I haven’t made a post in ages and now writing here feels weird—like stripping in public. Well, what better way to revive the blog in a coma than to reflect on one of the most impactful years of my life. 2015 was the year I graduated from college. It was the year I gave into severe habits that come with senioritis. I disappointed myself with horrible grades in my final semester of college. I intentionally became the recluse that most people already assumed I am. I embraced the warmth of my blanket almost 24/7 rather than the company of friends and family. I satisfied the barest minimum of performances required of me by my part-time jobs/projects and college classes and was satisfied with it. 2015 was the year that I was jogged out of the reverie of 20 years of continuous schooling into the realities of being 100% responsible for my controllable future.
Essentially, it was the year I chose to be least bothered by any circumstance or person. And as much as I developed bad habits and still entertained some detestable, yet sweet and sour addictions, I also got so absorbed in my failures over the past years (a hint of depression can be perceived here). I am the best actor I know and I got away with believable lies when concerned loved ones were kind enough to try to meddle.
I tend to be the purposeful realist and cynic. I exaggerate truths especially if they are negative and have to do with me. It is only natural that I would fail to see the little victories and progress that should have made me a happier person. Interestingly, I never really lost sight of God and His mercies, even though I hardly ever acknowledged Him as much as He deserves. I am glad, however, that I was able to see through the gloom to become a better person. Failure taught me a few shareable things!
Only dwell on the past when it has higher stakes in determining the future
Memories that don’t make you happy suck. Yes, and they steal from you. They steal your momentum, your smile, your ability to bounce back. I applied to several jobs and reached out to as many career opportunities but never succeeded at most. I beat myself up about the frustrations of not putting enough effort into scoring better grades, into preparing more adequately for job interviews, into studying harder. On the flip and positive side, none of these self-sabotaging actions helped me get a great three-month internship working from home or a job as a faculty intern at Ashesi University College this year. I wasted precious emotional energy and time wallowing in misery and self-doubt. Time and energy that could have been invested in bouncing back even harder and higher!
Pick yourself up and don’t fight others who are willing to help
It was hard getting my head in order. It was hard telling myself to STFU every time I got lost in debilitating thoughts but I did anyways. At least, I was willing to try. I tried but failed several times and God was still watching. So what did He do? He placed helpers in my way. It was only left for me to accept the help. I was stubborn but, fortunately, Vanessa, one of the helpers, was obstinate. We formed the best personal growth enforcement team I’ve ever known. We are not perfect, but at the very least, we are largely effective. I was now on my feet. What next?
Be proactive and fight yourself
I had to fight. You are your greatest enemy. If you haven’t come to that realization yet, then you don’t know yourself that well. Edwin, one of my brothers, visited home during the last weeks of 2014. He had grown a lot. He had learnt a lot. He didn’t understand why I was (mentally) stagnant, of sorts, career-wise. He said to explore more, try different things—new things, experiment! I was slacking, he said. I had to fight for what I wanted. Every day in 2015 was a battle against my lethargic self to be more proactive. The hustle was real. I wanted to write more, read more, take online courses and search for or create career development opportunities but my blanket, Japanese anime and my pillow were not in agreement. I had to confront and fight my greatest enemy. I started fighting my inertia only after graduation—sleeping only when necessary and being more mindful about decisions and plans. I decided to be less lazy. Though it was too late for my final grades, I believe my spirit is still alive so there is hope. That’s what matters.
Don’t lose sight of the good things and people
Vanessa once mentioned that what I considered success was so ideal that I had lost sight of the little victories I had which filled my bucket of successes, though seemingly infinitesimal. I hated to agree, but it was true whether I chose to see it that way or not. I had helped people understand concepts better in school and aided some friends in overcoming certain difficulties. I successfully completed daily tasks at work. I went out of my way sometimes to offer help when the need arose as a student and even now as a worker. To acknowledge this was to accept that patience, along with consistent baby steps towards better, productive habits was essential. She was not the only positive influence. I had good friends who helped in many other ways. I was a part of the Navigators Bible Study in school; everyone in the study helped me make sense out of my life as it were.
So yeah … 2015, no matter how small, was a success! For that I am grateful to God and the great people He placed in my life to reinforce the successes I took for granted over the year.
I don’t know what lies ahead. No one ever does. So I’ll do what I know is best; to believe that there is hope and in the only one who actually knows, God. I can and will form an even perfect personal growth enforcement duo with Him.
I think I still have the heart to leap over more troops and attempt to destroy more battlements. I’m too young to slack!
*STFU: – (abbrev.) Save The Freaking Unicorns