Life after 26 sort of creeps up on you, and it’s so subtle. First it’s the friends who get engaged to their long-term boyfriends; it’s the wedding and all the memorable moments created on the big day; then lastly it’s the beautiful baby from the union. And all of this for your viewing pleasure, you’ll find yourself liking and commenting on mostly Facebook and the occasional Instagram posts. Disclaimer, it doesn’t necessary happen in this specific order for all couples but the timeline almost reads the same. Then there are people like myself who had an idea, and possibly expectations, of who they thought they would be after 26.
Expectations of myself
I never quite imagined my life would be the way that it has turned out. In fact I imagined that by now I would have been the mother of beautiful quadruplets (because 4-in-1 is better than 1 four times), traveling the world, running my businesses and living in my designer home. Ok maybe not all of it at the same time, but you get the idea. Instead I’m still driving the car my parents bought me when I was 21, I’m back at school completing the degree I dropped out of and I’m nowhere near popping out my beautiful quadruplets. I genuinely believed for most of my early twenties that I’d have enough time to flirt with boys, party and have my independence. However, I soon learnt that these fantasies don’t always match up with reality when you’re also trying to get married by 27.
Before I turned 26, I would be on various social media platforms liking and/or commenting on mate’s various union announcements. It was beautiful witnessing the evolution of people I used to know before their relationship statuses changed from engaged to married. But I also harboured a secret longing for the same things, especially when kissing different boys and partying didn’t yield the same enjoyment like it used to when I was 18. It also touched the nerve of feeling like I had failed myself in not achieving this vision I had created and expected to come true within my set timeline. So as I neared the age I expected to be married by, I got ‘desperate’ in seeking out a potential husband and like most women who’ve read Steve Harvey’s book Act like a lady, think like a man (cringing at the thought that I actually bought and read this fucken book), I began applying the 3-month waiting rule.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about: the 3-month rule is making the guy wait 3 months before having sex with him. The intention behind the rule is so you can know whether or not he’s truly into you after the wait. Now the stupid thing about this ‘rule’ is that guys caught onto it and would use it to their advantage. They would adhere to the 3 months then fuck off afterwards to make an example of you. Naturally, I gave up the bullshit act and instead focused on qualities I wanted in a husband. Here’s the thing, my idea of a husband was skewed on the premise that I needed to hit my target marriage age; and so a husband now was more about ‘the good man’ test (more on that in my blog Under 40 and divorced). In my quest to reach my deadline I forgot everything about the values and morals I was brought up on as well as the values I wanted for our union to instill in our kids.
Life after 26
Once I finally gave up on my painfully sad addiction to watching other people’s lives on social media I finally paid attention to what really mattered, me. After enough bad relationships I realised I needed to confront and amend the deficiencies in myself that I was so desperately seeking for a man to solve. In this new space I let go of the notion that my life would have more meaning if I were married; I became a better student at school and of myself; I let go of some friendships and gained better bonds with family; and men were no longer taking centre stage of my life. I also discovered how I already had two babies to take care of: my company Untold Pictures and Lohocla Beverages.
Life after 26 isn’t this gloomy reality because you didn’t fulfill your expectations by a specific expiry date, instead it’s a time filled with infinite possibilities of your story you’re creating every day.
Love and happiness,