The Little Voice

the little voice

In a turn of events that my friends have proclaimed to be “inevitable”, I recently found myself on a date with a much older man. While we won’t yet dwell on the pros and cons of dating somebody who was wrapping up high school while I was still in the Teletubbies stage, I will definitely attribute this as being one of the more interesting dates I’ve had in awhile, as evidenced in the following tidbit of our conversation alone.

Over a tea at Café de la Poste (neither of us were drinking, myself for cleansing purposes, him for unknown elderly purposes), he gave me a brief autobiographical overview of the past 20+ years of his life. After an unsuccessful stint with marriage, he had gone through a series of long-term girlfriends, and was now happily célibataire (single), enjoying a fulfilling existence of creative friends, athletic endeavors, explorative travel, and a newfound interests in astrology. Hearing my age – 28 – he exclaimed, not without a dose of sarcasm: “Oh yes, that within the age that I actually have a real interest in women –  28 to 33. The 23-year-olds are starting to feel a bit immature.” If I wasn’t sure before, then it was crystal clear now – I was dealing with a real, certified Eternal Bachelor. No longer capable of containing myself, I made a backhanded comment about all-too-afmiliar with “his type”, leading to me pulling up the article for us to analyze together. The parallels being endless, we had a good laugh.

“Ah, you like categories. Well, don’t you think you may fall into a category as well?” – he countered back. Now this was a first – nobody had categorized me quite yet. (I’m not sure if “crazy bitch” counts) Terrified yet curious, I requested that he identify said category that I so seamlessly fall into.

“Let’s see. You are 28, which means that you are in your late 20s, quickly nearing your 30s. Which is fine, except for there is this little voice living in your head. Every day, this little voice reminds you that you’re not getting any younger, that the clock ticking, and all your friends are getting married and maybe even having babies, and you are still single. The little voice becomes particularly tenacious when you are alone, up until the point where it gets unbearable, ringing in your head, on the verge of a nuclear explosion. And so, you go out, and you drown it out with alcohol, and you meet new people, and you go dancing until 5am, and then the voice finally disappears and you feel great. But then, the party is over, and you are alone again, and the little voice is back, stronger than ever before.”

While his diagnosis was not 100% on point (for one, I am not that big on 5am extravaganzas), he wasn’t that far off. There definitely is a little voice, a new friend I acquired, like a child acquires an imaginary friend, around the age of 26, when all my friends started hopping under the altar in an endless parade of Vera Wang. The voice was temporarily drowned out when I moved to Paris and completely changed my environment, but it has since reemerged and is now as strong as ever. Not only does it like to remind me that I am way behind on the marriage and procreation timeline instilled upon me by my Russian culture, it also frequently comments on the progression of my career, which leave something to be desired. While we have learned to coexist together and have semi-compromised on a rational timeline for a successful future, the truth is that the little voice is worried, and so am I.

While this may all sound like the loony ramblings of somebody on the possible verge of schizophrenia, I am mildly certain that many women can relate. (Can you?! Tell me! Reassure me!)  What is interesting, however, is that I can vouch for the fact that few of them are French or European. One thing that I have enjoyed – and have used as a giant security shield – about living in Europe, is that there seems to be very little pressure for women to reach certain life milestones by a certain age. French women, in particular, don’t really seem to be at all daunted by the passage of time, as majority of them appear to be perfectly content floating from one “belle histoire” (“beautiful story”) to another, and dating for years, without the slightest hope of an impending proposal. While this may be an unhealthy extreme within of itself, it is without a doubt that they are doing something right, for they are globally admired for their beauty and charm and sex appeal, not to mention their ability to age gracefully and become more attractive over the years.

That said, perhaps, if we each simply have a discussion with our little voices, and define a new arbitrary timeline, which actually takes into consideration our individual histories, personalities, and life ambitions, and then mutually agree to take a chill pill and let life take its course, we may have a much easier time coexisting with em’ trippy little demons that reside in our heads.



  • Oh man… I hear you! Funny thing is, for some reason I come off as an enigma… and people actually spend their time and energy trying to figure me out. Sometimes I wonder about my future, but at the same time… I try and remember what really matters to me in life. Where do I see myself? In the end, happiness is a big part of the picture. I tend to lead an unconventional lifestyle, so knowing me.. if I were to ever get married or have children (the thought terrifies me… inevitably being a factor to someone’s deep-rooted issues).. it would be quite unique hahaha.

    I love your blog!! This is my first time commenting 🙂

    • Ahh I’m so late to respond, but I know exactly where you’re coming from! I don’t see the whole traditional “marriage and babies” route working for me in the same format as it does for everybody else ether, and always try to plan out a future that is different and unique. Then again, do we just think we’re all so unique, but essentially everybody is just crazy in their own way? And thanks for commenting!!

  • Biology rules – sorry. Reproductive biology to be specific but all other including family genetics – ugh

    It is hyper competitive for everything. Probably the single best thing a young woman can do is freeze her eggs – but that is expensive.

    BTW, don’t listen to anyone else’s stories. Baggage is for other people to carry – not us!

  • I think most women past their early 20s feels this way. Not to say that men don’t have a tiny voice inside their head for one thing or other, butsociety still values them at any age, whereas women are only worthwhile between the ages of 15-25. The best childbearing age while still looking like a child themselves. Past this, you can feel yourselve being devalued as if we were the property society constantly tells us we are. Sure, we are now claiming that we are humans worth respect without children/wrinkle-free skin/successful careers/husbands. But we will all struggle to not believe it when we look in the mirror and find yet another grey hair. Im also 28. anyway, I’ve written enough. And this guy seems like your typical condescending “father figure who still wants to fuck you” type. Douche bag indeed. You’re great, by the way (though I’m sure you know) keep being you’re awesome self.

  • I too hear the voice! I am currently in in SATC binge, up to season 4. I like the scene where Samantha opens up to Richard, about being upset her best friend is getting engaged. Saying how marriage and babies are so cliche. Which I can’t help but totally agree… And while I have the same feelings Sam has, the people I want to talk to about them, I can’t! because its about them and their new life choices and a long term internal understanding I thought I had of them that now has flipped the script— which is very lonely and isolating—

    Went out alone last night for a cocktail and too high of hopes I could find a charming bartender to flirt with, when all I got were ADHD personality-less busy bodies… sore feet….and running into an endless slew of couples everywhere…..

    Only to end up to try to remind myself, I have my own unique path—one that isn’t the majority of my friends at the moment — and you know what that is OK. We all just want happiness for everyone– that’s the goal. So do you, baby-marriage or not — and try to not have expectations—

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