So maybe there is some truth to calling me an over-achiever. Maybe.
Hi, long time, gosh, you've changed, did you lose weight? etc etc
I know, missing the year in review. You will deal.
So I moved south to take what I should consider the utter dream job and I really should be sitting on my couch just SMUG because I'm the shit up in this bitch.
Nope. Definitely not the case. Sitting here frozen and filled with very Nigerian "may mates are all _____" syndrome. Wondering if I shouldn't be so much more than I am today. I really need someone to draw me a bell curve and point me to exactly where I truly lie in relation to "my mates" so I can get some sleep. I'm beginning to suspect that this constant feeling of not being enough, not doing enough, not achieving enough will never go away.
There will always be someone else who preceded me that people reference with a wistful sigh and high praise. I need to become comfortable with that. With the knowledge that there is a legion of people more insightful, impactful, efficient, intelligent than I. And that it is okay that I am not part of that number.
Why is being average so scary?
I'm going to take my tired ass to bed and worry about this all tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after until I'm so busy at sexy new job that I have no room to think stupid thoughts.
I think my challenge for the next 30 days is to attempt to live this for a month. Lets see if it makes me feel better:
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life." -- Steve Jobs
I haven't been able to write for a really long time.
I'm trying to take active control of my career recently (maybe 5 years too late) and I've found myself seated before a lot of very wise people and I've learned a few things:
You can't be true to yourself if you don't know who you are. You can't take the reins if you don't know where you're going.
I'm getting pretty good at failing. One person called it maturity. I don't know that I'm any more mature, but I guess that is something you don't see from the inside.
Loving what you do is not enough. You also have to find that thing that you bring to the table that people value you for. The sweet spot is finding the intersection between the two. Then go a step outside that to make sure you're always stretching yourself, always learning.
You MUST keep learning. Stagnation is death.
Being comfortable is dangerous.
Every risk should be calculated. I'm not saying don't take big risks, just understand the repercussions of every action and their impact on you. Make informed decisions based on that.
I'm sure I have many other lessons that I should write down because I think of this entire missive as something I will look back and read later and remind myself how far I've come (or encourage someone else) so I'll try to come back and write them down as I go along.
I probably should have done this right before the end of the year, but better late than never, right?
Faith I'm more confused than I've ever been but I do know a few things for sure: I believe in a God who loves and cares about me and is willing to interfere with the "normal" flow of things on my behalf. I also, contradictorily (is that a word?), believe in a God that allows horrible things happen for no good reason. I no longer believe I am special and everything will work out for good. I believe in the power of prayer as a source of comfort, if not much else.
Family Like I said last time I did this, "I love them I love them I love them. As crazy as they drive me, I love them." I just got back from an amazing trip to Lagos with them and had a riot. My parents are so special to me, and I love seeing the small ways my dad shows emotion, missing us when we leave, getting jealous when we shower my mom with more attention than him, and other cute ways of letting us know that we are special to him. My mom shows love in an interesting way (usually with her voice raised) but its cute. Worrying about whether or not we eat, if we have chocomilo to take back to america or if there is enough snail in the house for us all and reporting our constant wakabouting to every friend who stops by makes me laugh and smile and roll my eyes all at the same time. It was a good year, and full of renewed relationships with cousins and I look forward to even more for 2012.
Friendship I am so so so so grateful this year for my friends. The end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 was possibly the hardest period I have ever experienced, and I give all gratitude to my friends for helping pull me through. A friend of mine always gets irritated by women who say "I'm only friends with guys because all women are ______" and though I have historically had more male close buddies than women, 2011 was the year of the phenomenal women. I HAVE to agree with my friend. My girls worried about me, called me to check in, slept on my couch on random days, invited me over to do random mundane shit, hooked me up with random guy friends as distractions, listened to me cry, listened to me whine, listened to me wallow, and never, ever complained and never told me to "suck it up". I'm sure they were sick of me, but they hid it so well, and I will be eternally grateful. By June, the year was 3000 times better, and I may not be as close to some of the people who stood by me then right now, but I will never forget the (extended) moment in time when I needed people to prop me up and they opened their hearts completely.
I also learned that friendships are sometimes for a season. Because I was there for you/you were there for me at a specific important time does not mean we have to be joined at the hip for eternity. Like love, friendship wanes and waxes and that is okay. It doesn't mean we love each other any less. I've realized my circle of friends is actually quite small and people move in and out of that group over the years, but I love my people hard. And nothing gives me more joy than spending time with an old friend, and realizing we get along exactly the same way we used to and that time and distance have meant nothing.
My hope for 2012 is to be the friend that I needed in 2011.
Finances So I'm not totally satisfied with my progress here, but progress has been made. My excellent credit is 21 points more excellent, I entered 2012 completely debt free, I started saving for my Naija trip last April, and didn't have to dip into my emergency fund/mid-term savings account to finance the trip and there is still enough in there for two smaller 2012 trips. I still haven't reached my 6 months expenses goal in my emergency fund, but I hope that one is complete by August 2012 if I am VERY disciplined.
Okay, kidding. I think I've given up on the business school idea, (though Stanford still beckons at me) and I've started making moves to get me to where I need to be. Fingers crossed for a major difference by the end of Q1 2012.
Relationships So, yeah, this year was...interesting. If I learned anything, I learned that I have no idea what I want. I also learned that most other people are on this same boat. I'm currently content, and grateful for how things turned out, and hopefully will have more to report at the end of 2012. Otherwise, things are relatively quiet in a good way.
Physical Health and Fitness I'm fine. I need to do better tho. *glares at gut*
Addictions/Bad habits/Social Life I'm not addicted to anything. I talk too much, but have learned slowly to share less. My social life was awesome in 2011. Spent a lot of time with people that make me happy, and I plan to do more of the same in the coming year.
Miscellaneous My theme for 2011 was to "enjoy the journey". I absolutely, unquestionably did. I stopped and smelled the roses every chance I got. I'm generally a happy person, and being depressed at the beginning of the year for the first (and hopefully, only) time in my life has made me so so appreciative of this feeling that I want to hold on to it and appreciate it and discuss it and relish it as much as I possibly can. I'm still unclear what my theme for 2012 will be, but I'm still hanging on to the gratitude and enjoying the journey from previous years.
I do a lot of blog posts that I choose not to publish because they're related to people that read my blog/would be a little too raw. Sometimes, I go back and read them and for the life of me I can't remember who or what they are about. Hopefully, the readers can't either *pushes "publish" button*
The end of the year is here and as I fell asleep Saturday night, my theme for next year came to me. I was too tired to get up and write it down so I repeated it to myself over and over until I fell asleep hoping I'd remember in the morning.
Hopefully, all that repetition engraved it in/on my psyche somewhere. It was awesome too :(