31: A Retrospective

Today, I’m officially in my 30s. I am no longer 30-nothing but a 31-year old. I post this bare photo of me. No make up (not that I ever wear any), no smile, just me. I guess in some ways I look young – no real wrinkles yet. But is there maybe a bit of experience behind those eyes?


I’ve experienced my fair share in the past number of years. Those close to me will understand what that means and those who don’t know me that well, well what can I say? I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many places around the world and now I’m only missing two continents: Australia and Antartica. Not bad.

What I haven’t achieved: Well, I don’t really have any sort of career. I’m currently jobless and looking. I’ve had a really great interview recently and maybe something could come of that. I’d love to get that job but these are hard times for the unemployed. There has been opportunity in unemployment however. I’ve started Caryl Style, my knitwear design business. I released a very successful pattern during the summer: Ruffle My Feathers; and I’m hoping that my new Purple Rain Collection fares well. This aspect of my life is one I’m very proud of.

Being a facebook user, I’m now privy to the accomplishments of friends as far back as junior high. Most of these old friends seem to have families and own homes. I own nothing except for probably too much yarn and too many knitting books and magazines. I have no children and I’m very single. I’m feeling very single at the moment because I was having an absolutely delightful time flirting with a guy at my gym. After weeks of sharing long looks, we finally started talking. Sadly, upon the third day of conversation, I found out that my gym crush was indeed married. That really killed me. Married people shouldn’t flirt with us singletons. It inspires hope that will only be dashed. So I’m a bit sad because I felt a real connection with someone after a long time and at least for me, that’s dead in the water. I know another bit of romance will transpire in the near future but for now I wallow in what could have been.

Children: As my biological clock is rearing it’s head, I must ask myself, do I want children? The answer: I don’t know. I think I might want children because I don’t want to someday regret that I didn’t have them. However, do I deeply desire kids? Not really. I don’t even particularly like other people’s kids. So maybe I’m not meant to be a mother and if later in life I do want one, well there are tons of kids that need adopting, no? I have time yet to consider the question of children but I’m not desperate for them, I don’t even really want them.

So today I’m 31. I’ve settled in NYC for now. I’m jobless but have a burgeoning knitwear design career. I’m without a life companion and slightly disappointed at the moment, but  romance will happen when it’s ready. I guess overall I’m OK. I’m not on top of the world but neither am I rock bottom. I’m OK and I’m OK with that. 🙂



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9 responses to “31: A Retrospective

  1. Gym guy is married? What a loser for flirting with you! Hope you had a great day, and it sounds like you have a good perspective on things.

    • Yup, he’s married!!! I was so upset to find out. And I’m very sure he was flirting with me. I only really noticed him because he would stare at me. C’est la vie. I’m still getting used to the real world where people might be married. Because of school and travel, you hardly ever run into married people or if they are, you find out before you even know there name because that’s the nature of travel conversation. It never occurred to me to ask if he might be married and he always wears those weight lifting gloves at the gym.

  2. Journeywoman_jo

    Happy Birthday, Caryl!

    I usually lurk and just enjoy your adventures since I’d love to be overseas again, or knitting more, but I had to comment this time, even though we haven’t talked much since Japan… I’m having many of the same career dilemmas at 48 (oh, my – so close to 50!), but like my friends have done for me, I want to remind you to give yourself credit for all the adventures you’ve chosen that others don’t — that’s no small thing!!

    Have a great 31st year!

    (P.S. At 31 I was in a bad marriage that I couldn’t figure out why I went into… but a few years later I ended up with a really good guy!)
    (P.P. S. You might find a book called Wander Woman interesting – I’m working my way through it, myself, since my career direction has been a rather discouraging – though interesting – random path so far… but I’ve got plenty of time for a whole ‘nuther career, after I figure out what I want to do!)
    (P.P.P.S And yes, gym guy is a loser!)

    • Hey,

      It’s good to know that you’re around. I don’t know if I’m comforted or not by knowing that the struggles continue. 🙂 I’ll have to check out that book. I do forget sometimes that while my achievements are different from the ordinary I should treasure the experiences I’ve had. I guess I took the road less traveled. What Frost forgot to tell us is that the road less travels means a lot of self doubt with every step that is taken.

      • Journeywoman_jo

        Oops — certainly didn’t mean to be discouraging for you! Yeah, Frost coulda’ mentioned the self-doubt element, but our more varied journey seems to be a part of the package for people like us. I’m a wee bit jealous of the people who know exactly what they want to do, or who have been in the right place at the right time career-wise or relationship-wise, but the world needs what we bring to the table, too! I’ve started to notice how jealous people are of me for being willing to take all these paths, instead of staying safe and secure all the time… Happy day-after Thanksgiving!

  3. JoAnne

    Happy 30th Caryl! I hope you have many more and all are happy!
    Too bad about the gym guy but apparently he’s not worthy of you if he is married and flirting with other women.
    The right one will come along (I, myself did not marry until 30) one day. And you have lots to look forward to, all that life has to offer. Enjoy it!

  4. JoAnne

    OOPS! Happy 31st! See, you don’t look a day over 30!

  5. Happy Belated Birthday! Wishing you much success and happiness!

  6. I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a little while now and repeatedly find myself nodding as I read your posts. I can relate to just about every point here. Thirty-something, single, knitter, New Yorker, traveler, career-quest: check! All I can say is, don’t play the comparison game, celebrate your independence, and your unique path in life. Happy belated birthday!

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