“Shut up, biological clock, SHUT UP!!!”
This was my Twitter “tweet” which earned me the most re-tweets in a twenty-four hour span this month of any tweet I wrote. It seems people can relate!
“When you have children,” beamed the husband of one of my generous Spanish hosts, “it is amazing. You suddenly understand the full meanings of words such as “Love” and “Sacrifice” and “Responsibility” that you never fully got before.”
“That’s all well and good,” I said, “but when you’re a single woman in your late twenties, you may be rather excited to get to that stage of life, but you can’t just LEAP into it without considering your life partner carefully, or your life in general!”
“If you believe in fate as I do,” said my host’s husband, “it’s quite relaxing. All you have to do is wait, and it all will come to you.”
But try as one might to breathe deeply and wait for fate, some of the time it is not relaxing at all. You ogle chubby infants on the subway until their mothers run away. Your heart randomly races with panic that you’re wasting precious ovum shelf-life time. You read into innocent things people say to mean: “Your life choices are ruining your opportunities to find love and a stable future!”
Yet there’s not much you can do but keep dating, keep looking, and keep living– without being too desperate, of course.
“Do NOT have kids!” sighed an utterly frazzled Spanish friend as she piled her screaming children into the car. “It’s so good that you’re single and traveling around, untethered!”
And this brings us to the Ghanaian saying I keep thinking about: “Want want, no get. Get get, no want.”
Or my friend Maria’s take on it: “Want want no get, then get… then remember all things about wanting what you had before.”
Full disclosure: this quote came from a G-Chat conversation we had as Maria calmed me down from a raging freak-out that I was living my life wrong and positively murdering my chances for successful life-partner-finding by doing this whole endless travel thing… especially since I’m considering extending the travels for a second year.
Maria soothed my tizzy by revealing her own experience. “I literally spent the years between 25 and 30 NOT traveling because I thought I should be looking for a husband,” she typed. “And of course, didn’t find one then… and I didn’t travel either. So, there we are. Now I’m 32 and in a good relationship… and thus now I’m bound to Boston.”
She concluded, making me smile from my head to my toes: “Long story short, don’t worry about your uterus. Do what you love and the rest will find you. That is my fortune cookie advice for the day.”
Wise, wise words, Maria! All in good time. Let’s embrace the world in all its present glory and enjoy what’s right here, right now.
Photo Note: All the pretty pictures in this article were taken in Madrid, Spain.
2013 and 2016 update: Pregnancy and new mom life!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!
Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
Thursday 23rd of May 2013
I had to click over from your pregnancy anouncement post with the title of the post - my. thoughts. exactly. I live in Spain and have my partner (six years my senior and a combat pilot), my mother-in-law, my brothers-in-law and even my own gynocologist trying to coax me to get pregnant. I'm 27 and far from ready, que me dejÃ©is en paz!!
Looking forward to your adventures with baby. Sending big hugs from Spain!
Thursday 23rd of May 2013
Haha-- I love that Spanish expression! :) Good luck with crafting your own journey, and thanks for your well wishes!
Tuesday 27th of December 2011
Thanks for all your wonderful replies, and here's the miraculous update: I am now engaged to a wonderful guy who I met the week after returning home from around the world travel! Here's the full, amazing story: https://www.aroundtheworldl.com/2011/11/13/we-are-engaged-or-how-travel-can-find-and-build-love/
Lillie and Colin | How He Asked
Friday 18th of November 2011
[...] she met wonderful people, none of them were this Great Love she’d hoped for. (Read her â€œPerhaps I will be alone forever?â€ [...]
Sunday 13th of November 2011
Hahaha; and look at you now, it all worked out. Not just in your romantic life, the grass is always greener.
Tuesday 20th of July 2010
On one hand: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
On the other: Approach that aspect like you have nothing to lose because you really don't have anything to lose.
The whole life partner thing will come when it's damn good and ready to come. Patience will pay off in the long run.