Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Left Behind

Do you ever feel like the whole world is leaving you behind?

All your friends are getting married, but you don't even have a boyfriend.
Then they all start having kids, and you still aren't married or dating anyone.

You wonder if there's something wrong with you - too fat? too young? too old? not pretty enough? too ...

Then you get older women saying, 'I know just how you feel.' Which is crazy because they have no idea what it feels like to be 25 and completely unattached because they got married at 19 or 20. For them being 21 and unmarried was unthinkable, let alone 25.

There's something about that age - 25. You can't pretend to be younger anymore, and mostly you don't want to. You've gone past the footloose and fancy free stage and really want to settle down. Your biological clock is starting to tick louder, and a career, which seemed like a wonderful idea suddenly seems like the worst thing you could possible do with the rest of your life, let alone the next 5 or 10 years.

A friend of mine has called it the quarter life crisis. I'd have to say I'm in it right now.

You get locked in to a career because your pushed into a certain stream of study from the time you choose your year 11 subjects at school. Then you may think you know what you want to do at uni, get in and do whatever that was. By then you're in debt and have to work in the area you've trained in until you've at least paid that off (unless you're lucky enough to have parents rich enough to pay your fees and then cover you while you take a year off to travel and see the world). The only trouble is that by the time you've worked in the area of your training for 3 or 4 years, you suddenly wish you'd done something else (which you didn't even know you liked at the time). That's ok if you can stand the thought of studying for 3 or 4 more years to allow you to follow another career path. But if you aren't sure what else you want to do or don't want to study, you're completely stuck. You have monthly bills coming in that require you to maintain a certain level of income and you've got used to having the money to do things whenever you can.

But do you want that type of career or are there other things you'd love to do - like get married and start a family?!

Which brings me back to where I started. No boyfriend (for whatever reason), no prospects (which is even worse), and feeling like you're completely stuck in a rut. You carved that rut out by your choices, but it wasn't really what you would have done if you'd known how you would feel 5, 10 years down the road ... or would you have still made most of those choices the same and hoped it turned out differently because of the few things you did differently?

There's no answer to this. Just the long wait, hoping that just around the corner your dreams will come true.

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