of this blog & thank you again for letting us share of this great space.

A look back on last year: Did not go how I wanted it to. It was tougher than I expected in many ways, compartmentalization & grief appears not to go hand in hand most of the time; the number of days that took all I had to just get up in the mornings were more than I’d like to admit. I’m not sure why it was a surprise to me, maybe because I always thought I was stronger than all that ’emotional distress’ stuff.

I’ve decided to call 2015 a recovery year. A year where I was allowed to be a little numb. It has to change in 2016. Life can’t be lived when one is in a haze… well at least when it’s not the good kind of haze.

A look forward to this year: First I want to laugh; that genuine belly laugh till you cry kinda thing. Pure unadulterated joy, feeling alive. I miss that. I’d like that again so I need to get back to doing things that bring it for me, including those deliciously salacious things that have me looking back & smiling every once in a while. Maybe throw in some thoroughly debauched behaviour ever so often 🙂

Second, I need to get back to being creative again. Those senses got so dulled last year & I realise just how big a part of who I am it is. I kept waiting for it to come back to me, the need, the want, to just flow naturally…. well it hasn’t, so i need to do the work and turn that tap on.

Third, I think I neglected friends last year, try as I did, I was there without being truly present. I intend to change that this year. I am surrounded by beautiful people and I need to make sure I’m doing what needs to be done to keep them there.

Fourth…

….well I feel like a fourth may be asking too much, let me ease myself back into this hope thing. I haven’t had too much of it lately.

I hope 2016 is better than 2015… and I intend to make it so.

Happy glorious 2016 to everyone, I wish you all peace, love & vodka (or whatever tipple/vice you enjoy partaking in 😉


Lol. Nimi, or Yvonne, like I like to call her is a character. This piece was somewhat sad but somehow, it made me smile. I dunno, maybe it’s because I picture her smiling most of this year. That might explain it, considering she’s got one gorgeous smile.

Smile, Yve. Smile.

Day 21: Shade

I promised myself that 2016 will be the year of no drama. Lool. When I said that, I forgot that there are demons here on earth, and not everyone will have sense…… and they will tempt you. Msheew.

Pardon my (lack of) manners. Hehe. My name is Shade and as I was about to start writing this, I gave a conductor N1000 for a N150 fare. Please, it’s not my fault I don’t have change. The conductor actually tapped me and said “Eyys, my friend look here……”

See, it took God and my extra superwoman strength not to lash out at him. I’m a changed woman, you see. The old me would have thoroughly insulted him down to the ancestral spirits that live in his village. But I thank God for Jesus. Amen somebody.

This is how I begin my 2016. Become a more patient person in terms of speech. Serve God more. Be closer to God. Take my self out more. Speaking of which, I went to see a movie a few days ago and they said movie ticket was N1500 *tears* don’t blame me. I haven’t paid for a movie with my money in ages and when I did that yesterday, ‘virtue left me’. But I will not back down. I deserve it! *bites lower lip and cries silently*

I intend to open one more business this year. At least have a space, an office. It has been my dream in forever and it’s going to come through this year. Amen.

Writing this, I’m thinking about all the things I want to achieve and I know I don’t have shigbain, but I absolutely trust that God will come through for me.

I want to take some more trainings this year. The first one I looked at and got really excited, until I peeped the address – ‘Orile Agege’ Ehn? Wait fess. *major side eye to all those who say Festac is far* I think that will have to wait, let me try the other training from YouTube. I kent shout.

I want to do at least 3 trainings this year – The dream is to own a conglomerate and have at least 30 staff by the time I’m 40. And 40 is in less than 7 years *stop trying to guess my age* :p

I should go back to my old choir, or the choir in my new church, or the acting department or photography department. Just do something for God. I’ve been a mere Sunday Sunday meresin for too long. Not good. More than 2 people have asked me “What have you done with your gift?” in the past one week and it strikes a chord each time *sigh*

This year, I’m walking back and walking forward. Big dreams, totally dependent on God and knowing He won’t let me down.

Amen.


Amen o. Please sha invite us for the 34th birthday bash. Aunty, gimme cake.

Day 20: Michelle

Hi guys, I hope your January is unfolding fine.

I’ve really not mapped out every single detail for my year but I’m hoping I will look back and wish I did nothing differently. The plan is to be great in the little things.
On faith:
I’ll be working towards achieving a vibrant spiritual life for this soul of mine wouldn’t be handing me a memo for when it will be leaving (not like it knows though), and it makes sense to be on the side of The One who has counted the strands of my hair.
The Pope has declared a year of mercy so I hope to play a role, you can check Osemhen’s post and see how you can be a part of it too.
On learning:
Learning is something I love to do and will continue from where I stopped in 2015. While an M.Sc isn’t a bad idea in itself, the exchange rate is so damn rude. So, for now, I’m saying YES to Udemy, Coursera, Code academy, duolingo and acing my professional exams.
On getting and keeping a job:
It’s quite important that I make my debut into the working population this year. Because, a steady source of finance can help keep the body and soul together and experience will not fall from the sky.
On everything else:
Junks shall be avoided like a plague,memories will be made and while a chance of bae isn’t probable, seizing oneself looks like the way forward. I may take up blogging but my fears chuckle at the idea. I may get out of my shell more. I may, or rather, the potato may get to leave the couch more.
And for you my dear readers, you must have (have you not?) some dreams you’d want to come true this year. Perhaps, some good you wish to do to yourself and others. So I pray that you get everything you demand of this universe in 2016. That you’d have the discipline and courage to strike your rock daily till it crumbles. And that our good Lord will grant firmness to your resolutions and favor you beyond your imaginations.
I’m Michelle and I hope you have the best of years.


I’m olatoxic and I hope Michelle and everyone reading this have the best of years.

Dusk 19: Moyin

I’ve been trying to write this for days now and I have not been able to.
I think there’s a part of me that is worried to hope because what is the point of hope?
I mean, I do this every year and I cringe when I go back the next year to read all the things I wrote because more than half have not been achieved. In fact I think I came into this year with that thought at the back of my mind. What is the point of hoping?
But I guess hope is the very thing that makes it all worth it, isn’t it? I mean, if we never thought that we could achieve our goals or our dreams- get that promotion, be married, have kids, bla bla bla what is the point? So no, I am not giving up on hope, I am just trying to be kinder to myself. I have decided that some of the goals I will write this year are things that are achievable instead of the ‘big’ things I usually write. So this year the things I’m actually writing down are the things I will actually do. Here goes:
 
1.  Run 30 minutes without stopping to catch my breath: I figure instead of saying I will lose a certain amount of weight, I will do something physical instead. I have signed up to do a 5K in June so if I don’t achieve this goal, I don’t even know for myself again oh.
2.  Only buy single serving desserts.
3.  Read at least 100 books and track my reading like this
4.  Go on holiday. Twice.
5.   Spend more time alone than with people: I get my energy when I’m by myself so this is a no-brainer but it’s something I’ve struggled with, so I’m hoping to give myself permission to be by myself with my books. LOL
6.  Sit with my feelings: I am the classic evader. I hate feelings. All of them. But this year I want to stop watching TV mindlessly or listening to grime at top volume at 2am and have my neighbour come knock my door with her baby in hand (true story) instead of actually question what is behind the melancholy that falls on me from time to time. I want to feel my feelings this year no matter how good or bad or messy they may be.
7.   Be the best me at my job. Not the best at my job because that’s just cause for wahala and exhaustion; but the best me at my job because I have a unique contribution I’m bringing to work. I need to own it and stop trying to be someone else at work.
8.   Make God the first person I talk to about anything.
9.   Do what God says and be more honest with him.
10.  Wait till the next morning to make big decisions, send that text, letter or email.
11.  Do something social every week (outside of work)
12.  Check in with long distance friends once a month
13.  Comment on blogs
14.  Trust that there’s a plan
 
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
-Ephesians 3: 20-21 (The Message)

Moyin is one of the dearest people to me and I’m tremendously proud that she took the leap to do this and continually too. Because it’s harder for some of us than others. *cue one-man standing ovation*

Day 19: Shirley

2015 was the worst year of my life. My father died, unexpectedly. It was the 19th of May, 4 days after my birthday. I was abroad. I remember waking up intending to call him, I received a call from my brother instead. The rest of year went by in a blur of rage, mostly, guilt and confusion. I fought depression, despair, the weight of everyone’s expectations… I was so angry.

The thing about anger is, it blocks out everything. An angry person cannot be hopeful.

Fast forward 12 days into 2016. Unable to sleep, I sat up in bed. I didn’t want to watch tv so I decided to write (depending on how I’m feeling, stories come to me. Some make better movie scripts than others) and then it dawned on me that I was happy. That 2 years ago I was praying for the things that are now the norm for me. That somehow, in spite of all my screw ups, I had found my way to contentment and peace of mind. So I started to pray. Praying has been hard for me since my dad’s passing so whenever I get the urge, I embrace it. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t find the words to express everything I was feeling. I prayed with every cell in my body, thanked Him with every fibre of my being because I finally understood. No anger. No confusion. Just gratitude.

What had changed?

I am not a “New year, New me” person, but there is something about ritual.  It’s the repetition I think, it serves as reinforcement. And at the beginning of every year, we all partake in a universal ritual, even without meaning to – we plan. Earlier in the day, I had a number of conversations with friends. We talked about what we were doing this year, about projects and executions. We talked timelines. We made plans. That’s hope. Somehow, without meaning to, I had found my way back to hope. And I didn’t have to do anything or lift a finger. Grace. As shitty as my year had been, looking back I can see all the ways it could have been so much worse. I remember the weight of the despair I carried around with me, the dark cloud surrounding me, preventing me from seeing ahead.

I didn’t plan on doing a post this year. If I had been asked earlier, I definitely would have said ‘NO’. There is a reason Toxic sent me that DM yesterday and not last week. I entered this year thinking ‘Fuck it! I was hella hopeful in 2015 and what did I get?’ but it’s so much nicer to have a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. A few days ago my mother told me I looked happy. This was hilarious to me because my account balance does not support that statement. Grace isn’t governed by any laws though. I hadn’t been able to pray because I never knew what to say; I felt undeserving. But that’s the whole point of Grace. Immediately I understood that, I was free.

If it’s hard to Hope, reach for Grace.

I don’t have a list this year, I don’t need one. I know that whatever this year holds I will find my place and my purpose.

I confess Grace into my 2016 and yours. May all our expectations be exceeded this year, Happy New Year!

Shirley


Now I’m really glad I reached out to Shirley. There were folk who hadn’t signed up this year who I had to guess hadn’t because they’d somehow missed the call when it was sent out. Who would have known that that would work out for the best here? Who could have possibly known?

Dusk 18: Tamara

Tamara!!!! You just had to write it in a rush ehn?!!! After days of procrastinating!!!! You had to wait till the eleventh hour. And this procrastination is part of what u said u dropped with 2015 o…. issokay..

Anyways…

Counting my blessings  2015

#operationfinishmedicalschool…. done and dusted

#missionseizethebae2015……mission accomplished

#getahousejobplacement…….. check

Hopes, Dreams and Desires for 2016

  • I really need to put an effort into this relationship with God. He has shown me several times in several occasions that he loves me and cares about me. How else can I show that I’m not an ingrate if not by being closer to him, reading his word and doing the things he loves? I really need help in this aspect of my life and this is my year of breakthrough. Amen somebody!!!!!
  • I’m finally a doctor!!!! I didn’t really understand the implication of this until I started my house job. People’s lives are in my hands, they look to me for help. Ordinary me, that I don’t know anything. Nurses that have been working for how many years ask me “so doctor what should we do?” Me? What do I know??. So this year, I intend to learn skills, to absorb all I can, to learn all I can, cause I hear it’s worse during NYSC. There, you are literally on your own. Oh God be my help!!!!
  • Concerning my career too, this year I’ll like to know my path. You see, anytime people ask me “so what do you want to specialise in?” my answer is almost always “I don’t know”. Because really I don’t!!. By God’s grace, this year, I’ll prayerfully decide the path I want to follow. No more indecisions for me!!!
  • I want to learn how to live, I just realised that the future I’ve been dreaming of is here, it’s now! I want to enjoy it, stop complaining, stop daydreaming, stop giving excuses! live this life Tamara, life is too short to live it in your head
  • Read more non medical books. One book per month is not too shabby.
  • I want to have a more positive approach to life….this is going to be hard work for my pessimistic self, but I don’t mind the challenge.
  • Above all, I want, hope for and desire God’s will this year!!!!

 

May God’s will be done in the life of Tamara in 2016. And the people said “Amen”.

Day 18: Olumide

I’m old today.

That’s ok though. What’s not ok is how I really don’t have my shit together. I want to blame 2015 for being so amazingly shit, but nah. That’s the past.

This isn’t going to be a long post.

I am depressive, I think. I’m also an optimist. Don’t ask me how that works – I really don’t know. How do I explain buzzing and messaging almost everyone in my contact list as we crossed into the new year, and then spending the rest of the day pretending, and failing, to be happy. But that’s by the way.

I said this wouldn’t be a long post.
So here I am, hoping again. I’m not going to relay plans and goals for the year ahead. I’m just going to say this. When you’ve been through a storm and you decide to keep on living even though suicide is a tempting option, you have to give yourself a reason to keep doing this life thing.

It’s not going to suddenly get easier or happier because we’ve changed the last digit of the year. Life is not going to look at you and go “Hey! It’s that awesome person! I’m going to be awesome to you this year – just because it’s all fresh and new and stuff.” Nah. Life will keep on being cloudy with equal chances of awesome and dreadful. It’s funny how awe and dread are both synonyms and antonyms. I digress.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this. I’m not going into 2016 expecting the world to suddenly become a better place for me. I’m not full of vacuous dreams and capricious ideas. I’m ready to knuckle down and work for the things I want. I’m aware I’ll probably lose friends and alienate people. I’ll probably make some new ones too – and maybe they’ll push me over the obstacles in my way. I’m ready to be buffeted and battered by this rubbish thing called life. But, in the midst of all the turmoil, all the trouble, there’s a glimmer of hope, a tiny bit of light, a voice, quiet but distinct, telling me that maybe, just maybe, this will all work out.

I’m holding on to that hope. I’m following that light. I’m listening to that voice.

So bring it on, 2016. You may not be the ultimate victory I’m looking for, but I sure as hell won’t let you pass me by without pushing for the win.


I’ve always marveled at the way Olumide writes and this piece is no exception. He’s one of those few people whose outward demeanor makes it hard to see the turmoil he’s dealing with inside and I’m glad he’ll be vulnerable like this on here. I just pray 2016 blesses him with precious moments that leave as much of a perpetual smile on his face as is possible.

 

Day 17: Yinka

Hope.

The one emotion a human can hold on to when everything goes to shit. The emotion that can irrationally make you believe that things are going to be better, irrespective of other factors. People say you can have too much but I’ve never believed that. How can I not be invested in the emotion that is mentally geared to make you think things are going to get better?

Being an optimist comes with its own irrational thoughts.

Things haven’t been great. Serving in a village with no light is an extremely humbling experience. The soups & stews you make have no freezers to be kept in so you have to finish them before the third day after making them in order to enjoy the best taste of your food. It means always looking for the place with a generator on so you can charge your tablet & phones. It means sleeping in the dark with no light bulbs to switch off or a fan that’s blowing a little too much. Without electricity, you’re a slave to nature and there’s nothing I can do about it.

*sigh*

Last year I wrote that I want to start investing in the capital market but never got to do it because it was based on a plan which would’ve provided me with a more substantial amount of cash that I’m used to, but it wasn’t to be. I feel the need to start something that would aid my progress in this field, something more than a bunch of bank shares my dad bought for me as a birthday present. Unfortunately, I can’t do that until April when service is done. Investing shares in a village without stable network would probably tear my brain apart. I would also like to put some money into mutual funds because it’s rarely ever a bad investment. It’s a useful way to make money in the medium/long term & it’s good for people like me who have no clue how to save effectively.

I’m also looking forward to getting employed for the first time (service doesn’t count). I’ve never been employed by a company to work for them in my whole life. No internships, no short-term gig, nothing. If that continues into next year then I’m giving up on sending companies my CV or resume or whatever they need. I’ll forge my own path to greatness, & right now I have pieces of an idea on how I’m going to do that but I believe as time moves on I’ll complete the picture from the puzzle.

Everyone close to me tells me I’m too young to think I haven’t done anything substantial but honestly, I feel like I’ve been underachieving even in my early 20’s. The last two years have been rough & they’ve all ended in me praying for the next year to come. I don’t know how I would feel if I ended 2016 like that.

In conclusion, this life of mine has to improve physically (would love to start playing soccer or basketball more regularly – lifting weights or diets have never been for me), mentally (knowing the balance between what to say & what not to say, and avoiding overthinking stuff) & spiritually (getting closer to God).

I hope 2016 will be more eventful & I hope I’ll end the year with more hope for better things going into 2017. Looking at the way things are right now, I can’t have too much.

___________________

Yinka has done this without fail for all four years #30DaysOfHope has run thus far. His sense of consistency is what makes me certain he’ll achieve all he’s articulated above. I join my faith with his hope.

Dusk 16: Ashiwel

So this year, I skipped on the resolutions. I came in like a wrecking ball…

Okay. Let’s start again.

I don’t know why I made no resolutions this year. Maybe I am avoiding disillusion, or maybe realism has finally packed a suitcase and moved in.

I’ve always been an optimist, and the new year makes——no matter how briefly——optimists of us all.

But life takes a battering ram to your optimism, daily. Sixteen days into 2016, I am proud to announce that my optimism is still standing.

I really have no elaborate expectations this year. Last year, I had many, and all but one ( the Chibok girls) came true.

This year, I feel like I am on the brink of greatness. I feel like beauty there is beauty waiting in the grey shadow of days to come, waiting to happen to me.

I feel like the last few seconds before the new year, before the fireworks; a breezy, expectant feeling that brings no cares.

And as the countdown begins and the last few seconds gallantly march on to fall at our feet, we become full of anticipation. There will be fireworks; we came here for this.

Five…Four…Three…Two…Pause.

That is me, right there; that one second before the new year swaggers in, before the sky erupts into magnificence.

Dear 2016, be the fireworks.


 

Ashiwel is one of the most driven people I know. I’ve seen him go from zero to hunnid real quick on the execution of ideas. And ideas are something he seems to have in abundance, so I’m pretty sure he’s good skipping on the resolutions. Don’t try this at home, kids :p

Day 16: Avril

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of The 2016 show. On today’s show, we have Aunty Avril, who is going to be telling us her aspirations and plans for 2016…

Host: Hi! How are you doing today?

Avril: I’m fine, thank you.
Host: Happy to be here?
Avril: Oh yes, I am. It’s a pleasure to be on the show.
Host: So, tell us. What was your first thought of the year? We’d like to think that could be an important indication of how the year might turn out.
Avril: Well, I’m not sure what it was exactly but I do remember chilling for the midnight stories.ng review to drop and trying to win the giveaway. That didn’t work out so well but we thank the Lord.
Host: Do you think that could mean this year would be a year of close calls?
Avril: Nah. I don’t think so. I don’t expect everything to work out but this year should be amazing.
Host: Wow. You seem very confident.
Avril: Indeed, I am. I’m finally coming into my own person. I have virtually everything I need, a wonderful family, awesome friends and good health to boot. What more could I ask for?
Host: Great. So, tell us more. What exactly would you like to achieve this year?
Avril: Where do I start from? A lot of things. I expect to see improvements in virtually every area of my life.
Host: Do enlighten us.
Avril: Alright. First of all, I want to be healthier. So, I plan to start and hopefully stay on the paleo diet. I’ve heard good things about it. I also plan to exercise and meditate everyday, if possible. I’m not a fitness freak but there’s something gratifying about taking care of your body. Hospital bills are expensive, yunno?
Host: We know lol.
Avril: And I’m finally in my final year of school and though, the journey has been tough, I’m really thrilled about final year -and not because I’m leaving. I have gotten to that point where I can say I know most of the tricks of my profession. So, I’m no longer just learning the ropes. I can finally start adding value, maybe even delve into research… we’ll see how it goes.
Host: Rumour has it that you have a new blog. How do you plan to juggle both – studying and blogging?
Avril: I think the fact that I even started the blog is enough fulfillment. I’ve been procrastinating for ages… lol. I’m currently running a reading project there, so that should help streamline things. I’ll try to update it frequently during weekends or school breaks. I want to see a tremendous improvement in my writing this year. So, having a blog would definitely be helpful.
Host: Still on the topic of new, we hear you have a new twitter account too *gasp*
Avril: Lol. I’m surprised too that I actually opened it. I’ve gotten very comfortable just observing for the past three years but now, I have to participate. I haven’t made much progress in the participation area, as I am a very reserved person but I’m taking baby steps. I have to come out of my shell lol. Besides, my new year resolution is to meet 216 new people this year (2 down, 214 to go). I’ve never actively tried to make friends before. I’m friendly but when it comes to walking up to people and trying to befriend them, I freeze up. So, being on twitter will be helpful.
*Shameless plug*
Please, help me with my new year resolution. I really want to meet new people. Follow & tweet at me @9oimah I follow back 🙂
*End of shameless plug*

Host: Shameless plug, indeed.
Avril: *covers face in shame* Oya, let’s continue
Host: Okay… On to matters of the heart. That bae you mentioned last year, how is he?
Avril: What’s a bae? Please, explain. I don’t understand…
Host: Haba. Answer the question na
Avril: Alright. It was #UnseizeTheBae 2015 for me. I’m currently happy as a single puyoyo and I don’t think I need bae right now but… I dunno what God has planned. I’m sha not searching. I’m happy.
Host: ‘you sure? ‘sounds like you might still be bitter.
Avril: Oh plix. I’m not. I’m “on good terms” with him. Or as good as terms can be…
Host: We’ve heard you.
Avril: Lol
Host: Any other plans?
Avril: Oh yeah. Like every person in Nigeria, I want to make money and of course, be closer to God. Not necessarily in that order.
Host: Okay. Is that all?
Avril: Yeah, I spoke a lot about my plans but I’m not self-absorbed like that. I’m not going to be doing this 2016 alone. About 7 billion other people will be doing it too lol. My hope for whoever is reading this (and everybody else really) is that in 2016, after all hustling, we all go home to contentment. It’s very easy to focus on our dreams and aspirations and the things we don’t have yet while forgetting everything we worked for in 2015 that we have now. In 2016, I hope we are granted the gift that is unending contentment.
Host: Amen. Thank you for being on the show. See you next year 🙂
Avril: By God’s grace fam

*End credits*


Lmao! Oh goodness. I love the way Avril presented this. Or was it the host that did the presenting, considering people in this part of the world call show host presenters? Hmm… ‘Scuse me while I go argue with myself…