Monday, 19 July 2010


 Monday morning dawned with some good news...the Daily Mail has decided at which arbitrary age women are acceptable to them and for the next 8 or so weeks, I fit the bill! Yes, 31 is apparently the age at women have reached their peak appeal.

Reading this article provoked several reactions in me. Firstly, it's nice to hear that women aren't actually seen as Christmas cakes who are useless after the 25th. Secondly, I didn't need to know which highly successful women in the spotlight are the same age as me. It just provokes massive feelings of inferiority...

31 has been a very strange age for me. I got my head firmly round turning 30 and rather enjoyed it (thanks to a fabulous trip to Barcelona) and the whole year was extremely promising and not all scary. That came with the ripe old age of 31. Turns out I'd been so focused on turning 30 that it hadn't occurred to me that you keep getting older after that and I came down to earth with a bit of a bang, feeling rather old and underachieving.

It felt like I hadn't really managed any of the things I had hoped to achieve by the time I was a fully fledged grown up and it's taken most of the year (and an astounding amount of therapy) to realise that it's OK for life to take different paths to the ones you expected and that achievements don't have to be things you can write on a CV...(which is just as well as my CV is so full of holes it closely resembles a doily!)

I think my party trick for the impending age of 32 is to start having aspirations again. Over a decade of poor physical and mental health coupled with academic disappointment, unemployment and trauma has seen me loath to look forward to anything in life for fear it will end in yet another soul sapping crushing disappointment. It feels like everything I have dreamed of, worked toward and hoped for since I was 18 has ended this way and in order to cope with having my dreams shattered, I have stopped looking forward to anything at all. Being unable to even countenance imagining my life several years from now for fear of more let downs was a major sticking point in my recent therapy.

Part of the problem lies with the unpredictable nature of my life. Will I actually be well enough to hold down a job in a year or so? The other problem is that I have never aspired to the things that so many other people aim for in that I'm in no need of a mortgage, am ambivalent about marriage and definitely don't want kids. So if a career is only a maybe and the other grown symbols of life hold no appeal, what is there to aim for? Volunteer work? A slew of hobbies? A tendency towards hoarding?

Unfortunately my therapist couldn't give me any ideas and my reticence toward positivity is hampering my own attempts to think of anything. So if anyone has any bright ideas, please do let me know! I'll be here, counting down the days til the Daily Mail says I'm past it...


  1. I think the feeling of under achievement is the one that makes me the most blue. I tell myself that of course my children are my crowning achievement but I'd be lying if I said I really truly believed that. Any one can give birth, and the credit to how great they are lies with them as little people.
    I feel that I really missed out on a career and since I'm unwell again (how the fuck did that happen) I can't actually see how I'll remedy that any time soon.
    I'm back to one day a time xx

  2. I'm sorry to hear you're feeling that way again, but I'm also heartened to know it isn't *just* me.
    I do get jealous when I see happy healthy folk achieving things...

    Maybe we can start an Underachievers Anonymous to perk ourselves up?