On a particular Sunday evening here in Kigali, I was doing the usual thing any young, independent single woman living anywhere in the world would be doing – Cleaning up the residues of a rather hectic week.
And while running through this weekly chore, my mind was in a totally different place, reflecting on my experiences of the past year, and of others as well.
For no particular reason, I seemed to take notice of little things I met along the way- like the beggar at my hometown supermarket who always opened the door for me, the cleaning lady in the office who always had a smile from the heart to light up her face, my colleagues who I saw everyday, but knew next to nothing about, the deadlines I have never met, the things I thought I would achieve but never have, the good and bad relationships I have accumulated in my purse, financial instabilities…the list went on and on.. and then I had pause of my reflection-I started with good thoughts, and ended up with sad, insecure, uncertain thoughts- and this was my life.
If life was a woman, she would be worried every single time about the things she hasn’t done-planning to get those things done-forgetting to recognize her present achievements. This was exactly what I was doing.
As young working class women in today’s society, we forget to re-live our past experiences, whether good or bad, and pat ourselves on the back for the fact that we survived them.
Despite the women emancipation maturity peak that Rwanda is fast becoming, I always note that we women are naturally made to worry about the weaknesses in ourselves, not our strengths. And in this, lies the road self destruction.
If you broke up from a seven-year relationship, does it mean you can’t get married? If you are a single parent, does it mean you can’t have a relationship?
If you have a bad job, does it mean you can’t support your standards of living? If you failed to pay your university fees, does it mean you won’t have an education?
If your family affairs are affecting your spirit as a human being, does it mean you should accept it? If you are a woman in a man’s world, does it mean you can’t be his equal?
And the question as old as time, if you were a man, would you worry about the same things a woman does worry about?
As I slowly picked up my laundry and organized my home, I saw myself as a woman filled with unnecessary worry, focusing on all the things that I thought made me less of a person. I made wishes that were based on negative emotions, forgot that during this past week, I had made tones of achievements.
And so I decided to reflect on my past week- I smiled back from the heart to the cleaning lady in the office, I prayed for a friend, I supported a stranger, I helped my friends, I completed my professional tasks, bought Christmas gifts for family….and the list went on and on... I smiled at my thoughts, they painted the warmer, kinder, positive face that my life really is, and made me stronger.
As I settled into the couch with a cup of hot chocolate, and prepared myself for a nice Sunday evening movie, I realized that as a woman, I had my weaknesses and strengths. I just needed to place my strengths closer to my heart, because they built my character as a human being. Dear reader, in case you didn’t know, you only build those around you, if you are strong, solid structure as a person- did I just give you a new year’s resolution?
If life was a woman, she would be a phenomenal woman.