“Don’t Feel Sorry For Me”
Updated: Mar 18
Many may look at a woman who is about to turn 50, single, never been married with no biological children and feel sorry for her. You unintentionally look down on her without realizing that you are. Maybe on the surface you think that she is living your worst nightmare and for some, you might secretly envy her lifestyle.
A common question that I often get asked before all other questions is “Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you divorced?” When I answer “no” to all three questions, before I am even able to share about the core of who I am, I notice a look of bewilderment as they further question me in silence with their eyes. “Did she ever love? Did anyone ever love her? Why is she still single? Is she too picky? Why didn’t she just settle? Is there something wrong with her?”. They soon form a look of depression on their face which is completely opposite of what I feel - ha! (I smirk as I type). You see, they are not depressed for themselves, but depressed for me. Don’t be.
How funny is that thought because I have led a full life, yet those are the most common questions people ask me first instead of inquiring about my career, community building work or adventures. As if the value of a woman and her happiness was dependent upon answering “Yes” to two out of those three questions, ignoring all of my accomplishments and the things that make me happy the most.
Like my married or divorced counterparts, it has had it’s ups and downs, it’s pain and it sorrows but much more joy, laughter, adventure and love. I am more than happy as I turn 50, I have peace and a calmness to my spirit that can be found throughout the day instead of fighting to attain it in the stillness of the night.
To assume that I have had a life without love, I can surely say that is not true. Oh, I have loved. I have loved passionately, relentlessly, carelessly, sweetly, intellectually, quietly, blindly without rhyme or reason and have loved with all my heart, mind, body, and soul.
I have been loved, fervently, aggressively, boldly, captivatingly, jealously, unknowingly from afar, passionately and with someone’s every being. But it is the man who can see through my spirit, into my soul, one who can see and respect the deepest part of me that I have given a chance to. It is he whose love does not remain unrequited, yet returned with the security knowing whose arms that I am safe in because the love went beyond admiration, but into deep gratitude of who I am.
One who has never lingered a desire to possess all of me to only turn around in search of a cage that is not my soul's home, likening me to a canary held at bay who longs to sing as she spreads her wings to fly. This type of caretaker holds his keepsake so delicately with both hands, returning the canary to it’s cage to be admired from afar, taking it out once in a while to present it to its most esteemed guests like a rare prized possession for all to admire.
I have never been keen to that type of caretaker and any hint of thereto, my wings have outweighed the anchor they tried to tie on my footing. I mean, who wants to be weighted down?
The man who inspires me to fly to worlds unknown, encouraging me to live up to my fullest potential will win my heart. It takes a special kind of man to step up to his own potential, a confident man who not only admires a woman for what she is, but loving her for who she is and who she continuously evolves to be.
One who thrives in her presence, enthralled by her mind, her thoughts and ambitions without a hint of panic causing him to stumble when her light shines so brightly. Others before him rushed past to have one foot in front of her in the facade of protecting her which is a result of his insecure mind. He struggles to keep his dwindling spark alive with a desire to out shine her with his own competitive nature. The reason why his spark has dwindled is not because of her, no, it is because fear has overtaken him and it is he and only he that is holding himself back instead of taking her hand, standing right beside her as they jump in together into a world excitedly unknown.
She only considers a man who is secure enough to take a few steps back and let her lead the way when she is living her dream, her goals. This kind of man, rare from what it may seem allows himself to thrive in her presence, inhaling her very essence. He does not take away the energy she possesses to ignite his own, but knows that his energy, his own dreams and goals combined with hers can only make life better and there is no hint of fear for him in this matter. In return she respects him for all who he is and not what he is nor his materialistic possessions. Because that all soon fades away over time as a boring routine that never gives a hint of any sort of adventure that she has led her life with up until now.
Yes, I have loved, but loved a few, because I believe that your heart is the most precious gift that one could ever possess, yet sometimes it is the first thing we want to give away so freely as if it were something to be purchased at a five and dime store, instead of a heavily guarded jewel at Tiffany’s. My heart is not something that can be bought at a gumball machine for 25 cents, turn the lever and “pop” it rolls out of the funnel to who’s ever glossy eyes want it and the charm it possesses.
No, it’s not and only the few chosen have unlocked the mysteries of what it takes to win it wholly and completely. When I do let the key of the caretaker open it, I let it open up to the deserving soul who has pursued me without relent, without pushy arrogance, but with humble confidence and a smile. Yes, I am a sucker for smiles, through the eyes and lips a thousand words can be said, without one word spoken. That type of connection does not happen frequently, but only in sacred moments of time, when one least expects it.
Now, before I entertain these thoughts much further, I must make a disclaimer because the reader might be prone to some automatic assumptions of my true intentions. The misnomer of a single 50 year old woman is that she is in desperate need for a companion and that she spends every waking hour thinking about her undying search for a soulmate. She has lost her chance to have children of her own and that the sole reason for her writing an essay of this sort is to let the world know of her intentions and in turn hopes that you too, the reader would join her efforts in this remarkable search for - a - man. Can you help her in this quest to find “a man?” you ask yourself.
Delusions. You may want to entertain your delusions elsewhere if you choose to so that you may find what you are seeking to fulfill your own fanciful daydreams rather than realism or just pick up a romance novel to feed your interests.
I am a woman who is whole and complete and as mentioned before, I have loved and been loved, and have enjoyed a full life.
To those who are reading this essay and know me professionally, yes, you get to see a different part of “Jenny” a real part of me, a woman who is of age, who represents all women who have chosen this unique path. I want to share a different aspect of someone who has broken social norms to live a fulfilling life. I hope that others who have been called to take a different path like I, the one less traveled, would be encouraged to know that happiness lies within the adventure and we all have regrets no matter what path you have chosen. If I were to be given the opportunity to do it all again, I am not quite sure if I would choose to be in a different place than where I am at now. Well, there are some things I would change, but I am happy with the choices I have made thus far.
Tonight, as I write this on the Eve of my 50th birthday, I wonder with anticipation what adventure is out there waiting for me to explore. The possibilities are endless and I am at top of the mountain, my wings spread wide ready for take off. So, ya, you don’t have to feel sorry for me, I’m perfectly fine!