Friday, September 11, 2020

Happy Birthday, Koye

**1**

I have had to remind myself several times over the past few months that I am not turning 30. I often catch myself thinking “I’m going to be 30 and…” and then I stop and say to myself, sometimes out loud, “you are not going to be 30”. Isn’t it strange how hard I tried to act and look older for many years and now want nothing more than to be younger?

It’s easy to understand why I keep thinking I’m about to turn 30. I have been the youngest in most of my social groups for as long as I remember, and many of my close friends have turned 30 or are doing so this year. This also means that my “I’m about to be 30 and I have not…” crisis came earlier than expected. Phew.

It sounds a bit silly now that I’m sharing it publicly, but I really had a mini-crisis of sorts. I went through a few days of whining, then read my “birthday goals” for the past nine years and remembered I had a lot to be proud of and grateful for. Gratitude always changes the paradigm!

Formation

Over many long walks and a handful of thoughtful journal entries, I arrived at a theory that made sense. The past three years saw the culmination of goals I had been working towards since my late teens and early 20s. Now that I am in the early stages of another round of planting – in the hopes of a bountiful harvest down the line – the euphoria of crushing long-held goals has somewhat receded.

**2**

This has been one very weird year. We have lost many people to the coronavirus pandemic and those of us who remain have had to adjust to a very different world. I am the first to embrace my introversion and I love spending time alone, but my house now sometimes feels like a prison and I long for the days when I had the option to hang out but chose not to.

Due to the pandemic, every morning sets a new record for how long I have gone without being back in Nigeria. It’s now just over a year, and I totally cannot wait till I’m back in the sticky heat of the homeland again – hugging my parents and heading out with the crew. I can’t wait to see MMIA again!

My Lagos. Home is where the heart is.

**3**

I was telling someone how grateful I was for something the other day, and he pointed out that I was nearly always grateful. I figure it’s good to be known for gratitude among other things. Every new sunrise, every picture I take, even the sea gulls that took up residence on our roof during summer and made dreadful noises – seeing and hearing these things always fills me with immense gratitude for life and my journey.

Even when I’m whining about something (which is often – just ask Busola), I’m still incredibly grateful for my life, for family and friends (gosh I have so many great friends), for work, for dreams, for things to look forward to, everything really.

**4**

Also looking forward to taking my running to the next level. Covered just over 1000 km over the past 12 months and it's one of the things I'm most proud of!

I am looking forward to a lot over the next twelve months: seeing my parents again, starting an exciting new position I have wanted for a few years, living again in the same country as one of my favorite little humans (and bundling him to the Science Museum the first chance I get), and traveling again. Oh, and writing more for this blog! I’ve been doing a ton of writing in my journal but I hope this is the year I fix the decline in production on this blog.

As is always the case on my birthday, my thoughts are with the good people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the wars that followed. May their families be comforted.

I’m ultimately still trying to keep the same promise to myself: to live, to execute the ambitious plans I make so well, to help others rise above their limitations and achieve their potential, and to step out in faith.

Happy birthday, Koye.

PS: I switched things around a bit re: books. I started a book thread on Twitter and a new annual series with my ten favorite books from the previous calendar year (2019 top ten here).

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