2022- Test Flight

Solomon Nzere
5 min readDec 31, 2022

Dragging myself to write this was hard. My job is 80% writing so this felt like another deadline of doom hanging over my head. Aside from general laziness, I was waiting for a pretty introduction or some other inspiration fuelled lines to open this. But again reviews are not meant to be pretty.

This year felt like two distinct halves. All my feelings, problems and wins were evenly split across two halves.

More importantly, it was also the first year that I tried out adulting full-time. I moved away from my mother’s house to Lagos in January to resume in-person at a startup I had joined in November. I was pumped walahi. My goal was to earn my stripes and spend at least one year at the company. Loool.

Labour Market

Work is such an important part of my life because it’s how I build and maintain relationships. Most of my friendships outside the ones gained in academic institutions have been sustained by work, a review here, a side project here and 2+ years of constant conversation and friendship.

But attaching your self-worth and value to where you work can also be a dangerous thing as I found out this year. I spent the better part of the year working in person at a startup where I was constantly chasing deadlines with no sense of growth in sight. It left me drained without realising it. At some point, I was promoted to lead my team throwing me deeper into the deep end without a clear path to what success looked like.

But what completely ruined it was my inability to press pause. I continued to immerse myself in tasks and office politics every month without taking time to rest or detach. By early September I had reached my breaking point. My fuse was short, I was completely exhausted. It wasn’t normal exhaustion. It was an exhaustion that made me numb to consequences. Deadlines and reminder emails meant little to me. I simply could not bring myself to care. So I quit without another job lined up.

During an exit interview with the CEO., she confirmed what I knew. I should have taken a leave much earlier to completely unplug from work and get a mental break. I know better now and I am constantly watching out for signs that I am spreading myself too thin.

I am forever grateful to #TeamRelentless. Thank you for the bants, the hard work, and the opportunity to do truly hard things in the shortest possible time

Sidebar- When work was mostly shit. I found consulting and had so much fun cracking briefs with the Under Gs. The best guys for real. Thank you for all the memories.

Another lesson was not to tie my emotions and personhood to a job or title. and it's one I have taken seriously. a job is a job. You get it done excellently and then you return to your life. I am serious about clearly establishing work-life boundaries. Luckily, I have joined a company that respects it and have a fantastic manager who understands and pushes me to improve.


In the pockets of the madness called Lagos, it was the random parties and hangouts that kept me going from Everbody Loves Bariga aka Tope’s Sweet 16 to Gangs of Lagos, Fridays at Oshay, Lara’s Rainbow picnic, Seun’s Office, McCoy’s House, Dozie’s parties. More of this in 23…

I wanted to do a collage but I can’t find pictures from many of these moments.


This year I finally moved into a self-con in Yaba after seeing the signs and wonders that Lagos real estate developers are building in the guise of houses. But that’s not the testimony. The testimony is how my brother and sister ( My Honourable Leader) took me in for the preceding six months, showering me with warmth and food. I still have a potbelly to show from the late nights of digging into poundo and sumptuous efo. God bless my Leader🙌🏾

They were also indispensable in helping me find a decent place and did not complain throughout the process not even when we went to scout uncompleted buildings in Surulere.

The best part is that this unit gave me the gift of the cutest nephew in the world ( Yes Simi, your nephew no reach!) On many days after work, sleeping on the ground next to David or cuddling him to get him to sleep was my highlight.

Such a sweet bundle of joy and I can’t wait for my friends to start giving birth🌚.

See the way he dey look me ❤️


Look at how the bulk of this review was taken up by work trauma. No romantic exploits or other adventures. less of that in 2023 abeg.

I am writing this in the customary gloom of the new year. I am a pain to live with in supposedly festive moments so I prefer to moan and faff around in the darkness. I have no expectations or plans to tick off in 2023. If anything 2022 has thought me that the best-laid plans or expectations can go to shit.

I am also really tired and I look forward to pressing pause in Q1 for some time away. I am not one of God’s strongest soldiers. I will not persevere or push through. Instead, I’ll disappear and give up. I hope the Almighty sees this and leaves me out of the battles of 2023.