One month from today, I'll be finished with the "blogging without children" panel at BlogHer in San Francisco. I've been thinking about it for a long time and it's cool to think it's finally almost here. I'm really looking forward to the conference this year. This kind of connection with people I respect professionally and care about personally cannot get here fast enough. I've been so depleted, knocking around rudderless for the past several months...since I got home from Vietnam, pretty much.
To be quite honest, my status as a woman without children has been pretty far from my mind during this time, as a specific issue that I'm thinking about or dwelling upon anyway. I've had other stuff going on that's taken precedence. When you're feeling the crazy, do you really want to bring a defenseless child along for the ride? I think not.
So in the immortal (in my family anyway) words of Bill Murray in What About Bob, "I'm baby-steppin'. I doin' the work." I'm working really hard on getting myself from point A to point B everyday, managing my anxiety levels that are worse than they've been in many years. I think it's because there's so much limbo. Graduation is six months from tomorrow and for as many doors as that opens up, it means there are so many choices to be made and things to be done and mountains to climb and cliches to beat to death with the nearest hammer, yes. I go to the Dems convention in Denver in August, which should be nice. I'm doing okay in my summer classes. I'm seeing my friends. I'm resisting my usual desire to isolate when things are shitty and I'm going out and talking to people on the phone, and if occasionally I have to sit down in the shower, well, who needs to know about that?
My wires are a little crossed, I guess. I don't know if my intuition is broken, exactly, but I'm definitely not trusting it. I'm not giving myself too many breaks, lately, that's for sure. I'm feeling vaguely or mightily dissatisfied with where I am in my psyche and in my physical space. I miss the ocean, I miss the mountains, my life is kind of one big highway right now (and not the kind I wanna ride all night long, dig?)
I have worked out a way to get to the beach with my family for what is such an important experience for all of us. This has really been a year of destruction on a basic level, breaking down a few situations that have been essential to my life - whether I wanted them to be or not - for the past decade, and I guess that's the hard work before rebuilding begins. I suck at letting go, but I'm getting better at it. if there's one thing in the world I wish I could accomplish it's that, along with being more peaceful about outcomes I don't think are good or right.
This brings me around to the child-free thing. I'm a little nervous because my angle on it might seem more sad and depressing than the people who are there because they chose it, because they felt in their heart and their bones that parenting was not right for them. I mean, how do I make "The men I loved didn't love me enough to want to have a family with me or commit to me on the level I needed them to and therefore I'm 37, in the waning child-bearing years, no imminent possibilities for changing this situation and not financially ready to adopt or sure I want to do it single," sound ANY LESS DEPRESSING THAN IT IS?
It sucks, make no mistake. It's even worse because I wish I was less emotionally engaged with the issue. I wish I could be all "Oh yeah, I'll make the coolest aunt, bring it on, I'm fine without being a mom," but I can't. I also have no zen capability at all whatsoever, so the necessity of trying to make myself think that way although really? NO chance in hell. It's exhausting. Have you ever tried to make yourself stop feeling something? Talk yourself into common sense on an issue about which you're completely emotionally clouded? Fun, isn't it.
I can't do it anymore.
I know what I need to do. I need to stay open. I need to try to get my mind and my arms around the idea that this is just the way life worked out for me. I need to work on acting smarter (actually, wiser is a better word) than I have in the past, to avoid pitfalls and beartraps, like acting pitiful like I did last night. I need to stand firm in my belief and choice that I will not pick a life partner because I want a child. I'll remember that that connection that you form - actually, that the Earth and chemistry and a teeny bit of fate forms - well, that it happens and from that, a life can flow - that forcing yourself into a partnership because it might produce children is wrong-headed on so many levels.
I hope this comes out in the panel, somehow.