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Read Letter

I’m Feeling Blue

My dear Jil, please stop crying. I know it’s tough but I understand. Being single at your age is just so tough – tough emotionally, tough physically. You’ve been through depression. You’ve been waiting so long, for this one man. Someone to love and who loves you back. Someone to call your own – the one who cares about you, who’ll grow old with you. 

As you said, sometimes you just want to have sex, intimate loving sex. You want to sleep with your husband, not just any man. You don’t want another one-night stand or any-man stand. You’re tired of those. Leaves you full of regrets, even afraid. The family pressure is there as well. Your mum in particular. Then there’s societal pressure. Everyone is wondering. You’re the favourite aunt to everyone, the one whose house nieces and nephews long to come. You’re the one everyone counts on in the family, the one who’s strong for everyone. You’re the wonderful Aunty Jil. Only at night things don’t seem so wonderful. There you are all alone. Sometimes you just want loving arms around you, a hand around your shoulders… someone to hold you, play with you… someone to wake up with, to put your head on. Not having that at your age can be so debilitating.

You’re feeling weak and vulnerable right now. It’s why I don’t want you to take certain decisions. You’ve floundered in the last one week, resorting to sex with the relative stranger, just to satisfy those yearnings. You need to calm down. Or you’ll enter an infinity loop in which yearning fulfilled creates more yearning. I know you’re a wonderful person. And right now nothing makes sense any more. Life is unfair. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be married. Just like you observed, you’re beautiful and intelligent. But life is not always logical, or clear-headed. That’s the mystery of life despite the fact nature is predictive. Life seems drunken in its decision-making at times. Takes haphazard decisions. Things don’t always go as they should.

I know you’re considering many options now, including single motherhood. You just want a baby. Compensation? And then came that text from your friend – the text with a jeering undertone. She texted you she’s having a baby. You know she’s making fun of you. It’s her one-upwomanship – she has a husband, you don’t; has a child, you don’t. It’s a modified Hannah-Peninah scenario – one woman making fun of the other, making life miserable for the other. And so you lost it when she told you about that baby. You just burst into tears. I understand.

There are many things I can tell you –things you already know. But first thanks for confiding in me. I could tell you to be patient. Tell you God’s time is the best. That God will send someone soon. But these are formulaic and hollow. And they don’t take away your pain. So I’m not going to say them. All I can really do is provide a listening ear, a virtual shoulder to cry on, and tell you I understand. I understand your pressures, I understand your temptations, and I understand some of your actions. I do wish I could manufacture a husband for you, but I can’t. You’re in so much anguish. And I know how these things are. You start wondering about your life…what you’ve even accomplished… It would all seem like nothing. Because you don’t have that one thing you dearly want and wish for – a family of your own. You’ll begin to look back on your life; at missed opportunities to marry.

Perhaps you should have married that guy, or that other guy, you say to yourself. But you know that other guy wouldn’t have worked out. He would have made you miserable. But at least you’ll have married, you say, in response. I’d say, more like you’ll have divorced. Life is no mathematics. It always seems to work out in retrospect, especially things that never took place. He would have cheated on you and you know it. And he’ll have done it with people close to you. And so the paradox of life is that the most wonderful women don’t always marry first. We don’t know why. One thing I do know is that you’ve matured through it all. You see life differently now. You can make better choices.

The idea of being a single mum out of wedlock may seem attractive but I want you to give it a deeper thought. Like all ad hoc solutions, it has unintended consequences. There’s a whole lot involved. All sorts of stuff. There’s the “We be not born of adultery” challenge for the child. The Jews said that to Jesus! Can the child cope? As to becoming second wife… you may run into fundamental contradictions with your Christian faith. And these solutions are long-term in consequence though initially designed for short-term challenges. And perhaps what you want is just around the corner. The truth is, you have three options: stew in misery, resort to self-help, exercise faith. You’ve been brave so far. You’ve largely avoided feeling sorry for yourself. Yes, one or two downers, but you’ve held up. Misery is not your thing despite the fact you’ve been crying a lot of late.

With misery you tend to do desperate stuff, so I won’t recommend misery as a course of option. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be human, but if you don’t wrap your arms around yourself, you will take a wrong decision. And that bad decision will overwrite all the years of waiting. You start another history – the one you never bargained for. Not sure about resorting to self-help either. We’ve seen too many self-help disasters. I have always been wary about self-help since reading about the Abraham–Hagar imbroglio. The consequences of self-help tend to linger through history, like a stale aroma that just won’t leave the kitchen. From Abrahamic history one can see that the product of self-help persecutes the product of faith. It’s an allegory. So what do you do? Your only clean and viable alternative is faith. Given your circumstance it’s your only recourse. But while exercising faith, waiting patiently, don’t forget to live. Go out. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your life, enjoy your friends. Don’t stay home crying. Who knows, maybe while you’re out you might just meet the one. You increase your chance of meeting him by going out and through socials. I’ll check on you again.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Loneliness

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