Brethren, we have come to the end of another year, and the world collectively asks “where did the year go?” Has it really been 365 days since we prepared to usher in 2015? Time flies past so fast that I lose track of things: was the world cup this year or last year? Time has been a blur since 2005. I am grateful for this year, and for the grace to see a new year in this mad mad world we live in.
I have always wanted to spend New Year’s Eve in a slinky shiny dress, dancing into the new year, counting down, maybe even beginning the year with a new year’s kiss. This year was supposed to be the year that happened, but it is looking mighty unlikely. I am deathly afraid of being in a crowded place on New Year’s Eve (thanks ISIS). Everyone says I am being unreasonably paranoid, but I think my paranoia is very well founded thank you very much. I really just want to stay in my room, but some friends and I are going to see the fireworks. The New Year has never been a momentous occasion for me, I take it as just another day. No resolutions, no new year new me.
While pondering about where 2015 went, it dawned on me that I have learned a lot in this year. Rather than draw up some resolutions for 2016, I have collected some of the lessons from this year. These lessons are mine and may not be unanimously accepted, and that’s okay. Here we go:
Green tea is the truth. My sisters in bloat, get you some.
Greek yoghurt is pretty awesome too.
Work on your flaws and shortcomings, rather than just bemoan them and allow yourself to feel terrible.
Realise that some flaws aren’t flaws at all, they just feel that way because we think other people see them that way. Most likely they don’t. Either way it doesn’t matter. Life must be lived.
Focus on the destination and not the journey.
I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go:
When ordering lamb chops, rare will get you a live lamb, medium will get you bloody meat, well done will get you charcoal. Medium well is the way to go (for me anyway).
Happiness and sadness are not independent of each other; they go hand in hand, to accept happiness is to accept the possibility of sadness. Bad things will happen, so will good things. There will be high highs, and killer lows. You are not being punished or rewarded for anything, it is just the flow of life. Celebrate your highs, grieve your lows and realise that life will go on.
It is terribly important to have a passion, to have something that excites us. Otherwise we find ourselves waddling aimlessly through life, wondering just what the point of all this is. How to go about finding a passion is beyond me at this point, I hope to find out in the new year.
It is perfectly possible for one to live without animal milk or sugar. I have not even purchased sugar in ages, and I cannot imagine going back to it.
It is also possible to cook with a tiny bit of oil, or not at all. We Nigerians would deep fry water if possible, so I was astounded to find out that all that oil was not really necessary.
Still on oil, add a little to pancake/crepe batter. That way, there will be no need to grease the pan and the pancakes won’t stick.
Sometimes good things do not come in the end, and good people live and die in wretchedness. Do good things because you want to, not because you want to be rewarded for them.
The world is screwed up. We are all just waiting our turn now, hoping it will pass us by.
Loneliness is horrible, not matter how introverted one is. “I enjoy my own company” can slowly turn into depressing loneliness. Don’t be ashamed to admit that you are weary of the isolation. Be proactive. Get some friends. Enjoy the company of good people. Laugh. Play games. Have fun. It does not have to be at a club or involve heavy drinking, just let good conversation and laughter soothe your soul.
Daddy Issues are more prevalent than we think. Normal, regular, seemingly well adjusted women (and men) have them. It was surreal to realise just how many people are affected by their parents’ decisions, actions and behaviours. We swear to do better, to be better parents, but I feel most of us will fall into the same pattern. Parents are humans too, imperfect, and full of faults; be gentle with them.
Stop coveting the lives you see on social media. Stop it. Lots of the people behind the picture are going through real shit. Wishing you had someone’s life because her eyebrows looked on fleek in a picture is daft. Do not drive yourself into depression comparing your “boring” life to the fabulous life of your favourite blogger. People are going through real shit. A nice picture does not mean a person’s life is great and stress-free. I do not think that internet personalities are hypocrites for presenting their lives as flawless, it is not their responsibility to help you out by showcasing their flaws. They are human as well, and may not be comfortable exposing certain imperfections just so that you don’t feel insecure. Make the best out of your own life.
You do not know everything. No matter how sure you are of your stance, take a minute to actually listen to the dissenting opinions. Argue to learn, not just to shove your opinions down everyone’s throats.
Be kind to yourself.
Choose to be happy, whenever possible. The older we get, the more happiness becomes something we have to choose, rather than something that just happens to us. It will be hard, but whenever possible, choose happiness.
Edges are a privilege, not a right. Slap some edge control on them and go out and live your life.
Chew slowly, savour the food.
Do not mock a pain you haven’t endured.
Stop underestimating yourself and overestimating the abilities of others.
Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.
You live and you learn. Yaassss hunny.
I hope that this new year brings with it lots of love, happiness, laughter, passions, and fulfilled dreams. Ahhhhh copious amounts of laughter, yes!