Michelle Aniuchi
4 min readJan 7, 2024


2023 recap — A year of firsts

Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash

I started 2023 with a few plans and dreams. In 2022, all I had done was live life on the fringes and with good reason. I talk about it in my Reflection on 2022 article.

In 2023 though, I decided I was going to take a different direction. I was going to actually step into my life and live. Here are some highlights of the past year.

Trip to Vancouver

One of my goals was to take a trip — one to Vancouver in particular. So I took it — my first solo trip. It was so beautiful. I felt a lot closer to nature there than in Toronto. It kind of reinforced my hope to one day move there more permanently. Maybe, some day. 🙂

Bye Cynophobia. I think.

A culture shock I got when I moved here was seeing how much pet dogs people had and how crazy they were about them. I used to be petrified of dogs. I had a minor thing with a puppy as a child and it became a trauma for me way into my adulthood. Seeing one up close would have me so on edge and I absolutely avoided them.

Since I moved, I have gotten so much better with being around them, albeit not so up close. I could walk on the same sidewalk if I saw a dog coming and I have even begun smiling at some.

A huge milestone I took though in 2023 was sitting up close right next to one. I was invited over by a couple who had this sweetest dog. Was I on edge at the beginning? Kind of. Did I end up making it through the evening without causing chaos? See for yourself in the picture below.

Everyone was so kind. They had it on a leash for a bit so that it could get used to me and as the night progressed, I didn’t need one. I say ‘I’ because I was the one who needed the reassurance of the leash not the dog. 😅 That was a first for me.

Otis was so nice that when I was leaving, he came to say bye.

First Owambe in Canada

Weddings are great. You know what’s even more awesome? Nigerian weddings. I attended my first wedding in Canada — a Nigerian-American wedding and it was a blast. The music, the food and the company was mwah!

Although, it was still cold and rainy at that time of the year, it didn’t prevent me from serving looks though. Cold is temporary but drip is forever.

The only downside is that I was seeing turning up now I have to keep my rep. 😩

For real though if you haven’t attended a Nigerian wedding yet, it should be on your bucket list. I’d invite you but there’s no wedding in sight for me for the time being.

A Stadium Convention and Girls trip! Whoop whoop!

All my life, I have attended conventions in open air assembly grounds fashioned in the style used in Nigeria. See picture below.

Assemblies and conventions in stadiums were things I read about in the year books. Until 2023. It was a whole new experience, plus I volunteered for the first time 😃. It was also in a different city farther than usual so I planned to stay over.

I teamed up with two sisters and we traveled together from Toronto to Kitchener and stayed in the quaintest Airbnb ever. It had a DVD gallery with some really old classic movies and I got to see the Princess Bride for the first time. The host even gave us banana bread 🥹.

Some core memories were made during the drive back and forth and I’d always remember it.

Shout-out to Kristy for offering to drive BTW. She’s the sweetest.

A brief check-in from Dad.

Going two years without seeing your immediate family can be tough so when my dad got to come, you can only imagine how excited I was albeit how brief it was.

Can’t wait for my mom and my brother to come as well.

Hello PR

Need I say more? This is serving as a reminder for me to go update my SIN and health card though. 😂

Also shout-out to Canoo for furnishing me with free entrance to all my favorite spaces and places I have always wanted to go to this year. I cannot wait to finally go to Little Canada.

Lessons learned

  1. To keep putting myself out there a lot more. You’ll meet people and create more memories.
  2. More solo outings. I enjoy them so much too.
  3. Lastly, seeking closure is highly unnecessary. Ask yourself: what purpose does it serve? At the end of the day, you find out it’s just your ego getting the best of you. So, let it go.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back again. Hopefully not too long from now.