2019: A Year of Winging it.

Oluwole Hammond
3 min readDec 30, 2019

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This year happened so fast that in retrospect I can say I only winged it. It wasn’t a great year for me and most of the things I had hoped for didn’t happen. I have decided to put pen to paper and curate my experiences, lessons and thoughts about the ending year. I will also highlight the things I am grateful for.

“To wing it” [idiom] — to improvise, to do something without proper preparation or time to rehearse.

Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash

Rejections
“We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success.” — Henry Rollins

Rejections are part of life. It quite easy to say this but in reality, it is a hard fact to accept. Over the last 360+ days, I have gotten used to getting rejections of all sorts — jobs, gigs, fellowships and the likes. When you get rejected so much, it begins to make you think less of yourself — you begin to imagine maybe you are not good enough. I am glad that in spite of all, I somehow found the confidence to move on and kept shooting my shots.

Key lesson: never to define your self-worth by people’s acceptance of you or otherwise.

Work

I continued the mandatory service year as a Geography teacher at Nyanya Gwandara, which came to an end in June. It was a fulfilling experience for me. Some of my students called me on Christmas Day and I was happy. Maybe I did a good job, maybe I didn’t, all I can say I tried my best. Post service year hasn’t been a smooth ride. Job hunting in itself is a job. Career-wise, I must confess that I am still finding my feet. What 2019 has equipped with is a sense of direction of what I want to do. I now understand the things that matter to and I am proud of the things I am doing intersection of environment and development, especially around climate action and environmental sustainability.

Wole’s Instagram feed

As a budding creative, the year was bad. Photography has always been a hobby and something I find therapeutic. I had planned to scale it up to more meaningful, especially to tell stories that matter to me. However, this plan, like the Titanic, hit an iceberg of lack of motivation. Coupled with doubt and laziness, I couldn’t not do much. I am deeply grateful for the little I did during the course of the year; worked on some projects, learnt new things, won a contest and some of my works were exhibited and featured in publications.

Self

One of my low lights was how easily I took ill during the year, especially in first 3 quarters of the year. I visited the hospital within this period than I have in the past 5 years. Took a number of injections and medicines [those things have awful smell and taste]. I am thankful to God and I am way better now. I was able to work on some personal projects and I tried to improve myself in some areas too, especially in accountability.

Relationships
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

I must start by apologizing for ghosting on many people this year. Friends, I am deeply sorry! For some reasons I became distant and a to some extent, a recluse. This was also evident in my relationship with someone special. The 1st quarter was hard because the relationship came to an end. I am trying to become a better person who processes emotions better, love and trust people more. I hope to do better come 2020.

Gratitude

“In everything give thanks ….” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 [YLT]

I am grateful to God, family and friends. To everyone who made my year, I say a very big THANK YOU!

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Oluwole Hammond

writer/photographer. interested in: tech, sustainability, and visual arts. www.wolehammond.com