#My2018Story – Oreoluwa Shonibare

2018 has been an amazing year for me, a year of learning. At the end of 2017, I remember declaring to myself that 2018 would be a year of learning, however my expectations were different. I thought the year would be for learning about business and skills but it was way deeper than I thought. My story would summarize my whole year with major lessons I learnt throughout the year.

The first half of the year was ‘perfect’, business was going well and goals were being achieved. It was as though I was cruising through the year, then life happened. But what is life without challenges or lessons that make you stronger. The second half of the year taught me a lot of life lessons. It was very hard but it was colorful and it was mine. 2018 taught me to experience life in its fullness; the good, the bad and the unplanned. I discovered how to enjoy life wholly, the sadness and happiness too.

The beginning of the second quarter came with heartbreaking news. My co-founder had to leave us for a full-time placement somewhere else.  Many don’t understand the depth of co-founding a company with another person, it is described by most VCs (Venture Capitalists) as marriage, so He was getting a divorce. Just as wii were entering the next phase of our plans for Wii CREATE, wii were a man short. I felt betrayed, lonely and overwhelmed. How do I execute all the plans wii had? I have always been a team player, but what am I without a team. A new office with a thousand plans, where do I go from here. The news shook my core, my lens shifted, I became unsure of everything, lost. I thought I needed stability and it was not because of money, or was it? If not, why would He leave. Wii already doubled the revenue of the previous year by July. Or was I thinking small> Do I need to rethink this entrepreneurship thing, is it really for me?

“I need a job; my life needs to be sorted. This is the wake-up call.” I lost every sense of patience or delayed gratification which was a large part of my person. “Nothing” was working, I became confused and desperate in less than 2 weeks. I got a job offer from a client, which I accepted. I rushed salary negotiation, forgot to sign documents because I honestly just needed to be put to work. After a month I was frustrated, the organization were not serious about their staff to start with. I was still unsatisfied, more money and ‘stability’ but it was not enough. I hit my lesson, I had failed to guard my heart. This was not me. I quit the job after a month and took a break to reflect.

Disappointments are default in life, if it is not your tailor, it is the government, if it is not that which I doubt, it would be your co-founder or even yourself. To err is human, consciously or unconsciously. Guarding your heart and its desires is one of the recipes for happiness.

Another major lesson I learnt was on Processes and Destinations. Processes are a series of events that lead up to a result, while destinations are the results. Processes take time and energy, most times they are not pleasant but necessary. For better understanding, saving for a vacation is the process, Santorini is literally the destination, the acquaintance and friendship phase is the process while marriage to the Love of your life is the destination, a queue in KFC is the process, the Bucket of chicken in your hand is the destination. We sometimes assume that happiness is in the destination so we tend to rush the process, as per jet age but life itself is a series of processes.

If you don’t endure the process, how would you appreciate the destination, even better if you don’t enjoy the process, what do you gain? A lot of us are so focused on ‘goals’ that we forget to enjoy today. All we do is pressure ourselves through phases of life – from getting admission, to finishing school, then masters, a job and marriage. We sometimes seek some form of enjoyment in next phase rather than focus on enjoying the now. In 2018, I learnt that the best way to live life is to consciously enjoy the process as much as the destination. Every stage of life has its peculiarities that it affords, enjoy it. Enjoy being a student, a learner, being single, being on a queue, being broke, having little etc. Every stage eventually passes because life is in seasons. Be content with 4 digits in your account, like you would with 7 digits.

Be patient with yourself, enjoy your process. This lesson made my life way easier, made me patient with myself and lessened my tendencies to compare my journey to that of others.

One of my favorite discoveries in 2018 was the power of community. I got a message one evening when I was stressed and literally hanging by a thread. Tayme was planning a trip to Tarkwa Bay, mainly to pray, share experiences and eat – the food was key to be honest – I was very happy. I knew I needed a break but I didn’t realize how much I needed the people till I got there. A community of honest people ready to listen and share their experiences and testimonies with love is priceless. Asides from my Godsent Babe who was there for me all year with everything I needed, every time; with the right words of advice, prayers and unbelievable support. She and my communities saved me from thinking I was ever alone in any struggle. She was my MVP in 2018, I couldn’t possibly imagine my year without her (PS: this destination needed a process of waiting all my life.)

The growth of my tribe made 2018 my best year yet. Experiencing life with people is the best way to live. I lived my best life this year because I had the best guys in my corner. I was there for my tribe in places and moments of need, on occasions they did not expect. I hung smiles on the faces of many people, with my tribe. Whenever I hear of people that ‘had it all’ but took their own lives, I fall into deep thoughts asking why. One of my favorite rappers, NF once said “I hope you don’t get to the top only to find out there is nothing there for you.” Maybe all the things at the top are just… things. I keep asking “Did they not have anybody to talk to? If they did, why didn’t they talk to someone. Did someone not notice something? anything?” It scares me.

I found Joy regardless in the midst of drama.

The truth is you are not alone in any struggle, many of us have similar struggles but everyone is self-medicating. I think If we were honest with our struggles, the world would be a better place. If we stopped acting like we have it all together and have figured out life, everyone would be comfortable with their imperfection. A sincere, open and honest tribe would afford you a life that money can’t.

The year helped me learn more about myself and it took a shaking to realize who I was and how I want my future to look like, where my happiness was and what mattered the most to me. I found Joy regardless in the midst of drama. I found my second Home in Celebration Church (CCI). I was properly fed and at peace for the second half of the year, understanding God’s plan and provision for me this year made all the difference. Understanding the world for what it was and where my treasures should lie, discovering the height and depth of Abba’s love for me gave me peace like no other, this year I discovered Joy regardless in Christ Jesus.

Conclusively, many things happened to me in 2018, but more importantly, many people came into my life. I was happy, I was sad, I laughed from the bottom of my heart, I felt it all. Some goals were accomplished, relationships were developed and proper mindsets were established. This year I learnt to smile regardless, hold my happiness and stick out my tongue to the expectations of society.   As the year wraps up today, I am so hopeful for what the future holds, not because of what I have but because of who holds the future. Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s