Cutting it close, but hi July!
What a weird month you are. Allegedly the Summer, although I don’t believe continuous rain interspersed with a random day of 90 degree mugginess should really be called “Summer”. All the children break up from school, leading to 7 hideously noisy weeks of misery for those of us that enjoy peace and quiet AND it is my birthday!
Yes, this year saw me turn the grand old age of 35! 5 years until I am 40! only 15 till 50!
Okay, so 35 is not exactly what one should call “old” but it does appear to be a milestone that perhaps gets overlooked. Unless you are a woman of course!
The week leading up to my day was weird. I think I am usually a fairly self confident person. Not in the “Am I pretty?” sense, but the “Yeah! This is me! I love it!” sense. And yet suddenly I found myself full of doubt and questioning my very existence! Have I wasted my life? Am I wasting life? What is the purpose of me? What am I any good for? Have I made the right decisions? Wah,wah,wah…….
What a crock of shit.
I am so mad at myself for allowing these poisonous, petty thoughts to invade my sparkly, rainbow and unicorn infested psyche. I am better than that! I sit myself on the naughty step and I am giving myself a time-out!!!!
I have never, for one moment, considered myself to be the kind of person that must adhere to the preconceived notions of what it is to be a woman. I am not dainty. I am not fragile. I am not made of sugar and I will not melt in the rain. I am loud. I am chaotic. I am strong and tough. I am creative, I am destructive. I am whatever I want to be, whenever I want to be it and no-one can stop me!
So finding myself suddenly full of doubt about my life was somewhat vexing. And more so because I KNOW that it stems from the ridiculous sociological mandate that a woman suddenly becomes a sad and bitter spinster hag at 35!
Okay… so maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but I am sure you get what I mean. If you haven’t found a man to marry you by 35, you can always get started on your cat collection. If you don’t have children yet you suddenly find people are very interested in your biological clock and how quickly it may be ticking! How is your career going? Got that promotion yet?….. exhausting. AND RUDE!
So here I am, a few days shy of my 35th birthday, sat in my pyjamas in the middle of the day playing XBOX with some random Americans. In front of me is a half eaten gluten-free pizza and an ever-hopeful Spaniel eyeing it up, early aughts rock music playing in the background when BAM a sudden, crippling, wave of fear washes over me.
What am I doing with my life?
Well, after a few days of internal wrangling I emerged from under the grey clouds of doom and doubt with epiphanic joy! I can now say with absolute certainty that the answer to “what am I doing with my life?” is this…..I’M LIVING IT!
Yes, I sit around in my pyjamas during the day when I am at home. Why the hell shouldn’t I be comfortable? Bra’s are nice and all, but trust me…. they are not comfortable.
Yeah, I play XBOX. No, I do not think it is a childish endeavour and even if I did, SO FUCKING WHAT? In a world full of absolute misery and despair why shouldn’t people indulge their inner child every now and then? (I am looking at you PokemonGo players!) The notion that once you turn 18 you can no longer enjoy childish things is beyond absurd and quite frankly there is no place for that kind of perspective in my life so if that is how you feel you can just get out of my pillow fort.!! I don’t need that negativity around me, it makes the Unicorns sad. As for my promotion at work? Well, given my chosen vocation as a domestic goddess I feel promotion is a little unlikely. I am already the boss. Thank you.
And then there is the marriage and children ticking time bomb.
How absurd to think that a woman’s success in life can be denoted by her ability to commit to a relationship and procreate. Disgusting. Yes, I am happily married. No that doesn’t somehow make me a better woman. It makes me a wife. That’s it. Thank you. As for children… um… no thank you. Not every woman out there yearns to have a child and I am definitely not one of those that do. I do not feel that I am selfish, I do not feel unfulfilled and I will not regret my decision later in life so how about you keep your views on my uterus to yourself huh?
So what did all this self-revelation teach me? It taught me the value of happiness. REAL happiness. So many people are going through life thinking they are happy because they are ticking all the boxes that society has told them they should have ticked. It is a false sense of achievement. Now, of course I am not saying for one moment that everyone out there is deluded and that they are living their lives wrong! For some people the idea of marriage and children is the pinnacle of happiness. It is what they live for and for those people I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration. They have found their happiness and they are living it! For others, I just feel kind of sad. They are living their lives they way they think they should and perhaps not the way they always dreamed of. Maybe other factors got in the way of their dreams? Maybe they just felt they shouldn’t chase them in case they miss those all important milestones that society has put so much emphasis on. Either way I feel a profound sadness for anyone that is not living their happiest life but that does not and will not include me.
So here I am. 35 years young. Happy. Truly, deeply, happy.
Yes, my life may not look like yours, but that doesn’t mean I am living it wrong and it doesn’t mean you are either. It doesn’t mean I am wasting it. I am not missing out on anything. I am simply living my life the way I want to. And that is all any of us should do. Find something, anything that makes you happy and embrace it. Don’t let some arbitrary set of life rules dictate the path you take and don’t be afraid to jump off a path and take a new one whenever you want to. Life is short and you won’t get out alive, so why waste time doing anything that doesn’t fulfill you?
So there you go. I can’t wait to see what 40 does to me…….