Desperate at 24

Do not look down on yourself. Net photo

She looked straight into my eyes with a sad face, settled down on the red carpet, with seemingly a lot on her mind. Her look said something deep that I couldn’t quite figure out. I was silent for a while, waiting to listen to her dilemma.

Silence filled the room as Julie turned off the screen. It was CNN news, but no one was watching.

Julie is an old friend and we meet like every three months to share stories about life. She is the kind of person you can talk to from dawn to dusk.  Her humility and sense of humour are inexplicable.

“You called me earlier today, saying that you needed to talk to me, is everything okay?” I asked her. She nodded her head in vex. Meanwhile, I was ready to hear the worst news.

She asked me if she is not beautiful or attractive enough for men to propose to her. She was so agitated; a tear rolled down her right cheek. Her hair was a bit messy.

Then I realised that the crisis was about marriage.

I gave her a chance to pour out her thoughts. Her concern was that all her friends are walking down the aisle, almost every weekend, yet her relationships never last more than five months.

I was forced to ask how old she is, just to be sure, she is 24 years old—for Christ’s sake. I wonder who is putting her on pressure, could it be her parents? Or the desire to settle down and give birth before the ‘Big 30’? I have heard many women say that giving birth before hitting 30 is the best, as one is still strong.

Julie’s desire was to settle down as early as last year, though all didn’t go as expected. Relatives, especially her aunties, can’t let her be, all they need is for her to traditionally introduce her man since she is done with school.

Her aunties’ voices are fresh in her mind, “When are you bringing us your man?” She is at a point of approaching men herself; this seems creepy, but true.

Dear fellow young women, sometimes it might take a little longer to find “Mr Right” but patience is key. Parents’ role should be to counsel and encourage their daughters to wait for the right man, and not impose. What is more important is modelling yourself into the perfect wife as you wait for the perfect husband.

Sometimes it might take a while to find the love of your life, may be God wants you to first accomplish some tasks, like furthering your education, getting a good job, learning how to cook, getting organised, strengthening your faith and becoming a better you.

Know your values, take your time, raise your standards; the rush for marriage will only lead you to wrong decisions. Let us not look down on ourselves. Marriage doesn’t have a deadline. People have exchanged vows at 40 and beyond.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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