They say they do not want to pressure you but it’s there…
It’s there in their eyes.
It’s there in their words.
It’s there when you ask for money from them because you don’t have a job yet.
It’s there when they ask “when we go come chop rice na?”
It’s there when your mother repeatedly gushes about the wrapper she dreams of tying on your wedding day.
It’s there when you father says “for you, a partner should even come before you get a job”.
It’s there when your grandfather says you should “bring home an Urhobo man oh, make we do the wedding before December”.
It’s there in their masked good intentions.
They say they are not pressuring you but oh they are, they are all pressuring you.
Dear father, mother, grandfather, extended family, friends, and loved ones…
I realize that you really love me and want the best for me. You want me to be able to give birth to all my kids before I step into the dreaded zone of 30 years and above and that’s all well and good.
I realize that society has almost made “when we dey come chop rice” the standard joke/nudge for one to get married.
I realize that you really want my man to bring the gin to you when you are still alive.
I realize that I even want you to experience these things… I want you to experience the joy of giving your daughter’s hand in marriage to someone else.
I want to see the twinkle in your eyes as you shop for my household items in the market.
I want to see the laughter in your eyes as you play with your grand kids.
But please bear with me. Please accept the fact that I have no control over when these things may happen.
I know my cousin Oghenevwede just got married and I am happy for her but that doesn’t mean that the next question should be “when is my own?”.
I sincerely do not have an answer to that question. I wish I did but you see, there is something called times and seasons for everyone and there is also something called faith in God… Faith in the one who created the times and seasons. He alone knows when that man will come, He alone knows when the man who will present the gin to you will arrive.
I am content to wait for God’s best time and man for me. Will you be content with that for me too?
And while we are waiting, could you please place a lid on the subtle pressure?
It really doesn’t help much that you think aloud about the day when you will paint Ughelli town with news of my wedding.
I know you mean well, but those words do not always give me a positive vibe.
Could you please also pray that God will settle me in a great law firm soon? That God will give me a great job so I don’t have to ask you for allowance anymore? I would really love to work in a law firm that will add positively to my career goals for my upcoming Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC) year.
You see, I have plans, I have plans to fulfill the purpose that God has for my life, plans to leave this earth better than I found it. Plans to impact as much lives as I can with God’s word and light in me.
I have plans to be able to buy you and mummy great things and take care of you with my own hard earned money soon. Plans to get you that jeep that you’ve always wanted. The son-in-law you want maybe able to get you these good things, but I do not want to just rely on him, I want to be able to take care of you by myself if I want to.
So I need your prayers, I really need your prayers.
I need not just a partner but I also need a job, and I also want so badly to live a life shining with the colors of impacting people for good. And no, no one ranks higher than the other in the scale of priority.
I know you worry that my eggs may wither and die soon but I think you should also worry that my purpose on earth may also wither if I do not do what I’m placed on earth to do and oh please, I wasn’t placed on earth to just get married, I have a purpose, a niche I must fill, a life that I must impact positively.
So you see, marriage and purpose, man and job… they are all important.
For today’s modern woman-for me, they are all important.
Thank you for understanding.
I love you all.
With hugs and kisses,
Me… And every other person who wants to append their signature to this letter.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Elena Elisseeva