I have not been on here in some time and I realised that it was as a result partly of not making time for myself to touch base, but also because I’ve also been trying to LIVE Life and be present with the people I’m with. However, my birthday is this Saturday, and every year, like clockwork, when 1 Dec rolls around, my mind switches into over drive.
This year, alot of it centers around turning 35. I’m not sure what about this makes me feel a deep sense of mourning. The realisation that I’m now squarely in my mid thirties and a simple thing like having to check the next age group box on forms has sent me off into spirals of tears and downward trajectories. This year, my 34th year has been one of the most difficult ones to date.
I had endless health issues, culminating in surgery. I have seen breakdowns in friendship that I would never have foreseen. I have faced the ever ticking biological clock. I have had to pick myself up time and time and time again this year.
I’ve learnt that while I may be genuine, friendship is not always what it seems. It maybe genuine but from the other side, it’s a matter of using the skills and necessary network and connections the other person has. And I don’t just mean female friendships. I’ve lost good male friends along the way because suddenly they’re dating girls almost 10 years younger and they decide what happens.
This is the year I have come face to face with my own vulnerability and insecurities. Where I’ve had to face myself and the questions in my mind regarding worthiness and “enoughness”. I changed careers paths at 30. I burnt it all to the ground – walked out on a life that no longer fulfilled me, a man that didn’t appreciate me and was abusive, a career that killed me slowly – I tore it all down and I walked out with just my dog.
I started again and I have to say these past 5 years I have lived and I have loved harder than I did in the last ten. But THIS year was ultimately the one that I thought was going to cost me my mental health.
Betrayal came in so many forms. Character assassination came in so many forms. I’ve questioned my intelligence, my abilities, my sense of self, my character. This year brought me to my knees .
5 days away from 35 I’m reminded that this year also brought me reminders of what it means to have true friends that support and value you. What it means to really take time for self care and self reflection. Really take time to consider the source when it comes to the adversity you face every day. Bite hard dig deep and never forget your grit. I’ve had to remind myself of that constantly.
In recent weeks, I was consumed with the thought that where I envisioned myself at 35 when I was in high school and university, is definitely not where I am now…I had a complete breakdown…in my head I’d be married by 30 and have kids and be on partner track in a firm by now.
No doubt if I hadn’t burnt my life to the ground at 30 I’d probably have the kids and the marriage and be miserable and unhappy or I’d be dead. I digress though.
I’ve been consumed that whilst outwardly I look like I’m successful and have it all together, I don’t feel like I have anything to show for 35. As a good friend of mine said to me “your midlife crisis is starting, buy the damn Porsche”. Ironically I’ve always wanted a Porsche.
I don’t know where this pressure to have it all together came from, or why I feel like I don’t. However, uppermost in my mind in the last two weeks has been the fact that I don’t have a husband or partner and I don’t have a family and on some level that kills me more than anything else. It’s a slow insidious thought that I’m destined to end up alone or my chance has come and gone. I know that it sounds insane but it is how I feel…and I keep asking who taught me that my worth and success is only ensured by having this?
Where did this conditioning come from? Does it mean I want it any less? No. Spending time with my Godbabies is such that I literally feel a tug in the ovaries. It is an ache I don’t know how you process anymore. A feeling of being left behind.