8 Things I’ve Learned This Year

We’re already past the halfway mark for this year and what a year it’s been! SO MUCH has happened this year, but honestly when I look back I remember mostly good things. That’s good, right? This isn’t a highlights of the year post, but more a stop-for-a-second-and-think post. Lately, life’s been rushing past so quickly, I feel the need to stop and take count of the lessons I’ve learned so far.

1. Set Goals:

I set a number of goals this year pertaining to my spiritual growth, photography and finishing med school, but especially toward my spirituality. More than ever before, I’ve seen the power of having my goals written down, praying about them and most importantly working toward them.

First step to achieving your goals? Write them down! Click To Tweet
planners are SO important for goal setting/keeping!
Love this one by Rifle paper co.

Sidebar: Love this Rifle Paper Co planner pictured above!

I didn’t set HUGE goals in every case and obviously many things did not go exactly as I planned. Many of my goals were small steps and some of them I’ve had to defer, like working out everyday (oops. I do walk >10k steps nearly everyday THOUGH), sewing and watercoloring (I just really do not have the time). Still, I set firm priorities and I make sure I’m doing the important things everyday. 

My goals have changed my lifestyle for the better and I may never get to point Perfect but I’ll surely enjoy the journey. It’s never too late to set goals. You can start right now! What kind of life do you want? Are there specific changes you want to accomplish? What sustainable, small, daily choices could you make to hit those goals?

What sustainable, small, daily choices could you make to hit your goals? Click To Tweet

2. Work, even when nothing’s working: 

After covering my first wedding in December, I thought the photo sessions would come rolling in this year but for the first couple of months, I didn’t get ONE booking. So I decided that I would shoot stuff anyway. I sat and planned my first proper session with my cousin in February:

 

And then shot a ton of photos at the Tobago Cays with friends

I also went to Dark View Falls and shot some more.

What did I gain?

A LOT of experience with posing people, communicating my ideas during a session, editing (!!!) to convey the feelings I wanted a photo to send across and more. I felt more confident, structured my price list and prepared myself for opportunities.

Times when nothing seems to be working are exactly the times you should be working! Click To Tweet

Times when nothing seems to be working are exactly the times you should be working. Life truly is in cycles and in interviewing entrepreneurs this year, I’ve confirmed that. In slow seasons, use the opportunity to prepare yourself, acquire skills, work on other aspects of your life – relationships, spirituality etc. Stay busy making stuff!

3. Stay true to yourself: 

In March, I rebranded my blog and it’s really funny now because I almost feel like Ihunda’s Musings never existed. I currently have a good number of followers who had no idea my blog was ever anything else and I’m glad that there are people who will only experience this blog as it is. My blog is currently exactly the way I want it. There’s always room for growth, but this little blog makes me happy.

I’m creating content that I’m excited about and I feel like I’m being myself and talking about the things that matter to me and that’s everything I’ve wanted.

If you’re feeling stuck because you’ve changed and your likes have changed or you’ve outgrown your blog or life choices, it’s never too late to re-evaluate and make changes.

4. Do the things that scare you: 

In April, I was struck by an idea while binge reading Girls At Library. I wanted some fresh content on my blog so I decided I’d interview book lovers I know, mostly Africans about books and reading. One thing I was worried about was reaching our to people for interviews because I really hate to “bother” people.

At the same time, I was reaching out to new people for free photo sessions to build my portfolio, so I was really stretching myself, practically living outside my comfort zone. It’s all slowly paying off. I am happy with the choices I’ve made outside my comfort zone.

Do the things that scare you. Click To Tweet

I ADORE my BOOK’D column  and I’m afraid to think that it may not happened because of fear. Fear that no one would get it or want to be a part of it may have made me shut down the idea. Even when I announced it, I thought many people didn’t seem to care. It was my sheer stubbornness and the fact that people had already started turning in interview answers that I LOVED that pushed me to do it anyway.

Sometimes, ideas will flop and in times like that, the most important thing is getting back on track. I’m learning to let the space between where I am and where I want to be (in every facet of life) inspire me and not terrify me. It’s also been helpful to build stronger faith and trust implicitly in Jehovah and the process of things.

Be afraid, but do the thing anyway. Click To Tweet

5. You’re stronger than you think:

I climbed La Soufriere. The end. No, really, I thought I would die halfway, but I was running when we got back down. I’ve had low days and sad days and alone days, but my faith has never failed me. Also, I am grateful for everyone who’s reminded me of the important things when things were low.

You are stronger than you know. Our bodies alone are testament to this. We are built to be resilient, so never be afraid to push back when life hits you. Keep going. Climbing Soufriere was a test in ‘one step at a time’. When you’re so tired of everything, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll have better times eventually.

We are built to be resilient, so never be afraid to push back when life hits you. Click To Tweet

6. Let people in:

I’ve made a few good friends this year! Many were unexpected, really. Being a very independent person sometimes can be a hindrance to relationships because I just like my space. I don’t hate people, but I’m wired to wake up super early and be dead tired at 8PM, so a social life is hard to cultivate. A bigger problem is that I really don’t care much for a lot of social things. I get tired.

I’ve been making the effort regardless to let people into my space and hang out more with people as much as I can. I like being outdoors so I do a lot of outdoor hangs. Gatherings at homes that involve lots of food are also my thing so I’ve been doing that as much as I can too. I’m trying.

We need people. No matter how independent we are, we need people to share good news with and to cry to when things aren’t working out. Don’t throw your people away.

No matter how independent we are, we need people to share good news with and to cry to... Click To Tweet

7. Don’t Give Up: 

This year’s convention is so faith strengthening and has inspired my new mantra for the year!

DON’T. GIVE. UP.

No matter how hard life gets, just don’t.

8. “Slow growth means strong roots”:

I read this in one of the newsletters I’m subscribed to and I agree. Never be in a hurry. Things take time. In the meantime, keep learning, growing, reaching, daring.

What have you learned this year? I’d love to know. Please share a few nuggets with me.

Afoma x



  • These are all great lessons Afoma! You’ve inspired me to go take a look at the goals I wrote down and evaluate. I love what you said about working even when nothing is working, it’s so accurate. And you’re right when you say that we’re stronger than we think we are, discovered this recently. You have such a great smile and I love the picture of you at the waterfall! xx
    Coco Bella Blog

    • Demilade, you are so kind! Thanks for your sweet comments! We are definitely stronger than we think and reevaluating your goals regularly is a great way to stay on track. Thank you! I want to go back to that waterfall, haha!

  • Tofunmi Awodein

    Ihundas Musings was bae, until a finer bae came 😆

  • Ihundas Musings… Awesome!
    Afoma Umesi… Awesomer!!!!!!!
    Honestly, when I did the Canopy Walk thing at Lekki Conservation Centre, I was soo scared but I came out alive and well, so it taught me about strength.
    I won’t lie, I do miss your style posts, but I also remember you said its not your thing right now, so please do you.

    • Awww, thanks for understanding and supporting! We have the powerrrr!

  • Love this. and how weird that I almost forgot about Ihundas musings!! Like you’re so Afoma Umesi to me it’s amazing! I love this post and everything it says. I love how you’re being super deliberate with life and your art. You’re a star girl! And yes to Working even when nothing seems to be working.

    KacheeTee.com

    • Hahaha I know shey? I feel like I’ve forgotten Ihunda’s Musings too lool. Thanks Kachi! xxx

  • This is such a great list of lessons! Thank you!! Love your new blog content you are doing so well <3

    • Thank you booo xx <3