Wednesday, January 18, 2012
We've Reached the End of the Line, I Hope Your Dreams Turn Out Fine
I read this article the other day and I have to admit, it threw me for a bit of a loop. The idea that because I'm 35, it's time to pack it in and resign myself to the life I currently have at first kind of pissed me off. Apparently, gone are the days when I can chase the impossible dreams of my youth or even the last few years because time's up, buddy! Sorry if you missed the boat, but this shit here is for the young. Move along Ma'am!!
On the surface, that might not seem to be such a bad thing. After all, 35 is technically middle age. And, what's wrong with laying down roots, settling down and playing the cards you've been dealt by life? Besides, if you haven't done it by 35, are you ever really going to do it? Seriously, am I ever going to get into a bikini again or hike the Appalachian Trail, or learn to surf or live in a foreign country? Isn't it time to grow up and put aside foolish things and just live a normal life?
As someone who didn't really discover what they wanted to do until after the age of 30, I feel like I arrived a bit late to the party. I spent so much of my twenties battling doubt, uncertainty, grief and a lot of other bullshit that precluded me from finding something I loved to do, let alone running with the bulls or climbing Kilimanjaro. But, now that I love my job and I have a man that I love, suddenly I have to give up the idea of conquering the rest of my life's dreams because it's "too late"?
The idea of closing the door on anything kind of freaks me out. Leaving options open (to a certain extent, anyway) seems like a prudent thing to do. It can sometimes be a bit paralyzing, but I'd rather have more choices than none at all. But, recently, me and the man have made a big decision on that front. We are closing the door on having babies one day.
When I married at 22, everyone told me there was plenty of time for me to come around to the idea of having children. As the years went on, I waited for those feelings to come. And, waited. And, waited. But, they never came. Over the years, having kids came up only in the most hypothetical of sense. We'd joke about what we'd name our fictional children, but when the harsh reality of what raising a child would mean, we were on the same page. It was just too, too, too much. Over the years, we decided on a deadline. By the age of 35, it would be deciding time. It was just to give us some more time to let the baby rabies take hold. Well, 35 has come and we are still no closer to wanting to take the enormous step of having kids. So, for the first time in a long time, we're closing the door to one of life's options.
But, as that door closes, another has been pushed wide open. While many people in my life are concerned with what school district to live in or where to send their adorable progeny to pre-school, we'll have no such considerations. In fact, we'd like to divest ourselves of the roots we have laid down and leave the place we've called home for nearly 10 years. The desire for new horizons is a palpable ache that has taken me by surprise. Ideally, those horizons are very, very far away. But, is it too late to let the tornado take us out of Kansas and drop us smack dab in the middle of Oz? Conventional wisdom would say so. . .
So, that is where I'm at right now. Standing in the middle of 35, wondering if it's too late to turn back or if going forward into more of the same is the only option. The truth is, I just don't know. I'm hoping that I'm not too old or too far along the journey to change directions. Only time will tell, but I'd like to believe I'm not quite done causing trouble yet. We shall see . . .