Friday, October 4, 2013

Rotting Eggs

I sat on the table this morning, paper rustling beneath me, awaiting the doctor with my hands clasped in my lap. My hands were clammy, and my heart was beating quickly. 

It was time I faced what I had been fearing so intently for the past year. The reason my eyes well up when I realize that I'm turning 30 in five months: I'm afraid that I'm running out of time to have children. 

I didn't even know I wanted them, to be honest. It wasn't until I realized that all of my friends are getting married and having babies that I really started to look at my own life and think about what I wanted. 

K and I have talked about getting married and having kids, quite seriously actually. But we're not ready YET. 

But here I was, having to ask the question that I feared getting the answer to: how long do I have left? 

She answered me with a straight face, while I fidgeted and avoided eye contact. Many women are having children from 35 into their forties these days, she told me. You have plenty of time. And while 35 is considered a high risk pregnancy, it basically just means you have to go in for more tests than younger women.

My shoulders sank as I breathed a huge sigh of relief. All of the fears that I had built up over the past year left my body, as I realized that I still could have everything that I wanted: my career, a wedding, and to plan my family with K when WE are ready, not based on some biological clock race. Because eff that shiz. We have plenty of time to embrace growing up, but today? Today is Friday, and I have a 12-pack of Shipyard Pumpkinhead to drink while we watch the series finale of Boston Legal on Netflix.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Keg Kicker

We kicked the keg in a day and a half. Drinking out of solo cups in sweatshirts and rain-soaked shoes. We played Cards Against Humanity until 1am and got a nice visit from the (very cute) forest ranger, who politely asked us to quiet down. 

We got 5 complaints from neighboring campsites, sang Mariah Carey songs at the top of our lungs, and found out the sex of our soon-to-be godchildren (twins!) 

It was the best weekend ever. And it reminded me that I've been taking everything WAY too seriously lately. I may be almost thirty, but we can still have fun. And act like high school kids. And eat s'mores for breakfast.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Conversation

We went on vacation to Montana last week, for the wedding of one of my best friends. It was the last wedding we have in the lineup for awhile, which, to be honest is a bit of a relief. 

The wedding was incredibly beautiful; we had such an awesome time with all of my high school friends. Then we drove up to Glacier for the remainder of the week, just the two of us. It was incredibly therapeutic taking an entire week for just the two of us. We didn't turn on the radio once for the 3.5 hour drive up to Glacier. Just took photos out the window, talked about life, and absorbed the amazing scenery. 

On our last night, we had a serious talk. It involved many beers and some crying, unsurprisingly. I've been afraid to talk, in all honesty. I thought by being honest about my feelings on marriage and the timeline I have in my head, I'd freak him out. I was afraid to put extra pressure on him and make him stress out. But it turns out, we're not so far off base as I thought. And he is just as excited as I am to get married. Possibly more so, because it seems he already has the shoes for the groomsmen picked out. Really, it comes down to money. We just need to save for a wedding, now. Because 1) we live in New York where everything is "spendy". And 2) we're old, and are planning on paying for the entire thing ourselves.

But it reminded me how important it is to have honest conversations. And how much it reconnects you. I was so terrified to bring up anything wedding-related, and I wound up driving myself into a depression over assumptions. That he wasn't ready. That he was scared. That he felt pressured. That I would be too old to have babies, by the time we got married. Turns out, I was wrong. And I really should have just asked in the first place. I guess I was just scared. Terrified, really.

On our first day back to work after vacation, I was gathering my multiple bags, lunch, and coffee and struggling to close the door on my way to the car. K grabbed my laptop bag and asked what else he could take. He said he sees me every day trying to take everything at once, and just wanted to help. He was already running late, just as I was, which made the gesture all the more special. I think, in the midst of my downward spiral, I forgot to be thankful for everything I have. God, I love that guy. 

Now excuse me while I continue to post on my secret wedding Pinterest board...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Salon Date

Going to the salon is about more than just getting your nails and hair done. It's paying for an hour to spend with a stranger who asks you about YOU. They know you, and your life story, if you go often enough. And sometimes, you feel like they really care. 

And so, on Tuesday, after getting the news that my regular stylist had quit, I found myself in the black leather spinning chair in front of a stranger. Cape tied around my neck, hair parted in the middle and dripping wet, I stared at my blind date--the one wielding the scissors--and tried to read her. She was young, a few years younger than me, a long, thick braid down her back. We started with banal, meaningless conversation, but quickly diverted into serious life-talk. We have similar life situations. I've been with K for 4 years now, she's been with her boyfriend for 3. Both of us want to get married. Both of us want kids, (she has a 14 month old, but advised me to wait until we were really, REALLY ready. Which I took very seriously, since the girl clearly knows what she's talking about.) I opened up about my third-life crisis, and found myself pouring my heart out to the stranger cutting my hair. It felt like a real connection. And when I left, I found myself as excited to make this new friend as I would have been in my dating days to meet a new boyfriend. We were kindred spirits, she and I.

On Thursday, I got my nails done (I'm not usually this diligent about my salon visits, but we're heading to a wedding next weekend). And though I had met this girl before, my visit felt different. Again, we started with nonsense conversation, and gradually diverged into life stories, her painful divorce, dealing with being far from parents, and having to call your partner "boyfriend" at 44 and 29, respectively, though it feels like an inadequate term. We sat talking long after my session ended (I was her last client of the day). When I finally got up to leave, I felt such a high from an honest human connection that I could have cried. 

There is just something to be said about being able to sit across from someone and talk about your life in an open, honest way. It makes you feel like everything in your life is meant to be, and that you're not alone, no matter what it is you're going through. I guess I've just been in dire need to spill my heart out to someone, and though I was paying these two ladies for services, I came away feeling like I had attended a therapy session. 

Going to the salon is about more than beauty treatments. It's about human connection. And sometimes, when you're feeling sad or lonely, just having someone pay attention to you can mean the world. It's all starting to piece back together for me, bit by bit. I can feel myself coming back to life. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beer pong to baby bottles

On Saturday, I stood in the middle of the backyard, watching my friends chase tiny humans around the swingset, down the slide. Five years ago, this same group of people and I played rowdy games of beer pong, discussed drama, and drank until we couldn't stand up. 

Now, at my favorite little 4-year-old cousin's birthday party, I smiled as I realized how surreal it was to instead see all of these former keg stand champions with tiny versions of themselves, holding baby bottles instead of beer bottles. 

As painful as it is sometimes for me to be around babies, I can't seem to get enough lately. Five years ago, I would have rather been playing flip cup. Saturday, I delighted in feeding my new little buddy baby Cheetos (that tasted alarmingly like grown-up Cheetos) and marveling over his tiny polo shirt. 

Standing around the buffet, I gracefully dodged inquiries as to why I did not as of yet have a ring on my left finger, with abstract jokes and forced laughter. It's getting harder to joke about. 

I responsibly drank Coke instead of beer, so I could drive, and helped put tiny water guns into gift bags for the kids to take home. 

And as I knelt on the floor of my cousin's bedroom and helped my favorite little 4-year-old into her purple princess bathing suit, I smiled and mulled over how crazy life can be. How you slowly but surely find yourself growing up and getting used to the idea of marriage and babies. One day you're sloshing beer around a frat party, and the next, you're watching your friends chase tiny versions of themselves around. How funny, beautiful, sometimes painful, and seemingly natural this evolution of life can be.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The 30 Panic

To elaborate a little more on yesterday's post, I didn't expect 30 to hit me quite as hard as it has. And it was a sudden panic, not a slow transition. 

I can't remember exactly what it was that set me off, but I think just being at that age where I'm surrounded by marriage and babies has pushed me into it. I mean, there was one day a few weeks ago where THREE different people on my newsfeed got married.

Another really tough part of this panic is the pressure I feel like I'm putting on K. With my brother and sister both getting married within one year, we've gotten many friendly jabs from friends and family about being "next". Which I can totally handle, in small doses. But the cumulative total of jabs started to wear on me after awhile. Because, doesn't everyone understand--I want these things, too! We both do. But we both have to be READY and do it on our own time. Key word: BOTH. Two lives here, not just one.

The crazy thing about this 30-panic is that I'm SO genuinely happy for my friends who are getting married and having babies. I really am. Like, drop-to-my-knees-sobbing, happy. My friends are my favorite people in the whole world, and I'm SO happy they're getting what they've always wanted. 

I felt a lot of guilt for a long time, thinking this made me a bad person. How can you be happy for someone and sad for yourself at the same time? It took me a few months to be able to separate that this sadness doesn't mean I DON'T want them to have these things, I just want them too. 

And truth be told, I'm not even sure I'm READY for any of it. I just know that I want it, and I think I'm readier the closer I get to 30. 

I have good days and bad days, and I'm trying to just embrace the good and recognize that the bad days are just a good opportunity to reflect on my life. 

And what I really wish I could say out loud in an actual spoken conversation K, what I want to tell him is that even though marriage and babies definitely INVOLVE him, I'm not blaming him for this sadness. This is a personal challenge that I need to face myself. And come to terms with the fact that I'm happy with my life as-is, I'm just in a bit of a quarter-life crisis. Or third-life. Sweet jeebus. There's that panic again.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dark Grey

God, I needed this today. This post (http://momastery.com/blog/2013/07/09/g-how-are-you/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Momastery+%28Momastery%29) from Glennon over at Momastery brought tears to my eyes this morning. For the umpteenth time this week. Because I am dark-grey, lately, too. 

I haven't been blogging. Not because I've been lazy. Or uninspired. Because I've been feeling dark grey for the past few months. Like, cry-in-the-car-on-the-way-home-every-day, dark grey. 

And I just haven't been able to put my finger on why. 

Maybe it's because I find myself breathing into a paper bag over turning 30 in six months. I'm watching my friends get married, have babies, make career changes, buy houses... and I am doing none of that. 

I'm the oldest of 3, and the last to get married. And I'm not even sure if I'm READY for marriage. But I want it. And I feel like I should live up to some invisible standard of being married by 30. Which is clearly not going to happen.

And I'm definitely not ready for kids. I am too damn selfish, and I like my alone time, and date night, and beer too much right now. But every now and again, I pick up one of my friends' babies, and something inside of me breaks a little. In that biological-I should be a mother, kind of way. 

And I feel myself moving around in this fog every day, going through the motions of my life. And most days I can make it through. But I find myself crying a lot of the time, and I felt really alone until I read Glennon's post and realized I'm not. 

I'm not sure how to fix what's happening inside my head and heart right now, but I'm trying like hell. And I'm just going to show up, and get through each day the best way I can. I have so much to be grateful for, I just need to be reminded of that sometimes.