2023: The one where my dreams almost came true.

Jess
7 min readDec 31, 2023

Hi. Jess here. I hope you enjoy and learn a thing or two (or ten) from some of the things I learned this year.

February 2023.

What are you doing?”

“Thinking”

“About what?”

“A couple of things”

“How do you even do that”

“Do what?”

“Think”

“I don’t know. You just think”

“I don’t think”

“You don’t think?”

“Nope”

“Wouldn’t it be nice to know the things you’d come up with if you just take some time and sit with your thoughts”

“Does worrying count as thinking?”

“Not exactly”

“Then I guess not. I do not know how to just be, especially in the moments where that’s all I need; to just be”

  • Your brain is there for a reason. Use it.
  • Sit with your thoughts. Don’t run away from the chaos in your head(read mind). There’s so much beauty that can surface only when you sit and sort your thoughts.
  • Emotions are good. Master it. Use it

March 2023.

Book 5 of 2023”

“That’s not true. 5 books already? haba”

“I don’t mean to be proud but ideally 5 books should’ve been in January”

“Abeggy, you too dey show off”

“Have you seen other people that read?”

“Ehh but you’re not other people”

“But see how well and fast people are reading. I’m slow because I have to combine my hobby with academics and my 9–5. It’s rough”

“If you’re feeling like this, how will I feel? Me that hardly has time to read”

“Well, it takes time”

“Don’t post it sha. Nobody will believe you and people will think you’re oversabi”

“I don’t even have strength for social media people. I’d rather be low-key than draw this attention

  • Show off. Sell yourself shamelessly. This is a really solid gift only you can give yourself.
  • You’re your biggest competition. You vs. a better version of you

This, my friends, is how I was made comfortable. After all, I seemed to be better than someone at covering more ground but uncomfortable because someone was doing better and covering more ground. What was wrong about this? What was right about this? I don’t know the answer but I know one thing. What’s the balance?

April 2023

I’m going to pierce my nose”

“Ahh, but you just came back to town”

“Yes, and I must do it today”

“Must?”

“Must.”

“It can’t wait till tomorrow? It’s Sunday, they might not even be open”

“Yes but I really just want to do it today”

“Won’t your mum fight you about it?”

“She’ll be fine”

“I wish you could maintain the same energy towards your career”

“Insult me with your full chest”

“You’re not this spontaneous to try new things, not this quick to get work done, not this resilient to see things through”

“I guess I have my priorities wrong”

“Sarcasm won’t take us anywhere”

“See you when I get back. I must find someone to pierce this thing”

  • That YOLO thing you have going on? Sometimes YOLO with your good decisions. Be spontaneous like that with things that will make you grow. Don’t overthink it. Acting on impulse is good sometimes.
  • Take a chance on yourself. Don’t let fear stop you. At best, you succeed. At worst(which is in a way, at better), you learn a thing or two about it and do it better.

May 2023

I’m tired”

“What’s wrong?”

“School. Work. Life. everything is just overwhelming”

“…”

“Why do I have to be doing much more than others? Why do I need to work to get by? See the people around me, they don’t have to work this hard. I’m struggling. I’m tired”

“You’re doing so well Jess, and I’m really proud of you”

“That’s not what I want to hear”

“I need you to know”

“How is that going to help?”

“How can I help?”

“I don’t know”

“You’re crying”

“I’m always crying”

“ I’m so sorry you feel like this”

  • Give yourself grace. This, like on many other days, is one of the ways that I learn to give myself grace. The ones where I’ve learned to be proud of my efforts, to tell myself I’ve got this, to wipe my ears, to understand that showing up is sometimes all I’ve got.

June 2023

Sh*t. H1 is over and I never achieve anything”

“If you think about it, there’s definitely something you’ve been able to do”

“None! It’s almost like I’m going in the opposite direction of my goals. “I didn’t meet my savings goal, career goals, life goals, body goals”

“So nothing to show for the first half?”

“Other than being alive?”

“Well that’s something”

“🙄 don’t patronize me”

“I’m speaking matter of factly”

“I learned to make my face up. Does that count for something?”

It counts like mad! Weldone”

  • Document your process. Every step and every progress is a win worth celebrating.
  • Don’t compare yourself with anyone. You’re in competition with no one but yourself.
  • Take your eyes off the things that are not working that are beyond your control.

July 2023

A Twitter screenshot of a tweet made by Fá that says “Feel like a fraud being overrated? Well, you used to be underrated. Enjoy the balancing”

TV audio: “Hi, my name is Jessica and this is me bringing you One thing about UX”

“ewwwwww it’s terrible. I can’t post it. People will laugh at me”

“that’s totally fine. No one starts anything from the tip

“and it’s funny because we all want to be perfect from day one.

“that’s why I rate the people who dey show workings. See this guys YouTube content from 4 years ago and now. You can see growth”

“but that’s different!”

“how so? Post this thing jare”

P and O go on to take my phone and post my first-ever YouTube content about UX.

  • Have the people who will push the mediocrity out of you.
  • Be shameless enough to go after anything you so desperately want.

August 2023

That PCV is below 16 and you say it’s normal?”

“That’s the usual value for sickle cell patients”

“Mad oo”

“Is this your first time in a mortuary?

“Yes, but I’ve seen cadavers in the gross lab”

“These aren’t cadavers. They are real people who have families still freshly mourning. Look at them. Are you afraid?

“No, but I’m amazed. This is where it all ends. All the struggles. The hustle.”

“See that man. He looks like he died struggling for his life”

“Mehn. Life”

“Yeah. Life”

  • Be grateful for breath. I’ve been in the same room with people who took their last breath and I thought they were sleeping. Handled patient samples who died before the results were even completed and approved.
  • Take care of yourself. Your body is too important to be mistreated. As much as the body has its natural tendencies to heal itself and fight against diseases, make an effort to take maximum care of your health

September 2023

“Having day 1’s is nice.

But so is having day 2’s and 3's.

You’d never stop meeting amazing people that would come into your life and help you grow and be better”

~Oselu(@itsnotOs)

October 2023

  • There’s always more. When you reach the top, look again. There’s most likely another top
  • “At every chance you get to stay or stretch, always make the choice to stretch” ~Purest
  • Cry on some days. On other days, the tears can wait until tomorrow.

November 2023

  • You deserve a sit at the big tables. Find what it takes to sit there and then follow through
  • Don’t sell yourself short. The difference between you and the version of you you’re hoping to be is the time that it takes to do you differently
  • You’re all that. You’re very much all that. Don’t let anybody lie to you or tell you they don’t want to hire a petty writer.
  • You’re lazy, but that doesn’t mean you’re not great at what you do(or should be doing)

December 2023

You have to have difficult conversations”

“do I really?”

“What’s it going to change? Plus must I always be the one to talk about it?”

“Jess….

“Do you know how old I am? Any small thing, bigger person. Must I be the bigger person? I’m still a baby girl please”

“Jess…

“Lemme abeg. I no dey gree for anybody”

“You’re so annoying”

“ but you love me like that. Innit?

Hours later, dropping the coconut head

Me: “Hey, I want us to talk😏….”

  • As weird as this sounds, sometimes, no gree for anybody. But,
  • Find a balance. If you keep getting the nudge to do something to fix a relationship or a friendship, please do it.
  • The biggest capital anyone can have is the relationships they have. Nurture friendships. They deserve to last longer and be stronger than a small grudge.

January 2023

“Should’ve been the very first thing I learned before going in to 2023 with all those goals”.

-Be ruthless with your goals. Laziness only takes you nowhere twice as fast.

-Let your first response not be an excuse. Who told you that you couldn’t do it???

  • Jump! It’s time to fly. ~Dr Karis

Now, go get shit done! You sef no small. Happy New Year!

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