Hello guys, my name is Gloria and this is for butterflies! Yaaaaayyyyy!!! Lol, I wish I could send a voice note of me shouting, my gosh! How I’ve missed this column, how I’ve missed you guys. Wow! It’s so good to be back and can I say a merry merry merry christmas to you people and a happy new year in advance…. 
Hmm! This year has been tough, hasn’t it? A really checkered one, I must say, the last time posted something on here, or the time before that, I said I had a big mountain to move; well… I did it, by God I really did it! I’m so happy that I can hardly contain my joy. I could start explaining but then I’d finish in December 2017 so I won’t, instead, I’ll say this; this truant is back and she ain’t going nowhere, at least not anytime soon.So I became a year older, last month (no, I haven’t seen a stray grey hair yet) and I just had to look at the two decades I’ve spent on planet earth in retrospect; the miracles, the experiences, memories that seemed mundane but in retrospect hold the most values, the laughs, the tears, this incredible emotion just welled up in me as a rollercoaster of gratitude and blessings so much so that I had to give God the glory and praise for making me the incredible human being that I am today. 

I’m not much for religion, but every twist and every corner that has led me to here just show how beautiful and how gracious God has been to me and I cannot stop smiling about it. Have I gushed about my incredible friends and family? I’m so lucky to be in these people’s lives, from the people I’ve known all my life to those I’m just meeting, these ones have in one way or another contributed to the existence that is Gloria, and I feel blessed to have encountered each and every one of them. To people who asked about the ‘for butterflies’ writer who went AWOL, ese o, it’s lovely to know that I was missed.  

That isn’t all I’m thankful for but I wanted to ask; is there anything you’re grateful for? 2016 has been a really tough year especially for most Nigerians, what with the plunging of the Naira, the hike in fuel price, the hike in school fees and virtually everything else, the inability/refusal of some state governments to pay salaries, the recession has almost swallowed the country whole, there’s been a reported increase in the suicide rate, families that were teetering between lower average and poor have been completely tipped into penury. Outside the country, bad things are happening; Aleppo, Syria and Berlin, Germany are recent examples, even the craziest stuff happened in the U.S where they unleashed oga Trump and his twitter account on the Oval Office! (although, I gotta say I expected it, I had a really good laugh when I heard the result, I just couldn’t contain my smugness). I’m sure you guys know what I’m talking about when I say that this year has really been tough, but despite all that has gone down, is there anything, that you have to be thankful for?

I’ll be a really big hypocrite if I say there haven’t been times I’ve been overwhelmed by despair, I will not call myself an optimist, infact most people would ‘lol’ over the ludicrousness of the very idea that I could be fathomed as one (I don’t think I’m that bad, but that’s what they say) there’ve been times I’ve broken down in tears thinking about how unfair life is to me and times that I’ve felt it would have been better had I not have existed, but as I grew and my thought process grew with me, I’ve found out that being grateful for as little as clean water to drink when I’m thirsty does something for me I didn’t realize it could; it gives me the illusion that I’ve got a reason to continue. If I can think of good things I’ve got going for me, one teensy-weensy thing after another, I realize that the greatest blessing I have is the opportunity I have to count those blessings, I may not be as rich as Femi Otedola (on my way there, I promise) but I’m not out on the streets and begging for food either, I’ve got people who love me, an education that some can only dream of getting, I do not lack for clothes, shoes and food above all, I’m alive and every breath that I take reminds of possibilities, of opportunities to re-invent myself, that can only present themselves to the living. At the very moment I’m with my two little cousins who are making my life a living hell (kudos to mothers everywhere who have to deal with toddlers, those precious little things are at best described as having demonic tendencies) and I’m grateful to have them torment me (that’s what I’ll keep telling myself). Five years ago, they were just dormant eggs in someone’s ovary, today they’re running and screaming and pouring cocopops everywhere and I can’t imagine an existence without these two, another reason to be grateful.

So what are you grateful for this yuletide? I’d like to know at least one, do write about it in the comment section below. Before I drop my pen, I’d like to say from my end here that 2017 will come with a lot of new things for this column and I’d like for you guys who read to expect something new and quite possibly, exciting, please introduce your friends and colleagues to the blog and this column in particular, I’ve got somewhat crazy plans for it now that I’m free of the fear that plagued me all through 2016. I wish you a merry Christmas, may your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be filled with joy.