Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grateful in spite of it all...

First of all, I want to start this post by saying thank you to the lovely comments that have been left on my blog lately - you will never know just HOW MUCH they mean to me, how much they give me strength and make me feel like, somehow, somewhere...Someone understands. My heart goes out to all of you who, like me, face this difficult situation armed with nothing but hope, everything riding on a wing and a prayer so to say...I am with you all in my thoughts.


Lately it seems that, everywhere I turn, it's not the married women my age that I "fear" because of their happy pregnancies. Rather, it seems that, increasingly, more and more teenagers between 15 and 17 are getting pregnant. This is, of course, where I sometimes think I have to tread lightly, carefully - because I know that my own very strong opinion on these issues is probably not shared by all. I think we all are products of our upbringing - of the time and place we grew up in, the relationship our fathers & mothers had; not only with each other but with the world around them.
For me, the idea of a teenager (who isn't even yet legally entitled to vote or drink) being flies in the face not just of my current dilemma, but of EVERYTHING I believe in and hold dear. It seems ridiculous to me - like some sort of cruel joke Mother Nature is playing on me and on others like me. How can you sit there, contemplating the emptiness, the void in your life that can only be filled by something which, undeservedly, happens to someone so much less well-equipped and prepared for the challenge than you are? It makes me ANGRY.

Yet, at the same time, I wonder if, despite my personal feelings about teenage pregnancies, this is the way of the future. Increasingly, there is talk of an infertility epidemic - as even arguably healthy women in their mid- to late twenties face problems conceiving. It makes me wonder what's in store for us all, for the world at large...

And then, of course, there's the issue of celebrities - and their babies. Until about a year ago, I went through this period of reading all the gossip magazines almost religiously. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I got some sort of voyeuristic pleasure out of catching a glimpse into the often much less-than-perfect lives of these people who, arguably, have everything they could ask for. After a while, though, I realized that reading these magazines made me distinctly unhappy - that being constantly confronted with these people who live in the lap of luxury and STILL somehow find ways or reasons to be unhappy, do drugs or otherwise do some of the most stupid, ridiculous and inconsiderate things, made me look at my life and find myself coming up short. Where was the money for ME to buy a dozen quilted Chanel bags or drive a 6-figure car? And how come Britney - possibly one of the WORST celebrity mothers - could have not just one but TWO babies, when she didn't even care enough to strap them into their car seats?

So it happened that, yesterday, for the first time in a while, I picked up some of these glossies as I was waiting for a friend I was meeting for lunch. And, lo and behold, they've all been so busy - having MORE babies! I found a familiar heaving in the pit of my stomach - sick with envy at this people who just seemed to have it so damn easy. Every page I turned, there was someone else who'd gone and had another baby since I last perused these magazines of dubious content and low quality - in the case of Brangelina, even TWO!

But then the strangest thing happened. Amidst all these feelings of loathing - myself, all these rich people, pregnant teenagers...YOU NAME IT! - of inadequacy, of fear and failure...I found comfort in the kind words of strangers on my blog; hope in the email from my husband; joy in the simple fact of a sunny day.

Life isn't perfect - and that fact doesn't change, no matter how much money or how many kids you have. So often, we keep looking to a distant future and set high expectations instead of realistic goals. I am weak in that way - I keep looking forward in anticipation of something intangible, something that I think will or must necessarily make me happy. And all the while, life is passing me by. Instead of living in the now, enjoying what I DO have - I keep pining over what I've lost and waiting for things that may never come to be. I am reminded of a maxim I read somewhere a long time ago:

"Blessed are the flexible - for they shall never be bent out of shape."

So simple, yet so true. Life is like a river, ever changing as it goes - I think those words are even incorporated in a song somewhere. The true test of character, of your own worth, is not metered by an easy life but borne out of adversity. I often think that, so many times, as women we have this unrealistic expectation of ourselves: that, somehow, we have to be able to fulfill a multitude of roles - and excel at them ALL.

The other day I found out that someone I had known a long time ago died. I didn't know this person well or seen them in years. But the death was unexpected - came without warning. And it made me realize, once again, how FRAGILE life really is - and that there are no do-overs. I am so often caught up in daily trivialities - getting upset about this or that, bemoaning our infertility issues, feeling so down. Yet, most important of all, I have my life - and the lives of the people I love and care about. I have the ability to do almost anything with my life - yet it has been YEARS since I've truly felt that I could "dream in possibility".

So maybe, what I really want to say today, in this post, is THANK YOU. Thank you to my family who loves and cares about me; to my parents and my husband, who would give me the shirt off their backs. Thank you for my best friend, who has stood the test of time and is still my greatest champion.

And thank you - to those of you who read this blog and find yourselves walking along this journey with me; offering your comforting thoughts and advice. Thank you for being you.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

SOmetimes we forget all the wonderful things in our lives when are so focused on something else! and you're welcome!! anytime! Oh- maybe I am being presumptuous in thinking I have been a comfort!! LOL