At sixteen years old, my ideal age for being married was twenty-three. According to my calculations, by twenty-three I would have completed sufficient academic studies, secured a good job, my home, and found ‘the love of my life’ . I vividly remember sitting in our classroom during the free periods and conversing intently with my colleagues; a group of five or so females, about all the things we would do when we finished high school. We talked about our desired success; career paths and financial wealth, our girls’ trips across the world, the qualities we wanted in a partner, the things we wanted for each other, what we imagined sex for the first time to be and when was the right time. We discussed how many children we wanted to have and how we would let our children have playdates together. For us, it was a very serious discussion and everyone was keen on listening and sharing their own aspirations. Reminiscing, I can only laugh heartily and wonder if my friends have the same memory.
I’m twenty-three years old now and oh boy, how life has unfolded. It has been a beautiful, continuous process of death and rebirth of ideas, beliefs, and attitudes. My calculations were very far-fetched; to say the least. Certainly, adulthood is a real thing. There’s a stark difference between that of my sixteen and twenty-three years old self. I recently saw Ms. Annie, a staff of my high school, who curiously asked how I was doing. I used the opportunity to let her know that I wanted a full refund on the dreams they sold us about adulthood. We both laughed and she reminded me that we were all ‘too excited’ to grow. About some of those things; I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree, resigned from my very unfulfilling job, my own home- well, mi mama casa es mi casa and the love of my life turned out to be my own damn self. As for that chocolate Morris Chesnut-looking partner, I will probably have to dip him in the chocolate myself. Yet, none of these things qualified me for marriage; they never did! But you knew that, already. What, in the ‘and I oop!’, was my sixteen years old self, thinking?!
I’m not saying this cannot be the fate of another young dreamer, it just wasn’t mine. My desire isn’t any more to be married by a specific time as much as it is to marry the right person. My academic accomplishments- achieved and desired, a good job-which is very relative, my home-the one with the pool on the roof, the girls’ trip (we’ve have managed one so far) and all the others things we discussed have been placed into different perspectives and order of priority with time; as with everything else. My new goals include discovering who I am and what my purpose is so that I can fulfil it, accepting and loving myself unconditionally so that I can also accept and love others the same and certainly becoming the best version of myself, always. No timelines. Listen, I just want to go back and tell my sixteen years old self to stop embarrassing twenty-three years old me with those things she told her colleagues during those conversations. I would definitely tell her, “Girl, be quiet! It’s real in these streets!” Now, I wonder what my thirty-five years old self will think of twenty-three years old me.
Learning. Being. Becoming
What are some things your sixteen years old self thought?