Not by choice

It’s taken me time to get to this place. Years, in fact. But as time passes it has become clear to me that this isn’t going to go away. Thoughts once fleeting and almost curious in nature now linger and take root – hurt, even. They stay with me. And I with them.

Perhaps, I should explain.

I am barren. I was born that way. For convenience, and to avoid more detail than is desirable to divulge, let’s just call it… a chronic problem with the plumbing.

It was not a shock when it was finally diagnosed. I’d known – or suspected – since my early teens. It was one of those “nothing can be done, just how it is” kind of things that one encounters in life and hurl into the “NOT FAIR” category. But actually, in some ways, finding out for certain was a relief for me. At least, I knew. It had a “name”. It wasn’t anyone’s fault.

I was young…. 21 at the time… and couldn’t care less. I’d never really dreamed of having children, so it didn’t seem too much of a loss to me. I understood well enough the implications but having the mind of someone who’d only just begun to explore life and adulthood I couldn’t fully grasp the ramifications of it. There were so many other things so worthwhile in life… why should I becry this one thing?

Inevitably, time and life matured me, altered my perceptions and – whether forced by necessity or invited by opportunity – taught me that life is never as simple as one might think.

That’s what brings me here. The fact that this is something I have to find a way to live with… or perhaps more accurately… something I have to find a way to live without.

Right now, I have no idea how it could ever have seemed easy or convenient to me. It may not be anyone’s fault, but that doesn’t free me from feeling broken in some ways. Less than whole. And I guess, I feel like I need to say something on this. Speak of it. Give it a name. I don’t know… something.

When the topic is mentioned in conversations or the media, it’s always about how to treat it, about deadlines and upholding the rights of those unable to conceive. Nothing is said of those for whom there never was a treatment, nor any hope. Nothing is said of those who don’t fit into a fertility program. Nothing is said of their rights to have families. It’s their problem. Our problem. My problem.

I guess, that makes me feel like talking about it. Even if it is just to myself here. So the next couple of posts will be a few old entries from my private journal. Maybe more will follow in time to come. I have not decided yet. But to anyone who listens however briefly – Thank you.


“For everything you have missed,
you have gained something else,
and for everything you gain,
you lose something else.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not by choice

“Why We Shout In Anger”

This isn’t mine. I don’t know who wrote it or where it came from. I received it in an email from a friend who told me “we find things as and when we need them”. I believe her – and want to share. Whoever wrote this… thank you.

A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled’n asked.

‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’
Disciples thought for a while, one of them said,’Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’asked the saint

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, .

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’

The saint continued,’When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper’n they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other’n that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

He looked at his disciples and said.
‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’

“Why We Shout In Anger”

Writing challenge: Starting over

There comes a time when the next step of growth is separation. A time when ties must be severed so that new bonds can be made, and distance is an act of coming home, rather than one of moving away.

In the past I have associated ‘starting over’ with a sense of failure. As if what has gone before did not work, and as such I had to scrap what I was doing to try again. I have used words like ‘uprooted’ and felt literally like a plant torn from the soils that nourished it, adrift, out of my element and with nothing to hold onto or sustain me.

This time around, though, it doesn’t feel like that at all. This time ‘starting over’ bears with it a sense of completion. Of being done with one phase and moving on to the next, like a caterpillar. Or like a flower at its peak, sending out a fragment of itself, containing all the hopes and dreams for continuance, so that life may find a way beyond death.

It is a process imbue with belief. Transition. One promise fulfilled and another one born. A chance to do more. Be more. Extend beyond the initial reach. The best carries over. The sum of all that has been gathered and achieved lives on in new form.

‘Starting over’ then isn’t failure. It is simply the next logical step.

Writing challenge: Starting over