I am finally in my 31st year and I am nothing but a bag of mixed emotions: happy that I am here another year to fulfill my purpose on earth, but doubtful about the prospects of becoming a wife and mother. Life just got REAL.
When my 30th birthday popped up last year, I was excited, exuberant even. My birthday is in July, but starting in January, when people would ask my age, 30 would roll out my mouth before I could stop myself. 29 didn’t deserve a full year, so I was rushing toward 30 full speed ahead.
Oh, how I wish 30 could last forever.
30 wasn’t all sugar and spice and everything nice though. There was:
- an extremely difficult break up
- a complacent and irritating job that is going completely nowhere,
- the beginning of the slow crumbling and eventual evaporation of my ovaries
But there were some amazing moments as well:
- going back to school to sharpen the skills that I want and need to live my life as a writer
- getting straight A’s while both working and going to school full time (something I hadn't accomplished since junior high school)
- expanding my book club to three chapters (two more coming soon)
- applying and getting accepted to Voices of our Nations Writers Workshop (VONA) at UC Berkeley
- discovering my purpose in writing through the VONA workshop experience
- finding my happiness...again
- embracing a mountain full of confidence in myself and my talent.
I don’t know if many of you have experienced or know what it feels like to know what you want to do, but have absolutely no idea of how to get it done. I have always been taught that school is the way to go to accomplish your dreams, but wanting to be in an artistic/creative field, school is not always needed, and sometimes discouraged because of the cost. A writing degree and a business degree can cost the same, but earnings of the average writer are far, far, far below that of the average businessman. So, I was stuck in a space knowing I wanted to do something, needed to do something, but weighed down with no direction or guidance, worried that the writer’s life wasn’t for me, scared to step out on faith and embrace my passion.
It took being in an extremely unhappy place at my job to make the decision to ignore my doubts, and spend the money to go back to school to strengthen my skills and find mentors. That one step was enough to convince me to apply to VONA, where I discovered a wonderful community of writers of color who are in this thing to support and uplift, lead and inspire. And those steps led to me finally admitting to myself that I can do this…I AM A WRITER.
Of course, this means that now the real work begins. My 30th was filled with discoveries, and now the point of my 31st year is to continue to put one foot in front of the other, get in the habit of developing and creating stories on a daily basis, and make this epiphany a lifestyle.
I am excited about that and ready for what’s in store but…a career is not all there is to life.
There is love. And there is family. Finding the former and starting the latter seems to be oh so fleeting. Not just for me, but friends are all around me, grappling with the same dilemma: the prospect of being single and childless forever.
I honestly never even thought about this situation until my 31st birthday loomed over me. I see wedding announcements and birth announcements every other day, which at one point used to astonish me, but now has been recognized as the new normal. This is what people do in their late 20s and early 30s: they grow up.
The thought of never getting to experience those particular rites of passage is troubling at this age. I won’t let it consume me and force me to go out in the world searching for a husband to unleash my ovaries on, but I will admit that it is really easy to drink myself into a wine/tequila/rum induced stupor when I examine my prospects and discover they are nil. And examine them again…and again… and they still reflect a galaxy of nil.
More than anything, I blame my location in the Bay Area. There isn’t too much to choose from, and what is left is just… no. But I love it here, so I have much to contemplate: should I stay where I am, or go somewhere else to specifically find a man with which to make babies?
My 30s will have ups and downs, as I’m sure every decade does. From what I’ve experienced so far, this one is all about discovery, growth, maturity, and decisions.
Wish me and my aging womb luck!