Have you ever had one of these moments in which you realized…”I’m a grown woman!”?
I sure have & it came 5 years late to me actually being a grown woman.
I turned 23 years in April 2016 & it was one of the best celebrations thanks to my friend Fa Lu who threw me a party which was the most emotional for me (read about it here)who also invited me to come along with her & 3 friends to Civitavecchia, Rome. Civitavecchia is a seaport town in Rome which was the main port of entry centuries ago and we were to spend 1 day & 1 night at a house we rented. It was a rainy Sunday but that didn’t deter us because the male who came along had a ride-who doesn’t prefer riding in a vehicle than a bus?
Everything was fascinating as we rode out of Siena towards the south-west of Italy. Greenfields to my right; long stretches of roads ahead while tiny matchboxes passed us by to seeing Roman ruins & the longest aqueduct I had ever seen in my life just casually standing firm on the roadside. It was surreal.
We stopped off in a tiny sloppy town, Citta di Tarquina where we spent maybe 1-2 hours walking & exploring the area and a castle that overlooked fields for miles.
Although it was a lovely experience, I began to feel myself pull away from them. We finally arrived in Civitavecchia & there was a turmoil happening inside as my spirit kept on pestering me. I didn’t want to be here – with them – doing things “together”. My mood became agitated, restless, tired of thinking or being considerate of “them” & “we”.
For once, I just wanted it to be all about me – what I wanted & didn’t want to do & eat!
Let me pause here & explain something to you.
See, I’ve always been a part of groups/clubs/organizations which instilled in me the importance of doing things collectively & putting the needs of the majority above the minority. This happened frequently from group activities, fundraisers to overseas trips – I always tried to consider someone. But here I was, surrounded by 4 individuals who seemed to have a formed a bond while I stood quietly like the “5th wheel” trying not to give too much or too little away of my discomfort. Even more so, we were stuck together until the next day & how I prayed for it to be the next day already!
As soon as we’d check into the apartment, I called my mom and best friend Brittney & was trying hard to explain how uneasy, restless & out of place I felt. I was ready to catch the next bus out of Civitavecchia – literally! I’d already found the street where the buses stopped, the bus number, where it would be stopping etc. The only thing that stopped me from doing so was the fact that by the time I’d have paid that ticket back to Siena, there would be no monies to make it till month end! You know that feeling of wanting to run away, no matter the cost? Well, that was the current situation.
I’m a grown woman realization came when we were trying to either decide on where we would explore or eat in Civitavecchia. I agreed to whatever it is that they agreed on & took a walk on a long & windy pier alone. Tears were welling in me, shouts being suppressed & a feeling of being trapped came over me. Siena was calling me – Florence was calling me – anywhere but Civitavecchia around them was calling me! It might have been while walking along the pier or sitting on the sand that it came, “Okizia, you’re a grown woman, you can do whatever you want!”.
It may sound strange & quite obvious but makes perfect sense to me why I hadn’t felt so before. I was always surrounded by people & for the first time in my life, I was in a big COUNTRY..ALONE..FREE TO DO AS I PLEASED.
I’d never known true independence before that. In discovering that independence there was a loneliness, longing & struggle against what I was familiar with and what I was now experiencing.
Suffice to say, the evening took a turn which I will not mention. Next day came with an uneventful, counting down the minutes, seeing but not seeing the beauty of Italy drive back to Siena.
I’ll never forget this revelation of being a grown woman – able to make my own choices without the interference or opinions or considerations of other people. I remember it more than I do of what we actually did while in Civitavecchia.
Thanks to God for revealing that to me & giving me a sense of independence & strength.
Have you had a similar experience? I’d love to know!
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