Friday, April 13, 2012

sometimes

Sometimes I tell myself everything is okay even though the tears tell me otherwise.
Sometimes I succumb to the envy I feel when I happen upon others who live the life I wish I had.  Sometimes I wallow, wallow, wallow and then feel foolish, foolish, foolish for not feeling grateful and joyful for all the good that I do have and sometimes I say fuck it and give in to that wide wallow and throw myself a pity party, balloons and all.
If you don't happen upon this space frequently you might conclude that I (pity) party a lot. I don't, not really, I'm just honest about the wallow and feel right now that I'm a smidge entitled to it. And if you are wondering, the wallow is almost always kicked off when I see a bump in the road...the baby kind. See, the mister and I did not choose to be baby-free a-go-gos. Nope, though we were more inclined to adoption than birthing our own because the whole population growth dealio scares the ducks out of us but the weird thing is adoption costs more than good old fashioned procreation. No, the choice was taken from us even before I knew where babies came from.

Back when I was a tiny growing thing nestled in my own private womb, my family went through an awful experience (that still carries a ripple effect) that left the doctors sincerely thinking my mother might miscarry the wee that was me. They professionally prescribed her a miracle drug (or so they thought) to keep me safely tucked inside. What they did not encounter and what was only discovered months after I was born was that miracle drug was really a dangerous dose of synthetic estrogen that gifted all of us "miracle" babies with all sorts of ilk. The kicker being infertility. A good many of us DES children managed to live average cancer-free lives with kiddos upon kiddos while others, like me, became text book cases. Even my old nurse-practitioner couldn't believe how text-book I was. She was ecstatic to see it all live and in person. Go me.

Along with the infertility, I spent my twenties getting cancer screenings and paps every other month. I hit menopause at the ripe old age of 38 and now I get to look forward to new cancer screenings.

I should have a sash or tiara or something.

I also hate to admit this but I almost wish I got pregnant when I was in my twenties, bad relationships be damned. And I hate, hate, hate that I get so darned jealous of the people who have unplanned pregnancies that turn into happy babies. I want to stamp and stomp and wail "It's not fair" but I don't, at least not out loud. Instead I purge my feelings into another blog, a very whiny and sad and angry blog and hope for the day, the minute, the hour where I don't feel like crying or that my self worth is zero because I do not and will not have children. I know that isn't true but it feels true to me. I feel like I lack something profound that will give me common ground with other adults that could be friends. But who wants to be friends with us childless a-go-gos? I snark but I feel it is true and that we are frequently misunderstood. I think parents assume that childless people do not want to be friends with child-full people and though having kids is not a requirement in the friends department, the mister and I seem to never fit in. We're not out-on-the-towners or bar goers. We don't watch the hip shows or listen to the now music. We dress down, not up, we live slow and make our own mostly off-key music. I worry that when we are old, we will truly be alone. Who will take care of us when we can no longer take care of each other?

I'm sure you're thinking I'm some sort of drama queen and believe me, I think I could agree with you. Thank goodness I bottle it up for the most part but it seeps out and pops out and explodes as if you dumped mentos down my throat whenever I read of another happy blogger expecting baby number two or three or four and I see their published lives, their owned homes and thin vintage cloaked couple-ness in their magazine worthy living room cooking up garden fresh goodness, crafting up viral prettiness as feathery, feathery chickens dance around in the background. I wonder, do they all really have such magical lives? Lives where 9-5 jobs are nowhere to be seen, where their blogs generate their mortgage payments, where bodies are so healthy there are no worries about hospital bills. Can it really be that magical? I sit on our battered and borrowed sofa in our overpriced rental with the mis-matched white paint speckling the walls and the boxes of craft crap tilting this way and that and wonder if it would be okay if I splurged and bought the organic eggs instead. And then I think it's probably better that I can't have kids, that I would suck at the mom thing anyway that there is no way we could do it, could afford it when we can barely find our happy medium as it is. And I wallow and wonder who I am...who am I?

And my heart hurts, it aches so and I wanna smack the crap out the adults I see yelling at their children for being children. I want to flee and run away and unplug myself from everything. I want to be different, someone else, someone worthy, someone likeable, someone who is settled and happy with who they are and what they have and I think this life of mine is wasted on the me that is me and just as I reach the highest heights of my heartache and sadness I spy something, it could be anything really, that makes me catch my breath. It could be the pink of the sun set or a lizard sunning itself on our porch. It could be the rolling hills that surround this new home of ours, the opening notes of a favorite song or a picture book that makes me laugh. Whatever it is, it pulls me down and stills my sadness, tucking it into bed underneath the faintest faded quilt of goodwill where it slumbers as ling as it can so that I find myself in my moment. A good moment, a moment filled with sweetness and song, with a whistling mister beside me on a battered and borrowed sofa that is piled sky high with quilts and happy colors. A moment filled with rainy day wanders and family filled Mondays. A moment that helps me realize that the magic is with us as well. It's just a little less showy.

35 comments:

  1. "But who wants to be friends with us childless a-go-gos? I snark but I feel it is true and that we are frequently misunderstood. I think parents assume that childless people do not want to be friends with child-full people and though having kids is not a requirement in the friends department, the mister and I seem to never fit in. We're not out-on-the-towners or bar goers. We don't watch the hip shows or listen to the now music. We dress down, not up, we live slow and make our own mostly off-key music. I worry that when we are old, we will truly be alone. Who will take care of us when we can no longer take care of each other?"

    Oh, my. You just described me! You just described the kind of people I love best!

    Hugs to you, jek. You and the mister are not alone in this - this is me, too, except (a) I chose to be child-free, and (b) there is no "we" in my life - only me. So, in a different way, I get it.

    There are others out there like you, like me, like us - but we are rare indeed. And I know it's hard sometimes to celebrate this, our rarity, but really, we should. I have to remind myself of this all the time. All. The. Time!

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    1. you know, i was thinking of you when i was writing this, not that you would be all alone but that you made a very brave choice, to choose to live a life less traveled. in that choice you would also be alone. and i understand how you get it and you do. and i hope you don't think my choice of using brave is condescending at all. i don't mean it that way. i sincerely feel that those of us who choose to live differently than the norm are indeed brave. and you most definitely need to find a moment to visit up here! we have a ukulele club too, i haven't been brave enough to visit but i would with you!

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  2. I really understand about not fitting in! Even though we have one child, I don't really relate to other married couples. Maybe cause I'm an older mother (people always ask if I'm her grandmother)! And I'm a pretty introverted person, so I don't really need a lot of people around me. I would love to meet someone like you, cause you are fun and crafty and don't take yourself too seriously! Thanks for your great blog! :)

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    1. Hi Laurie, I can understand feelings of not fitting in. I enjoy people especially smart, funny and interesting people, i just enjoy them more from a distance as I feel so awkward in person. Sigh. So, cheers to introvertedness and a whoo-hoo for connecting though technology. Thank you and don't be a stranger!

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  3. Those "magical" bloggers are only showing you what they want you to see. Behind the scenes, they are as screwed up as the rest of us!

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    1. Oh I hope so. I mean, I don't want people to be messed up but I do hope that we all have a little funk in our lives. ;)

      Thank you, Sarah, let's look for some more magic, okee dokee?

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  4. .... The previous comment beat me to it.....we all have our issues to deal with and those perfect bloggers will be no exception, they probably bumble through life like the rest of us.

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    1. I bumble so much my knees are bruised from the constant tripping over my own feet. Yikes! From one bumbler to another, thank you!

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  5. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Sigh. Sometimes I sit in my dinky little house looking at blogs and longing for a spacious remodeled kitchen or a wall of built-in bookcases or an awesome crafty craftroom. And then I come to your blog, Jek, and you put everything into perspective for me.

    I have a daughter. She will turn 25 this summer. I know exactly what you are missing out on, and it pisses me off that so many people abuse, neglect, and take their children for granted. And it makes me sad that people who would make wonderful parents never have the chance to do so.

    There's really nothing I can say to salve your wound and nothing I can do to make things better. And that makes me feel like I shouldn't leave this comment at all. But even after raising a child I still have those "Who am I?" moments from time to time. Some things are just hard to figure out, no matter what the circumstances may be.

    Sarah and Effie are right - we're all just muddling through this world. Do not be deceived by what you see on the "magical" outside. It's what's on the inside that counts. And what you are on the inside is refreshingly honest. I appreciate that.

    Sending a big cyber-wave of lovingkindness your way -

    Kim

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    1. Oh Kim! Sometimes the internet is a total buzzkill, isn't it? We think we're all fine and dandy in our little nests and then we see someone who is like magic all pretty with a clean and spacious house with extra rooms...ROOMS! how i would love an extra room even a closet-sized room for crafty stuff so that the mister wouldn't have ti trip all over it as it fills in all the spaces here in the casa. sigh.

      Thank you for your thoughts and kindness, just you leaving them is like a great big loving hug. Admitting that you don't know what to say is far, far better than some of the things people have said to me. Far better.

      Sending a bigger cyper-wave of lovingkindness and thank you your way.

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  6. Hi <3
    i don't know you (obviously), but i sit here drowning in my own tears since reading this. i am so sorry that your heart is broken right now. i can't imagine what a strong and brave woman you are to go through the life you have, and still be such a brilliant human being. you are creative, inspiring and have a love for life that I CAN SEE. it is apparent in all your creations and in the way you feather your nest. you see the beauty in things that some of us don't. but you must know that others see beauty in YOU. YOU are a miracle. YOU bless others. and YOU are entitled to feel sad sometimes. you know what i thought when i would come and read your blog and noticed you didn't have kids? (since i had no idea why) "wow! she's freakin awesome! i'm a mom and i can't come up with any of these stellar ideas or projects to do with my kids! i wish we were friends. like...real life friends." haha...anyways, all that to say, thank you for sharing your heart with us. you are beautiful. and as a mom, i know a good mom when i see one. that's you. don't ever give up hope.
    sending love.
    jes

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    1. Hi Jes, thank you for your words and thoughts. I always fear when I go the ranty route people will think I'm fishing for compliments. I'm not, but that doesn't mean I do not appreciate the good will and words of others. So thank you!

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  7. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Hey Jek-

    I am right there with you. I am not normally an envious person. I am genuinely thrilled when things go swimmingly for others, but there are definitely moments when I just feel like, gosh, I deserve the things other people have and yet, I don't have them. And I don't know if I will ever get them no matter how much I do or how hard I work.

    But life is long. Who knows what the future holds.

    By the way, you blog may not be paying the rent but its "magical" to me. Your spirit is endlessly inspiring.

    Lorraine (In Reno) :-)

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    1. Oh friend, how I miss you! Yup, I think those same things. Looking forward to full futures, right?

      Hoping to hit up a Reno visit this year, you and me need a good in person hug. Smooch!

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  8. It is terrible to make assumptions, but it doesn't stop me from wondering if any of the mommy bloggers have ever made the decision to have another kid to perpetuate their blogging career. New baby posts get way more comments than ones about their pre-teen who don't really want mom blabbing their business anyway...Hey - people have had stranger reasons to want more kids (just poll my in-laws).

    My heart aches for those out there (and you are on my short list of people I think about often in this regard) who want to be parents, but have not been blessed with the opportunity. When I hear about a blogger trying longer then intended to have a third or fourth child, I think of my bloggy friends who never have seen a plus sign on a pregnancy test. When I hear a blogger complaining about her unruly kids yet see her making facebook updates on the hour, my thoughts turn to you -- and how you would be present, and connected, and such a wonderful role model for a little one, either of your blood or of this earth. I still will think about you guys often, and hope for a pleasant surprise :)

    xoxo

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    1. I definitely do think it is the baby bloggers who easily become career bloggers. I suppose the bulk of their readers are young parents or young women on the track to becoming married with kids. What do you do if you don't parent, right? How do you fill your days? Ugh, I sound snarky.

      Thank you for your words and support. At this point, a pleasant surprise would involve a house with room for a garden and a guest space. Then I can encourage all my friends with kids to visit...you too! Come on up! ;)

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  9. we love you both !!

    if you can afford an airplane ticket sometime, come to France, we welcome you with open arms and lots of kiddos to cuddle and kiss and watch grow. you are two wonderful people.

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    1. Thank you, Clara!

      I keep telling the mister our next rip should be overseas...you never know. Warm thoughts and hugs to you from California.

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  10. hang in there...and let's hang soon!

    i have a good friend in town that just fostered to adopt and they had a great experience...i can forward her name if you want?

    ♥,
    Kris

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  11. oh jek, i wish i knew you in person. i feel like we could be good friends. i understand so much of what you are saying. i do have kids, but they are so far away from me right now. we live on jeremy's part time salary as he goes to school. i am disabled and can't work, even tho i have a business, i am sick so much that i can't work all the time on it. we don't go out to movies either. or out to dinner much. or clothes shopping. i depend on the thrifts too, and on my own sewing machines. we are not often included in his family's fun times. we live in a bedroom in their basement until he finishes school and we can go back home to oregon. so we are isolated too. i felt like you did about looking at other people for so long too. i'm 59 now and and have a hard time liking me just the way i am. but i don't mind that we are poorish. we have a lot to be thankful for. you are so loved, jek! people just love you to tears, myself included. you are packed-full of wonderfulness. i wish you could see it like we do xxxx jeremy says that to me too, all the time. "i wish you could see yourself like i and others see you". i j ust concentrate on the stuff that makes me happy. like you said, some of those are the littlest things ever. but they make me smile big. so just keep going back to those. i love you even tho i've never met you. you are such a special person xxx

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    1. aw deb, thank you! i tend to have conversations in my head that often include you, as in oh, deb would like this or that....;)

      i guess we just have to hang in there together, right? xo.

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  12. Sadly I know how you feel, not in the 'just saying this type' but as in I KNOW how you feel. My husband and I tried on and off (off because he deploys A LOT) and it wasn't until the last 6 months we decided to not try anymore (especially since he's deployed once again!)..We are open to foster parenting down the road.

    It seems like a HUGE portion of the blogging community (the ones with a lot of followers especially) are moms and I can't compete with that. I actually just blogged about this topic this weekend.

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    1. a HUGE portion. it makes me feel less than, as if I somehow am not as important. sigh. i'm sorry you are now in the KNOWING stage. it just sucks all around. a big squeeze from me. s q u e e z e.

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  13. I so want to give you a hug. I hope I say this the right way (always afraid of putting my foot in it), but my 'childless a-go-go friends' are awesome. Both the by-choice and not-by-choice.

    I'm a parent, and I know how easy it can be to let yourself be defined by that relationship. Eventually, though, kids grow up. Often we put off getting to know ourselves on our own terms (as opposed to being someone's daughter...mother...partner). Does that make sense? I hope so. :)

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    1. Aine, it ALL makes sense and thank you. Super thank YOU! smooch.

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  14. I have two kids - one is autistic and has been a huge challenge. I blog, and I don't blog about my children anymore (I used to a little when they were smaller) after reading Keri Smith's post about why she wasn't going to blog about her kids - they are entitled to a private life and should be able to choose their online presence when they are of an age to make a choice. That notion immediately made sense to me, and I stopepd blogging about my kids. They might sometimes make it into a photo, but I make sure it is just a detail of them (hands, feet) or that their faces aren't clear.....anyhoo, I digress...but if you read my blog, you might imagine I have a sweet, sweet life because I choose not to write about my struggles with my son and I try to focus on the better things in my life....what I'm saying is a) blogs are a life edited so you must take them with a wheelbarrow load of salt and b) you are awesome and I've been a long time fan since the early 2000s. I really want you to come to NZ to visit one day - we have a sleepout you can stay in! Sending love your way, Jek. xx Helen

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    1. Helen, my friend, not a week goes by without me telling the mister we need to go to NZ. seriously! i know what you write is true. when i wallow, i fall deep into the well of wishfullness. i always thought i had talent to offer and want to be able to use that talent for employment but am so utterly clueless as to HOW and then i see others skipping past me with their baskets full of goodness and far-too-similar projects and i get cranky. i really do believe it falls on aesthetics and as quirky as i am, i simply don't HAVE IT. guh.

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  15. Oh, this makes my heart hurt for you. I had an unexpected (teen) pregnancy and I had no idea when I gave birth to my then very unplanned daughter that she would be my one and only chance at having a child. We couldn't figure out why I was unable to conceive again after many many tries and then we divorced and I guess it seemed better that I couldn't. And now I'm 31 and I was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer a week ago and I know that I will never have a chance to have a child again but I am so so grateful for that unplanned pregnancy that seemed like such an interruption to my plans at the time and I wish I could go back and slap 18-year-old me for not even realizing how lucky I was. Lots of love and good cheery thoughts and I hope today feels better!

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    1. oh dear. it is quite crazy how the world works, isn't it? i am less than joyful to read of your diagnosis. i am sending positive thoughts yer way for your treatment. give yer daughter a big honkin' squeeze.

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  16. I wish I could just hug you so. I don't have the words for my thoughts, I just ache for you. I keep writing & erasing & honestly all I can say is you are wonderful & lovely & I am sending warm thoughts, prayers & hugs

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    1. cyber hug to the rescue! thank you,friend. thank you.

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  17. Sonnie Sue9:52 AM

    I just love your blog and your realness. I recently came to know it from the Craft Facebook page. You are amazing and I wanted to let you know that and how this truly resonates. I am also a crafty, child free gal whose decision is being taken away from her as we "speak". I have had endometriosis, diagnosed well over a decade now. I am post two surgeries to remove this but now the doctors won't do another unless it's a hysterectomy to prevent it from growing back. I'm at the ripe old age of 35. The endo has affected my fertility but now I won't have a choice. Thankfully, I am married to a great guy who is definitely not hellbent on having kids. I thank the heavens for him all the time. He is my proverbial rock and soulmate. It sounds like your hubby is for you too! And I do have a desire to mother. I rescued a stray kitty and have been a very loving kitty mama for eight years and it seems to help but I can't help but wonder how it feels to raise a kid. And that dang new movie What To Expect When You're Expecting trailers aren't helping any. But I do find a lot of satisfaction in creating things for me, friends and loved ones and enjoy being constantly inspired to create by extraordinary people like you. Thank you so much! My thoughts are with you and I really hope the best in health and happiness for you and yours. For reals!

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    1. Oh Sue! We ARE paddling side by side aren't we? Thank goodness for great guys and kitties. It doesn't change anything but makes the journey less sad-inducing. High-five crafty sis...we need to keep up the good thoughts to hold each other up. Thank you and many good thoughts and joy for you and yer guy and yer kitty! smooch!

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  18. Anonymous5:57 PM

    You dear girl. Thank you for this post and your honesty. I'm in the midst of trying to make peace with my own infertility, while knowing in my bones I have zero interest in making peace with it. I want to rage and fight and scream. But raging and fighting and screaming changes things not one little bit. So here's to trying to find some peace. People like you help so much. People handling it with more grace and honesty than I can seem to muster. THANK YOU.

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