I have a confession to make…

I turned 31 this year. For me, that is really hard to admit. But it goes beyond the typical ‘women don’t talk about their age’ stereotype. see, I had a plan, and the fact I’m so far from reaching my goal makes every day a struggle. 

My dream from my very early 20s has been to adopt a daughter from China. The exact same longing most women to have to physically birth a child is my desire to adopt. I believe that adopting my daughter is my purpose in life. It is who I am. And most of the decisions I made in my life have been to fulfill that goal. But adopting, unlike having a child, means that when our daughter comes is not determined by me but by forces beyond my control. My plan was to start the paperwork for adoption when I was 29 1/2, the earliest possible age a person can apply. But when that time came, China had other ideas. Since Seth is my second husband, we have to be married 5 years before we can even begin the adoption process. So we can’t even start the process until I’m 33. Then it takes 2-4 years for an adoption to go through. I’ll be at least 35 by the time I’m a mom, more likely 37. That’s almost 40! Every day that passes without my daughter, I feel older and more depressed. Some days it makes me physically ill. 

So what am I to do? One thing I do to help me through this time is to look at other women who are my age who don’t let their age get in the way of living their lives. 

1) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, “Princess Kate” (DOB:1-9-82). Kate and I are almost the same age and she only got married last year. She and William seem to be actively trying to not make the same mistakes his parents did, like marrying too young. They waited until they were ready, even though they were college sweethearts meeting their first year at St. Andrews Uni almost a decade ago. Kate started a completely new life when she married William, in essence, beginning the rest of her life. And, of course they haven’t had kids yet. If Kate can start a new life at 30 and have kids later than tradition, then so can I.

2) Kelly Clarkson (DOB: 4-24-82). Kelly is truly comfortable in her own skin and knows who she really is. In 2009 she cancelled her concert tour because she knew her team and the music weren’t working. Even though it meant lost money and upset fans, she had to stay true to her art. She is also comfortable with her body. Her weight goes up, it goes down, but it’s not important to her and she focuses more on who she is on the inside. She also isn’t in a rush to get married and have kids. She wants to, just someday. It will happen hen it happens and she would be fine not starting her family until she is 40. I can’t imagine waiting that long, but her patience and ‘it will happen when it is supposed to happen’ attitude is very calming. 

3) LeAnn Rimes (DOB: 8-28-82). LeAnn has shown that it’s ok to just hit restart on your life at 30. Even though she became an international superstar at 13, her twenties were very difficult for her resulting in severe depression. But with a new husband and new desire to get help, LeAnn is looking forward to the future. She sees her 30s as a chance to reset her life. As a person who had a set-in-stone plan that hasn’t worked out, I find it encouraging to know that it’s OK to sometimes just restart and keep moving forward. 

So, here is my plan to stay happy, focused, and moving forward (because if I share my goals I am more likely to stick to them):

1) Travel. It is so much easier and less expensive to travel without kids! So I want to get as much traveling in as possible over the next couple of years. This year, it is Xi’an and Thailand (I’m going to ride an elephant through the jungle which is like #1 on my bucket list). Next year, it is Beijing, America (because we always have to have a trip home), and Germany/France.

2) Write/read more. I’m working on the final draft of my vampire novel so I want to publish that by the end of the year. I really enjoy blogging because it helps me be creative and keeps me aware of what is going on in the world. (My blog just passed 10,000 blog views last week, so thanks to all my readers!) Next year I hope to start writing the biography of a friend of mine I have met here in China and I’m really excited about that project. I’ve cut back on a lot of TV watching to make room for more reading and it has been very therapeutic. I also have really enjoyed discussing what I’ve read here on the blog and on Facebook so I look forward to keeping that up.

3) Get healthy. I don’t mean just loose weight. I don’t really care about that so much any more. My body is really comfortable at this weight and my husband doesn’t care so…meh. But what concerns me is my lack of stamina. I hate getting winded going up two flights of stairs. I’m good on a flat surface (I can run all over Disney World all day with no problem other than some lower back pain), but stairs seriously do me in. I have to walk by the Bally Total Fitness on my way home from work (which I even have a free membership to through work) so it is sheer laziness not to go. And with my friends Grace, Cherith, and Jasmine, I even have a support group who want to go workout too. So I really want to start doing an exercise or yoga class twice a week. 

I know this post didn’t have much to do with life in China, but it is about me and my struggles and it’s my blog so I write what I want 🙂