Thirty and Single: Finding happiness underneath the pressure

So I'm going to let some of you in on a little secret. Being single and turning thirty comes with a hell of a lot of pressure. I know all of you out there probably have some feelings about turning thirty. And don't get me wrong I am not trying two invalidate your feelings. This post is more for us single people, mainly because this blog is written for the single people of the world. If you want a mommy blog look elsewhere. There's some awesome ones on ChicagoNow. I'm only saying us thirty something and single's need to find the happiness under the pressure.

As many of you know from my turning thirty post last year, I am now thirty, thirty-one to be exact. What you might not know is that one of most amazing people I know, my little sister, turns thirty today. My brother will join the club about a year and a half after that.

While my siblings are not single, we are all unmarried and without children. Honestly my singleness bothered the fuck out of me for a long time. But what I want to know is why? Sure, we're not parents but it’s not like we’ve done nothing with our lives. Between the three of us we two Master's degrees, three Bachelor’s degrees and two Associate’s degrees.

We have seen multiple countries while traveling including Canada, Mexico, Slovenia, England, Ireland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Italy, and Costa Rica. I'm not trying to say those who haven't travel or pursued higher education aren't awesome by any means. I’m simply stating that we should be happy with our lives and accomplishments.

What often happens with a single person is that we feel like less because society seems to measures success and happiness by marriage and having children. Guess what? The three of us, well, we don't have that. But we are successful, happy, generous, good natured people. That speaks for something right?

I'm tired of feeling belittled because every conversation from friends and family includes are you dating anybody new? No, no I'm not.

Let me tell you about my sister really quick. She is freaking amazing. She has done more for children of Chicagoland than a lot of mothers. And she doesn't get those little moments that make it all worth it like watching them take their first steps, hearing them say I love you for the first time, or getting the title of mom. But she puts her life on the line, she puts her entire heart into one of her cases and for what? The pay? Not hardly.

But regardless of low wages she works harder the most of the people making more money than her. She is so extremely accomplished. So I guess my question still remains.

Why do thirty and single people feel inferior? Much of it probably comes from within. I wanted to be married and have children by the time I was 27. I didn't accomplish this. I often feel like I failed. Damn timelines.

Some of the pressure probably comes for our parents. In my case it doesn't come from my parents. They are pretty freaking awesome at supporting us in all we do whether or not it provides them with a grandchild. If they are upset that we haven't given them any yet, they keep it to themselves.

But that doesn't change the fact that my mom would make one hell of a grandmother to my children. I know this because she makes one hell of a grandmother to my bonus nephew. Knowing this does make me want to give her that gift but the fact remains. Having a child is something you do because you are ready for it and it's what you want in life. As harsh as it sounds it doesn't has a lot to do with what would make your parents, or anyone else comfortable or happy.

Maybe some of the other pressures come from people and circumstances around us. It comes from the dozens of children's birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, etc. we get invited to. Not saying don’t invite us. If we care about you, we care about your big moments and we’ll try to be there. It just also comes with this nagging feeling that we are falling behind.

It comes from those perfect family Christmas cards. It comes from having to go single and alone to a wedding because you're not in a committed relationship thereby not warranting a plus one. It comes from friends forgetting you exist because they understandably have to put their family first. The pressure is honestly all around us. Honestly, if you were in a committed relationship or marriage prior to 27, you probably truly cannot empathize. Bold statement? Yep. But I said it.

Here's the kicker. Some of us single people don't want marriage. Some of us don't want children. Some of us want a career or to see the world over those more “normal” accomplishments. Is that wrong? Hell no.

Is it wrong that people who chose to have children and get married value that life over career? Hell no.

Is it wrong when someone chooses to do both? Hell No.

My best friend is 31. She has a PhD in medical physics. Pretty awesome right? To the best of my knowledge she's not planning on having children or “taking a husband”. Is that okay? Damn straight. Should she feel bad about it? No. The awesome thing about this particular friend is she doesn’t appear bothered by it. And if she is, she shouldn't be because she rocks.

The Bottom Line. The bottom line is simple. Single and thirty does not make someone less than married with two kids and a white picket fence. Be mindful of who you are talking to. Focus on their accomplishments and don’t harp on what YOU think they should have instead.

In return, we will do our best to understand it when you need to put your families above you’re friendships. We will do our best to understand that being a parent is hard ass work that never stops,

Us single people also have some work to do. But that’s what our thirties are all about right?! Finding our voice. Finding our confidence. Most of this inferiority comes from within. It’s true. If we feel bad, it’s because we feel bad. Not because Sally, Susie, and Sandy all had babies before they were 30. Not because you haven’t found someone worth marrying. Not because of any of it. It’s simply because you let those things get to you.

All in all do you. Be proud of yourself for your accomplishments whether they be a career, family, homeowner, gardener, business, travel, education, volunteer work, etc. Be proud of those in your life for what they choose to do. No one life fits all.

Oh, and stop with the damn life planning timelines.

Filed under: Dating

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