Have you been reflecting this week? I know I have, and boys and girls do I have much to tell! Rather than give you one thought after another about what I have learned (and not learned) this year, I’m stealing Nicole Crimaldi‘s 2011 reflection format on Ms. Career Girl. Mine’s a little long but I think you’ll enjoy it.
Here it goes:
January: On New Year’s Day, I’m leaving Nigeria after celebrating my parents 30th anniversary. I have two things on my mind: El Salvador and law school. I make a 2-day stop in Des Moines before jetting off to El Salvador with my college’s Catholic Student Center. The funny thing about the trip is that it’s an “immersion” trip – a little bit of service and a little bit of education. What I learned most from the people of El Salvador is a lot of love.
February: Most of my law school applications had been sent in now. Let the waiting begin. I’m also exhausted with having to plan “African Renaissance Night” for the African Student Association, of which I am president. (LOL-I used to think this stuff was stressful) I’m sure this month I learned or rather, decided, that African women should probably be running African countries. I don’t want to get into it.
March: Spring Break in Dallas! It’s hot, and wonderful, and much needed. I make a spontaneous decision to apply to Notre Dame law school at the beginning of the month too (or maybe on the last day of last month; it’s all such a haze.) I figure this is where I will probably end up. After all, I literally had the same spontaneous feelings that led me to apply to Drake 4 years ago. I come back from Spring Break and get my first rejection. At least it’s not Notre Dame or Georgetown. Still, the first cut is the deepest. (This is really snotty, but I hadn’t really experienced much failure with regard to schooling up until this point. I was crushed.)
April: I’m in the Honors program at Drake and we have to do a final research project or paper with a faculty member as our adviser. We were supposed to work on this all semester. I have one of Drake’s most prominent faculty so you would think I would be more diligent about my research throughout the semester. Luckily, he’s not just brilliant and cool, I get the sense that he gets the sense that I will do brilliant research and work all in this month and have it turned it on time. (He was right.) Also, at Drake, the month of April is defined by “Relays.” To some, “America’s Athletic Classic,” to others a week (and I mean an ENTIRE week) of partying. You can judge me. Still, it’s my senior year and my last semester! And I have a few more rejections. But alas, a wait list…there is much to celebrate. I learned a lot about 21st century American political participation (my research project). I also re-learned something from the last 4 years – a week of partying followed by a week of final classes and then a week of “finals” is no easy feat. (Call me cocky but I am grateful for my parents intelligence genes)
May: Yippee! “Look at me now, I graduated.” (I often sang to the tune of Chris Brown’s Look at Me Now) Woohoo….the world is at my feet. Sort of. Oh wait, am I still going to law school? Where is my bloody official admission? Also, what am I doing this summer? It suddenly occurs to me that throughout the year when I was preparing for the LSAT, and then law school, I forgot there was thing called, “summer.” I learned that my parents intelligence genes are no use this month. (Just kidding…sort of.) I really actually learned that I’m moving to Chicago.
June: I move to Chicago. Why? Because staying in Des Moines this summer is not an option. Sorry, but I do not want to be “that” senior grad who stuck around. Furthermore, I didn’t go to school in Des Moines anymore and for me that was enough. Also, I was hoping for Loyola law (Notre Dame and Georgetown had other ideas apparently). Besides that, one of my brothers lives in Chicago and he has a perfectly warm couch. Of course, this means I actually have to live with my brother. Well, at least it’s in Lincoln Park. I learned a lot about anxiety this month or rather experienced it. This is when all the thoughts about what I wanted out of life started. Law school…still…maybe?
July: Well, I guess I am not going to law school. Life is an adventure, right? Okay, I have a Marketing and Politics degree (and a Concentration in Law and Business) but we all know that Politics major is shot to hell now. Fine, job market, here I come. I have a good GPA, I have more than enough internships/work experience, I speak a few languages, and I’m all sorts of awesomeness. I think you should be looking for me…Right? Wrong. I learned that there were millions of people in America looking for jobs.
August: I have a legitimate interview. (Legitimate because I actually want to work at this place. Till this day, they haven’t given me an official decision. But I was once a potential future law student-if there is no offer, there is no acceptance. Pun intended.) I meet Nicole Crimaldi after boldly emailing her for a coffee meeting. Also, I start this blog! I learned that twitter is a great networking tool and remembered how much I loved writing.
September: So my bills aren’t going to pay themselves? Weird. I need a job. Yesterday. I am grateful that I have at least two siblings (with established careers) and parents who are supportive. Still, did I mention I need a job… yesterday? Well, I’ll console myself with keeping busy with Ms. Career Girl. I earn my “Events Coordinator” stripes after the first event…but no, I’m still not earning any money. Every day, I learned that I needed a job…yesterday.
October: MORE APPLICATIONS. MORE INTERVIEWS. AWESOME. Oh wait, I have this revelation where I realize that I have no idea what I really want. (Nicole and I are all the while making plans to launch the digital marketing firm, now MCG Media Inc.) I do know what I don’t want is half the applications and interviews coming my way. I want to do something I will actually not go home contemplating ways to “end it all” (Please, nobody take this seriously). Speaking of home…maybe I should just go back home, as in “home home?” My mother, “since when do you quit?” Me: since I can’t pay my own bills mum (Since I don’t know what to do with my life!)” My mother: “God is in control. I am praying on my knees for you every day. But you can never ever give up. I don’t want to hear it again. You’re there for a reason. You’re going through this for a reason. You will succeed. I will place my life on it.” I learned I can cry…a lot.
November: 2nd Ms Career Girl event. MCG Media is launched. I am having fun doing these. I get a check. (Thank God.) I also participate in a fun event called Dance Out Loud and meet the founder; it made me remember “what’s important.” Oh and it’s Thanksgiving and one of my birthday presents from October, is heading off to Atlanta. I’m thankful to be where I am in my life and to be doing something “different” in my post-grad career and all of my endeavors. I’m thankful I’m learning a lot and working on a new business and working with the best mentor ever. I learned (finally) that I was exactly where I needed to be.
December: I’ve learned that the Holidays still stress me out. I’ve learned that this has been one heck of a year. I’ve learned that I have grown up a lot. I’ve learned that I have changed…to who and what, the jury is still out on. Most importantly, I’m learning that I’m on a mission to be where I am destined to be.
When it’s all said and done, I am grateful for this year. I have learned more in 8 months of uncertainty, than in a life time of knowing what to do next. I am grateful for my family’s love and support, especially, my mother, who literally dedicates her days to praying. (I am sure I took up a lot of her novenas this year.) I am grateful that my brother whom I still live with tolerates me despite us not always seeing eye to eye. When I move out, I might actually be a little sad. I am grateful to all my true friends (college-aged and otherwise) who put up with my ups and downs in one way or the other. (I have to say, I have some darn good friend.) I am grateful to Nicole because without her, this year and my life as I know it, would simply not be. She is not just my boss and mentor, she is a true friend and a rare person. I have to say too that I am grateful to the priests at my parish, St Clement, who through their inspiring homilies and therapeutic confessions, kept me going. Sometimes, remembering one of their stories would be the only reason I got out of bed (especially in October). Above all, I am grateful to God, who ALWAYS seems to make a way, as the song goes. Through it all, on many days, I still found a reason to smile, laugh and dance…. and I can’t thank Him enough for that.
I wish you a Happy and Hopeful New Year!