I started 2016 in church, as usual. It was good, I was with family. It was a weird service because I was babysitting while watching the sermon online. But it was good.
We went home and woke up later that day and went to church. There was a party. There was a photo shoot. I also got a new phone. I spent the first 3-4 days traveling to different cities and visiting my grandparents. Then I went back to school.
I had changed my programs the previous semester. My parents called me to congratulate me on outstanding grades. Then, in the same breath, they asked me what I was going to use my degree for. I had no answers.
I celebrated my birthday on the 8th.I went out with my friend and birthday mate Matilda and we ate Mexican cuisine. My dad called me and all his friends prayed for me. It was a great birthday.
I also pierced my tragus for my birthday. Both sides. Birthday piercings might become a tradition.
Later that month, I did purple crochet braids. I am in love with colors so I had to. I got snowed in while I did that hair. Thanks guys for always allowing me stay at your place.
My brother and I had been talking to our parents about staying off campus, so my dad came to see apartments. I love seeing my dad. He’s one of my best friends. We picked a place and he went home. And no, he didn’t complain about my purple hair.
I wrote exams. I had a lot of fear and anxiety about writing them. I had three exams back to back. But my counselor and I talked it through and I aced it.
I started talking to someone that would end up being one of my best male friends. You know yourself. You’re the best.
After exams, I went out to celebrate my friend’s birthday. I was either careless or people are terrible—probably a combo of both—as my passport was stolen and all the documents I kept in my passport case went with it. I cried for days. I had no job so there was no way to replace it and I didn’t want to tell my parents.
In retrospect, I should have told them. Maybe if I had I wouldn’t feel this way right now.
I stayed at a friends place from April to May. 8-9 people in a house. Progesterone was on a high. One word, “bristle.”
On May 8th, my mum’s birthday, I forgot to call her before it was too late. I was also unable to send the video clip I always send. I found it in my outbox on the 9th. I felt like a terrible daughter. I still do. I cried writing this particular part.
On May 18th, I moved into my apartment with my brother. It was interesting, we had food, a bed and a couch, we were pretty Gucci that way.
I did a lot of things in June. I called Jerry and Elston a lot. I spoke about my fears with them. I also went out a lot. I spent crazy amounts of money on trends. I got close to God, I separated from God.
I made a lot of decisions in June. One of them was to actually care about my skin. I also wanted to appreciate the beauty in the world. I took a lot of pictures, they’re all over my Instagram.
I also developed a solid relationship with one of my teachers. I got free textbooks and a reference letter. My passport was at the back of my mind but life was good.
Throughout this period, my sister and mum would visit from time to time. I didn’t spend much time with them because I was taking summer classes. Nonetheless, it was great to see them, always is.
I also spoke to God a lot, I prayed, fasted, worshiped. I remember hearing a sermon that we should enter a contract with God. I told God my passport or money for it should come on so and so date. I felt peace after that, an illusion I created.
I planned a barbecue for my church. I’m a details person and some people didn’t come through. I said some unfriendly and ungodly things. I don’t really regret it. But I need to watch how I address people when I’m angry.
I got closer to my friend Kosi. I would subsequently destroy this relationship by December, but we’ll get there.
I don’t think anything happened in September.
I had been going to church more, I was a Sunday school teacher and an usher. I felt so good, school was great. And then my brother sent me an email. He knew I had been looking for a job. The job offer? Become a personal assistant.
I applied. They got back to me at the period I had agreed with God. I was meant to run some errands. I did a lot of things wrong, I never had an interview, I never had a phone call. I guess I was just excited, a chance to get my passport back!! I was scammed, thousands of dollars. The bank called me and said I’d be held accountable. The job people were no where to be found.
I still didn’t tell my parents. I spoke to my brother and he said he’d help me pay. I was devastated. I stopped attending church. I didn’t tell my friends what happened. I kept it all bottled up. My grades, health, everything about me took a hit. I’m still trying to recover.
I had my interview in the first week of November. The embassy people were really nice. One of the ladies said that if I knew someone in Nigeria I should tell them to help. I still didn’t want to tell my parents, but there was no other way around it.
I think I should have told them as soon as it happened in April. My youth pastor said I should. All my friends said I should. But I was stubborn. I’ve always been the responsible kid in the family. I’ve always been the one who has everything in order. I didn’t want to disappoint them. Oh well.
Later that month, I told all my friends about the scam. It felt good to get it off my chest. I felt really good. We spoke about a lot of my options and I went to the bank and had a discussion. I found out the they would still call me to pay, but I didn’t have to. My credit score would just be burned, but I’m not buying a house or car soon. So, hopefully, I’ll be alright.
I also lost my debit card that month. I was going to get groceries with my friend and I don’t know how but I lost it. I don’t remember much of what happened. We retraced our steps, looked in the snow and did everything. Still couldn’t find it.
I never knew it was possible to break down so hard. I cried and cried and cried. I deleted all my social media. I could not understand why I couldn’t catch a break. I didn’t even have a passport I could use to identify myself at the bank. I was broken. Totally broken.
I don’t know how, but the bank people were really nice, I took my old passport and the receipts from the embassy. They asked me a lot of questions. I wrote my signature about 5 times. But I got it.
I think on December 2nd, I got a call from my pastor, he told me the embassy had my passport. I was so happy. I picked it up, went downtown and got an Ontario ID. Everything was working out. Life was good.
My dad called me and said that the probability of us going to Nigeria is very low. That made me very sad. My grades suffered, I submitted every assignment late, I skipped classes, I did last minute revision.
I also had a fight with someone I really care about just before exams started. The friendship was basically a crash and burn friendship. We spent some time away, but we worked things out.
Exams came sooner than I expected. I was in the library every day, trying to get my grades back on track. I did in a way; no fail, one average mark.
I avoided calls from Kosi, I don’t know why. But I just couldn’t talk to her. I love her dearly. Talking to her just felt like a burden. I didn’t want to burden anyone.
Today: Dec 31st
The roller coaster had come to an end. Or has come to an end. Life is okay, not good, but okay. I don’t have a job, the bank still calls me, my study permit is still in limbo. But I’m alive. And I feel grounded.
I have an amazing support system; my brother who gives me tools for blogging even though he’s terrible at writing. My friends, I really don’t know where I’d be without them. They supported me through all the bad. They offered to pay it all for me.
The church members in school with me, we’ve shared memories and great food. They’re always giving me advice. And these two great guys who have helped me become a better writer and never let me give up.
Chiamaka and Doyin, we have a groupchat that is so messy. But you are the loves of my life. Thank you for your jokes, your support. Everything.
People on Twitter who barely knew me, sending me money, not allowing me to go hungry. God bless you.
Tomiwa. I love you so much. I know I’ve been distant. But you’ve stayed my best friend through thick and thin. I love you in immeasurable terms.
This year, was a mess. A mess. It was like going on a roller coaster with food. I hated this year. A lot of people have reviewed this and said to me that I’m still alive and that’s good. But it doesn’t feel good. I’m not going to act like everything is great now. And honestly, I’m not sure if next year is going to be better. This, whatever this is, doesn’t feel settled. I don’t think I’m going to catch my big break next year.
However, I want to be more proactive. I want to make smarter choices. This year, I did a lot of headfirst jumping, hopefully I can correct that. Life moves fast, but I should be reacting to it. I want to have numerous contingency plans.
It has taken a lot of strength for me to be where I am right now. Strength I didn’t know I had. I never want to have to use my reserves again. But I know that if I am pushed to a corner, I will be okay. I have friends and friends that have turned to family and family around me.
I hope 2017 is a good year for all of us. I hope you find what you’re looking for and I hope that everything works out for you, and for me.