The year 2021 has been one hell of a rollercoaster. Ventured into a lot of things just as quickly as I ventured out. Made losses as much as I made some wins. All in all, I’m grateful for the lessons learned, memories made, and experiences lived through.
I’m writing this review for myself as a memoir to look back on the year, reflect and appreciate the journey. And also for someone out there who might have had a year similar, to let you know you are not alone.
So, without further ado…
First Quarter: Mad Prospects
I started the year out on a high note. I was coming off a good year in 2020 from investing in stocks, I was pivoting into forex trading with a plan to take a leap at crypto later in the year.
If only I had known.
The first quarter was actually good. I was making headways with forex, trading with lot sizes 1, and below. March came around, and I finally got mobilized for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program after graduating in November 2019. And things seemed to be going on according to plan.
I was posted to serve in Lagos (don’t ask me how). Had the maddest of fun in camp, made some acquaintances, not many connections tho, and stabbed SAED lectures almost every time. I left the Iyana-Ipaja Orientation Camp on the 31st of March, and I was never prepared for what the World out there had planned for me.
Second Quarter: Set Right Back
The day right after I left NYSC camp, I had a transaction to do in GTBank. I was to go convert some foreign currencies I had gotten from an international gig. I headed to Computer Village, Ikeja to employ the service of the branch there. Why I went there, I still don’t know.
On completion of the transaction, and headed back home, I was ‘obtained’ by the regular touts of the market. One thing lead to another, and the guys catered away with my phone. All the training I had received in the orientation camp failed me, they were about seven of them so, I won’t have been able to take them anyway.
Recall that I had just converted some foreign currencies to Naira earlier in the day. Well, my three accounts were emptied, including the N33, 000 allawee from NYSC, and the converted currency running into hundreds of thousands.
At the time, I had yet to come to the full realization of what was happening to me, the next day I dusted myself off, and went to buy another phone, a Samsung thrice the value of the previous one I was using. Made some hasty trading/investing decisions under duress to recoup my losses, and so, it began.
Third Quarter: Depression Kicked In
By the third quarter, I had run my stocks trading portfolio down over 85%. My forex trading accounts got burnt, and the hasty trading/investment decision I made back in April didn’t pull through either.
Mind you, I had lost my major source of income back in June 2020. So at this point, I was broke, and nothing is more depressing for a man (or guy) as much as financial strain.
Besides writing (copy, content & technical writing), I didn’t have any other ‘white collar’ skills that were employable. I’m mean, I could do stuff, loads of it but not kinds of stuff you can typically apply to a company to work as. Having lost my freelancing account the previous year, it was even more difficult to provide any proof of prior writing experience.
The world had never been bleaker for me, I ate deep into my reserved savings, living off NYSC’s N33, 000, and reluctantly started learning UI/UX design because my friends/roommates were at the time.
Fourth Quarter: Rays of Hope
I actually don’t know why I titled this section Rays of hope because my depressive state ate way deep into the fourth quarter. Well into late October/early November in fact.
My birthday was on the 4th of September, and it was the first in many years I wasn’t excited about or looked forward to. I even delayed receiving birthday gifts for the year till sometime in November.
What made these times difficult for me is that I’m naturally a private person. Forget everything you see on my WhatsApp status or Twitter TL, I hardly relate or talk to/with people about the happenings of my life. Most of my friends did not even know what was going on, the whole episode had a lot of strains on my relationships, but I went on and about with a smile and cheerful demeanor.
BTW, I got a job in September, a Product Design opportunity. As exciting as that sounds, it really wasn’t for me. I was too far gone to be excited about anything. Needless to say, the remuneration was meager compared to what I had become accustomed to. That aside, I was and still am grateful for the opportunity.
What I’ve Learnt
I’ve learned that once you’re in doubt, you eat, you’re most likely hungry, and the world is not against you.
Better still, see a movie, listen to music, take a walk, or sleep. The most important thing is you distance yourself from whatever seems to be the cause of doubt at the time.
Or what works best for me, you pray, worked for me, could probably be your own hack too.
Needless to say, I will be investing a lot into my love for music next year. I’m looking to try out more genres, and listen to more international artists. I love Peru, but the thing don dey tire me.
Looking Forward: No Idea
Looking forward, I don’t know menh. I’m not where I want to be, but I certainly know it could have been worse off. At the moment, I’m committed to building a career out of Product Design and honing my skills as a Writer (UX, Copy & Technical). I should have my portfolio for both skills out by January and round off my service year in February.
TBH, I have no plans for the coming year, not one single one. I started that trend out in 2018 which remains my best year living so far, and the first year I went in with no actionable plan at all.
Hopefully, I get back to active investing next year (I tried again in September when I got the job, but I had to empty my account in December when my system crashed, and I had to get another). I plan on securing an Intermediate Product Design role in the coming year, and a lot of freelance writing gigs, or whichever way they come.
All I know is that in 2022, I’m just going to live life as it comes again, and with a lot of vives & inshalla trust the process, and follow the wind. I’ve got some prayerful parents behind me, and I don’t do badly for myself either. So I know, come good, come worse, sky Daddy has got me, and he’s not about to let me be without a plan.
So to a hopefully better 2022, cheers and see you some time next December.
Content & Experience Designer