This is a submission in our monthly contest. January’s theme is “Wild.” Enter your own here!

After spending almost half of my life with my “high school sweetheart,” it ended, and I was sprung from my domesticated apron strings out into the world with no experience or handbook, a disaster waiting to happen. (I did, however, stumble across “He’s Just Not That Into You” a few months later).

Things change in 15 years, especially considering that I was 19 when I settled down. Just as fashion trends come and go (bell bottoms in in the 70s and out in the 80s), so do certain aspects of dating. Imagine my surprise to learn that Brazilian waxing is hot.

What is that about??

Can you imagine the shock and fright on my 10-year-old daughter’s face if she caught me naked coming from the shower, bald? (Yes, that actually did happen.)

I conformed. I will try most things once, and I have to admit, I prefer it this way. The maintenance is so much easier. Before you judge me, try to imagine the difference of maintaining hardwood floors verses carpet. Need I say more?

It can be scary becoming single in your 30s with three kids under your belt (literally…just look below my belt line, all the evidence is there, no matter how many crunches I do or miles I run). There are so many elements of dating that I am learning about. For example, “marketability.”

When people ask “Why do you go to the gym?” or “Why do you worry about what you are eating?”, I explain that I have five marketable years left, and I intend to use them to my advantage. I don’t want to be like my grade 10 art teacher, living alone in my 50s with three cats, not getting any.

Good for her, if she was happy. I’m not saying her lifestyle was wrong; I am saying it’s not for me.

Comments like, “If he doesn’t love you for who you are, you don’t want him,” are made by people who already have a signed legal agreement by their partner that requires them to come home every night. I don’t have that.

So I spend time at the gym each week and have taken up running, and it’s one of the best things I have added to my life. I also attend therapy bimonthly to work on my “inner self,” so the guy who gets me will get the best of both.

All that said, I am a realist. I recognize some facts I just can’t fight: I am not 21 with a pre-pregnancy body (there’s a whole chapter missing from my prenatal book about that). I have learned ways to compensate, or shall I say “aid” in my confidence when baring all.

Until I have that signed legal agreement, I do what works right now: I wear my level 4 push-up bra and tank top whenever I’m on top. Kidding. Well…sort of, but that’s another topic on its own. The fact is, I work with what I have and take care of it the best I can.

So, I continue on this journey. And, yes, having three kids, a full time job, a house to care for, and a circle of friends and family can be tricky to manage at times. Who plans to be a single mom in her 30s?

I may not be that tight little 20-something girl anymore. But I am proud of the woman I am – and the woman I am becoming. No regrets. There’s a lesson in everything, and I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.