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#BN2018Epilogues: Hailey Learned New Things About Herself

BellaNaija.com

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Remember when we asked you to send in essays discussing how 2018 was for you? Because, you know, writing can be the best therapy. And sharing your joy and pain and all the emotions you’ve felt through the year can only be a good thing.

For Hailey, she completed university and discovered many new things about herself. Through it all, she’s grateful.

***

It’s amazing how much human beings can tolerate, how close they can be to breaking point and still never fall down that precipice. This year has been a lot of that for me, but in between each challenge, I have had so many reasons to be happy, deliriously happy at that.

It’s been a journey like no other for me, and at the end, I wouldn’t have changed a lot of things. The year started as me being a final year student, dealing with the hassles of a supervisor who thought himself God. He was terrifying. I don’t think I fear God as much as that man (forgive me God), but one thing I was able to take away from that experience was to face my fears boldly and confidently.

The beginning of the year also saw me falling in love (yay finally). I had begun to doubt my ability to actually fall in love; I didn’t think I was capable, but I did, and it seemed to come with the comfort of knowing it was reciprocated. I was like a teenager with her first crush or love, and it was embarrassing and sweet, but a lot of factors were against us and we weren’t together. We had our FYB activities and we were finally done, but the irony was we didn’t want to be done at that point yet.

Prior to that, I had wanted to just finish my project. I was faced with a lot of insecurities and fear, so much fear of the known and unknown. I went home the first week of May with a broken heart with so many thoughts, my emotions all over the place. It was the worst month of this year because I fell into a sort of mild depression and nothing seemed to help. I felt like my life was in limbo, where I was stuck with no way out. Couple that with so much pressure and expectations from my parents, it was like I was stuck, yet I was been pulled in different directions. My father wanted me at home, joining the family business and living my life according to the plans he had for me. Meanwhile, I was ready to go out there, explore the world, leave my sheltered environment, find who I am meant to be, take my place and shine like I know I am supposed to. Yet there were so many factors to consider, so I stayed at home, joined the family business and lived life but not really living my life.

Then there was the issue of my health. I had a minor surgery, then I fell sick and it was like every other month there was something wrong. It’s been a challenge health-wise, yet I am forever grateful because, after all, I know a lot of people who have it worse. I have lost a lot of weight (weight that I really didn’t have before), and I feel frail and fragile, but I’m still so grateful. There really is nothing like good health and we need to appreciate the little gifts of life more. I was able to get over a lot of things with the help of an amazing sister and friends turn sisters and brothers. It’s truly is a gift to be surrounded by wonderful people.

The rest of the year from September has been funny and eye-opening. I have discovered so many new things about myself (I love meeting people!). It’s amazing how I seem to be able to draw people to me (I am finally outside that shell). And there is the matter of marriage.

I am a 21-year-old Muslim girl whose father is determined to marry off by next year (funny right, are you thinking, Does this still happen?) Well, yeah, it does.

The pressure is crazy, sometimes so funny, but at other times it’s so frustrating and depressing. I still believe there are a lot of things I still need to know about myself, so much development that needs to happen, yet all he seems concerned about is getting me a man (preferably one that will allow me to be near them). This month he went as far as to set me up with a guy who probably thinks he is doing me a favor wanting to marry me (for health reasons) and who thinks he has the right to tell me what career path I should tour.

I have always been an independent lady and I am constantly trying to assert that independence and continue to be the strong lady a lot of people see me as, but it’s not been easy both physically and emotionally this year. But I have discovered how strong I truly am, as a lot of people might have caved. The limbo I was in in the middle of this year shifted; things got better and brighter, and as human beings who live on hope and not much else, I also have hope, which was probably what kept me going that things can only get better. Still, a few days to the end of the year and I still believe that amazing and wonderful things will still happen (I will probably win an award or write something award-winning). It has been a year of revelation in all aspects of my life, a year of growth (oh, how far I have come) and I wouldn’t have it any other way, I am proud of me. 2018 has been lit.

*****
Read up on previous editions of BN 2018 Epilogues here and send in your essays to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com. Let us know all the twists and turns and successes 2018 came with. Send your mail with the title “2018 Epilogues.”

2 Comments

  1. Zuleiha

    December 27, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Yayyyy!! Baby girl, go!!!!

  2. Oladapo Oyeyemi

    December 27, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Hailey, this is a very beautiful caption of how your 2018 has been… I’m really proud of you and inspired by you

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