Family, Friends and Relationships

30, Single And Anxious

The day I turned 30 was an extremely fun day. It was also the time I had to think hard on many life decisions. Should I continue with my current career, or take a leap of faith and switch roles? Let’s be honest, it also was, or is sometimes considered, the decade to settle down and start a family.

But before I continue talking about being thirty, let me quickly say something about going through a breakup a few months to turning 30. My last breakup was the most significant in my life so far. It tipped me upside down, inside out and floored me!

I think there’s something that makes breakups different when you are almost 30. Not only do you have to deal with all the emotional turmoil, you have the added pressure of feeling like relationships should be one thing you have at least figured out by then. I know we shouldn’t give in to society pressure and all of that. I get it. But when most of your friends are settling down and your Facebook feed is an endless documentation of engagements, weddings, baby number 1, baby number 2 and even 3, it’s normal to feel a void.

“I don’t get it, how has she ended up with this amazing husband and family? I don’t know where it went wrong for me”  

“I just want someone to share my life with”  

“I want someone but I hate dating because I never seem to meet the right people or get hurt!”

Like, it’s a code you can’t seem to crack. And yep, I’ve felt and thought some of these things too. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others. It’s also exhausting.

Anyway, so now I am 30, single and a few months back I was really, really anxious. I was going through something. I started having many intense thoughts on my life. My career. I want to pursue new hobbies. I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer and travel the world, though I have phobia for heights so maybe I’d stick to traveling in Uganda.

Also, I honestly want to settle down and start a family. There will always be situations and occasions that seem to draw a lot of unwanted attention to the fact that you’re currently unattached. Weddings. Holidays. Cooking for one. And, MOSTLY, family gatherings! …”So, why are you still single?”….

If you’ve experienced it or are about to, you can’t deny that turning the big 3-0 can be scary, especially when many of us are nowhere near the point of settling down, having kids and buying a house or a piece of land.

It’s also that dating itself becomes more difficult. For one, the stakes are higher. You don’t want to waste your time on someone who doesn’t seem like they could be “the one” But simultaneously you are thinking, “Would he make a good dad?” After knowing someone for the duration of 5 minutes you are left feeling like an insane, rom-com cliché of a woman. We pursue guys who aren’t a ‘hell yes’ for the sake of settling down but why do that because it’s going to lead to unfulfillment and, probably, another breakup, which isn’t really on my agenda.

Do I want to meet that special someone? Absolutely. Would it be great if he could hurry up and get here already? You bet! We’re all human. We all, I believe, just want someone to love and someone to share in this messy, beautiful journey of life.

So it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean that you can only find love once you’ve fixed some mysterious flaw. It doesn’t mean you will only be worthy of love once you’ve collected a specific set of desirable attributes. It doesn’t mean that you will be single forever. And, most importantly, it does not mean that you are incapable of enjoying your life right now.

The truth is, none of us is easy to love. But we are all deeply and fully worthy of the effort. And, contrary to popular belief, there is no moment you suddenly become worthy. You’ve been worthy all along, sweetheart. And that is fabulous news!

So while recently having this talk with my elder sister, God bless her, she said something along the lines of other people might have what you don’t have, but you also have what they don’t. You have freedom, you have opportunity, you have the right to be as selfish as you like when it comes to your life, hopes, dreams, desires. You have the freedom to be experimental, you can travel, see friends, you can date to your heart’s content or you can throw yourself into your passions and work. You can do whatever you want.

Most of all, it means that I’ve been given the priceless gift of time. I have time to become so steeped and steadfastly grounded in who I am and what I want for myself and my life. That when Mr. Right finally does come along, I’ll know how to show up as the best version of myself in that relationship.  

So, if you find yourself struggling with accepting your single status and have landed here in an attempt to mend the deep wounds inflicted on your heart, please let this serve as a loving reminder that you deserve love no matter where you are on your journey.  

And perhaps most importantly, remember that your life can be full with or without a partner and that while it is perfectly OK to be looking for that special someone, your life’s happiness does not have to depend on finding one.  

Now am 31 and I’m feeling really introspective, mostly because of the massive amount of change I experienced at 30.

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1 Comment

  1. Having turned 30 myself I am glad someone wrote about a similar experience. Nice piece

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