Photo by TNK PHOTO on Unsplash
Being a woman in her mid-twenties, I am at that point in life where marriage tends to come up in my conversations with family and friends. They feel that at this stage in life where I am highly educated and have a well-paid job, the next milestone I should be looking to achieve is that of marriage.
When I tell them not to hold their breath, they seem appalled. In their opinion, I am not taking this issue seriously enough. I should invest more time and effort into achieving this milestone before it becomes too late; before I become one of those women in their mid-thirties with no husband and no children.
While I do want to get married and have one or two children of my own, I am in no hurry to get there. I am still trying to find my purpose in life and I believe that there is more to my life than becoming someone’s wife. All my extra time is spent working on various projects which I believe will eventually lead me to discover and achieve my mission on this planet; leaving me with little time to present myself as ‘wife material’. Putting myself out there – going to different social outings where there are likely to be single men – requires time and effort. And even if I meet someone ‘interesting’, that whole process of getting to know them, going out on dates, requires even more time and effort.
I, like many others, would like to lead a happy and successful life. But happiness and success mean different things to different people. Most people in the African community believe that simply being married with children is the pinnacle of a woman’s success. This is not the case for me; it is being happily married to someone who is striving to be the best version of himself and who pushes me to do the same.
I have so many goals and ambitions and so little time and resources to bring them to fruition. I don’t want to invest time and energy trying to merge paths with someone else while still trying to discover what my own path in life is. For all I know, this person I meet may not even know what theirs is. We may then end up in a situation where, two people who haven’t discovered their individual purpose are trying to merge paths in order to form a single purpose. It becomes a case of the blind leading the blind.
If I am not in control of the direction in which my life is going, I run the risk of losing my sense of self by being involved in a romantic relationship. I use the term ‘control’ here very loosely because none of us is in absolute control of our lives. Being conscious of this, I think it makes sense for me to invest time and effort in getting to a stage where I can say, ‘I know what my purpose is.’.
One of my great fears about marriage is being unequally yoked. That is, being paired with someone who doesn’t match my drive, or my spiritual beliefs, or my sense of purpose and ambition. Hopefully the closer I get to discovering my purpose, the easier it will be to determine what I want in a husband, besides the obvious criteria of being loving and kind.
That being said, I am in no way a recluse. I still go to a few parties and social gatherings. However, if I can get away with it, I will always prioritise spending more time on my personal projects over being a socialite. Hopefully I won’t be writing another article in ten years’ time expressing how much I regret not having invested enough time in finding a husband.
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