I hope you are keeping well. I am grateful. How is 2020 taking you? Do you remember how excited we were when we ushered in the New Year? Do you remember when I wrote about going all the way to London to watch the famous fireworks? We were all happy to get to Tweny Tweny. We had high expectations, but here we are, our resolutions are intact, our plans for the year are still unticked. The year had barely started then boom; CORONA VIRUS happened.
I read this extract from my life coach, and it vividly explains what I feel about the year 2020. “The year’s still fresh, if we were walking on the grass, I’d say the morning dew was drying off the blades of the grass, and the sun was starting to take over the cool, crisp morning air. I’m reviewing my actions during the past year and wondering if like me, you have some unfinished business to carry forward,” she reflected.
Well, many of us are in that phase wondering, what just happened in 2020? What is happening and what will happen? Did you plan to lose a few more pounds and now you have been eating five breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners with little or zero exercise? What happens to our bikini wear that we bought in anticipation for Summer? Were they two sizes smaller? Do not be ashamed of yourself. You are not alone. It’s time to say….we shall revisit this next year. Let us keep them safe in the closest.
Too many people are feeling hopeless, frantic, desperate, exasperated, impatient, anxious and whatever term describes what you feel at this point. It is ok to feel exactly that. Allow me to take you through my shattered dreams during my one year sojourn in the UK.
My travels in Europe
I had a list of countries to visit during my one year in the UK. For example, this April, I had a three weeks Easter break and I planned to visit Norway, Germany and Netherlands. Well guess what? I had no choice but to spend the entire Easter break in lockdown at Cardiff. Other countries on my list included France, Spain and Canada. The chances of me visiting all these countries before September 2020 is 0%. The borders are closed, and even when they are opened, they will probably be opened under stringent travel restrictions. I have made peace with the fact that I might not be able to travel as much as I wanted. Lesson learnt ‘Man plans but God laughs.’
My travels in the UK
You see, my suitcase is always ready. I have friends spread in different cities in the UK, and we have been planning. I was excited about visiting and seeing different cities, but here I am. I don’t even feel like I have fully mastered Cardiff City yet. I still have museums, restaurants, streets and avenues to master. I was making new friends, and I was getting to know people. We are in Spring and every season is beautiful in its own way. Now the temperatures and the long days are chasing me out of the house, but…I can only go out once a day. I can only stay out for so long.
Remember I told you about my struggles with the London transport system? Many of you laughed at me. I still wonder, what will I tell my people back home if after a whole year in the UK I have not mastered the complicated and complex transport system on my own? Nitaambia watu nini? I had plans to go to London once every month, and I had lined up people to keep showing me around. My friends were in different categories, those who love shopping, those who love nature and those who just want to explore London in its full glory. Well, reality dawns, unless another opportunity presents itself, you might continue remembering me as the girl who could not master the transport system and spent all her money on taxis while in London. That is not funny at all. So if you have never been to London, you and I are on the same WhatsApp group.
Some girlfriends and classmates of mine, love going to the malls. We love everything about seeing the latest shoe designs, latest fashion and just how the malls arrange their products in a very enticing way. Sometimes, we realize we bought things we did not really need, we laugh about it and move on. With the various seasons in the UK, each season comes with its designs and there are sales to clear stock in preparation for the next season. That is what we were waiting for. This worries me because I had cleared my wardrobe as I left my country. I had imagined I had a whole year to start shopping again. Loh and behold boom….CORONA VIRUS happened. Now the shops are closed, and I haven’t finished buying my next pairs of shoes and clothes.
Creating lasting memories with my new found friends
I am not looking forward to being friends with all my classmates; we are 100 plus. I had plans to make friends with at least ten students. Those that we can remain friends even past September. Those that we can visit each other many years down the line. We had slowly started identifying ourselves and making plans together as a way of getting to know each other more. We had plans to travel and tour Europe. I had plans to visit friends from the Chevening cohort in different universities. I wanted to visit at least ten universities. I have only been to Oxford University, University of South Wales, the University of Glasgow and University College London (UCL). Surprisingly, I still haven’t mastered Cardiff University. Painful as it sounds, I might not have a chance to tour the whole university. Imagine that.
I could go on and on. I am one person who loves to plan. I live for my next big thing. Packing my suitcase heading to a new place excites me. The joy of seeing friends I haven’t seen for a while energizes me. But all these seem like shattered dreams. I feel like the universe is telling me “My friend, you came here to study. Now, sit down and study. Focus”
Well, our lives seem as if they are being redirected. But we all have a choice concerning the end in all this. You can choose to come out with a testimony or with regret. A lot of what happens to us during and after COVID-19 has everything to do with our attitude. You can choose to remain focused, with your head held up and your eyes firmly on your goal. You can trust God to show up in your life in a powerful way. Therefore, despite all these uncertainties, be still and know that He is God.
“Yes, even coaches can get caught up in that web of never-ending priorities. The only difference is that they never take their eyes off the prize. That way, even when it is derailed, it doesn’t get changed, it isn’t reduced, and it certainly isn’t forgotten.” Concludes the extract from my life coach.
So, what are you feeling about 2020? Feel free to share your thoughts with me. Still, a very Happy New Year to you.
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