The twenties are full of many milestones. Milestones like graduations, internships, job offers, engagements, home ownership, weddings, marriages, and babies. These life-changing moments are much more than Facebook status updates or Instagram photos and these momentous events come at different times for everybody.
I’m thoroughly enjoying my twenties and this year I turned 26 (an age of which I keep referring to as, “the wrong side of 25”). I’ve begun to realize that while I have hit some of the above-mentioned milestones, others… well, not so quite. While some of these milestones like engagements and marriages are not on my radar right now (or really in any radius of personal thought) my friends are hitting all of the milestones – – and in perfect succession might I add. And while I am really, truly happy for my friends, I can’t help but have some sort of other feelings about it. Boy do I have some feelings about it. This is normal. Right?
I can’t be the only person in the world that has feelings other than complete and utter happiness when their friends tell them they are expecting. I handled the engagements well. I handled the marriages even better (helped throw bridal showers, stood beside the most beautiful brides as they married their best friend, and partied like it was 1999 at many a reception) – Did I just make a Prince reference? Good grief.
Back to what I was saying, I haven’t really been affected by seeing, watching, and participating in others hitting these milestones. However, the one that has somewhat “culture shocked” me is news of friends now having children. Gone are the days when these friends were terrified of asking their mom’s to be put on birth control, or the early morning emergency calls requesting to run out and get Plan B for them, or the glorious text messages letting me know that Aunt Flow made her monthly visit, even if she was a few weeks late and scared the shit out of everyone.
I’ve just begun adjusting to the idea that my friends are planning and trying to get pregnant. I haven’t had enough time to get ready for these plans to turn into reality and these realities to turn into sonograms and these sonograms to turn into real, live, babies. Hasn’t anyone thought about me? Am I the only one that feels like the kid who isn’t tall enough to ride the roller coaster? All my friends are running through the gate while I’m begging my mom to measure me again, “I have to be 52’’ tall, mommmm!”.
Now, now. I know how this sounds. It sounds incredibly childish, selfish (well, basically any word ending with “ish” that means: terrible person). I’m very cognizant of how this sounds. Oh, I’m very, very aware of how this sounds. This is why I (and I assume most single/childless people) have learned to hold these thoughts inside and hide how we really feel.
So this is why I am writing this. Here are the five thoughts that immediately go through your single friend’s heads when you announce you’re expecting:
1. Oh god, not another one!
Jesus. They are dropping like flies. (Is there something wrong with me?)
2. What about me?
So, now that you are going to have this baby. Sorry, I’ll stop referring to it as “this baby”. Crap, I’ll also stop referring to it as “it”. Crap. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Now that you’re having a baby, where do I fit into your life? After you got married we adjusted to having our “girls night” every once in awhile. And these are sporadic – at best. Now that you have a family, where do I fit in? Ugh, I hate when I do this – – make it about me. But really, what about me?
3. Are we going drift apart?
Please don’t think that I don’t want to hear about everything. I may not be at the same stage you are (or even close to that stage) but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear all the details. All the details. I want to hear about the morning sickness, the name picking challenges, all the body changes (even if they’re gross), etc. I want to hear it all. I want to remain close to you and to remain close to you is to hear about your life. This pregnancy is your life. And believe me, I still want to share my life with you – – even if my stories are all about my disorganized, shambles of a life.
4. Are you sure we aren’t going to drift apart?
Make sure to reassure me that there’s still some room for me. I know, I’m one selfish asshole.
5. Please don’t think I have an “empty” life and I won’t think your “life is over”.
While we are both encountering and tackling extremely different life milestones, I promise to never belittle your choices. Promise you won’t belittle mine. While yours is going to include diaper changes and play dates, mine is still going to include happy hours and bad dates. One of these is not greater than the other. While you’re bringing life into the world – let me repeat that – while you’re BRINGING LIFE INTO THE WORLD (holy cow, that’s impressive) I’m still going to be sifting through losers trying to find “the one” and still deflecting any and all inquisitions from family members about my life and relationship status.
We are both going to need each other.
We are going to need each other so badly.