I have a photo in my gallery dated January 3rd. It’s a picture of my vision board. I titled it: 2022 — Game Changer Year, and included images of things I wanted to accomplish that year. I did not achieve many of them, but in reviewing this board, I realised that 2022 was indeed a game-changer year in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
I entered 2022 exhausted from the previous year. I had done so much work in 2021 and was surviving on my last dregs of strength. The burnout made January a difficult month for me. I had grown dissatisfied with my job, had financial and accommodation issues, dreaded the idea of attending school, and felt very confused about my future. I remember crying out of the blue on several occasions because I was just so sad and couldn’t figure out why.
Life didn’t make sense.
I have reviewed all the memorandums from the year — journals and picture galleries, and notes on my notes app — looking for the point at which life began to get better, but I can’t seem to find it. All I know is that I woke up one morning, and it was the 31st of December, and I looked back and realised that I was leaving 2022 feeling pretty excited for the future and more confident than ever in my ability to spin magic. When I reflect on everything that has happened this year, I am happy and thankful that I gave it my all, despite everything it threw my way.
My health was in better shape in 2022 than it was in 2021. I fell sick less often and slept better. I tried my best to cultivate healthier habits around sleep, such as using my phone settings to evade calls after certain hours and using sleep sounds. Sometime in the year, I developed bad migraines because my line of work demands I spend a lot of time staring at screens. Luckily I got glasses to ameliorate the situation.
The key takeaway with regard to my health this year was my willingness to do what was necessary to change what I didn’t like. I always tried my best to live better. I visited the dentist several times this year, invested and tried to be consistent with my skincare, tried meditation, got a yoga mat, and listened to inspiring teachings. I admired this so much, my willingness to try.
My mental health improved this year. A part of me believes that maybe it is because I was busy and had limited time to process negative thoughts. After all, there is a reason they say that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. As the year progressed, I got happier (the first half of December was terrible sha — make I no lie). I really tried to cultivate healthier thinking habits and love myself more, and on some days, I did better than others. I struggled with anxiety, especially when it came to work, and had quite a few breakdowns. It’s been an incredible journey of learning to be patient with and protect my beautiful mind.
I am still far from my mental health goals, and I plan to look into therapy next year because challenges dey sup. For 2023, I want to be less anxious, let go of trauma, and develop a more positive outlook towards myself and the world at large.
I worked more this year than I had ever worked in my life. I am starting to make peace with the fact that this might be my reality for the next few years. I enjoyed being involved in projects that were bigger than me, and found purpose in improving the lives of people far and near.
This was the year I discovered my career path. I got a virtual assistant role in February. By April, I took stock of my life and realised that I really loved content creation and all the ways creativity and writing can help businesses market themselves. I learned that my storytelling skills could be used to convert leads into clients, so I started taking courses on digital marketing. At work, I intentionally created and posted content for Founders Connect. I loved it. By August, I got another content marketing role at Selar, and I have grown so much since then.
Work was rewarding this year. I 5-xed my salary and was able to afford the things that gave me joy, like skincare, new experiences with friends, gifts for my people, and clothes. I enjoyed picking up some bills at home and making my mummy happy. I aspire to do more next year!
I am grateful for all of the places that have nurtured me. My bosses who gave me the space to play and experiment with content. My friends who were and have remained very supportive of my career journey. Everyone who sent me links to job applications or put in a good word for me. I really have the best people around me. I am most thankful for the work environments I have been in, spaces that have nurtured me and my skills and have helped me blossom with confidence in my abilities as a content marketer and brand storyteller. For fantastic coworkers and awesome milestones. It’s been an awesome ride.
This year stretched me a lot, but I built a lot of capacity. Next year is for becoming a solid product marketer.
I can’t wait to see all the things I’ll do.
My favourite thing about my relationships this year was that I created personal time and space for the people I loved. 2022 was the year of planning outings and going out at night, making core memories and pure unbridled laughter. I loved every bit of it.
Friendship carried me this year. I felt a lot more sure of who my friends were, my relationship with them, the issues we had and the solutions to these issues. I had a lot of fun this year. A lot of hard conversations too. Adult friendships can be very difficult to navigate, especially in the presence of childhood trauma and unsavoury attachment styles. As someone with an active imagination, I found it necessary to speak about the things that bothered me from time to time, even when the process was sometimes messy and required distance (at least for a while). Overall, I think this was a good year for friendships. I felt very connected to those I considered my people and was able to cultivate new connections as well.
I learned several things about friendship this year:
- People will love you the way they know how. If you want to be loved in a specific way, you have to make it known.
- Overthinking no fit solve problem. Talk.
- Relationships require a level of vulnerability if you want them to work. You have to make peace with this and realize that there’s nothing embarrassing about letting people know you. And by knowing you, I don’t mean just the glamorous parts, the parts that look good on film. I mean the parts that scare you sometimes, the parts you want to hide.
- Friendships will only work when both parties put in the effort. It’s that simple.
- Love is attention. Love is listening. Love is presence.
- The little things — the “omg see this funny video” or “what do you want to eat?” can mean more than you ever know.
Thankful to my roommates because without them realising, I have been using my relationship with them to improve my friendship skills. Thankful to all the people that have held open spaces for me this year and have immersed me in love. To the people that decided they love me for reasons best known to them, even when I am not at my best. The people that create room for my excitement and my heart, and my big dreams for the future. I am very grateful.
This was, unfortunately, another year without a God When attached to my arm. I just didn’t find the person for me, and I eventually got bored of trying. On the bright side, I felt very in control of my emotions, and the only thing that gave me anxiety this year was work. A win is a win.
I did manage to catch feelings sometime early in the year, but they fizzled out when I discovered we weren’t in alignment. I feel proud of myself for prioritizing my mental health and well-being, but my mental health did not hold me when it rained, and was nowhere to be found on the 25th of December when my entire Twitter feed was filled with pictures of couples in red and green pyjamas, so…
Anyways, I dated quite a bit throughout the year. I went out with men and got to know them without attaching romantic expectations. It was fun, and I highly recommend it.
It would be nice to meet my person next year, though. I think I want all the cute stuff. The His View and Her View, the soft launching on social media. The lunch dates and sleepovers, and car rides in the middle of the night.
Let’s see what the year brings.
For this section, I highly considered simply writing “lmao” and moving on to the next, but that would be unfair to you, dear reader. The truth is, I mentioned in my 2021 review that I was in 400 level, and it will surprise you to know that as 2022 comes to a close, I am still in my first semester of 400 level. How that has happened can only be the work of the Nigerian government and its ability to ruin everything. Village people dey learn work where dem dey. ASUU was on strike for 8 of the 12 months of this year, and so school didn’t really play a big part in my life.
I returned to school in October, wrote my first semester exams in December, and while I didn’t like those papers, I finished them, and I survived. I had a group of friends with whom I started a study group, and they really helped me feel less alone during the exam period. Shout out to them.
I want to do better next year, but it would be impractical to ignore the fact that something fundamental has changed. I now know what I want to do with my life, so school is starting to feel more like a side hustle. It doesn’t matter sha, because this course? I will finish it and finish well.
I was my top priority this year, and I did things that sparked joy in me on a regular basis. Sometimes it was as little as buying cheeseballs or visiting a coffee house for croissants. I think once I found a direct correlation between my looking good and feeling good, I strove to take care of myself as much as possible. I bought skincare, dressed the way I wanted to, and got the hair I liked. I allowed my inner child to do things she had always wanted to do, like tinkering with Rubik cubes, getting black combat boots (a homage to my teenage Avril Lavigne obsession) and attending childhood-themed parties. I even cut and dyed my hair in May because I had always been curious about what I’d look like with short blonde hair. Good times.
Like I said last year, Self-care is bigger than just the external; the glowy skin and the Instagram reels. It means less negative talk and perceptions of self and more inner healing. While I made some progress in this regard, I still have a long way to go, and that’s the major focus for 2023.
I think this year, I was very intentional about action. As kids, we get so used to being controlled that we subconsciously carry these limitations into our adulthood, failing to realise that the reason we feel so dissatisfied with where we are and are afraid of doing the things we want to do is linked to our childhood selves. Consequently, a big theme for me this year was experimenting. I cut my hair on a whim. Started a newsletter out of the blue in July and saw it grow to 1000 subscribers by November. Hosted the sixth edition of PAADC without any prior hosting experience and with 1000+ guests in attendance (a nerve-wracking experience, but so happy I did it). Hosted a bunch of online work events. Performed my writing at open-mic nights at Ouida. Allowed myself to meet and connect with new people, partied, went to festivals and just did shit I wanted to do.
A major highlight for me was falling in love with reading again. Literature held me this year in very significant ways. Especially thankful to Akwaeke Emezi’s Dear Senthuran, that held my hand and fed me formulas, and rocked me like a baby. Thankful also to the Ouida community for exposing me to more literature, and more people who love literature. It was nice.
I don’t think I have fully processed everything that happened this year, otherwise I’d have more to say. I think I have gotten to the stage where I am fully aware of how much of my life and the results I want to get are dependent on me, my mindset and my actions. I really just want to do more next year. I want to experience more progress. I want to surprise myself in the most pleasant of ways. I have never been hungrier for life.
It will require a lot from me, but I am ready.
Till next year’s edition,
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