2016…..The year where everything that could go wrong….. Went wrong


I started 2016 sitting in church, my eyes closed. While the rest of the congregation prayed fervently, I sat in quiet contemplation, a thousand ‘what ifs’ swimming in my head.

Would I meet someone this year?

Would I be in a relationship?

Would I have the courage to jump in and take myself seriously as a writer?

What would the year be like?

Would I be able to achieve the goals I set?

Around me, I heard the countdown. I felt very unsettled. I wanted to yell, “STOP! Im not ready yet!” I exhaled and opened my eyes, and whispered, “God I don’t know what 2016 will bring, but I know that in all things you’re still God. No matter what happens this year, you’re still God.”

“3,2,1…Happy New Year.”

I smiled and hugged my friends around me, but I still felt like I wasn’t ready.



2014 is a year etched in my heart, one I’ll never forget.  I call it the beginning of the end.

I met a number of people who were stuck – stuck in hurt and heartbreak, suppressed by culture,  doctrine and uptight theological trumps.

You already know, I don on my cape, Super Bola to the rescue. I extend my arm, I pour out my heart and my soul. If they needed time, I gave it, money I gave it, whatever it was that they needed, I gave 110 percent.

This little arm on this five foot frame wasn’t built to stretch that far, it wasn’t  meant to help more than one at a time. But I couldn’t leave it.  I couldn’t hear a soppy story and not want to help. What was an admirable quality, fast became an addiction – I needed to feel needed.

At around this time, a twitter friend was fast becoming one of my closest friends. The friendship was weird and fast because I don’t open up easily. Reaching out into the barrel isn’t about me,  and I remember this friend taking one look at my arm in the barrel and saying,  “You’re doing too much, you’ll get sucked in.”

I disagreed.

I committed my heart, that no-backup-plan-type heart. I was more than friend, I was a mother hen. If anyone came near these people, I’d rip them to shreds.


August 2015

I realized that my relationship with God, had become rocky. I’d become Martha, more concerned with service, and catering to the needs of everyone, that I’d neglected to take the break and chill with Jesus. I was so Martha that I’d began to resent the Marys, the ones who seemed too blind and nonchalant to the volume of work and service that was needed.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Bola, Bola, you are worried and troubled about many things.”


I fell. Humpty Dumpty fell and broke into many many pieces. I was shocked. What happened?
More than that, I realized how alone I was. I’d become the fixer in all my relationships that, when I felt like I needed fixing, when I needed help, there was no one to help. I had set up this construct where I was the giver, the one who carried the burdens and listened, but never quite shared my iceberg realities, my woes, my struggles. My situation was in my pocket. I needed a reset button so I bought a ticket and went home to my family. In that two-week bubble,  my family, hugged, prayed, soldered,  glued,  and taped me back up. .


December 31st

I am sitting with my parents, talking about my plans for the upcoming year. I explain to them that work is good, that I’m grateful to be working and working at my job, but…

Photography and film had bit me so hard. I spent most of my days, including time at work, thinking about scripts, films and film techniques. I had played with my dream life, and now, I the captain of two ships, set on a collision course.

As the conversation went on, my parents explained to me, that the time had either come or would soon to come for me to pick one. Either focus on work, go back to school, get certifications and climb that corporate ladder, or invest in myself, jump ship, follow my dreams and film. My dad had ended with a quote that sounded better in yoruba, something  about about chasing two mice and losing both. Either way, they were going to love and support me.


January 2016, was particularly interesting because I had been transferred to a new position at work, and it was a whole new ballgame. You know how it is work plus work politics and when I’d finally figured out who the players were and how the game was played, I was scooped into a new playing field.

As with most things, I’m very mind over matter. You move, you adjust, you adapt life goes on. In addition to this, I wanted to get back to blogging, and do it from a very open and vulnerable perspective. Though I am as private as I am extroverted, the motivation was that in sharing my experiences, I might encourage someone else to do the same.


April 2016

I shocked myself. I was working with a friend on a photoshoot. I was mean and rude. I was like those exaggerated french photographers – “oh la la la no no no” at everything he wanted to do. I apologise again.

In addition to my full time job, I was a career coach, a photographer, I taught at youth church, I ran a home fellowship, I was blogging, and I was writing scripts. I was burnt out and short fused, and I needed to declutter.


June 2016

It was time for the annual birthday blues.  Growing up, birthdays really weren’t a big deal. They were remembered and acknowledged in gratitude for another chance at fulfilling destiny. Moving to Canada, birthdays became redefined as this day to celebrate, to do something and have fun, and to accept gifts as well.

Not to sound ungrateful for all the good happening in my life, but I’ve had such terrible experiences on my birthdays that I’ve resigned myself to spending them alone. This way, it’s guaranteed to be a good day, unless I upset myself!

I made plans to spend the day alone, but my friends and brother, kidnapped me and we went out to dinner.I’m glad they did. I had an amazing time and learned how many similar experiences we’d shared.


The tide from April that made me feel so exhausted had also forced me to decide that by June, by my birthday, I’d come to ‘conclusions’. Internally I’d been battling with several decisions. I wanted to switch churches, confront relationships in my life, streamline my commitments, etc. I chose the battles I wanted to fight, and I moved on.


August 2016

Working downtown wasn’t for me. I promised myself that by the ‘-ember’ months I wasnt going to be working there anymore. I knew it was time to quit my job, not because I wasnt good at it, but because I wasnt there mentally.

But life works in mysterious ways …

One year anniversary

You see, in 2015, I walked into work, said my usual good mornings, stood in front of the door, and the next thing I recall, I had Emergency Medical Services swarming around me.

“Im okay!” I remember telling them, but into the ambulance I went anyways. I was scared, It had to be one of the scariest moments I’ve ever faced.

I had been having chest pains and headaches and I didnt think anything of them until I blacked out and passed out.

The doctor said, I needed to rest, cut everything off, take an extended vacation. He said, your body is warning you, next time, you just might not wake up. You need to stop everything, and take care of your number one priority, you!

I took the rest of the week off, shot season one of the Saturday Morning  show and life continued.



September 2016

I was completely unhappy and dissatisfied. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. At a point, I was so sick, I couldn’t get out of my bed. One year later, my body had decided for me, if I wasn’t going to make time to rest, it just wasn’t going to power itself to do anything. I’d had severe headaches and chest pains for days, feel dizzy, too weak to walk or do anything.

I had no choice, I really had to leave my job.

My mum had called and I cried, and she said to me, “This might be the scenic route but you really had planned not to be there by the end of the year. Maybe this is God’s way of kicking your butt to do what you’re supposed to be doing. It might not be the flowery rainbow route you would have taken, but move you must.”


December 2016

Honesty and Clarity.

For a long time in my life, I felt overwhelmed and suppressed by culture. As young as age 5,  I’d always get in trouble for talking too much,  saying the wrong things to elders, asking too many questions,  and having my head in the clouds steady dreaming.

In the valley where most people conform,  I rebelled.  I fought my way out of that mindset and promised myself that I’d always extend my arm out to the crabs in the barrel. I promised myself that I’d stand up and support, motivate and encourage anyone who felt pressured, burdened and weighed down by culture or the status quo.

This would soon be extended to cover everyone hurting,  battling depression and loneliness. Whatever dark tunnel I’d experienced or clawed out of, I made it my thing to make sure that if I ever met anyone in that space,  I’d reach out,  no matter how deep, and pull them out. It’s been like that for as long as I remember, and nothing was missing, nothing was out of place.

And I got a type of happy from it. Seeing folks who were shades of gray, cold, dejected about to give up,  wake up in color and life and enthusiasm – it made me feel like I was winning. It was my own private casino,  and all the chips always turned up good.


Which brings me to countdown 2016.

like the quick breaths you take before jumping into an icy cold lake, that’s how I jumped into 2016. I view my emotional space very much like that scene in The Lion King when Simba asks what the dark patch of land is – we don’t go there.

What I didn’t realize is that dark portion is selfish and doesn’t care for the neatly lit places. Now another December is here, and there’s no pretending, there’s no acting like everything is pristine and neat. What God has shown me is that part is as much a part of me as the lit portions are. Uncertainties are okay.


After my birthday I began making calls to folks who I felt were supposed to be my friends, and I called them out. I called them out of whatever mummified zone of just enough we lived in. I was done walking on eggshells and plastic friendships. Those calls were difficult, not selfish finger pointing but from a place of love, and decluttering as well.  There were so many mannequins in my boat, and they were weighing me down. I was determined to end the year unearthing the things that had been hidden under the surface for way too long.

The blessing is I realized that I’m surrounded by love. For the first time in a very long time, I have folks who hold me in place and say, “Let me love you. Let me give back to you. Put your cape down, and let me be there for you.” This is a blessing.


I needed the last two years to happen they way they did. I needed this breaking to happen.

My best friend said to me, “You’re still here Bola. All the hurts, the tears, the breaking, the things that died in your hands, the things you planned that didn’t work and the things that did – in the end, you’re still here.”

Thanks to everyone who’s supported me and those to come. Sending you love and light.
Peeking into 2017, all I see are unknowns. I have shaken up my comfort zones, broken the icebergs, and all I have left, is breath.

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Happy New Year!

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  • Goke Pelemo
    December 30, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    So vulnerable and beautiful. We don’t talk much these days, but I love you deeply. I hear you, and can relate with you on so many levels. I’m also confident that everything is going to be alright. As you said, it’s the scenic route, and now, now is where the the scenes get more detailed. Can’t wait to catch up with you!

  • Adesiji Arowora
    December 31, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Wishing you more of God’s abundant grace and favor in 2017. God bless!

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