I can finally say that it’s hit me: I am not a child anymore. I have to think about my future, about moving out, about generally being a grown-up.
It’s not my birthday yet, but it’s only a few days away now (12 to be exact) and I’m already questioning where I am in life versus where I thought I would be. Unlike many girls I didn’t think I’d already have the husband and baby by now (those two thoughts have terrified me in the past, so I’m just happy to say I’m in a stable relationship). But I thought I’d be the full career woman.
Somewhere in my not-so-little mind I didn’t think I’d still be paying off a car loan (yeah, Mini-Me still technically belongs to the bank, but you wouldn’t leave me now baby would you?). I thought I’d be living on my own in a beautifully decorated apartment, that I’d have this closet full of really beautiful shoes, clothes and accessories and that I’d be making a decent amount of money (though I do realize that ‘decent’ is relative).
I think I’m still going through my quarter-life crisis, and it’s getting deeper! Every single day I wake up and wonder when I’ll be able to move out; when I’ll stop worrying about money every single freaking day; when I’ll be able to tell my folks: here you two, take a month off and enjoy this luxurious holiday I got you just to say I love you.
Let me tell you, it’s annoying. Very annoying. I mean it positively vexes me. Sometimes I wonder whether I chose the wrong career to start off with because it certainly didn’t do me any favours in the financial department (hence the loan) and when it came to changing jobs, for some reason employers are all obsessed with my previous earnings. That pisses me off! In my head, I know I was underpaid. And in my head, that means I should be making a heck of a lot more right now. But real life does not reside in my head, and I have to live with that.
I went on Facebook today and the first thing I saw was a post from a girl who was behind me in uni, glowing in pregnancy pics and swooning over a picture of her newly-born daughter.
Now here’s the thing about my Facebook: it seems like everyone’s just posting wedding and baby pics! I can’t say I envy them (though I do wish them well) because I know it’s not my time yet, but my lawd doesn’t it just make me feel like I’m being left behind!
All of a sudden friends and former classmates are saying ‘I do’ and popping babies and I’m being called to these occasions and sometimes I feel like I don’t really want to be around that because I’m not really into it and then I feel guilty and then I say ok fine I’ll go and then when I finally get there all I’m trying to do is not stare but I can’t help it because my fantastical mind is going into high gear painting scenarios of me in the same position and trying very hard to show me that picture but I can’t see it because I’m just not there yet and then I start to wonder whether I’m the homemaker type or career type and then I just get confused because I hear Sheryl Sandberg says to ‘lean in’ and exert yourself at work and you can still have a family and be a female CEO but then I remember that she and Marissa Mayer are not ordinary women because they don’t live ordinary lives and therefore cannot understand the challenges of juggling work and life and then I hear Wendy Clark whisper in my ear that women can have it all by integrating work and life because there is no such thing as work/life balance and I just get tired and go blank_________________*exhales.*
Sometimes I feel like a very confused teenager stuck in a grown woman’s body and other times I feel like I have no right to call myself a grown woman because I still live with my parents. It just sucks!
I mean, here I am trying to read advice from ‘successful’ women – and I’m lucky to have met a few – but their advice does not really tell me what I want to know: exactly what do I want in life beyond my usual to be happy’ refrain?
Am I ready to settle down and have a child tomorrow? What happens if I find out I cannot have a child once I decide I want one? Will I throw myself into my work and become an espresso-swigging, laptop-totting, power-suit wearing CEO; or will I spend the rest of my life trying? What happens if I do decide to settle down and go easy on the career to take care of a family; will I spend my days wondering what it would have felt like to really pursue that top job?
This is all so bloody confusing, and I’m not even turning 30!
So I have decided to breathe, relax, stay calm and not give in to that little voice that tells me it wishes I could just curl up under my (mother’s) duvet and block out the rest of the world, because you know what? The world out there is waiting for me to grow some titanium balls and just get on with it!
So here’s to many years of clarity of mind and heart, laughter, beautiful friends and family, gorgeous wardrobes and a very, very successful integrated life.
That’s me at a recent event, and below, my latest inspiration courtesy of Coco Chanel