Have I Let Myself Get Left Behind?

In recent weeks, I really started putting things into perspective regarding my lifestyle and my life. Aged 34, and I am suddenly getting the sinking feeling that I’m being left behind whilst everyone moves on to different stages of their lives. Although I have had a good decade or more doing things for me, the selfishness that I have grown accustomed to has suddenly shocked me into realising that although I thought I had it all, I actually don’t. I have been that person who has always been the life and soul, the resolutely single friend who is so fiercely independent that it’s it difficult to penetrate the huge barriers that I have around me. Holding things at arms length because I’m scared of being hurt, yet the more I think of about it, the more I realise that I’m only hurting myself. It’s funny because when I write these personal posts, I get a lot of messages from friends asking if I am OK. Although I do have a deeper side to me, it seems that it’s very rare that I let people see it, including my close friends.

Anoushka Loves

Having a lot of time to think about things whilst I’ve been off with my bad back has been a blessing as well as a curse. For one, it’s pushing me to try and keep positive about everything that is happening with my back. My MRI results have come back and a piece of disc around 1cm in size has broken off and is pressing on my nerve so I’m now being referred to a spinal specialist to see if surgery is the best option. It’s not the outcome that I was expecting but I will deal with it in the same manner as I have been dealing with things over the last 10 weeks.

I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been forcing myself to be a positive little bunny, or because I have been shocked into looking at options for the future, but it’s hit me quite hard that at this stage in my life that nothing has really changed in the last ten years. I’m still single, I don’t have kids and I’m still no nearer to putting my foot on the mortgage ladder than I was when I was 18. I look at others with envy, I see happy family lives where marriage and babies have happened in quick succession. I’m not even sure if I want a baby, but the option would be nice. I’m absolutely useless when it comes to men. Full of bravado but I’m all talk and no action. I can’t date. I don’t know what to say. The last date I went on was in 2012. Seriously, what is wrong with me that I lack the skills that most people have to be able to go out and meet people.

It came up in conversation last week that out of all my close friends, I was the only one who hasn’t got a failed marriage, a marriage, kids or expecting out of us all. I’m scared that it will get to the point where I don’t actually have anything in common with my own friends as they move on, naturally, whilst I get left behind. Have I protected myself that much, that it’s impossible for people to get in, to get to know the real me and not the blase and flippant ‘it’s all about me’ attitude that I guess I give off.

Last week I said to the future Anoushka ‘do something each day that scares you’. Maybe the terrifying thought that I have let myself get left behind is enough to push me to change things. Because, in all honesty, being left behind is scary and it’s not something that I’m willing to experience. A fresher, brighter more positive outlook and a surge in self confidence and esteem may be the making of me and I’m ready for action.

  • Daniela

    Although I am in marriage for almost 9 years and have children, there is one thing I say to my newly/always single friends – it is better to be happily single than be unhappily married. Marriage is like a lottery and even if it last, it might not be a happy one. Just as there are people who had children but they move far when they grow up. You don’t have to have similar lives with your friends as long as you want to keep in touch and have a laugh/cry together once in a while.

  • Firstly..great post opening up like that. Secondly, don’t worry hon, you’re not the only woman in her 30’s to feel like that, I used to. It’s a bit of a Bridget Jones thing isn’t it (hilarious books/films), but don’t feel left behind!
    I had a period of 3 & a half dateless years in my late twenties/early thirties & was even asked ‘have you turned lesbian’?! (sad ignorant comment I will never forget). I was still clubbing in my 30’s, chose not to have kids, didn’t get married until I was 40, & am still renting houses at 50 (can’t get on ladder without money).
    I miss being single sometimes, so enjoy it.. & the doing something every day/week to empower yourself sounds fab! Enjoy lovely!
    H x

  • You haven’t been left behind at all and you also haven’t settled. If you think that you would like to share your life with somebody and have children etc, then make a plan on how to work towards that – be it dating or letting your barriers down so that you are open to the possibility of allowing someone into your life. If you are very happy being single, then just enjoy that! Most of my friends have kids at this stage but because of my illness, I haven’t been able to (yet – I’m still hopeful) but we’re still friends because once they get past the initial pregnancy/baby bubble, they are still the same people! Yes, they may not be able to go out as often or understand our frivolous spending habits but once you come to understand and respect each other’s lives and interests, the core/root of the friendship is still there.

    The world is your oyster an you can achieve anything you want! xx

    Beautylymin| LuxurySkincareGiveaway

  • Kirsty t

    This really does highlight how the grass is never really greener I guess. I always read your posts and long to have your life, the freedom, the makeup, the trips away and the lovely things. I’m 35 and a lone parent to a 4 year old, and also nowhere near getting a mortgage. I long to have the freedom and money I had pre-child and I know I’m not alone in that. The idea that we should be married with children, in a home of our own with a fantastic job by a certain age is nothing short of toxic in my opinion. I’m very aware of the impact this has on my own mental health, and sometimes I need to focus on what I have got and what I have done. Thankfully I have a few friends that are single and happy about it and I think that’s far more preferable than being with someone who doesn’t make you happy out of fear. I think building a life for ourselves and breaking that mould is something we should be proud of! You certainly seem to have achieved a lot more than a lot of people I know so you should hold your head very high xx

  • Erin Russell

    I am useless with men too – so I feel you there. I think everyone worries about different things, but in no way should you be left behind by the people who truly matter. People grow and move apart, we aren’t meant to have the same friends for eternity, its hard though, but it isn’t a negative thing, they probably look at you and wish how they would do over their choices and how lucky and free you are! They are not leaving you behind, they might think your leaving them behind 😉 The people who truly matter will not care what point you are or how little in common you have, because love is love, it doesn’t matter your point of life 🙂 – I hope this made sense lol

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  • Lauren Cokguler

    Oh babe! You are not measured by who you are married to, how many kids you have or if you’ve been on 100 dates this week! You are a truly wonderful person, who knows what sort of person you would be if you had had a different path. All I know is, things can change in an instant, good or bad, and the fact you’ve had time to sit down and think about things, can only be positive. Who knows where you will be 6 months from now. You could meet someone, start a new job or just have a new blog oppourtunity that could truly change your life! From my perspective, you travelled the world and got paid to do so! You are a successful blogger and writer and you’re passionate about the people you love. People can have very different views, tainted by their own context. I have anxiety, and find it difficult to travel, so to me you have a dream life! I’d love to be able to get on a plane and not panic, and enjoy seeing the world. We all have our own struggles, but you are a gem and you will find where you’re supposed to be. Lauren <3 xxx