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#BN2015Epilogues: Laughing, Learning & Growing Was How Iember Got Through this Year

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Last year BellaNaija Features put together an inspiring feature series to round off the year. The 2014 Epilogues featured 10 real people who took an introspective look at their year and wrote about it. This year, we decided to make the call public to our readers. {Click here if you missed it} It is our hope and desire that we will have enough entries to have a story up every day from the 1st to the 31st of December. We have received an impressive number of entries and we hope that you will share yours with us.

We kicked off the series and so far we’ve had the following entries: Jennifer G , Morountodun , VictoryMayowa ,  Harmony ,Dekky , OJ , Busola , ModupeThe Prodigal Daughter , AdetolaAyomikun & Omami Jojo and Kehinde.

There’s something heartwarming about Iember‘s entry in this series and BellaNaijarians will definitely relate with her story. 

***

There is a primary school close to my house. Most mornings I wake up to conversations between a certain male teacher and his pupils in a class close to my window. This morning as I made breakfast I listened in amusement to their conversations. Today’s teaser was “spell the word queue”. I laughed and thought to myself, “That’s a tricky one, even for a lot of adults”. I listened as the kids battled to spell the word. I heard all sorts ‘qui ‘, ‘cyu’, even ‘cu’. The closest attempt was ‘que’.

My mind drifted from the classroom conversations to thoughts of the myriad of things I have to get done before the end of the year- move to a new house, repay a loan I took, make an extra income, the list goes on and on. I sighed and said to myself “I wish the biggest problem in my life right now is how to spell ‘queue’, this adult life isn’t what they said it would be”

They say true growth is unconscious. I couldn’t agree more. It’s only as I decided to put pen to paper that I realize how much I have grown in the past 12 months. I have tried in vain to pen down the milestones I have attained this year. After several futile attempts I have come to realize that my major achievement lies in the fact that I have solved ‘better problems’ in 2015 than I did last year and I dare say all the years before that. I have grown from the little girl who once battled with the spelling of ‘queue’ and moved on to ‘better problems’ over the years, and I’m thankful that it has been a steady climb.

It hasn’t been all perfect though. 2015 started with a lot of uncertainty. A few months to the end of 2014 I had quit my ‘well paying’ job. It’s one thing when you quit your job because a better opportunity presented itself, and it’s another thing entirely when you quit simply because you have zero tolerance for nonsense. The latter was my case. Everyone thought I was foolish and my diminishing bank account balance seemed to agree with them.

Despite the seeming uncertainty, I had a deep-seated conviction that everything was going to be just fine. Things started to fall in place in the third month of the year; a new job came and while I was still giddy with excitement love showed up too, or so I thought. I was in my happy place, my confidence started to soar high. I went from being Miss Uncertainty to Miss Encouraging-Everyone-Around-Me-To-Hang-In-There.

Just when I thought I was becoming more confident, I was dealt the blow of a failed relationship and an accompanying slap of the worst case of acne since my teenage. Oh the things that acne and a failed relationship can do to your self-esteem! Sigh… I loved, I got hurt. I loved again, I got hurt again. I suffered in silence because I couldn’t get myself to tell anyone what I was going through. The hurt of a failed relationship they may understand but who would understand a grown woman was losing self-confidence because of acne?

Not being able to share my feelings didn’t make it any better. I find it very difficult to talk about my down moments. Maybe it’s because I was raised in a culture of silence. Maybe it’s because I’m by nature not one to complain easily. Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by people who constantly tire me out with tales of all that’s going wrong in their lives and expect me to listen with undivided attention but won’t pause for a minute to ask if all is well with me. This set of people I’m certainly not taking with me into 2016.

I’m thankful that in all the good far outweighed the bad. I’m thankful for my sense of humor. Thankful that I laughed every day. Thankful that I could find humor in everything and I consider that a gift. On several occasions on my way home I would cry in the car because that was my place of solitude and it is funny how amidst the tears I would suddenly burst out laughing because something silly crossed my mind.

In all I have laughed, I have learned, I have grown, oh I have grown so much! Maybe I haven’t ticked everything off my list of expectations for 2015 but I have gained much more than was written on the 7-line list. I have certainly solved better problems this year.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |  Ryflip 

15 Comments

  1. NSe

    December 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Hmm! what acne can do to ur self esteem! don’t even go there! acne showed me Shege!…. for 1 year i was a shadow of myself…… i tried everything…. till i met sun breeze face cleanser (the yellow one) saved my face and my life… 2 years later u would never believe i had a case of acne on top of acne face…

  2. Duni

    December 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I like the way you write 🙂

  3. martinson oluwaseun

    December 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    though male, i can totally relate…lovely piece!

  4. Yeyeperry

    December 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Coming out strong is what matters. I wish you a better 2016.dear.No more acnes!

  5. Oladipo Emmanuel

    December 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Nice one there, na who never see trouble dey take am joke oo. Never had acne though, but seeing it on people is enough reason never to mock anyone battling the natural evil spirit of acne….. lolzzz.

  6. AsToldByGinger

    December 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    @Nse please dear did you mean sea breeze cos I tired checking online for it I all I can see is sea breeze.

    • NSe

      December 16, 2015 at 8:39 am

      walmart.com/ip/Sea-Breeze-Original-10-fl-oz/14122889

  7. surun

    December 16, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Totally loved every bit of it!

  8. Doofan

    December 16, 2015 at 11:10 am

    How cool.my BFF is now famous.
    I’m so proud of u. Architect turned writer soon to be blogger.i’m happy for u

  9. E. A. Tyavyar

    December 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Life is funny, often in weird ways.
    I have learnt to write down and log my days, I am often amazed at how much I have grown, what I did or even the magnitude of results. If we pause and reflect we shall indeed be more grateful.
    Iember, you have a vivid imagination and your mind connects beautifully with your hand, hence the beautiful piece.
    I was encouraged, kudos.

  10. Harry

    December 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Wow. Great write up Iember. Loved it.

  11. amaria

    December 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    You are such a good writer. .keep it up!

  12. Isi

    December 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Loved this piece as it brought to fore some of my challenges and how i am still standing and laughing.

    2016 would be a better year joor and ‘everything good will come jare’.

    love ur style of writing Could relate easily…

  13. FemmLenny

    January 18, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Dear Ore, you are just so real. 2015 was sure a growing year for me too; quite an encouraging piece. We gotta start making money from your writing skills o!
    Have a beautiful 2016

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