I turned 29 several days ago.

I’m a Vietnamese girl, unmarried. And if I continue this kind of relationship status until 30 or longer, I would get into trouble, real big. All of my cousins, at my age or in a range of 5 years younger than me, already tied the knot and, some had kids. It’s as if I am the only one who is left behind this marriage’s world. So, you can imagine how’s hard is my life now every time I pay a visit to my parents and my relatives.

All of my uncles and aunts are asking about my “non-exist boyfriend and husband to be” every time I see them. It’s as if I am a “discarded item” if I cannot get a husband before 30 in their eyes. My parents are worried about me, all the time as if I have no chance to get a good husband at this age. It’s as if I either have to live a single life forever or desperately ask a random guy, in a hurry, to marry me for the sake of getting someone to be a life partner.

I can live a normal life at this age in Ho Chi Minh city, but not in my hometown.

I feel like I am too old for everything. Yeah, I know, you would say I’m still young if you’re a bit or a lot older than me. Still, I feel old. I feel old for new adventures, new challenges, new opportunities, new dates, and new life. I constantly have a thought that it’s okay to do so at 22 or 25 but not at 29. I sometimes accept my current status and stop working towards my dreams because I’m too old. I’m worried if I could deliver a baby when I am 33 or more. Haha.

I started to be scared of aging, more than ever. I look into the mirror and just can see those wrinkles and laugh lines and start to feel sad because I’m getting older and aging now. I can’t accept those big pores and the aged skin with the speed of light.

I have a need to change somethings for the better but I’m afraid if they would turn out worse than before, though I have never given them a try. I become more “heavy” to change my daily habits, my daily thoughts, and my daily bad worse. I feel like I have no chance to make a difference in my life. I’m afraid to start all over again.

I am more living in the past than in the present of the future. I look at my mistakes and my foolishness, nonstop. I can’t forgive what I have done wrongly and what I haven’t achieved at this age. I keep blaming myself and crying all over my pillows for not doing or doing so.

I feel stress looking at others’ seem - perfect lives. They all seem to have ideal lives, successful career, and a happy family with beautiful kids while I am still a wanderer in the universe, without a family and a career. I thought maybe I should find a man and get married, have kids, and be a housewife, soon, to wipe away all the stresses. I am too much compared my worst to others’ best that I forgot how good I am at the moment.

I became less happy. I smile less. I let all the worries, things in the past, stresses, and pressures take over my mind that I could not even feel the joy in little things as I did before. I am always putting a serious face, well, because I think that I’m old now to smile that much.

I feel as if life is ended at the age of 29 for a girl when you're unmarried, single, and not successful yet.

You know, I have been living with those thoughts throughout the past year. I felt like was suck when I'm a U30.

On my birthday, this year, I woke up and did my routine as usual. I went to work, went to my yoga class, and went back home as usual. But this year, I start to question the meaning of birthday, why is it so important that everyone seems to celebrate and party?

All of a sudden, I felt so happy because I was allowed to be born and to come to this world. I did make a tiny change when I was out because I can contribute to the population’s increase. And my parents have been working so hard to give birth and to raise me to a beautiful girl as I am right now. Why should I keep thinking about all the worst things in life and living in sadness, darkness, and worries? I laughed at myself so much for being so dramatic in the real life, for the whole year. How much time have I wasted continuously applying those thoughts?

I can’t change what I have done, no matter if it’s good or bad, in the past or stop the grown-up process or instantly go from being single to being a mom of two kids. It takes time. Haha.

I can either continue to let all the negativities to reign me or become more praised for what I have and start tiny steps towards my dream life so that when I am 35, I won’t be in the same situation and won’t feel the same as I am when I am 28 and a haft.

It’s a bit late to say happy birthday (Nov 6) but you can always say Happy belated birthday to me and I am still very thrilled to get it.

Taken yesterday, when I'm 29. And 30 is not the end yet.