I wanted only two things this year: A girlfriend, and a million naira in my bank account.
By January, I met someone very cool. But it didn’t work out. Distance, finances, and my fear of commitment got in the way. Getting so close and withdrawing so fast hurt her. It made me conclude, that dating may not work for me till I am financially stable.
Later, I met another wonderful soul. I tried to push her away because of my most recent relationship fail. The distance wasn’t an issue. Rather, it was about my fear of commitment and insecurity about money. I settled on being friends with her (and not committing to a relationship).
By June, my trauma resurfaced. I randomly felt like crying, but I couldn’t. I drifted. I kept to myself. It lasted till July. This was around the time my dad died last year. It reminded me of how I used to have a recurring phantom pain under my foot. (Because about two decades ago, I jumped on a broken bottle, and got stitches). Anyway, the trauma faded.
My finances were stable for most of this year because I was receiving allowances as a Corper. The allowances were enough to cover my feeding and accommodation. While my side hustles afforded me enough money to enjoy a sense of freedom, and to even offer assistance.
Talking about assisting, this year pushed me beyond my boundaries. At first, it was painful. Giving away money stung me, and sometimes I even questioned my sanity. Why am I doing this? Is this my responsibility? What will I gain? What am I losing? Will I regret this? Is it worth it? The questions piled up. I got pissed. My friend got pissed. I got into debt. I kept giving. Then I stopped feeling the sting. I started seeing it as a privilege. I started looking for opportunities to give. I started thinking of ways to never stop giving.
This experience completely changed my outlook on love: Love isn’t a feeling. Love is an act. Painful, but meaningful. And, the more meaning you can find in the pain, the more you can love.
And, for the first time, I was able to understand how much my Dad loved his family, even if I can’t recall him hugging me, or saying, “I Love You”. And, even though it was hard to see or describe his love when he was alive, I was filled with so much gratitude for the education, home, and name he left behind. He was far from perfect, but I now understand his love (his sacrifices), just like I now understand the love of my Mother, Siblings, and friends.
The growth of my gratitude overcame my trauma. And, I also learned to inject acts of love, and immense gratitude into my relationships and life in general. Everything became much better.
On top of this, I’ve also been learning to open up more. And to be honest and straightforward about my feelings, thoughts, and wishes.
Yesterday, a dear friend told me she couldn’t articulate how she felt toward me. She was not the first. The day before yesterday another friend had told me how she just kept listening to my voice note on repeat. And those two aren’t the only ones. I have friends (including people I knew very well from years back) that now express a side to them that I never knew. I can’t say much about it here. But, the more I open up my soul, by saying the things I believe and feel, the more people around me do the same. Sometimes, it’s tough and painful. Other times, it’s liberating and magical. If you want honesty, give it first.
I also thought about God a lot this year. And, now more than ever, I believe in God. But, I also stand firmly against the idea of God that was handed over to me by traditional Christianity. The more I studied and meditated about God, the more the religious idea of God seemed wrong and even sinister. I cannot fully talk about it here as well. But I can tell you this; God is way more than we were told. And, that is scary, yet exciting.
I am beginning to increasingly feel life is a sort of game or dream or a weird mixture of both. Whatever you imagine or want somehow finds its way to you. But not in the way most movies or religions portray it. For example, a few days ago, I was thinking that I needed someone to help me market my courses and mentorship. Soon I got a broadcast message. I messaged the sender and informed him what I wanted. He agreed. And, later that same day, he made a sale for me.
On this blog, I wanted people to help me publish more content and run the brand. When I started searching, I started finding. And now, Pawns has an intrinsically motivated council. That is, people who help not because of some promise, but because they believe and want to. For example, I got a message from one of them apologising for not having finished the design of this website. She is doing it for free and still apologising. One of the biggest “asks” I did this year was for 100,000 Naira. I got an instant “Yes”. The more I get clear on what I want, and can request, the more I get it.
The only problem I have now is I do not know exactly what to ask, or what to do with what I ask for. For example, when I asked for a girlfriend (as I mentioned earlier), I got it, but what have I done?
(It is not the blessing that is lacking, it is the clarity and readiness that is absent.)
About the million. Haven’t you been listening? I have been giving the little I had. I no longer just want some fancy figure, I now want an infinite source of money – to do, get and give as needed.
But my life is not some dream or game. It has pain nested very deeply in it too. I remember my brother telling me it seems people – that we know – die more frequently these days. I told him that wasn’t the case. We just are no more shielded from the harsh reality we live in. Mom no longer brings back refreshments from burials for us to eat. We are the ones who have to attend the burial – and being uninterested in the food – give it to the children.
We got disillusioned.
And, that is the core of what I try to write about. Disillusioning people. I tell them life isn’t what their parents, religion, or school told them it was. I have written blog posts and books about it. And, I will write more. That is what this brand is about. Sharing that light of knowledge. To open people’s eyes. To open your eyes.
When you can see that your parents, siblings, or friends can die at any moment, the way you live your life changes. When you understand that diseases, jail, family crises, madness, and wars are real things, you will start being grateful for more things.
Also, when you see that most people are trying their best to help and be good people, you will be filled with so much hope. And, you will be inclined to help and be good. And you will be less afraid to ask for help and collaboration.
And when you stop trying to attack or hide away from the world, but rather hope to help, and experience more of the world, the world will absorb you into itself, reward, and show you its magic.
(A good life starts from accepting the hard truths. The more truths you can swallow, the better for you and everyone around you.)
I began this year with trauma and hopes for a girlfriend and a million naira. I ended this year without any. Instead, I got so much more.
Looking back, this year has been the happiest year of my life because of three main things.
- The stability of my income, plus my detachment from money (because I now believe in helping people).
- My healthy relationship with friends and family (because I’m now more open, honest, and straightforward).
- My improved outlook on life (thanks to the pursuit of truth, no matter how harsh or bitter).
I look forward to a better year.
And, wish you a happy new year in advance.
A Self-Help Writer And Editor Who Keeps It Simple (Yet Elegant)