I’m a Burundian girl living abroad where I’m supposed to be studying, but that hasn’t been going well lately. I’m almost 30 and single. Not a great life as per Burundian standards, is it? Where did the time go? I always thought that by now I would be married, my third child on the way, a great career,… you know the perfect life? I know, I’m a dreamer.

Last night I was talking to my dad and he was telling me that he’s always seeing other people’s grandchildren. He was telling me, in his own Burundian way, that he wants to see his own grandchildren. He really is a great dad; he doesn’t put that much pressure on me, but every now and then, he just mentions that he isn’t happy that I’m alone in a foreign country, that it would be better if I had someone to build a future with. And I get it. I know he and my mom just want me to be happy and have a family of my own. And trust me I want that too, oh so bad… loneliness be killing your girl here – nervous lol. And I’m not even talking about my biological clock which has been ticking for a while now…

But then I look around… I see marriages falling apart, children getting hurt being raised in separated homes. I see people very unhappy in their marriages, regretting the decisions they made by getting married.

People seem to confide in me very easily lately, about their married lives… and I think God has something to do with it.
I’ll have days of heavy loneliness, when I wonder why I didn’t say yes to some ex even though he had this or that… maybe I would’ve learnt to live with it (niko zubakwa, right?). Even though I probably wouldn’t be happy, I would have children to lighten my days. Maybe I should just say yes to the next decent gentleman who’ll approach me and not look too much into things. Just settle… Every time I’m in the middle of this line of thinking, I usually run into a friend I haven’t seen for a long time, or really just a stranger, and they start telling me not to rush into marriage. Telling me about their problems at home, that they regret the choice they made. And then I am like, Okay God I’ll wait

Am I wrong? To want and wait for a guy who will really love my flaws and all – umugani wa John legend ngo: Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections 🙂 – and who I will love? To want to wait for a guy who will come looking for ME, wanting to know the real me behind the smile I offer strangers; not one just going down a “perfect bride” checklist? Am I asking for too much? Am I being too much of a romantic? I don’t know, I really think that the kind of relationship I’m looking for does exist. I think I have seen it, and no it isn’t only in books and movies.

I may be naïve, but I believe something like that is out there for me too. I have to. I don’t think I can survive in a niko zubukwa kind of marriage; the kind we used to see when we were young. I don’t want to be the woman looking around, checking if everything is okay before my husband gets home, hiding this or stretching that. Almost in the same way we used to check ourselves when we heard dad’s car outside. I have to be able to be myself with my man. A man I can come home to with everything: the beautiful and the ugly. A man who will not want to change me because I will not want to change him either… Trust me I know marriage is no bliss, that you have to make compromises… But I also believe there are some things you shouldn’t compromise at the risk of losing yourself. The things that make you, you.

There are times when I’m super determined to wait patiently. I give myself many pep talks:
You are not running against anybody”
Your life is your life – nobody else’s!”
“I know there are girls much younger than you who are married and have children, but that was their time. Yours will come!”
But then there are times when my spirit is really low.
I guess that’s just life, filled with highs and lows, until the day I’ll get married and then that life will bring its own highs and lows. I guess it’s meant to always be like this until the day we meet our heavenly Father.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. Maybe I hope it’ll have some kind of therapeutic effect and help me ease my mind – I heard that some manage to survive down by writing things down. Maybe this will help me too. I don’t know, I just really started writing.

(Image source: writingworkshop.blogs.wesleyan.edu)