the meanders of year 24 and on becoming 25 aayooba's blog

The meanders of the year 24 and on becoming 25

Where to start from? October 7, 2019? 

Oh well, it’s a great place to start. Personally, I like to think the new year officially begins for me in October, and not January. I am however a bit confused about how to wring out all of my experience in the past year in one post. Maybe I’ll start by borrowing the mystique_dammy technique because she wrote a similar post which I found really interesting. You can check it out here. 

Okay, so here we gooo:

I got flowers for the first time ever on the morning of my 24th birthday. They were white magnolias. They are considered to have been in existence since the start of time and thus represent longevity and perseverance. That spelled good omen and you can probably agree that my anon must have put in the work. October was the end of my grad school year and I could not be more relieved because of how I spent the last couple of months that preceded it, finessing the life out of my dissertation. Of course, I aced all my exams but I still needed a good grade on that to push me over the distinction mark. It was either that or nothing #BlackExcellence.

Anyway, long story short: October started amazing and ended sensationally. I got my results and they were brilliant. Armed with that knowledge, I was ready to take on the world. 

On becoming 25

November was filled with preparation for my graduation ceremony. The plan was to go all out. After all, it was the ceremony of me becoming a Master. A huge disappointment set energies back a thousand volts but, the show still had to go on. Accompanied by the best family in the world, I proceeded to my ceremony in one of the highest heels I’ve ever worn in my life to receive a congratulatory handshake; for earning a master’s degree in Food Processing Engineering, across the stage. It was memorable, my sister did a video. You can watch it here and if you even listen closely, you will hear my father shouting “Oluwa seun o” in the background, as they called my name. It was a collective win.

Still ready to take on the world, I decided to channel the rest of the resources I had left in uni to continue to look for a role in my field. Oh by the way, the search already began way before then. I just decided to mention it now because well, you see, I started this sharing from October. The search was ongoing when life almost terribly happened. I had to deal with the illness of a parent. I am not even sure I can talk about this part without feeling some type of way. 

Okay, three words: It was tough. It was like watching the strongest person you know in your life falter and you can not do anything about it. It was terrible and I don’t wish that on anyone. Ever. 

December. Another tough month. Between looking for how to secure a bag before time ran out and taking care of my family during a trying time, the usual festive mood that came with the last month of the year was nonexistent. I watched as the wins of the last month seemed to gradually dwindle and there was not much I could do to refill the spectacle. It was not a December to remember. 

January began with renewed hope. It was the start of a decade and it is my year of 25. Ah! What could possibly fall short? All the stars are aligned, can’t worry about nothing, I thought. This month was when it dawned on me that grad school was over and that I could no longer continue to hide behind the lenses of my indignation. It was the month of facing the reality that I ought to have hit the ground running earlier than I did.

But then, what was I going to do about any of that then? I probably sent out more than 30 applications in that one month. Meanwhile, appearances had to be kept. Questions about what you are now doing with your life still had to be tactfully answered. It was also the month my favourite person was moving back home because it was the only choice that remained. And the craziest part of it? No one could guess that I was suffering from anything. 

On becoming 25

The pain of helping a parent get better and the depression that came with looking for your foot. – lmao what is this expression? ?

In february, I moved to a new city. I felt the loss that came with leaving the familiar but it was what had to happen if things were going to move forward. Once again, I left all I had known for the past year behind in a matter of hours. And like living Nigeria when I did, I would say that yeah, it had to be done. 

March came with the first round of lockdown and if I am going to be honest, the whole of March till about July is like a blur. Nothing happened except that my mental health deteriorated and I was not even allowed to talk about it. Because HOW DARE YOU? You live abroad, you are perceived to have everything. HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH WHEN THERE ARE PEOPLE LITERALLY DEALING WITH WORSE SITUATIONS IN NIGERIA? Yeah, it was mostly like that.

I could not talk about it with anyone because nobody really gave the impression to want to listen or understand it. It was easier to live in my own head. Of course, this made things worse. In a short period, I became tired of everything and when I say everything, I mean EVERY FOCKEN THING. So yeah, not really going to dwell on those months because they were subtly dark. Duhh I know I’m not special, it was dark for the entire world. I genuinely think that I managed to keep up appearances though. A few Instagram posts depicting “life is good” once in a while and a couple of “oh, I’m terrific” tweets here and there. Haha, it was amazing how my entire sanity held on to a colouring app for most of this period. 

June or July, I am not sure which, I found the Call of Duty mobile game. Burying myself in the game, I would play for hours on end with strangers and friends alike. We would take down enemies together and that felt super good. The virus had started to ease and for the first time in a long time, we could go out again. It felt like a new dawn. 

August was liberating, weather wise. In terms of financial capability, it was terribly frustrating. I forgot to mention I had started paying attention to the stock markets in one of the lockdown months, I don’t know which. Like I said, they are a blur. Anyway, I was paying attention, following the trends and thinking of investing but haha, with which money? It was a tough month, financially. I must not also fail to mention that, during all of this time, I was switching between self development courses on the days that I could stand myself and they did a lot of good in helping me get a grasp. August had it perks, not going to rule that out. 

September baby! September was less chaotic in every aspect. The world was gradually coming back (this feels a bit unnecessary because of how you know this already), and I was coming back too. I started writing on my blog again and it was the best thing ever. Another best thing came in this month that made the struggle of the past months seem a bit bearable. lol, you thought I was going to say worth it? Brahh, nothing is worth any of what I went through because I didn’t even say half of it. 

Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be the suffering Olympics or whatever and I will not make it as such. Believe me, I am not writing any of this for sympathy or anything. If I wanted that, I would have gone to twitter to do a thread. It’s merely a reflection on what my past year has been like and documenting it is an avenue for me to look back on it by the next year. The only reason I am doing it publicly is because amazing people asked that I share with them. I hope it’s interesting enough.

It’s already a few days into October and I am writing this after the day of, for obvious reasons. Random, but the last time I had a party was the year of 21 and that was because I had been planning it since the year of 16. Lool, five whole years. For some reason, I never gave much thought to the year of 25 because I really didn’t think it was something to plan. I genuinely believed that by then, things were going to just magically fall in place. IT’S THE BIG 25, after all. I didn’t think much of it and although I don’t regret not planning, I think that I probably should have given it much more thought than I did.  

I had a social media birthday, largely owing to the virus –I live in a city where social distancing is top priority and breaking the rules that binds, has consequences– and despite, it was remarkable and my friends made it even more memorable. My people showed up and I really do know I have the best people in my corner. By the way, I did a BTS for my photo shoot and you can watch here

Moving forward, I think the most significant thing that marked the end of the year of 24 is that for the first time in forever, I am more assured of who I am not. I am not quite finished figuring out the “who I am” part though because I know that is definitely a lifetime thing. As I am nearing the end of this post, you are probably waiting for me to say something profound; I really doubt that’s going to happen but before I finish, I would like to highlight some of the things I learnt in the past year that will undoubtedly set precedence for the new one:

1. Nothing lasts forever. Not the hurt, pain, joy or happiness. Especially not your life.

2. Endeavor to be in people’s lives. Actively. Don’t just be a placeholder or worse, a leech.

3. Accept that you can’t take everyone along on your journey, but also never lose your friends. NEVER.

4. Again, always remember that nothing is set in stone. Change can happen at anytime if you are willing to let it.

5. Life goes on, with you or without you in it. So ease up on yourself on the worrying.

6. If you don’t photograph yourself, you die forever. Take photos, videos, reels, the whole enchilada. Same goes for the people you love, document them!

7. Unplug regularly. The world is always on fire, you don’t have to take a front seat in this (shit)show all the time.

8. Finally baby, you should better love yourself. ❤️

On becoming 25

And that’s that on that as far as all of that is concerned. I thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you soon on the other side of 25! ?

EDIT: As some of you might already guess, this post is coming wayyyyy later than it was scheduled for lool. I actually never planned to publish it until right now, this moment that I read the draft and decided to make this edit. Because really, I’ll be 26 in less than four months and here I am writing about the meanders of 24 lmaoo. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading? I just renewed my domain name and hosting service yesterday o so you better enjoy it.

I promise to tell more stories often. In the mean time, read my JapaStories and don’t forget to hit this subscribe link.

EDIT EDIT: Oh and have the lessons from the past year set precedence for how I am currently living my life? yes they have, thank you very much for asking. ?

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