‘We plan, God also plans but God is the best of planners.’
I ended by 2015 review with ‘2016, cheers to you. Please, be lit’ and now that 2016 is almost ending, I realize that it was actually a positively and negatively lit year. I refer to the statement ‘There are years that ask questions and there are years that answer’. 2016 for me answered a lot of questions and asked even much more.
I started my 2016 on a vessel off the shores of the country as part of my 6 months internship experience
The Akpo FPSO where 2016 met me. The waters make room for unwarranted reflection.
and at the same time, I was nursing a heartbreak I saw coming. It’s safe to say my 2016 started out as very average because the 2 events mentioned earlier cancelled out and gifted me an average beginning to the year. I rounded up the internship, returned to school to complete the final lap of my university education.
‘Certainly, we have created man to toil (in order to achieve a marvelous goal)’
The normal school struggle started coupled with issues of finding a final year project topic. I particularly had issues because my project supervisor was away for the whole of first semester but after a lot of struggle and bouts of lows and worrying sick, I was finally able to come up with a topic my supervisor and I agreed on. Asides project, there was also the pressure to keep up with my grades. I had heard that final year was relaxing but I couldn’t even relax because a lot was at stake. A whole lot.
‘Verily, with every hardship, there is ease’
This year was a particularly interesting one for us as a class. It was like people broke out of their cocoons and more perverted jokes flew around the class every day. I also cannot leave out the fact that by the beginning of the second semester (our tenth and final semester), we had all lost the drive for school and classes. As usual, there were tests (and examinations) that were unfortunate in epic proportions but we moved still. It all seems like yesterday when we started this journey but it’s actually been five years and all I can say is we really have come a long way from where we began.
‘And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge’
I told myself at the end of last year that 2016 was going to be the year of increased self-development which I think I did to the best of my abilities. At different times this year, I joined a Qur’an memorization group, a book club and I started learning to play tennis. Although, I am not where I hoped to be as regards the Qur’an but baby steps are greater than no steps at all. Prior to joining the book club, I had already read a lot of non-school books on my own but joining made me read even more.
Physical books because e-books cannot be stacked atop each other.
I know that there are weeks this year I went without reading a book but if my memory serves me right, I read more than 30 books this year and they have gone a long way in widening my horizon and even make me eligible to join in more conversations. I had never been the sporty kind of person so people especially family were very surprised when I decided to take on tennis. To be honest, I am very surprised that I have been very consistent with it and I actually enjoy and look forward to playing it every weekend. Also, I indulged in leisure writing a lot more this year. In all, I think I surpassed my expectations as regards personal development in 2016.
‘Is God not the best of judges?’
I also learnt this year not to judge people by my own standards. I have come to realize that we have different realities and I have stopped expecting people to reason or do things the way I do. I had a roommate this year who is the complete opposite of me with almost different ideals. I thought I was going to have issues living with her but she turned out to be an extremely amazing person. Though very different from me, we still found common grounds and objects of banter every single day.
‘And he found you lost and guided you’
On the religious front, this year was a rollercoaster ride. It was quite an undulating year in that regard but never for once did I feel rejected by God. It was like anytime I felt lost and needed to find Him, He was always there to dump all my problems on. On days of tiny and huge worries, God always came through in vast amounts. 2016 also made me realize that I don’t talk about my major life problems with people except in extreme cases and that I am not as open as I think I am. For someone who talks a lot when she wants to, I think I have perfected the fine art of saying a whole lot yet so little. The only problems I speak of are probably my boy issues because they are usually the least of my worries.
‘…and We have made you tribes and sub-tribes so you may recognise one another’
‘…All of you are descended from Adam and Adam has been created from dust.’
‘And we have created you in pairs’
This year was a pretty eventful one on the relationship front. I think my mother’s prayers got answered this year because I stopped meeting doctors and started meeting fellow engineers, a whole lot of them. I learnt this year that sometimes you need to make your parents understand that some decisions are mostly yours to make. I met someone this year that is from a tribe different from mine and my parents told me in a diplomatic manner to discontinue the relationship. This sort of thing had never happened to me so I was both clueless and shocked as per how to handle the situation. After a lot of struggle, I summoned courage to tell them I was going to do what I was going to do in the most polite and diplomatic manner. I bet my mum was taken aback because in the words of my brother, I had always been the golden child that always listened to them. But I had to do some things for posterity and for the records.
Well, I think in the end my parents won because though we had tribe issues that got settled, timing still reared its head and we had to discontinue what we had. It was pretty painful saying goodbye majorly because of timing, the normal me would have cried about it for like a year but I got past it faster than I thought I would. Now, I am tabula rasa and back to square one, I am not emotionally tethered to anyone and right now, all I have left are crushes and admiration on and for people.
‘…and He has induced mutual love and tenderness between you…’
I cannot end this this aspect of my 2016 without mentioning my major crush. Yes, I liked him at first “sight” (sight in quotation marks because it was on the internet) and it’s been on for like 6 months now. We talk very often, he is aware that I like him, he likes me also but I am not sure how to deal with anything so I have been taking it a day at a time without harbouring any expectations in my head. I don’t even know if it is still a crush and frankly, I am too lazy to start figuring it out. Perhaps, it is more than a crush. The previous me would have started thinking of all the things that can be but I guess I have grown up a little and I have come to understand that things can go south pretty fast.
At this point, I’d have said I am still waiting for the love of my life and anyone who finds him should bring him to me but I will not. If by chance, anyone of you meets the love of my life, tell him I will not be ready to entertain him until December 2017 except he can overly impress me before then of course.
Will I even be doing justice to 2016 if I don’t mention that I met loads and loads of amazing people on Twitter whose names I can’t begin to pen down in this review. Do I start with Abubakar Sambo that makes me feel better when I am down without him realizing it himself? Or with Adetoun Alamutu that is many shades of amazing? Where do I even place Abdulrahman that makes me laugh effortlessly? Or Farida, the IPS baby girl?
‘And when you have made a decision, put your trust in God’
I bagged my first degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering this year. 2017 is going to be the most defining year yet of my life and so I did a lot of critical thinking and planning ahead this year most of which entailed where to undergo my NYSC, what to do during said period, where and what to do my Master’s Degree in. Last year, I was totally clueless about what to pursue for my MSc but 2016 provided answers which are of course subject to change.
Hopefully by August 2019, I should have bagged my Masters in Control Engineering. All things being equal, 2017 is the year I tick the NYSC box amongst other things. I intend to meet more people, go out more often, do more volunteering and probably teach pro bono. Of course, all these are highly dependent on where I undergo my NYSC. I have really high hopes for 2017 and I hope that in 365 days from now, I’ll be writing a happier piece than my previous yearly reviews.
‘Give glad tidings to the patiently persevering.’
2016 has been the year of learning huge loads of life lessons, realizing things, becoming a better person, adulting in unanticipated proportions, making huge life decisions, getting answers to questions asked by previous years. In comparison with 2015, it was an average year but I sure learnt a lot. I like to refer to this year as the most realistic year I have had. Truly, this was the year of breaking out of my cocoon. I made compromises and did things I could have sworn I wouldn’t do. It helped me realize that if I truly care for someone, I can go miles just to make the person comfortable. I almost made decisions this year that may have greatly changed the course of my life but I am very glad I didn’t.
Here are a few things I picked up from 2016:
- Stercus accidit.
- The world will never stop for you to grieve because your problems are minute in the grand scheme of things.
- You never know how to react until you find yourself in certain shoes.
- Don’t expect everyone to live their lives the way you live yours.
- Parents mostly want the best for you but they may not know what is best for you.
- Most of the time, if you stand your ground, your parents will begin to reason with you.
Won’t it be inappropriate of me to end my review without mentioning names?
Cliché as it may seem, I am extremely grateful to God for a realistic and well spent year.
Jibola, Bisola and Temilade I couldn’t have asked for better siblings.
Mum and Dad, thanks for always coming through.
Brother Suleiman, you are my favourite person of 2016. You were amazing in epic ways this year. I can’t thank you enough for being there every single step of the way. I still hate that you are always right.
Raheemah and Salamah, God bless you for being sisters to me.
Samuel, I am not sure I’d have had a memorable year without you.
Oyinda and my other ladies in Engineering, I hope we all meet at the acme.
My classmates, the Ohmie$, it’s been an amazing 5 years. I hope we all find what we are looking for.
To the junkies in ABH, it’s really hard to forget how thoughtful you guys were on my birthday. I hope you all win.
My Hifz sisters, Aminah and Fola, you made a difference in my 2016 life.
Ridwan Oladipupo, I am surprised I started off this year loathing you but now, you’re one of the closest people to me. Thank you for being a friend on days I could no longer pretend to hold it together anymore.
Quadri Adewale, you were a huge part of my final year project and by extension, my 2016. I really appreciate everything.
Aisha Salaudeen and Fu‘ad Lawal, thank you for being there on days when things were pitch dark this year.
Ladi Williams, thank you for being an inspiration. I hope you keep knowing things.
Suleman Aneru, you were a significant part of my year. I hope you keep winning.
Abdulrahman and Abubakar, you guys will never understand how much I value you both. Stay amazing.
Adetoun Alamutu and Lamide Bello, I hope you both find happiness.
To everyone else, thank you very much for being a part of my year.
2017, I have a very terrible feeling about you but I still hope you go as planned.