What a year 2020 turned out to be. If you were like me, you likely had some lofty goals you wanted to achieve. Then the Corona Virus hit, and everything around us came to a standstill.
I remember paying close attention to what was happening in the US, in Europe and wondering when will it be felt in Africa. Then boom, before I knew it, Lagos became one of the first states in Nigeria to go on lockdown.
Those weeks we spent at home were tough on me emotionally and mentally. I was thankful I still had a job. Yet it only served to remind me that I lived in a country where things that should be basic amenities are not available. I needed electricity, but there were often days when we had no light, so how was I supposed to power up my computer and write and meet up my deadlines to deliver.
I turned to the old fashioned way of writing. I wrote things down on paper. When the light came, my ideas were already crystal clear and well-formed, and all I needed to do was type and then quickly edit and send the work to my Boss.
At nights I struggled to sleep, first, will all the fears ruminating and moving around in my head. Then there was the threat from some hoodlums who were seizing this opportunity to wreak havoc in communities. In response, the neighbourhood set up a system with the young men patrolling the area at night. Of course, that came with a lot of noise, as they blew their whistles breaking the silence that is synonymous with the night time.
By the time the lockdown ended, I was more than ready to leave the house. Of course, we had to deal with the new reality of wearing a mask and social distancing. For a lot of people in Nigeria, it was a hard concept to follow. Yet I tried my best; I was happy to be reunited with people at work who had become like members of my family. If wearing a mask and social distancing was what I had to do, to have a resemblance of my life, I would do it.
In May, George Floyd was murdered in the United States and opened a wave of protests against racial injustice. The deaths of George, Breonna, and so many Black people murdered by the police speak to the racial discrimination that remains in society. I didn’t realise how deeply I felt about the situation until I sat down to write about it. I ended up having to break it into three blog posts.
Yet I somehow still managed to keep going even though there were times I had to let my emotions out. In July, I turned a year older and got to celebrate with friends at work. However, just when I thought things were beginning to get better, there was the End SARS Protest in Nigeria which started peacefully but was met with violence by those in authority proving just how connected the world truly is no matter where we are on the face of the earth. Again I had to deal with the emotions that came with seeing injustice. It took a while, but I knew I had to write my feelings down.
In 2020 I learned not to take things for granted and enjoy the opportunities I have with loved ones. There are many things I did not get to do, but I am surprised that I grew despite the challenges. I somehow managed to write more or this platform than I have ever done before. I also got better at my job and looked for ways to gain more knowledge throughout the year.
As the year comes to an end, I am grateful for the opportunities I had to grow and the time I had to reflect on life.
However, I am ready to bid au revoir to 2020. How was 2020 for you? I hope 2021 brings more joy with it. And that we can accomplish so much more than we can imagine.