: Single and successful at 30… Can I please be happy?
I would like to run my own business, do my own thing, get to the apex of my career… oh, how easy it is to say these things. Something that is also very easy to do, is to sit in your comfort zone, in the midst of your friends and analyze the life of a successful lady who is unmarried and even state the reasons why you are sure she is not yet married. One of the greatest questions that I know was asked in Luke 6: 41, “Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”
What we find is people seeming to know a lot about the things happening in other people’s life from a distance and neglecting that which is going on in theirs. But, this isn’t even the angle we are discussing today, instead, we are going to take a walk in the shoes of a single and successful lady for a minute and see if we would act better or differently if we were in similar circumstance. Shall we? …
Imagine you were a female entrepreneur in Nigeria: You chose to take your passion seriously, so you burnt the midnight candle, night after night, developing the skill you need to grow your passion into a business. You submitted proposals after proposals, just to get heard and then recognized. And somehow, you became good at it, doors opened for you and your passion became a business; your passion became big enough, it started to pay your rent, clothe and feed you and your family. That is the life most of us would be happy to live right?
Okay let us now add that you are 29 years old and do not have a man in your life –Now, it is starting to sound scary right? - Oh yeah. You do not have a man, probably because you were too busy growing your business and did not have the time to accommodate another person. Or simply because your hunger for growth and vision of your future just scared them away. Whatever it is, you just do not have a man at this time of your life.
Time passed and now you are 30. You realized how hard you have worked to achieve what you have achieved and how far you have come. So you feel like doing something to make yourself happy; to celebrate yourself. You go for a photo shoot the morning of your birthday, take lovely pictures, post them on some social media platforms; say Instagram and Facebook and add a well-constructed caption on how you were able to climb the ladder of success, the hustle cloak and smiles you had to wear and how much you have achieved in life; then, advise young ladies never to give up on their dreams, but to keep pushing till the door opens for them. You end your quote saying you have entered the big 30 league and are grateful for how life has turned out for you. And you carry on with your daily activities.
Two hours into work, you get notifications on updates on those social media platforms. Hoping to reply some good comments and questions, you pick up your phone; but, are taken aback by the kinds of comments you see. Things like, “Go and marry and leave social media alone.” “You seem to forget that you are a woman and time is no longer on your side.” “When you get a man, then you know you have achieved something.” “A woman is not complete without a man.” “Your achievements are certainly the reasons why you haven’t found a man yet.” “You are obviously a proud person; how then will you get a man?”
Now imagine what life will feel like within those split minutes when that lady whom you might have said these kinds of things to reads them. In her head, she starts to reply your hurtful comments. She says things like: but this isn’t true. But I have a right to be happy. No I am not a proud person.
Her day is ruined. A day that was meant for celebration has now been filled with weeping. A lady who is supposed to be strong and happy, starts to feel old, lonely, vulnerable, sad and every other thing in this space.
Now that we are on the same page; let us address this issue. Let us help ourselves develop skins thick enough to absorb some BS without them getting the better part of our emotions, hurting our feelings and changing our theory of life:
People must talk: this is the first and most vital thing we have to get. It is in our nature as humans to talk. We all talk about people; it could be the good sides of their lives –their achievements-, or the bad sides –their short comings-. Some people even practice talking about other people as a method of preventing them from thinking about their own problems.
You see, in life, we all have something bothering us; some people, rather than complaining, look for solutions to their problems. Some, prefer to complain about their issues, probably because they are not capable of finding the solutions themselves. Others try to distract themselves by talking about other people’s problems. The sooner we understand this, the better for us.
You need to remember who you are. Always: You have come this far sister girl and this isn’t a joke. You are full of knowledge. You are actually doing something that works; do you know how many people wish to have this. You are successful. You have nurtured something and watched it grow. You probably know more than those people giving you those BS comments. And in life, you should be listening to people who know more than you do, not the other way round.
So, the next time somebody comes at you with a hateful comment, just before you get angry and petty, take time out to access your life and theirs, look them in the face with a smile and just say: it is not worth it. Then move on.
Now, check you: People have a mindset about people who are successful. They feel that their success often makes them proud, cocky, full of themselves; that sort of thing. For this reason, we have to truly check ourselves. How approachable are we? What kind of aura do we give off when people are around us?
There are attitudes everyone gives off that they most likely aren’t aware of and this is something I am guilty of. If I know how to do something and try to explain it to someone who is finding it difficult doing, I’d explain it in a way that really says, “Hey, this thing isn’t rocket science, why can’t you get this already”. You see, I do not mean to sound or act this way. For the better part of my existence, I never knew I gave off anything detrimental to anyone’s self-esteem, -I, who is big on building people’s self-esteem-, but it took my mother to make me realize what I do. So now, I make conscious effort not to send this kind of vibe.
My advice, pay attention to those little things, do not be shy to ask people what they think you do that is wrong and try to adjust it. Now I am not asking that you become everybody’s friend –which is impossible-, but to make sure that you portray outside what you truly are inside.
Understand where you are: We are the 21th century babies, but we live in Africa; a place where people judge us from a distance without even giving us the opportunity to redeem ourselves.
So, you are just twenty-seven years, a master’s degree holder and work as a manager of a consulting firm, with a brand new car as your official car. You drive by and people would say that you are too expensive to maintain. You were conservative with your spending all year, go on a vacation and get yourself a really nice and expensive LV bag and then they say, you look like a lady who will be too demanding in a relationship.
Honey, remember the first piece of advice they give us before we enter Rome, yeah, the one that says “When you get to Rome, you behave like Romans do”. Yes.
So, the trick is, before we do anything, let us sincerely ask ourselves: Are we really doing this to prove a point? Or because we just want to do it? Would doing this make us happy?
You live in lekki phase 1 and your office is in Victoria Island? Why do you really live in lekki phase 1? If you moved a little further to say, Ikate, Osapa London, Surulere or Gbagada, will your friends see you less than who you are? Will you save extra money for some other project? Will your life be affected in any way?
My advice, next time your fat salary comes in or you get paid handsomely for that contract; instead of getting those expensive shoes and bags, which you probably might have more than enough of by now, how about you buy a land? When you want to buy yourself a car and are at a dilemma between getting a good salon car or a sexy SUV, dearie, get that good salon car and save the excess funds for your next vacation, or you could invest in financial instruments like treasury bills, mutual funds or/and bonds.
Am I asking you not to spend the money you worked hard for? No. I am just saying we beat the system to its own game. Let’s start to look accessible and approachable. Let us demand for a chance to show that we are not what the next person might think we are and let us spend our money wisely. Let us be in Africa and act like Africans do.
Finally: Keep on staying true to yourself, work hard and rest well. Do not be hard on yourself, because, as humans we can only act our roles per time, the future is in the hands of someone above us, my good friend, GOD. He knows the thought he has towards us, that of good and not of evil. He sees our hearts and judges with that and not what people think about us. Nobody knows what his plans are for you, he says in 1 Cor 2:9 “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAS NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.". How huge and thoughtful and reassuring is this. But what is more important is understanding that it doesn’t matter how much we have heard these words before, if we do not believe it, it cannot work for us. Have a change of mindset and stay Happy.
*************Single girls deserve to be happy; Shit, we all deserve to be happy*************
Author’s Comment: Oh, I had a good time writing this piece and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you did, by leaving a comment or even some words of encouragement for someone who is this position in the comment section below. And if there is a particular topic you would like me to talk about, just suggest below and we would have an even more interesting time talking about it. And make sure you also share this with the other single ladies you know, you never know whose soul you might be saving. And remember, we are single and not dead; life must go on. Abi mustn’t it?