It’s a bright sunny morning, a few days shy of Christmas and the city is resplendent with pomp and color as the world prepares to usher in yet another festive season. It’s that time again, to spread the cheer as thousands make travel arrangements to reunite with their families and unwind in their favorite vacation spots. I cannot wait to drive to shags and enjoy the cool uncontaminated air of the countryside and say hey to mum and dad. 2016 has been a long winding journey full of hills and valleys. There are days I felt like not waking up and doing anything and there are days I felt on top of the world. But I thank God, I’ve made it this far. It’s been a year of bitter sweet moments and coping with uncomfortable truths. I went through unpleasant experiences but came out a tad bit stronger, wiser and more knowledgeable. 2016 taught me so many lessons, some the hard way. But It’s in the lessons learnt that you toughen up and become a better you.
Last year, a time like this, I made my resolutions for 2016. Only this time, I did things differently – I jotted them down on a piece of paper and while I didn’t accomplish everything on the checklist, I achieved 6 out of 9 resolutions made. This taught me something invaluable – if you want to accomplish something, put it down on paper. Stick the paper somewhere you frequently pass by and every time you glance at it, the resolutions will become indelibly written in your mind. It becomes a catalyst and challenges you to push the envelope. You have resolutions for 2017? Put them down and affix the paper somewhere on your bedroom wall.
I discovered the true meaning of a friend. Unfortunately, many of whom we refer to as friends do not deserve the title. Most are leeches who live off you, hang around you and take off when calamities strike. It’s during the tough times that their true character is revealed. That’s when it hits you that Johnny, your drinking buddy, only hangs around because you could afford to go to expensive joints and buy him one or two. You realize Barbara, that light skinned bff of yours stuck around to win your man over and speed off. A true friend will honor your relationships. They’ll treat your parents and friends with respect deserved. They’ll offer a word of encouragement when you hit a rough patch and motivate you to become better. They are not intimidated by your success. They are happy when you break the glass ceiling. They pat you on the back upon your promotion. They rejoice when things look up for you and mourn your losses. They are there through thick and thin. And how hard it is to find such a soul.
For the first time, I paid school fees. No, I don’t have a kid yet. I was taking evening classes to fortify my skills at work. The pinch I felt paying from my own pocket is nothing short of painful. It felt like a sharp razor slicing through my flesh. I felt ripped off of my hard-earned income. I lived from hand to mouth for a couple of months and was forced to make do without partying on weekends and impulsive shopping. Then I reckoned what my parents and many others go through while paying school fees for their kids. My eyes opened to the hussle my parents went through while educating me. It was now clear why mum would not settle for mundane results. I understood why at times she would get upset and beat the daylights out of me when I flunked. It had to be worth it. Her son had to be the best. There was no two ways about it. And now that I was paying for my own school fees, failure was not an option. The struggle was too great for me to contemplate failure. My exams are due in a month’s time. I’ll fill you in on the outcome.
Time is a precious resource and depending on how you use it, you could end up being successful or end up a hopeless failure in life. Never do we have enough time at our hands especially if you work and study like I do. It ‘s therefore prudent to prioritize tasks and use your time wisely. On the same point, find time to relax and blow off steam. It’s never that serious. Take a vacation. Go swimming. Visit new places. Go camping. See what mother nature has to offer.
As years fly by and we get caught up with crazy work schedules, we tend to grow further apart from our friends and relatives. So much that whenever we gather during family gatherings, it feels a bit awkward that we don’t have so much to say to each other. Worse still, the only time we interact is only on such occasions. A campus friend whom we haven’t talked in a while gave me a call the other day. I felt a tinge of guilt that we had drifted apart. We held a long conversation about life, matters life and how life was treating us. It was refreshing hearing from him. From time to time purpose to keep in touch with your old buddies. Pick up the phone call your parents and let them know you cherish them. Purpose to catch up with your old time buddies and share the vibes.
I was in a relationship that didn’t quite go so well. It was rosy at first but as time went by, the things went south. Red flags were all over but I turned a blind eye hoping that maybe things would get better. I must admit I settled for less and should have called it quits but I hang on. While some of the qualities one must possess when getting into a relationship include being understanding, caring, patient and making time to spend with your partner, equally important is the ability to walk out of a non-functional relationship. I struggled with that and lingered longer hoping things would turn around but instead they got worse. Sometimes you have to count your losses and move on.
Finally, I found something I love doing. I take considerable pleasure in writing and web design. Aside from my normal work it gives the oomph and zeal to keep going even when I hit an obstacle along the way. Hopefully one day I’ll become a seasoned writer and write columns in the dailies. Yeah, my dreams are valid.
I cannot say how thankful I am to you readers for your unwavering support. Thank you for taking time and dropping by. Greater things to come in 2017. Spread the cheer and do have yourselves a Merry Christmas.