YOUR TWENTIES

Dear Maria, don’t waste your youth

Having children early is hard, marrying the wrong person when you are younger is even harder. It is a life sentence of regrets.

In Summary

• I want to write to Maria about her 20s. She is at an age where she thinks her life depends on a man loving you.

• Use your 20s for you. Believe me, you will be a much better person after your 30s if you do.

Dear Maria, don’t waste your youth
Dear Maria, don’t waste your youth
Image: OZONE

November is a very emotional month for me. My first born is turning 19 in a few weeks and next week is my mum's birthday. She would have been 66.

My daughter was born two months after my mother died. I named her after my mother. She is so like her and that scares me but also gives me hope. My mother and my daughter are good people. They love people and believe in them. Good traits, but not so much in a bad world.

Watching my daughter grow up, I feel I need to equip her. I sometimes nervously spill out what I think is wisdom and she laughs or rolls her eyes. Sometimes after a courage-induced beverage, I will answer whatever question. Other times I pray fervently to God, my ancestors, to the universe to send the right people her way because I do not want to have to kidnap jokers and threaten them, and I think I would do a better job than the ones who kidnapped his Teaness.  

I have always said it is better to learn from other people's mistakes. Aside from the fact that you will save yourself from pain, life is too short to spend it making mistakes. You have to make mistakes, then learn. Time consuming. So I am open about my mistakes, I hope my Maria learns from them.

I want to write to Maria about her 20s. She is at an age where she thinks her life depends on a man loving you. I have been there, age 19. What a stupid age for girls. You are still a baby, but the curves on your hips and the heaving bosom makes you think you are an adult. The hormones are in overdrive. It is easy to make big mistakes. 

So to you Dear Maria, my first born, child of my youth, you are a child who came to me at the worst time of my life: When I lost my dear mother, whom I loved more than anything.

This is an exciting time. My mother used to say to me, “Men are many. Tall or short, fat or thin, whatever shade, young and old”.

It is true. They will be there at whatever stage in your life. Do not be in a hurry to commit. You are a baby. Trust me, when you get to 30 and think of the man you thought you wanted to spend your life with at19, you will wonder what type of drugs are in tap water. There will be no other logical explanation.  

Do not be bullied into settling or wasting your youth on useless commitments. This time is for you. Date a lot, use condoms, travel the world. Buy one way tickets to places you have only read about. Make money, blow it all in one night. Help strangers. Visit old people. Read anything and everything, even the newspaper that meat is wrapped in (My father used to say this, I do not think they wrap meat in newspaper anymore, the point is read.)

Go to school, study, get certification in anything your heart desires, even if it is pottery. Somewhere along the way, all the skills, all the information, all the stories and all the memories you create along the way will be useful.

Use your 20s for you. Believe me, you will be a much better person after your 30s if you do. There is no rush, you can have babies in your 30s, 40s and even 50s. You can get married in your 60s. Do not let them give you a timetable.

Having children early is hard, marrying the wrong person when you are younger is even harder. It is a life sentence of regrets.

When you finally choose (do the choosing, do not wait to be chosen or you will end up with a silly goose) a man to marry, choose one with soul. A man who excites your body, mind and spirit. Choose an intelligent man. A man who is enterprising, not just a dreamer. Choose a strong man who can lead, a fair man who listens and values your opinion. It will not hurt if he is tall and listens to Rumba (Do not roll your eyes!) 

I am so excited about the next phase of your life. I know you will do us proud. Love always, forever and beyond, your mum.

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