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If you are feeling down because your life has not turned out the way you expected, this story may help you put things into perspective

By Nina Steele 

For many people, this time of the year can feel quite heavy. That’s partly because, there is often the inevitable soul searching. And with societal norms dictating what our lives ought to be like, particularly when we get to a certain age, things can quickly take a negative turn. The story of freelance journalist, Kate Mulvey, which she shared in the Daily Mail is a typical example. She is 55, has never married and has no children. She ended a four year relationship as she was turning 50 because her then fiancé would not marry her. With not enough money to rent a place in London, let alone get on the housing ladder, she felt she had no choice but to go back to live with her parents.

Her mother who had dementia, passed away a year after she moved in. So now, it’s just her and her dad. For a 55-year-old woman, used to her own ways, this reversal of fortune is understandably a hard pill to swallow. Even more so when her other two sisters are living their own lives, in their own homes.

The story caught my eye because, unlike many stories of unfulfilled dreams by women, in this particular article, the author’s childlessness is not the main focus. What seems obvious however, is her wish to find a long term partner with whom to share her life, along with becoming financially independent once more.

Reminiscing about some of the happy times she had with her one time fiancé, she said: “When he proposed to me one summer in Italy, I was over the moon. I saw us enjoying a life of comfortable companionship. Just the two of us. Neither of us had children”. The article ends with her saying that she had started a new relationship and how much she liked the new man in her life. I hope he ends up being the long term companion she is looking for.

Her life may not have turned out the way she had expected, but I have immense respect for her for choosing to share this particular aspect of her life with the world. Because, let’s face it, by society’s standards, a woman like that is deemed a failure. Admittedly, being a journalist means that sharing her story anonymously was never going to be an option. Even so, considering how deeply personal this issue is, and the inevitable harsh judgement she will get from some quarters, she has my respect for being open about it.

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