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HowdoIgetcourageinthepitofdiscouragement?

Tolu Oyewumi
5mo United States Story
How do I get courage in the pit of discouragement?

I hope this is a short piece. But, like all my writing, I can never tell but I hope so…..because this might be inspiring or very depressing.

And there will be no filters.

Today, I woke up feeling super discouraged with 1,001 things to do (Okay, that was an exaggeration, just like most of life is presented or projected).

Not because I love to fill my life with a list of things to just cross off, but because I am making major changes, and going through multiple major transitions at the same time.

There are times, you do one thing at a time. And there are times, all things just need to MOVE!

I also feel poorly supported. A feeling that has lingered for weeks.

There are specific support types not just anyone can give.

It must be tailored to the need of the person seeking support, else the outcome might be worse off than not being supported at all.

Before you make odd impressions about my experiences you know nothing about, I do have friends. Friends who care, who pray for me, who check on me, but they are deeper needs and your friends cannot meet all your needs.

Like tuck me in bed at night, singing lullaby? Oh seriously! That would be legit!

OR perhaps the hopeless note in which my chat with a good friend of mine ended last night is what is lingering on.

Perhaps.

That will not be unusual, given the context of our conversation.

Both in our 30s, with advanced degrees and rare value systems, we were raised in traditional homes. She Asian (2nd generation); I, African (first generation). We talked about how hard it is to get high valued men, how hard it is to be seen for who we really are, and not some object of satisfaction by men in this times.

And because we focused in our teenage and 20’s on school, we don’t know too much about the world of dating. In retrospect, we concluded it was viewed as a “sin” to date. We were just to grow up, and get married somehow.

My friend had been going on exciting dates (lucky her), to which I stand as accountability partner (lucky me)!

We talk and review these dates. More like, I coach her, as this is a new experience for her.

An adventure I pioneered and fully encouraged her to go on.

She just lamented about how sleazy guys can be. How it’s hard to be paid attention to. Why a guy would think a date should end with sex! For what? As payment for dinner and going to the arcade for games?

How it hurts to feel rejected because you are not following the trending pattern. How it feels like sexual involvement is the only ticket to a meaningful relationship. And we only want to be loved. To be listened to. To be heard. To be held.

“Is that too much to ask?”, she lamented!

My friend had a particularly exciting date. 

This guy was so wowed by her, and had asked her to come along to a resort getaway (WAAAOOOW! I got jealous, but it lasted 10 seconds). 

In being open about expectations, he wanted sex in exchange. 

She was beyond shocked. 

Well, perhaps call her naïve, but I believe we all have a right to determine with whom and when we choose to do that with. 

Not as a manipulative form of exchange for anything. 

To make this shock so real, it appeared initially that he had the same value system as hers.

Sounding frustrated and discouraged, she exclaimed, “I am so conflicted, but I have my parents here. My family is here. It must be harder for you”.

THAT uncovered a truckload of uncomfortable, but deathly true conversation which you don’t need to know about.

We concluded, our parents have no clue the pressure we face, the world we find ourselves and the way the society functions. They just want us married, and quickly too.

Unfortunately, we are not in 1950s, where guys come to ask your dad first before he can take you on the first date. 

Things are way different now, and much more difficult.

And it has nothing to do with race even.

I have had my Caucasian female friends tell me same things, “Except a miracle happens, I don’t know how I will ever be in a relationship. It’s hopeless”.

This are beautiful, sweet, well-intentioned, well-put together, kind, smart, hardworking, women to die for.

And it has nothing to do with the fact that we are both introverts.

My very extroverted female friends recount the same challenges.

The fast encounters our society easily provides make lasting commitment a wild joke.

Do not ignore this

It’s a woman thing.

A girl thing.

Who will protect us?

Who will speak for us?

“I feel bad about myself each time I am with this guy, like a piece of meat, like an object. And I know what his intentions are. But I like him a lot, that’s why I spend time with him. But he doesn’t show any interest in trying to get to know me, all he wants is my body”, she whined.

That is not the first time I have heard that, nor 2nd nor 22nd.

I have gone through same myself.

Prior to our conversation, I have had 2 missed called from a married guy who keeps chasing me.

A lie I had uncovered before it was too late, a fatal fall I narrowly missed.

I told my friend, “I don’t know what keeps me sane. This guy is just 6 mins away and would do anything for me, but that would be living a lie”.

“At most, I just want to be held and told it’s okay and to hear someone believes in me and fully supports me, but at what cost?” I continued.

And hey that is not the only married guy who has chased me.

WHY?

Makes you wonder, “Why prey on a young, single, innocent girls?”.

It feels like a power thing to me.

"I dominate you and can have any woman I desire".

Back to the conversation with my friend,

Usually, I am the upbeat one, encouraging and affirming……..

But,

Last night, I was just kind of morose.

Everything she said and felt is true and I could not help her.

I had encouraged her to date and she feels more frustrated and overwhelmed by the process.

She did everything right. 

I was so proud of her for trying and also that she stood up for herself.

But what about women who cannot?

She agreed that having her parents and knowing her dad cares for her and looks out for her helped.

What about women who do not have such?

We talked about how out of fear of rejection and desire for being needed, women end up doing what they wouldn't usually do.

Unfortunately, the relationship market is tough.

For the super religious ones, before quoting me scriptures, bend your ears to listen first.

For at best, take this as an FYI and intentionally support the young women in your midst.

It is okay to feel as we feel.

You might not share the same view and that is okay.

For those who are quick to climb the judgement seat and jump to conclusions, please put a cloth peg on your lips. Choose to be mindful first.

We all want to be heard.

To be seen.

To be validated.

To be loved.

To be chosen for who we are.

There is no feeling that beats that feeling of being wanted, of being needed.

A feeling I get from a friend of mine who literally hops at the sight of me.

But then we desire that from a man too, a man that we choose.

There is no crime in being true, simple and clear about what we need and want.

And most times, courage is just to persistently say NO to what we don’t want, so we can say YES to what we really want.

May you find courage to face each day.

....................................................................................................................................................

Just as I was concluding this piece.

I got a text from my friend.

“I have to tell you, I cried myself to sleep last night. I have to tell you all about it later, as I need to get ready for work”.

And so, I say to all the women out there who struggle each day to advocate for yourself,

Cry if you need to, but CHOOSE COURAGE.

You are brave already.

Thank you for daring greatly.


If you enjoyed reading this piece, I would appreciate your support by clicking the purple upvote button to your left. Thank you.

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Doctor. Student of Life. Multipotentialite.

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