When I first started this blog around fourteen years (yep, an entire teenager) ago I decided to not mention my age.
My theory at the time, from what I can pull out of my memory is that in a lot of ways it didn't really matter - most bloggers at that time were around.... a similar (?) age and I didn't want to potentially alienate anyone.
At the time, I was amusing myself when I couldn't sleep at night by writing little "Dear So and So" letters in my head. Hence the idea "advice from". And I was single at the time and dating far far more than I am now and I thought I'd share my dating life and relationships and possibly, eventually my marriage.
I remember a "The Secret" type person in my life a few years in warning me that by naming my blog "single girl" I was calling that into my life and that it would likely result in me being single forever.
I heard what she was saying, but also liked the name and I'm not sure I understood the process of going about changing it anyway or if I did, I didn't want to deal with losing readers or friends. And yet here I am, nearly fifteen years later, still single, and no longer really giving advice.
But hey, lots of bloggers evolve out of the name they originally chose. Many of them just stick with the name anyway. (Kind of like that awkward moment when you get an email from someone who clearly chose that handle when they were a teen and haven't changed it as an adult!)
I don't know that anyone but me ever cared about my age, but I think I tried to tell myself everyone thought I was young. And I suppose by "young" I mean in my twenties.
But when I started this blog I wasn't. In my twenties, I mean. I had just entered my thirties. You know... "old". I just didn't feel it.
I may have mentioned it before but I had my mid-life crisis when I hit 25.
When I was a child 25 was "grown up". And when I looked at my parents and their life trajectory, I knew that was what I was going to do as well and so my entire childhood and into my teens 25 was the age I thought I would have it all together by. Husband, kid or kids, house, the whole nine yards. North American dream. At 25. I just, by the way, double checked the math and my Mom had my brother when she was 25. And a house, husband, career (on pause while children were young).
So I hit 25. No house. No husband. No children. I was one year in to what would become "a career" but I couldn't even really say I had that. Not only that, my brother, who is older then I am, had just gotten married... and that was SO not supposed to happen. In the world I grew up in the girl in the family got married first and the boy(s) dragged their heels but there I was, not JUST single, but with a male sibling who'd beaten me to the alter. F*ck. (And as I'm writing this I'm remembering that just a few years earlier.. two? three? I'd thought I would be with someone forever, and we were living together and talking about getting married and then he woke up one day and told me .... no. So that probably was still affecting my "25" stuff at the time...)
It hit me hard and the low added to the self esteem issues I'd been carrying but also had been unaware of for a long while.
I had failed. That's how I saw it. And if I'm honest, I think it was a decent year to have that mid life crisis sort of feeling because now I'm not bothered by the idea of 50. Not for those reasons anyway. (I am bothered by the idea of it just because of time ticking endlessly away... but I digress...)
Perhaps that is part of why I didn't think my age needed to be mentioned. I was a failure at what I thought I was meant to be and do.
But now it's nearly 15 years later. Not from 25, from the start of this blog. I started this blog 5 years after that "failure". And even if you assumed I was a twenty-something, it's been 15 years. Even if... the math suggests there's no way I'm still in my twenties.
I don't, I admit, open up a blog and wonder how old the person is. I usually guess... an approximation, from their photos or their "stage" of life, but it doesn't matter to me particularly. Which makes me wonder why I thought it would matter to anyone, but I noticed as the years went on that I felt like I was trapped in this weird sort of lie thing about my age and it's been feeling weird for a while now, so here we are.
I turned 45 this year. That's old. And to type it out publicly HERE like this makes it look and feel and seem really old. But it's not. I'm not.
I mean my body is. I feel that. This aging shit sucks for real. (But then again so does being unfit, ahem.)
I have this image in my head that someone young (younger than I) will read that age and cringe and delete this blog from their browser history never to return. Or that someone, somewhere will be disappointed that they thought I was younger. And now I'm not. And that imagined sense of who I am can't be taken back.
I decided to bring this up because I've actually, quite literally forgotten my age these last few years.
Turning 40 was no big deal for me although some friends bought me lovely gifts to celebrate it. Turning 42 was AWESOME because well, it's the answer to life, the universe and everything after all! (I was actually a little bit disappointed that year that I didn't figure out more life answers... just saying.)
44 was a fun year because 44! Doubles! Four four maaaan! But because 42 was so notable and 44 was so much fun to think of, when people ask me how old I am there is a pause, because I am no longer really actually sure. I kind of stopped keeping that close of a track of it.
I have a long time friend who is born in the same month as me, about a week apart and she told me this year that her daughter told her that we were halfway to 90. Not halfway to 50, which is what I'd been thinking, but HALFWAY TO 90 OMG. My friend was a little horrified. I thought it was funny, and good math. But yeah, I'm aging. And I have moments of panic about it just because there is less life left every day (morbid, horrible thought I know, sorry.)
I am still technically single. I do like to give advice, although less publicly than I used to (the internet is not the nicest place... I swear it used to be nicer). My pronouns are she/her so I am still a girl. But I am not as young as I was when I started writing here, and I've always wanted to keep the idea that people might think I was young... and I'm not sure why. Stigma around older unmarried people maybe? Stigma around older people in general? But I'm sure it's been said a billion times before.... the older you get the more you realize that "old" people don't feel old.
I'm twenty-five or twenty-six in my head. Or thirty maybe? The person I see in the mirror is shocking. And when I spent some time online the other week looking up people I went to high school with I was shocked enough about how they looked and how old their children were (THEY HAVE CHILDREN?) that I actually talked to my counselor about it.
I hate that I've typed this out, even though I doubt anyone will mind at all, at least a small part of me minds, but I mean in another six years, assuming I'm still blogging, even if I thought I was thought to be twenty, the twenty year old blog would have suggested otherwise... you know? And the truth of the matter is I'm probably the person who has thought about this the most.
I'm signing off for now, while I double check with myself about a couple of other things I may address tomorrow. (And the very anxious part of me would like to apologize if I've somehow let you down by being "so damn old".... sigh. Which I'm now finding funny because I never lied, I just avoided. I just didn't specifically say. But my angst over this should tell you that I am not someone who is good at or comfortable with lying.... I can barely even... not be 100% truthful it seems! Gah!)