never married, over forty, a little bitter

good grief

When I think about my journey over the past ten years, I see my mid-to-late thirties as a time of anger, frustration, and envy over what seemed to be happening to all the women around me– marriage and babies– but not to me. I was also angry and bitter over the subsequent abandonment I felt.

Then, in my late thirties, I moved into a period of sorrow and isolation. Then, in my early forties, acceptance and isolation.

At forty-three, after a year of sharing on this blog and others, I am finally moving out of isolation and into new dreams for my future.

Jody is right– grieving is important and only happens through connecting and sharing with others:

the knocking

Opportunity (or is it the devil?) has come knocking just as I’m halfway out the door.

Two possibilities have appeared in my current city. One that is on a lower rung than my prior job, but in a beautiful, posh, relaxing area with nice coworkers. I would probably make a little less money, though, and would lose even more if I attempted to actually live in the area the job is in. Most people would be married, and I might well be isolated and lonely. I decided against that one.

The second would be a promotion and more money– good money. Also nice coworkers although lots of supervisors on site. Both more and less stressful than my former position, probably. The cons: compressed workweek and thus eleven hour days (including lunch), necessity to awaken before 6 a.m. each morning, hairy commute, long-ass days sitting at a desk, no lunch options outside of fast food. I tallied up the extra rent I’d have to pay (I’d have to move and would still have a commute) and the commuting costs and found they would eat up at least half, if not more, of the extra money I’d be making.

The former me would have been greatly relieved at the thought that I’d gotten to have a break and then, with minimal damage to my bank account, had sailed right back into a job with benefits, picked up my pension again, and gotten a raise to boot.

The former me was also stressed, lonely, and frustrated.

The current me has been sorely tempted, but I think I am going to pass. I thought it through, and I realized I’d be committing to this city for several more years, and by the time I left, my chances of changing job course would be that much slimmer.

I do feel a bit insane, like I’m going against everything America tells me I should do, which is to take the good-paying job– family, rest, dreams, and friends be damned.