A good conversation with a great friend inspired me to write this so I’m going to speak as if I’m speaking to a young woman who I would regard as my sister. I have 3 blood sisters but so many more sisters than I could have ever wished for who inspire me so often and persevere through their personal struggles on a daily basis. Whether you are 15 or 20+, I hope you can take something away from this. I am speaking in the context of man and woman so please feel free to customise what I’m saying to fit your lifestyle.
I know you are constantly in conversation with friends who are in relationships and marriage can’t help but slip from their lips. In our tradition and many other cultures, it is seen as a normality that after a particular period of time, marriage is the next step. However, with this being said, we don’t all start our journeys of partnership at the same time, which is why it is hard to fathom at a time when we aren’t even in conversation with anyone.
Every day of our lives isn’t exciting and while we enjoy the glow of alone time, it does get lonely. It’s okay to be vulnerable to that notion but it’s not okay to go back to treatment that is unchanged and repetitive of your past. What I mean by this is, yes it gets lonely but don’t let that feeling override what you know you deserve. A synonym for deserving is ‘be good enough for’ and I want you to remember that synonym when you feel like you have been wronged in a relationship and you question whether or not you ‘deserved’ it. Continue to value yourself and your time enough to not settle for less than your chosen preference. Who are you to have a preference? You are someone who deserves to have one. I notice that when I speak about preference I am sometimes questioned by men, sometimes in a mocking tonality. The mocking comes from them wondering who I am to have a preference. God forbid we as women hold ourselves to a certain standard. A black man can look me in the eye and say he doesn’t like black women and I am expected to not blink an eyelid because if I do, it goes back to that conversation of ‘we’ always have a problem with it when it is the other way around. Anyway, I won’t divulge into that anymore. My point is, when you have a preference, be expected to be hit back with questions built-in hypocrisy. However you choose to answer is up to you but at the end of the day, your choice is still your choice and that is more than okay.
There will be chatter about body count. You’ll see it on YouTube, you’ll see it on Twitter and you may even be asked the question in real life. Dear sis, whether or not you choose to answer, please do not stem your net worth in your sexual encounters. A bit like preference, we are made to feel bad about our decisions without there being any context behind our choices. Moreover, why do we sometimes get the feeling of being policed about it? In every encounter, whether sexual or nonsexual, I hope you learn a little more about yourself. I hope you don’t see your encounters as regrets or mistakes but life lessons that have made you wiser. It is easy to feel like a fool for laying down with someone else in the past who you now deem as a stranger to you in your present. However, we should not soak ourselves in shame. Moreover, we should not soak other women in shame because it would hurt if we knew someone judged us in the same capacity.
Finally, sis, I hope you always believe in love. As we get older we start to realise how dark the world is and that is why we tend to love the innocence of a child. I know people who have been married at 23 and divorced at 29. I know men who have had two different women pregnant at the same time without them knowing until very late into their pregnancy. I could go on and on about the awful stories I have heard that made me want to utter the words, ‘men are trash’ but I won’t. There are also so many wonderful stories of couples who have been together for over 40 years, couples who have split up then gotten back together and lived happily ever after. While it is easy to remember the dark stories, let us also remember the ones of light for the sake of the future that we speak about and sometimes even pray for.
Another important thing, don’t feel the need to give up your career. A career to a man has the same definition as a career to a woman. Do not insert ‘sacrifice’ into the middle of the word career because you are a woman.
Love and light,
Bola Sol x