Sunday, January 03, 2016

THE NEW YEAR: LOOKING BACK AND MOVING FORWARD



As soon as the clock strikes midnight and the first day of the New Year emerges,everyone is always filled with the optimism that the fresh new year will be a whole lot better than the previous one. There's also that scary feeling on that last day of the Old year; that we'll never see that year again and what the New one would bring. 
This time last year, I prayed that all my hopes and aspirations will come to pass; which included a stack of new manuscripts ready to be submitted to publishers, a place of my own and finished preparations to move out of the country for a new life. When you've spent most of your life doing what you are told and constantly under pressure of doing what's expected of you (like I have) you wouldn't feel guilty about wanting a life of your own and the means of putting food on the table and a roof over your head- without relying on anyone. Instead, I spent months writing my final project and taking care of the remaining carryover courses I had in my course of study (English Education at the University of Lagos) and nursing the fervent hope I will finally graduate.
 Afterwards, there was job hunting which was a harrowing experience since I decided not to take up the reins of teaching again and no one seemed to want a writer; freelance or otherwise. Money wise I didn't do so bad because I had an allowance. I guess I should be grateful but when you're in your mid thirties, there's the strong feeling of shame and embarrassment within you and being reminded of your dependency is a strong fuel for depression, of which I experienced now and then. 
My spirits got lifted on getting an email from my publishers that the manuscript for my third children's book had been accepted, (still have no idea when it will come out). The feeling of depression however  came back when- because of  generally poor book sales, I didn't receive any royalties. No job, no money of my own; I felt a huge sense of failure and wished I could just find some solace. 
This morning, while getting my hair done, I stared at the mirror and it hit me, this year I'll be three years away from 40. No lines on my face  or strands of grey in my hair yet but it was still discerning to realise I'm in my late thirties and yet to finally reach the pinnacle. I won't bore my readers on how my home life really is, but one thing I can say, it's not the life of a typical 36 year old woman. But I only have myself to blame for maintaining the status quo for so long an letting it define my life in many ways. I said earlier that on the first day of a New Year, there's the great feeling of optimism that the  fresh New Year would be different from the old one, positively of course. But it's not enough to JUST wish and pray, you have to work towards it too. 
And it's what I intend to strive for, work my way to achievement and change my life for the better. Because, there might come  a time I would look in the mirror and find a 40 year old woman and (God forbid) still unfulfilled, bitter and resentful. Looking back on your life motivates you to move forward, in the hope that you will do things differently and experience better things- with God's help. I believe wholeheartedly in God and I believe He will guide my footsteps in whatever I do. 
So here's hoping and praying for a very happy 2016 and beyond.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL

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