I didn’t have that anxiety when I turned 30. I was too excited. A year had passed since my year in Taiwan, I had just finished my post-graduate degree and was starting on the path to my new career. I had so much to look forward to that I didn’t give 30 a second thought. I even made a big deal about my birthday that year – and if you know me, you know I don’t do that. I had new friends (some who are still around, some who aren’t) and of course the eternal loves of my life, those friends who have been around so long, they’re family. 30 was awesome.
Then I turned 35. That’s when it started. Each year I celebrated another thirty-faux birthday. I did it to avoid the rumblings from other people around me about age. The questions about what I was doing with my life. Why don’t you have a boyfriend, a husband, children? Don’t you want that? What’s WRONG with you? You’re too picky. You’re not putting yourself out there. OMG, I’ve heard it all. Not from my loves mind you, they’re much too kind and they know me far too well. So here’s the honest answer. It never occurred to me that I would be on the doorstep of 40 and still have anything to think about.
I never had a plan. I wasn’t one of those girls. My teenage self didn’t dream of her twenty-something wedding day, a house in the ‘burbs, an SUV, a couple of kids and a dog. For as long as I can remember I wanted to see the world, have a ‘big’ job, be successful. Did I think I’d eventually meet someone and get married or at least be in a relationship – sure. Were kids part of the equation – meh. It was never clear. I like kids. I love the ones in my life. Do I get those pangs for my own – not so much. I just never went for it. I didn’t put a lot of time and effort into finding or nurturing a relationship.
I spent my 30s growing my career, travelling and celebrating my successes and the milestones of those around me. I regret nothing (except perhaps the metabolism slowdown). And I know a good group of single about to hit 40 women who are in the same boat. You needn’t feel sorry for us, we’re just fine. I just hope that in eight months as I round the corner and head into my forties I enter it with wild excitement – just like when I was 30.
And if my 30s were any indication, with my peeps, my 40s are going to be pretty fucking awesome.