Anyone who knows me is aware that 80% of the time my lack of coupledom doesn't bother me. I like being able to do my crazy hours and then come home and do whatever I want - play Assassins Creed for 3 hours, clean the house, bake all manner of things, whatever. I like going on holiday by myself and planning what I want to do - and changing it if I feel like it. I like being able to help my friends and family out by spending the day looking after the kids or helping them work on a project without having to consult anyone.
But today it bothers me.
If anyone who read my last post followed the like to 'The New Adventures of Peter & Wendy' you would have found a fantastic web series which I am unashamedly hooked on.
There are many reasons for this - the romance element being a biggy - but also because the main female protagonist is closer to 30 than 20.
"I forgot that being a woman, 27, and single, basically equates to being dead. I will start digging my own grave as soon as I finish making the lovely dress of cat hair and.. tears"
"I'm old Peter...for a girl, I'm old. I'm supposed to have it all together by now, I'm supposed to have a husband, and career, and kids"
I hear ya, Wendy, I hear ya.
These 2 lines have been making me think a lot over the last couple of weeks.
I am 33
Now if you think that being 33 and single for a non-Christian is tough you have no idea of the added, not sure how to describe it really....complications? guilt? occasional despair? that trying to live your life God can throw into the mix. Because being a single, Christian woman over the age of 25 you occasionally very much feel like you've had your chance and blown it.
When you get past 30 it becomes particularly irritating (if not upsetting) when people say -'you're still young'. I'm not 22, I'm actually not that young if you think about it, and that comment doesn't help. It's almost as bad as 'I know there's someone out there for you'. A lovely sentiment but you don't, and I'm old enough to know better.
Somehow the day you turn 30 you seem to illicit pity when asked the dreaded question 'Are you married?' What the heck was different between yesterday when I was 29 and today when I'm 24 hours older? I am not looking forward to the day, should it be the case, that my niece or nephew asks me WHY I'm not married.
'Cos I gotta tell ya, I'm not sure what I'll say.
I work with men a lot (it's technical theatre - seriously, they're everywhere!) and I have become very adept at putting up a 'work/friend' barrier, but it's not like there's a lack of men around - except at the churches I appear to frequent. And the pickings get even slimmer once you get past 25.
I spent 3 years working on cruise ships - if you know what that's like the you will understand why I refrained from any kind of anything then. Even when I was constantly having my sexuality questioned because I didn't flirt or appear to have any interest in men.
Let me tell you, there have been guys I've liked, it's just, unfortunately for me they didn't feel the same way. I am always aware of this even if I manage to convince myself other-wise. I genuinely managed to do this for 3 years once - I was a twit. So, again, the whole 'work/friend' skill comes in very handy.
People seemed to be concerned after my younger sister's got married, 5 years ago, that I would just marry anyone - the next guy who said 'Hello' to me presumably. It bothered me that they would think I was this shaky in my own convictions. I made a decision years ago that I will never put my life on hold waiting for 'the right-man' to show up. That to me seems as ridiculous as not going to the cinema to see a film because no-one will go with you. That doesn't mean you wouldn't love someone to go with you, but you want that experience and to find out that story. It's better to have gone than to have sat at home wishing you were there.
Sometimes I do wonder if I'm even capable of having a relationship, maybe it's not in the plan for me. Maybe that's why He made me so independent.
And if it isn't in the plan I would honestly like to know. Then I can stop hoping, have a cry, and move on. It's the hoping and wondering that can make your heart ache.
If I'm honest there are 2 main reasons this is getting me down tonight and one of the is incredibly not romantic but still justifiable.
1)As I was discussing with my good friend and fellow Blogger 'A Girl Called Sophie' this world is not financially designed for single people. Most of my stress and anxiety is to do with money, and it sucks because if I was married we'd actually be doing pretty well!
Once you get passed a certain age and your siblings/friends have partners and children, it is no longer viable to have a small 1-bedroom flat if you ever want to see them for more than an afternoon and you live over an hour away. Why is it not possible to find a decent sized 1 bedroom HOUSE for a reasonable rate?You have also gained a fair amount of stuff . Especially if like me you've been living in unfurnished places because Bath was expensive enough without renting the furniture too and you no longer have a family home with a loft your stuff can live in. So you have to make a decision about what you're willing to sacrifice. Explain to me why I have to only pay 20% less council tax than if there was 2 people living here? Why do I have to pay 2 different water companies (1 in, 1 out - Rutland in odd) the same amount as if there was a family living here. Why do people require a month and half's rent on top of a deposit. Why are British Gas & BT so flippin' inept! (sorry.....calming down now)
2)I haven't had time off in while, I find it difficult to ring anyone 'just for a chat', I've had to go back to work twice tonight because I forgot stuff I need, I'm stressed about nothing in particular and really need a hug and someone to make me a cup of tea and play a game with me/watch something on TV. Basically I could just have done with someone on my side who was in when I got home who could cheer me up and then I could have reciprocated. Now, I appreciate that house-mate could probably also solve most of these problems - but you try finding someone who needs a room in the middle of Rutland from Monday - Friday.
But to end on a more positive note - I know this feeling will pass, the black dog will bugger off if I can hang on long enough, I'm attempting some internet dating and if I look at Wendy's list again I'm actually not doing too badly.
I have a Career - it may seem a little all over but I love what I do, it's about so much more than theatre.
Husband - I don't have. But I do have 2 wonderful Brothers-in-Law who I know are looking out for me (and have put themselves in charge of vetting any future prospects, walking me down the aisle and giving the Father-of-the-Bride speech!)
Kids - No, but my nieces and nephews are the world to me and I hope I can be everything they need a cool Aunty to be to them - including kicking their butts a little if needed!
I like to see life as an adventure. Sometimes nothing happens, and sometimes the tide's coming in, it's raining and your stuck on an island in the dark. But that just makes the sunshine coming up on another 'ordinary day' seem even more of a blessing.
And on that highly sappy note I shall leave this mini-rant and adjourn to my bed.