One Woman Documents What It’s Really Like To Be 35 And Single

When Argentinian filmmaker Paula Schargodsky found herself 35, single and accidentally having slept through her last uncoupled friend’s wedding, she knew there was something “she didn’t want to face.” As the only single one left in her circle, she decided to make a documentary film about the “questions [she was struggling] to answer” about the expiration date on female freedom. Schargodsky used “systematically kept” footage of her “love stories and breakups,” her “friends with their boyfriends, then husbands, then pregnant bellies” from the last 10 years to explore the question: “Can social mandates be disregarded, or is my extended youth finally coming to its end?” 

To answer her questions, Schargodsky took a brutally honest look at her “gypsy lifestyle” and her past relationships — the love-at-first-sights of her twentis and the guy-she-should-have-married in her thirties — and came to a profound conclusion about self-love:

“I still don’t know how to resolve this equation, but at least I learned a few things about myself: I don’t want those intense, impossible relationship of my 20s, nor do I want a perfect husband behind a white picket fence, and I definitely don’t plan to spend my life alone. Now I realize that everything I was looking for was much closer than I thought. Whether it’s with someone or alone, in those glimpses when you love and accept yourself totally, the world around you changes. In the end, happiness is a choice.”

Not to minimize an empowering realization such as that — it stands on its own — but there is an epilogue to her story. Schargodsky met someone right after she finished filming her piece. “He is imperfect, and I love him. This time I realize I can live with unanswered questions, and that’s fine,” she writes. [New York Times]