"You don't want to have a child?!" The lady asked me with shock in her eyes. I looked around, and every woman on the bus was staring at me. Being judged by a panel of women was not how i wanted to start my morning commute.
"No , I mumbled. The myriads of disapproving eyes were unnerving.
"Well, who is going to take care of you, once you get my age?" Asked the elderly woman sitting behind me.
"That's the reason to have kids? For some form of company or protection when I'm older?"
"Oh, of course , Those arent the only reasons." She responded dismissively. Thankfully, the bus stopped in front of the Duke Medical Hospital, where I was a Clinic Coordinator for The McGovern Davis Children Center. "My dear child, I hope you change your mind, and soon. You have only so many years before you are not able to have a child. And if you wait too long you will regret it. Believe me." The rest of the women nodded in agreement as they piled off the bus, one by one. This wasn't the first, nor last, of my Single-Woman-Interventions that I would endure.
My biological clock never started ticking. It's not that I didn't like kids. I like kids the way i like new cars. I love to Drive them, play with them for a day or two, and check out all the interesting knobs and gadgets. But when it comes to repairing, maintaining, and long term contracts of obligation... Being just a passenger is perfectly fine with me. I'm constantly being told that one day I will get "the feeling". And when I do, it may be too late. I became so paranoid that I was seriously contemplating freezing my eggs, so not to miss out on what i'm told to be "The true meaning of Womanhood" or "the woman's most beautiful experience in her life".
For five years, kids were apart of my daily life, being a Clinic Cordinator for the Children's Hospital. As much as I loved playing, feeding, and caring for them all, I never fell in love with them. During lunch break, there was always "baby talk". All of the staff are nurses, this was to be expected. I enjoyed the stories immensely; being that My childhood was not so favorable. I've always longed for that "Cosby" family, with both parents to love you.
Anytime a friend gets pregnant, engaged, or married; it is inevitable for me to be asked… yah...you know the rest. But unless I wanted to spend half of my sane years defending my unpopular, life choices I learned how to avoid the question. Society approves of women speaking freely of their marriage, children, and other "womanly duties". However a woman speaking of her desires to pursue a career, or whatever the Hell She Wants before (or never) pursuing a family, might as well wear a Scarlet "A" on her dress. Despite the divorce rate being 60%, Friends are still asking me why I'm single.
"Well of course you don't want a kid!" Tracy yelled. "You haven't found the right guy yet. And when you do, it won't be long until there's a baby in the oven." Her comment was about the stupidest thing I've ever heard any adult say. But we were at her engagement party, and she was three glasses of champagne to the wind. So I had to give her some slack.
It was an evening engagement party on the beach. Santa Fe California had given us a warm night to celebrate. I was now a few years older, and several hundred miles away from Duke Hospital in North Carolina. I had decided to travel the world, while using my talents to support myself. However, I wanted California to be my home-base when ever I returned to America. So I drove cross country and landed in Woodland Hills, California. Tracy was one of the first friends I met. And tonight, she washes away her Singlehood with friends, food, and fancy whiskey.
She was The second of seven engagement parties I would attend, before the year was over. One party more annoying than the other. And no party was short of advice for the single, childless women. Each toast sounds like an acceptance speech; as if getting married or pregnant are accomplishments of the elite.
Nevertheless, I did not want to be stuck alone and childless when "the feeling" kick in. Whenever that happens I had to be prepared. But first I needed a husband. So I dove into a four-year lifeless relationship, with one of the most incompatible person I've ever met. Don't get me wrong, Marcus was a very nice guy. But when he began to mention moving in together, my soul felt uneasy.
I convinced myself that it was just jitters. It's normal to feel nervous about such life altering events. Not only that, Marcus was my first, real boyfriend. so it was natural for me to be a bit nervous about moving in. But as time passed, I would still get the same uneasy feeling. As a matter of fact, any type of mention of our relationship progressing beyond "boyfriend and girlfriend" status freaked me out. I tried to ignore the fact, but I knew I had to end the relationship. I was not in love with him.
Breaking a good man's heart is one of the worst things I've ever done. We were together for five years. Everything was perfect but I was never completely happy. I Love him for who he was, but I was never in love. For two years after dissolving the relationship, my heart was full of sadness for so many reasons. Not only did I hurt Marcus, but I was convinced this was my last chance on love. It was my last chance to have a good life. I would never know the happiness that Tracy and other women were having.
As of the writing of this book, I have traveled over 33% of the world in the last six years. America, Russia, and Helsinki are the three countries I've lived so far. Later on this year I plan to move to Dubai for six months. At the beginning of my ex-pat life I was on a mission to find myself. Then I began to realize I was there all along. I didnt need a "feeling" to as a sign to Complete myself. I was already complete. I was waiting to feel someone else's Aha moment, while totally missing out on mine.
Today, I no longer Explain my life choices, I share them. When my friends talk about using their breast for feeding, I tell them how I use mine to get out of tickets. I share my travel ventures and photos, as they share their family photos. To my surprise, they are just as interested in hearing my life as I am of theirs.