Day 3: Sophia Oyedele

Major Highlight: In 2020, I finally got married to my best friend of 8years, 9 months and 12 days (9thMarch, 2012-21st November, 2020).

I remember the year 2008 like yesterday. I was in SSS2 and my Economics teacher would always talk about Vision 2020. Back then, it looked like the so much anticipated 2020 was a centuryaway Alas! It is almost a wrap. Truth be told, we can’t match what 2020 has been to what we had hoped it would be but all the twists and thick surprises that came with this year have made it really beautiful in a way that beats words.

I have heard people say that marriage is not an achievement. While I neither totally agree nor disagree with the assertion, I make bold to say that getting married this year was a major milestone in my life. It has barely been two weeks here but I am already convinced that this is something I may have done earlier. I have seen nothing more beautiful than two people who try to outdo each other in love under God who Himself is Love. This is not a marriage counseling session. So, I’d rather just get to review the year generally.

At the beginning of this year, I was very eager to wrap up my undergraduate program in the University of Ibadan. It was already overdue (no thanks to countless breaks and strike actions that never fail to jump into the academic calendars every session) since we were known as the “Claass of ‘19”. Gratefully, I submitted my long essay (what you generally refer to as project) in March, barely two weeks before Covid 19 became threatening enough to warrant a lockdown. I returned home feeling like a graduate already and decided I needed to really rest and think of something that wasn’t related to academics for the first time in about eight years.

Two things were major for me: marriage and defining a choice of career.

I was the most confused person you’d meet with respect to what career path I wanted to take. I had thought it was lecturing but the perpetual ASUU-FG saga was a turn off for me. I had considered media, writing and publishing, and what have you. Yet, I really did not feel up to any of these. In the meantime, I decided to take a course that would help me acquire soft skills and make me employable in case any opportunity came knocking.

At the end of April, I stumbled on a writing challenge put up by Tell! Africa that was to span the whole of May. I decided to participate in it. I wrote a short story everyday in May on the Tell! website. I remember that on the 30th day of the same month, I had my birthday alongside my introduction ceremony. My husband (then fiancé) had thrown a small birthday party for me. In that party, before his parents and a number of friends, he renewed his proposal to me with a new ring (the kind I had always wanted). I cried and laughed so much that day: my heart was full and overflowing with gratitude. I returned home fagged out. I managed to join a prayer meeting for about half an hour before settling down to write (Don’t forget I was still in the Tell! Africa Writing Challenge). I wrote my entry for the day half awake. I almost gave up but didn’t want to let those who had been following through with my stories down. So, I came up with something and I sent it out. The next day was the last day of the challenge. I looked back at the month of May and realisedthat I had 31 creative pieces to my credit. That was more than any reward for me. I felt very happy and encouraged to keep writing. I had been getting so many comments on those stories and you can imagine how proud of myself I felt. But that wasn’t all. The winners for the challenge were announced on the 2nd day of June. I made it to the top 20!!! Okay, let me quit trying to be humble. I was in the list for the top 10, actually. Give me one last chance to play with your emotions. I was actually the overall winner of the challenge!!! Guys, it was a turning point for me. I never had believed in my creative writing ability. God used that platform to open my eyes to a part of me that I had so underestimated.

Another thing about my experiences this year that I would like to share is the beauty of relationships that I have enjoyed. I started the year feeling tired of virtually all my friendships. It was a strange feeling because it was the naturally very outgoing Sophie did not want to chat neither did she want to receive calls. She just wanted to be on her own. It’s amazing how in the same year I made some very amazing friends. I enrolled for the basic level of the Citadel Finishing School where I met a couple of young adults like myself. Before long, I had connected so well with Gbemiga Ogundeko (one of the realest people I have met) and Efe Uyi. I also got myself some mentors from the program in persons of Coach Abimbola Soluade, Mr Seun Olusanya and Coach Biola Adesanya. These three have influenced me in ways I’ll forever be grateful for. I went on to join the Spiritual Development Team of the youth fellowship in my church. Soon, I joined the Prayer Watch Team. Beautifully mysterious things happen to Christians. I remember the first time I heard the tongues and voice of Tomiwa Babajide. It just felt like I had known her forever; that she was a prayer partner I had had before. The connection transcended explanation. God is deep. Spiritual things are deep. In addition to the friends I have mentioned, I am grateful for friends like Adepero Ajayi (Babe, you possess, in an uncommon way, the spirit of an achiever), Osetemega Iribiri, Ortega Alikwe, Luchi and Praise (my tambolos)… You all added spice to the last days of my spinsterhood.

In planning my wedding, I learned very strong lessons on faith that I had not read in any book nor heard from any preacher. The Holy Spirit Himself taught me to rest while trusting God for certain things. Amazingly, my fiancé also had the same measure of rest in areas I would otherwise have got worried about his emotional health. I still marvel at how we had such a beautiful wedding debt-free.

2020 has been a very beautiful year. In my opinion, the pandemic shook a lot of things but in the shaking, some other beautiful things were revealed.

 

Season Greetings from Perry’s Tots.🎄🤩

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