In just a few short days, I’m turning 35 and this past month I have come to realize the seriously harsh reality that I’m old AF. People always shake their head when I say it, and say NA, 35 is young! But my countless grey hairs and constantly aching and changing body would say otherwise.
I’m just being real when I say, if you are 35 and not married, don’t have a house, or a significant other, people start to look at you strangely. They think in their head, ‘what is wrong with this girl and why is she still single? She must be crazy or something.’ I know you are saying, that’s not always true, but more often than not, especially in the Jewish community, it is. You feel like an outcast, you feel like you aren’t a part of the, I have children, I have a nice house, and/or I’m married “club” and then those same thoughts start to slowly creep into your head and you start to wonder the same thing.
This past week was also back to school week for all of the kiddos. If you looked at my facebook feed, it was truly unescapable. It’s not to say I’m not incredibly proud and excited for all of my friends and acquaintances who have kids. But it doesn’t mean its not a difficult pill to swallow for me. When you are dating, not married, no kids in sight, and just trying to figure out life, those things that are the center of pride and joy, and also several tough times, in all parents lives, is a constant reminder for me of the things I don’t and may never have in my life.
I was speaking with a close friend and she said, “I just had to get off of facebook and instagram for a little bit. It was just too hard to constantly be reminded of something that I may never have the chance to have.” We spoke about freezing our eggs, adopting, and what our future may or may not look like with or without a child. For me, freezing my eggs or adopting a child may never be an option because of the sheer cost of either of those options, but I guess I will cross that bridge when and if I ever get there.
It was also recently my cousins naming at the same synagogue where my ex and I took conversion classes. For those of you who are unaware, in the Jewish tradition, when a baby is born, they get an english name, and then they also get a Hebrew name which typically has some sort of meaning behind it and there is a ceremony held where their Hebrew name is announced to the public. The naming took place in the same synagogue where my ex and I spent over a year and a half taking conversion classes together, and even before I went to the naming, even though I wanted to go to be there for my cousin because I was so excited for her, it was still very hard for me. I sat there as tears streamed down my face, literally surrounded by babies, and was reminded of what maybe could have been with my ex and what I lack in my life, I being reminded of everything that I didn’t have. It was probably one of the difficult moments I have had in a while.
In all candidness, I go back and forth about children. There are days where I look at my friends and see how difficult it is to raise a child at this time and in this CRAZY world and especially with social media and all of the challenges that brings, which is something that I didn’t grow up with. And lord, raising a child is no piece of cake (although a lot of you mothers out there make it look like it!). You have to be SO patient, un-selfish, and truly dedicate your life to someone other than yourself. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way when I say, sometimes, not all of the time, it’s nice to be selfish and not have to worry about another little human to talk care of. I love taking my trips around the world, going to clubs, going out, having me time, and working out; and when you have a child, a lot of those things that you love doing in life oftentimes go away. I’m not always sure I’m ready to give up my life, but I do know that the reward of a child usually outweighs anything that you ever gave up in your life.
While there are some days I think that I wouldn’t want to have a child, there are many days I stand in the grocery store line, and a little baby smiles at me with her big pink bow in her hair and I wave back with my big cheesy smile and it honestly makes me want a child instantly. It makes me reminisce about what it would be like to raise a child and influence them, see them grow up to become someone who YOU raised. It’s such an accomplishment, and so rewarding in so many ways, and I want to feel that motherly feeling of holding a child in my arms and having that bond with someone that you created.
All of this brings me to my point of a life timeline; something that has come up a lot in the past few months with a handful of my friends. It’s so difficult not to compare yourself to everyone else and what stage of life they are in, especially when you see all of it on social media daily. I look at my own stage of life, and honestly feel so behind; no children, no husband, no house. I still feel like I am flailing and trying to figure out what I want to do in life and where I should be. But I will say that I constantly hear from people, “you are living the life, Casie. Traveling (or lack there of this year), going out all of the time, having fun, hanging out with friends, doing YOU!” I always say the grass is always greener on the other side, not that that fixes anything or makes anyone feel better, but it is oftentimes true.
A close friend recently told me, “I think everyone has a different journey, one isn’t any more right or wrong or better or worse than another really, I mean how could you even know or compare? In my most religious way of thinking, I do really feel like we all have some kind of a predestined plan in life that will work out better than we could ever imagine for ourselves.”
I have always say that everything happens for a reason… and I actually do believe that, but knowing that definitely doesn’t make any of these thoughts or feelings any easier.
I usually end my blog posts with something positive or sending some sense of hope. But if I’m being completely honest, all of these things scare me and are thoughts and feelings that I am dealing with at this stage in my life, and there have been a lot of times recently when I have felt hopeless. But what I guess I will end with is that letting you know that you aren’t the only one going through or feeling this way. It’s ok to sometimes be sad, and worry about where you will be, it’s normal.
And you aren’t alone. I’m here…
Follow along for part II of 35, where I will be discussing how truly awful the past 2 weeks have been. Sound awesome right?! 😉