It wasn’t supposed to be like this … but this is how it is

It’s time to make a change. I’ve been talking about it for long enough – now it’s time to do it. Decisions never were my strong point – but if I don’t act, I could be sitting here writing the same thing a year from now. And I really don’t want that.

I can’t say I ever imagined I’d be facing this kind of change – at least not on my own. I never expected to get to 42, be single, without children and be pondering moving out of London and starting again on the coast.

In my imagination, I was going to be a married mum by this age and stage. My decisions would not only be shared, but they’d be contingent on what was best for my offspring.

But wishing things were different or thinking I’m living the wrong life aren’t going to help.

This is the life I’ve got – and on a good day, it’s a great one – so this is the life I’m going to make the most of.

I’ve been thinking about moving to the coast for a number of years. There’s something about the sea that calms and inspires me, that reminds me I’m a small cog in a giant wheel and that my worries are drops in the ocean.

Swimming in the sea invigorates me. I can swim in pools or lakes but the sea has its own brand of magic. It’s so vast and limitless – without edges or boundaries. I’m free to roam at will, to swim backstroke while looking at the sky, gaze into its murky depths while doing front crawl or bob around as the current ebbs and flows.

And until I get to the sea, I feel like I’m treading water.

It’s easy to think living on the coast will make everything OK. Fortunately, I’m old enough and wise enough to know I take myself with me wherever I go.

But I do sense I’ll feel more settled, I’ll have more space, more energy and will find more flow. When things go awry, I’ll be able to walk along the sand, listen to the waves dragging on the shore, swim off my stresses (with or without a wetsuit) or look to the horizon and gain some perspective.

Peace and contentment are my ultimate goals, no matter how much I long to feel settled in a relationship or wonder whether I’ll ever have the chance to be a mum.

It’s my responsibility to tune in to my heart’s desires and fulfil the ones that are within my reach, rather than try to control my life or fit it into a particular mould that – for the time being – just isn’t the right shape.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a partner to move with or to move for? But that’s fantasy. Today I live in reality – and these are my dreams and I’m going to honour them.

When? Soon I hope – without the stress of deadlines but without dragging my heels or treading water in a life that no longer serves me.

Change is frightening but in the long-term it’s more frightening to stay the same, to ignore my gut instinct and deprive myself of the chance to explore something new.

And change can be exciting too – it’s that sense of wonder, opportunity and adventure that I need to hold on to.

About the author

Katherine Baldwin is our Maybe No Baby Blogger. She is a writer, storyteller, coach and speaker. As a coach, Katherine specialises in helping professional women navigate the world of dating and relationships and fall in love. She also helps men and women follow their passion and transition into more wholehearted, fulfilling lives. Katherine is writing a book about her journey from 40 to 45, a period during which she came to terms with being 40, single and childless, overcame her fear of commitment and her perfectionism and learned to fall in love. You can find out more about her work at, read her blog at and follow her on Twitter @From40WithLove

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