When I heard this month’s MeWo (what all the cool kids call Maine Women) theme was going to be about relationships and sex, I thought to myself, “Who can I have ghostwrite my column?”
(Flipping through the Rolodex in my mind, I thought, “Tina Fey is free, right? ‘30 Rock’ went off the air in 2013.”)
Sure, I talk a good game and pretend I know it all, but being 30 and single, I feel the least qualified to write on this topic.
But then the know-it-all in me kicked in. Yes, I’m single but not alone. My life is filled with many wonderful relationships.
Things have definitely gotten more challenging as I have grown up, but that doesn’t mean that those complicated relationships are any less rich.
Life and relationships have become more extreme than ever with high highs and low lows (births, death, divorces, mental breakdowns), yet despite time flying forward, everything is oddly calm and familiar.
I have wonderful friends who I know truly care about me. That is the thing, your twenties are all about clinging to relationships: trying to hold on to friends from high school, college and make it work despite being separated by jobs and distance. Your thirties bring the wisdom to realize it’s OK to let go of relationships that are not mutually beneficial. I still have endless conversation with friends over dinner like I did in my twenties, but now my friends can cook. And some of them even have houses and a proper full kitchen to eat dinner in. Sure, they have mortgages, though, so it’s not all perfect. Ramen has been replaced with rice and beans as the cheap meal, but now it’s seasoned to perfection with spices and cooking techniques learned from traveling and crazy adventures from our twenties.
I have friends getting married and starting families. The ones I continue to call my friends are the ones who make an effort to check in with me and listen to my dumb stories and I attempt to change diapers and try to talk to their children in an age-appropriate tone. I am still working on not laughing when their kids repeat a horrible word or do something they are not supposed to. I am not perfect.
I have a wonderful mother who is my close friend and confidant. While she is my mother first and foremost, we have conversations closer to friends and equals. We talk honestly about whatever is on our minds and always end of up laughing at ourselves or one another. Plus, I can drop the F bomb in front of her now and not be scolded. (Sometimes.)
I have a grandmother who is warm and caring to everyone around her. I adore her for many reasons and she can always help me keep problems in perspective. I complain about my day and she just laughs and smiles. With 89 years of experience behind her, she always tells me it is going to be OK. And it always is.
I have a brother who is growing up and invites me over to dinner. He makes me homemade meatballs. No longer do we seem so wildly different. Now we seem to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of one another, as well as a more serious desire to have a friendship as adults.
I have male friends that I adore and have no interest in dating.
I have exes that I see around and can give them a hug or shoot them a text. It’s not weird. That is new.
And lastly, the strength of my current relationships gives me the courage to find new ones. Maybe even romantic ones.
Wonderful relationships are all around. So don’t despair, singletons. At least not yet. That is what your forties are for, right?