“You’re going to grad school to run away from marriage?”- my African mom
Author’s Note: Maybe I spoke too soon on consistency. Well, I am trying. But, it’s a new year, so that means we need more content. So, my beautiful readers, how are you?
If you’re wondering if the title is accurate, then yes, it is. A couple of years ago, I was told to not worry about the m-word. You know exactly what word I am talking about!
Ever since I told my parents that I was going back to school, they will not leave me alone about getting married. A couple of months ago, my dad called me to his room for check-in. I thought it was sweet because there are times when he will randomly check on me. I went to his room with smiles and asked, “What’s up?” He said, “I want to talk to you about your life.” Let’s pause for a second-
Talk to me about my life? In my head, I KNEW what was coming. So, being the smartass I am, I told him about going back to school. He immediately stopped me and said, “Diakha, you are about to be 25. You need to get married.”
Obviously, he said this in English and our native language, Soninke. My heart sank just for a millisecond. And so it begins. The marriage conversation- the one I keep having with everyone. The one conversation I cannot seem to avoid. The one conversation that is tied to my identity. Honestly, I was in disbelief. All that I have accomplished, yet the only thing people can mention, is marriage. Do you know how frustrating that is?
I remember going through a phase when I told my parents I did not want to get married. This was to stop them from talking to me about it. Did it work? No, of course not. It made things a lot worse. After my father told me I needed to get married, I actively avoided him. Because, if that’s your way of checking in with your daughter, I want no parts.
It’s not just parents. It’s relatives and friends. I can only chase after things that are in my grasp. If I can’t see it or hold onto it, I can’t chase after it. Marriage is so far from me. It’s exhausting trying to find your person. Talking to someone new every few months, just to realize you wasted your time. Putting in the effort, bringing down your standards and expectations, and being vulnerable it’s all too tiring. And, this is what people don’t realize. All the work you put in to find your person. What do you get out of it? People shaming you. People saying you’re getting too old. People comparing you to your mates. People refusing to acknowledge other aspects of your life. People not respecting you and your privacy.
I told you all before that I would not give up. But, I will give myself a break (well, I already have). My main goal this new year is to be in tune with myself and stay in the present. But, unfortunately, I live in my head too much, dreaming about my fantastic wedding day and marrying Jaylen Brown. Love has already found me. In my friendships. In books. In my schooling. In my job. And love will continue to find me. Someday, when the time is right, marriage will also find me.
As always, thank you so much for reading!
Written by: Diaka Thiam 🙂