2013/2014 – Thankful

Change is here!

Change is here!

This is my (not-so) regular end of year wrap-up for this year. I did not do one for 2013 so this will be a sort of overlapping review for both years.

Overall

In all, there’s been progress in almost all directions. 2013 started with a lot of stress in a strange land but 2014 started with renewed hope. There was a massive difference. By early 2013, I was at ground zero, having to start all over again. A year later, I was planning on some real progress. How things change over a year! I had some useful experience in my 2013 sojourn, though. I went to places I never thought I’d see and met lots of different characters. I also found out the true value of friendships and networks. There are lots of things I have to be thankful for over the course of these years. More detail next.

Family

Well, there was some real progress within the family as well as the regular issues. I was not around from late December 2012 till end of March 2013 and throughout everyone was in touch, even my sis with whom I had unsettled issues before I left. After a real crash-down where I was, rescue came from home, again! I’d say I’m very lucky to have a family like mine because we stick together no matter what, even when we have problems among ourselves.

Events included my immediate elder sis and her hubby had a birthday bash together (they have just one day between their birthdays) just a week after my return which was cool. The regular January 1st party/meeting in 2014 (I missed the last one), two cousins got married in 2013 and one had a baby in 2014. Another cousin’s wedding in late 2014 and a burial of an uncle which I did not attend. I was at almost all events.

Everyone witnessed some sort of progress individually during this period and there will be a lot to be thankful for this New Year’s Day party/meeting at our parents’. 2014 has been really good!

Friends

*sigh* Facebook wasn’t what it used to be for me so I did not really have any new active friends on there and even old friends were once-in-a-while chats. However, what did not materialize online, became an offline blessing. Out of the country (it was just a journey to two West African countries o), I met quite a varied number of characters, with only a few of them that could actually remain acquaintances. We don’t even communicate much anymore basically because I really don’t chat much these days.

Back in the country and I had a lot of help from some of my closest friends ever. First, it was one who helped me find my feet a bit with a job I was kinda reluctant to do, and the other fixed me up with a better one. Then some of the other things I’ve been able to do have owed a lot to some of my other close pals.

I lost touch with some of my favorite girls after I came back but met a few new ones and had a renewed contact with some old ones too on a quite regular basis, mostly in 2014.

My list of friends I’m ever grateful to over this period includes:

Krafty: You started me up again. Even if you did not know how much impact you made, just know you made a real impact here. God bless your family.

Kev: Ha! This guy! He’s effortlessly in my list of ‘best people ever’ since I can remember and he just keeps been awesome. I really do not need to say much about him. If you wanna know, just read here.

Dav: He’s more brother than friend at this point. Almost always there. Now that we’re almost always in touch, maybe 2015 would bring the plans to fruition. Thanks bro, for making 2014 a reality that it is now.

Papi: We’re possibly mutually exclusive to each other’s activities, but the psychological boosts from chats and calls and all the encouragements only make for better friendships. I’m still better at PES2013 though! 😉

PeeJhey: Okay, we’ve not been in touch for a while since MiTV days but 2014 had a lot of her in it. And it’s not just the discussions of her courseworks and projects, there was a lot of personal talks and real impact on me, despite being out of the country. She’s been a favorite girl of mine and now she’s even more or less a lil’ sis I never had.

Doyin: Now, here’s a girl I probably would have stolen away, if I could. If there was anything that made me like her more, it was that first meeting on WatchNight after more than 2 years without any sort of contact between us. You would have thought we were best of friends! Very warm personality and ever friendly yet intelligent and pretty. Just perfect for been ‘more than a friend’. Maybe, just maybe…

Other very notable mentions include AB Poet, Seun Tugbi, Eph, Mr. Wale, Mone, Yv, Biggie, Miss Balz, Chizzy, and many others.

Those I’ve truly, truly missed are Presh, Annie, Erl and Omoye (my favorite FB girls), Izy, Wemzy, George, Lawee, and the rest.

BBM

BBM was quite interesting, more in 2013 than 2014, when I got well into Wordosaur. I joined this group, got handed admin rights and ran a competition for about 4 months within the group with real cash prizes (or equivalent in airtime). Through this I met loads of wonderful peeps like CaKe, Sayo, Odi, Taiwo, Rukey, Oma and lots more.

Late 2014 saw me in various sports groups with my favorite now the ‘Naija born Gunners’ with a lot of heated arguments about our beloved team. Some favorites on there are Zex, Odi (again), Seun Labiran and FM while major ‘oppositions’ are Big T, 2nero and Aare. We all love the team but we only express our views from different perspectives and that’s what makes the fanbase so much more interesting!

Sports

Arsenal, more or less, remained Arsenal…except we shed the now tired tripe of being trophyless. Being Arsenal, though, the narratives just shifted to one trophy in 10 years despite the fact that we added a Community Shield at the expense of the moneyed Man City. All the same 2013 over to 2014 saw some real progress as we led the league for majority of last season before faltering towards the end and we also added two world-class and a bunch of quality players over the two summers.

Barca won the league in 2013 while losing all trophies contested for in 2014. The 13/14 season was especially disappointing as Messi also lost the Ballon D’Or to arch-rival, C. Ronaldo.

Nigeria won the Nations Cup in 2013 and I was able to experience the joy of celebrating in a rival country at the time. It was beautiful! Then we qualified from the group stage of the World Cup for the first time in ages only to be kicked out by France. No shame in that. The shame, however, is not qualifying for the 2015 Nations Cup! Regression has never been so quick!

On the World Cup, I desperately wanted Argentina to win so that my favorite player of all time will be assured of another Ballon D’Or. It wasn’t to be, though, as they lost in the final to a German team that destroyed the host country in the Semis. Three Gunners were in that squad so I celebrated all the same. However, that meant Messi has almost certainly conceded the award to Ronaldo again, who won the UCL and Del Rey as well as the Pichichi, despite being the World Cup’s MVP.

On the individual front, Messi kept breaking records after records and still remains my Number One player of all time. My favorite Gunner over this period has to be our player of the season, Ramsey, who turned on the style in 13/14 and won us the Cup with a lovely strike to down Hull City. And my favorite striker of all time, TH14, called time on his career at the end of 2014. A wonderful career that!

Other individual athletes I really loved this period were my girl, Asisat Oshoala, who took the world by storm in the U20 Women’s World Cup and the African Women’s Nations Cup, as well as our U17 wonderkid, Kelechi Iheanacho! Then my favorite tennis girl’s little sis, Serena rose up to stay No.1 for much of this period. I didn’t see much of other sports so, I round off here.

Business, Work, Financials

Well, I went from zero level to affording to buy what I need when I often need them. That counts as real progress, I suppose. From when I got back from my sojourn, after which I was jobless for about 3 months and being ready to do pretty much anything, I moved to a kind of marketing (a job I do not like for anything!)/supervisory job which I did for another two months. The pay started me off well but the stress was seriously bad so I was switching to teaching (quite reluctantly, I might add) when the offer came and I’m really grateful it did at the time. It’s not my ‘dream job’ by any means but it gave me a lot of things I wanted at the same time. I’ve been on it for over a year now and that says a lot about the guy(s) I work with!

I’m truly grateful for the opportunity, and though there’s so much room for improvement, I’m now far more balanced than I’d have expected when I got back over a year and a half ago. I’m still not yet where I ought to be but I know 2015 can make a very big difference positively and I’m gearing up for that!

Personal business-wise, not much happened. A few freelance stuff and just one small biz with my closest pal summed up all that came in (mostly with the pay still hanging). 2015 is focused more on me steadying on the job so the biz angle might still slow for a while yet, although, my plans are still intact and will be revised from time to time in readiness for any opportunity for execution.

Spiritual

*big sigh* Really, this is an area of my life that needs so much work. I’ve been on the ‘low battery’ level for most of this period. A lot of things really need to change in this aspect, and soon!

Relationships

Now, the story here is one that I’d not want to tell too much. First, the one I gave my heart to crushed it with a betrayal of trust that is still so hard for me to take. Then the ex before her came over for a weekend during which period I realized I had no feelings for her again (but the body though…)

After that, I entered another relationship with a lady I had crushed on mightily. It was enjoyable for me while it lasted, and being me, I was ready to think long term with her as I felt she was ready for the long haul. She had other ideas, though, and the result was one of the briefest relationships I’ve ever had. It wasn’t even long enough for me to miss her much after we broke up. I simply started feeling the pain of the ex before her (one whom I’d loved so much more than any other).

Next was a relationship that never came to be. She was an interesting one. Someone I thought we shared a lot in common but who turned out not as interested in what I wanted as I initially thought so we just faded away from each other totally.

Beyond these, I found out (quite late, in fact) that my childhood sweetheart, my first love, had passed away. This brought a lot of tears to my eyes and I had to do a little memorial for her here.

Finally…

In totality, 2013 to 2014 gave me a lot more to be thankful for and I give all the glory to the Almighty! This has been a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows as well as positives and negatives. From here on, as 2015 appears, this is me saying a big THANK YOU to all who have been a part of my journey through the years. I love you all! The new year will be better for us all!

HaPpY nEw YeAr!!!!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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