• Enakeno Oju

Rising from Rock Bottom

At the beginning of every year, my mind starts to drift — to what I’ve done in the past year and what the New Year’s going to look like — and I realise just how crazy the past year has been. Today, it’s the beginning of a new year and I’m reflecting on how far I’ve come then I went back to 2017. The year that would change my life forever.


2017: My Successes, Failures and Lessons


The year 2017 was quite a remarkable year in the history of my life. That year, I hit rock bottom, but it was also an amazing year as my life transformed exponentially. There were highs, lows, challenges, and adventures, and everything in between, and when you add them all together, it was one of the most amazing years of my life because of the transformation that came with the experiences and lessons learnt. A lot of things happened, but most significantly, I bagged my PhD…what more can I say? It was a great year, and I am entirely grateful.

Here’s how it all started:


In January of 2017, I was in the lowest low of my life. I was down emotionally and physically. The experience was disheartening. It was like I was merely going through the motions. I sank deep into depression. I cried most of the time and was very sad too. I used to ask myself if I would ever be happy again until one day I woke up, and I was laughing. This was how I exited that phase.


However, I spent most of the year figuring out how to avoid ever getting that low again.


“How did I get here?” This was the question on my lips for quite some months. As it appeared, my life was spiralling down. This question, however, yielded fruit at the end of the day as I got to reflect on my entire life and finally made some decisions that would change my life forever.


So, I was at rock bottom. And from that point, I started the slow climb up again. I learnt some valuable lessons that I would never have learnt had I not gone into this situation.


I will save you the long stories and cut to the ending.


Somehow, I got back to my old self, and I was on my feet again. The challenges I faced were more like blessings in disguise now because of the lessons and the revelations that came with them. Above all, they made me “a better me.”


What 2017 Taught me:

  • Life is precious! No matter our ideas, our agility, our money, our performance is limited when we are sick.

  • Resilience! Now I know one can survive any situation anywhere in the world.

  • No matter what, keep moving! Never be on a spot.

  • The universe will come to our aid as soon as we begin to make moves.

  • We are the sole producer, director and the heroes in our life story. Only we have the ability to create the stories that we want to be told about us.

  • The higher we go, the greater the challenges, and the more demands that we will meet.

  • Dare to dream! Our lives turn out to be just how we dreamed them. The way we are today was what we dreamed yesterday. No more, no less.

  • Write dreams down! It’s exciting how years later we stumble upon our dreams and we find how far we have gone.

  • Nothing defines you! Who you are, emanates from within you.

  • Dare to ask for what you want! Rejection is a mere illusion. When you have your goals in front of you, ask for anything that will help you in achieving your goals. When you ask there is every probability that you would get what you asked for and if it’s a no, you are still you. You are not worse off than when you asked. And never be too proud to ask.

  • Humility! We are human, and no matter where we are, things can change, and we can be on the opposite side of the divide. Things can change from our own making or circumstances beyond our control. Therefore, we need to eradicate pride absolutely as we can be up today and down tomorrow. Likewise, someone down today can switch to the other side within split seconds.

  • Any food you don’t want to eat, don’t share with your teeth. Never! Stay away!

  • Taking action opens doors and exposes one to opportunities that we’d possibly never even considered before and can take us to the exact place that we’ve been trying to go without us even consciously trying to get there.

Above all, I learnt to appreciate every moment of every hour of every day. I also learnt to appreciate people more and every kind gesture towards me.


Above all, I have learnt to appreciate every moment of every hour of every day. I have also learnt to appreciate more both people and every kind gesture towards me.

To you my friend, if you are at that point where you are asking, “why me”; “God why”, “why”, “why” …I’ve got news for you, it will pass; “this too shall pass,” you will be okay. I’ve been there, and I came out; you will too. It may not be today, tomorrow, this week, next week or next month; it may not happen when you want, but I guarantee you that you will get out of it. You will smile again. Just keep taking tiny, teeny steps every day, and you will see yourself up again.

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