I’m always having these conversations that lead me to an angle to blog about here. So this past week I was having a chat with Widzo (don’t ask, but he’s a Singleton like me). We managed to share some of the social frustrations that come from friends and family implying that there is something wrong with us because we have not yet settled down.
On both sides there are the continuous biological lectures about how we are slowly rotting on the inside. How we will only be able to produce flawed off spring or how if we somehow break past the disability barrier we’ll be the embarrassing old parents at all the parent-teacher conferences. We also get warned of the fact that we may actually not get to raise our kids when we die from old age. It gets to me every time why someone can take one look at me and calculate my value in society based on whether I am married or have a child.
My personal contribution to society is just as valuable as any other person out there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being the “S” word in fact if more people spent quality “S” time they may actually make better spouses by investing in themselves failure of which is one of the things that causes marriages to fail. How could you ever hope to stay with someone else for the rest of your life if you don’t know how to stay with yourself? [A really good TED talk to watch on that is “The person you really need to marry” by Tracy McMillan]
Don’t ask me why I’m not married talk with me about where I am
I vaguely remember this advert that used to air on TV a while back, it must have been about raising awareness on how we relate better to each other or at least that’s what I got from it. It went like this:
There would be a video clip of one person talking aggressively at the other person then the ad would say “Talk to me, not at me” . Then the next clip would play, I think this one was of a parent scolding a child for spilling something by mistake, and it would say “Ask me what’s wrong? Not what’s wrong with me” and so on. I really wish I could remember what exactly it was for but I do know it was definitely not on ZBC, must have been either SABC or on one of the DSTV channels. Anyway the point I’m making is that there is a better way to confront some of these things. My mom likes to say “it’s not what you say but how you say it” and that is the difference between being heard and permanently being ignored.
Going straight to the marriage conversation when someone is above the societal regulated age of marriage (30) assumes that the person has failed to report for growth and development duty within a reasonable amount of time and the mandate now rests on you the social police to harass, correct and rehabilitate this offender. Now my problem with that is the audacity of it all.
Someone knows nothing of the internal struggles and growth that you are undergoing or have undergone yet they claim to have a solution for your “problem”. Please understand I’m not angry or pushing some anti-marriage agenda I absolutely do believe in marriage and will be married once the time is right for us (in other words when we have found each other and are sure that we are ready and willing to be together for the long haul).
It takes more than there being two to tango
Marriage though desirable is also a difficult work which does not always guarantee that you will live a happier life. It is actually more of a journey than a destination and believe it or not life actually does continue after the wedding. Married or not, life is for living and a better thing to focus on is being where you are and not where you think you should be, sometimes it’s the reaching outside of your reality that causes you to stay behind even when God is extending a hand to lift you to the next dimension of your life.
When you realise and accept that life is a series of seasons meant to grow and edify you, you will also realise that these seasons are not linear and they are certainly not made for us to compare notes on how much better one is doing than the other. Every season in our lives is an opportunity to connect with our lives and those in them at a deeper level than the season before and as long as we are graced with more seasons there will be more to learn, embrace and enjoy.
You can go through your whole life without ever having contributed meaningfully to the world. Your mark can be so faint that the only reminder of you is a death certificate sitting in an office somewhere and a fancy stone worth more than the love and relationships you could have had if you had spent your life living. I don’t think the point of praising God is getting our way all the time I think the point is not getting our way all the time, falling flat on our faces a gazillion times, getting back up just to get blown down again by His winds of refinement and still remaining thankful for that which is greater than our desires..the gift of life…