My dear Jil, I quite understand what you’re going through. You’re at that age in which you’re examining your life, where nothing seems so sure. You’re wondering about life.To those viewing from outside it will all look so strange. How?! You’re accomplished. You’re achieving. Yet those questions persist in your head creating self-doubt. Those questions, those feelings breed philosophical uncertainties. They make your achievements sort of “nonexistent,” like they dematerialized. You’re floating in a sea of doubt. It’s actually quite normal at your age to feel that way. There’s a lot of introspection at that age. You’re experiencing premature middle age crisis. As you approach mid thirties or just beyond you begin to feel somehow, like you don’t understand anything going on in life and you’re not in control. There’s this admixture of fear and doubt in your head. That can persist into your forties. Life will seem huge, it will make you feel you lack coordinates, like you’re lost somehow. Your orientation is messed up. Where’s north, where’s south, where’s east, where’s west?
The reason you’re experiencing this, this much early in life is partly because of the pressures piled on by social media. The good things happening to everyone is published and so visible it gives you complex and generates fear. You feel jealous. People are measuring their lives by the photographs posted on Instagram as if life is 3in x 4in. Those postings are generating anxiety and fear. And now your work doesn’t seem so interesting again. You’re actually tired. It’s almost as if you’re doing things mechanically. You’re skirting the rims of depression because you’re afraid of the number forty. At the back of your mind is the fear of unrealized dreams, fear of tomorrow. You want to take greater control of life but you lack the emotional capacity for such an undertaking. You don’t have the strength. It’s at this point high achieving young men begin to malfunction. If they have a bad marriage they start looking for external comfort, which will readily lead to an affair. Years down the line that affair will be deeply regretted, especially if they’ve been set up. Not knowing what’s going on or how to handle this stage of life makes some resort to material pursuit – exotic cars, clothes, travel…
This is the prime of life before you slip into formal adulthood. What you want to avoid is submission effect. That happens when you give in to your circumstances and impulses. You’ll keep going down the rabbit hole. You won’t believe what you’re doing or what you’re becoming. It’s middle ag-ish crisis but it manifests differently from individual to individual. The signature thing though is malfunction. General malfunction. Your emotions, hopes and fears are clashing.
What is apparent from this crisis however is your definition of success. You’re looking for all round success. That you don’t have a man is a failure node for you even though you seem to have every other thing. It shows how important relationship is to you. Which is why your mood changes faster than the weather pattern at Tangelewaja in northern Nigeria. One moment you’re dry as harmattan, the next you’re raining. It’s your inner disappointment and frustration mounting. This period will not be easy for those around you. They’ll have to forbear. If you had a relationship maturity would be required of your partner.
But here’s the thing. I don’t think you’re making yourself accessible enough for a relationship. I think you need to relax more. Your approach to relationship feels like a PowerPoint presentation, your desires are in bullet points. Life is not like that. Life is not black and white. Life is full of grey transitions. There are many shades of grey in life; things aren’t always well defined. When a young man about your age approaches he’s wondering about a lot of things, watching out for certain cues. He knows he’s dealing with maturity and he needs to be sure of what he’s doing before committing. Sometimes bad experiences dictate that approach. The guy is wary of over-committing too early and so he looks for someone he can hang out with, and then a friend, and then a girlfriend. There’s a transition. Please don’t mistake what I’m saying for the case of a guy with commitment issues, or one who’s not really serious. There are guys like that. Some are just looking for sex. But a solid guy won’t jump into commitment at your age. It’s why relationships at your age can sometimes feel like slow cooked dinner.
What you have going for you is maturity. You need a guy who needs that maturity. You need a guy who’s not faffing around. He’s looking to settle down. It may take some time but as long as there’s steadiness it’s going somewhere. You need that steadiness. Don’t rush the guy. And sometimes lightning strikes. The guy can’t believe you’re real. He’s been looking for you all his life and here you are. That can happen.
As per those feelings you have, it’s a rite of passage. Perhaps it’s God’s way of forcing us to do introspection about the things that really matter in life. For some married people it’s a very tough period in life, the beginning of sorrow. If the fundamentals in their marriage are wrong they suffer a lot, especially if their partner can’t handle their progressive success. Such marriages soon rip apart, though it must be said it was already pulling at the seams. Rips are tears. The material of the human soul doesn’t do well with rips. There’s going to be pain, a lot of pain.
You’ll come out okay but resist desperate urges. Don’t surrender to those urges. Easier said than done but you need that discipline. Emotional loneliness is not easy but you must hold on to your self, what makes you you. That it’s offered doesn’t mean you have to consume it. Someone may just be wanting to use you to resolve issues in his life. Or just wants to use you. Enjoy your youth though; savor your achievements. It’s what you have going for you and that’s okay. Enjoy the simple pleasures of life, enjoy available relationships.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.orgLife is not black and white. Life is full of grey transitions. There are many shades of grey in life; things aren’t always well defined. Click To Tweet You’ll come out okay but resist desperate urges. Don’t surrender to those urges. Easier said than done but you need that discipline. Click To Tweet That it’s offered doesn’t mean you have to consume it. Click To Tweet Enjoy the simple pleasures of life, enjoy available relationships. Click To Tweet Enjoy the simple pleasures of life, enjoy available relationships. Click To Tweet