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#WeStayLearning Issue #012: One year post-Japa

#WeStayLearning Issue #012: One year post-Japa
No Lessons today. Just sharing!

One year ago yesterday, my flight landed at Heathrow. I had packed up all the relevant belongings I had as an adult in Lagos and decided to move to the UK (a place I had never visited before) to begin the next phase of my adulthood and career.
I shared on my private Instagram that:
“If I said it’s everything I hoped for, I’d be lying. If I said it’s more than I hoped for, I’d be lying; but I’d also be lying if I said it’s not more than I hoped for. It has been all of it and none of it and everything in between. It has been exactly what I hoped for, it has been more than I hoped for, and it has not met my expectations all at the same time. I am grateful for it. I won’t change it. I haven’t regretted it, not sure I ever will, and if the last year were just a dream, I’d choose to make it a reality when I wake up”.
The first quarter was a mountain of contradictions, just like I said in this video. It was exciting, and it was scary. It was lonely, and it was freeing.
Something Can Be Both Beautiful and Difficult
Something Can Be Both Beautiful and Difficult
The second quarter was all about community. Finding a space to fit in and a sense of belonging. It was here that London began to feel like home, and I decided to become more intentional about building my community.
And then the third quarter was where I began to explore, expand and dig deep. It was also the period I felt settled like: this is it. I am here, where I should be, where I’d conquer. During this time, I took therapy more seriously. I sorted out a life/career coach and tried new stuff for the first time. I began to find a new me, a different me. I liked it. I like her (me)!
And in the last three months, I have been having a tough time thinking and deciding what next, especially in my career. I have been overwhelmed. I have procrastinated. I stopped writing (covers face in shame). I stopped creating; I have been drowning in work and commitment and trying to think and plan for my future.
So, when I remembered yesterday that it was my first relocation anniversary, I cried. I cried because the last three months have been overwhelming, and it’s not the type vacation can solve (I already tried that :D). I also cried because I didn’t feel like I had a win in the last 12 months, and being unable to celebrate a win hurts. But then, a friend reminded me of all the fantastic things that have happened. It made me realize that the win I was looking for was just one particular thing. Just one thing amongst many others, and even though I haven’t gotten that particular one, Gosh! The last year has been amazing, for instance:
  • In the last 12 months, I have been to 6 countries (8 cities). 
  • I have shot Founders Connect in 3 countries: Lagos, Nigeria, Nairobi, Kenya and London, UK. 
  • I have been more deliberate about friendships, community and socializing than ever before.
  • I have had brand partnerships; Africa Verified, Ear1, and Mobilepixels.
  • I hit 20k subscribers on YT, 150 videos published and 750k+ views. 
  • I have done some of my best growth marketing work in the last year across several fantastic tech products.
  • I have grown as a team manager, and I’m still getting better.
  • I started working on two documentaries covering stories across two countries :D.
  • I have helped many people, more than I can count, start their relocation journey and get the Global Talent Visa.
But of course, If I only count my blessings, it won’t be an accurate representation of the last 12 months.
  • I lost one of the most important people in my life. As I remembered what yesterday was, I couldn’t help remembering that it’d also be one year of losing him soon, and it sucks.
  • I have gotten wayyyyy too many Ls, but we move. 
  • I have been inconsistent with writing and creating. 
  • I haven’t hit some goals I hoped to by my one year in London anniversary, and I am currently in over my head with work in general but again, #WeMove
And so, as I sat with my feelings, I remembered the bad and the good, and I am grateful. I am excited about the next 12 months, and then 12 more and then 12 more and more and more.
Thanks for being here!
PS: I am determined to catch up with my writing. I will.
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