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Why No Is A Complete Sentence

Things I would tell my younger self

BY Joan Thatiah

Apr 13, 2021, 10:45 AM

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If I could write my younger self a letter, I would tell her to quit being in such a hurry to grow up. Adulting is a scam.

You are in such a hurry to clear uni to scramble for jobs that don’t exist. Then you start dating and you realize that people never say the things they mean, that dating is all a huge guessing game. You will be out there dreaming about the pitter patter of little feet on your floors because you have met the one while he will be telling his friends that it's just random play as he waits for a woman to get serious with.

Just when you’ve gotten a hang of life and you get to your 30s, your body stops cooperating. At this point, in addition to paying a monthly stack of bills and setting up a pension, you need to look for cash for liposuction. Did you know in Nairobi, it will cost half a million shillings to make your boobs perky again? A friggin half a million!

Anyway, if you are a little prepared for it, adulting just maybe a little bearable. Here are things that you should know.

No Is A Complete Sentence

I don’t know who has been peddling the lie that there must be struggle in the life of an African woman. If you believe this, you become the woman planning all birthday parties, all baby showers, and chairing all wedding committees. The woman who has no time for herself. The unhappy people pleaser.

Try saying no without guilt more often. Pace yourself, breathe, take care of yourself first. Your body will thank you.

Take Care Of Your Skin

Are you one of those people whose skincare routine involves a quick wash with bar soap and then slathering your face with petroleum jelly? Yes? Your days are numbered.

If you don’t have some sort of skincare routine, it will begin to show eventually. No matter how good your genes are. As you save money for retirement, you need to be saving money for all the clay masks and vitamin C creams you will need. The earlier you start the better. Urembo ni gharama.

Always Have An Escape Plan

The goal here is to never feel trapped. Whether it is a job, a relationship, or even a date, go in with an escape plan. This doesn’t mean going into jobs or relationships looking for things that could go wrong. No.

Love fiercely and give that job your best shot. But have some savings in case things so south, have an idea of what you might want to do with yourself should this dream job fail. Don’t be caught off guard.

Talk About Money

Don’t listen to them, money is not evil. You shouldn’t be ashamed to be forward on topics about money or to want to be wealthy.

Learning to talk openly about money will help you with salary negotiation. If you are not ashamed to talk about money, you will be paid what you deserve.

Take Responsibility For Yourself

Everyone has baggage. No one had a perfect childhood or family. It’s easy to carry this around. To use the fact that your Dad drank way too much or hit your Mom as an excuse for your life today.

To be an adult woman is to take the chip off your shoulder, to lay all of it down, and take responsibility for your actions.

Trust Your Gut

That fluttering feeling in your belly is more than Biology. It is your body’s warning system. Learn to trust it.

As you go through life, your gut will keep you away from damaging people and toxic situations. If you feel deep down that the impossibly gorgeous man who’s been chasing you for months is bad news, he probably is.

What Others Think Is None Of Your Business

This is perhaps the most important thing any adult woman should learn. What others think of you is none of your business. If you understand this, then you can finally live your life for yourself. 

You can finally stop worrying about what everyone will think of your decision to remain single, to be childless, or to be part of a polygamous relationship and instead focus on what this decision will do for you.

Read: Stop Apologizing All The Time