Monday, August 09, 2010

What now?

I've been thinking about this question endlessly lately.

What exactly should I do now? Where do I go from here? Now that we know there will be no more attempts at children, what happens next?

Isn't it lucky for me that my mid life crisis happened to coincide with the end of my six-year long trying to conceive catastrophe? It's so great to have all your crises collide in one huge clusterfuck so you can really sink your teeth into coping with them all at once.Yeah, that's real handy.

But seriously, what now?

I was always good at writing essays in university. Once I got going, I could write the most glorious bullshit with the greatest of ease.

But getting started was always agony. I'd stare at that menacing blank page for hours. Or, in truth, avoid staring at the menacing blank page by doing something else, anything else, until I was so pressed for time that I had absolutely no choice but to skulk back to the typewriter and start working.

I'm staring at a blank page again. Only this time it's the rest of my life instead of an essay.

And I don't have a big enough typewriter for that.

While I was mulling over what to do with the remaining 20 - 40 (God willing) years of my life recently, it dawned on me that my childless friends are among the most interesting people I know. One is a radio host who's working on her second book, another is taking acting classes and writing scripts in her spare time, a third teaches bellydancing, another is a comedienne who stages one-woman shows and takes clowning classes, and then there are the pair of singleton adventurers who sync up their vacation schedules and travel the world together once or twice a year.

These women are doing things, creating things, experiencing things - all without having procreated. And, more importantly, they seem happy doing it. They don't appear to be blindly searching for fulfillment - something to plug the kid-shaped holes in their lives.

They are an awesome assembly, with their assorted talents and hobbies and collective zest for life. Always doing, seeking, playing, learning, and moving.

And not a child amongst the lot of them.

Some are childless by choice, some never married, and others I've never actually asked. But regardless, They're all childless, just like me.

They're just kind of doing it better than I am at the moment.

They are my inspiration - my proof that there is a big, full, happy life out there for those of us without children. And even though we are often invisible in today's child-centric world - and occasionally misunderstood and sometimes even judged harshly - there is a place for us. Dammit, there is.

I have no idea where my place is, of course. That's my whole point. But I have faith that it's out there somewhere.

And as soon as I finish licking my wounds and cowering from the big, scary blank page, I'll have a look and see if I can find it.



Michelle said...

This is beautiful, honest and heart-breaking post.
I hope you find your place soon.
Thinking of you. **hugs**

Heather said...

I've always thought that my childless adult friends had the most interesting lives.

I hope you find your niche. You have so much to give.

loribeth said...

This is something I keep asking myself too. (What do I want to be when I grow up?? lol) I too have some good role models to look up to & take comfort from. (And I'm also a procrastinator when it comes to getting started on something...!)

I'm sure we'll figure it out... eventually...

Kami said...

I am asking myself this question now too. We are done with TTC and we have 2 living children and being a mother is great but it isn't ALL I want to be.

The funny thing about TTC when it isn't easy, is that the process becomes the meaning of life.

I thought raising children would be enough but it isn't. It is a nice distraction, to be sure, but it doesn't answer or fix the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?"

And, like you, all my childfree friends - either because they didn't have kids (two because they didn't find the right guy in time) or because their kids are on their own - have all the fun. We used to go with them on their adventures and now we stay home.

As I have said before, everything is trade offs. May you find your adventures and may they be more than enough.