April Laugh: To My Brand New Self I Say, “It’s Really Not That Bad. I’ve Done Pretty Well For Myself”.
By April Laugh
The year 2013 came with loud voices in my head, banging and screaming.
“You’re going to be 30! Can you believe you’re finally going to end up lonely and miserable?! You have no children! Perhaps you should give your womb up to charity! You’re so fat and ugly! What happens to you now?!”
I’m the type of that makes lists and writes New Year resolutions… My writer friend asked me earlier in the year.
‘April, what are your plans for the New Year?’
‘Are you talking about my blog or just me?’
She’s a feature writer on my blog; I thought she was interested in what I’d lined up for the blog.
‘I just need to pass all my exams this year,’ I replied.
In August, 2012 while on holiday to Lomé, I took a conscious effort to think about what I’d like to do before the year ran out. Part of my plan was to improve my skills as a Human Resources person. The corporate world is highly competitive and I don’t want to wait till I get the ‘sorry, you cannot be promoted due to your current qualification’ mail.
I decided to enroll for a MSc. program. I chose to study online because I couldn’t afford to travel and come back job-hunting all over again.
I realised that if I’d gone back to school immediately after I graduated from the University, I would have made a wrong career choice.
All my life, I’ve always wanted to be a journalist. I was involved in everything related to that profession from primary school till going for the compulsory youth service program. I remember my mentor at CNN doing all she could, from editing my cover letter to coaching me on what I needed to do.
Though my holiday job was paying me N50, 000, I left and took the N10,000 offer as a youth corper.
‘I want to believe that you know what you’re doing because I don’t understand why you want to dump a better paying job for the stipend you’re being offered,’ My mother warned though she gave me her full support eventually.
Three months after I started the youth service program at Silverbird Television, Lagos, I was robbed at gunpoint twice on my way to work. Getting robbed while I couldn’t replace all that was forcefully taken from me with my N10,000 salary changed my orientation about following my dreams, being happy and making a life.
I was looking forward to be being a full-blown journalist at the end of the youth service program but looking and listening to the permanent workers woes put me off. I figured at 26, I wouldn’t want to have their kind of lifestyle. I believe passion should constantly put a smile on your face not otherwise. I stopped going to STV immediately after the incident as I wasn’t ready to die for Nigeria.
My experience being a Production Assistant was exciting, fun and challenging. I woke up every morning looking forward to going to work, writing, doing research and meeting people. I was always in the best of spirits even though my meager salary could not keep me for a week.
I started writing after I left STV for Reddington Hospital to complete the youth service program, the comments on my skills was sunshine to my cloudy days. I enrolled online at the London School of Journalism with my meager salary for a short course in Creative Writing, and I had the best tutor ever!
Right now, I’m currently in the Oil & Gas sector working as a Trade Operator and running my MSc. in Human Resources on the side. I update my blog from time to time when I have weeks off school and work duties.
2013 is an awareness for me that I’m going to be highly successful both on my job, in school and life because I’m putting my best to living each day at its best. I’m at the age where I made a lot of promises in the past, one of those promises was that if I was still single at 30, I’d try online dating with many of my interesting readers. I’ve had a bout of terrible, funny and unpleasant dating experiences in the past –someone thought I should marry him because he’s British and another man believed I would be better off as a full housewife at my age, and another who thought he couldn’t date me ‘cause my job was shitty at Reddington, I wasn’t driving my own car and never been out of my country.’ See!
I’m also at the age where according to scientific justifications; I’d better hurry up if I want to bear children later in life.
I’ll say to my brand new self that at this stage, it’s really not that bad. I’ve done pretty well for myself and I’m content with the life I’m living. I’m not going to be single forever, I’m still going to attain greatness, see the world more than I’ve seen, and have beautiful babies for the man that I’m in love with.
I might not be where I want to be, but thank God, I’m not where I used to be. I’m okay, and I’m on my way!
No resolutions, just living each day, knowing I must be better than the day before.
Writer: April Laugh is a Freelance writer and editor at aprillaugh.com