“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
I thought I might be a dentist or a teacher. Maybe a lawyer or journalist. So many options it seemed. The world is your oyster.
Whatever that means.
I was never sure what I wanted to be and perhaps that’s a good thing because my job shouldn’t define me. It’s a part of my everyday, but it is not all of who I am. In fact it’s only relevant for a certain number of hours each day.
But what if one day I wanted to be a parent? That’s a full-time, 365 days a year, 24 hour job with no vacations or paid time off. It’s a commitment that can never be rescinded. It’s permanent. And it’s a huge unknown.
Growing up, my parents told me I could be and do whatever I wanted. Go to school. Work. You name it. Of course they always alluded to having a family one day.
But does that really always come true? Do all little girls hear that? And what about little boys?
Were we raised with the expectations in the back of our minds that by a certain age we should be married with children?
I think many of us were. At least those from my generation – that generation caught in between the old and the new. We straddle both sides and yet don’t fit 100% in either.
We came from a time were writing term papers meant using pencil and paper. Fast forward a decade and more and we’re typing out blog posts on our laptops and chatting on our smartphones. We played jump rope, but seem to quickly figure out the newest app on the web.
We were told we would have our own families one day. But is it what we all want?
What happens when we wake up one day thinking I’m just not sure or This is just not for me.
We’re chastised by relatives and older generations. At least I know the women are. Sometimes, we’re even criticized by our own.
But why? Why is it wrong to think of not wanting a child or even to get married? Why must we abide by it’s what you’re supposed to do?
Why can we not be left alone to choose for ourselves what we want?
So here I set forth before you my most honest thoughts on the matter in regards to how it affects me – I’ll be turning 34 soon, biological time is ticking and I’m still unsure if I want a child. I love children. But they are exhausting both physically and emotionally. I can barely keep up with my friends’ kids so how am I even suppose to keep up with my own? They are a financial drain – one we still are unable to afford. And I refuse to bring a child into this world unless I know we can provide for him/her.
And that breaks my heart a little. Because as I mentioned I do love children. I do wonder what a little one of our own would be like. And yet…
So what do I plan to do with this one precious life I have? Keep on moving forward, doing what I can, and trying my best to enjoy it whenever possible.