It’s already September! Before long, we’ll be back to donning minks and gloves for winter. Isn’t it amazing how time flies? Like a winged bird one moment it’s there and the next it’s gone.
I woke up one morning and it suddenly dawned on me that I am in a peculiar season in my life. Perhaps more interesting than any other seasons past. It’s left to be seen what the years ahead have in store for me, but every season has its own unique peculiarities that makes it memorable. My entire childhood was spent in Nigeria and was filled with fun, cheerfulness and holy fervor. I was everyone’s little princess, the smart, well spoken, out spoken and well-behaved one. Many of my activities involved church, I was in the adult choir and drama ministry, the only child who always attended Sunday school and never slept at vigils. Really a typical childhood for someone born into a conservative African Christian community. Part of my teenage years were spent in Nigeria, then I moved to the United States at sixteen. Teenagehood is not my favorite. I was plagued with all the insecurities, uncertainties and awkwardness of being a teenager combed with trying to figure out where I fit in in this strange and unfamiliar environment called America. But growing into a young adult and early twenties have been quite interesting so far for me. It’s been a season of discoveries and accomplishments, and I’m beginning to get the hang of this thing called adulthood.
I am quite pleased with what I’ve been able to complete so far. I may even receive a pat on the back for some of the accomplishments I already have in the bag, (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Career, Extracurricular). Not bad for a young black girl some might say. But I often get restless and wonder if there’s more to life than the obvious pattern I see my life falling into. As a matter of fact, life for most of us seem centered on these three coups, get an education, get a job, and get a husband or wife. That last part, I haven’t quite gotten to yet, which makes this a very interesting season in my life, because at some point during this season, I am expected to accomplish that feat. Or so I’ve been convinced. Friends and family keep posing this question to me, what’s left?
What is left indeed? I have an education, I have a source of income, I now possess the qualities that qualify me for a husband, or do I? It sure sounds like it from the inordinate amount of pressure I get from society to get married. Whatever happened to exploring the world, building a dream and discovering yourself? Those can all be done within the perimeters of your husband’s house I’m told. And I’m often reminded of that notorious biological clock that keeps ticking.
When I was younger I used to have all these ideas about being a non-conformist, some kind of social rebel. Who says I have to get married and be tied to taking care of a man and some children for the rest of my life? How about dedicating my life to some charity or missionary cause somewhere in the world or a career or something, anything other than fulfilling that societal expectation of marriage? Now that I’m older, being a rebel just doesn’t seem as appealing as it used to be. When I look around, I observe that all my friends are getting married, and the question remains what’s left? Then it dawned on me that whether or not I get married, the question will remain.
There will always be more to life, more to explore, more to discover, more to experience and more to accomplish. Milestone after milestone, season after season there will be more to do with our lives than we already have, because time never stops and as long as we have the breadth of life, there will always be new heights to attain. Then I asked myself, isn’t it better to go through life with a handsome someone as we both seek answer to that question, than to be a lonesome sojourner? And the answer was a soft and simple yes.
So for this season, I’m choosing love, warmth in the arms of my lover and matrimonial bliss. May not sound as exciting as exploring the world, on the contrary it appears quite normative. But what I have discovered is that marriage is a deeply exhilarating adventurous journey in and of itself, if taken with the right partner. Someone who like yourself is ever restless, always eager to discover what’s left. Who knows what cave of enchantments or treasures you may come upon as you both explore life together?
While seemingly normative, marriage is by no means ordinary or boring. It is more electrifying and stirring than any adventure we may seek in the alluring depths of the Grand Canyon or the highest peak of Mount Everest. What makes marriage seem unappealing to many in my generation is the complacency that steals over us, killing our quest for more. Marriage becomes bland and uninspiring when both individuals fail to keep up the hunt for life. Why should marriage be perceived as the end of fun and everything young folks look forward to? Why can’t we have fun together with our spouses? I understand there are responsibilities (children, bills, etc.), but these should never stop us from enjoying life to the fullest. Marriage should be a thrilling journey of discoveries with our spouses. Sometimes, one spouse plays tour guide and at other times, the other takes over. But we should never stop exploring, never stop asking what’s left and never stop seeking to discover it together.