Well, at the point of writing, I’m still trying to decide on the title of this blog, therefore <>. Why so, because I’m trying to conjure a term which kinda describes this state I’m in. Perhaps, it’s correct to leave it blank, because I feel like over the past year or so, I’ve shaken off conventional expectations of me as a person, as a woman, as a single person. Feels like I’m on the start of a journey of reinventing myself, as I fight the deeply-ingrained “identities” culture / society / my past allegiances have laid upon me. External forces which I’ve allowed to shape me, many a times, unknowingly shaping the way I see myself. Feels like a new discovery of myself is underway, though some aspects have already begun.
Since today is Mother’s Day, I’m led to reflect on my heart with respect to this aspect of my life: not a mother, not a wife, not envious of mothers.
Interestingly, I’ve morphed over the years. Around 28-35 yo, I did feel my raging hormones & building maternal instincts crying out that I need to settle down & procreate & nurture. I realise, that was when I gave a lot of time to ministry, in certain sense, involving myself in nurturing & mentoring others, that I may find a semblance of satisfaction. Truth be told, much as it was a desire to serve, it offered me some amount of solace, that I’ll have spiritual children instead of physical ones. Think I’m quite fortunate to grow up in a somewhat liberal culture, where the gender roles are not exactly very distinct. Yes, there is a pressure in some sense from others in the community to find someone & start a family, which is the “right thing to do”, I found myself anxious but resigned somewhat to “providence”. Alas, providence proved to fail as well, and it became clear by 36 yo, that having healthy births & offspring is going to prove increasingly challenging.
That was when I came across a school of thought where a movement of women has been getting together in support groups, for the sole purpose of mourning a loss.
The loss of opportunities of / actual motherhood.
Opportunities lost cos of lack of partners / marriage / physical limitations (eg. Cancer, age), loss of actual motherhood cos of stillbirths / physical conditions resulting in infertility.
I thought, it made a lot of sense. I was starting to grieve, cos the future ahead presented the higher possibilities of losing this opportunity to ever mother a child. I was envious when I saw loving couples with a young child, I wondered how it would feel to carry a growing life in my belly, I wondered how it’s like to see my child take his/her first steps…
Many tearful nights, increased when the ex-bf walked out, without much of a reason, when we were already planning for a life together. I realised, at age 36, the possibility of finding love can be quite slim, plus finding a love who doesn’t mind not having an offspring possibly is even slimmer. Well, at least in these parts of the world.
As I penned this, tears rolled. Not because I’m sad, but because I realized how much I’ve come through so far. But also releasing pent up angst for some unintentional remarks of a young friend, in unintentionally comparing the loss we’ve experienced in our past relationships. Think, in each of our experiences, we all have intense moments of hopelessness, which seems ridiculous to another. I don’t blame her, as she has yet to have this perspective of abandoning much of your youth to a cause, and realising you’ve really missed out a lot in life, walked away from many possibilities for empty promises, which never fulfilled. Then at a mature age, realise that, man, can I even reinvent myself in time? *weak laughter*
At my age, in some sense, I feel I can’t afford to “lose” anymore. I don’t mean fail – I’ll gladly go through stuff if I deem it’s worth a fair go, fail & learn, try again more smartly. Yet, for losing my heart again, I’m unsure.
A wise elderly, yet young-hearted lady once said to me, ” Love courageously, but reserve some for yourself.” Think there’s some wisdom in it really.