My dear Jil, it’s the beginning of the year. The year is pregnant – pregnant with hopes and dreams and possibilities. Either of two things would have happened already. This is January. It’s either you’re seeing encouraging signs or you’re seeing discouraging signs. The discouraging signs will tell you to throw the year away, the encouraging signs will tell you the year will be good. Don’t believe the discouraging signs. You can’t throw the year away. You’ve got to forge ahead no matter the discouragement, face every day with thoughts of possibilities. I’m sure you have a shopping list for the year – things you want to accomplish this year. As usual there’ll be big ticket items and small ticket items. Big ticket items will of course include direction for life, getting married, taking on a major project, seeking a big promotion. One thing I’ll say is, don’t be too hard on yourself. And don’t discountenance your achievements from last year. If you do you’ll get discouraged. You’ll only see what you haven’t achieved.
The nature of man is, once his prayer is answered he forgets that item and just moves on to next item. He focuses on the non fulfilment of that new item and begins to agonise. You have to temper that tendency. Appreciate what you’ve accomplished so far, savour your victories. It’s the nature of youths to try and rush the future. Youths want to accomplish everything all at once. But life is not like that. Some things have to happen first. Some things are condition precedent. And we don’t always understand why because some of the items are not even related. There are things you want now that the effluxion of time will show to be horrendous desire. Time for example may show you that that guy you wished for would have been a huge mistake. With the benefit of experience I can easily see some of these potential disasters from the mails I get; and how life goes out of its way to prevent a youth from making a huge mistake, sometimes through an inexplicable breakup. Sometimes we agonise breakups not realising God is sparing us our future. Some of the things I’m telling you now you can’t fully appreciate of course. That’s the limitation of youth. There is not enough experience to deepen the capacity for appreciation of big realities of life.
I wish I had someone to tell me some of these things I’m telling you, you know, someone to explain human nature to me, give me relationship advice. My generation didn’t really have such privilege. But here’s something I’ve learnt: one day you’re in your twenties and the next day you’re in your fifties. The gap between the two age bands is called life. Life is a long word. A lot is going to happen between those two age bands. By the time your generation gets to fifties a lot would have happened. What I’m seeking to do is make sure you avoid stupid mistakes without losing your appetite for adventure and faith. You will soon realise you hardly know yourself. You hardly know your REAL emotional needs too. It’s why young men pursue ephemeral relationships and young women get carried away with things of no lasting value.
A young man or woman can only see so far. It’s why the wise submit themselves to God’s mercy. And you soon realise you don’t really know anybody. You only know as much as circumstances permit. There are people with depths of goodness you hardly know. The corollary is equally true. What we pray for, what I hope for and fervently pray for you is that you have a most loving, most caring and most generous partner, one who’ll totally identify with you and who you’ll totally identify with. I pray that you’ll not be one of life’s marriage casualties. It’s unnecessary. One of the ways to avoid this is to heed warning signs and not explain or wish them away. If a guy does not value you for example that’s not a good sign. I’ve had to counsel one or two people early this year to let go of their relationship. Those relationships weren’t worth fighting for. They were self-esteem destruction machineries. If a guy is laying down a condition for loving you that’s not a good sign either. In one of the cases I came across the guy predicated his love on his girlfriend achieving. If she achieves he’ll marry her. He compares her to other women, talks about his lady friends’ achievements. Question is, why doesn’t he just date those other women! Why date her? That guy is not proud of his girlfriend. He has self-esteem issues which he smartly parried into an alleged motivation for attainment by his girlfriend. Truth is, nothing she achieves will ever be enough. And she had better not achieve more than him. He sees himself as superior to her, like he’s doing her a favour. Maybe because he has some small change – he promised to sponsor her masters degree if she achieves some undefined and unspecified objectives. One day that girl will come to realise the money he’s dangling is pittance. She’ll soon earn the money. It’s a matter of time. If she subjects herself to his program she’ll come to that realisation with regret.
Love is not conditional. It’s not conditional on fulfilment of some achievement like it’s some college exam. Either you love someone or you don’t. That’s not a good relationship that lady was in. That’s a relationship that says you’re not good enough for me but let’s see how we can panel-beat you into my standard. She will never be good enough for him. She’s not factory setting. One of the virtues you have to learn is patience. Your man will come – the one who loves you for you, thinks you’re the best thing since peanut butter. When he thinks about you he bursts into inner exhilaration. The thought of your spirit will send him into rapture.
The year is still pregnant Jil. Don’t let one or two disappointments sap you. Reenergise, refocus, recharge. Have a stubborn faith in your dream. I look forward to attending your wedding.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.orgDon’t discountenance your achievements from last year. Click To Tweet A young man or woman can only see so far. It’s why the wise submit themselves to God’s mercy. Click To Tweet One day you’re in your twenties and the next day you’re in your fifties. The gap between the two age bands is called life. Click To Tweet Life is a long word. Click To Tweet