What a Year to Be Alive

With multiple feelings and not one of them being sadness I am glad to write this review, my life this year has felt like a movie and a beautiful one at that. The type that starts off with zero unfulfilling potential and ends with such leaps and bounds you begin to wonder if the director is on special drugs. But he isn’t, the producer, writer and constant editor of my life is called God and the script he wrote for me this year, in the words of all famous black American celebrities, is LIT.
January began with me suffering the excess weight I had picked up from doing nothing and surviving a stab attack from December 2015 (such a murderous year) I hit the gym for the first time in my life and almost died on my first day running laps, the weeks progressed and I could feel the changes. It made me feel better and helped to fight the depression.
A woman that now feels like a mom to me gave me my first job in her school as an ‘assistant’. It got me out of the house and gave me a sense of duty. There is no worse feeling than that of being useless.
By February a gradual progression had set in and I still found time to workout on weekends. It felt like progress, no matter how small. My girlfriend from my university days also decided that it was time to move on.
Have you ever tried to cry but your brain sees no reason to make the tears fall, that was me.
I prayed my heartbreak away and did my best to move on. At this point, beautiful people came into my life and I remembered what genuine friendship felt like. Ada, Temi and Obehi I thank you. One person doesn’t have to love you for you to feel fulfilled or special. Always have a support system. My mother always tells me you cannot live without having people in your life. I do my best to dispute that logic because what are first sons for if not for arguing without listening and getting the point much later.
I began writing a weekly series called Freaky Friday and the audience loved it, this writing has kept progressing and I know it is that thing I love and will always love. I applied for the Farafina literary workshop and made the shortlist, but not the really short one. I took that as a big win for my first try and I will apply again next year.
Through all these escapades I was still waiting on NYSC to take me out of my broke predicament. I had never spent so much time at home without any plans of what to do next. My leg been start to scratch me. The weeks passed and April came to meet me, drafting the most unexplainable sickness my way. I couldn’t get out of bed; my mother wasn’t home because she was treating her own mother. In the shortest way to sum it up. Stress.
Everybody was stressed. My migraines left me barely able to eat or stay awake for too long because of the pain. The next thing I knew May came to meet me and I was still bed-ridden. At this point my mother (God bless her soul) paused to take a look at me and took me to the teaching hospital where my own grandmother was hospitalised. Madness. The doctors checked for tumours
and did a full brain scan. All tests came back negative. There was nothing medically wrong with me. So, what the hell was dancing the samba in my brain? A blood test later decided that it was cerebral malaria. I was sceptical but lay down through days of intravenous treatment and told myself it would be well.
A few days after this I braved the pain and packed my bags to Benin for my NYSC registration, telling myself and whoever cared to listen that the headaches would leave the way they came (Painkillers did nothing by the way). Welcomed back into my old city by my only Hausa friend that makes me defend Muslims anywhere I hear them being spoken of negatively. We had fun, we had joy, and we had seasons in the sun. I had a chance to see most of the few friends I managed to keep after four years in Benin City. We even went so far as going to the zoo, with all our drama and having literally the best time. (Hire my squad to make your life lit).
A few weeks and I was back home, constantly refreshing Jobberman and Pushcv. Nothing breaks your spirit more than filling job applications online with no responses. An Ad popped up on my twitter looking for night writers so I applied. The only snag was this interview was in Lagos, I lived in Warri, Ugborikoko for that matter. How I wan take waka this kin waka, when if you turn me upside down and shake me even dust won’t fall from my pockets. Daddy came through and I was on a bus to Lagos with above average expectations and 5k in my pocket.
Safe to say that from July my life has been too busy for me to keep up with. I got the job and l left after a month to an even higher paying job with better opportunities. Two months after that I got an even better job with one of the top five financial institutions in Nigeria. I cannot believe that this is how God answers prayers so literally especially when He wants to embarrass you with blessings. I type this from my own house and the feeling is exhilarating. My dad doesn’t send me Christmas money again but I believe it is a worthy trade-off but the most important thing is how I am alive and well to type this, the sickness left just the way it came and I am eternally grateful.
To all my friends, you all mean the world to me and I know I do not talk with you all so much but we have something that time or distance cannot tarnish or dent. The best banter and understanding.
To my extended family that understand and make having family feel warm and fuzzy when you sleep at night, I love you all.
To my siblings. We. The. Best.
To my father, I say thank you and God bless you always and forever.
Dearest mother, I do not know where I will be right now if not for your constant disturbance and prayer. We cannot pick our family but even if I came back in another life, I will track you down and make you adopt me. You are the best and deserve the best. To a better 2017, to more fulfilling jobs, to magical relationships and to a fully padded bank account.
This is Temisan Agbajoh wishing you a happy new year.

Commentary:
Beloved, just like that, 2016 is behind us. Gone. Like every other yesterday. Gone with my screams of joy that followed Manchester United’s epic comeback. Gone with the harmattan wind that blew dust across Port-Harcourt City as 2016 took its last breath. Fitting, that; especially when you consider the number of our loved ones who gave their last breaths to that rollercoaster of a year. And now it’s behind us, with a fresh 365 days thrust into our palms from which to shape our ever bright future.
Bright, yes, because with the year just past, we learnt things. A wise man, or woman, once said, “2016 is the year of realising things.” I agree. 2016 made literates of illiterates. Illiterates blind to the reality that Black Lives Matter, illiterates blind to the destructiveness of drug abuse amongst our youth, illiterates blind to the reality that Buhari did not come with Change, illiterates blind to the necessity of feminism in this era (realising the full extent of patriarchy in my society was a shocker to me). What a year to be alive. For my newly acquired knowledge I’m personally grateful to my handful of friends, a lovely lover of mine, and the internet. To be honest, we should all be grateful for the internet and realise that as a medium of positive, societal and mental change, the internet can be very effective.
With these life-survival skills learnt from 2016, the next step for me, for us, is to handle the spirit of procrastination in 2017. This is actually one of the ultimate smash-and-grab tactics against the behemoth that is Life sometimes. We shall overcome in 2017, beloved.
From your able Uncle Tony; HAPPY NEW YEAR.
PIMP, PIMP, HURRAY! img_0010

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