For many, 2020 has been a year of ups, downs, and many in-betweens We know you have a lot to tell us and have asked that, as one big family, we all share our joy, pain, wins, losses, and successes through the year.
2020 taught Adebimpe Alafe to accept life as it comes and take each day as it is.
Honestly, 2020 tried to show me pepper but did not know that I am a Yoruba girl.
2020 has made me remarkably familiar with the feeling of uncertainty. Words do not describe how 2020 has been. As cliche as this might sound, it has been such a rollercoaster year. Sometimes, life is hard for no reason. And while I have had some traumatic things happen this year, I have been unsure about talking about it for a long time.
A lot of people have asked me where I have been, why I have not been writing and why I have not been posting on social media as much. The truth is that I needed a little sabbatical. I have felt lost for most of the year – the struggles, the sadness, the seasons of anxiety and uncertainty and depression.
Then my life changed again. I willingly opened my heart for the first time in two years. Went out on dates for the first time in two years. I made new friends, had new adventures, put myself out there again, stepped completely outside my comfort zone, found the courage to take chances on myself, and love other people.
I learned not to accept the loss but to embrace it as another part of the journey. A necessary part. A part that allows you to purge your life of the things that you never needed to begin with to make room for the things you always wanted but never dreamed you could have.
I spent countless nights on my knees praying and begging God for a yes, but He was merciful enough to tell me “no”. God not answering my prayers to bring this relationship back to life forced me to let go of things that needed to die. Had he given me a yes when I begged for it, I would still be stuck in a vicious cycle of pain, disappointment, and heartache. His ‘no’ forced me to let go. So if you’re feeling like God has turned His face from you or is ignoring your prayers, please hold tight to the beautiful knowledge that He hears, sees, and knows all. He is not ignoring you neither has He forgotten you.
I want, with every single fiber of my being, to be one of those self-assured, confident, bold women of God who know exactly who they are in Christ and walk in the freedom of knowing how loved, precious, and how validated they are.
I want to be that woman and I am on a journey to becoming her. That journey starts with this moment of honesty as I stop searching for the silver lining of every situation and instead learn to embrace the ugliness, the doubt, the uncertainty, and the fear as part of my journey. This is it, ladies. 2020 taught me to accept life as it comes and take each day as it is.
Part of being the heroine of your own life is accepting the bad with the good – not dodging it or covering it up or glossing over it to make it look prettier and more pleasing so you can prop it up in the corner and not have to deal with it. I think it is a lot braver to talk about our doubts and fears instead of acting like everything is perfect. Life without both joy and sadness is a life without balance.
Imagine talking about 2020 and not talking about how COVID-19 and the #EndSARS protest disrupted a lot of things. I already set out this year in high hopes and was ready to make the most of it, but change happened. Change is hard, endings are difficult, and saying goodbye is painful. But one of the wonderful things about all this is that what might seem like the end might be the beginning. Even when something is ending or changing, we can look back and be thankful.
It is also funny how there is little to no talk about the level of post-graduate depression and career uncertainty that comes after you graduate from the university. This was a significant blow for me in 2020. I started to question my abilities and creativity, and for months I doubted everything that I knew how to do so well. I doubted the skill and ability that brings me money. I doubted everything I was passionate about. I doubted my existence at some point. And then I had a conversation with a friend and she said “Mehn I have been feeling the same way too.” To be honest, I felt some sort of peace knowing that I am not alone and it is just a phase.
Amid your today and whatever unique trials you are facing, cling to the knowledge that tomorrow is out there; it’s waiting on the horizon and it will arrive sooner than you may think, and life will be beautiful again. At least, that is what I am holding on to and I hope you do too.
I can’t wait to tell you more about where I’ve been. I can’t wait to see where I’m going. I am open to whoever and whatever comes along. So, guys, let’s do this.
Have a story to share? We’ll love to hear it. Send in your essay to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com with the subject: 2020 Epilogues. Let us know all the twists, turns and successes 2020 came with.