Vince vs 2020 (the year in review)

The year 2020 for me (and for everybody else on the planet I’m sure) has been one like no other, crowned with a global pandemic from a deadly virus it’s no surprise everybody that’s made it this far is nothing short of thankful for life and ready to move on, but somehow I have mixed feelings moving into the new year. In this piece I hope to share my personal experiences this year with you, the good the bad, and the sad, enjoy.

So I started the year off without any resolutions, as usual, I just wanted to get better at writing code and be happy with myself (one would think that’s not so much to ask).

3 months BC (Before Corona)

(peep photos from some of the events I attended #Oscafest #Nacoss #Hackmania)

This went on till mid-March until covid happened and took everybody by surprise.

Started with rumours about a virus spreading across the world, then the ASUU strike hit and we had to go home. I went to my village in Enugu cos I thought it’d only be two weeks or a month tops(lmao).

Lockdown

About a month into the lockdown interstate travel was banned and I was trapped alone in the village with my grandma with poor Igbo speaking skills, poor internet connection, no Light(at all), and an empty account balance 🥲 I had stopped receiving school allowances (which I was heavily dependent on) cos no school….. I was screwed.

After the first few weeks, I had grown tired of staying with grandma, she was more worried about her farm than the pandemic and she’d say ihe anyi na amagho agahi a mata anyi (what we don’t know will not know us). At this point I started pulling away from everybody and everything, mental health was in shambles, depression hit. I would wake up and go straight to my desk, watch tutorials, build pet projects, trying to get better. I kept feeling I wasn’t good enough and beat myself up pretty hard about it, started sleeping less, locked in my room for days, applied to a bunch of jobs but barely heard back from any of them not even rejections(yeah it was bad).at some point, I wanted to quit but I’d think to myself what else could you possibly do? And every single time nothing reasonable would come to mind. So I kept at it, I had to do some manual labour jobs on the side to afford to fuel the generator and buy data I didn’t mind as long as it helped keep me sane, it also meant I had more to do and less time to myself when nasty thoughts would creep in.

Amidst all this, I questioned religion a lot, and honestly, till today I still can’t say what my stand on the topic is, I dare say I’m confused. More to figure out I guess.

Fast forward to June the Pandemic was still on but I was able to smuggle myself to Lagos where the rest of my family were, things were not exactly getting easier and I still felt like a burden to them so I kept on searching for work. In July my dad offered to pay for me to take a Udacity nano degree course on Fullstack web development so I could get some kind of certification (thanks dad ❤️), by August I had completed the course and was more hungry to build. I was able to get a freelance project to work on thanks to a friend, then that project somehow led to another then another …. I think I had worked on three projects when the person I worked on the first project for invited me to interview for an entry-level developer position at their company, I got the job offer the same day to start the next Monday…and as they say, the rest was history. It’s been a few months now and I’ve just been grateful for the opportunity to come in every day and do something I love to do for a living, to constantly learn and challenge myself, it has also helped me improve my self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

Lessons

I learnt a lot in 2020 about myself and life, one of them was to just be myself, do what makes me happy, and spend time with people I care about while I can because life is short. Another one was to consciously take care of my health (mental and physical), writing this while recovering from sickness hammered that one in for me.

Plans for the new year

I’m not one for to set “New year resolutions” but I know I’m going to put in the work to grow career-wise in the new year, try to solve problems with technology and data (really want to pick up some data engineering skills too), but besides work, I want to live!!! and try new things and make new friends(and actually keep them). I made a tweet of some things I want to do, here is a screenshot:

My favourite photo from 2020

Conclusion

It really was a long year and even though we are going into the new year still with this pandemic I hope things get better.

It was a really tough fight but we go again 2020 won(2021). cheers and happy new year.

Human, Software Engineer

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