Congratulations!!! 2018 is on its very last leg.
How has the year been for you?
For me, I will say it was certainly unpredictable. Promotions, new responsibilities, new employers, etc. etc. This was good. On the other hand, personal struggles including the big fight to stay mentally healthy were amplified.
Suddenly at this my old age, I found myself floundering and battling self-doubt and in some cases just losing the will to put my energy behind anything. There were more questions than answers, more spending with less money and a slightly unsettling year end.
I can’t complain though. Every year comes with its challenges. Even the really good years.
So what happens in 2019?
I have a few guidelines to help you have a better year.
- Don’t carry the failures of last year forward. I know it is hard to shake off things that did not work out. But give yourself the permission to open a new sheet. If possible, a new book. It is okay to fail but it is not ok to use that as a reason not to try again.
- Don’t make New Year resolutions. Something about the ‘r’ word sets us up for failure. Truth is, you are the same person on December 31st 2018 that you will be on 1st January 2019. Nothing really happens overnight. The sun will not set and rise with magical powers the next day.
- Don’t spend all your time on social media. I have learnt that there is a sneaky toxicity that pools on social media. The more time you spend on it, the more you stand to be affected by the poison. To be specific, no one needs to be washed constantly with a barrage of opinions, pictures, pretty captions, fake news, people’s successes, violence in real time, faux likes and heart shapes and just mindless entertainment in the form of memes, skits and games. Allow yourself a break to breathe and focus on yourself. Spend time with yourself.
- Don’t vote for Buhari. Biko. Dan Allah. Ejoor.
- Don’t stay in places and spaces that make you feel insignificant. If you are ignored and uninspired and unappreciated, love yourself enough to exit. Don’t be afraid of that line; “Biodun has left the group.” Even if it is a family or church group. If you are not growing, then be going. Did you see that? I rhymed. Self high-five.
- Don’t berate or underrate yourself. Overpromise and find ways to deliver. The world is mostly unkind. It will be nasty till you take charge of your narrative. When you are successfully astride the tamed horse, the world will hate you but can never say it to your face. Affirm to yourself who you are. Don’t wait for positive comments and likes. Don’t let the numbers dictate how you see yourself. Numbers do not mean you are liked. Three million followers are a composition of true fans, haters, competitors, gossips, make dem no say I no follow people etc. etc. Let the only truth you abide by be the one you know about yourself and for yourself.
- Don’t believe everything you see. Understand that a story rarely unfolds in full form. A picture or a video clip can be a complete misrepresentation of reality. E.g The family eating pizza and ice cream with their “nanny” not allowed to eat with them turned out to be false. Withhold commenting till at least 48 hours when a story breaks.
- This is the cousin to the point above. STOP VIDEOING PEOPLE with the sole aim of embarrassing or judging them. It does not make you look good. If you must, then balance it with a video of you at your lowest.
- Don’t give up on your dreams. As clichéd as this sounds, it always remains true. I don’t mean keep gnawing at a washed-out bone. The dream doesn’t have to be the same way it was when you were five. A version of your dream is still possible.
- DO NOT VOTE BUHARI. I said it once. But I don’t think the people at the back heard.
- If you have the opportunity to leave this country, please do. Be a patriot from afar. Send dollars and pounds home. Don’t feel bad.
- Rather than a list of resolutions, create a goal list (a less morbid version of a bucket list). I mean tangible and measurable things. They could be places to go. Foods to try. It could be going back to school or even online certificate courses. You could learn how to code. Or even become an Excel expert. It could be a cooking or baking class. It does not matter how old you are.
- Become an expert at something. It could be in line with your career or it could be a hobby. Or even something you have always been curious about. It could be the Biafran war. Find all the material that you can and pore over them. This is not pointless, knowledge is never pointless.
- Vote Buhari out.
- Give love a chance. The battle scars of relationships lost form callouses and an individual is left with PTSD. It becomes hard to be vulnerable. I don’t mean you should go searching for love. I mean, if it comes, be open to it. You deserve love. Be kind to yourself.
- If you are a theist, do not feel silly or stupid. Billions of people believe there is a God. Be grounded in your faith. Do not hide your faith. Your faith guides you and that is okay.
- Stay away from social media fights. If you pause to think about it, hurling strong words at people you do not know on things that you will never agree on is futile. Also, threatening to block people has delusions of grandeur coated over it. Preventing anyone from accessing your timeline may feel like you are badass but unless you give away cash on your timeline, calm down.
- Be kinder to people. This one is for me. I don’t like how harsh I was this year. I was very volatile and rude. But I always knew it was not about anyone but about the fact that I had a lot of pent up frustrations. I want to always press pause when I am angry.
- Spend time with the people you love. Cherish them. Tell them you love them, no matter how awkward it feels. Love is never something to be ashamed off.
- Lastly, please and please and please. Do vote Buhari out.