Saturday, October 26, 2013

Making The Best of My Life

The other day a regular customer of mine asked me "the question". I've worked in the same place for a little over 3 years but that was the first time he asked me that question. It was because I had finished worked and I was walking to my bike stand, so he asked if I had time to chit-chat and I said yes (we had a short convo while I packed some stuff into my bike's bags). When I said no, he immediately asked, "Are you going to try to have kids?"

I said no. 

He asked, "But why not? Don't you think kids are fun/great to have?"

I vaguely answered, "Weeeeeellll..."

I was debating inside on whether or not I should tell him that we couldn't have children, but thankfully he let it go and we parted ways soon after that and to be fair, he gave me a compliment about my work before ending our chit-chat, so I thanked him. 

Over the course of my IF journey, every now and then (esp. in the beginning) I felt this nagging question of "If you're not a mother/parent, what are you doing with your life?" There were times when I acutely felt the urge to find something "as grand/noble" to fill my life with, because if we really think about it, being able to be directly involved in the life of the future generation is really something. And because I'm not working in a place like that, that nagging question pops up every now and then, but so far I've countered them with these thoughts: 

1. God wants me to be faithful with what He's entrusted me with no matter how "small" it may be, so I'm gonna focus on doing my best to take care of what I have (job, marriage, healthy friendships - don't need no toxic friends, thanks) every single day of my life.

Someone once suggested to me about being foster parents or doing things involving other people's kids, but I don't feel called to do those things, so I'm not going to force myself to do it even if I have the opportunity.

2. "If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." - Dalai Lama 

I believe in the ripple effect. I believe that many times in life we don't know what kind of difference we may have made because the ripple effect is so subtle and we may not even know about it at all in our lifetime or we may only find out about it much later in life. But that doesn't matter. What matters is still back to number #1: making the best of each aspect of my life. 

3. When all else fails, I'll keep recharging myself with God's words:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

- Psalm 139:13

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 

- 2 Cor 12:19

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Next Level: On Celebrating My Path

There's a theme that's been brewing in my head for weeks now and I'm trying to capture it in this post. In many people's lives, "the next level" is the way to go. Graduating from school, graduating from university, getting a job, getting a promotion, getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant, having children, your children's graduation, your children's wedding day, becoming a grandparent and the list goes on. And it's only natural that many people who know you will celebrate your "next levels". 

I think that's one of the many losses in this childless-not-by-choice path. At one point in time I felt stuck because it felt like I couldn't go on to the "next level" (in reproduction) that precludes so many "next levels" and celebrations of life. But you know what? I've survived infertility without children at the end of my road and it's a cause for celebration as well, so I'm going to celebrate it today. :-D

I'm celebrating my infertility scars because they're proof that I've learnt so many important lessons through my infertility journey and I bet that there will be many more important lessons in the future and I'm excited to learn anything else that life wants to throw my way. :-D

I'm celebrating my life and my path, because this is the only life that I have and this is the path that I've chosen and that I have no regrets.

I am celebrating my life because - no matter what - I do matter. :-D

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bittersweet Tears

The other day I think I had my first experience of crying with so much gratitude that my heart felt like it was going to burst mixed with some grief over the losses of a life as a non-mother. It was bittersweet. The tears didn't run too long, but it was cleansing. :-) 

The triggers? The gratitude came from hearing positive feedback about myself from different people including from MIL. I was SO touched and thankful to be able to hear those words, but at the same time I realized how much more they meant to me because I'm not a mother. Only after I heard the words did I realize that I had actually been waiting for some confirmation that I was doing something right as a non-mom. Like I was secretly wishing that the universe would give me signs that what I was doing in the community was enough even if I could never become a mother.

The grief came much later that day while I was reading a manga series that dealt with cute little twins (a boy and a girl) that I had subscribed to (I had been reading it since ages ago and it's still not finished yet). Reading about their antics and how they grew not just in size but also in many different areas in life made me feel sad because I could never watch my own child(ren) grow. And that was when I remembered the positive feedback from all those people which counterbalanced my grief. It felt surreal

It was probably the first time when I cried tears of grief that didn't weigh upon my chest. Instead, the feeling of gratitude gave the grief some wings...After they held me in their embrace for a little while, off they flew, leaving me sighing contentedly.