I am not sure how long this post will be, but I am just going to flow with it.
I am six months away from my 37th birthday. I have been single for eight years with no prospects in sight. If you read my previous blog, you know I want to be married and have children. However, I have no prospects for marriage and have a medical issue that may or may not affect my ability to have my own kids.
Based on my statistics and societal standards, I am loosing in the game of life…..badly. Although I beat the odds and was able to attain an education and career, society tells me and women like me that it must be something wrong with us. We must be crazy. If we aren’t crazy, we are……gay. Honey, you must be gay if you in your thirties and single!!!! Chile…the ignorance!
What saddens me most about the “you are at a certain age and you are manless and childless therefore you must be in some way jacked up or gay” stereotype is that the judgment and ridicule doesn’t really come from men. Women drive that that judgment boat along the waters of shame and ridicule. Moreover, women internalize such standards. As a result, we violate ourselves emotionally and mentally because we, on some level think our lives are traveling down a path of worthlessness. Hence, we deal with both external and internal shame for not hitting each point on the “go to college, get married by 25, or of you aren’t married by 25 please for the love of God get married no later than 30, have a baby soon thereafter” timeline. As a result, women tend to overcompensate. If a woman does engage in a “late in life but long term relationship”, she had to give updates to other women on the progression. She wants the approval of other women that she may be late in he game, but there is nothing wrong with her and she is still worthy to be a wife in mother although she may be past her prime. Women also make it official via social media for the same reason.
Internalization also leads to depression an anxiety surrounding marriage and babies. The anxiety leads to women becoming impatient and as a result completely backing out of their morals. The mere desire to be married and have children then becomes an unhealthy obsession that could lead to terrible decisions. For example: You get married to an abuser for the sake of saying you “made it”. You have children that you secretly despise with the man you married. However, you talk yourself into believing they are a blessing when you are really miserable at how your life turned out. Somewhere, the illusion of meeting the timeline of marriage and babies became more important than reality of misery when you rush into something because “it was time”.
Transparency moment: I was raised in a single parent home. I never wanted to raise children that way. I wanted to give my children something they did not have: an example of a healthy, loving marriage and parents who loved them. Now almost 37 with a medical condition, I am torn between holding on to the promise I made myself and making a decision that is not ideal. I am torn. It is hard and frustrating.
In my journey to authentic happy, part of my process to disrupt the internalization of society standards, including surrounding myself with people who I feel safe with; people who do not implicitly or explicitly shame a woman’s life journey. Admittedly it is tough, but like I’ve said before, I am worth the fight.
I really wrote this to let whoever reads this and is in the same boat that you are not alone, and I understand. You life did not follow the life timeline people felt it should have. So what! I am with you. No matter what, your life journey matters because you have purpose, and what is for you is for YOU.