Twenty-seven was my magic number. Somehow, I’d convinced myself that I’d be married by the time I was 27 years old.
I’d mapped out my childbirth years, too. I’d have my first child (a daughter, of course) at age 29. Her little sister would join us when I turned 31. I’d then take a four-year hiatus in order to adjust to life as a fabulous mother before I had my last two children; sons. They’d be boys and I’d have them at ages 35 and 36 respectively. And that would be it.
I’d have a tall, handsome, gainfully employed husband and four beautiful, loving, well-behaved children all by the ripe old age of 36. That was the plan.
Now, with all of that in mind, it may come as a complete shock to some folks that I’m actually now well over 30 without as much as a steady boyfriend in sight. What would probably stun people even more, though, is to learn that I’m perfectly happy with that. No. Scratch that. I’m better than “ok,” with my marital status; I’m quite grateful for it, actually.
You see, one thing I’ve noticed is that when I woman hits a certain age—about 28 or so—without being married, she starts to hear the rumblings of concerned family members and friends. They want to know if she’s going to get a man, if she’s even capable of getting a man, or if she’s doomed to die alone and childless. If a woman still happens to be single by the time she’s 30, the rumblings begin to turn to loud whispers. And if heaven forbid, she’s still single well into her 30s, those loud whispers become shrill screams.
And I get it. The idea of dying alone is frightening. It’s frightening enough for some people to partner up with people they don’t really love (or particularly like, for that matter). The shrill screams are deafening enough to push a woman to be with someone just for the sake of having a partner to post on social media. What I’ve found though, is that if you can find the courage to tune out the noise of other people’s issues and expectations, I think you’ll find the life of a single, childless woman is actually pretty thrilling.
Imagine, if you will, being able to wake up every morning, and being able to think; not about what your husband needs or whether or not the kids are ready for school, picture yourself actually being able to think about yourself. Imagine thinking about yourself so intentionally that you can hear your inner voice acknowledging your life’s goals. Envision being able to hear yourself so clearly that you can not only admit your goals to yourself, but you’re also able to strategize about you can do to bring said goals to pass. And since you’re unencumbered, you will indeed be able to find the time to execute some of those well-laid plans, now. There’s no being Virginia Wolfe, fantasizing and longing to able to retreat to a little room; you’re Oprah Winfrey, steadily plotting and carving out a large empire.
As a single, childless, woman, that’s my life, and I’m quite excited about it, as it’s one thing to dream of what you want to become as a little girl, it’s quite another to be able to grow up and actually get to dedicate your life to making those dreams come true. My life affords me such an opportunity and I happen to consider that to be a wonderful gift from above.
So, yes, your kids are amazing; I enjoy playing with them and subsequently returning them to you once they’ve gotten on my nerves. No, I’m not pressed because I don’t have “a” man, as I’m in a position to meet as many new men as I’d like. And this will be our little secret, but, I rather enjoy being able to spend my hard-earned money on… me. That’s not to say that I’m ruling out a family forever, but, for right now; I’m good.
That said, you can save your stares, your pity, your whispers and your rumbles; there are plenty of people in the world who actually need it, but single, childless, excited and delighted me is not one of them.