This is my third year writing a year in review on the blog. It helps me recollect events and visualize how far I've come. So, If you're reading this, you've come this far as well, CONGRATULATIONS!!!. This year feels as though it went by so fast (maybe because we spent half of it in quarantine lol)...it was March, had my birthday in July, and now it's the 31st of December, see?...pretty fast.
I made a habit this year to journal more and that changed a lot for me. I mean I had only one major anxiety attack this year, today is not the day to talk about that. I'm sure many of you had ups and downs this year, it was indeed a rollercoaster. Don't be mad, but I really enjoyed being home all those months and I looked forward to another lockdown. I enjoyed my time being mine. God used that period to birth so many things in me, things I would never have foreseen. A lot more than the pandemic happened, we had the #BLM protest and then there was the #ENDSARS protest. If nothing else, this year has taught me to slow down!. Slow down and watch what God is about to do. I will share my praise report from 2020, but I will also give you the context of what was happening during the time of these breakthroughs.
Going into 2020, I was excited to apply for my Master's. I had selected three schools; of these three, I really only hoped for one to fall through because I was not ready to move to Ontario (side note: as if I knew we were about to have a pandemic!). January 1st, I applied to the University of Guelph and Ryerson University, January 2nd I applied to Mount Saint Vincent University and noted 'Now we wait for HIM'. I was scared! My grades from my undergrad were above average but for some reason, the enemy kept toiling with me. I would hear voices in my head asking why I would get selected by any school and I doubted myself. 'You don't have any volunteer experience' 'The things you've done don't count' and so on. January 7th, I started praying with my mom on #WhenWomenPray and we kicked off a 21-days fast, now this was truly the best foundation for 2020 in my life. February 14th, my father had an accident in his bathroom, he slipped but God spared him. February 24th, I got a rejection letter from Guelph, I was sad but I kept praying, I had two more schools to be hopeful for. In March the world was in a midst of confusion, everywhere was on lockdown, and in a time where people lost their jobs, I was home getting my full income!. March 16, the second rejection letter from Ryerson University; the devil was really trying me. March 18th, I decided to move forward with a business idea God had given me, so I enrolled in a program to get professional assistance. I also joined a morning prayer with my family at this point, we still pray with Streams of Joy #NSPPD every morning to this day, I was not taking any chances!
April 2nd, I was accepted into Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU)!!! I dedicated the rest of the month to my business, learning, and planning. MSVU is in a different province from where I currently am, so I started dealing with the stress of how to move my gazillion belongings, find an affordable place; as my school schedule would make it impossible to work full-time. May 14th, MSVU announced that the school year would be online (My entire Master's degree program?! Online? so I can work?!, I don't have to move?! Okay!). From now until September, I was anxious because I had been waiting for my permanent residency, for what seemed like an eternity to me at the time. Would I be able to work as I did my school work? school was my priority. I didn't have to worry about the legalities anymore, because with school being online, it was considered distant learning as I wasn't even in the same province as my university. However, my work permit required me to work a set number of hours per week and my job at the time was not providing that come September.
So there's me, about to take on 5 courses in school, future car bills, grocery payments, $1200 rent, phone bills, and other unforeseen bills with no idea on how I would even survive. I had savings, but from my calculations, I would exhaust my savings by November... these feelings were brewing in me. It's hard not knowing how your life would play out, right? Anyway, I started taking appointments for my business and was able to make some money from that in the meantime.
During the lockdown, I craved coconut bread and the store I would usually buy it from was closed. So everyday I would attempt to make Agege bread and everyday I failed. I didn't take this to heart as it was just something I did to pass time, I would post on my Instagram stories, and my friends and I would laugh about it. One day, I did it! I made the perfect loaf. I don't know how or why now but it happened. I made a few loaves for friends who told me that they would buy them if I sold them. That's how Sonola Sweets was born, in the midst of a pandemic. I would advertise on my social media platforms and get 5 to 10 loaf orders. The orders started growing and in July I got an offer to make orders for a local market where I would make bread deliveries in bulk. The business was booming indeed. I was able to use these streams of income to save for the coming school year.
Remember come September, I was basically out of a job. As God would have it, by September my workplace would need me to stay full-time for a month. One month turned to two and then four months. If I'm being honest to myself, I was tired of working there. I loved my job, I met the most amazing kids and felt so much love from them. However, the environment was toxic for me and I just could not handle it anymore. So I prayed for God to change the situation. In May when I was informed that come September, I would not have a full-time position, I was actually excited. I started applying for jobs, jobs that had a purpose for me. I had spent the last two-plus years being underpaid, my family and friends were upset because they never understood why I would not get a job within my qualification and get quadruple the pay. I loved my job, the connections I made with children and their families made me stay. I started to realize that I was not doing myself any favors by staying in that position.
I swear I applied for over a hundred positions and the only job that responded, felt like a death sentence (the hours were 9 am to 1 am, 7 days a week and you would get your off days for the week on Mondays. It was a work from home position and I think customer service lol). I went through the interview stage and when they offered me the job, I prayed and God said 'NO'; so I told them 'No' :). November 17th, an organization I had sent my resume to in September sent me an email at 9:30 pm...yes at night and I know what you're thinking, 'Who sends an interview invitation at this time?' I was thinking the same thing! I was studying when I got the email, I took a break, read the email like five times to be sure I was reading it right. I was probably on my fifth cup of coffee, so I may have been hallucinating. I did not reply until morning to ensure that it was real. Well... it was, they loved my resume and journey so far. I finally had an offer for a job in my field, I was going to interview for the position of a Nutrition Consultant. The first interview was successful and I was invited for a second on the 4th of December. Also in November, I got a phone call from another organization inviting me for an interview on the 1st of December, this position I would never have qualified for if my life did not take the path it did; a job that mysteriously aligns with my minor in Communications; that I only decided to take in September because I could not find electives.
After both interviews in the first week of December, both companies wanted me. I was in the position to choose!! From not knowing how I would fend for myself, to now having a choice on what job to take?! Let me tell you something, faith does not make sense. Stop searching for the technicalities, stop trying to figure out why or how..... and let HIM lead (I am also echoing this to myself because I forget this one too many times). I did up a pros and cons list, prayed about it. I accepted the best offer and turned down the other. I gave my notice at my other job which took a lot of strength and I am happy about that decision. I now look forward to my job and the pay is great. I have time for my studies and my business. Most importantly, I have my time with God and time for myself. I am grateful because even if I did not fathom this at the start of the year, lines are falling for me in pleasant places.
I felt stagnant until I reviewed my year, little by little you travel far. It is very easy to forget stuff, most of these events I already forgot, until I looked at my journal. When hard times come (because they will) pray, endure, have faith, and trust God. When those big moments happen; rejoice, celebrate, testify, and be grateful. The moral of the story is, we may not always see our growth, growth is progressive, and sometimes if we don't keep a record of these events, we forget and miss the role they played in our praise report. My mom and I were talking about going into 2021 intentional. I will be intentional in my walk with God, my studies, my job, my businesses, my relationship, and everything else that comes along. What will you be intentional about?
Here's a glimpse of my year, I would love to read or hear yours and if you can relate to anything. What are you hopeful for in 2021? Also if you have any questions for me please ask :) Have an amazing new year! Please journal so we can also have this conversation at the end of 2021.
Lots of love,