How 2020 went summarily…

Mariebelle
11 min readJan 24, 2021

In Tolulope Dada’s words, I may stumble a bit but just follow me, you would get the point. I am actually inspired to finally write or share my own side of the 2020 story. Oh well, more like what I remember/top of mind.

For two reasons, I want to see this in the future and look back from where I am coming from. Secondly, I really just want to share. I realize I have been greatly blessed by the gift of people who have shared their stories, lessons, ideas, and I am inspired to pass on the torch (in Adetunji & Ayomide Jones parlance)

As I said, I may ramble a bit, you’ll get the point. wait, a disclaimer — I am super duper grateful for the year, I am going to consciously count my blessings, share low moments… you know what? never mind, now straight to the point.

The beginning

2020 started quite on a good note cos I was talking to a guy I vibed with a lot in Nov 2019. Gosh, we just clicked, our communication and friendship were on a high (it was literally that effect of cold refreshing wine on a hot day). We shared beautiful memories together and decided to plan our 2020 together — that was the Vision board date in my room with our laptops, internet, wine of cos, music and that is all I remember. This brings me to one of the gifts of that friendship — Goal setting.

I have been setting goals for the longest of time, but this was different (haha, not because a man was involved) and summarily this was what we did;

  • Simplify our goals in different categories (Spiritual, Career, Finance, Relationship, etc). An example, I had a goal to write the PMP exam (career), He had a goal to move to a bigger apartment (Living & Finance, cos what is a bigger apartment without money)
  • We sourced pictures online, mostly Pinterest to find pictures that depict each goal, and saved them on a board
  • Used Canva to arrange the pictures, created a PDF book I called dream board 2020

Mostly I think the visualization of the goals made this different from what I have done in the past.

Some inspire to aspire quote, but you get what I mean yh?

Literally saw that thing about the law of attraction come to play cos I visualized my goals.

Still, about counting the wins, January 2020, I started the job opportunity I was looking forward to in 2019 — A project management role even before I got my certification.

Jan 16 — I started preparing for my exams, cos Korede had picked a date for his own exam (Talk about friends that inspire you!). Tbh, I don’t have such a large circle but I realize, that friends with genuinely shared aspirations/goals make the achievement of your goals almost a smooth ride.

Heartbreaks and Low tides

1. February came, in fact, I can source the date from my calendar. Had a date with my guy from December vibes and we did a SWOT analysis of our budding relationship (trust me, I can be too serious for my liking). The outcome was that we realized there was a threat to our individual values. So we had to “break up”. mehn, it hit me o. (let’s leave it like that, cos hard girl I suppose)

2. I decided in January, to support my friends and network more. So I paid to attend Amaka’s one-man acting performance. OMG, that babe is a force! A bundle of talent! and I am sure one day, a hall full of people would actually pay to watch her perform by God’s grace. One my way out of that beautiful show, I got a call from my brother that he had just survived a terrible car accident. I almost shrunk, I am sure I sped 140km/h to get to the hospital that day.

You see why I said by God’s grace earlier now— I say it very consciously these days cos guy, there are too many life uncertainties and my only constant is God, not because He would make me live free of these uncertainties but because he would walk me through them (John 16:33).

3. Wilson died. This hit harder, but we are #neverdiegang.

4. Oby died — July 2. This hit was much harder. Oby was such a sweet and beautiful soul. I feel like almost everyone on earth had a blow of loss in 2020. That day, I was on a trip when I heard the news, I was scared, I was sandwiched between a trailer and a parked car and I thought if Oby could die, who really I am or anyone else in the car. Life is so fleeting and this fear shadows me often. I wonder, who is next and all that stuff. But as Tosin Abejide said, the way this death and life thing works is that we have to move on. Sadly true.

We probably forget a lot that death is part of life, we get used to all life and living offers that we lose sight of this reality until it hits us again. This brings me to another confidence in God, cos as believers, we truly never die. Yes, we leave the earth but our core and spirit are with God. I mean, isn’t this why Jesus died. He even proved it, he died and came back to life.

I cor 5:14 — “ And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (read the whole chapter if you care for context)

5. 2020 really made me realize the many things wrong in the society we live in. Tbh, it is as though I have lived in a bubble all my life, or maybe I have honestly been quite privileged, or perhaps, I am just blinded or I choose to mind my business. Either way, 2020 showed me so much — that you cannot have a road trip without a pothole, there is so much injustice ingrained in our government and social constructs, religious biases, and to cap it, 2020 news of pastors and respected leaders involved in sexual allegations hit closer home for me.

About the pastor gist ehn, I am not too surprised cos they are firstly men before becoming “Men of God” but my own pain is the fact they get away with it without addressing the issues or submitting to justice. It irks me. What about the other women on the other side of the rope? They deserve justice, closure, and healthy emotional lives too!!!! We need a structure to address issues like this in the church.

6. Imposter Syndrome

Whatever this syndrome is, I battled with it almost every other week. From my faith to my job and even lifestyle. My mind tells me how I am imperfect but still wanna share my faith, do good work, chop life, and literally have a great life.

However, this one ehn, I have left at Jesus’ feet. I constantly try to remind myself daily that God is my source, my strength and hope and that it will never be about my abilities cos I am so imperfect on my own. So we move, while looking to God, as he directs my path.

7. On relationships again, I think I tried, or maybe I did not. After December guy, I got entangled with a lovely soul I had known before, we vibed a lot! we shared beautiful moments but it had to end, not in tears! Truth is, he is a great person but definitely not available for me. So I had to walk away …

Tbh, I have been blessed to have met very amazing guys in this life and it gets me bothered that I am probably aiming for perfection or that I am not sure enough about what I want or I am not stable enough to be in a relationship. (these are just mostly thoughts atimes)

After this, I considered again with my best friend for years but after SWOT and some difficult conversations, lmao I am still happily single and everyone is saying yes to their LOML. Las las ehn, I would probably see a therapist, commit myself to growth and keep being and doing the best I could ever be/do.

8. Health — My mental health was quite stable but I beat myself a lot. For many hours, I would not eat even when I am hungry. I just did not know what to do or what to eat. Somedays, I knew what I wanted but did not have the mental fortitude to do it.

This affected my productivity ultimately. My emotional and mental health dwindled a lot and lockdown period made me realize how broke I was financially at a time, and the fear of losing my job made me shrink. But hey, a conversation with my brother, Adetunji made things better. I love you so much Teejay!

I also battled acne! It was really bad but I sure am in a better place today. I researched and learned a lot about skincare.

9. #ENDSARS — it would be unfair to me if I did not mention this. The Nigerian youth fought for police reformation and the best the government could do was to kill people at the Lekki toll gate. #lekkimassacre happened. It was a very unfortunate and sad event. This happened in October.

Despite all the low tides, I am constantly trying to face my fears and getting things done irrespective of how I feel.

High Tides

  1. Setting Goals like I mentioned earlier set the year in motion. What I plan to do differently this year is to set subgoals and work towards them quarterly. I had to review last year through H2 though cos 2020 took a different toll on its own.
  2. Got “Ifunanya” ( if you know, you know. If you want to know, send me a dm). Imposter syndrome will not let me shine or tell the world about it, but I am grateful for it.
  3. Paid my house rent in 2020 without getting into debt! Guy, if you have ever paid a bank loan, then you will understand how this was a big win for me!
  4. Earned my PMP certification. Yes, your girl is a project manager with HSE and Engineering expertise in the downstream oil & gas industry. I am currently aspiring to work with a forward-thinking organization with a focus on tech-driven objective cos that is where the future of work is. As a global citizen that I aspire to be, I want to earn in dollars ejor!
  5. Friends and Network — Mehn, this was probably the hugest part of 2020 for me. I could lean on people within my network at different times. Even to the point of doing my laundry! You may want to give me a washing machine, but until then, Bisola and my brother have been the MVP.

From Helen & Korede, who constantly gave me “urgent 2k” when needed to Orhoghene who was my team buddy at work, to my flatmates (Bimbo & Ife) who made living together very bearable or to my unpaid emotions therapist — Kemi, hahaha. This paragraph would honestly not end If I had to mention the names of all my friends but I learned to receive love and help from friends. I also gave a lot and invested so much into different levels of my friendships.

2021, I intend to keep it up and also be more consistent with the gift giveaways, esp for birthdays and celebratory milestones.

6. Finance — I bounced back from being in debt. The piggyvest app and the “label” feature was the best thing that happened to my finance this year. That label feature was my big break, it helped me to categorize/budget every money in my account. The dollar feature was the next best thing! whoooosh.

Piggyvest said over 2 million Naira entered my flex account. I am in hot tears, cos I do not know where all that money is right now. I however love the piggy vest app and would recommend it to anyone, click here to start your journey with my referral code and earn yourself 1k.

I am also using this opportunity to shoot my shot at PIggyvest to get featured one day as the saver of the month. I hear they pick that person randomly. I can also do a video testimonial of my piggy vest journey. Call me now before I blow. lol. Also, I look forward to the feature where I can extend savings time/duration in my target savings

Another best thing that happened to me was the daily tracking excel sheet Orifunke Lawal shared on WhatsApp. I discovered this in December but my finance is definitely grateful for it.

7. Investment club- After the Ajo group I belonged to fell apart during covid, a team of friends called me up to know if I would be interested in joining an investment club in June. I can confidently say that was indeed one step in the right direction for me (and us). The community has helped me to cultivate the habit of saving to build. The story about this club will be told in years to come, actually, you will see our picture in the Forbes Africa Magazine. Soon come, by God’s grace.

8. I started two businesses. Teesandfits started post lockdown. My salary did not seem enough, Lagos living was making me live like a money conduit. I hated it. I had to find other means, of cos legit. And then came an opportunity to provide the value of comfort to people — Plain tee shirts and Polos you could wear while working from home.

Anietie, God bless you forever for introducing me to my loyal supplier. In short, I am your plug for plain tees and polos. I have a target to pay my house rent from this business, come and buy Tee shirt ejor.

I also started Etsebox.co — This one was in a bit to express the thoughtful and romantic side of me. I love gifts a lot. Here, I curate and package gift items in a box for occasions and to share love and light.

9. Tried new things I found myself loving- I started running, yoga, trying new food recipes, remodeling my room, and prioritizing self-care.

Last but definitely not least, the Faith community!. I am grateful for a family-like CCI. Tbh, that community of faith has spurred me in much good work. My church, Celebration Church, is so keen and deliberate about my spiritual growth through initiatives like Triumph30 devotionals, prayer times and, MAP groups. I have also made a few friends there who have been really inspiring towards my spiritual growth and commitment.

I am more conscious of who and whose I am. For this alone, I am very grateful and willing to align with God’s purpose and plan.

Regrets?

Err, none particularly. I am in a good state and I think I am not doing badly.

I am aware I have my strength and weaknesses. I am learning every day about them. Learning to leverage my strength and spread as much love and impact into the world around me.

Things I look forward to in 2021

This may be another post so this would not be too long. However, I am mostly committed to learning, growing, becoming better, giving, and living in the light of the one who’s given me life.

PS — I started writing this on January 6, finally pushed myself to publish before January ends because if I don’t, I probably never would.

If you enjoyed reading this and would love more posts like this, pls let me know in the comments section.

2. Just before publishing, I remembered other highlights such as spending the lockdown with my flatmates, my birthday celebration at The House, my first road trip to Ibadan where I drove, Dara and Daranla’s visitation to Lagos (two times) — these were really beautiful and memorable days.

I hope to document more this year.

Cheers

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