2020: My Year in Review

A couple of setbacks but a lot of consistency(ish)

Thinking about 2020 makes me wonder whether this would be one of those “PG-13” and above articles for “strong language”.

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I designed this a few days back to depict what 2020 was like. It was truly a lot and it still feels unreal, especially for someone like me who barely left the house.

Enter: January

I had plans for the year but no idea how it would pan out. Was done with five years of Unilag (my final year story and the fact that I graduated is another whole ass article on its own) and finally had more free time to focus on this design thing that had been on and off for about three years. I had a job at a startup from the year before and while things weren’t ideal, I was optimistic about the year. I was made the team lead of the Product Design team and it was an interesting experience having to see beyond your deliverables and being in charge of others. I also had a banged-up laptop that constantly gave me grief (my WhatsApp contacts are no strangers to this) and a major goal was replacing it.

Enter: February

Financial troubles at my place of work, zero morale and so much was going on. It was just back to back bad news. This wasn’t what I dreamed about working with this company. We were going to do great things, you know? But I was exhausted emotionally and mentally and it wasn’t the good exhaustion you should expect from startup work. I was done. I made up my mind I was leaving but was going to chill till the end of the month.

Enter: March to December

Omo. I don’t know how else to say this but if you’re a friend that remembers me when you see a job then from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Every single freelance job I got this year was some form of referral or the ripple effect of one. From March to September or October, I never went for long without having something I was doing that paid. Could I have done more? Yes. But I think in general my needs have more or less been met this year. My wants? Well, they’re insatiable anyway.

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I would have posted some more but my internet connection is messed up. Anyway, you can always see them on my Behance and Instagram.

I Found Love

Actually, I didn’t. But I caught you at half a smile, didn’t I? If not, I’m at my father’s house. Come and beat me.

Exercise

Like a lot of people with an extended stay at home, I began to gain weight and I hated it. I hate fat on my body. Hold on, let me repeat that in better terms so no one would misunderstand me. I hate seeing fat on my own body. It was the ginger I needed to try working out for real again. I had been doing some stuff inconsistently earlier in the year but none of them were actually intense calorie burning stuff. So, inspired by Ife and Mayowa, Lola, and probably Kofo’s consistent workout tweets, I picked up running. It was funny because of my zero excuse attitude towards it. I got tired of my personal bullshit. No running shoes, well, jog from end to end indoors till you find one. Bad terrain? Well, run in our compound. No gear? Run with what you have.

Books

I read a number of books this year. The larger majority of them were fiction, but I like that I got my reading habits back to a certain extent. I started a bunch of design related books but didn’t eventually finish most. For some, it was procrastination, for others it was just coming to the realization that you can’t stuff a whole book in your head just to satisfy your ego without putting what you’re reading to practice.

#EndSARS

We all experienced this so I would not say much. It was at this point that a lot of the consistency I’d built to this point tanked. The one constant I had was working out. I still surprise myself about that fact. But like I said before, it was the one thing I could control so I did it. And in a weird way, it is therapeutic when the world is going to shit but you block that out and push yourself in a way that only working out can.

My Mental Health

Most of my absence of major wins this year is self-induced. Lack of confidence, fear, depression, being incapable of giving a shit (this is a thing where you’d actually have things to get done but you just don’t have it in you to care). I didn’t open Photoshop for a while after trying to help the effort of #EndSARS by designing stuff. Even photo manipulation that I supposedly enjoyed doing eventually was difficult to get myself to do.

Bills

I did the math and this year I earned the most out of any year in my life. And I didn’t even go out of my way to find work. My views on money also changed. I’m normally frugal to the point of starving myself if need be. Now, I ask myself simple questions like “Do you need this thing to help you achieve a certain goal or not?” or “Would this thing make you somewhat happy without stretching you too much?” Basically, money is an asset to be used. Holding on to it for a future that isn’t certain just means you’ll eventually spend it on something not worth the effort to save the money in the first place. Or you’ll just die and it would be a bonus for the bank or something, I don’t know. Invest? Yes. Have emergency funds? Yes. But starving yourself for something you want or need because you’re “saving” stopped making sense to me.

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Me now vs Me In February

Still figuring out a lot of things in my life, like what exactly I'll use this "Medium" to do.

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