36 And Newly Single, How I’m Nixing The Timeline
“It’s not about time, it’s about choices. How are you spending your choices?” – Beverly Adama
I’m 36 years old. I’m single. I don’t have kids.
And I’m thriving – I have a career I love. I travel the world at the drop of a hat. I’ve started dating high-quality men and really loving the type of guy I’m attracting.
But this wasn’t always the case.
SEE ALSO: How Do You Find Your Soulmate?
This is my story
I used to feel the immense pressure that most women (and the cultures they live on) put on themselves to do it all before they turn 30 years old. I’ll never forget the giant shift that happened between my 29th and 30th birthday. At this point, I was traveling the world, having incredible experiences, and sucking the sweetness out of life. When I was 29 and told people about my travels, they said things like, “Good for you. Now is the perfect time to do it.” They were impressed by my spontaneity and passion for experiencing life and culture.
Yet when I got ONE year older, I started hearing things like, “You’re 30…don’t you want to settle down? Have kids? A family?” They were no longer impressed. Instead, they were concerned and judgmental of my lifestyle choices. It was incredible how big the difference one number made and how much pressure it created. In fact, it was this pressure that kept me in a relationship even when I knew it was no longer aligned. I’d been in a relationship with my partner for 4 years. People told us we were a great couple, and I was comfortable with him and in the relationship.
What people didn’t see was that we swung from very high highs to extremely low lows. Even though my heart knew for months that this relationship was no longer a good fit, I stuck with it. I heard all of the voices of society whispering into my ear…
You can’t start over now. You’re too old.
You want kids…if you break up with him that may never happen.
You’re lucky to be in this relationship in the first place.
My inner truth won out, and I broke off that relationship. I spent the last year healing my broken heart and reestablishing my own “norms” and timeline. It was so hard that I had to completely shut off and remove him from my life to stick with my decision and focus on healing myself, even though it was one of the most challenging decisions I had to make.
As I share my story more often, I have been stunned to learn that so many other women also feel this way. We are bombarded on social media with images of:
- The boss babe who is climbing the corporate ladder at record pace or starting her own biz
- The “perfect” mom who has time to keep the house in perfect shape and make homemade organic snacks
- The old high school or college friends who got into health and fitness and look younger or fitter than ever
No wonder we feel like nothing we do is ever enough. Yet, these highlight reels simply aren’t reality. They contribute to burnout and anxiety without even being true.
Research actually shows that approximately 54% of women who have a Master’s Degree+ had children at 30 years or older and 41% of women with Bachelor’s degrees had children at 30+.
Not only are these women earning advanced degrees (women have outpaced men in the last 20 years in attending college and earning degrees), but forty-nine percent of employed women in the United States, including 42 percent of working mothers, say they are their family’s main breadwinner.
So, women are attending more school, working, and raising children while ALSO being the family’s main breadwinner?! No wonder we’re exhausted and burnt out. It’s time for a change. It’s time for us to redefine our own timelines. It’s not just women who experience the crushing timelines, either. I’ve spoken to people from all walks of life who feel like they’re too old, too young, too far behind, or too far ahead to live their life according to their own definitions.
Redefining our own timelines
#1 You are NOT behind!!!
When I started my travel journey around the world, I knew I was brushing up against that “responsible” part of myself that had always felt like I “should” be further. I knew if I let that part take the driver’s seat of my experience, it would’ve held me back. So, a mantra I adopted to overcome it was: “Right now, you are the youngest you will ever be, so say YES and just do it”
#2 You are EXACTLY where you’re meant to be
I can’t tell you the number of times where I’ve looked around at my life, and from my mind’s perspective, circumstances have felt uncertain and scary, where I’ve questioned: “Did I do the right thing?”
Well, the best thing about time is that as it passes, it gives you a bird’s eye view of the bigger picture, and YES, the answer has always been YES that the right choice was made. (If, for some reason, a specific situation still feels sticky or painful, once enough time passes from a new perspective, you’ll be able to see and understand the meaning within it).
#3 You ARE enough!
Always have been, always will be. It really is that simple, yet I totally get how complicated and layered it may feel. All of the stories are in the mind for so long, telling us the opposite.
The thing is when it comes to the mind and the parts of us that try to tell us otherwise when we slow things down enough, more often than not, those fabricated stories are our subconscious’ way of keeping us in our comfort zone, playing safe… but what I’m certain about you, is that you’re in this game of life for Growth. So, the sooner you begin to fully believe in your (infinite) potential, the sooner you will realize this truth.
To hear more about my breakup, redefining my timeline, and burning the boat to find more purpose in life, check out and subscribe to my show the HelloBeYoutiful Podcast.
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