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Nkem Says: Overcoming End of Year Blues

Nkem Ndem

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Normally, I would start my ‘End of Year Reflections’ and set goals for the coming year by the 2nd week of December, but I have been too numb to do it this year. Every time I pick up a pen, one sentence rings in my mind: “2017 has been your worst year since birth”.

The numbness, perhaps, came from the fact that I felt like a loser. I was not where I wanted to be in life and I have never lost as much as I lost this year: making a huge cash-draining choice in my career that turned out to be a wrong move; not achieving a lot of goals set; being denied a visa that I normally would get;  not saving even as much as a dime all year; still not being able to afford a puppy; still not being able to afford the kind of car that I want; being robbed so many times; my relationship with God becoming watered down; being disappointed by a lot of people, including friends and potential ‘baes’; the list seems endless! Basically, it has felt like I had lived the worst version of myself in the last one year. This was new for me, considering I always leave every year with at least 80% of my set goals for the year achieved. This year, felt more like 10%. A huge drop. And worse, It all had me feeling like I now have double work to do on my life, and it was so overwhelming I just want to close shop, wallow in self-pity and coast through the rest of my life.

A couple of days ago, while I was still in this hazy funk, staring at the long list of deadlines from clients and feeling depressed, a call came in. It was a friend who had applied to do a certain training for the first week of next year, a training I had applied to as well. She informed me that she had just gotten an e-mail that her application had been approved and that she wanted us to make travel plans together. I immediately told her to hold on while I checked my e-mail. I signed in to my inbox, and  I had also gotten an e-mail, but mine said something different. I was encouraged to apply next year as the slots for 2018 had been filled. It felt like the last straw. I felt a strong burning sensation in my chest and I immediately thought: “that’s it, I’m jinxed”.  For a minute, I even hated my friend and wanted her to get off the phone. I had been managing my sadness over 2017 being terrible and now, the next year was already looking bleak as well. All the high hopes I had that 2018 would be a sharp turnaround was already crashing down. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. I just lay in one spot for hours. I knew I had to share the feeling with someone…but who?

Coincidentally, my sister called. She just said “Hey, are you okay?” and I said: “why would you ask that? I am ok.” Then she said okay and started some random gist about a story thread she had just followed on Twitter and how it would be a great topic to write about, but then out of the blues, I cut her off and just poured my heart out, then started to sob. I didn’t know why I did that, but I guess I needed an outlet.

My sister, in turn, was a little shocked – as I have never been someone who shares a lot about myself, really. It is a thing I just started doing towards the last quarter of this year.  After a bit of silence, my sister started to list to me the good things that have happened to me and to our family this year that I have ignored. They were simple yet important thing: a health scare my mum overcame; me joining new teams; getting new clients; and for the first time in my life, having an awesome boss whose aim in life is not to end mine; getting new travel experiences; earning more money; making new and wonderful friends who have made my life more colorful…by the time we were done, the list was actually long! I felt ashamed. How did I overlook these things? Even more, she also analyzed most of the things I listed as failures and mistakes and connected them to the positives that stemmed from them, as well as the lessons I have learned that would eventually protect me in future. It was a ‘eureka’ moment for me. She opened my eyes to the silver lining and made me look on the bright side.

So many times we are stuck focusing mostly on the negative aspects of life, we forget to see that perhaps, the positives actually surpass the negatives. We let negative thoughts become so powerful, we convince ourselves that it is better to just live the rest of our lives unfulfilled than face the alternative, change. If there’s one thing that unites us all, it’s that we all face obstacles. We all triumph. We face obstacles in our lives and encounter things that throw us off our course and challenge our inner strength. That’s life, with the lesson often seen in retrospect. Looking on the bright side was really hard, but now I can’t wait to embrace the New Year with optimism and confidence with hope to blessed with great things.

To all my readers, I wish you all a happy and glorious new year as well.

Xo.

Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for copywriting, editing and proofreading. She is also a content creator (web, T.V, radio) who has had stints with Jumia and SpiceTV Africa e.t.c. Now she works at Glam Africa as Online editor and BellaNaija as Features writer. E-mail: [email protected]; IG: @kem_dem; Twitter: @ndemv

8 Comments

  1. KELZ

    December 31, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Thank you for this! I really needed to read this. 2017 has not been great for me too and i have been depressed. Its nice to know someone else feels the same way but has hope. God bless you

  2. The real dee

    December 31, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Thank you Nkem. Your first few lines, I was like, ‘is this girl inside my mind ni’? Infact concerning your last paragraph, i’ve been dilly-dallying between letting negative thoughts become so powerful as to convince myself that it’s better to live the rest of my life unfulfilled and holiding on to the positive thoughts that this is just a season and it’ll pass.

    2017 was the year my life pressed brake, baba go slow. Everything had been going fast and smooth, I was having a smooth ride through life with obstacles that got cleared at the press of my prayer button. And then 2017 came, dear Lord, I cried this year. My prayer button wasn’t working as fast as I wanted and I pressed it so well.

    Thanks for the encouraging words. #stayingpositivein2018

    • Faith

      January 6, 2018 at 12:03 am

      Thanks Nkem..this type of piece helps us to know that we are not alone ,2017 was as if i was at a stand still i was just struggling and all but thanks also for your sharing experience ,its a huge inspiration, encouragement and a way forward.. We re blessed for 2018. X

  3. Mr.

    December 31, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Hey Nkem, you can please drop me your email? And please smile for your joy is full 🙂

  4. Judgejudyjudy

    December 31, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    This was such a great read Nkem. Thank goodness you’ve got a sister who could really put life in perspective for you, life happens, just keep holding on in faith. Your expectations shall not be cut short.

  5. Didi 3000

    January 1, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Never have I cried on the first day of the year. I was so bitter and sad about 2017, and totally bleak about 2018, I eventually had a small breakdown earlier today.
    I wrote a prayer / wish list at the start of 2017. Prayed, fasted and sowed several seeds in church on this list throughout the year. Of the 12 items I wrote, only 1 was granted. Was so discouraged, I found it had to pray and project or ask for anything this year . Things were so bleak, I started wondering if babalawo was the way….
    Right now, it’s almost ten pm and I feel a little better, but the cloud is still over me. Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow. I’ve tried counting my blessings, and even though I acknowledge them, I still feel really down.
    Thanks for your article. It reminded me that I was not alone after all. Maybe things would work out for me too like it did for you.
    Cheers

    • Loool

      January 2, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Hugs to you Didi 3000. Trust me, what you’re going through is something everyone experiences at one point or the other in life, it’s just that most people keep it private so you never know. Always know one thing – it is no cliche that tough times don’t last, tough people do. Dust yourself up, draw close to your Maker and give 2018 your best shot. 2017 is over, this a brand new start you have. Cheering for you dear & all the best.

  6. Ann

    January 3, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Nkem, i love ur write up so much. Keep it up

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