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Toyosi Phillips: I Know How the Story Ends  

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I started a show a few weeks ago called The Gist with Toyosi Phillips. It’s 3 episodes strong now. Catch it on YouTube.

When the first episode got released, I felt like I had just given birth, like weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I had found myself in unfamiliar territory. Suddenly, I was director, producer, writer, host, editor, everything for a visual show, just like that.

Certain words took on a whole new meaning and found their way into my daily vocabulary—graphics, script, teaser, theme, intro, background, transitions—I dropped these words uncertainly, not making eye contact because I wasn’t sure I was being understood. But I kept going.

Getting the job itself is unarguably one of my biggest testimonies of 2014 but when the real work started… is it ok to say I wasn’t expecting such high level stress?

I wasn’t. I put on a brave face for the world but panicked like crazy in private. There was no help from the places I turned to. I was even called childish and told I was “whining” when I repeatedly asked for an update on a particular part of the project. This didn’t change the fact that a deadline had been set and I had to meet it.

I doubted myself, battled anxiety, started thinking of Lagos, abi should I go back ni? I thought about the things I had left behind: the tozo at Mega Plaza, the yam and fish pepper soup at Abe-Igi, shawarma from 01, even my car that I had christened Kike, I thought about these things and more and continued to question my life/sanity.

I knew, for sure, that the anxiety had reached its peak when I found myself sprawled on the floor of Duane Reade late one night, drinking milk and being fed because I hadn’t eaten all day and my body was protesting.

I remember feeing melancholic and apprehensive, thinking nothing was going to go well till one night, I heard myself say, “I know how the story ends.” That was all I needed to hear. I thought of my goal, where I was headed, the end; and the helpless feeling, sleepless nights, snide remarks immediately became inconsequential.

“I know how the story ends,” reminded me that I was on a journey and my road was obviously bound to have dips and turns. It gave me the strength to keep walking and (side bar) I suddenly had a newfound respect for entrepreneurs and others in constant hustle mode. It also made me remember something I had read about a woman in labor:

“(She) has pain when her time to give birth comes. But after the child is born, she doesn’t remember the pain anymore because she’s happy that a child has been brought into the world.”- St. John

I’ve shared this story to motivate someone. The year may be coming to an end and things haven’t quite fallen into place but don’t give up. Continue with the end in mind. Eyes on the prize.

It will be worth it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year Everyone!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Erik Reis

Toyosi Phillips is a Lagos-based producer, presenter and writer. She produced and hosted “The Gist with Toyosi Phillips”, an entertainment show on SaharaTV New York for two seasons and co-hosted Sahara FM's weekly radio show from 2014 to 2015. She guest-writes for different publications including Bellanaija and Genevieve Magazine and is quick to mention to everyone that she saw Oprah at the 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans. Her vlog turned talk show, "As Toyo Sees" will be airing on networks world wide soon. For more news and updates, - Subscribe to her YouTube channel (Toyosi Phillips) - Check out her website - Follow and interact with her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn @toyosiphillips

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