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New Year, Old Me

For many of us Nigerians, the year 2020 comprised only four months: January, Pandemic, Violence, and December. Some people argue that January was the only good month we had last year, and how could I not agree? January was the month we got Bad Boys for Life. It was the month we narrowly averted what could have been World War III, and it was also the month I entered my second year in university.

I recall how on New Year’s Day last year I wrote a journal reviewing some of the decisions I made in 2019. Now, this was something I did every year on New Year’s Day. While I may not be a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions, I can’t deny the sense of clarity that comes with an honest self-assessment session, especially one that focuses on areas like academics, relationships, career, and spirituality.

So I spent the most of that day reviewing how I spent the past year. And when I was done, I set a few goals that I wanted to achieve in 2020. But nothing I did that day—not my self-assessment session and certainly not my goal setting—prepared me enough for the nightmare that was 2020.

I thought 2019 was bad, but 2020 broke me beyond measure, and worse still, in every area of my life that I held most dearly. In the area of academics, I failed a core course and was advised to repeat it to improve my GPA. In the area of relationships, I lost some good friends and family last year—a few to death but others to my shutting them out of my life. In the area of career, I lost my job owing to the lockdown. And in the area of spirituality, I got into several arguments with my family over my not being a staunch Christian like most of them were.

In late June 2020, when I did another self-assessment and realised I had wasted the first half of the year, I took a break from everything to figure out my life. In retrospect, I can’t say that I found what I was looking for because, quite frankly, I don’t even know what I was looking for. But I am grateful for the profound boldness my six-month break helped me achieve.

It was this boldness that encouraged me to drop out of school—to leave my biochemistry degree—and apply to study English literature in 2022 . It was this same boldness that advised me against deleting my blog and social accounts those many times I wanted to erase traces of myself from the internet and from the memories of those who knew me.

I am glad I took a break last year, not because it made me whole again, but because it made me better than I was before taking the break. And while I can’t promise you, dear Reader, that I won’t take another break after the first half of this year, I promise you that I will do my best to see that that doesn’t happen.

It’s a new year, and though I am still the same person I was last year, I aim to be so much better. My theme for this year is “commitment and discipline,” and I plan to commit to it in every area of my life like never before. On that note, I wish you a very happy new year. May 2021 treat us more kindly than last year did.

42 thoughts on “New Year, Old Me”

  1. I, for one, am happy you’re still around.
    Wow. You dropped out. Interesting. I’m sure it wasn’t a popular decision when it comes to your family. I hope that the major you chose for next year will bring you everything you hoped for.
    No matter what happens, know that we’re here for you, and before deleting everything forever, at least drop a note 😉
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Goldie. You say the kindest things. 🤗
      Surprisingly, my parents took my decision well. It made me wonder why I hadn’t just come out with back when I was struggling in secondary school. It would have saved them a lot of money and me a lot of time. But then I guess it would cost me my blog because I wouldn’t have met the person who introduced me to blogging or you. So, I’m not too sad things happened the way they did.

      I’m grateful for your support. I always feel like I don’t deserve it, but I appreciate it still. And, hey, you won’t be getting any note because even if I decide to go later, it won’t be forever, I promise. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like that idea of “Commitment and Discipline” being your 2021 themes. Mine is “Embrace.” Like you, I need to daily listen to His will to determine WHAT He is asking me to embrace. To what is He asking you to have the discipline to commit? Sounds like the fact that your break made you better than you were before the break is a sign… a sign that He is asking you to make each day better than the one before. Embrace His will for you! God bless you, {{{Obinna}}} ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so kind. Thank you, Jan! I have missed reading your posts and talking to you. I hope you find clarity and fulfillment in your relationship with God this year. I wish you the very best! ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you resume with us before u finally drop out , I’ll miss you though my fellow biochemist
    HAPPY NEW YEAR dear…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiii, Precious. I couldn’t leave Uniben without at least saying goodbye to you. You’re one of the good things that came out of my stay there, and you bet I’ll miss you, too. Happy New Year, namesake. Wishing you the best in all your endeavours!

      Like

  4. When I saw the title I couldn’t help but get curious ..blogging again is a bold step after all that has happened. Once again I will say I,m proud to be the friend of a bold nerd(lol) like you . God bless you shards .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God bless you, too ❤️
      More than anything, I’m grateful to you for drawing me out of my shell last year. You may not realise it, but that hangout—meeting you guys again after so long—it did wonders to my mental health. I feel lucky to have you in my life. ❤️

      Like

  5. Choosing to use your voice am proud of you and wow the boldness that sprung along the way i envy you.

    Choosing to study what you want is what we all desired now that you have it ,Soldier on.

    Glad your here,glad to meet you through your words and may 2021 prove itself to you ,to be of light.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Connie. You were a big inspiration to me last year, and not just in the area of blogging. I appreciate the kind words, and I’m glad our paths crossed when they did. Looking forward to strengthening our relationship this year. ❤️

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  6. No one was ready for 2020🤣

    I remember the banter we had about dropping out and was happy to find out it resolved alright.

    Even though you don’t owe the world an explanation it’s always great to drop one into your state of affairs after you have let them see into your very soul..

    It’s why I for one am against deleting a blog site it’s like trying to kill off a part of yourself.

    Glad to see you in these circles again
    Compliments of the new year
    ~B

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If someone had told me a year ago today that I would finally get the chance to drop out of school, I’d have spat on them. But look at me now. I’m almost living the dream. 🤣

      I won’t lie, it is good to be back here. I look forward to reading more of your blog posts. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This piece is wonderful!! Surely shifting courses is going to help hone this great talent of yours. And we all have our time!! Take the time that you need, these people will always be here to support you. 😊 Honestly, one of the things I love about the community in twitter is that u all inspire me to continue writing, and I believe this could help you too. You are doing great, Obinna. 😊✨😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ll make me cry if you keep saying things like this. You inspire me to write, too. Remember I said I wanted to resume blogging on Tuesday but went ahead and resumed yesterday anyway? YOU did that. I saw how committed you were with your blog and thought, “I want to be like that again.”
      You’re a treasure trove of inspiration. ❤️

      Like

      1. Oh no dont u cry on me, Obinna 😂😂 see how good u are? U got me googling what “trove” is!! Hahaha I’ll keep this treasure trove in mind and use it so we could support each other. Let’s keep writing! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Commitment and Discipline sound like great ways to greet 2021 and to find peace in your life. I am proud of you for choosing what makes you happy even if it may not be so popular with others. I am glad you have resumed blogging so that we can all support you here too. I’m so glad we’ve connected through our blogs! Happy 2021 to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much, Janie. I could frame your comment and hang it somewhere I’d see it every morning when I wake up.
      It really does feel good to be back—cheers to a happy 2021!

      Like

  9. Congratulations on taking risks and trying new things and pursuing your dreams! I think commitment and discipline is a good goal for 2021 and something I am working on as well. I have a hard time with committing and I want to change that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wa-freaking-wu!

    Mehn, people are bold o. Oh, I salute your courage. And now that I’ve found you, I really do hope you won’t disappear on us or even entertain the thought.

    Happy New Year! ❤️✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you flatter me, Bolaji! Thank you for the kind words o, and for the new year wishes too. And don’t worry—you won’t lose me this year, I promise. 😉
      Looking forward to building a productive relationship with you this year. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Your comment about losing relationships over the last year resonates with me. I am sorry you had to go through that too. Deciding you need to part ways with someone is one of the hardest decisions you can make– even if it’s not a romantic relationship! When feeling pain over a particular friendship that I have lost, I try to give thanks that they played an important role in my life at the time, and I try to view that as a gift. Wishing you the best moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Your words are soothing. It gladdens me to see another person whose outlook on the loss of a friend is the same as mine. Regardless of whether I part with a friend on good or bad terms, I’m always grateful for whatever value they added to my life during the period we were friends. We may now be estranged, but I can’t change the fact that they supported me at some point. I am sorry about your loss. I hope you find the fortitude to endure it, as well as the grace to make the most of this year. I wish you the very best in all your endeavours this 2021 and beyond.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. While it might have seemed like a chaotic year, I still think that you did more than many out there, that is: to survive. You have adapted to this life filled with obstacles in various spheres of our lives and now you have sharpened your focus in hopes for a better future. That is inspirational! I hope you get to achieve everything you set yourself as goals and that 2021 will prove to be a fantastic year for you and your loved ones! Stay safe! 😀

    Like

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