J received her acceptance letter to her first choice college yesterday. She is over the moon and looking forward to moving to the other side of the state and almost 6 hours away. I'm starting to think about what life is going to be like without her commitments during the week and weekends. The problem is that I've forgotten what it was like before my life was intertwined with hers.
I'm not sure where I'm heading next year. I don't know if I want to go back to school and finish my degree or maybe find a new hobby. Maybe I'll look for a career change. I know I have a whole world open to me, but I'm not sure of my place anymore. Somehow I've become just J's step-mom, another of the moms sitting at dance class.
I used to do plays, perform as part of an orchestra. We would go out for dinner, go see movies, spend time with family. It seems so long ago and just like yesterday all at the same time. But without the parent label, I'm afraid of being nothing, a remnant of myself.
Today I registered J for dance for the last time. In just under 2 weeks, she starts her senior year. She knows where she wants to go to college and what she wants to major in next year. She is learning to drive and has her permit.
I'm begging for the days to go slower, for the year to not rush by so quickly. I have no idea what I'm going to do after she graduates. Some days I say I'll go back to school and finish my degree. Or maybe I'll change careers and become a Disney travel agent. After all, I love Disney. What I don't want to do is become a sad person who is so lost they can't find who they are anymore. I've been there. That was me during infertility.
So, here's my challenge to myself. I'm going to start looking at what to do as an actual grown-up. I'll happily take suggestions. I have a year left and then the nest will be empty. It's time to start thinking of myself again.
I feel as if I should say that I'm not dead. Because I'm not, not really. There's so much that I could and should fill you in on for the last three years. But the reality is I've walked away from the space. I walked away from this blog. We haven't adopted. We haven't gotten pregnant. In just over a year, J will go off to college and then I'll be an empty-nester at the ripe old age of 40. I'm not sure where the next phase of life is going to take me. I never thought I'd not have children of my own. I never pictured this as my life.
Part of me wants to rant and rail at the heavens over the unfairness of it all. But I know that doesn't help and won't change the reality that it didn't happen for us. There was no magic fix, not happy ending. The truth is that I still mourn the children I'll never have, the future I didn't get. The one with the 2.3 perfect children and the house with the picket fence. Okay, the house does have a picket fence. But it doesn't have the children.
When I stepped away, it was just supposed to be temporary. I was only going to take a month or so off from posting. Instead, it's stretched into almost 3 years. Now I find myself thinking of the next stage and how to move forward. I'm not taking this space down, but I am going to repurpose it eventually. I see a space sharing the adventures of a pair of young empty-nesters. A place where perhaps I can find myself again.
On August 18th, I married my best friend. The day was beautiful, the groom so very handsome in his tux (in my opinion) and I felt like a princess. That's what everyone wants to hear. In reality, P and I weren't sure if we were going to be able to have our wedding outside as we planned, that my dress would be at the shop for me to pick up after a few last minute alterations, that the food at the reception would be edible, and that our friend who volunteered to both do the videopraphy for our wedding and DJ the reception would be able to make everything work out.
We did get to have our outdoor wedding and it was beautiful. the day was gorgeous, few decorations were needed, and he did look handsome to me. My dress was finished on time, but barely. I picked it up the day that we left to head to the wedding. P tech directed our wedding and set up all of the sound equipment both at the ceremony site and at the reception hall. The food was fabulous and even now we still get complements on it. The cake was beautiful and tasty. The video still hasn't arrived and never will because the footage was horrible. The same thing with the DJing at the reception. If I had that to do over again, I'd micro manage and set out a play list for him to play.
However, the end result was that we got married and have been happily married for almost 6 years. Despite the things that I can look back on and cringe over and the things I look back on and celebrate, I wouldn't have wanted the day to go too much differently. It was one of the best days of my life.
Say “I Do” to Measure of Love:http://tinyurl.com/measureofloveamazon
Rachael is living with her ex husband Adam and becomes engaged during the course of the book. However, she is too scared to grab onto her happiness and finds herself meddling in the relationships of her friends and family, often to disastrous results. She does this with Lizbet and Emily's wedding plans and causes major problems between herself and her ex / future sister in law and herself. While she is well meaning with it, is it right? Does she make it right in your eyes when she asks Lizbet and Adam's mother to go and help Lizbet with her wedding planning since the dream wedding envisioned by Lizbet is what her mother wanted for Rachel?
Do you feel Rachel could have handled this in a different way?
I've been spending some free time watching shows that I've wanted to see on Netflix and reading lots of books the past few weeks. I've begun to notice something about what I've been watching and reading. Infertility has become the new black.
It seems that most, not all just most that I've seen lately, shows feel obligated to have at least one character deal with infertility. It seems to be the same things with books as well. It used to be a deadly disease. Now it's infertility testing, surrogates, and adoption. Now, bringing this to the public is wonderful. I applaud that it's becoming a mainstream plot point, but sometimes I really want to escape from it myself. How does one escape their reality when TV is showing it and makes it look like it's so easy to resolve? People meet birth moms at a coffee cart, find a surrogate on a softball team, try to conceive for 3 months and go off for testing, only to find that all is well and then conceive 2 months later.
It's wonderful and heart-breaking all at the same time. Very rarely does the show actually show the pain and heartache associated with infertility. It doesn't reflect the costs and legalities involved with treatments, adoption, and surrogacy. It's just a nifty new plot twist designed to tug at a few hearts and then get quickly resolved.
It's also occurring more and more in books, usually resolved by the end with a miracle pregnancy or no problem adoption. It's frustrating and frankly demeaning to those of us who are struggling with these issues on a daily basis. We all want that happy ending, that miracle pregnancy, that happy adoption. But it isn't easy and it certainly isn't usually resolved in a quick or timely manner.
I wish that producers and writers actually understood and actually dealt with the problems in at least a realistic manner. It would do so much to further our cause and actually help educate people. We as infertile people do what we can to further the cause only to be set back by these portrayals that others take as gospel. It's frustrating, but true. Infertility has become the new black.