On Desire and How to Accept GrowthMonday, March 2, 2015
|See Dance to Another Tune|
These words came out of my mouth before I even knew I had said them. The conversation arose when we were on the subject of children and moving. One coworker wants to leave Kentucky for allergy and humidity reasons. He wants a drier, healthier climate. My poor bluegrass-allergic husband does too. The only problem is we have no idea where we want to go. Austin? Omaha? Atlanta? Nashville? Portland? Seattle? Somewhere else? We want a city – I've done enough time out in the country to know that while it’s lovely, it’s not what I want. Trips around the States and world have taught me that I love the hustle and bustle of city life, only needing the occasional retreat into a quieter space. I thrive on city energy. I crave change and movement.
Then the subject of children came up. Neither my wandering coworker nor myself have children, and we aren't planning them anytime soon. I casually mentioned how if my husband and I found out one of us was sterile, we would probably move all over the nation. Spend 5 years in Austin, two in Portland, make a pit stop in Omaha, and go God knows where else – all because WHY NOT? I love travel, and even more I love cultures. I love to live and learn in the culture and become a part of it and just as soon as I begin to feel integrated and understand their ways of living, I am ready to move on. I’m not sure if this is a positive or negative trait, but that’s how it is. So naturally, I was lost in my own thought as wanderlust dripped into my toes and whispered what I have asked myself ever since I moved to Lexington: where will we be going next?
Awoken from my dance, I heard a quiet voice from the neighboring desk: Are you actually concerned that you can’t have kids? What will you do if you can’t have children? Wanting to feel snippy (I just said what I would do if I didn't have kids), I instead considered the question with grace. My desk-mate's children are her life and she is a wonderful mother. Her whole world revolves around those three amazing, glowing faces, and I both love and respect her for that. Heck, sometimes I even envy her dedication and sharing nature. She gets such a joy from parenting that it's only natural to wish that kind of happiness onto anyone who can accept it. A true, sharing person like her only wants to spread a little joy, so this is not an offensive question nor even an intrusive one given my generally open nature. Yes, infertility has crossed my mind as a possibility. A possibility in that it's possible for anyone. I am nearly 28 and have never had a single pregnancy scare, so of course I have wondered for a fleeting second. The fact is, I'm ok with that possibility, however small that would be, and this boggles some people.
So many people have a be-all-end-all life goal and the possibility of that not happening... well they don't have a flexible view of the future, let's just say that. Personally, I find it unhealthy. It's so, so important to not over-plan. The road of life will always be filled with goals and plans but there will also be boulders blocking a path from time to time. Sometimes, we can push back or chip away at said rock, but it's also important to know when to cut our losses. When to dry the tears, turn around, and find a clearer path. If I am faced with the impossibility of fulfilled desire, I want to be able to turn around, look up at the sky and say “what's next?” with a smile. I want to pick up my beautiful feet, start walking, and take joy in anything and everything I find.
So for all you lovely faces, I ask that we create our own happiness and thrive in it. This might be through travel, it might be in writing, or maybe it’s just in making the best cup of coffee to share with your mother every Sunday. Instead of wallowing in grief, I encourage all to take pride and encouragement in anything that they can and to remember that we are all looking to find joy – we may just be looking in the wrong places. Crack a smile and remember that if we can't have what we want most, we can find something else to want, and maybe that was our destiny all along.