Confession: I am 35.
Is that really a confession? Is that what I mean to confess?
Maybe what I actually meant was:
Confession: I am 35 and not married and I don't have kids and I'm not a publisher and I don't own a big house or a car and I'm not where I always thought I would be at 35.
Yes, that sounds more like it.
Sometimes it feels like I'm being left behind.
I am the bridesmaid, standing at the altar in the pink satin dress and matching shoes that I'll never wear again, heart cracking a little each time I'm not the one saying "I do." Each time someone else is chosen "for better or worse."
I am "Aunt" Katie, aunt in quotes because I'm really not the aunt, just the stand in, the title bestowed upon single friends who gaze wistfully at sleeping babies, and buy the impractical dresses with tutus because they're just too cute to resist. Who thinks when another baby is born, this may not happen for me.
I am the sales rep, I am the apartment dweller, I am the car leaser. Nothing too permanent, nothing that lasts. It’s a life lived in pencil instead of pen. It can be erased in an instant.
I'm not where I always thought I would be at 35.
I was emailing with a male friend recently, marveling about our mutual friend having her third baby (THREE children?!?). I trotted out some of my canned lines about having children. I prepared them years ago, anything to avoid the pitying stares that get doled out to the childless 30-somethings: