Coming of Age

As my 18th birthday approaches on February 27th, I can’t help but think about what it means for me to be an adult. In many cultures, women tend to have a rite of passage into adulthood. For me personally, I have felt as though I am getting older but I’m still treated like a child. This is due to the fact that in Nigerian society 18 year olds are still seen as children. In fact, basically until you are married and probably until you have your own children you are still viewed by your parents as a child. As I’ve began to think about what it means to be an adult particularly a grrrowwwn woman (Beyonce voice) I can’t help but think about the women in my life who have inspired me. The women who have inspired me the most has to be my immediate family. These individuals are my mom and my sister. My mother is one of the strongest and wisest women I have known. She single-handedly raised my sister and I. She exudes elegance wherever she goes. She has taught me so many life lessons. She has taught me the value of education. She instilled in me the sense of independence. I’ve learned not to rely on a man for anything. This includes financial and emotional sustenance. She taught me that as a woman you need to have your own thing going on. You should be able to fend for yourself. My mother taught me the significance of a relationship with God. She encourages me to spend time reading my word and being in the presence of God. She has also taught me that as a woman it takes more than beauty to succeed. Nonetheless, she has taught me that as a woman you should take pride in your appearance. Although her personal style is a little too conservative for me, I have learned the value of dressing sophisticated and classy. Every time I pick an outfit I always have to think will my mom approve. Its become instinctive. Another person who has taught me about womanhood is my sister. Let me just take a moment to brag about my sister. She is a gorgeous, intelligent, young woman. She is currently in medical school. Yep my big sissy is going to be a doctor. We are six years apart in age. However, we are extremely close. My sister is still in her early 20s but has grown so much as a woman. She has taught me lessons on things such as romantic relationships. Since I have not ever been in a serious romantic relationship, I vicariously get my experience from her. Apart from relationships she has taught me to live life for yourself. She taught me about friendship and how friends come and go in your life. Currently, she has taught me about sacrifice especially academic sacrifice. I see how hard she works academically. She is constantly studying (I mean its medical school). Her work ethic encourages me to be more academically driven. Our age gap has never deterred us from building a strong relationship. In fact, I account our age difference as one of the essential reasons as to why I am so mature. Surrounding myself with people her age caused me to grow up fast. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I just learned life lessons faster than others. As my birthday approaches I will try to strive to be a better woman. I want to embody the essence of Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman”. Its also exciting to have new found social responsibility. I will finally get to vote in the 2016 election. I am also going to go off to college this year. This independence is exciting but a little nerve-wrecking. I will have to leave the childish things behind. Despite this, I think its important to keep a little bit of the child-like excitement with you. To live life with a child’s heart is the essential key of being a happy and fulfilled adult. Womanhood is an exciting journey for me. I can’t wait. The next time I right I will be legal! Yay! Thanks for reading.

Have a wonderful day,