#My2019Story – Ozioma Paul

Helloooo peopleeeeee!

I’m so excited to do this. Thank you sooo much to every who shared in the past week… thankful to everyone who read, shared, left a comment. Honestly, I wasn’t going to do this. First because this year alone seemed like nine years. It was longgg. I knew if I did the #My2019Story series, I’d also have to write and I wasn’t sure I wanted that. Secondly, because this year was a difficult one for me personally, I struggled with my creative side. I think I only had two videos on my YouTube… even other blogs where I write, I just couldn’t bring myself to churn out anything. I was busy trying to be sane and survive. So I thought people may not even still remember my blog talk less of read people’s stories. But i was blown out of my mind! My highest views ever has been in this period and I’m soooo thankful guys. Thank you! ❀πŸ₯Ί

Writing this is quite a task. I’ve been procrastinating since God knows when because it was a long year for me. Started with a ghastly accident I had in January that shook me to my core because I really could have died that night. I was out of work for about 5 weeks and I was forced into an awkward silence. I spent more time with God than I have in a while. Then I was reminded of the important things in life… I had worked late that particular day on a report for a job and the very next day, someone else replaced me on that project. Then it dawned on me that this life is ONE… And that there’s things more important than a job. It would be a great error to trade your relationship with God or family and friends for a job… a great error because these are what would outlast the challenges life hurls at us.

This was right after I got back to work… I miss wearing these ‘madamly’ thingss

Anyways, I got back to work renewed spiritually, well rested, fattened (literally! Thank you mommmy!)… And with a new mindset – BALANCE. I got on an out-of-state project for the first time and I was super excited. It was to Abuja, the land of married men (This is a story for another day but thank God mehn cos e be thinggggs for that town) I was in Abuja for a bit and I enjoyed myself.

In between, I went for a mission trip where I was reminded of how important missions is to God… You can read about it here. It was a refreshing period for me. It strengthened my convictions and helped me remind myself of what truly matters in life…

All this time, I was working on getting into my dream school, Carnegie Mellon University. Honestly, when I applied I wasn’t sure of myself. Lol… I just really felt convinced about it so I gave it a shot. Long story short (You can read the story here though), I got a full scholarship to do my masters in IT. Ayeeee! I was thrilled. I had a short period before leaving so I had to prepare for a professional exam on what I had been working on at my job. You know, to kinda cement my experience…. Then I left and then dark days began…

The day I took the exam. I was so exhausted trying to not blow some serious money and packing up for school and saying goodbyes. Slept off amidst my exams… It was just dramatic. I walked out of the exam centre and saw my friend had been waiting for me. I had a few errands to run and he didn’t mind… So we chatted and gisted all the way. One of my cherished moments of the year πŸ™‚

A few weeks in, I lost one of my best friends. Sigh. I still don’t know how to write about it. I did a podcast about it because I needed an outlet but couldn’t write. I was loosing myself. I could be in school, and from no where tears would flood my eyes as there are right now. The first night after I heard, I was crying even in my sleep. I woke up scared I was loosing my mind. I left my hotel room and went to my friend’s room down the hall. It was such a difficult time for me. Writing this is bringing tears to my eyes still because I don’t ever think I can be done… It was a conflict – I knew he is in a better place and he would not have me miserable as I was. But I didn’t know how to handle my emotions.

I was also just settling in this strange country… Away from home and alone. Being alone was new to me. All my life, I had lived with family even when I was in university. All of a sudden, I was living alone… Even church was strange. New people everywhere. Then, I didn’t feel like social media because I was in a state where I didn’t understand my mind. So I was mostly alone. People think when someone travels abroad, it’s a bliss. The loneliness is most times depressing. Anyways, that and the grief eating at me coupled with the stress of school. Doing my masters in CMU is by far the most mentally stretching thing I have done in years. Consulting or even my undergrad studies doesn’t come close. I think this was because I was so focused on learning and building skills more than anything…

As if this dark times weren’t dark enough, one day I felt this acute pain. Apparently, it was a tumour causing problems and had to be taken out asap. Lol. I was confused, in pain… I was like, God I know you’re with me through all of this… But why is this happening to me??? The doctors initially weren’t sure if it was cancerous so imagine the uncertainty through that period. Lol… Eh. It wasn’t funny. After the surgery, the doctor told me, it’d take me another 6 weeks to resume to my life fully so he suggested I should switch to part time student this semester. I said okay, thanks. loool. When he left, I turned my face to the wall and picked my bible that was by my bedside in the hospital and I opened to Isaiah 43:2… I read it to God and said… This feels so overwhelming God but I trust you that even in this, you are with me. I prayed and told God that I didn’t come all the way here to be sick and unable to study. Long story short, I was discharged the next day and 2 weeks after, the doctor examining me said to me… “Mama… your healing is remarkable! I haven’t seen anything like this in years” Yes oooo. I crammed it! I laughed so much, I had tears in my eyes. I was so grateful. I was soon back in sync with school though I missed like two weeks and the assignments almost killed me… Lol. But looking at my results, people! All I can say is there is a God and He cares deeply for me.

Family and relationships

God has been good to my family. My family experienced such increase this year… like everyone of us had testimonies. We had out own challenges but together, we were there for whoever was going through it at the time. I also learnt family is beyond blood. My friends showed up for me this year… One of my bosom friends slept with me at the hospital 4 out of the 5 nights I was there. Thinking about it makes me cry because she was such a pillar for me. God bless you, Dolapo. I love you πŸ™‚

Well… because I really love this picture πŸ™‚

Final words

  • My love goes out to everyone who lost someone this year. It is a difficult thing. I don’t have the words but please be strong, it does get better.
  • Life is short. Like eyan le ku any damn time. So quit playing around and be intentional. Sign up for those courses already. Stop wasting time on social media and all those things that don’t exactly matter 5 years from now. Start to chase your goals and with all you have… Because as time is going, that’s how life is going too.
  • Shoot your shot o. If you always say no, you’d never be open to any yes. Be it a job, school admission or a human, shoot your shot already
  • Finally, be kind to yourself. I was harsh on myself several times this year. But my body was trying its possible best to heal and my mind was doing all it could to be sane. It was the wrong thing to do. Be kind to yourself even when you’re not moving at the pace you thought you’d be moving at. Be kind to yourself.

That’s it guys!
I too dey talk, abi?
Me sef I know… Thanks so much for reading and for being here. It means so much to me than you know. This brings us to the end of #My2019Story πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸΌ
I would love to hear from you in the comment boxes… what do you think of the series? Any feedback? Anything that hit you? Anything at all.

Thanks again guys! Cheers to an even bigger 2020!

14 thoughts on “#My2019Story – Ozioma Paul

  1. Hello Ozioma! I’m so thankful for you, i had no idea you had an accident…and your hospital experiences, waow thank God!
    This has sure been a full year for you. I know how you must have felt losing your friend, its a terrible feeling and I can’t fully describe it; i also lost close friends, I think about it sometimes and I’m weak.

    And it’s still a process for me absorbing the fact that i can go anytime and the need to make the best of my life. And how i need to intentionally make time for other things not just work, cause like you said, one can be replaced asap. It’s sad but it’s what it is.

    Cheers to a beautiful 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Titilayo πŸ™‚
      Thank you for the read and for leaving a comment/
      Like you said… its an actual process absorbing the fact that one can go anytime… Hence the need to be intentional. I hope you are having a good 2020 so far… maybe not as a great as we all imagined but I hope you are keeping well…. Lots of love ❀️️


  2. Wow! Never knew you went through all of these. Thank God for the healing and quick recovery process. I celebrate you, Ozioma. Thanks for sharing your story. God bless you dearie.

    Liked by 1 person

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