It’s beautiful having you read my thoughts. How has your year been? Eventful? Not so much as expected? Just the way you hoped it would be? Full of surprises? Nothing out of the ordinary? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are alive and as the scriptures put it: “Still, anyone selected out for life has hope, for, as they say, ‘A living dog is better than a dead lion.'” So, cheers to life! And if you lived through this year smashing your set goals, bringing to life the dreams of your heart and fulfilling God’s purpose for your life, I must commend you. You are set on the path and must continue. You shouldn’t relent.
I was nervous about this year, especially because I wrote to you here last year, and was conscious about what I wanted this year’s version to read. Writing this makes me more intentional with living, which is why I’m grateful to Perry for the opportunity to be able to take stock and have you read, and us learn. Because I want to tell good stories, I live in advance the kind of way I would like my story to read. That’s some good stuff, right? An applause for Perry’s tots and #31Days#31Voices!
Now that I have your attention. I started this year on a holiday. I had just completed my Part III MB;BS exams in December which qualified me into final year, Medicine & Surgery. It was a one month holiday and a much needed break. I spent the most of the month reading books medical school won’t grant me much liberty to read and learning how to write – better. One of my goals for this year was to learn to write more effectively. I initially attempted writing everyday, but I had some hitches publishing to my Facebook page. I skipped a day, a day turned to two, then three, still believing I could make up for the lost days I kept writing, at least in my journal and notepad. Then I modified the goal. Writing effectively didn’t have to mean writing or more so publishing everyday, which is true unless you are using it as an excuse not to write at all as may have been my case. I also had a writing crisis, which I blamed largely for my inability to write. “Why” was I writing? The purpose, ‘to bless lives’ suddenly seemed vague and too generalized. I complained to a close friend who happened to be ahead of me in the business of writing, and even though he tried to keep me accountable and push me to do better by sending me writing materials and proofreading my writings, that only seemed to cripple me the more. Soon, I lost faith in my writing and couldn’t write at all.
It was in the same month that I picked up a reading challenge in addition to my other goals of developing personal and national leadership skills and #becoming a WIFE (Wise, Inspiring, Faithful and Enterprising).
On the reading challenge: I did start reading and was able to tick off most of the books I picked for challenge.
On personal and national leadership skills: The plan was to take up leadership positions. Someone said, ‘you develop your leadership skills by volunteering.’ Aside the leadership positions I volunteered for, I was made a leader in church this year. That came with its own challenges, but I was most grateful to God for the opportunity to serve, learn and grow.
On #becoming a WIFE: I was able to shake off the beast of past and unproductive relationships. I called it an ’emotional sanitation,’ which I carried out earlier in the year.
This goal was inspired by a tweet session by Funto Ibuoye – #WhenSinglesGather. I remember the state I was in and where grace found me. It was the point I decided to follow her intently and made an open declaration of plans to attend her annual conference, Becoming. That was the best part of this year; it’s easily so. Through this programme I also connected with some great women: KacheeTee (kachetee.com) my amiable sponsor, now friend, big sister and mentor and Oluwatosin Akinyan, who I met at the conference, became instant friends with and is now a soul sister. I also came close to meeting Adepero in person. Hopefully, that will happen sooner than later.
Final year: The second best part of this year. Someone said to me, ‘final year is going to be your best year in medical school. Don’t fail to have fun and make the most of it.’ And when you have classmates like the final year class of 2016, University of Port Harcourt (The INSOLITOS) that just takes the fun to a whole new level. On a certain day, while my house members and I walked to the basket ball court to train against our match the next day, I jocularly said, “I thought I liked to read more than anything. Finally, play is sweeter than book.”
Final year is a dicey class, at least in my school. You are so close to becoming a doctor, fatigued from the monotous routine of attending classes, clinics, ward rounds and theatre sessions, coupled with all the extracurricular activities. It’s so easy not to finish well if care isn’t taken. Then again, reading doesn’t come very easy to you in final year. For most of us, the thought – we are almost done, let’s get this done and over with – is enough to push us victoriously past the finish line.
On choices and decisions: I moved into the clinical student’s quarters this year. So many times that looked like the worst decision I made this year, especially when it could have been avoided. But, I’d just look past the bad part and count my blessings. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be Bolu Ayo-Ajayi’s roommate. I learnt hospitality from her, how to trust and be a friend. Most of all, I admired her strength and courage and hope I become as fearless as her, too. She said something to me: “I just feel fear shouldn’t be associated with me. I’m a child of God. Why should I fear? That’s not knowing who you are.” I just stared at her and tucked her words away, somewhere in my head, like I do these kind of things when she says them.
Surprises: This is supposed to capture unexpected happenstances. An observable flaw I noticed in my goals for 2016 earlier in the year was the absence of a plan/goal for spiritual growth, which in my opinion was the piece that would hold my whole finesse together. Yet, I didn’t have any plan to pray more, read through my bible this year or be more committed in church. But somehow in the course of the year these happened, in a way. I got super committed in church and developed a deeper relationship with God.
I bless the day I downloaded The Bible App, @youversion bible app. This app with all its great features makes a great companion in your spiritual walk, wherever you are. And you can add friends on the app. Ask your friends to download the app if they don’t have it, search for them and send them a request. You can see what plans your friends are currently reading, their highlights, bookmarks and verse images. It is simply great. A wonderful community of believers; a mini ‘social media’ and an all-positive one.
Goals for 2017: I don’t have any specific goals for 2017 except the things which I know for sure will happen, like: graduate from medical school; start housemanship; attend Becoming 3.0….. “Hold it there.” A thought stopped me in my tracks as I remembered a verse from a devotional plan I took up this year. James 4:13-15 – “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we live and do this or that.”” I’ll just leave one of my favourite verses: “We can make plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” – Proverbs 16: 9.
Wish list: I will like to say I will give more time to ME next year, but I’m willing to give room to a relationship.
I hope I gain a clearer perspective for my writing.
I have a pending blog/website; something different from what I do on my Facebook page. I hope I set it up and running.
The way I see housejob, it’s going to be that year when I take myself out a lot and I hope to own a car. Remind me to get my saving habit straight and try some investments.
Good luck to you and me in 2017.
Ps – If you’ll like to read my attempt at recapping Becoming 2.0 and how I got to attend, click here and here. I didn’t want to bore you… I can’t talk about it without gushing. It’s obvious. Isn’t it? Love!
Pps – If you’re curious about what books I chose and how I fared in my reading challenge, I’ll be happy to share.
Seasons Greetings from Perry’s Tots.
Subscribe to the blog via mail so you don’t miss any post.