INTRODUCTION: Hey there! It has been a crazy year, we had deaths, pains, hurts, we lost loved ones, we received all sorts of rejections, we got tear-gassed, some got sick, we were disappointed and we got tired.
However, in all, it was a pretty fair year. We learned, grew, and Ill say we are hoping for a saner new year.
I started writing this article about a month ago. I wanted to write not because I smashed all my goals, on the contrary, I wanted to write because I didn't do as well as I would've wanted to perform. I failed, I got rejected, I got dragged as a fraud on Twitter, I got depressed, I had panic attacks, it was so bad that I had to go the whole year with my phone in silence because of the slightest ring from my phone, I panicked.
I didn't make my first million yet, I didn't get a dream job yet, I didn't figure out what I wanted to be yet, I don't even know if I wanna be anything yet and I'll probably be at this for the rest of my life. But in all, I want to be able to come back to this article and remind myself of how much I've grown.
A TEARY SUNDAY MORNING
It's a Sunday morning, just a little past 10:41 am on the 20th of December and I am in this small room somewhere in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State. The thoughts of writing my year in review struck me again. I have some excerpts from my journal and all I need to do now is just start working on a structure.
Oh well, it's really crazy because I never thought I'd want to write a year in review because prior to this year, almost everyone wrote a year in review that always made me wonder if we all were existent on the same planet.
But in all, I thought it's my first time and even if it's not gonna end very well for this Cinderella- which in this case was me? Why not just really write this really weird 'year-in-review'?
I started learning flutter and stuck with it for a year.💃🏿
My Outreachy proposal got rejected.😣
I attended Oscafest.😎
I got into a super healthy relationship.❣
I started freelancing on upwork as a technical writer.👏🏿
Covid and Lockdown Happened.😫
I didn't keep learning to code for 4 months.😓
I got a job in August.👏💖
I lost a large sum from my earnings to a bad investment.💰
I became broke again.💔
I moved to Uyo and found myself a home🏠
Celebrated my birthday on the protest ground.
I made really good friends.
Ended the year debt-free.🥂
And finally, sis is broke.😅
AN 'OMO!!!' YEAR
The year started beautifully well. I was enthusiastic and excited about my new year. I was gonna check off all I had on my checklist for 2020. I mean 2020 was the year for me, or at least so I thought.😄 January came with my first rejection mail for the year. I didn't get into the outreachy program. I really worked hard and really wanted to get in, but it wasn't my piece. But then because it was my third-month learning flutter, I dusted myself up and got back to learning flutter. I was hoping to finish Angela Yu's course which I didn't eventually finish till now😄(I mean for context, I am making my final edits at 1:41 am, 31/12/2020). But it's no big deal. I got this.
However, I had an eventful February, and it was Oscafest! - The biggest open-source festival in Africa. I got a ticket, all thanks to a kind heart. And I packed up and left for Lagos on the 18th of February. On getting to Lagos, I went to see a friend fess, because if I didn't do it that day I'll probably never be able to do it, all thanks to the abusive Lagos entanglement.
Speaking on entanglements, I got entangled and went all-in with love during this time. Oscafest I thank you oh🤷♀️
And on the 20th I took a ride to Gbagada, Lagos where I met really amazing humans, Czech, Aniedi, Bella, Chidimma, Precious, Marvinographer, and a host of other folks I've always talked to on Twitter. I had an amazing experience at Oscafest, learned a lot, and met some really cool folks too.
I got back to port Harcourt on the 14th of March and continued learning. And just when I was planning to go learn from Chizih, Corona struck. I had to go home and if I've never told you about my family, I'll like to paint a picture.
I am the first child of four beautiful girls, I am of Igbo origin. My dad runs an electrical store and it's a family thing. So, the day I stepped into the house, I had to contribute somehow by being at the store and doing chores, I mean my dad never understood what I was always doing on my PC and since I wasn't bringing money it always seemed like I was just fooling around on my PC.
However, I managed to do my thing, study late nights and just be at the store during the day, and for a typical Igbo man's store, you're at the store at 7 am and back home by 8:30 pm so you can imagine how crazy that was, but I wanted to learn and flutter seemed fun, or at least Chizih made it look like fun😄. Till I couldn't keep up, I oftentimes get back home at 8 pm tired and really exhausted and can barely eat or bath and just jump into bed. And on days we ordered for goods, we're done for. We all automatically become logs of wood. I got too tired and stopped learning because "this life I can't kee myself".
During this period I applied to write on Upwork and got accepted in a week or so and got my first gig in 9days. It paid like $10 and you need to see how excited I was. I was writing really good articles that people appreciated and were willing to pay for. It was underpaid labor, but it paid for my monthly subscription. And because I don't believe so much in myself, I never thought I was good enough to shoot better and bigger shots.
After the lockdown, I left my home- Awka, Anambra state for Lagos. I knew I already forgot how to code. I needed to relearn and unlearn. I was in Lagos in June and it was hard, I couldn't learn anymore. It was difficult starting again and I already forgot all I knew, or at least so I thought.
I just tried every day to read an article or just try to watch my Udemy videos. At this time I was broke, very, very broke. But I was scared to apply for gigs because I felt I didn't know enough to apply. And my GitHub reeked of uncompleted projects😄. So I was battling impostor syndrome anxiety, panic attacks, and being broke.
On a beautiful day, I was being the crazy person I was on Twitter when someone reached out, introduced himself as Kelvin, and said he observed I was a flutter developer and he reached out because a friend of his was looking for flutter Devs. He shared a mail I should reach out to and as usual, I ignored it😄.
I ignored it because I was scared I wasn't good enough. Anyway, I had Czech and my best friend on my neck so I sent the mail anyway - it was majorly my resume and an introductory mail. In less than 5 minutes, I got a reply, all I had to do was build a chat app using flutter and firebase.
How am I supposed to build a basic chat app in 48hours using flutter and firebase? Like I've never done that before, I've never used Firebase prior to this day, and now I had to build a chat app that works with firebase? I took the challenge and started first with birthing the UI which was simple and quite minimalist. The UI wasn't such a pain in the ass, till I got to the logic part
Although to you it might seem simple, to me as at that time it was huge and because I was scared of being rejected, I couldn't help but get anxious and worked up. I cried alot when things didn't work. I panicked alot, and when I cried I had my bestie cheering me. He'll sit and watch me flip when things go bad.
Good news, I got the app running and the CTO scheduled a call with the team and myself for two days later. After the call, I knew I had the job. All I needed was a contract. And that's how it turned out. It was a 3months contract and I was gonna be building an app that's med-related. It was a remote role and my first real job.
People! I built an app that got published! 💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿
Although, I started at the job with fear and all, I had Chizih and Bright. I can't even imagine how horrible things would've turned out without these two. Thank you for helping this small girl dream and holding her hand to achieve it.
My first day, I met Jason who was gonna be a teammate and we started talking. Jason was of great help. Whenever I hit a bottleneck, I would run to him for directions. Thank you, Jason.
I got my pay and it felt real good. I could finally pay off my debts and be a free person. I was able to Get an apartment in Uyo, Akwa ibom State. I still don't have a perfect space, but I will eventually be able to pull this off.
Finally, I think my biggest loss was investing wrongly. I made a very bad choice and invested in a wrong business and yeah, I lost a huge part of my money. I cried shaa and it felt bad, but now I am learning to understand investments better. In all, I won't say it was easy or it was hard. I think I grew, I learned, I cried, and I am better. I won't trade my year for anything
WHAT TO EXPECT In the coming months, I hope to get better at some things. My major goal this year is to build myself both online and offline by:
Working on some level of consistency. Getting better at writing. Getting better at flutter and dart. Building my personal brand.
This year, I won't be putting so much pressure and expectations on myself. I just want to take my time and grow and be better all-round.
It was a beautiful year as much as it was a crazy year. But in all I can't be more happier.
Let's have an awesome 2021!!