15 STORIES OF 2015 · FEATURES · INSPIRATION · LIFE

15 STORIES OF 2015: #DAY 14

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The Mizz “O” Edition.

Every New Year, I resolve and pray to have the best year yet. And I must say, 2015 was a very good year – my best year yet! While the year had its challenges, it was a year of strength, growth and success. For perspective, I moved back to Nigeria (from the US) in August 2014 to get a one-year work experience in my career field. Simply stated, it was a remarkable experience and a success! Below are the highlights of my year.

Fondest Memories.
Catching up with family after 12 years of being apart. I started 2015 in Eastern Nigeria with family members I hadn’t seen in 12 years. I still remember being so thankful to God for keeping all of us alive for the grand Christmas 2014 and New Year 2015 reunion. As I reflect on the year, I remain grateful for LIFE. I thank God that I did not receive any tragic news concerning a member of my immediate family.

Working with youths in Lagos.
I have a very strong passion for educating and empowering teenagers and young people, and I was privileged to spend the majority of my year doing this through health education in Nigeria this year.

Witnessing the “uncommon testimony marriage” of a good friend. Do you have friends that speak life into their situations/issues? I do! In January this year, I had a conversation with a female friend who told me she is ready for marriage and was hoping to find her life partner this year. Well, what do you know? She got married in August! Sometimes, your friends just don’t tell you the whole story, that they have something in the works.

Finding out my eldest sister is getting married! I love LOVE and I love my family! I’m looking forward to #AsoEbiTinz in the new year.

Challenges:
I chose to not renew my work contract (despite really loving the kind of work I was doing), and hence, I became jobless in September. This was a very tough decision to make. In the end, I chose my happiness, dignity, and peace of mind. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta move on.

I was broke for the latter part of the year. It’s a privilege to be able to leave a job on your own terms, but it’s no fun to be without money – well, money to spend on frivolities. Though I’ve been without a job since September, it’s been really good to reset and refresh my life. Also, these months off have allowed me to pursue my personal goals and passion for which I have no regrets.

I was disappointed in a couple of friendship and dating connections. I always choose to be authentic and honest about who I am. This year, I tried to “put myself out there” (dating-wise), and I learned a couple of things;

1) Always, ALWAYS maintain a clear line of communication with someone of the opposite sex regarding your feelings/intentions/expectations in your relationship.
2) Guys/men are hard to understand, and they’re not very good communicators and
3) The truth, while liberating, can cause some hurt to the person who discloses and to the receiver of the truth. In the end, I choose to be truthful and honest (with myself and the other person). The hurt will get better.

Other things I learned in 2015:

-Life is very fragile. This hit home for me when I heard about the death (from a car accident) of a young adult female in my church in Lagos whom I had admired from afar. All of our days on earth are numbered. How are you using your time on earth?
-How to remain joyful in the midst of negativity. Never let anyone steal your joy. (I’m quite good at staying upbeat)
-Learning is a continuous and lifelong process. No one is an expert; stay humble.
-Integrity: “the quality of being upright and honest; but more importantly the ability to use those core values consistently without supervision.” It’s easy to lose our integrity. Stay intentional. (Proverbs 11:3)

As we move into 2016, I am filled with many hopes and excitement. Firstly, I want to get a JOB! A job means that I will have money in my pocket, and that’s never a bad idea. In 2015, I registered my non-profit initiative/organization to empower girls and women. While I don’t intend to make this a full time business in 2016, I anticipate it will take up a good amount of my year as I begin carrying out some projects. (Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to learn more or be a part of the Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative.) I also hope to pursue doctoral studies in Public Health. My applications are in; just awaiting news on decisions. So help me God. I’m really excited about 2016!

Thanks Ayomide for asking me to contribute to this series. Thank you, reader, for reading my reflections. I hope you’ve been inspired and/or encouraged. Looking forward, I wish you a 2016 that is better and bigger than any past year. I am declaring 2016 as “The Year of the Lord’s Favour” (Isaiah 61) in my life and I wish the same for you as well. I rarely write without sharing a song. Here’s a song that’s been on replay in my head recently: Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father.”

Bye, bye 2015! HELLO 2016! Let’s do this!

You can reach/follow Onyinye on Twitter @MsOEdeh

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