Well dang. That happened quickly. 35.
Yesterday, I was 32 and facing a divorce. Last week, I was 28 preparing for the birth of my first son. Last month, I was 25 planning my wedding. Last year, I was 21 living my best college life.
I remember facing my 30th birthday with horror. I didn’t want to be 30. That number just felt so old. I felt old. I almost felt shame with it too. No longer was I young and fresh. Half a decade later, I am shrugging and laughing. 35 and rockin it is more my style now.
Yet, I am pausing for a minute and feeling the distance between a woman in her mid 30s compared to a woman in her mid 20s. When I hear the 1970s, I see 30 years ago not 50 years ago. I grew up with no social media, cable television, cell phones, or helicopter parents. I lived through 9/11 rather than learning about that day in a text book. I had dial-up internet and knew how to use the Dewey Decimal System. Also, I have my hands in many social media outlets and rely on technology in my life.
I feel young and I feel old. I know I have decades ahead of me. It thrills me. So much possibility. I could have a new career. I could travel the world. I could expand my family. However, 35 is considered advanced maternal age. That one stings a little. I don’t know if another marriage and a new baby is part of my story. It might. It might not. Being considered old to have a baby scares me. The time period of carrying a child is quickly coming to a close.
I am turning 35 tomorrow and I am a single, divorced mom of two. I chuckle when I say that out loud. More because I am still flabbergasted this is my life. Yet, it is. I own it. Proudly.
35 and dating. DAAAAAAMMMMMMNNNNNN. Those are words I NEVER would have imagined I would write. But, I am. Talk about a mind boggling reality. Dating as a mom. With my mom body. Oh my goodness does my confidence take a beating sometimes with that. Here I am smack dab in the middle of the world of dating. Flirting, messaging, beautiful selfies mixed in with the stretch marks, tummy pooch, and zits on my bum. Insert hysterical laughing here.
I worry about retirement, 401k plans, insurance policies, Social Security benefits, PTO meetings, getting enough fiber in my diet, my kid’s nap time and latest BM while making Friday night plans and having my bikini wax up to date just in case. I am in a weird place. Living in two different worlds. Motherhood. Single womanhood. In the middle. I don’t relate to those entering adulthood and I am not where my parents are either.
Here I am at 35. Never have I been more sure of who I am. Never have I been more confident in myself. Never have I been more accepted and loved. Never have I been more okay with making mistakes, owning my truths, and living my life. Never have I ever had more fun. Maybe because finally I am letting myself do all of what life is offering me.
Here I am at 35. No longer scared of pain and hurt. No longer pretending to be someone else. No longer trying to be what everyone else needs. I am being the person I need to be for me. And for my sons. I am exploring what that person looks like. I am not scared of who that is because I am going to love her no matter what.
Here I am at 35. Discovering what makes my heart race. Experiencing the joys and tribulations of life. Learning about Christ and His beautiful love. I hear the music. I feel the friendship. I taste the food and drink. I sway in the dance.
Here I am at 35. Loving myself and my story. For me that is the greatest birthday gift I could receive.