A Few Notes On Arriving At The Over Sensationalized, Make Me Feel Like An Old Tired Ass, Your Life Is Officially Over, Milestone of 4-0
Seriously, people have been driving me nuts with this whole turning forty way of thinking. I was sliding out of thirty-nine into forty just fine without anyone doing live commentating on the event. I was gracefully moving along, doing my thing, being the creative now and then girl, with a splash of entrepreneurial this and that kind of thing. Really, just doing what I do, feeling just fine about how life was rolling out. (Okay maybe not "fine" but generally fulfilled).
And now, I am officially on the society induced OMG I'm forty panic wagon. Yep, no husband, no baby and whole a lot of "now what do I really want to be when I grow up?" I have recently contemplated purchasing the domain what-a-mess.com --thanks to all these "other" people and their concepts on where-I-am-supposed-to be but I am clearly not.
I'm not getting any more of the "Stacie you really look great or extraordinary" than usual. Nor have I heard much "Wow you are such an inspiration. …Retirees haven't experienced half of what you have!"
In the past six years I have, yes, experienced far more than the average young woman, in my mid thirties I walked though my longtime boyfriend's suicide and I am now a "survivor" as a result of that. And really there have been some true gifts I received within that journey. I'm a published author, a painter, I run a great business and last winter, I launched my see and sprout project (seeandsprout.com) Not bad for an old lady --but, according to The People I still don't have the required must haves
While I feel pretty fortunate as to where I've been and even more so where I am headed, it doesn't appear everyone else is that optimistic.
I presume I anticipated a splash more of the mushy, super sappy, cliché stuff we love to hear, even if we don't really believe it bullshit, that friends and family say to you as you arrive at the gates of this over sensationalized, make me feel like an old tired ass you're your life is officially over milestone.
Nope, not getting any of that.
What I am getting is that sing song-y, passive aggressive voice that is kind of not wanting to say it out loud but she cant help herself:
"Well, Do you even want to have kids?" …. As if I have not once considered the society driven body clock timeframe dilemma. Thanks Sugar pants.
And oh, toss in "Well, are you dating anyone seriously right now?"
Or "You know, my sister's boss has a really awesome fertility
specialist she used…"
Seriously. I know.
I get it. I get the husband and baby on board thing is the norm, this is the way to the Promised Land in the US of A. We are programmed to seek, desire, work hard for and obtain the love of your life, walk down the aisle, produce a precious little bundle of being called a baby and off to perfect life we go. I love the sound of it, I just don't buy it, and especially not at retail price anymore.
If I take a formal inventory of the marriage and baby stats of my immediate circle, there's a lot of variables going on, not necessarily bad variables, just par for the course, real life variables. I realize I'm both inspired and scared to death by the many potential outcomes when you sign on the dotted line to the Promised Land:
1. One of my girls who is almost 40 got knocked up, hitched and is currently on baby #2 in about a year and a half flat, to a divorced guy with two other kids and a slightly psycho ex-wife.
2. Smart, saucy girlfriend married and preggers within the past 12 months just bought a house, adding on to it, baby arrives in 20 minutes, her production is on schedule. Solid.
3. One of my oldest and dearest friends Karen, age 41, baby almost one year old, married, and kicking ass, she is my soul mate who was always supposed to do this alongside me… apparently not.
4. My San Francisco girlfriend, age 33, super fun, was always going to be single friend, met mister right, baby on board a few months ago, had a shotgun wedding last month and I couldn't be happier for her.
5. My sister, also mom to the cutest kids on Earth and married to great dad and husband, said to me today "I was having my one moment of living the dream sitting poolside alone for the first time in two years and all I could think of over and over "was it supposed to turn out like this?" But tomorrow she will be back on track; she' s my constant entertainment and hero without a doubt.
6. A guy friend mid 40's, two kids, different moms and deep in a custody case. …Don't get me started.
7. Another guy BFF 40, divorced, his wife cheated on him with a mutual friend, they live in the same town, parents of two teenagers….
Pleading the fifth here.
8. TV host friend, mid thirties, two kids, very well off surgeon husband, lives in a mansion, living the dream behind closed doors. Her life is so out there I shouldn't even list her.
9. My former roommate, party girl who was always going to be single, now married and moved her whole life back east to live her dream, only she's miserable.
So apparently, God's plan for me is well, clearly in some opposite direction of any of the above and perhaps my boarding pass to the Promised Land is being held at gate number 40.
Let's face it, anyone who knows me will say I have never been much up on the whole coloring in the lines or do what everyone else is doing thing. What I have learned from those who have walked before me in the partner and have a baby program, is simply, we all have our own timing and no matter what, it isn't gonna be all rainbows and puppies.
I have really never imagined my perfect wedding, I always wear white after labor day and I don't obsess about beauty magazines because, really they are full of crap and I have always known that-- just like I have known the whole get married and have a baby by age x is a bunch of stuff on sale I don't really want to buy, even though I can totally afford it.
I sense if we took the age number away altogether, I can bet half my friends wouldn't have ended up with whom they are with today, and I also think many might not have selected baby path quite so soon. We all want to be freestyle hippies deep down inside, doing things on our own time… but I think we get a little scared, and have a flash of that 3rd grade being chosen last for team sports feeling and sometimes just jump the gun.
There's a saying that God's plan is usually bigger than the own plan you created for yourself. My plan was sideswiped a long time ago, so now,
I am just along for the red carpet ride to newly renovated and upgraded Promise Land!
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