Notes on a Quarter Century
On Sunday, I am going to turn 26. Can you believe it? Neither can I, because I don’t even FEEL twenty-six.
Some of you who have been reading this blog for ages, probably remember that I started writing this blog when I was just seventeen. S-E-V-E-N-T-E-E-N. Let that sink in for a moment. I’ve been writing this blog for almost nine years. This blog is officially the longest thing I have ever done in my life besides staying alive.
If my seventeen year old self could see me now, she’d be very surprised. This isn’t how I imagined being twenty-five would be at all. I really believed that by twenty-five I would be a full-fledged adult with my life thoroughly together, probably even married, and with a baby on the way.
God, if I didn’t know better, in retrospect, I’d say my teenage self must have been on drugs.
Lately I’ve been overwhelmed by the sense that something huge is missing in my life. Or maybe many little things. I’ve always sensed that there was this wisdom that was supposed to descend on me in my twenties. Sort of like my coronation as an official adult.
I bestow upon thee this adult wisdom that thou might rise up and take thy place among the ranks of high functioning, well adjusted, self-actualized, fulfilled grown ups.
Somehow that hasn’t happened yet, and in a few hours, I will be six years into my twenties without a clue what I am doing or where I am going with my life.
This is me sort of taking stock of where I am, where I’ve been, and what I think the future might hold for me.
I mostly feel like a failure because at 25, I have never had a boyfriend or even a casual romantic relationship, much less a serious one. The most I’ve ever been in romantically is a somewhat unwilling Friends with Benefits situation, and I say unwilling because I was the one who wanted more (aka a real relationship where I was unequivocally his girlfriend), and he kept insisting that we were “Just Friends”.
So, on the love front, I am woefully inexperienced, and as someone who has been at the very most, a side chick, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t have any expectations for my future anymore as far as love is concerned. I’ve watched friends and acquaintances fall in love and get into relationships with envy, curiosity, and a little bit of awe, because based on my experiences so far, I’ve given up believing that happiness (as far as love and men go) is something that could happen for me.
Recently, what can only be described as my longest ever attempt at something remotely resembling a relationship with a man crashed and burned, throwing me into a deep depression that I haven’t really been able to escape, if it continues then I may decide to further research into mental health clinics like the Honey Lake Christian Clinic and others that I’m able to seek advice and aid from. Six and a half months. That’s how long it lasted, and “lasted” is seriously in question because within that time there were two major fights and separations before the final one, all of which were my fault.
I guess I did warn him in the beginning. I said:
“I’ve never been anyone’s girlfriend. I don’t know how to be anyone’s anything.”
There’s no point recounting how devastated I feel about this latest addition to my long list of romantic and sexual failures. I guess my regret comes from the fact that this is someone I met unexpectedly, and never expected to fall in love with but did anyway. To become so close with someone amazing, and then to lose them due to your own bumbling stupidity….let’s just say it hurts, and I’m angry with myself.
When I was younger, I used to think I was cursed, but now there’s a dull acceptance about it, and I subconsciously do my best to avoid men and love / romantic overtures because I already know it’s going nowhere because somehow I’ll find a way to sabotage it and destroy everything.
Something I learned pretty soon after I graduated college is that money always comes. No condition is permanent, and especially around Nigerians, sooner or later, your fortune will change, and whence you were once broke, you’ll be flush with cash again. That being said, my experiences since turning 18 have impressed upon me the importance of having money, and these days I’m actively trying to save and have money in reserve for once, instead of spending every penny I have like I used to.
For example, recently I have been researching new ways to save money on my utility bills. A friend of mine who lives in Texas recently told me that she managed to save a significant amount of money by switching electricity providers so I am determined to do some research of my own to determine whether I might be paying too much for my electricity. Pretty much everything in my house relies on electricity these days and therefore if I can find a way to get the energy I need at a better rate, then I might be able to save a small fortune. I know there are some amazing comparison websites out there for utility services nowadays so who knows what I might discover. Watch this space.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that being financially stable is extremely important to me. I’ve lived through having a lot of money, and I’ve lived through having to make five dollars last an entire month.
One thing I’ve realised is that money might not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy the freedom to pursue happiness.
So for the first time in my life really, I’ve got clear financial goals that I’m working towards, and I guess it makes me feel a bit more like an adult every time I accomplish each little saving milestone I’ve set.
I’m not particularly excited about turning twenty-six, but I think I can be happy with the fact that I’ve completed my twenty-sixth year a better and much more mature person than I did my twenty-fifth. My one wish for this new year is to constantly do my best, and make this a much better year than last year.
I might technically be an adult, but some things will never change.