Many of my friends know that I have been dreading turning 28 over the past year. Now that it’s finally happened, I’m starting to embrace this new age.
When I was 20, I imagined that I would be married with a child on the way by now and although things never panned out the way I had imagined, I realized that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now that’s not to say that I am bitter about my friends who are currently married and have children because I love being ‘cool Aunt Judy’ and I know that I want the exact same things some day, just not today.
Today, I’m 28, focusing on my career, and dating. Most of my closest friends know that I have been seeing someone for the past three months. A man, who is kind, caring, and career-driven. Over this short period of time, we’ve had many ups and a few downs. As a woman who has been single for a couple of years, I can tell you that it was a total shock to my system to have someone invade my emotions and my living space. Before I go off on a long list of things he’s done to annoy me, I just want to say that I have the utmost respect for all of my friends who are currently in a relationship, c0-habiting, and or married! Allow me to explain…
I used to hate Sunday’s. As a single female walking down the street on a late Sunday morning, I would cringe inwardly every time I saw a couple holding hands walking past me. My only defence mechanism was to wear my sunglasses, turn up my music, and power walk to wherever I was headed. I often took mental notes when I noticed if a couple was talking, smiling, or simply looking opposite directions as they walked down the street. The happy (and often loud) banter always came from the women who were holding on extra tight, the smiles came from the women who casually walked beside their man, and the longing looks in the opposite directions always came from the women who just seemed a little preoccupied with their own thoughts.
Well into our second month of seeing each other exclusively, I became one of those ‘Sunday couples’ I used to despise. I became oblivious to the unhappy singles around me, and happily went about my day with him. A few Sunday’s ago though, we were on our way to brunch holding hands when I caught myself look in the opposite direction, staring into space, while mentally going over my grocery list, cleaning list, work schedule, and hoping to find free time to make a hair appointment. You see, when I was single, I was able to do all of those things at any time of the day and on any given day! Now, I had my schedule and his schedule to work around! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with him, but the thought of my home being disheveled, running low on almond butter, and having more split ends than a divorce court was making me anxious! I would like to report that I handled the situation by being an adult and telling him that we both need some time to take care of our own things, but then I’d be lying. So in true Judy fashion, I panicked, and I sort of broke up with him. I gave the excuse that I wasn’t getting enough “me time” and that I hated his bedside manners, and that every time he used the bathroom, I had to redecorate, blah, blah, blah.. (you get the idea). Obviously he wasn’t too impressed with my behaviour and my lengthy list of “excuses”.
There really isn’t an ending to my story except that we’re still seeing each other despite my pathetic anxiety-overload episode, but there is a moral and a lesson I learned. So here it goes…
To all you women who are currently in a relationship, co-habiting, or married, I just wanted to say that your patients, your ability to compromise, and juggle two schedules is admirable because it often goes unnoticed. It’s not the grand gestures or the special occasions where you wear uncomfortable 6-inch heels, it’s the everyday little things you do to maintain a balanced relationship. It is not easy living with or breathing his dirty habits, seeing his dirty coffee mug in the sink, and it is especially not easy looking under the toilet seat on cleaning day, but you take it like a champ and make it look so good. To my best friend who has the patience of a saint, I now understand whole heartedly why you wanted a body bag. 😉 To my Mom, your Mom, and all the new Mom’s out there, I put you on a pedestal because not only do you have to put up with him, you now have to put with his offspring! And this is why I am embracing where I am today at 28. I respect all my friends for achieving what they have in their personal lives whether it’s a relationship, marriage, or parenthood. It’ll all come in time for me, just not now because I’m happy to say, I’m not ready. 🙂