2020 - That’s a Wrap… Or Is It?
My 5 mins highlight video is now available here
Wow, I can’t believe the end of another year is here. It is officially the end of 2020, what a year it has been! I’d be lying if I said this was fully written on December 31st, 2020. To be honest, I started writing this on December 27th, and wrapping up today, December 31st. I needed to ensure I assimilated all of 2020 till the very last day, before writing my concluding thoughts on this interesting year.
A LOT of things transpired, unfolded, (insert more words here) this year. Lots of losses, gains, idleness, and rediscovery came to play. It was a very strange and numbing year. Considering I can’t speak for the masses, I am going to focus on my year without spilling more than I can fathom.
I am taking a spin on this recap by focusing mostly on the positives. It is easy for us to quickly acknowledge the negativity in our daily lives, It reflects its ugly head in any given situation and our mind plays its awesome tricks, making us take mental notes to never forget. What we do forget is the ability to observe and stay grateful for the little things and positivity. A perfect example? the ability to wake up every day in this dreadful year is a full load of gratitude. A lot of lives were taken this year, a member of my family included. Not waking up from sleep is still one of the most dreadful, powerful, death sentences till date. We hear this story nonstop, the most recent this year is the Nollywood film director, Chico Ejiro, who completed his movie on Christmas eve, chatted with colleagues until midnight, went to bed, and never made it to Christmas morning. It was a shocker for me, I watched his movies growing up, I never expected this way of passage. Another shocker? My best buddy’s aunt passed the same way on Christmas day… The death passage is a terrifying thought.
So yes, gratitude it is, for this recap. I started this year on an exhausted but positive note and I will end it the same way. Let’s begin!
The year started with me having a steady job, building its way into a career path. I had plans on home investment and family planning, as the company I worked for also introduced a new medical plan that provided good parental leave benefits. I was also playing countdown to my much needed vacation, planning, and shopping for said vacation. Destination was Sweden. Hotel reserved, Flights purchased, Bags packed, I got my promotion to being a supervisor of the flight department, I was so close to vacation, this year was jamming!
Then it happened. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING crashed. Flights cancelled, Hotel cancelled, Vacation cancelled, I lost my Job.
It all happened so swiftly, I remember going through a rollercoaster of emotions, this happened for months. I decided to focus my anger somewhere, I decided to start creating again.
I realized it had been so long and I wasn’t very good with my camera handling anymore, I couldn’t even remember some basic editing skills I had used in the past. I was almost detached from what I enjoyed doing. So creating it was for me, and eventually, writing.
Why the bloody hell do I not have a website? I do a lot of things and always find myself scrambling to make a quick portfolio, to showcase one or more things. Why don’t I have a website for my artistic freedom and exploration? No real reason, I had no time to sit and do the work of creating and designing one, I had so much to fit in, blah blah blah!
So, I told my self-inducing brain full of negativity to shut up and get to work, I had nowhere to be anyway. My brain reluctantly obliged and magically brainstormed me to work, the result is a website constantly being updated but now filled with my artistic exploration as I demanded. It wasn’t free but I had the money saved and available. My laziness took a back burner finally.
One morning, I asked myself why I haven’t published anything? Sure, I have said it on and off all through the years and written stuff but why haven’t I been serious enough to publish something? Anything? In this digital age, you can just about publish an article, it has always been on my bucket list. The chaos around us made it easier to vent into a book so I decided I would. But first, an interesting thought came to mind, I found an old manuscript of over 15 years, It was my first play as a teenager.
I sat and read the whole thing, silent giggles appeared occasionally, to be young, hopeful, pure, and innocent. I decided to publish that first without making any amendments. I refused to corrupt that innocence with my adult method of reasoning, it was the only part left untouched from my teenage years. I published it. I eventually sat down and wrote a nonfiction, It was brief, straight to the point, and seemed like it longed for more words, I had none to give at the moment. Sometimes, a word is enough for the wise.
I lost my uncle around this time, it was devastating. I also had a moment of self reflection, I was not happy. Not with myself, my surroundings, my way of life. Most of all, I had physically let myself go, I needed to get back to being healthy. I needed to start a journey, so I decided to start my “Journey To Self.”
I had a few pennies in my savings. The interest rates on savings accounts suffered tremendously, those little dollars were better than pennies and I needed every little penny. I also thought about my future. I have always joked about retiring and living in my cabin, sitting on the porch, and having a glass of wine, somewhere safe and peaceful, far from the city chaos. It’s not a cheap or easy ride to fulfil that, I need to be able to fund that and still have enough to last me until old age… Hopefully a hundred and twenty years of age.🙌🏾
I started reading on investments, educating myself on Stocks, ETFS, Mutual Funds, Peer 2 Peer, all of it. It seemed like a lot of info at first but I gradually laid out pros and cons of everything, and wrote out simple definitions and breakdowns. I realized no one in my little bubble ever spoke about investments, I realized once again that the old sayings stay the same; You come into this world alone, you tackle it alone. The more you wait for someone to lead the way, the more gray hair grows on your head. I needed to restructure my brain to stop waiting and grab everything as they come. That was my original hunger when I moved to this country years ago, I lost it in the midst of the crowd.
So, with me investing my pennies, I decided to micro manage what was left, along with benefits received. I scanned for work, barely any listings, and then rejections, no responses, rejections, scams, interviews, rejections, ahhhhh!!!!
It was time to work on my body. I needed strength, endurance, mobility, flexibility, healthy gut, healthy everything. I didn’t expect to feel and look like a spring chicken, but I was ready to be the best I could be. I also had to be a little realistic…. Scratch that, I went in unrealistically and expected the pounds to drop in sixty days. What a joke! Anyway, I started working out, it was brutal, I powered through all the pains, swellings, aches, exhaustion, tears, anger, frustration, joy, exhaustion, aches, expense, expense, and overall dread. It’s been four months and counting, I will not stop.
I took a back burner from social media, the news, politics, irrelevant conversations. I took a back burner from built up routines, I took a back burner from junk food. It’s been four months of no junk food, no Mcdonalds, nothing. It’s been amazing, I can’t believe it. I am still working on cultivated bad habits over the years, I can only break so much at a time. These are part of the things I will continue working on in the year 2021.
Exercising led me to hiking, I am still a beginner but holy shit, I had no idea what nature had in store for me. It’s been breathtaking and I mean that in every way possible. From being speechless with the view in front of me, to falling and sliding on my butt due to several missteps, oh yes, breathtaking! Another amazing gift from hiking is being able to document my experience and get creative with it. I have gone from having the crappiest action camera, to having a budget but unexpected errors on trail camera. My goal is a Gopro but it is so bloody expensive! I have also been able to educate myself on the importance of having the right gears for exercising, all the way to underwear. I remember starting with a random cotton collection from my wardrobe and my daily sneakers. The keypoint here is to start regardless of what attire you have. Excuse is the magic button to procrastination, the master killer of daily accomplishment.
One major, MAJOR observation in all of this, I woke up successfully everyday, to accomplish all of this. This is the one thing I am most grateful for till date and I will continue to always be grateful until my dying day.
Alright, let’s wrap up in bullet points, all the highlighted positives.
I acknowledged my losses and grieved accordingly.
I decided to take care of myself.
I started experimenting with my camera.
This eventually led to being accepted into stock videos and photography.
I started writing again.
I wrote a book.
I published two books.
I finally designed and launched my website.
I started creating and producing contents again.
I took a proper bow out of the media and social media.
I educated myself and started investing.
I acknowledged the errors of my ways and decided to change.
I stopped eating fast food.
I started working out and have stayed consistent till current.
I realized nature provides a natural means of intelligence to us humans.
Most of all, I unintentionally turned my losses into success.
I had my last hike for the year yesterday, December 30th. It was filled with intensity, excruciating pain, and absolute exhaustion. Along with the drilling package, came bliss, a mesmerizing view, wonderful discoveries, new heights, and breathtaking peace. Today, as I wrap up this recap, I am drenched in soreness of a new height but feeling a new sense of fulfilment. My face, still lit up within each wince, as I continue to daydream of the inexplicable moments and feelings that engulfed me yesterday. I finally feel satisfied with my wrap up of the year. I do not know what is in store for me in 2021, but I do know for a fact that I am ready, I am ready to embrace it all.
Like I said, I started the year 2020 with exhaustion and positivity, I am ending it the same way but with a twist, this is not an exhaustion begging for a way out, this is one earned and worthy of stay. Every ounce, a wonderful memory.
Happy 2021 in advance!