2016 was never expected to be a good year. This was my mindset entering the new year on the first of January, 2016. So essentially when you enter a new year/phase of your life with this mindset, you’re mentally, psychologically and emotionally bracing yourself to receive any impact or weather any storm that may occur. I entered 2016 with a mental bulletproof vest, waiting for the battle to begin.
While my initial outlook on 2016 was over-dramatic, it was not completely off-base. 2016 was honestly a. very. hard. year. Even if you were my next door neighbor, lifelong best-friend you honestly would never have guessed the caliber of S-H-I-T 2016 threw at my family and I. As a family it was literally one of our hardest years, but all thanks and glory to God Almighty because we have a few days left in 2016 and we’re still together thriving, and isn’t that what matters?
As an individual, I feel like I made a lot of conscious self development. I stepped out of my comfort zones several times this year, and with that came severe panic attacks. The sort of panic attacks that leave you lying on the floor, begging your heart to stop beating so fast because you’re so scared and it takes so much mental strength to convince yourself that come what may, you. will. be. alright. It happened hours before my very first debate/public speaking in university, and I spent so much time convincing myself to go on with it that I got there too late and missed it. I regretted missing it, because really, why was I so panicked? I didn’t have the answer then but after a lot of introspection, I found the answer (Lol, and not to bait you or anything but that’s a story for another day). I realized the fear came at times when I tried things I didn’t know I would, and it was a fear that engulfed me and I didn’t have people that I could talk about it with. So, more often that not I found myself giving up things that I was ready to try due to a fear that I just did not understand.
In 2016 I learnt that it is okay to let go. It most definitely is not easy but you have to pause and ask yourself, “is it really worth it?”. You have to accept that certain people are in your life for certain seasons and reasons, and you should know when their time is up; and appreciate the roles they played for that amount of time. 2016 honestly came with a lot of lessons, most of which I had to learn the hard and painful way. Forefront of these lessons is that most times love just is not enough. I learnt my lessons and I let myself grow. But these life lessons were not the only factors that led to my self evolution, there was a human factor. I fell in love with the most amazing, accepting and refreshing person that affirmed my being, when I didn’t even think I needed affirmation. I like to believe that I am a much stronger, confident and beautiful person because of the relationship we had, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Grateful in spite of the unfortunate way in which it all ended, but you know “we take the good with the bad” according to Keri. So, despite all the economic melt downs, heart break and disappointments, 2016 ended up being my year of self evolution.
This self evolution was only going to occur when I totally accepted me for me, flaws and all. I had to accept myself physically, mentally and emotionally and grow from all the self-depreciating bullshit that I had let myself get accustomed to. I accepted me, and now I’m healing and moving on to a healthier and much better mind space. I internally ripped myself apart in 2016, and slowly I examined every piece and studied where it should go, and where it would fit perfectly; I’m still healing. You know I didn’t realize how much mental work I did on myself this year until I started writing this post; It was such a. hard year!
Unfortunately all the work I put into myself in 2016 did not really involve my relationship with God. And that’s really sad because He really turned up for me at times when I really needed Him, so I will be putting this on my priority list for 2017, and ensure I have positive feedback when its time for my 2017 recap. Earlier on I wrote about letting people go when their season in your life is over, but that did not apply to all my relationships this year. I feel most of the relationships that ran dry this year was due to a nonchalance on my part, and is something that occurs more often than naught. My relationship with most of my dear friends is mostly long distance, until they return for holidays. And I found it immensely stressful to text first, or reply messages or just keep a conversation going. Lol, it’s the shittiest thing but I just found myself not caring about it or anything, and this is one of the things about my behavior that frightened me late this year. I have somehow developed such a hard, fuck off shell that gives me the luxury of being a complete asshole sometimes, I don’t even recognize myself. I find myself laughing when something horrible happens to someone, and I’m like “Bisi Adedun, stop it!”. I know it’s a side effect of overcoming heartbreak where my mind has built this impenetrable fortress, and while it is protective it is extremely unhealthy. And it will prevent me from genuinely being there for good people that love me and have supported me through hard times.
I was on Twitter recently and I stumbled upon a tweet by Osi Suave that read:
There is strength in needing others.
It is not weakness.
And it was just refreshing to learn, because I have lived my whole life believing otherwise. It is so difficult for me to openly need someone that it took me close to three months before I confided in my friends that my relationship ended. While other factors influenced that behavior, the most prominent one was: I did not know how to be so vulnerable with people – friends, family or not – that I literally went through it alone without anyone knowing. It was such a harrowing and sad experience, which is why I plan on working on my vulnerability in 2017.
Considering all the things I learnt, and am still learning and plan on learning in 2017, I had some amazing moments and milestones reached in 2016 which I would love to share:
- I went on my first trip away from home and my family – ever – this year. It was a mandatory class field trip which took me to Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state for a week and a half. It was a really exciting, mostly stressful, partly fun, and sometimes sad (because of the horrible food situation) experience, but I loved it. I can’t wait for the next one late next year, by God’s grace.
- I ran for a post in my departmental association, and – get this- I won! Like what?! It was such a crazy, fun, panicky experience. I currently have a love-hate relationship with politics right now.
- I became friends with two vibrant, intelligent, beautiful young ladies, and they were my 2016 blessing. Lol because after a year in university my weak social skills left me almost friendless, so yes yes I feel blessed to have them.
- My scholarships came(and are still coming) through!
- I got introduced to my current favorite book of all time – The god of small things by Arundhati Roy – in late 2015, and finished reading it in January, 2016, and she is just writing goals through and through.
- I read lots and lots of very awesome short stories and memoirs and reviews, and I got so mind-blown(read fucked), and I’m so inspired to up my writing game to that level. A good number of the short stories are on this list, and I got introduced to the sensational writing of TJ Benson, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi (love his name), Arinze Ifeakandu, amongst others. All of which join Tomi Olugbemi, Akwaeke Emezi and Eloghosa Osunde on my literary pedestal of new age writers.
- I also got really hooked on the vignette writing style, and excited to try it out by reading Timi Yeseibo’s Any Seven Stories from my life series on LivelyTwist.
- I became more independent, and have pretty much gotten the hang of public transportation. Lol, you guys should check out my bus jumping game sometime, one hunnid!
I am absolutely excited for 2017, and all the opportunities it holds for me which I’m preparing to take full advantage of. I plan to work more on my writing which sincerely took too much of a backseat in my life this year. I have a couple of titles planned out for what I want to write on next. The titles will range from memoir pieces (about 2 or 3), to fiction and then some creative non-fiction. I hope hope hope that I can get the energy, inspiration and positive light to help me complete them all.
Conclusively, I just want to reinforce that I’m in a very positive, free and happy place right now. So happy that I’m back on twitter (Lol, story again for another day) even though it means having 3 followers and 10 followings, I am perfectly content with that space. I don’t think I say this enough but I am so grateful to God for the grace to see the end of this year, after a near-death experience. And also for my family, friends and loved ones to see a new year, because 2016 was not supposed to be easy but we are almost at the finish line, and whatever you want to believe it is only God that has the ability to get us all this far.
I hope your 2016 was everything you hoped it would be and more, and I hope even more that your 2017 is more spectacular and is filled with lots of hope, light and love.