This is awkward to write. I am twenty years old, why should I be writing this? But then again, I am twenty years old, why shouldn’t I be writing this?
This girl is a bundle of tense nerves and anxieties.
If I could somehow take a road that will meet up with yours without any detours, I would. I don’t want to test different waters. Intimacy feels like such an investment. But I would be a fool if I ignored the fact that not all investments have great returns. So I try to quantify things. If I could just delay dating to a time when I will be more comfortable in my person and ready to give, I save myself unnecessary heartache, right? I just don’t think anything worthy can come out of dating in my case – at least for now. There are just so many things I am trying to resolve. Call it a delayed adolescent crisis or whatever.
But say I get out of this egocentric phase of life relatively okay. I still have so many anxieties. I have heard every possible condescending criticism; I don’t need to hear any more. I am not a reed in the wind; I’m convicted. So when I say I hope to wait until I’m married to have sex, I am not sexually repressed; I am not religiously oppressed; I’m convicted. But I don’t know how the men I will interact with will react to this and I’m afraid I won’t know how to deal with that. I heard from various advertisements, magazines, radio shows and blogs that all a woman is good for is her body (they, of course, issue half apologies every now and then). I have to make a conscious effort to live beyond that every day.
I have this thing where I find it difficult to imagine myself committing to someone. Not that I have a problem with exclusivity but accountability; it is almost like being tethered, you know; and that makes me uncomfortable. So my fear is that I will be the girl who says, “I need space” or “I think we made a mistake” just because I live in my own head. I am comforted by the words of a friend. She said that one day I will meet someone who will change how I feel about all of this. And I suppose it is true, kind of like 500 Days of Summer. Summer never felt she wanted to be in a relationship, leaving Tom perplexed when all of a sudden she is getting married. And I feel Tom, like, Come on Summer! Come on! But he was just never the right guy for her; and she finally got to a place where things felt right.
If I do get into a relationship I think I will have my fingers crossed behind my back for its continuity because (lol), I don’t think I can handle heartbreak like that. Of course I can, as a matter of just necessity. But it is going to be hard. It makes you think about life carefully because “Every hello ends with a goodbye”; nothing here on earth lasts forever. Even what we perceive as continuity will be brought to an end by death. The different thing here though is the thought of someone one loves, still being on this planet, but with someone else or, not wanting to love or be with their former person.
With the key word being optimism, I will get through that phase of life. And into one where I make it to you. Morning Matatu rides, involuntarily listening to Maina and King’ang’i. Is it any wonder that a small part of me feels like marriage is a sham, and a small part of me feels sympathy during weddings?
The farther away from the present my thoughts drift away, the harder it is to write. One, because I realise how naïve I am to the realities of marriage and two, because it makes me almost sad. So let me go about this the way I know how; student shorthand style:
My Anxieties about Marriage
- The gradual process where I fade into obscurity
- Identity: Mother and wife? This thing that I can’t quite explain; the fight for personhood.
- A friend of mine was told, by an older woman, that a man must cheat at least once in the marriage. ‘Maina and King’ang’i in the Morning’ does not help much either. Many of the guys I know now have such restless eyes; what makes them think that they will magically transform into faithful spouses upon marrying? Maybe I am speaking out of annoyance. But truly, I wonder what dynamics lead to either half making bad decisions; does everyone struggle with this in one way or another?
- Unexpected entitlements
- Here I will only state my hopes. That you will consider us a team which has a lot of stuff it needs to get done; and that we will need to figure out how to get that stuff done together; and you will not bring to the table your entitlements; I hope that I will not either.
I just thought of how this sounds like those open letters I hate so much. And I suppose it is one.
I don’t know a lot. I don’t know what elective I will pick for next semester much less whether I will even want to be with someone. And that just goes to show how completely ordinary and limited we all are. The more I find God, the more I find myself. Of the future I have no real expectations but I look forward to see how things unfold. And through it all He remains Steadfast.