When I was young and still thought that grownups knew everything, I was obsessed with my mom’s friend Marcia. She was dark chocolate, with long arms, a proud neck, a trim figure. I imagined being her, when I grew up — independent, single. Able to eat whatever I wanted and talk back to the men, as it pleased me. She was 29 and I couldn’t wait to be 29 so I could be the master of my own fate.
But, here I am, 29. Still figuring ish out in a way that’s both frightening and refreshing. I am learning to be a wife, hoping to be a mother, but still gripped by a fear that I’m completely faking it all.
Like the time when I tried to sit at the adult’s table at the Nigerian Independence Party. My friend and I had argued and I didn’t want to sit by her, so brought my plate to the empty seat beside my mother, but eventually a real adult needed to sit down and I was banished back to the kids’ table.
Sometimes I feel like that now. Like I’m floating on cloud 9, with my perfect high heels and my well lit office, with my name on the door…And then something happens and all of the old insecurity comes back. I am, once again, 8 years old. Grasping for a maturity that sometimes seems like a ruse, looking around at everyone else and wondering how they all caught on so much faster than I did.