I’m 36, single and I live in London, but apart from that, I’m anonymous. Why? I suppose it boils down to the fact that I don’t think that this is anybody’s business but mine. (To be fair, my parents don’t even know that I’m doing this so I’m certainly not about to broadcast it to the rest of the world.)
My sister knows and a handful of my friends know – the ones I can trust, the ones who I know will get it, and will support me without patronising me, or pitying me, or making me the topic of their gossip.
Maybe I’m doing a lot of my friends – and my parents – a disservice but being pretty much the only single one in a large group, most of whom are married with at least one child, I’m kind of done with being the novelty item, the one who married people live through vicariously, the one who is the subject of admiration, shock – or occasionally, disapproval. And that’s before they know that I’m pumping myself full of hormones and sticking my eggs on ice.
I didn’t expect to be that person, I thought I’d be like them, married and kids by now, but I’m not (more on why that is later) and it’s not what I would have chosen for myself, but it’s the way things are, and I’m making the best of it.
[Aside: if everyone in the world would read this piece from Salon.com about single women just being women who are living their lives, I think it would be A Good Thing.]
So yes, I’m not anonymous because I’m ashamed of what I’m doing – I’m actually really proud of myself for doing this – I’m anonymous because it’s hard enough to deal with it and address the questions I’m asking myself about it, without having to deal with everyone else’s perspective, everyone else’s questions and the possibility that someone might say something that’s utterly well-meaning, and totally anodyne, but phrased in such a way, or delivered in such a tone, that it makes me feel shit about myself. Yeah, I can do without that.
I suppose I also see this as a very discrete part of my life – although in hindsight, I think that that was possibly a bit naive – of which more later – but basically that this is just something that I’m doing, and when it’s done, I don’t have to think about it or dwell on it, it’s just eggs, banked, job done. So I don’t really want it to define me, I don’t want it to be My Thing.