Yesterday I had the privilege of having dinner with two of my close girlfriends and by December 2010 all three of us would be married and one would be very close to giving birth to her first child! It was a great dinner and we spent the time chatting about our lives, our loves, our homes, and really some of our hopes for the future. At a table next to us sat four women, perhaps in their late 30s with a few kids at the table, also chatting very vividly with laughs and hugs interspersed, like a later version of our own group. I'm happy. I felt at peace with my experiences this year.
A few days ago, Bo & I went to see the movie Grown Ups with Adam Sandler and some other funny men and while the movie was largely goofy and funny, there was a scene just towards the end when one of the characters says "You know the first half of your life is exciting, it's when you try all the new things, and do all the running around, but the second half...well that's well the magic REALLY happens, that's when you get depth to your life." I looked around the theatre for a moment because it was like whoever wrote that script was stealing from my thoughts. I've always said to Bo that I felt that with my weddings and my marriage I have finally left the first phase of my life and now moving comfortably into the next. Marriage and starting a family comes with it's own completely new set of realities and worries and concerns and joys. So different. I hugged Bo a little tighter in the theatre that night, snuggle in close and I'm happy. I felt at peace with this new phase of my life.
Recently I was discussing with a whole bunch of ladies, some who were just about to get married, some who had already celebrated anniversaries, and some of us who were still green and new. There was a pregnant woman amongst us and she says so when are you and Bo planning to have your first? I look at her and say "I don't know, just not anytime soon" She was taken aback. Another young lady who was getting married in October says , "Oh I know we're like that too we want to wait about six months before trying" and I said well, that sounds great but I think we'll probably wait for a few more years. She says, "Years???". I shrug and answer in the affirmative. The conversation then moves into preparing a woman's body for pregnancy and everyone calmly or kindly shoves me to the corner. Instead of feeling well, shoved aside, I felt free. I felt wonderfully clear-minded. I was happy. I felt at peace with my hubby and I's plan and vision for our family.
If I've learnt anything this year it's to stay true to oneself. There's so much societal noise, and Nigeria certainly a place where there's no qualms about societal pressure to conform, but it is important as ladies for us to find our inner true selves, our own voices, and follow that path and that path alone. If you don't want a large carnival wedding, don't have one REGARDLESS. If you don't feel like you are absolutely ready to push another human being through your female parts and nurse it, then don't do it yet. If you don't feel absolutely overjoyed and excited at the thought of waking up at 90, looking across at your husband, and thanking God that the man next to you is a witness to this crazy journey of life, then don't get married. If you can't find any logical reasoning as to why your name should change simply because you declared your love for another human being, then don't change it. If you don't feel like living in a big house in Lekki with a maid, a cleaner, two drivers, a maiguard, and a load of other strangers that bow to you and call you Madam when you're only 25 then don't.
Those who matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter.
At almost six months in, Bo & I and our relationship is no longer about whether we love the other person or whether Bo will propose or not, or whether he'll call or not. I know he loves me, he knows I love him. Dearly. Now the relationship is about building a life. A task that brings me indescribable and immense joy and pleasure. I firmly believe that this is because we are committed to defining ourselves and ourselves within our marriage on our OWN terms.