I have seen a lot of people doing the grateful challenge thing and I feel like I too should take it up. Why? I think the whole essence is to return gratitude to the Giver of life and to encourage a few who feel like throwing in the towel.
The year 2018 has been one hell of a ride, and I am eternally grateful that I’m straddling off with not just my head on my body but also with a sound mind.
I like to look back and in addition to making a grateful post, I’ll also like to share lessons I had to learn this past year. Personally, I believe that lessons are taught to be imbibed and used. So, here goes:
1. We win some and we lose some (and it is very ok); I started this year with three outstanding victories. I got into two writing competitions the previous December and I got shortlisted in January. I also won a cash prize same January for another stuff, BUT that was it. I thought the year would continue in same manner, fam, as I write this (30-12-2018), I received my fifth rejected submission mail today. But it is fine, it is ok, we will win again.
2. It is ‘over’ okay to start again; this was one of the major lessons 2018 had in the coolers for me, in February. I had to start over my academic program- in a different institution, different state and different course entirely. This broke me but I found purpose under the rubble. In this, I learned and still learning to trust the process and that you’re never too old or too far gone to start over a career, a dream, a relationship.
3. We have a Father who loves and is patient enough with us; in March, I walked out of my faith and everything, and everyone around who was about this, knew that I had almost gone too far. I wasn’t involving myself in reckless living or the likes; but I allowed doubt cloud my faith. I questioned a lot of things, I suppressed the “still voice” anytime it spoke and I was angry with God for squashing my dreams. God was patient and forgiving and still loved me regardless.
4. Forgive and give people second chances; just like the April showers descended, I had to learn to shower forgiveness on people who had broken my trust, abused my friendship and seared the relationship. It wasn’t easy especially those who weren’t sorry. I too learned to ask for forgiveness and move on.
5. Success and Procrastination are enemies; a lot of times I had opportunities to participate in a plethora of activities that would have brought good success but ‘unku procra’ dinnor allow me. If you want to achieve good success, you must work hard, be disciplined and add a measure of commitment.
6. It is fine to fall in love… It was like this year relationship was hungering me. I keep my private life very private but a few times the zuchiya strolled to love Creek! But in all I learned that any relationship you find yourself in and it distracts your emotional, spiritual and mental peace/goal please run away and not look back. Nobody died being single-at the right time, the pieces will fit in the puzzle.
7. Make new friends but do not forget old ones; I think in all my life, this year I met a loooot of people and made friends with quite a bunch. It is very easy to abandon old ties, but I tried to maintain the bond. This cannot even be overemphasized, but just know it is a small world.
8. Be expressive enough with your emotions; whenever you miss someone, tell them, whenever you have to be absent at a friend’s function, give them reasons why, whenever you’re sad and need someone to talk to, do so. Whenever you want to sing, please do. No communication has marred a lot of relationships.
9. Celebrate with those who celebrate and sympathize with those who mourn; at a point this year, I had to ask myself if I was overdoing this because a lot of people around me had victories and it was like I was mandated to share in their joy. One major example, my friends concluded their Law program in October am I kept feeling like I would cringe and turn off social media that day. Fortunately, I asked the Holy Spirit for help and I feel like I was even more than excited than a few of them. One sent a message and said “Ugochukwu, you carry this matter for head o” LOL.
10. November taught me or rather reminded me that life is transient and we must take hold of the now and as much as possible, be in the right; this was a harrowing lesson as I lost one of my best friends and that is why for the past weeks I have hung out with peeps more than I have in almost all my life. The now is to be lived and memories made in the process, tomorrow is never guaranteed, and all I can say is, as much as we want our private spaces, make room to be around people you care about. So, this is me saying that I want to hang out with more people this coming year😃.
11. I have learned to be content and grateful for the bigs, the smalls and the in-betweens. Grateful for food, for clothes, for family- for everything!
So, as 2018 prepares to breathe its last, I am giddy and somewhere in between prepared and nervous about 2019, one thing I’m sure about is, as long as God lives, we would walk through it, give some killer poses, have a ball and come out of it with abundant testimonies! Let me be the first to wish a Happy New Year!