I’m turning 35 next week and it’s kinda alarming…

summer flowers

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Next week is my 35th birthday. Most of you out there might think, so what, it’s a birthday? But to me, it’s a BIRTHDAY, like, it’s THE birthday. The mental birthday, the one that sets off the alarm clock to warn me of the things I have yet to accomplish.

In reality, I know I have accomplished a lot, but somehow, when I look at my life, those things seem to matter less because I still don’t have things I want so desperately.

My list of accomplishments is long, in fact, I have it posted on the wall in my office to remind me of all the things I’ve managed in my (yes short) life. Education, awards, prizes, scholarships, good and important friends, love, marriage. These are the things I have wanted and worked hard to obtain and maintain. I am proud of these things.

The things I’m not proud of are dark circles under my eyes, debt, no identifiable career, no house of my (our) own, and no children. These things are the things that hurt me. These things are the things that I think about, a lot, because I also have depression and anxiety, and those bitches are tricky. They tell you lies about yourself all. day. long.

When I was younger, I used to think 35 was old. 35 year olds had their lives together. 35 year olds had houses, cars, jobs, babies, pets, clothes, fancy appliances. If only younger me knew that this is almost exclusively untrue.

This 35 year old feels inadequate on most days. I am a late bloomer. There, I said it. Sometimes, that doesn’t bother me. I’m often quite proud of it, actually. I decided to change careers, and went back to school as an adult for an extra 7 years. I know what I want to do with my life, I know where I should be. To be a writer, telling stories, is an important thing to be. I am that person. I just have to find someone to help me be that person. (So dear publishers, if you’re out there, shoot me a message!)

The house, the kids, the car, and everything else is out there, somewhere. I just have to reset my alarm clock, I suppose.

Or better yet, just throw it out.

For now, this Fat Woman Is.

~Whitney

About Whitney Sweethttp://fatwomenare.wordpress.comBio: Whitney Sweet is a poet and writer of fiction. Her work has been included in A&U Magazine, as well as Mentor Me: Instruction and Advice for Aspiring Writers anthology. She is the winner of the 2014 Judith Eve Gewurtz Memorial Poetry Award. Her poetry will be included in the forthcoming Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (October 2018) and essays can be read in the Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New and Beginner Poets (2019) She is the creator and editor of T.R.O.U. Lit. Mag, a literary magazine dedicated to love and diversity. Whitney holds an MA in Communication and Culture from York University, as well as a BA in Creative Writing and English. When she isn’t writing you might find her laughing with her husband, napping, knitting, cooking, or petting her dogs.

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