Lessons from ‘21

Bill Ivans Gbafore
5 min readDec 26, 2021
Photo by Rafal Wilinski on Unsplash

“ Life’s for the living so live it, or you’re better off dead… “

— Passenger

I sat on a beach a few days ago with my friends beneath the trees, overlooking the rocks and the waves, and having reflections over the year. We reminiscence on major successes we have had in our individual and collective lives, failures and the lessons learned, and aspirations for the year to come. For two hours, this somber exercise reminded me of a lot of things I lost this year, the steep places I found love, hope, and strength; and the illusions that led me one day after the next. We all have stories to tell and lessons to share from ’21, this is a personal reflection of what life has been for me in five counts:

1. Everything is Temporary: Make Memories while they last

The previous year was one of gloom, sorrow, and misery. And this year reinforced the aura of death and loss in many ways reminding me of the vanity of life and the lingering presence of death. In the first half of this year, I lost a friend who was a third-year medical student and it dawned hard on me. Clint had dreams, hopes, and was determined as much as any of us. Before his death, we had plans to roll out certain projects and he had two books underway. But like a good music whose lyrics lingers when the song is ended, it is the memories Clint left with us we have learned to cherish. Because life is temporary and death is inevitable, we should make memories with the people we love while they last. We aren’t promised tomorrow or even the next minute. All we have is now. The one minute. The soldier’s minute (As Tommy Shelby would say). And living the moment is all we can, because we can lose whatever that is.

2. Be Selfish: Say NO!!!

For about 8 months this year, I barely got 4–5 hours sleep a day. I overworked myself and accepted everything my friends requested. I worked on a lot of projects, school works, and personal stuffs for friends. At one point, I missed out three personal deadlines and two assignment because I was caught up in a web of work for people. I was emotionally drained and I thought I could help everyone but I soon realized it was never enough. Human wants are insatiable and the more you do, the more they want you do. You should learn to have limits…

Bill Ivans Gbafore

Bibliophile, Lover of Culture, Arts, Economics, and Lifestyle