What are you most grateful for? Year in, year out, we take an inventory of our lives and one of the questions that stand out, one that sticks a sickle into our pouches of emotion and bleeds our hearts of tears is this. Truly if we take stock of our lives, there are gazillion things to be grateful for and the clocked duration of what a year stands for helps keep up with that count of things and helps us keep things in perspective. Year in, year out.

This time 13:43 pm of the 31st day of December, 2019, I was elsewhere. Indifferent and somehow I felt like there was hardly anything to be grateful for. Yes, life, friends and family, measurable peace and all those things relative to living were there and regardless of the things I personally wanted and didn’t get, they were things I should be grateful for. I was in a dark place, pressed between something hard and nothing at all. I was numb, absent and dead and the day was just another day, even the next day, the one that would start the year 2020 was just another day to be alive and I was neither anxious nor apprehensive of it. I didn’t send out messages and I didn’t make calls like the previous years, in fact, my lines were turned off. Not that I would be making calls or sending “NEW YEAR” felicitations this year but something is different this year.

You see, I am still very much behind on my own clock. I haven’t achieved and I didn’t achieve so much this year and when I could blame the pandemic for this, many people broke through in all that despair. Quite contrarily, 2020 is the year we should be least grateful if achievements and the delays from reaching the dreamed heights were anything to reckon. But 2020 is the year I am most grateful. I want to reiterate that I haven’t even achieved a 3rd of a 3rd of the things I want for myself. Yes, I said a third of a third and I am still stretching to reach any or even most of the luxuries that supposedly defines breakthrough and I am just cynical and critical, I am not stoic to comfort or pleasures (inserts smiling emoji).

People died. Young and old, rich and poor. The grave is a mass of dead dreams, buried wishes and rotting hopes. I lost my dad this year and I wasn’t chanced to be at his deathbed because of the lockdown. I lost a ton of chances and opportunities. I lost a lot of friends and I couldn’t reap the bounty of promises. At a point I lost my faith and I lost hope in humanity and I walked the fetters of depression, barely escaping the endearing entrapment of self-loathing and darkness. I lost face with many and I lost out on many contests with life. And at a point again, I felt like there was nothing to be grateful for in 2020 and for that I lost my peace

Gun to my head, knife to my throat, a bomb strapped to my chest, if I was to answer that question, I’d say, I am most grateful for the things I lost this year. Not the chances I took nor the innumerable blessings of the year. Not the accident free, harm free year, walking through the valley of the shadows of death, especially as a Nigerian youth walking through this labyrinth of mines and booby traps called Nigeria, not the roof over my head, not the blessings of a morsel when I am famished and a drink when I am parched, not the bliss of reaching into my coffers and meeting my needs as at when due in spite of my employment/unemployment status, not the scandal free life, not the soundness of my health and mind despite the many times I disrupt the peace in my own head by the wars I create by my own hands. I am grateful for all these and more, but I am most grateful for the things I lost because it made me who I am today. They were the things, events and happenings that formed the hand, the hammer and the chisel and the chipping blows that tore at me, bore me down and carved out this forge of me.

The loss of friends, showed me how much I could achieve independently and what I needed to do for my network. My lost chances taught me to be proactive and preemptive, to be prepared, ready for the harvest. Losing my faith showed me just how fickle my convictions were and how I needed to find a better standing. We win some and lose some and the challenges of life just doesn’t end. And losing my dad made me- I’d like to say a man, but God knows there’s a lot more to being a man than being able to pay my own bills, but it was a turning point in my life and losing my peace is sine qua non to living, life is chaotic and there is only a remote chance of enjoying on occasion, days without turmoil.

Going forward, I can only try to be more prudent, bolder with risks, embrace life like my world could end today, and knowing that from every challenge comes an egg of breakthrough and if it counts for anything, wish you a pleasant, challenging year ahead. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

2 thoughts on “Taking stock- 2020

  1. I love it. I have this notion that failures has a way of shaping us better than success especially for those that are self aware and critical thinkers. We can build better things on failures which can lead to success thereby learning to appreciate and valuing success. For me this year is a year that I didn’t achieve much but I had to learn how to wait (hope and faith), and I’m still waiting for that thing which I consider important to my path in life and hopefully this new year is the period of receiving that which I have been waiting for.
    Cheers to success and a great year ahead 🍾🥂


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