I’m rather blue that I have to write my review of this month in a current state of pennilessness, when in fact the month started on a rather bright note. How did this happen, you say, you are about to find out…

Cross Over

Having returned from Calabar, dubbed as the people’s paradise (rme), I had spent all my money and self on co-organising a 6-day road trip to a destination only known by name. The experience turned out to be amazing and the lessons learnt were irreversibly life-changing.

So, while everyone lighted up their firecrackers in cheer of the New Year, I too did, but with a mindfulness of my brazing pennilessness and what it would mean for me in the coming days.

But January 1 wasn’t at all gloomy, I drowned myself in the surroundings of the delicacies that abound on this pleasant day; from the next door neighbours, from Palms home, from Rhema’s home, from my dear friend Candice (whom we journeyed to Calabar together). It was overwhelming,

Lesson 1: I quickly learnt that January 1 was also a festive day around here.

This might seem familiar, but I think of it these way; here I am many miles away from home (if there’s one), where I’m on the receiving end of the good tidings of New Year day. It’s hard to know this when you have spent all your January 1s at home, even when you have plenty to eat and drink it doesn’t come close in comparison to how it felt this time.

Rhema and the new phone.

Sometimes I ponder about how I spend a greater chunk of 24 hours on the digital space- surfing the net, creating docs, engaging in community management on social media, or basically just reading & digesting vast stories and inspirations. In the previous month (December), I had been offline (MIA), thanks to my Note packing up, and after desperate attempts to repair, it just wouldn’t come up.

Here’s a new year where I need to start strongly; Notsopopkulture has to be consistent; I have to write often; I have to coordinate our content team, I have to learn new skills and I had no mobile device. Miserable it seemed.

I had a little impartation session with Rhema on January 1 as we shared a meal together at his residence. We discussed plans for the New Year, reviewed the inspiring exploits we had observed around us and in the media and hammered in again on how we needed to pick up the gauntlet. Luckily for me, in less than 24hours a new phone was at hand. Once the money came in, I knew the phone I needed, another Note (no space for indecision). I called Palms, and we went to several stores and finally settled for the best deal. Which was a scam, cause the 1k difference was eventually used to purchase a screen-guard.

Lesson 2: Maintain friendship with focused friend who are passionate about your dreams just almost as much as they are passionate about theirs. If Rhema had not stirred me the previous day on how the work ahead is important and daunting- thus we have to face fully it prepared-I would still have been musing on how expensive a new phone is and how it’s a setback on my other investments for the year. But here, I had no doubts in my mind, I had to take a step back to take other steps forward.

Plans Plans Plans! (Who’s going to execute? Not me!)

So I have all my working gear in place, all my plans for the year well pre-mediated even as far as November the previous year. But I wasn’t working, just lazing, I deferred on all my schedules and was minimally productive. I kept wondering “Who is this pack of bones in a garment that I am dealing with?”, I dint understand myself, but I persevered still, kept trying to keep up regardless of how disappointed I was with self. And in no time, I geared into improved efficiency.

Lessons 3: When plans don’t go as you imagined, don’t give up on them too early, keep persevering, it might just take a little longer for the environment (internal and external) to pick up your vibe after which things would start working in your favour.

Diamond bank (creditor to debtor)

Calabar wasn’t at all an easy trip to embark upon. Having to spend two days on the road to (which meant extra expense; lodging et.al.). Also, the first night accommodation on getting to Calabar wasn’t exemplary, but in all of these we remained undeterred in our mission and in seeking a better experience. When it was all over I was thankful for the experience. But there was one unresolved issue; the money that was paid into my account that I didn’t receive (later turned out that I just didn’t get the alert). Still expecting that alert, I managed logistics with my inflated account balance and still expecting more. By January, after all the back and forth with Diamond bank customer care trying to verify the condition of the “incoming money”, they were eventually able to clarify that I was indeed credited.

Getting to know this changed the music of January for me. On the trip, I had made arrangements with one of the tribe members on Travelogue X trip to partly refund his fee since he didn’t make use of some of our logistical options (I was hoping to use the diamond bank money to settle this). In a staggering twist of fate; from expecting more money to having to refund someone’s money, well I didn’t give up hope, I adjusted to my new reality.

Lesson 3: Here I was, confronted with the horrible feeling of owing and I remembered how I have always cherished the contentment of living within my means

Owing a debt is considered fair only when you owe because you made an investment with the owed debt and not just for day-to-day living expense, as YomiNigeria once made clear to me in one of our numerous discussions.

The Bellanaija call

Reclining from the few digital activities I had engaged in earlier in the day, a call comes in from a lady with an amiable voice who I would later discover to be Julian from Bellanaija. We engaged in a few discussions on how I interviewed with Bella last year and how we later met at LFDW during the Bellanaija X Bonang session which I supervised. Her aim for the call was mainly to find out if I was still available for the position I had applied for (since august last year). I let her know subtly, that I could be available if the conditions would be fair, she promised to mail me. Almost a week after the phone convo, I had not received any Bellanaija mail in my inbox. I reluctantly message dear Julian to find out what’s up. In a quick reply, she says to send sample of my work which I have not done as at the time of writing this [well, I have now (inserted while proofreading)].

Lesson 4; I’m happy for the whole experience, from forcing myself to write a CV and apply for the job, making it for the interview against few odds, working hard and being noticed at LFDW, up until receiving a call from one of the topmost fashion media agencies in NG. Though I don’t have the placement as I am writing this, I like the movement of things.

Other things I learnt; a great deal about content marketing. Also, a great deal about urban fashion and what the scene looks like in Nigeria, based on the research I did on this post.

NB

Palms; Adebayo Yemi (good friend)

Rhema; Seun Ibitotye (good friend)

YomiNigeria; Opeoluwa Abayomi (good friend)

My Month of January Appreciation List.

YomiNigeria, Palms, Rhema, Timi Agbaje, Emmie, Moyinoluwa, Mcqueen Stealth, Funmi Coker, Candice, Ruthy, Utibe, Juls, Tola Fame, Leslie, Odun Fowler, Nnanna (for being understanding), Fortune and to my family members.

And to you who has taken time to read this.

Have a splendid month this February!!!