Earlier this year, I wrote an article on how I was dealing with anxiety because I was in a bad place at the time. The little things got to me; I cried a lot, worried about things I couldn’t control, and I was barely eating well. My closest friend and I weren’t on good terms and it hurt me more than I thought it would. The whole period of quarantine made me feel like my life had no direction, and instead of talking to someone about my feelings, I bottled them up and cried whenever I reached a breaking point.
Thrilled to have my NYSC program in Lagos, I was glad to explore the state, meet amazing people, get posted to a good firm, and learn new skills. I thought living in Lagos would be as easy as other states I’ve lived in, but boy was I wrong! I had high hopes because I was a newbie in the state, so I couldn’t have predicted my experience.
During the first few months of my youth service, I had a hard time adjusting. I complained to everyone that cared to listen. It was so difficult for me to adapt to the lifestyle that on some days, I fought so hard to hold back tears. In those moments, I needed my mum the most. I felt like she would have all the answers. Everything in Lagos stressed me out, and the advice I kept getting was, “You’re an adult now, you have to face these challenges yourself.”
When the lockdown started, I assumed things would be better, but they weren’t. I wasn’t comfortable where I was. I missed my family, and even though I wasn’t living alone, it felt like I was. My moods were so bad sometimes that I had to take long walks in the evenings to feel better. As I rounded up my NYSC program, I became sure of one thing; I was done with Lagos State. I’d realized my anxiety wasn’t going away, so I decided it was time to leave and be in a more sane environment. With no plan of where to move to or how to go about all I wanted, I turned to God for guidance.
I left Lagos a few days after I concluded my NYSC program, and the moment I got home, I felt better. Everything that made me anxious gradually disappeared. I went back to my board to reorganize my plans, and things began to make sense. The month of August was a period where I needed to review so many things and be in a good headspace to focus on what I want to do with my life, which I was able to do.
Before the month ended, I got an invite for a job interview. I was nervous and had doubts. I had to move again and this time, it was farther than the last place. For some reason, it felt like I was leaving my family behind again. I didn’t know if it was a good idea to travel across the country to start afresh because stepping out of my comfort zone isn’t something I like to do. Contrarily, I knew that leaving one’s comfort zone is the only way to gain the experience needed to face bigger challenges that are ahead, so I decided to face my fears and start over.
During the trip, I thought about how I’d adjust to the new environment, the cost of living, and the people I’ll become acquainted with. I was glad to be starting over in a city that is less stressful as compared to Lagos. I settled in quite well and started work immediately. So far, life here has been good, the people are nice, the weather is chilly, the food is okay, and work has been hectic.
The hardest part of the moving process was convincing myself that this was a good decision to make. I’ve lived in a few states, but this is the farthest from home that I’ve lived in. I feel so far from my siblings and friends, and I sometimes get lonely. But more than anything, I feel compelled to stretch and grow and see all that I can become. I cannot wait to explore the city, meet up with old friends, and enjoy each moment to the fullest. I’m excited to see what this place has to offer.
Have you taken a huge decision that has paid off? I’d love to hear in the comment section!