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Of Highs and Lows

I leapt into his arms like I typically do at the departure hall of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. I lingered in his embrace for longer than usual, not wanting to let go, as if it were my last. Thank God it wasn’t but it almost felt like eternity till the universe would present me with an opportunity to do that again. This was in mid March 2020, before the fast spreading COVID-19 made its entry in Nigeria.

“Only white people test positive for the novel coronavirus. Black/coloured people are immune to the virus,” It was easy to hear people say this until Idris Elba tested positive. 67,960 new cases confirmed. Suspension of local and international flights operation announced. Nationwide lockdown announced. And the many news that herald the state of inactivity kept coming.

As if to add salt to the wound that is 2020, there were several other deaths of notable individuals. It all felt like a far echoing case of bad news for me until the demise of my dear friend and colleague brought it home. The finality of my friend’s death personally makes 2020 a year I will not forget in a hurry. It seems like the year wasn’t going to give anyone a break and just when we are about to catch our breath, another unimaginable event happens.

In spite of all of these, there were some elements of good in this epic year. I took some giant leaps and made some major milestones. This brings me to my first lesson in 2020. That it is in a black pot that the purest and whitest of pap is made. That in the midst of upheavals, beauty can be unleashed.

God has a great sense of humour. At our expense, he must have had a good laugh at us as vision boards were made nonsense, planners and diaries were rendered useless in the face of the most unexpected turn of events. It’s interesting how the subject of vision boarding trended during the transition weeks between 2019 and 2020. If you didn’t attend a vision board party, you are not ready to conquer the year. Until lady Rona showed up and humbled us and brought us to our lowest form of humanity. The reins of control were literally taken off me and I had to come to a place of beautiful surrender. This year, I was vulnerable.

Business-wise, lean, agile and cash flow and a few other business concepts took a new meaning to me. I made decisions on my toes. There was little or no room for “analysis paralysis.” I just moved on to every idea at the speed of light. The enormous responsibility of being a source of livelihood for many breadwinners made me snap out of the early anxiety the lockdown came with.

I was impressed at my novelty and capacity to build a system and make it work for the team. My business became more than just a book sales venture. Most part of the lockdown, I became more aware of how much of a conduit of hope, knowledge and transformation I can be to many, both far and near. Our stores by sheer demand remained open, our revenue enjoyed a drastic increase and our reach grew tremendously.

In 2020, I fell in love with myself anew and enjoyed my company. I am particularly thankful for the gift of abundant me times.

Rest, the word for the year at Daystar couldn’t have been more potent as I unabashedly embraced it. I practised mindfulness this year. Appreciated the little things and became more confident in my own journey.

The year 2020 sure shocked and shifted me at my core. However, I am grateful for the opportunities it presented, the dire lessons I learned and the true meaning of trust and gratitude, I came to know.

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