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.