maturity

You, Yourself and You

“Life’s all about progression and transformation” I said as I passed the beer bottle over to a friend, wondering whether in this very moment, I was progressing.   Which led me to wonder if one has to be progressing all the time, and if you weren’t, were you falling back?

 

If Life’s taught me anything, it’s that it goes hand in hand with Loss.  Sometimes you push things out of your Life, and other times, they just go.  Friends come and go, dreams come and go, thoughts come and go.  I always marvel at how, despite the fact that we know change is the only constant in Life, we can’t seem to embrace it and go with it.  We’re always looking for some sort of stability.  We keep clothes that will never fit us, buy brands we’re used to, regardless of whether or not they do what they’re supposed to, and keep relationships that no longer do anything for us.

 

Eliminate things that no longer evolve you. — Erykah badu

 

I’ve been observing my relationships with people in my Life and wondering whether I truly need them there, trying to figure out if I need what they bring to the table. Birds of a feather flock together and as I observe some of them I realize, they simply don’t know how to Live, how to take responsibility for their lives, how to stand alone. How to exist as a lone being, and for me, that’s a necessity.

I believe in the importance of individuality, independence. You need to know how to be alone, how to think for yourself, how to grow on your own, what to take in and put out to keep growing.  Stagnancy is a trap, it’s a cage you don’t even know you’re in sometimes.  I know.

I’ve spent close to a year, maybe slightly more, at home, terrified of growing up. Of making any decisions, of living, because I was afraid I’d mess up.  As each day passed, I seemed to find more and more reasons as to why I should simply wait to die.  The possible shame of making a “wrong” life decision [which in this case, was about my academic life] weighed on me before I even bothered to CONSIDER what I’d do.

To many, that was a year wasted. I could’ve done so much in that time, right?

Gotten an online diploma maybe.  Found a job. Hell, gotten married.

But no, none of that.

I cried, I read, I thought, and I repeated all of this. And to quote Anais Nin “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

I got sick of seeing my face in the morning with the same uncertain look. I spent hours upon hours arguing with myself about what We want to do, who we want to be, and eventually, I put myself together.  Now, I appreciate all the uncertainty, all the time I felt I was wasting. I grew.

 

For many of us, it takes a lot before we can let go.  We don’t know when to, nor how to. We don’t know when a situation has run it’s course and even when it begins to hurt, we tell ourselves it’s a test to see whether we’re truly committed. Sometimes, that’s simply Life showing you that it’s done now. Some things, I dare say, most things, aren’t worth fighting for, especially if you aren’t even sure you want them.

In Setswana, there’s a saying that goes “Se nkganang se nthola morwalo”, which basically means, whatever repels me only relieves me of a burden.  Words to live by, don’t you think?

 

Most people will never be too ashamed to pass their burdens on to you.  Nor to bring, or keep, you down. A lot of people wouldn’t care if your mental maturity never goes past this point.  But you know, that’s them. It’s up to you to see to it that you become More.  And that will be your responsibility to yourself for as long as you’re here.

 

Who are you? What do you want? Do the people in your Life want the same for you? Will they help you become who you want to be? Are they people you’d like to be like?

You need to ask yourself.

erykah_badu02

 

 

Hard Candy: Sex and Maturity

I lost my virginity when I was 12.

It was in a toilet cubicle at a mall, to a 17 year old boy I was dating at the time and I could tell you it was halfway between consensual and I was coaxed into doing it.

He used a government issued condom and it lasted all of 5 minutes before I had to go catch my cab, sore and slightly bothered. [I’m lying, I cried, don’t ask me why, I’m not sure yet. Maybe because I’d always imagined the first time would be memorable, maybe because it was in a fucking toilet cubicle. Maybe because I was certain I really didn’t want to. Not like that. Not then.]

Now, someone may think “The fuck was she doing even looking at boys at that age?”

I reached puberty when I was 10. My breasts ballooned out and I developed hips which came with a sassy walk and I had to rush into womanhood. I felt that if my body was ready, my mind was too and I could truly live as a woman.  I was intelligent too, already in high school, quite mature if I do say so myself and carried this as my reason for dating a 17 year old at the time.

When one of my cousins found out I was dating a 17 year old he told me “You need to understand, you guys may connect but that’s only because he comes down to your level. This boy doesn’t think  like you. Don’t be fooled and don’t be like one of these girls who fall for it.” I was outraged. What did he know? How dare he assume that just because he wanted sex from every girl he encountered my boyfriend did too?

Oh well, Life happened.

It began to make me uncomfortable that all of a sudden all he wanted from me was sex.  Frankly, not only was he unattractive, he was a bit overweight and I preferred his clothed body to him sweating on top of me. Conversation too became bland and it just seemed to go nowhere.  I wanted to stop it all but felt the best thing to do was to simply let him get it over with when he wanted to in order to keep him and ignore it.

When I went from Indifferent to Mad, I didn’t have the balls to leave him so I cheated.  At that point sex was still pretty sacred to me but I convinced myself that if my virginity was gone, there really was nothing left, so I gave it away.

Eventually I told him, we broke up and when I told him I’d cheated once, he told me he’d cheated with 12 girls. In the space of a month and a half. Understand that he claimed he was a virgin and I’d be his first and only. Then that.

I was confused. Hurt. Evidently I hadn’t been as smart as I’d thought.

It took me approximately a year and a half to get over it.  The first relationship I’d been in had gone to foam so quickly and you know when you think you’re in love, regardless of the fact that you don’t know what love truly is at the time, you see a future with someone. It crashed.

My little 13 year old self decided I was a Woman now. I knew heartbreak, I knew sex, I was ready for the world. I spent the next 2 years having sex with whoever was interested and I didn’t find disgusting. Honestly, that was how my mature teenage self picked ’em.

By the time I was actually legal to have sex I’d had so much I wasn’t even remotely interested in it all.

Now we could go into all the experiences I had during that point in time but now is not the time for that.  I can tell you the basics, the slut shaming, the one night stands, occasionally feeling worthless, being fucked and left, using your feminine wiles to get what you want, I covered all that.

Now all of that was a long time ago and thankfully I made it out in one piece. I learned what I learned and life kept going.

Some girls aren’t so lucky.

It’s sad that a lot of us think as soon as puberty is reached one is ready to tackle sex and all that comes with it. Sayings like “After 12 go a jewa” [After 12 you eat] don’t help and young girls are constantly preyed on because they are both physically mature and naive.

I don’t know about my ex. He could have been using me, what a 17 year old was doing with a 12 year old despite my maturity is the question. The fact remained I could be easily persuaded at that time because I lacked a sense of Self and that alone I feel should make any person uncomfortable. The fact that the person you’re with could be reduced to a mere object  if you so choose. That they are THAT easily manipulated.

Today Batswana men were up in arms about the fact that the age of defilement would possibly be moved up from 16 to 18.  I’ll be honest, the only time they’re ever this collectively mad is when alcohol prices go up.

“What about my little High School girlfriend?”

Nna I’m still going to screw these young girls, I don’t care I’ll tell them not to tell.”

“But the young ones are so easy, why are they trying to scare us to the older women?”

And those who saw this for what it was were said to be overreacting.

How can you, as a grown man, see nothing wrong with complaining about the fact that you won’t be getting young girls into bed anymore? What’s your Life like and how does your mind work?

The number of people who passed jokes about sleeping with children and those who were hellbent on the government not getting away with taking away their right to screw young girls shocked me. Frankly, I found it quite disgusting.

They did not see the pedophilic undertones associated with their words.

A friend said “I Personally Think It’s An Attack On Women’s Sexuality. If There’s A Super Mature 17 Year Old Who Wishes To Explore Her Sexuality, Why Shouldn’t She Be Allowed To?”

And I see his point but to be frank, the mature 17 year old will probably do what she wants to anyway. That’s not the focus of all this.  This is what they feel they need to do to combat the defilement and statutory rape cases they get and I’m going to wait to see if it makes a difference.

On the one hand I think, why should anything change? We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing as we’ve been doing it and really, when has the threat of going to jail for a round of sex ever stopped anyone? On the other hand I think, maybe it’ll instill fear in those who’ve been going along with all this and make a difference, ANY difference.

Another friend asked why I wasn’t addressing women sleeping with boys and I said didn’t see women being the ones who were up in arms about the fact that they wouldn’t be able to be intimate with young boys therefore I addressed what was put in front of me. I’m not blind to the fact that women also use young men and whatnot, not in the least, but to see so many men unhappy with the fact that they wouldn’t be able to troubled me as much as the fact that everyone thought it was either funny or not that serious.

As mature as girls like to think they are, we don’t know anything about male/female relations/our bodies, our Selves until we grow. Personal experience teaches some and  observation teaches others.

Some people don’t make it through certain life experiences and I think we should strive to keep them away from sure harm.

We probably can’t stop these kids from having sex, I’m not sure we could stop those older than them from using them, but maybe.. Possibly.

I just wish we could have as few of these as possible. I haven’t figured out how yet but I’ll take whatever comes my way at this point.

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Really.

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