This year I turned 34 and I’m concerned there might be something wrong with me: I’m not terrified.
At my age I’ve been told my biological clock should be ticking in my ear like reproductive tinnitus, I’m meant to be already hitched or knee deep in wedding preparations and reaping the rewards of career seeds well sewn.
Instead I’m child free, unmarried and a freelancer…what a terrible disappointment I am. And I couldn’t be happier.
I often hear women bemoaning the fact their lives haven’t panned out the way their 15-year-old selves thought they would. But isn’t it time we started appreciating exactly where we are and stopped worrying about stuff we can’t control like…
“I need to have a baby now!!!”
I understand post 30 our ovaries are preparing for retirement but it always worries me when women want a baby because “I’m supposed to have one by now.” Says who? I know I want kids but at 34 I’m just not ready and when I tell people that they say ‘Well there’s never a right time, you know.” Yes there is. The right time is when it’s not the wrong time and the wrong time is when you’re doing it because you think everyone is judging you for not having kids. You can’t make someone you want to have a child with who also wants to have a child with you appear out of thin air and wandering around screaming “my ovaries are dying” isn’t going to make it happen any faster.
“I should be married by now!!!”
How anyone thinks they’ve got an ounce of control over this I’ll never know. You can be on every internet dating site out there, a member of every club and society and be trawling the bars until 3am and still not find the right person. Meeting ‘the one’ doesn’t follow any rules or obey any formulas. The best you can do is be open to love and know that if you don’t find it you’ll be absolutely fine… and oddly enough, that’s usually when the right person comes along.
Listen: How does one admit they’re looking for a partner in a society that promotes independence? The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss. Post continues after audio.
The idea that being single in your 30s in some kind of negative reflection on you as a person is ridiculous. And don’t get me started on the ladies in relationships who DEMAND their partner propose. If my boyfriend got down on one knee because he was sick of me bugging him about it and not because he was dying to do it, I’d start preparing the divorce papers. Who wants to begin a marriage under duress? And why don’t more people think being single is amazing? Of course it’s nice to share your life with someone but when you truly embrace independence it gives you the most incredible sense of freedom. When you’re on your own you should feel like the potential for love is always around the corner not like it’s a death sentence. Truth is you’ll never find a love that fits you perfectly if you’re not perfectly fine with yourself first.
“I don’t want to get old!!!”
When I see women wandering through their 30s like it’s all down hill from here I want to shake them. So what if you’ve got a few more crows feet and your boobs aren’t quite as close to the stratosphere as they once were. You’re wiser, more confident and more comfortable in your own skin and surely that’s worth celebrating.
“I’m not where I wanted to be in my career!!”
It often takes all of your 20s just to work out what you want to do so expecting to be ready for retirement in your 30s is unrealistic. If you haven’t bought a house, don’t have a fancy car, or own one pair of Christian Louboutins who cares! Thinking you’re the only person who doesn’t have it all worked out is a dangerous game and the reality is that everyone is just as terrified as you are.
So let’s cut ourselves some slack and realise if we’re working hard to be the best version of ourselves, we’ll always be right where we’re supposed to be, no matter what anyone thinks.
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