2020 has felt like we’ve lived in a decade. This is simultaneously my toughest and best year so far.
Since 2018, it has really been tough for me. I’ve broken down several times due to how my life has been. It was in 2018 that I realized I needed a place I can release my feelings, tell my stories and then, I started blogging.
In 2019, I entered university. As a result of the stress from school work and how much I was distracted from my goals, I stopped blogging. At some point, I totally forgot I was a blogger. I was so frustrated with my academic results. I remember trying to isolate myself from everyone.
When 2020 began, I set goals that I needed to be consistent and active in my blogging no matter what. I can remember when I came home for Covid-19 lockdown and I was like I just want to take a break from blogging but my sister and some friends pushed me to continue blogging and then, I got back on track. 2020 is the year I decided to start working on myself and better my life and honestly, it has not been easy. During the #EndSARSprotest, there’s a time I had suicidal thoughts not because of #EndSARS but because of how messed up my life was. I didn’t want to exist again. I just wanted to take a break from life and be with God and then when I feel better, I can return. I hated myself so much. I could not look myself in the mirror. I can’t believe all these happened to me in 2020. My mental health was tested this year like no other.
I thought about this: What if I was in school throughout this year, how would my life be? Would my life be better? If I was actually in school this year, I don’t know if I would have been able to refocus myself to my goals because been at home for the past ten months has helped me focus on my goals and also, accomplish some of them. Apart from that, while I was in school in March 2020, I started having stigma of going out. I felt very uncomfortable in the school environment, which isn’t safe anymore.
I unlearned and learned so much this year. These are some things I learnt in 2020:
•Religion is a belief. Tradition is a belief. Don’t let any of these decrease your faith in God.
•God First. When you put God First, every other thing in your life falls into its rightful place. Put God at the center of everything. God is Faithful. He never fails. God is not in a hurry, you are. It’s why you’re tired, anxious, stressed and disappointed. Trust that what was meant to be yours, will be yours. Worrying doesn’t solve it. Prayer solves everything.
•Feminism. Where is it safe to be a woman? Women, you do not have to be “worthy” of anything. You don’t have to be pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, educated enough, successful enough, accomplished enough, to expect basic human rights. You are not trying to ‘earn’ something, you are demanding what’s already yours. If the culture doesn’t respect women, scatter it! Culture is dynamic. Being respected as an individual is enough. My dignity is not tied to purity, marriage, position,or who I know. Give us the same respect you will accord anyone else. Feminism is here to stay. Move or be moved!
•Life is a journey not a competition. Creativity is not a competition.
•Don’t let anyone use your past to invalidate your current mindset. Just because you did something in the past doesn’t mean you can’t advocate against it.
•Put yourself first. Don’t let anyone make you hate your life. I hope you can find the courage to love yourself as deeply as you can.
•Put your mental health first. If you have to seek a therapist, please do. If you have to take a break, please do. Go on a vacation, take a rest, meditate, exercise. Your mental health is more important than your productivity.
•We all have “issues” because we all have a story. And no matter how much work you’ve done on yourself, we all snap sometimes. So be easy on yourself. Growth is a dance not a light switch.
•Sometimes it takes ten years to get to that one year that changes your life.
•We are all living. We face different challenges. You never know what someone is passing through and even if you do know; please be kind.
•The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go. The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it. Worrying is worthless. Stop ruminating about what has already happened. When you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. And also, you will begin to experience the joy in life.
•This year has shown us how important it is to be there for one another. Check up on your family, friends, loved ones and even the ones you talk to on a daily basis.
•Start living more. Dress up more, go places, take pictures. Just live. Life is short.
2020 we learnt, 2021 we apply.
I’ll love to ask these questions: What are you learning from your challenges? Or are you letting your challenges define who you are. Do you feel like you went through unnecessary pain this year?
Gratefulness is a warm friendly feeling of gratitude, appreciativeness and thankfulness. Gratitude is simply cultivating a genuine appreciation for what we have already.
Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:
•Write a Thank you note: You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact in your life. Send it, or better still, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month and once in a while, write to yourself.
•Thank someone mentally: It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
•Keep a gratitude journal: Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.
•Count your blessings: Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings, reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
•Pray: The first thing I do when I pray is to thank God. I thank God for what he has done, what he did and what he’ll continue to do in my life. When you pray, do you thank God for what he has done in your life? Do you thank God for the miracle of sleeping and waking up? Do you thank God for taking you to your different destinations and bringing you back home safely and sound? Always remember to thank God for everything he has done in your life.
•Meditate: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment with judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase(such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (air we breathe, life, our daily bread).
Why should you be grateful?
•Gratitude can improve your everyday life and increase your happiness.
•Gratitude lowers stress and depression.
•Gratitude increases your capacity to be empathetic.
•Gratitude leads to higher levels of optimism, positive emotions and life satisfaction.
•Gratitude makes one more kind.
•Gratitude decreases the feeling of envy that one might have.
•Gratitude helps your immune system to be stronger and lower your blood pressure.
•Gratitude increases your faith in God, draws you closer to God, makes God double your blessings, grant you inner peace and everlasting joy.
What was the last thing you remember being grateful for? Think of the person who helped induce that feeling and give a sincere “Thank you”. What are you most grateful for this year, 2020?
Since I graduated from secondary school in 2018, I’ve always worried too much about what the future holds. I wasn’t living in the present. It is either I worry about that right thing I would have done in the past or I worry about how my life will be in the next few years. Then, I realized how I was not grateful to God for the beautiful life he gave me. God has done great things for me.
I’ve grown so much this year. I’m grateful for where I am now. I’m grateful for my siblings and friends who have been there for me, you guys are the best. The positive aspect of social media has helped me this year most especially the moments I was down, it’s those motivational words, funny sensible videos, etc that uplifted me.
Each day I’m thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.
Today, thank yourself for how far you’ve come. 2020 hasn’t been easy. Be proud of yourself for getting through all the storms that failed to crush you.
I’m grateful to God for everything. Jesus is everything. I don’t know how this year would have been for me if God was not by my side every time of everyday. God has picked me up severally. God is the best gift I received this year. I wonder if God got tired of all my tears and worries because I got tired of them. God has been so good to me in this blogging journey. With all that has happened this year, getting closer to God has made 2020 my best year so far.
In 2021, I’m only available for enjoyment. No stress please In Jesus name, Amen 🙏🏽
I’m sending everyone lots of love and lights. Please stay safe and always remember how blessed you are ❤.