2022: The year of sailing, by Saratu Abubakar

NEWS DIGEST – On my way home today, I ended up on the notepad of my phone and decided to scroll through things I have written in the last 12 months. I stumbled on a note I made in June 2022, where I was ranting about something I wanted that seemed too far at that time. Surprisingly, I achieved it and currently enjoying the benefits without even knowing.

That is what 2022 has felt like, a lot of push and pull but eventually scaling through. I have always been in love with podcasts and I have taken them a little too seriously this year to the point of launching my own. But this isn’t about my podcast, it is about a lesson I learnt from another podcast I was listening to last week.

The host said that at the beginning of every year, she keeps an empty jar in her house, anytime she achieves something, she writes it down and tosses it into the jar. When the year comes to an end, she brings everything out, reads, and thank God for the journey so far.

That was a lesson on being intentional about your gratitude towards God, yourself, and the people in your life. I am hoping in one way or another I practice intentional gratitude next year, less passive but more active.

2022 has been long, I was reading the round-up of things that graced the news this year and it is hard to believe some things happened in the last 12 months. First is the Russian-Ukraine war, it feels like ages ago when people were leaving Ukraine in their thousands. Students getting stranded. Interestingly, even at the peak of the invasion when everyone should be concerned about survival, colored people still faced racism.  A vogue cover later, a lot of meetings and appeals later, updates on the war have dwindled in the news.

Then the passing away of the Queen. That feels close but still a bit far, I can’t believe it was just four months ago since the longest-serving monarch in British history passed away. As much as colonization came with a lot of grey areas, the Queen remains an interesting figure in history. And honestly, it will take a while before saying “the King” sticks.

That is the thing about time, it comes by so fast and leaves you wondering what you did with it.

2023!! For Nigeria, this is a big year. It is yet another election cycle and we are heading to the polls. The thing about Nigeria is that every time you think things can’t get to a certain point, they do, both the good and the bad. Experts insist that the upcoming presidential election is very important because we have a candidate that is popular and not part of the two leading parties.

The presidential candidate is gaining a lot of momentum on social media and according to his supporters, he is believed to be our savior. This savior tag reminds me of the times that led to the 2015 election. How we believed one person was our savior.

A major problem with Nigerian electorates is we tend to pay so much attention to the executives and forget to pay equal attention to the legislative. Those in the assembly are equally as important as the person in Aso Rock or whatever the government house in your state is called.

Lastly, the social media campaign, the conversations, and sensitizations are encouraging but an election is not won on social media. If you don’t have a PVC, if you don’t queue to vote next year, your rants on social media won’t count.

Personally, 2023 is also a big year for me because I am turning an age I have been scared of. This particular age always felt so far, it felt like my ticket to adulthood even though by law I have been an adult for a while but personally, I don’t identify as one.

Therefore, when you have been avoiding something all your life and miraculously get to a point where it is looking you in the face, it can be scary. However, that is the thing about time, it waits for no one, and fear is something we don’t have the time to dwell on.

As everyone is wrapping up their year, sharing their wins, and talking about things they overcame, I am left with a huge burnout. Exhausted from the push and pull of  2022, grateful for the sailings, and scared of what 2023 would look like.

Therefore, come Sunday, I will be taking 2023  the way it chooses to start. On a quiet day where you mostly take everything as it comes, with no chaos and no hassle. Just as it comes.

Happy New Year!

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