How to be 34, single and f*cking happy
I caught up with a girlfriend recently who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years; she’s just moved home from London, however our friendship has been maintained by social media -- they way that most modern millennial friendships are.
After exchanging pleasantries, settling into her beanbag and handing me my decaf coffee, she tilted her head and asked “so how are you finding being 34 and single with no kids?”
Now to the me of a couple of years ago, this line of questioning would have elicited a response shrouded in victim consciousness. “I can’t find anyone.” “There’s no good guys left.” “I’m going to die alone.” “It’s my dad’s fault”. “I’m not marriage material.” “I need more cats.”
But where I’m at right now, the road that I’m on and the goals that I have, it would be a much different journey with a partner and kids to consider. There probably wouldn’t be a journey at all. I know I could give all of this up today for a family, and I would. In all honesty, if I did have a family, I don’t know if I would have had the grit to quit my job and do half the things I’ve done this past year. In a few weeks I’m heading to Bali for a month, then LA for a month, then potentially up to London for another month. And last week I booked a one-way flight to Bali in August because I’ve decided I want to do my yoga teacher training. Could I do this if I had a ball and chain? Probably not. Am I looking to foster 14 cats anytime soon? Who knows.
I’ve been called a hippy more times than I can count; and by people who are close to me. I don’t really get that. Apparently someone who believes in themselves enough to challenge the status quo and speaks of ‘the universe’ earns that label. Sure, I carry essential oils in my bag, I hold crystals while I drive and sometimes burn sage in my house, but I also listen to rap music and spend a small fortune on laser hair removal. I just do what I like, try to be a good human and hold firm that it’s none of my business what people think of me.
Listening to an interview with Oprah recently, she said she had a choice between her career and starting a family. She knew that one would ultimately suffer and she knew that her purpose for being on earth was to service humanity in the way that she has. And so I tell people I’m just like Oprah. That doesn’t mean that things won’t change when I meet my one, but right now, I’m living life on my own terms, my cup is ridiculously full, and my handbag bares contents belonging to an adult human.
Is it selfish to not have kids?
Many women have been called selfish for not having kids. I think it's one of the most selfless things someone can do, if ultimately you're choosing not to have them in order to service something outside of yourself. I think a lot of people have kids for selfish reasons; but ultimately they are using another living and breathing human being as a vehicle to get their needs met. Some people just don't want to be with themselves. I don't mean this from a loneliness standpoint; I mean it from the standpoint that they are scared to really figure out who they are alone. We all know someone who has spent their entire life jumping from relationship to relationship to kids, to more kids, to "who the f*ck am I" once the kids leave home. Self realisation is a scary thing for a lot of people, and I get it. Which is why I'm choosing to do that work now, before I bring tiny humans into the world. Agree with me? Great. Disagree with me? That's okay too. You do you, boo.
Having a baby on my own.
My mum has suggested twice now that I put my name down on the list for artificial insemination, and so I found myself, one recent Sunday night alone (but happy, remember!), assessing my options on Google. Evidently it’s a 28 month waiting list (which mum had already divulged), but they can call you up at anytime once the goods come in. (Apparently they are a little light on donors, so if you’re a male reading this who is in great physical health and has an interest in serving humanity - click here.) I can’t plan 28 days ahead let alone 28 weeks, so that’s as far as I got. I think it’s great to know your options, and I’m in no way against it, it’s just not on my radar right now.
My cousin Liz who lives in Paris went down this route after her engagement ended at age 37, while living in New York, and now has a 6 year old. I have mad respect for her, as a single mother, carrying a 20kg toddler up 5 flights of Parisian staircase each day, and for having the tenacity to go through with it at all. She’s my talisman.
The upside of being single.
I wrote a blog post a while ago on why I'm single, the contents of which are probably still relevant (i'm too lazy to check) but in all seriousness, there are a lot of great things about being a party of one.
Having a bed to yourself, obviously. GUY’S, IT’S AN ACTUAL DREAM.
Not having to consider someone else when it comes to your living arrangements, what to eat, where to holiday, which 7 seater you need to buy for your ever-expanding brood.
Being able to cook things nobody else is going to want to eat. (Sometimes egg, cheese and pineapple on toast is what my confused body is crying out for and - generally speaking - guys hate warm pineapple)
Not having to buy supermarket white bread
Pashing randoms in bars (that’s from my friend Holly)
Having the whole f*cking wardrobe to yourself (also Holly)
Being financially irresponsible because nobody else will even know you bought ANOTHER crystal
Quitting your job, taking off and traveling the world on a whim
In conclusion: if you hate it, change it.
So, in a nutshell, us humans can be fickle things. Our ego’s trick us into believing that what we currently have, where we’re currently at is not right or not enough. The antidote to this is staying in your own lane, and realising that everything you have right now is a result of the thoughts you’ve thought and the actions you’ve taken. If you don’t like your present reality, choose a new thought, or take a new action. It's that simple.
Whatever you do, don’t sit and complain that you want something else if you’re not prepared to go out there and get it. I just want to find a guy who treats me like a princess and keeps his distance.