Coming to terms with my fears has always been a bitter pill to swallow for me. When faced with news I am much better than before. Genuinely excited for others, wishing them the best, and hoping everyone is healthy. I’m proud of how far I have come on this bitter pill of mine, but it still lingers.
I promised myself on the 2nd of this year, I wouldn’t bring it up anymore. But after two announcements with a few more on the way over the next few months, I forgot my promise to myself and asked my boyfriend what he thought. What timeline does he want to be on? He is more realistic than I am , and his love, support, and honesty help ground me when the bitter pill is hard to swallow.
He knows I am fearful of my age. I’m old, I stammer. I’m old, I’m gonna be so old. There is this kind of fear that grabs my heart and says you’ll be so old and it won’t happen. What if we struggle? What if it isn’t easy? What if my old age adds complications? Why am I scared to be older? Why is it such a bitter pill for me?
Maybe it stems from the only dream I ever saw for myself, being a young mother. That dream has long lost its ground when life didn’t go as planned. The fear as I watched each friend of mine the same age as me have the first and then the second. As I transitioned through life and watched my sister and those younger than me start to have one and then another. “I’m old, I’m old, ” my heart screamed inside.
Maybe it is the fear of being passed by by everyone else in life. Like being back in high school and the last person to be chosen for a team or the last to have a boyfriend. “Always last” my heart murmurs. “Always last.” There are some things from our childhood that haunt us later in life. For me, it has always been being last, being left out. I went through it enough when I was younger, but to go through it over and over as an adult has been the hardest pill to swallow. Its bitterness is undescribable.
Everywhere I move in life, I am always the oldest in my current situation. All of my friends are younger than me, all of those in their thirties mostly have children. I’m one of the few in my predicament among my circles. Each year hasn’t gotten easier, it has only gotten harder. The only difference is I have become stronger. Every year is a flood of announcements, photos, and births. I’m over the moon for everyone, especially those I know who are expecting their first and it has been a few years.The joy their children bring to them, I can only hope to expect the same in the unknown future.
My life didn’t go in the expected order of life. Marriage. Divorce. Single for 6 years. Dating. Here I am at 33, staring out at the horizon knowing I have another year or more of swallowing that bitter pill. The fear mongering women who tell me this side of 35. Otherwise I’ll have nothing but problems and complications. Please take your advice elsewhere as I don’t want to hear it.
What about the honey? Or what is this so-called ‘Honey’? I hate bitter things, especially bitter food, but since I have become older that is starting to change. If you eat too much sugar, food that is bitter tastes more bitter than it really is. However, if you start to have less sugar slowly that bitter food becomes less bitter and more palatable. If I crave sweets, I probably really need some bitter greens in my life. While milk chocolate is delicious, dark chocolate is better. Why am I talking about food? Because it is an analogy.
I might not like the bitter pills of life, but it doesn’t mean that I can avoid them. Instead of viewing them as bitter, maybe I need to realize that even the bitter pills have their own sweetness. I just haven’t adjusted to it yet. Like finding a dark chocolate I enjoy or drinking a cup of bitter medicinal herbs, there is always a hint of sweetness if you take the time to notice it and adjust to the flavors. My life is like that, I have my bitter pill and I’m going to find the sweetness within it.
I’m going to cherish the time I have with my boyfriend, as just the two of us. I’m going to think of all the things I want to accomplish while I wait for that pill to become sweet tasting. What are my goals? What are my dreams? What can this waiting teach me?
I want to focus on my holistic health. I want to be at a healthy weight and BMI before then. I want to focus on strengthening my body so I have less aches and pains, because I rarely move it. I want to start a morning routine based in self-care centered on relaxation, meditation, breathing, prostrations and yoga. I want to learn more Tibetan so that I can communicate better and to assist in bilingual learning when needed. I want to create a savings so I can stay home with that first child and be able to bond together. I want to start laying the foundation of our future lives together with my boyfriend step by step. The two of us have our goals and our timeline in mind. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the sweetness I have by my side everyday that wants us both to be better and to create the life of our dreams for us and our future children.
It isn’t easy to find the honey within a bitter pill, but it helps in the process of acceptance that no path in life is the same and nothing is guaranteed. So for those I know with children, I love seeing them grow and their personalities blossom. There is a sweetness their smiles bring to the world, but sometimes I might scroll passed it when it all is a little too much.
Everyone has their own bitter pill to swallow. It could be family, friends, children, pregnancy, money, work, travel, education, etc. I’m sure my own adventures have proven to be a bitter pill for someone else. In the end, I hope others can realize it is okay to be open and honest about that bitterness. Yet, I hope during that process you can also find the sweetness inside the bitter pill of yours.