2021 was … meh, but I am still grateful.

Oluwole Hammond
3 min readJan 1, 2022

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It’s 9:26 AM on the first day of the year 2022, as I sip my lemon tea, spiced with ginger and honey, I look through the window into the hazy atmosphere. Across the brown earth-road, I also see the now-slaughtered cow being cut into smaller pieces in front of our neighbor’s compound — it is their customer to throw a party on New Year’s day. The upside of 11 days in self-isolation is that it gives you ample time to reflect on life — and in this case, the passing year. This is my summary, it was meh.

meh /mɛ/ adjective — uninspiring; unexceptional.

A self-portrait

It’s been over a year since I last updated my blog. I wrote about 2019 here and I explored a different approach to reflecting on 2020 through this project ‘Dear MMXX’ on my website. Coming from a really good year, I had high hopes for 2021, goals were set and expectations were high. Truth is I failed at most of them. I couldn’t push the borders of creativity, finances were shit, so many uncompleted projects and unmet personal resolutions. This cycle led to a total lack of motivation, complacency and a feeling of not being enough. I struggled through, living each day as it came. The worst was when I heard that Aunty Y passed on. No, I couldn’t believe it, she had called some days earlier as I was heading out, I couldn’t talk at the moment because we always had long conversations. Some hours later, I returned the call and text — no response. I did the next day and the next and the next. Sigh, I still regret not picking that call. I know you’re resting now and these words from Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 gives me hope.

Those who die are not left out of the party — they’ll be raised so everyone can celebrate together. The bottom line is simple: “And so we will be with the Lord forever.” And then Paul writes, “Therefore encourage each other with these words.” — Commentary by Michael Morrison, PhD

In all of this, I am choosing gratitude. I am thankful for the memories created, learning, little wins, clarity of purpose, and growth. Thankful for my family — Mum and Dad, Gisby, Bussy, Logo and Linda; I love you dearly. To friends who make the journey worthwhile — Babs, Chisom (it was a pleasure getting to know you and easily my person of the year), Daniel (those check-in calls meant a lot), Ifeoluwa (fam, the year you had, only God can comfort and strengthen you) Kay, Faith, Clem (bless up, bro), John, Aniebiet (to greatness this year), Dawali, Julius, Seun (send Rubles, boss), Derin (always coming through, Danke schoen), Gabriel, Suur (you’re a blessing), Omoayo (it was great reconnecting) Skbizzy (man’s headlining shows now, thanks for everything). You all rock! Celebration Church and PM was just the blessing I needed for 2021. Shout-out to the amazing folks at CTH, you make the work interesting. To the Global Shaper Community, especially the Abuja Hub, it was a delight shaping and making impacts this year. Same goes to the susty fam at SustyVibes. And to the people whose works really inspire me, thank you for sharing your gifts with the world: Teju Cole, Koromone Koroye, Seyi Adebote, Jake Effoduh, Stuffedbox, Bernard Kalu, Jennifer Uchendu, David Adeleke, Adetona Omokanye, Odun Eweniyi, Uka Eje, Benjamin Dada, Marvin Uche and many more.

Yo, how can I forget comrade memes? They were just perfect for the year. It’s really hard to choose the best comrade meme because they are just too good.

Failure is a part of life, it is bound to happen. What matters most is how we handle failure. For me, I have come to see it as an opportunity to learn and become better. Like Samuel Beckett said: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Cheers to the new year, I can sense it in me — great and exciting times are ahead. I would live, pray, love, try new things, fail better, create memories, come out of my shell, travel, reveal God’s love to the world, be there for people around me, and embrace happiness. I hope you’ll do the same. Maybe this year I get to find the LOML or maybe not.

2022, we go again!

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Oluwole Hammond

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