Monday is my 30th birthday. And I don’t want it to be.
I hesitated writing this. What a cliche – woman is afraid of turning 30. I never wanted to be that person. I’ve never been that person.
I’m not afraid of getting older, I never have been. I’m not afraid of wrinkles, of sun spots or saggy bits. My birthday is usually my favourite day of the whole year and I’m famous for always celebrating it with gusto.
I’ve always thought of myself as Jenna in Suddenly 30 (or 13 Going On 30 if you’re in the US) “I want to be thirty and flirty and thriving”. Many kids wanted to be 16, I wanted to be 22. I’m looking forward to having the confidence that seems to come in your 40s and no longer caring what anyone else thinks (although I’m sure many would argue I already don’t given how I behave most of the time).
But the truth is, I am heartbroken on becoming 30 and not having a child.
At 18 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The doctor said 30. My intention was to start trying for children at 28 to ensure I got them before 30, before the deadline, but I wasn’t ready yet. I did start trying at 28, mind you, just not quite as early in the piece as I had planned. Well, the deadline is here, and I still don’t have any kids.
And I’m struggling.
I don’t want to write this post. I don’t want to be that person who has everything become about their failed dreams at becoming a mother. I don’t want to be that person who is too afraid to turn a certain age, even though I know age is just a number and really has nothing to do with anything.
But here I am.
And I am afraid.
I never understood people being afraid to turn a certain age when I was growing up. That always seemed such a foreign concept to me – what does age matter? What if you haven’t done what you thought you would achieve by that age? So what?
It’s only now that I truly understand the paralysing fear that if you haven’t met your deadline you never will. You will never achieve what you wanted to, because it’s too late.
It’s totally irrational. It’s entirely silly, and I know that even writing this will come with rolled eyes, sympathy, or advice that I need to get help. I know I’ll get over it, and it’ll be just another day. Just another birthday. Logically, I know all of this.
But it doesn’t stop the fear. And it doesn’t make today any easier.
Were you afraid of turning 30? Was there any birthday you didn’t want to happen?