It finally happened. I knew it was going to, but I had no idea how I was going to react when it did. Last week it became official. Out of the group of girls I went to high school with (and still contact on a mostly regular basis), I am now the last one who is not married and without children. To men, this may not seem like a big deal, possibly even a good thing to some. But, for a woman over the age of 30, it definitely makes you take a long hard look at your life.
My current reality is very different than the life I had planned out for myself when I was a bright-eyed 17 year old about to graduate high school. At that time, my friends and I spent nearly every waking moment together. We discussed boys, how we were going to skip the next class without our parents finding out, and what our lives would be like when we were (gulp) 25. We even put each other in order as to who we thought was going to get married first because there was no way one of us wouldn’t be married by the time we were 30. This was small town life and I had mine all planned out. I would meet a guy who would sweep me off my feet, and we would have a perfect life together with several children. One of us would also be likely to drive a very large truck because that’s just what you do in the North.
Life has a way of not working out the way you planned it though, and all of my (mainly questionable) life choices brought me further away from this goal of family life than towards it. And, after finding out my knight in shining armor was just an idiot in tin foil, I wasn’t really in a rush to run back to this plan.
But what happens when it seems as though everyone around you is doing the exact thing you’re not? That’s when the doubt appears. Would I be happier if I settled down into the throes of domesticity or would I always feel the need to escape? Sorry guys but men have it easy. They don’t have to make life altering decisions in their 30’s because their internal plumbing is most likely going to work for the rest of their lives. And if it doesn’t, there’s a little blue pill that can help them out with that. Women are on a timeline and, like it or not, it affects us in a major way. I envy those women who already know what they want. Whether it’s knowing for sure they want to be married with children, or knowing for sure that they don’t. What do you do if you’re stuck in the middle? What do you say when people ask you if you want to have kids and you don’t have an answer? Some days I can’t even decide what I’m going to have for lunch so deciding about a baby is pretty much impossible. And of course you have the people who have kids who tell me I don’t know what I’m missing. That’s definitely not true. I’ve seen your Facebook posts about not sleeping, cleaning up diarrhea, vomit, and other miscellaneous body fluids, and class 5 meltdowns in Walmart. But I’ve also seen your posts about cuddles, and the ridiculously cute things your kids say, and how proud you are of them when they accomplish something.
I’m not going to lie, the thought of having a husband, kids, and a mortgage makes me smile sometimes. But the thought of travelling the world with a partner that I love, and getting lost in places most people don’t know exist gives me the biggest shit-eating grin you’ll ever see. I can’t help it. I’ve always been a wanderer. Do I still want kids? Sometimes, but not enough to make it my life’s focus and change the things I have planned to do. At least right at this moment that’s true. Not all of us were made to be domestic goddesses. But I can’t guarantee that if you ask me again in 2 days I’ll feel the same way. Now, what the hell am I going to have for lunch?