The Single African Girl

Welcome to The Life of an African Girl in America

I am sitting outside of Starbucks, with an interesting iced brown sugar oat milk espresso drink and a banana nut bread. The sun is beaming at my oily forehead, as I had forgotten to apply another round of Black Girl Sunscreen on my face before I left the house in a hurry. To my right, there’s a Brown man and a Black woman chatting it up. I am trying to not listen to their conversation but it’s difficult. I want to assume they’re on a date. Prior to coming to Starbucks, I spent my day off reading this book. A book I just could not put down for the life of me— of course, I did stop reading when it was time for prayer. But this book had a significant pull on me. I hadn’t realized that books did that to me sometimes. I would read a wonderful book and just be stuck in that world. Forever wished I could just stay a little longer in that world. I guess it’s because that world helped me escape my world. My problems. My family’s problems. And the people in my life who projected without ever taking me into consideration.

Lately, I’ve been moving along, rising with the sun, setting with the sun. Shining bright like the sun when my mood would be lifted and hiding away like the sun when my mood was low. As I am sitting here writing this, I realize how much I’ve missed just being. Finally looking around at my surrounding, taking in a deep breath of fresh air, air so crisp, the gentle breeze hugging me tight reminding me of how loved I am. Reminding me that what’s waiting for me at home can wait. That I can forget I am twenty-five and unmarried. I can forget the assignments piling up. I can forget the friendship I’ve missed so much but am too stubborn to contact my dearest friends. I can forget the awkwardness between my father and me and the strain we have put on our relationship. I can forget my mother’s constant pain and not knowing ways to help her. I can forget that I need my wisdom tooth taken out. I can forget my other relationships, the ones that are too painful to describe. I can forget how alone I feel, how loneliness sometimes creeps in when it’s terrible timing. I can forget… a lot.

Sometimes it’s easier to forget, it’s so much easier. And when I open up a book, I step into a new world. A world of forgetting my mere existence. It just dawned on me how I love to make people laugh, either with my corny jokes or just stupid things I say. Making others laugh is a love language I never thought of- seeing the people I care about laughing makes my heart flutter in ways I can’t describe. Sometimes, I joke about my singleness because it’s my way of dealing with my loneliness. I am single by choice, but there’s this longing, more like yearning for love. The love I can’t find in friendships, my family, or close ones. I yearn for passion, and I think I’ve looked everywhere, but maybe love doesn’t want to be found. Not yet. Maybe the love I seek is not ready.

Some may say self-love is what I am lacking but that’s not even close to being true. I am very tender with myself. The harsh Diakha that was once before doesn’t exist today. This new Diakha, she’s aware of what kind of love she wants. Needs to be exact. She’s aware of every emotion she’s feeling and although sometimes it’s hard to name them, she still tries. It’s not self-love I crave, the love I crave is tender, gentle, almost caressing, and honest. Love that hugs me when I am in pain, reminding me that everything is temporary. And, I know it exists. Somewhere out there it exists. Now, as I am sitting outside of Starbucks, I am alone. With my thoughts but the trees, the wind, and the birds chirping in the background are keeping me company. 

Written by Diaka Thiam 🙂

Thank you for reading, much love ❤

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