A 2015 recap of sorts, and other things II

I chronicled the first half of my 2015 here, and it was too long so I decided to post in 2 bits. Here’s the other bit.

Jul – Sept

I moved back with no job in sight but many entrepreneurial ideas (because what else could I really do?). I have friends though, who sent my CV around and about 4 days after I got back, I got a job and my boss is my type of person, and I’m quite well-paid, so yay! My entrepreneurial ideas are now dusty though, but that’s fine for now.

Because I was broke and wasn’t sure where I was going to live when I got back, I made arrangements to go stay with the bf for a while. Even when I got a job, there were some delays with the project I was supposed to handle and I had to work remotely while that got sorted, so I was still living with the bf. That was good for us in a way, because it’s like suddenly being around each other all the time after years of long-distance. It also meant having to fly to Lagos every time either/both of my parents announced their presence, because of course I couldn’t tell them I was perching with the bf, they thought I lived with a friend in Lagos.

Aside: This friend’s house used to be my default place to stay in Lagos but she had gotten tired of the place because it wasn’t in the best location and then some dynamics in the house itself were annoying, so she  moved to a better location with better ‘dynamics’. The only snag was I couldn’t ‘move’ with her. My folks already knew about this friend but at the time I was coming back, I couldn’t tell them she’d moved because then they’d have been extra curious about where I was supposed to be living.

Oct – Dec

I travelled quite some between July and November, but for reasons too long to get into right now, my project got cancelled. So now I was and am still hanging in the balance (because I don’t have a signed contract, only a verbal, good-faith one) but working and getting paid every month.

I interviewed for a UX Design job in Kano though, and I’m hoping that comes through so that I can have a contract and my own house – even though I’m looking at houses in Lagos in case Kano doesn’t pan out. If it does though, I hope my present boss can keep me on as a remote freelancer (i.e. I want to turn his projects into my side hustle) because somehow I’m sure I’d be able to handle the load, as long as I’m still allowed to define the amount and kind of work I want to do. Fingers crossed 🙂

I’m in a pretty good place now, and I’m thankful that things are going relatively okay. I don’t have much money but I’m not destitute and reliant on my folks to subsidize my life. I had 10 goals this year, and I think I accomplished about 5.5 of them. I’m still very thankful, and hopeful for a better 2016.

I’m thankful for my family, and my boyfriend, and friends, and ALL the patience and support I’ve gotten. I’m thankful for safe travels and smooth plane rides (I really hate turbulence and my stomach drops every time there’s a bump). Thankful for relative financial ease in this last quarter, and my mother’s cooking. For good health all-round, and that there were no deaths in my immediate circle this year. For the great things that happened and are happening in the lives of ‘my people’.

In 2016 I’d like to grow as a UX Designer, by taking on more design projects in a structured environment (and I think the Kano job is the perfect avenue for me but let’s see how that goes), and I’d like to try my hand at a new UX-related blog which I’ll talk about if I do. I also want 2016 to be more fun than 2013 was, so I’d like to travel to new places (but also save money and make investments, and I wonder how I’ll pull that one off), meet interesting people, get a car, implement at least one of my entrepreneurial ideas for passive income, and kick ass at my job. Maybe I can also FINALLY learn to play the violin too.

For some inexplicable reason, the phrase “stay hungry, stay foolish” just popped into my head. I’ve just googled and seen that it’s a quote by Steve Jobs, and also the title of a book. Well, I hope that’s what I do in 2016 but not in the literal sense because it’s a very bad idea for one to literally remain without nourishment and/or wisdom.

Happy Holidays! x

 

Nigeria

Nigeria

I’ve been in Nigeria for the past couple of weeks, and I couldn’t help playing the role of an observer, seeing as I haven’t been here in 2 years. Of course, the first thing that hits you is the heat. Then the hustlers, “aunty do you need to make a call?” (I did), the banter/negotiation (“how much will you charge me, per minute?” “just call, and afterwards, you can ‘appreciate’ me in any currency”. *whet?*), the realization that a lot of your countrymen drive as if they are bereft of their senses (lots of times the boyfriend muttered “you’ll soon tell me whether it’s your daddy that owns this road”, when a road user was being silly). You also notice the improvements. Much faster internet speeds than you were accustomed to before you left, but of course, expensive (if you’re in Nigeria long-term and you’re on a budget, get a blackberry), more constant power (maybe it’s because of the festive season, but power in my parents’ house has been constant – 23.75 hours/day – since I got back. I could live with that), zebra crossings (people say they’ve always been there, at least in Lagos, so maybe this is a testament to my own ignorance). So that’s it. My friends have been so incredibly kind to me on this trip – from the one who woke up at 5:50 am to pick me from the international wing and take me to the local wing to catch my next flight (it’s quite a distance, which should ideally be serviced by airport shuttles, but hey, I landed at 5:14 am), to the one who met me at that local wing, bought me breakfast and kept me company till I checked in. There’s the boyfriend who dyed my hair (which was getting quite brown and not looking good), took care of me for 1 week and made sure I lacked nothing – power, good food, etc, then there’s the friend in Lagos who bought me a carton of bottled water, “because I don’t want you to drink sachet water and get diarrhoea”, when I went to stay in her house. There’s the one who got back from Canada, after being away like me for 2 years, and bought me a book because she heard I wanted to start some sort of business. {Speaking of which, before that, before I left NL, there was the darling friend who heard I wanted to start a business and sent me 2 not-cheap books, one of which is heavy enough to be used as a doorstop, but thankfully not useless at all. I won’t forget that, especially because I got home to meet those books after I had just received rubbish news.} There are of course, my parents, in whose living room I’m currently sitting, who want me to eat all the food. They bought me a protein shake “because you’re way too thin” (I am. I see my ribs when I look in the mirror these days). They go out of their way to make sure I’m comfy and making the right life choices. So, to all of you, whether or not you’re reading this, (I have probably said this to you in person already but) thank you. A lot. You’re more loved and appreciated than I let on. Moving on, the weather in my parents’ city has been interesting. It’s harmattan, which is really not *that* cold, but these days I find myself having to wear thermals, of all things, to bed. Well then.

Christmas

My Christmas this year was very meh. Like, I did not sing a single carol, did not feel psyched about any single thing. There were (and still are) just fireworks scaring my dog (who is quite big and barks something fierce and scares everyone, but is scared of fireworks and acts like a peasant when she’s hungry. Smh.) I hear it was snowing in NL though, so they had a white christmas which I’m sad I missed, mainly because it was a WHITE CHRISTMAS. Oh well. There was food and cake, drinks and cousins, and I amused them with my instant camera. At some point, on the 26th, I turned on the radio to listen to some carols (because, the last time I checked, carols are played quite often around this period), and what did I hear? “Because you know I’m all about that bass, ‘bout that bass, no treble…”-_-
I still want to go on an adventure in this country, before I leave. An adventure for me could be a road trip to some town, or a train trip to a town (those aren’t common in Nigeria so it counts as an adventure), or an excursion to somewhere like the Fela Shrine (I’m curious. I’m also curious about theatre in Lagos, and that thing called ‘afropolitan vibes’).

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I should be back tomorrow or next to do a review of my year but just in case I don’t, here’s to everyone who made my 2014 any good. Thank you. And to the ones we lost along the way, you’re missed.

Happy Holidays!!!