Dear 20’s diaries,
Reflecting on all the progress I’ve made this year of 2018 I realized a lot of things. This was my first year experience in understanding what being an adult truly meant and it was very difficult. I started the twentysomethings, to be able to share my life experiences as I go through my your 20’s.
From the challenging duration of my NYSC service, which is really the “Learning to Nigeria 101” course for most Nigerian youths. The NYSC program is like a coming-of-age symbol in Nigeria as an adult. I learned how to hustle hard and not get frustrated too easily as frustration is already guaranteed. It taught me the patience I required to scale through situations without getting in too much trouble and the fake humility we need to appease “the elders” in this society.
Another major milestone, was learning the importance of job satisfaction, it is something that most people brush under the rug of “as long as the money is ok”. Or in the NYSC context, “as long as I’m not doing too much and have time to myself”. I know many people that would prefer a job that gives them free time and requires zero to minimal labour or effort. This was pretty much how my first job went, I did nothing. In my head, I was like “imagine a whole me, after graduating with a first class?”. Going to work every day, learning nothing and feeling like completely out of place in the work environment, not fitting in. My creative side felt empty and unhappy.
On the bright side, it did give me time to focus on this blog. However, I still thrive off challenges and nothing weakened me more knowing I had a job that wasn’t challenging me at all.
But thankfully, God came through and changed my story. I got another job that is very challenging and also enjoyable. I’m constantly learning new things and get to push myself.
My first discovery was centred around my career and work life. I realized that job satisfaction, a conducive work environment, a place where I can wear whatever I wanted to work and a job that allowed me to be creative is where I liked and thrived. These are now the top priorities for me in choosing a job and obviously, financial compensation and job security are also key.
To some, these are facts and common knowledge of what anybody should desire out of their work life. But many people don’t have the luxury to let them make these decisions like this, due to the high unemployment rate in Nigeria. It sucks, how youths are dealing with depression and other mental illnesses because of this. Low job satisfaction has a way of making you feel trapped and unhappy because you feel zero passion for what you are doing. However, although it may seem hard to make decisions, like leaving a terrible job. Just always remember your personal joy, happiness and overall mental well-being, matter. You matter. Don’t neglect them.
Secondly, I realized that the act of self-love is constant. It requires daily effort, like watering a plant and ensuring it gets sunlight daily. I wrote a post earlier this year, about overcoming low self-esteem. Which was such a major turning point in my life.
However, I discovered that after I had gotten over some of my insecurities, which were based on my physical appearance. A bunch of new ones just popped-up around my career and skills, and so, the battle continues.
This year I had to teach myself how to consciously and constantly remind myself I was loved, by me. Not a boyfriend, nor an admirer or friend could ever compensate, or fill up that vacuum of love, I needed to feel for myself. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t. But most days, I try to find something new or old to love about myself and it is truly amazing when I am finally able to.
“… I had to teach myself how to consciously and constantly remind myself I was loved, by ME. Not a boyfriend, nor an admirer or friend could ever compensate, or fill up the vacuum of love, I needed to feel for myself. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t. But most days, I try to find something new or old to love about myself and it is truly amazing when I am finally able to.”
A major goal and prayer for me this year was to find my passion and honestly, it is still a bit unclear. Fortunately, I did discover two things I am quite sure I’m passionate about they are: Communications and organizing events. However, this does not signal the end of the ultimate search for my passion, because there are still many question marks in this discovery to my purpose. Still, it is nice to know I have made a few steps in what seems like the right direction.
If you are currently on this same journey of discovery. Please don’t get disheartened, because you still feel extremely confused or lost. Not being able to see or even know what your passion or purpose just needs time. What truly matters now, are all the steps you are taking to get you closer to whatever it may be. Try and fail or don’t try and you’ll never know if you would have failed or not.
Starting this blog was a trial, I almost quit many times. But guess what? It has been one year and I’m still writing with no definite plans of quitting yet or anytime soon then I don’t think you should you either. To be honest, all my passions I have invested in so far are yet to make any profit. This can be frustrating at times, as it would be nice if it did.
But I’m not too mad about that right now, because I’m honestly just enjoying it. Plus, I still have many big dreams and plans of what my passions could be, so that keeps me motivated and hopeful.
Hold on to how whatever you’re doing makes if it makes you feel happy and good. And let that be a constant reminder to not give up or stop, just yet.
” Hold on to how whatever you’re doing, especially if it makes you feel happy and good. … let that be a constant reminder to not give up or stop, just yet.”
Thirdly, I became very intentional about the people I surrounded myself with. I wanted to be around people that added value to my life and also gave off positive energy and vibes. Hanging on to people that didn’t seem to value or appreciate my presence in their lives was something I keenly avoided. I went where I was, genuinely wanted. This helped me avoid a lot of “na me fuck up” moments or high levels of see-finish, if you know what that feels like that.
“I went where I was, genuinely wanted. This helped me avoid a lot of “na me fuck up” moments or high levels of see-finish, if you know what that feels like that.”
Positive people are very important in life, especially helpful when you’re going through rough times. I hung on to my supportive friends that were always willing to motivate, push and support me. Just being able to do the same for them was enough and made me very happy.
My Dad once told me, that the most important thing you would leave behind in life, are the relationships you have established and built.
Don’t waste your time on fickle ones, focus on real and genuine relationships they have the highest return-on-investment in the long-run.
“… the most important thing you would leave behind in life, are the relationships you have established and built. Don’t waste your time on fickle ones, focus on real and genuine relationships they have the highest return-on-investment in the long-run.”
Last, but definitely not the least on my list. The most important lesson of adulting, I learnt: Accountability.
2018 has essentially been my first official year of being a full-fledged adult (but I still have my training wheels on oh! a.k.a my parents) and it wasn’t smooth. Who knew that being absolutely responsible for yourself at all times could be so overwhelming? Not me, I definitely wasn’t ready.
However, I learnt that in other to be the best adult I want to eventually become, I would need to be brutally honest with myself and this is about everything. From how I spent my money, to how I spent my time, to how I worked and the choices I make. The only person I had to blame for most of these things were myself and that alone is no little feat as it is almost human nature to desire to always be right or blameless.
Ultimately, I realized that by becoming self-aware this has made me more introspective. And I hope this enables me to not become an adult that feels entitled or always right, simply because I’m older. I want to be an adult that is always striving to be the best version of myself, unlearning any toxic traits or patterns and ensuring my personal peace takes priority.
” I want to be an adult that is always striving to be the best version of myself, unlearning any toxic traits or patterns and ensuring my personal peace takes priority.”
Thankful to everyone that has read or shared or been a part of my journey so far, I have learnt and grown so much this year. I’m super excited for what this new year would have in stock for me and everyone of you.
This year may or may not have been the best one for you, but if you’re reading this, it means you made it this far which counts for something. Hoping to share more useful and relatable content next year to all my twenty somethings at heart. Wishing you a successful new year marked with peace and joy.
Till next time,