XXIX

“For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.” ‭‭Acts 17‬:‭28‬ [NLT]

My first blog entry. I hope to use WIWD to document my journey and share ideas. I recently celebrated a birthday and found myself thinking “are you sure there wasn’t a glitch along the line? Cause the math ain’t mathing, lol.” Being 28 felt like a long year, partly due to the intensity of my academic journey. From writing policy papers to drafting literature reviews (THE PAIN OF REWRITING MY PROJECT PROPOSAL), from study trips to reading loads of articles - it was a lot. Not to mention other projects and volunteering I was involved in. I am grateful for the inner strength to have surmounted these challenges and for my family and friends who were right beside me all through. Special shoutouts to Chisom, Babajide, and Opemipo - blessed to have you in my corner and for being amazing friends. I am thankful for the new friends I made along the way too, making the journey worthwhile. I am grateful for growth, peace, and love. Grateful for the opportunity to learn - about myself, people, cultures, and the world around me. Especially grateful for new opportunities too. Started a new role, had stages to talk about my work, shared ideas, and explored new regions.

Looking back, I see that I have grown in various ways and discovered areas where I still struggle. The most important type of growth for me is personal growth - improving both in character and personality. By learning more about myself, I can become a better version of myself. It’s a long road, and I think of it as a journey rather than a destination. This past year, I learned a few things, one of which is - incremental change is what matters. I have come to learn that real change is progressive and it is fine to grow in ‘doses.’ I look back at some of the areas I needed to improve and I am proud of how far I have come, especially in managing relationships. I know that sometimes, it is hard, but the beauty of connecting with the special people we meet - having conversations, creating memories, having fun, sharing ideas, and building meaningful things - is one of life’s beauties and I do not take it for granted. I have become more intentional in showing up, supporting, and being there for my people, and it can only get better.

“We face neither East nor West; We face forward’ — Kwame Nkrumah

In the area of communication, while I have made baby steps, I still struggle. I have always had difficulty explaining my thoughts clearly and communicating concisely. I learned an invaluable lesson this past year: being proactive rather than reactive, and just expressing how I feel - I don’t have to wait until I have the right words. This also applies to my conflict resolution. I hope to see how I apply these in my life going forward.

Pat yourself on the back when you do well; forgive yourself when you mess up too. I did well - and I am so happy for who I am becoming. Did I make mistakes? Oh yes! “To err is human. To forgive, divine.” I usually beat myself up after screw-ups, but what’s happened has happened; like a flowing river, I have to move on. It’s easy to write it as a sentence in a paragraph; in reality, it is hard! But it’s the truth: Wole, do you want to wallow in that or work towards better outcomes for yourself? That’s the spirit, forward only!!!

So, I will say this to the 29th-year-old Wole: don’t complicate your life; be good, do good and shine God’s light; keep grinding and add some grit.

Live. Love. Laugh. Learn. Love.

‘Wole





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