2017 Year in Review

2017 year in review

Hey there and Happy 2018! I know it’s been a minute (4 months to be exact) since my last post and I have no excuse for the disappearance. 2017 was a year that brought on more surprises than I was prepared to handle. With everything that I planned for the year, my cup was running over. There was a lot going on in my personal life and when trying to make time for a side hustle, everything became too much to juggle so for that I sincerely apologize.   

2017 was, without a doubt, the start of something transformative in my life; a year where I became open to the idea of speaking my truth and gained an understanding of what life truly is about. I experienced moments of joy, as I’m sure we all did, and I am proud to say I accomplished a good portion of the goals I set forth, the biggest being the completion of 365 days of lettering, which sparked the most change in my life. 2017 was a mind-blowing, firsthand look at how time and dedication to something as simple as drawing could cause a huge mental shift in my perception of life. I admit as the year progressed finding the willpower to continue was difficult. There were times where lettering was not a priority due to personal events that didn’t allow me the time to draw. But despite those rare moments, I was very consistent with it. Seeing the continuous growth in my work as time slowly progressed gave me a true understanding of what growth really means. But before I get too ahead of myself, let me reel things back and let you know of some life-changing events that happened throughout the year.

handmade christmas cards

For starters, I got a promotion at work! After years of doing the same thing and complaining about my position in life, I was blessed with a new position and career opportunity; one that carries a little bit of authority behind it (key word being LITTLE). This opened up an opportunity to input my lettering practice within my workplace. For example, I started designing monthly banners that highlighted current events in the workplace and also recognized my colleagues for their performance. The promotion also gave me a platform to promote my lettering skills to my peers. Since my job has nothing to do with art, it’s been rewarding finding ways to mix my daily grind with my side hustle and the best part of it all is that I have my own office space to do it all in.

work banner

Another very huge accomplishment of 2017 was that Jon and I can now be called homeowners! Yes, that’s right, we bought a house. It’s been 3 months since this occurred and I’m still in disbelief that I have a permeant residence. Now when I come home, I feel a sense of comfort that I didn’t know before. I never thought that having my own space would have such an impact in my life. It seems as though everything I tirelessly complained about for so many years immediately became resolved. I have my own personal space to create at my job and at home. Not many people can say they have that luxury, so for that, I am truly blessed.

home owners

The icing on the cake of blessings came a month after buying the home: Jon and I took the first step to becoming husband and wife by having our traditional Nigerian wedding. The ceremony is referred to as a Wine Carry. Within the Nigerian culture, a wine carry is a symbolic ceremony completed for our marriage to be recognized by the elders in my family and my village. It’s an important first step toward becoming husband and wife that joins not only Jon and me but our families together. Since we have completed this traditional ceremony, we can begin planning our “white wedding” which will take place spring of 2018!

for tha masses nigerian wine carry

Nigerian Wine Carry

Nigerian Wine Carry

Outside of daily lettering, another commitment I took on was a daily Bible reading plan. The goal was to finish reading the bible in its entirety by following a reading plan courtesy of the church I attend here in Knoxville. I’m proud to say that I did rightly finish all 1,189 chapters of the bible and I believe that everyone who identifies as a Christian should do the same. Going to church and having a pastor or priest tell you what to believe or what to focus your attention on is not enough, in my opinion. I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion if I didn’t take the time to learn the gospel for myself as a part of my continued relationship with God. This was a very important accomplishment; it helped me understand the need for daily devotion to the word of God and rekindled my faith.

For Tha Masses Thank you Lord Lettering

Not everything on my list of goals was fulfilled and that’s ok. For example, I started the year on a mission to eat better and start a small garden. Though we did manage to grow a few herbs, I was unable to create the time to start a viable garden. Another setback was in my meditation and yoga practice. At the start of the year, everything went smoothly; I was meditating in the morning and had a solid workout routine. But as the year progressed and more responsibilities got added to my plate, I began to feel overwhelmed by everything I was doing. My focus towards my physical health wasn’t on the top of my list of priorities. So a part of my goals in the New Year is to find my way back to clean eating habits and an active lifestyle.

2017 was the transformative period in my life that needed to occur to shape the way I function. I am really eager for what’s to come and I hope you are too. Cheers to new possibilities taking shape in a wonderful New Year!

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