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Thursday, December 12, 2013

35

I have always loved birthdays, especially mine.  Even if I didn't do anything big, I always loved to celebrate with a dinner with friends at the very least.

This year, however, I just wasn't feeling it.

I haven't really had a problem with getting older up until now.  29 didn't bother me. 30 only bothered me because I had the stomach flu.  Nothing post-30 had bothered me either.  That is, until this year.

35.

I am not sure why it sounds so much older than 34, but it really does.

Maybe it's because 35 is the age you start hearing on commercials. You know, "Women over 35 should consult their doctor..." "these risks increase in women over 35..."

Maybe it's because at 35, high school was literally half a lifetime ago.

Or maybe it's because at 35, I can't really ignore the fact that my life has not turned out the way I thought it would.

I love my life, I do.  Most days, I am perfectly happy with who I am and what I have accomplished (I mean, c'mon, Cutest House on the Block and I am a real estate mogul? That's pretty doggone good!) But there are plenty of days I struggle.  I struggle with feeling alone.  I struggle with being the odd man out.  I struggle with not being able to add to the conversation when the talk is anniversaries and proposal stories and late night feedings.  I struggle with the feeling that being single is somehow the consolation prize for a contest I wasn't even qualified to enter, which is a real problem for me, because I certainly don't like to lose.  And sometimes, to be brutally honest, I feel like I am losing.

Had you asked me at 20 where I would be at 35, I would've said "Married.  Good job.  Two kids.  SUV.  Dog."  Even jaded and cynical at 30, I probably would've said I would at least be dating someone seriously, if not the happy family I envisioned at 20. Isn't that what we would all say? Isn't that what we are supposed to say? Isn't that where all of us are supposed to end up? At 20, it was easy to see that.  At 30, it was harder to envision, but still imaginable.  At 35, it's becoming more difficult to imagine it happening, and easier to imagine it not happening. I am not trying to be Debbie Downer, nor am I trying to get everyone to say, "Oh, it'll happen when you _________ (least expect it/learn to truly love yourself/stop looking/etc)!" I am also not saying it won't happen, but I am saying the odds are not in my favor.

So I guess the question I have now, is what do I do now?

And I think the answer is simple.  LIVE.  Staying single is a perfectly acceptable, albeit not particularly desirable, plot twist in my story.

I can love my life even if I am sometimes discouraged.

I can be happy where I am, even if I don't want to stay there.

I know I am blessed with what I have, and that I have more than enough to satisfy me.

I will make it.

Maybe 35 won't be so bad after all...







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