I know I've been battling with myself. My mind runs wild but my body tells a completely different story or rather my body reacts to these battles and all I have to show for it is a couple pounds of fat around my mid section. I've chosen to ignore my body because I have my "rules". These "rules" (a better word would be "principles") are set up to better myself or at least for me to appear a certain way. For instance, don't lay down with a man unless you can afford a pack of condoms. If you have to scratch your head after looking at the price of sanitary towels, forget it my friend.
I'm 27. A lot of time has passed and I am still not at the place I want to be at financially and in terms of accomplishments, I am far behind. I've recently taken time out of "life" (how do you take time out of life? - we'll get to that) because I felt like I wasn't being my true self or rather I was turning into something I no longer recognised and I disliked. This dislike of myself now meant I was putting up walls, blocking certain aspects of my growth, so I would appear principled and responsible.
What am I talking about?
Part of my character requires me to take calculated risks but another part of me impulsive. I'm talking about love. Nature vs nurture. I am soft but I am temperamental. I like the idea of love and legacy but I am scared of childbirth and a vacant partner.
I've reflected back on my parents marriage and I am envious of it. I believe I can have the same too but I want it to be better. My mother chose my father even though she was advised against it. She loved my father enough to procreate with him, even though his time on earth would be short. He mattered to my mother, not his viable life span. My father breathed and she was in love. My father loved my mother, she was intelligent but didn't necessarily have the means to explore all her options academically. My father was into literature, mythology and legal language. I've come across some of his written sermons. He had an amazing mind and I saw something in my mother but to be honest with you, I think it was down to biology. My mother saw my mother's lean frame, her hips and her calm and measured nature. Till this day I listen to my mother's sultry voice, I admire her calmness and I know where my hips come from. They overlooked each others flaws because of love.
I meet potential partners all the time - that's my ovaries talking and I hate that part of myself. I feel like when I meet these men, I am a walking billboard, I'm constantly auctioning myself off. Whether I like it or not my body will always be a point of contention when it comes to the male gaze. I am not for every man but I am for someone and I need him to be attentive.
My body has to be noticeable before he can even explore my earning potential and level of intelligence. I am not the smartest and I am not a big earner but my ability to produce offspring....
I don't want to be known for the children I gave birth to. I do wonder about my mother, even though I am a product of love, am I all she has? What were her goals and plans before my father? Was the Lagosian housewife dream hers? Is it mine?
I've had a friend of mine recently reappear. I'm pretty sure he knows I am open for a relationship with him but he has always been cautious and with good reason.He always comes back to peak into my life, to see what I am up to. Can this be the mother of my child? Can she hold down a job for more than a year? Does she know what an anaconda is? (inside joke). Can she break down a simultaneous equation to a 9 year old? Please play Sam Cooke's Wonderful World here or Beyonce's 1+1.
I like intelligent men, I like philosophers. How can I demand of someone what I am not myself?
I will constantly be playing catch up to someone who is better than me. It makes me question myself and why I don't value what I have. Maybe I need to evaluate what I am attracted to in men. Is a man settling when he chooses me? If I am choosing someone who is just as principled and as calculated as I am, breathing is not enough. For me to notice he had breath, meant I heard him speak, it meant I admired his perspective or I loved the way he put words together or I am intrigued by his library. My library is lit and my cursive is banging! Please ignore the words "lit" and "banging, future long-term partner.
For you to exist and for me to love you as you are, it's not how you look, it's you, what you say, your character, what you do. For men, I find it to be the same but the looks department is a thing. My looks department has been waning as of late. My break on "life "meant I paid off my bills for 6 months and willingly entered a hole of depression. The black cloud returned and I wanted life to stop. I literally have a bucket list of things I want to do and I will happily die afterwards. That's my mind speaking but my body wants this man to choose me, not my potential, not my child bearing efforts but me. Nothing but me. I've warned this man, when you enter this sphere, my life, my world, you know exactly what to expect and I'm not here for friendship alone. I will not be friend zoned in 2017.
I've read "We Should All Be Feminists" and yet on the most basic level, I really just want one man to notice me. I know Adichie does not dispel the inclusion of men, for women to experience equality in totality. Don't come for me! Although it is so strange, after education, power, money, some of us just want to nurture. Why am I so ashamed of this form of womanliness?