2017 in review

I got married last year, and it all happened so quickly I’m amazed we were able to pull it off. No, I wasn’t pregnant. And then in December 2016, I quit my job in Kano and moved to Port Harcourt.

In moving, I really thought I was going to relax for a bit then get another job but I got a rude awakening when my interviews weren’t leading to offers. I’d get all the way through a 6-step process and then, silence. Or I’d be rejected outright (which is honestly better than false hope). To be fair, maybe I was punching above my weight, i.e. instead of looking for local opportunities,* I was applying for remote jobs in the US – which means I was competing with thousands of people around the globe for the same position and well, I guess I now know where I stand?

So the first half of 2017 was me applying to jobs and being annoyed that I wasn’t getting them. In the meantime I was (and still am) getting consulting gigs without applying or marketing myself so that was neat. In the second half I stopped applying and focused on existing client work, and now I’m not sure whether to continue down this path or start applying again or do something else entirely. I mean, my current setup is great but for a while now I’ve been feeling like I’m supposed to be preparing for something. I don’t know that I possess an accurate ‘gut instinct’ like everyone else (one time I felt uneasy about getting on a RyanAir flight so I missed the flight and bought a BA ticket instead but nothing happened. The RyanAir flight went well and I lost money lol) but regardless, I’ve been taking courses, acquiring more skills, etc. Can’t go wrong with any of that.

When people ask “how is marriage treating you?” I wonder what they expect to hear. For the most part, it isn’t that different from when we were dating, except that we now wear rings and when we visit our parents, are expected to spend the night together (I cannot imagine the hell that would have been raised if we ever attempted that while dating). We don’t have kids yet, so active division of labor is mostly restricted to the kitchen where we take turns cooking. Speaking of kids, some people are hoping we have twins, and I laugh because who is going to take care of TWO babies at the same time? I’m not interested in live-in help and in any case can you just imagine the horror of trying to soothe 2 babies who wake up at night? Then as they grow, having to navigate public spaces with toddlers who know how to throw tantrums? I’m not the one.

We went to Zanzibar just before our anniversary and everything was so lovely and now I dream of maintaining a summer home in Stone Town. I wanted to visit Cotonou during Christmas but was too lazy to plan the trip (plus flights during this period are so unpredictable I’m glad I stayed back) so maybe in January? Random: after all these years, I still miss Finland and I’ll forever be glad I got to live there for a brief period. And for whatever reason, I still don’t think Port Harcourt is the city where I’m going to settle down. It feels like a brief part of my journey, like Kano and Den Haag and all the others and maybe this ties into the feeling I’ve been having of preparing for something else? We’ll see.

2017 was for learning and intellectual exploration, and I hope in 2018 I can resume my travel adventures. I like to experience things differently, learn about the cultural history of places and people I visit, etc – so here’s to more of that. Another random thing: I read certain books as anthropology. So for example, someone gave me a Yoruba cookbook published in the 1930s and as I thumbed through the recipes I could just imagine how the women lived, how they shopped, what was available, etc. Now I’m reading Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald and I wonder how … never mind you get the point. Also you know what, this year I enjoyed living as a broke woman of leisure but in 2018 I want my earnings to correspond with the standard of living I have in my head. The amount of money I need to make that happen has my stomach in knots but my parents keep admonishing me to “stop thinking small”, so… we move. I have made plans and I will see to them 🙂

Thank you for reading, and cheers to 2018!


*Most sensible opportunities in this town are for roles that are suited to oil and gas companies.