Recently, I have been seeing updates on Facebook where they remind you of some posts you made years ago and I saw this one above which brought a serious rush of nostalgia to me.
The year 2009 was when I left my 7 year old marriage due to many reasons which majorly included verbal and physical abuse. Leaving this marriage was a very hard decision for me because I didn't want to be seen as a failure and also following a trend because my mum raised me as a single mum.
When I moved out, I still had my job at the bank I was working and of course I was still keeping up appearances of being a "big chic" with all the fanciful trappings of success which included expensive clothes, shoes, bags and of course real 24 carat gold jewelry which I loved so much and was always buying.
Fast forward to 2010 when I had to resign from my bank job because of this ex husband of mine (that is story for another day). I resigned in March 2010 and a few months after was when the reality of the situation dawned on me.
Feeding became HELL and I had to sell off all my gold jewelry and trust me because of my desperate situation, I sold most of them for way less than I bought them. At the time, I used to buy them from the older sister of one of my friends and I was even owing her for some I hadn't even paid for ( the horror of buy now pay later!)
As for those expensive suits, shoes and bags, many of them got spoilt so I couldn't even sell them and that was when I knew that all was just vanity. At this time, many of my "close" friends gradually became distant friends and it was on Facebook I will see pictures of them at events and when I ask why I wasn't invited they will give me very flimsy reasons...chai!!
All this while, I was looking for work seriously but because of my years of experience, most jobs will tell me I was over qualified and offer me lower positions which I saw as an insult and also beneath me. At this time, humility was not in my dictionary, I still saw myself as being up there and that it was just a matter of time.
Gradually, months turned into a year and by then it was not funny anymore. My mum had to be sending me money for the upkeep of my children as their father was not forthcoming and my mum is a pensioner so you can imagine. It got to the point where I would go and visit family friends with my kids so that they could eat there as there was no food at home. I will even collect stuff on credit from the malam beside my house so my kids can take biscuit and drink to school...shout out to Muritala! (Lol)
By this time, I was totally broken. One day, one of my male friends asked if I had thought of taking a job with lower pay just to make ends meet and I insulted him and said he should never mention such to me again.
However, a few weeks after, I went for a business fellowship meeting in my church and my pastor spoke on how people will rather remain jobless because they feel some jobs are beneath them and they become pests on other people around them. The bottomline of his message was that we should humble ourselves and allow God lift us up from that seemingly small job we find. It hit me there and then that I was one of such people. I cried so much that day in church the ushers had to come meet me to ask if all was well.
A few days after this, I met a friend of mine from secondary school who was a fashion designer and she invited me to her shop which was huge. She taught me how to make corsages and when she had orders I will make some and she will give me some money on each one I make. She also used to make uniforms for schools and I will tack buttons on them also for payment and that was how I gradually started earning small income again.
I learnt how to make soup with 300/500 Naira...shout out to ila asepo with eja kika(Lol). Eventually, I looked at other options and started assisting a colleague in serving food to his clients at training courses. From here, I attended a vocational training in my church on soap making and was hawking my liquid soap in my car to people's offices and houses. I also dabbled into costume jewellry as well and just became a business woman of sorts.
After 2 years in this humbling situation, by now I had a modest view of my importance and had learnt not to look down at anyone or think higher of myself in relation to others. All my prior arrogance was also gone and I had learnt to live within my means and finally, the media job opportunity I am currently doing came my way.
Looking back now, I thank God for allowing me go through that wilderness period because it has made me a better person. In the course of all this, I incurred some bad debts but it was because I was trying to cover up how bad my financial situation really was.
I want to encourage anyone that might be at crossroads right now in their lives, sometimes God allows us go through some things because He wants to refine and make us better people. Personally, I continue to be a work in progress because I am not there yet and of course I still have days when money no dey, but I know it is all fleeting because God has brought me too far to leave me alone.
Please learn to humble yourself and allow God lift you up. Whatever your hands findeth to do in the midst of looking for that lucrative job, do it with all your heart and mind and God will surprise you beyond your imagination.