The Sounds of the Clock
Have you ever wondered what it's like to hear a clock clicking in your ear constantly? Tick-tock, tick-tock. Knowing that every second, minute, hour of your day and life is precious. So precious that you haven't got time to waste.
In my early twenties, I rarely considered time, because I spent the majority of my time partying, living life without a care in the world. My goal was to have fun, achieve and take life as it came. I travelled, lived abroad, had so many friends that I wasn't short of any. But by my late twenties, everything changed. I was a mother. Time was of essence. I was forced to survive, protect my son and I had hopes of getting out of the situation I was in. Who wanted to be a single mother at 30? Who wanted to struggle for the rest of their life? Life was about living, not dying before it even began.
That's when the clock began to tick. It was when I realised that time didn't wait for anyone. My son was growing before my eyes and soon he would no longer be a baby.
When approaching my thirties, all I remembered is wanting to be better than I was. My goal was to settle down, find a partner who adored me, get married, possibly have more children, find a well paid job and buy my own home by 40? Isn't that what everyone woman wants; to be fulfilled, happy and content?
But at the age of 30, I was pregnant again, on my own and trying my best to raise two sons, the best way I could. I could hear the clock not only going tick-tock, it now chimed every hour as if I was in a race. It was loud, overbearing and I was desperate. I only had, 3,650 days, 87,600 hours to get my act together. It may have sounded like a long time to others, but to me, my life goals were something I had to accomplish to feel better about myself and all the mistakes I made in the past. I was under pressure in my head, to meet that deadline at 40!
By my mid thirties, nothing seemed to go according to plan. My chances of having any more children seemed far fetched. How would it be possible? After all, I was still single and trying to build myself into the woman I hoped would attract the right man. I was working on my inner self, growing in strength day to day and living my life positively. My children did not want for anything and I felt blessed. I still longed for a life partner, I still hoped for a new career, even though I was trying to find my purpose. I felt slightly lost. I wanted a life-changing move, possibly to another city or country. But my mother is what held me back. She was my only support. How could I leave my only support network?
By 36, I went on the odd date, but I knew in my heart, the men I met, were not ready for me. Or was it that I was too strong willed for them? The doubt daunted me. Time was running out. I only had 4 years left till 40. I was nowhere near ready to buy a home on my own. Financially, things were tight, but bearable. I kept myself so busy, that time moved so quickly.
The tick-tock wasn't as loud, but it became distorted due to time moving so fast. I told myself, that I no longer required a man because I was happy alone. I liked my own company. I was happy to settle with just myself and my sons. As much as I didn't own my own home, have a husband, I was happy. That was something right?
The clock kept ticking. I could hear tick-tock on a daily basis. But I tried to ignore it. Consciously, I knew I had to have faith, but a part of me had given up.
All my acquaintances were either getting engaged, or getting married. Many were married already. I was invited to christenings on a regularly basis. Family members and close friends were having babies and had full support of their partners. Everyone had what I was seeking. In my eyes it wasn't fair. Why couldn't I have what they had? I wasn't a bad person. I may have not been perfect, but I deserved love. I was a loving and caring person to all. I bent over backwards for friends. I was at their beck and call when they needed me, even if some were not grateful at the time. So why couldn't I be blessed with someones heart?
By 37, the tick-tocking of the clock had completely disappeared. Why did it matter at what age I got married? When the time was right, it would happen. If it even was meant to happen.
Then it dawned on me, who was I actually in a race with? Clearly myself, because it didn't matter when I got married, or to who? There was no rush to find the man of my dreams. The man who deserved my heart, would find me. That's what I always used to say to myself and that's what I always use to preach to my friends.
If I was destined to buy my home, I would one day. I knew it wasn't too late to study, or get into the job I wanted. It wasn't too late to progress. My journey was progressing. I was growing in my own way, even though I didn't realise it. I had changed. My opinion on life had changed. I just wanted peace and calmness in my life. I was tired of the constant noise, drama, pretence of others. I knew I was capable of so much more.
I was tired of the tick-tocking. I no longer felt the need to be around people who didn't deserve my time. I had wasted enough time already. I was busy with my children, but most of all, I was letting things happen in due course.
Then one day unexpectedly, I met up with a man who I had known for a while, but never considered as a partner. He was my friend and why would I even consider crossing the boundaries? But that didn't stop neither of us. We became close over a period of time and he became my soulmate. He loved and cherished me the way I had always dreamed. He fathered my children like they were his own. He was the man I hoped to marry, settle with, buy a home with and possibly have another child with, even though I had told myself I didn't want any more children.
Could it have been, that I had struggled so much, I programmed myself not to want to raise another child on my own? Was I scared to have another child at such a late stage in my age? Would I scare him away like I did every other man? After all, there are more complications being an older mother. But why was I questioning the subject? What was my real issue?
But then I began to hear the clocks ticking again. But this time it wasn't about marriage, or buying my own home. It was my biological clock. I was running out of time.
The tick of the biological clock is something all of us women are made to hear loud and clear from the moment we reach childbearing age. We are advised not to delay having children, or risk living a life of child-less regret. But I already have two sons. Why was there this sudden need to have more? Was it that I wanted to share something special with the man I loved? Had he changed my whole perception of becoming a family, from observing him being a father to the children from his previous relationship? As much as he may not have wanted more, that was his decision and I respected it. But, yet again, it wasn't fair. I was running out of time, but his time had literally begun with his own children.
How long would it be before we were at that place to make that commitment as husband and wife? When would I be in the position to possibly even buy a home with him? Had I taken enough time to prepare myself for the relationship? Working part time, being a mother and running a business was difficult, so until my sons were of age to defend for themselves, I had to wait to establish my career. Otherwise, I would have run myself into the ground like I did on many occasions.
What I needed to focus on was myself, my growth, to allow myself to grow on my journey of life. I had taken on everyone else's problems, situations and burdens to the point I had forgotten about me. I was suffocating. I couldn't breathe. I needed time to not only adapt to a new relationship. But time to accept and work with my partner's extended family. Because as you get older, it gets harder and there is so much more to a relationship than love, sexual intercourse and children. You have so many more aspects to deal with. It will only work if you communicate and you have to be patient.
But as we all know, the clock still ticks.