First, I want to say a very big thank you to Ozzy for this opportunity. It’s one that I do not take for granted.
Like most people, I don’t think I started 2018 with a long list of resolutions. Primarily, I just wanted to be a better person than I was last year. This year was packed with so much activities; law school, NYSC and a number of other projects I was involved in. This year taught me so much, by putting me under different circumstances and testing my ability to consciously grow.
Through the ups and downs of the year, I’m so proud of the fact that I can look back today and smile at how far I’ve come.
In this piece, I’ll be sharing with you all four valuable lessons I learnt in year 2018.
- It’s totally okay to not have everything figured out yet.
Most of the time, it’s easy to get lost in worrying about how our lives are not looking as we want it to. This year, I got cast down by the thought that I hadn’t quite figured out a lot of things yet.
A lot of the people around me were very confident of the choices they wanted for their future, meanwhile I couldn’t even bring myself to answer the not- too- simple question ‘What are your plans for the future’?
This is not to say that I was totally clueless about the things I wanted for my life, but I just didn’t have them in full detail. (I still don’t have them in full detail).
I beat myself up a lot for this because it started to get intimidating. However, looking back at the year, I’m honestly marveled at how much I’ve accomplished and the whole life ahead of me.
At some point, I had to intentionally remind myself that I was doing my best, and more importantly, I had my destiny inscribed in the hands of God, so there was no need to worry.
I just want to make it very clear that it’s totally okay to not have it all in perspective yet. It’s okay to take some time to retreat and think deeply about the next steps to take in life, but it’s not okay to stop and compare your life to another person’s own just because it looks like your perfect dream. Calm down and relax! Your life will fall into place too.
- The importance of good people
Frankly, this life is a tough place. From financial burdens, to emotional stress, to physical pain, there’s so much we deal with as humans daily.
This year, I learned to enjoy the gift of good people. I learned that as much as people complain about the fact that there are too many fake people around, there are amazing people too.
I learned to build a solid community of friends for every facet of my life. Now, I can confidently list out a reasonable number of people whom I consider as my go-to guys for different things.
This year, I learned how to care for myself with the gift of people. I learned to give the people in my life the same opportunity to grow as I gave myself,
I learned that I couldn’t survive here all by myself, so it was important to surround myself with people who would constantly motivate me and push me to do better.
- God never forgets his own
Earlier this year, I was in the Nigerian law school trying so hard to finally become a lawyer. The process was extremely tough and tasking. I remember crying myself to sleep most of the time I was there. I almost gave up at some point, but I didn’t understand why I kept fighting through.
Halfway into my civil litigation exams, I realized that I answered two questions inside the wrong script. I freaked out immediately I realized it. I started crying and I couldn’t move my hands afterwards.
I gave up at that point and told myself that it was over. I’m such a slow writer and I was so sure I couldn’t rewrite everything in the little time I had left.
I finally decided to pray to God for supernatural speed and accuracy (even though somewhere in my heart, I doubted it). Guys, the succeeding fifteen minutes were the fastest I have ever written as far as I can remember. I wrote everything and even had enough time to go over my answers.
This year, I’ve been in similar situations where it seemed humanly impossible to get out of, but I’ve seen God show up for me in ways I never imagined.
This year, I learned to trust the promises of God towards me and not try to help him bring them to fulfillment.
- Be intentional about the information you take in
Being a survivor of depression, I learned to be very careful about the things I allow to get into my mind. It’s very easy to get lost in the world of social media; fancy images on Instagram, coated lies on twitter and the rest of them.
I learned this year that it’s not right to feel like I’m not doing enough for myself because there are other people of my age who are doing better for themselves in the pictures they put up. I learned to consciously remove myself from situations that are likely to pull me back from my reality.
This year, I learned that it’s totally okay to unfollow, unsubscribe or block anybody whose posts are most likely to make me feel less of myself regardless of how close we may be. I learned that in the journey to self-development, there are certain drastic measures that must be taken for the sole purpose of maintaining your peace.
In 2019, I look forward to better. I look forward to being a better person than I was this year. I look forward to being a better writer too.
I look forward to being a stronger believer. I look forward to trusting God more and depending solely on the promises in his word.
I hope that the rest of my service year turns out great. Above all, I hope that I’d look back at the year next December and feel very happy at how it all turned out.
To everyone who feels that their year 2018 didn’t have a lot to offer, this is a reminder that life works in seasons and some seasons are solely designed to build your trust and your patience. It’s totally okay that 2018 may not have gone according to your plan, but it’s not okay to give up on hope. It’s not okay to let life weigh you down. It’s not okay to let the storm take over your ship. You are strong and you can live through another year.
One day you will wake up and all of the waiting will make sense, all the nights you cried yourself to sleep will fade away, and you’ll find out that all the long wordless tears-filled prayers that seemed to be tangled in worries were in reality wrapped in the warmth of God’s undying grace.
Stay in hope for season 2019. I trust it’s a season packed with possibilities for you.