The Late Twenties Crisis
I’m 28 years old. My daughter would tell you that I am 28 and a half such is a Primary school child’s desperation to grow older!! I have friends ranging from teens to pension age, but alot of my close friends have been in my life since school/college and are a similar age to me.
I got married in April :-), I’ve been to half a dozen weddings recently and my Facebook timeline seems to be filled with pregnancy scan photos. Many of my single friends are starting to panic that time is running away from them, that by now (or certainly by their 30th birthday) they should have a job they love, a man they love and that children they love should at least be on the cards. One of my friends even exclaimed “I’m getting old”.
With women getting married and having children later and later in life, it seems odd that these women are so pre-occupied with these things at such a young age. I wondered whether it was something limited to the North West where I currently live, but it seems that my old friends in the South East are suffering from the same feelings. These women seem to fear they will be left behind. They are frightened of dying alone and being eaten by Alsatians a la Bridget Jones…only they are quite a few years younger!
I think alot of it has to do with our imaginations. As children we can’t wait to grow up. We imagine the future: a bright shiny place where we are successful and in love. We have beautiful children, more than enough money and we are so happy. We never dream about Monday mornings, rubbish dates and over-draughts. We don’t imagine a future where Mr Right hasn’t shown his face (or at least hasn’t got down on one knee), we can’t get a mortgage and we sometimes feel lonely. It is difficult to accept that the reality of life might not be what we imagined when we were little girls; often it is easier to tell ourselves that life simply hasn’t yet begun. Is it any wonder that we wish the future we imagined would begin sooner rather than later?
I now know what ‘Bridget Jones’ meant when she described ‘smug-marrieds’ and I realise I am one of them and that had I not met Phill when I did I might be one of the ‘young Bridgets’ too. It’s ok for me to say that I am ready to embrace my thirties, when I will start the next decade of my life with a Husband who adores me, a child I couldn’t love more and what I’m beginning to realise is an enviable lifestyle. But just because I have ‘achieved’ two of these ‘milestones’ that women set themselves, doesn’t mean that life is perfect. I don’t think I have fulfilled my career potential, I have a plethora of personal issues and right now, I feel really, really bloody fat!
When we are in our sixties, we’ll look back upon our twenties with smiling eyes. We’ll regale others with tales of our exploits and stare at photos in awe at how beautiful we were. We should be filling this time, our youth, with experiences that will be worth remembering, whatever our personal or professional circumstances. Appreciating what we have and not dwelling upon what we do not.
I adore my daughter, being a Mother is amazing, I wouldn’t swap it for anything. But those who have not yet become parents have a freedom that I have never experienced having become a mother in my teens. They can go out whenever they want, travel the World if they like and make themselves a priority. I still can’t believe my luck to have found my lovely Husband and to have somehow convinced him that I am a good choice for a life partner; but for those women who have not found that person yet, they have all that to look forward to! Their first date, those conversations into the early hours, those tentative early kisses. They have all that yet to come and potentially a bunch of other ‘interesting’ dates until then! And the career, well I haven’t quite mastered that one yet. But I have plenty of time and so do the young Bridgets.
Being married, being a Mum, having money in your purse, doesn’t magically make everything perfect. Nothing is ever perfect and if you spend your life waiting for perfection or worse still waiting for life to start, then it never will.
I hope that my friends, these beautiful, strong women, soon remember that they are beautiful, strong women who do not need the affirmation of these ‘milestones’ to be content or to judge themselves successful. Instead I hope they make the most of their last few years of being twenty something and approach their thirties with wisdom and confidence.
And if they work out how to do that, i hope they share it with me because this bravado is wearing thin lol!!