December 31, 2015 by Ifeoma Dennis
I’ve been keeping a private blog since March, 2015 which meant I’ve written less and less of personal things on this blog since that time. But I figured that since it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever make my private blog public, I should at least write something non-writing related for this one to end the year.
I started 2015 with a prayer after watching the ball drop on TV (my roommate left the TV on for me).
January was going to be my third month Atlanta, and my roommate was about my only friend at the time. I lived in Buckhead, where everyone drove, and I had to use public transportation all the time, which for some reason made me self conscious every time I stood waiting for the bus.
But what loomed over me deadlier than the Sword of Damocles were my exams, (the first one only three months away) and all the lofty, anxiety-inducing academic plans I had for the year. So I know that’s what was mostly in my prayers. And to have friends.
February, I turned 24, still not sure I was an adult because quarter-life crisis. I would also go on and buy some books on Adulting like 101 Secrets For Your Twenties by Paul Angone and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay.
In March, I wrote my step 1 exam, convinced I’d done horribly badly when I finished. Many thanks to my roommate, Olga who listened to me that night for hours on end, and finally forced me to sleep!
In April, I started my obstetrics and gynecology rotation and met my first close friend in Atlanta, Christina, who would go on to be my practice partner for my step 2 CS exam, and my pizza date every Friday.
Also in April, I started talking with a guy, who must not be named because reasons, who would go on to be my companion for the next three months. We were good and bad for each other, but I guess at that time I needed a companion and all sensibilities of our incompatibilities flew out the window. But I was happy he bought me flowers, happy he paid me compliments, happy I had someone to spend weekends with, to go to places with, happy because he had a car and I didn’t have to bother with public transport all the time.
Also in April, I found out I passed my Step 1 exam above average. Thank God.
In May, I was convinced I was in love with said companion.
In June, I wrote my CS exam, messed up my first case and proceeded to wait the next two months convinced I failed. Also in June, when the scales of passion slowly began peeling off our eyes, said companion and I started having our first real issues, he found me “emotionally fragile” and I found him judgmental. Still both of us kept on together, because of course, we were lonely. And my private blog posts came off unhappy and confused.
In July, my stay in Atlanta would come to an end, the next stop Chicago. I broke up with said companion the first time, and he pleaded to come back three days later. He was sure we could work all our issues out, and that we were good for each other. I believed him.
In August, I went on a trip to Barbados with said companion, kissed him goodbye for the last time. We would go on to try to salvage our relationship long distance, as he was heading to Kenya for a 4-month co-op and I was heading back to Chicago. I got back to Chicago, reunited with my church friends, kept trying to get into my bank’s ATM through the wrong door on a Sunday after church and a strange guy said, “the real door is over there.” And I was reminded again of why I would always love Chicago. My CS results came out and I found out I’d passed, Thank God.
In September, I wrote my step 2 CK exam, convinced more than ever that I just made the costliest mistake of my life. Said companion kept asking me about the results coming out and how his parents were asking about it, and I freaked out and broke up with him. I changed my mind a few days later but he would have none of it. He said mean things. I said meaner things back. We fought over text messaging and emails. We were two good people, but we were bad for each other. I met my core group girls from church and connected with them over that. Toward the end of that month, I would find out I passed my CK exam. And felt a bit sad I didn’t have my companion to rejoice with.
In October, I filled out some applications and moved to Maryland for my Geriatrics rotation where I would get to meet my awesome preceptor, and three of his amazing students (one girl, Shuba and two brothers, Arshia and Elias). The brothers would also go on to play “Chop My Money” by Nigeria’s P-Square in the car every time they gave me and Shuba a ride home. I started getting invitations in reply to my applications earlier, more than I anticipated. I wrote emails, a lot of emails, and some of them were cathartic, and probably shouldn’t have been sent. But I also got one good advice from my preceptor, “trust in your own Christianity”. I believe I prayed that month more than ever in the year.
In November, I came back to Chicago, experienced my first snow, and ice-skated for the first time. I got more invitations, got three revealing dreams (two of which were non-satisfactory to me at the time), traveled quite a bit too, wrote more emails, met a few new people, and tried to improve myself and learn healthier habits. I followed more news networks on facebook than I have ever done.
In December, I got more invitations, traveled a lot, among which was NJ and NYC with a friend of mine, whose sweet family paid for my first American football game. I also attended Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes, and wished I could see it everyday. Then I visited my best friend, Amanda and did karaoke on Christmas day with her amazing family, where they got to hear my terrible singing voice but still loved me anyway :D. And today, on the 31st, I still have not figured it out for next year.
I can only hope 2016 turns out better, my most important dream comes true, and that I make more graceful mistakes, if that makes sense.
But a few things I took away from 2015 that I would love to incorporate in my 2016 are to:
1. Take it slow. Take things slowly. I would avoid a lot of mistakes if I do.
2. Be less anxious, which is kind of tied in to (1). And trust God. He is never out of options, even when it looks you have run out of yours.
3. Surround myself with people who think I am wonderful, who accept me mostly as I am, who only constructively criticize me if need be.
4. Similar to (3), surround myself with people who make the effort to be in my life.
5. Do things I love for myself. Write. Read. Go to the movies. Find myself enough.
6. Use my phone less, except for reading the news.
7. Keep being positive. Laugh a lot.
8. And for God’s sake, Ifeoma, stop talking about the past.