Letters To My Younger Sisters (Part 4)

When everything else in your world seems to be falling apart and the pressure of keeping things and yourself together takes its toll, you need a time-out from the rest of the world to recharge.  Usually things fall apart when you really can’t afford to leave your world: during exam time, during the annual audit at work or just as you are expected to conceive of the most creative campaign proposal for a new client while still maintaining the ones you have.

When nothing else in the world makes sense you retreat to a safe place to take refuge; and this is the role fulfilled by your relationship.  Let’s face it; you only have between chaile time and clocking-in the next morning to get it together. And that may require the release of pent up emotion, and a surge of positivity to build up hour reserves. That may come in the form of counsel from a partner, a gym session, an encouraging word, a meaningful hug. I don’t know any successful couples who aren’t each other’s counsel.

It occurs to me that when things are alright back home, nothing can defeat you in the real world. When things are tense however, you may feel as if your whole world is falling apart. When you most need for your partner to build you up, you end up tearing them down. You are so obsessed about the fact that they are not “there” for you that you begin to nitpick at the things about them that you tolerate: the snoring, the inability to pick up clothing, and the inappropriate jokes (to name a few). You are made to feel so disempowered by your battle with your outside world that you begin to tear into the one thing that should provide you with solace. People don’t bicker for nought: something else is at play. You are likely to break apart your partner if you’ve become settled in the first place: when your “meantime” relationship has turned into the unfulfilling long term relationship with no growth-prospects.

If you find yourself in the midst of chaos:

  • when your imbecilic boss has treated themselves to a 3 hour brunch and requested that you compile a report that he must submit to your seniors while meeting daily targets, or
  • you find yourself the storyboard artist, photographer, designer and copywriter of your cosy operation because the Financial Manager doesn’t see the need to hire more staff, or
  • the corporate bullying has taken on epic proportions and you have no one to turn to for support because your dependent boyfriend has taken your car to a bar for drinks, forgot to pick you up from work, and is out spending your hard-earned money during the time you allowed him to “find himself”

know that the problem is not the selfish so-and-so. The problem is you for choosing someone who will take you for a free ride because that’s what you were offering. You prefer to enter a party on someone’s arm and not on your lonesome. You prefer to be part of a we than a me.  As it appears, any we will do; and nothing will change until you realize: little girl, you’re on your own.

When soldiers are wounded, they retreat from battle to recover.

It’s time to re-asses your priorities and clean house.

I prefer a life of peace.  A relationship should be that refuge for you.  You should not be fighting to be heard, to be understood.  Those are issues for the world; save yourself the insanity.


Writer: Tebogo Serobatse          Photography: Nokulunga Msomi