I contemplated writing this post because even though I had the words in my head I didn’t exactly have the willpower to put it on paper. But I’ve done something similar every year since I started blogging, and a recap is often helpful so I had to find that will pretty fast.
We’re a couple of days into the new year already. There’s been a lot of year and decade reviews all over the inter-webs and it’s a good exercise in reflection.
In the middle of a chat with Tola towards the end of last year, we mentioned how 2019 was an “okay” year. It’s easy for us to think in those terms – we didn’t experience anything seemingly groundbreaking.
But then taking a second to think about it, we both agreed that 2019 was more than an okay year. It was pretty good.
It was such a solidifying year for us and for me, and feels like the foundation of absolutely great things to come.
One thing I‘m very pleased with that happened in 2019 is my career. Having made the move to an in-house solicitor after my maternity leave, I had a clear idea of the kind of path, industry and sector I was looking to continue in. It took a quite a bit of twists and turns, but at the end of December 2018, I found myself in that space – specifically advising on corporate matters as it relates to Tech – working on a number of startups and with Venture Capitalists. 2019 was therefore my first full year in that sector, and most of the experiences have been delightful!
Look, I know so many people pass this driving test on the first attempt. That was not my story. Many times, I have mentioned to anyone who cared to listen that this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Yes, to me it brought way more tears and pain than when I gave birth to my son. I pretty much manage to sneak this victory in at the 11th hour of 2019 – after a 4 year period. Failing my test the first time was one of my earliest blog posts and if you read it then, you can only imagine how this journey has been. I have to share the full experience soon!
This was definitely one of our biggest wins as a family and everyone can now breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve already shared a detailed blog post about getting our permanent residency. The icing on the cake on top of that was Jidenna getting his British passport shortly after. So yeah, visa struggles for him are for the most part a thing of the past. We’re very thankful for that!
Ok well is this really a big deal? For most parents it is. Having your baby make that transition from home to nursery isn’t always easy. Thanks to my mother-in-law staying with us for quite a bit, we didn’t have to make any solid plans for nursery until mid 2019 when he was a little over a year and a half. It can be a hassle to find a good nursery you’re happy with that works for everyone. Thankfully our first choice has been wonderful and he’s settled in very well – going in often 5 times a week. Another reason why this is such a huge achievement is that well, if you think about it this is the first step to all of his formal education – until PhD like his dad perhaps?
And yes Tola’s PhD. A Doctorate in Economics from the University of London. What a journey. I’m very pleased that this is over for him and again it’s a permanent achievement and a building block to future endeavours. He also moved into a really significant role this year at work and that’s a great one to celebrate.
In July this year I finally moved the blog to WordPress from Squarespace and it was to me a vital step necessary for next level growth of the blog.
I guess KacheeTee Circle came to stay in 2019 with me hosting 7 events. In retrospect, I’m not sure how I pulled that off but with all of the wonderful feedback we’ve received – especially on our Christmas event – I’m very glad I did.
It’s easy to list these things but the year still had some downtimes. There was a lot of self-doubt, things going wrong and some tears – from career to blog to everything else. As a hilarious example, on Jidenna’s very first day of nursery Tola and I were both stuck in traffic and had to rely on a friend to pick him up. Ugh – a fail. On the blog font, my desire to grow the site, include contributors and a wider range of content has been met with a number of obstacles. So it’s back to the drawing board.
When I sometimes go hard on myself, my husband very often reminds me that I’m doing more than great. He would typically say “if you chose to start something from scratch today, in 10 years you could have a whole new path”
I don’t know why he picks 10 years but maybe there’s often something about a decade in review?
Prompted by everyone else I reviewed the past decade from the end of 2010 to end of 2019 and in fairness, it made me go a little softer on my self. Here’s a high level list:
– Graduated with a First Class degree in Law from University of Ibadan (2010)Graduated with a First Class Degree from Nigerian Law School (2011)
– Secured a fully funded Commonwealth Scholarship to Study in the UK and got on my first international flight (2012)
-Graduated from Cambridge University with an LL.M (2013)
-Began the process of re-qualifying as a UK solicitor by taking and completing the GDL exams ( 2013 – 2014)
-Married Tola after being together since University ( 2014)
-Relocated to the UK and back to school for the UK Law School – LPC. Graduated with a Distinction (2014-2015)
-Started a blog and building a wonderful growing community (2016)
-Worked at a topmost law firm, re-qualified as a UK solicitor and admitted to the roll (2015 – 2017)
-Gave birth to the sweetest boy (2017)
-Purchased a house (2017)
-Obtained UK permanent residency (2019)
It’s safe to say this decade has been very formative – one of process and life changing. A lot of it has felt long. There have been tears, I don’t think I’ve ever got as many rejections as I have especially in my career journey. Nor felt out of place sometimes in a new country and away from friends and family. But it has also been beautiful – being married, becoming a mum and fostering wonderful friendships and community.
I’ve seen a lot of personal growth and finding myself – exploring my passions and evolving into me.
I feel like the foundation has been laid and it’s time to consolidate. It’s time to make those moves in my career, strengthen relationships and harness all of my gifts. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s also time to work smart and be strategic. To cut out distractions but at the same time enjoy every moment.
It’s another year to grow – tackle those strides in my career, and KacheeTee as a brand. It’s a year to be very financially savvy, cultivate and build even more helpful relationships.
I’m excited and relying on God every step of the way.
Thank you for being here and sticking around. It’s almost hard to believe this blog turns 4 next month! Four whole years.
How are you? What are you looking forward to in 2020?