2020 – Highs, lows and everything in between

Today is the last day of 2020 and for a lot people, this year was a lot. It was a year that tested every individual in unique ways and one where just being here today is all that matters. Many people started the new year and new decade with great enthusiasm but then it seemed like we got dealt with various collective blows.

It was the year the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing (which as at today has killed over 1.8 million people globally!) ; The year of the horrific helicopter crash that killed the phenomenal Kobe Bryant and 8 other passengers including his daughter – Gigi ; The year of #EndSARS and the Lekki Massacre; the year the sweet Ibidun Ighodalo died ; the year the phenomenal T’challa of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) died; the year schoolboys were kidnapped in Katsina state ; the year the Nigerian Naira reached an all time high of over 500 naira to $1 in the black market and so many other happenings . At some point it felt like 2020 just kept taking – taking people, jobs, mental wellbeing etc.

That said, enough of the lows – let’s talk about the ‘Highs’.

First and Most Importantly , You are Here! The year might not have been all you wanted it to be and you may have suffered great losses this year, but here you are with another chance to dream again. Personally, I struggled a lot with staying consistently positive this year, there were times where it felt like I had more questions than answers and then I had to remind myself of the gift and blessing of being here. Like the popular saying – “When there is life, there is hope” …. Remember that!

Like I shared last year, here are some of my highlights of 2020:

Started a New Job: In the midst of the pandemic, I got an amazing job opportunity that has presented me with new challenges and learning opportunities. Like I mentioned in my blogpost https://nifemiodeyinde.com/2020/09/18/the-journey-to-thirty/ my career is one area that I am most comfortable taking risks – I always approach this aspect with a focus on the best opportunities to learn, grow and add value; I am grateful for all the amazing opportunities I have had so far.

I turned the big 3-0: With the new decade came a milestone age and with the milestone age comes a lot of peculiarities. Beyond the age, I am just grateful to be here. I wrote about my journey to thirty here https://nifemiodeyinde.com/2020/09/18/the-journey-to-thirty/

I joined the #EndSARS protest: People who know me closely know that I identify as an activist – I am not one to shy away from taking my stand on topics I feel passionate about and the police brutality issue was one of such. Even though the protest took a sour turn, I am so glad that I got to experience the unity we exhibited in lending our voice to such an important cause and I am hoping we take the energy to the polls come 2023!

I started a Book Club: One of the habits I am trying to build going into next year is reading. I was always a reader but somewhere along the line I lost the enthusiasm to read. I started a book club with some amazing people this month and I am excited for all the learnings to come out this adventure. Our first book was Barack Obama’s ‘A promised land’ which is the only book I completed this year (*covers face*). I thoroughly enjoyed all 702 pages of the book and I am looking forward to reading more amazing books. To top it up, I just got a kindle gift from one of my favorite humans (talk about friends supporting your dreams – priceless!)

This year, I am most grateful for the amazing people in my life, My husband who is a constant source of light and joy and who reminds me daily of my many blessings ; my parents, siblings & family who bring me so much happiness (when they are not getting on my nerves – lol) and my amazing friends who though mostly far away, are my constant source of strength and deep laughs.

There are some important quotes that resonated with me this year which I thought to share, hopefully one or more resonates with someone else:

  1. Live life as though everything is rigged in your favour ; that everything happening in your life is happening for you and not against you. (My Mantra: Nothing happens to me, it happens for me)
  2. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  3. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time – Maya Angelou
  4. When it seems like the sun will not shine again, God puts a rainbow in the clouds…. Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud
  5. The universe rises up to meet you (wherever you are) – Paul Coehlo
  6. Whatever follows ‘I am’ is what you are inviting into your life and it will eventually find you (be careful about the words you speak)
  7. You can talk yourself into your dreams or talk yourself out of your dreams
  8. When you know better, do better. (We all make mistakes, it is important to forgive yourself and forgive others). Be Kind.

Yesterday, I was looking at my vision board for 2020 and realized that some of the things I hoped for/dreamt of in 2020 did not happen and I wondered whether or not to create one for 2021. After a short conversation, I decided I was going to create my 2021 vision board because that meant allowing myself to dream again. So I am encouraging you to dare to dream even in the face of disappointment because “For those who dare to dream, there is a whole world to win” .

Tomorrow is the start of a new year and there are a few things I am already excited for in 2021 and wins I am hoping to share. Whilst it is just another day, it is also an opportunity to re-calibrate, to identify the big goals and take the small steps towards achieving them, to commit to being better versions of ourselves in the new calendar year.

Here is wishing you and your loved ones a happy new year; I pray you have a year filled with pleasant memories and that your dreams come true. Have a great 2021!