AYIBOFANMCULTUREEN UNEFREE WRITING

Can I live?

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Have you ever met one of those people who have no barriers? They start off small, asking a few casual questions here and there, and during that time it all sounds harmless but before you know it they start going a little too far, asking questions and making comments that are too personal and at times inappropriate. Well if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. Encountering such a person is not a pleasurable moment. Their lack of tact, which can be attributed to so many factors such as: poor education, poor social skills, or their own personal insecurities, can often leave you very unsettled. However, in one of my most recent encounters, the feelings that I experienced were neither of anger or frustration, but of shame and self-doubt.

One day, as I was getting my usual morning dose of coffee at Starbucks, I heard someone enthusiastically yelling my name. As I turned and looked around, I recognized this guy that I knew. We were not precisely friends, but since we knew the same people and usually frequented similar places, we developed the habit of greeting each other. At first, I thought it was an agreeable surprise. I was, coincidentally, in the mood to have some company, and even more so to share this moment with someone that I’ve wanted to get to know better for a while now.  Little did I know, this impromptu tête-à-tête would soon be putting a dark cloud over my sun-shiny day. We had barely sat down, when he started bombarding me with questions, each more disturbing than the last.

Here is how he began the¬†interrogation: ‚Äú Do you have a¬†boyfriend?‚Ä̬† I¬†hadn‚Äôt even given him an¬†answer before he continued by¬†adding: ‚ÄúEver since I’ve known you, I¬†never heard you had a¬†boyfriend.¬† Actually, let me think. If I‚Äôm not mistaken, I¬†think you had one or¬†two. What happened? Why are you no longer dating them?‚ÄĚ As¬†I¬†was quietly sitting in¬†my¬†chair, I¬†started to¬†rapidly feel overwhelmed. As¬†if it was not obvious that I¬†was already at¬†a¬†loss for¬†words, he kept on¬†going: ‚ÄúI¬†feel like you are wasting your youth, are you planning to¬†spend the¬†rest of¬†your life alone?¬† What is going on¬†with you? I¬†don‚Äôt get it.‚ÄĚ In¬†less than five minutes, I¬†had gone from being overly excited to¬†wanting to¬†slowly disappear under the¬†table. Since that was not possible, I¬†sat there perplexed and¬†speechless, begging him with my¬†eyes to¬†stop brutalizing me with his questions. After giving him all of¬†my¬†worst facial expressions, he must have realized how he had put his foot so deep in¬†his mouth, and¬†attempted to¬†change the¬†subject. It was already too late. As¬†the¬†tension between us became unbearable, he quickly finished his coffee and¬†told me that he had to¬†go. I¬†watched him leave with my¬†words tangled in¬†my¬†throat. Here I¬†was at¬†7h30am, suddenly incapacitated, not able to¬†go on¬†with what had¬†begun as¬†a¬†promising day. When I¬†finally got back to¬†my¬†senses a¬†few minutes later, the¬†only thing I¬†felt like doing was driving right back home. ¬†I¬†was not ready to¬†face the¬†world and¬†pretend to¬†be alright.

On¬†my¬†drive back home, I¬†couldn‚Äôt stop replaying this ‚Äúrendez-vous from hell‚ÄĚ in¬†my¬†head. I¬†was on¬†the¬†verge of¬†tears. I¬†was panicking and¬†trying to¬†figure out if there was something wrong with me. After all, to¬†be honest, those were questions I¬†was afraid to¬†ask myself, let alone being asked about by¬†someone I¬†barely knew! No, I¬†did not have that many boyfriends, and¬†my¬†past relationships never worked out for¬†one reason or¬†another. So it was normal that his questions had me wondering if I¬†had been doing something wrong in¬†my¬†love life. I¬†also thought about all of¬†the¬†good guys that I¬†rejected, mostly because I¬†was just not into them, and¬†all of¬†the¬†bad guys that my¬†poor choices led me to. The¬†thing with me is that, I¬†either love too much or¬†not enough. In¬†that moment, I¬†started to¬†wish that things had been different. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, right? When I¬†got home, I¬†lay on¬†my¬†bed and¬†started to¬†analyze what had happened. I¬†was getting angry with myself for¬†not finding the¬†courage to¬†say something in¬†my¬†defense.

Shortly after all my overthinking, I gave myself a timeout to mindfully breathe. Oxygen does wonders to the mind. I started to think more rationally. How did I allow someone who I barely knew to invade my privacy? What did he know about my life anyway?

I understand that we live in a society, where whether we like it or not, certain people will take a particular interest in our lives. But, Can I live?

Unfortunately, when people can’t figure out certain parts of our lives, they tend to make it up. That is not always right, but that’s the reality and I’m not going to pretend here that I’ve never judged or repeated false allegations about anyone myself. We all have a mind of our own, and for some that mind come with a less discreet tongue.

One thing for sure, I will never be able to control what people say or think about me, nobody has that power. However, I can choose how to react and deal with what is said. Often times, certain things do not even require a reaction, and I know that putting our ego aside is not an easy thing to  do. There comes a point in our lives where we need to appreciate the choices we have made for ourselves and lose the need to defend them or even apologize for them. Things happen, but our reaction is the message we send to ourselves and to others. By believing that we are vulnerable, by not resolving certain of our personal scars, others will believe that they can rob us of our pride, they will act upon our insecurities and we will become the victim of our own self-perception like I did.

I’ve realized that the older us women get, the more society pressure us to settle down and have a hard time accepting us as independent agents, responsible for ourselves, unapologetic, comfortable in our skin, alone but not lonely. To all women, time is of the essence for us to see ourselves as people with maverick desires, independent hopes, bold ambitions and unique abilities. The ability to please a man and be in a relationship can no longer be the optimal point of our lives; we have and will always be more than a girlfriend, wife, and partner. Do not get me wrong, I do believe that we all need someone to lean on but for some, it takes longer to find that special someone.

Until it happens, it doesn‚Äôt mean that our value as¬†a¬†woman decreases. Absolutely not!! Everyone should know by¬†now, that a¬†woman is capable of¬†standing alone and¬†appreciate herself without settling for¬†anything less than she deserves. If you are one of¬†these women, who’s afraid that society will judge you because you do not have a¬†man by¬†a¬†certain age, please free yourself of¬†the¬†confinement that small-minded people try and¬†trap you in.¬† Instead, work on¬†yourself, let go of¬†their judgments and¬†take charge of¬†your happiness.

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Lyssa Faucher
I'm Lyssa , a young and simple woman chasing my dreams somewhere in America and who will eventually come back to Haiti, rather sooner than later. I'm also an aspiring writer and blogger. I got tired of being paralyzed by my fears. I refuse to let one more second pass without expressing my thoughts. My power as a woman is my heart and I have decided to pour my soul out, to let the world know who I really am and what I stand for. I've always loved writing and especially about emotions. If they didn't exist , I would have probably never got inspired. I have recently found out that the best thing about writing is having the audacity to share it with others, and here I am. May you all enjoy my posts as much I loved writing them.

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