This morning I decided to take a gander at some of the Facebook status's of my friends. Then I scanned some of my more favorite blogs. I realized something - there is one key factor that stands out to me, that will always make me a little different.
Or rather - a lack there of.
Now that is not the only thing that makes me different, but it one that definitely stands out.
Now do not think this is going to be one of those sappy "woe is me" posts. No, on the contrary. I am actually THRILLED to not have children. Yes, I am that rare bird you find once in a blue moon. I never really cared to ever give birth. Nor did I ever really care if I got married.
But I am married, mainly because that was necessary in Yasser's world. But other than that - I would have happily shared a home with him. Yes, I realize it is a sacrament of the catholic church to marry. Yes, you should not live with someone before marriage. Yes... Yes.. Yes. I would tell anyone that. But if I had a choice - a true choice, I just don't care.
When it comes to kids- again - I feel completely WHOLE without them. It makes me stark raving mad when a female "friend" will tell me they feel sorry for me because I will never experience the pleasure it is to be a mom. Guess what? I think it would drive me crazy.
I am a bit selfish. Yes, I will admit it. Giving up time and money for someone else is a hard road for me. Judge it if you like, but I am being completely honest.
Now feelings aside - this also puts me in an interesting corner with conversation with "said" friends. I am 36 years old. Most people in their thirties have kids (if they are married.) This obviously becomes their topic of discussion. So be it. I am happy for them. If it makes you happy - then please, by all means, talk about your children. Though there then becomes a great divide in life expectations. The person with child lives for that child. I, on the other hand - live for.. well.. me. So obviously our needs and wants and dreams become completely different.
Imagine also trying to make friends in your age group. I noticed recently that in Birmingham, a majority of my "new friends" are all younger than me. Single, career-oriented, world traveling, visions of upward mobility in larger metropolitan areas - and happily child free. Most of the people I meet in my age range are married with kids. Homeowners, vacationing on the gulf, SUV driving breeders. (I say that with love. :-) ) Meaning - they want a big, loving family. Which is a good thing.
You see the problem here?
I realize if I lived in say.. New York.. or somewhere a bit more progressive, I would seem quite normal. But alas, I was born in the south - made it to a much larger city, but still - it is the south. As all southerners know - somethings never change. FAMILY is THE most important item for most people here.
Please note - I am not knocking the "family" idea. Hell - it is necessary for the continuation of our species. But it is not my quest, nor my raison d'etre.
I do have a friend or two who genuinely have not lost their "identity" to mommyhood. Note - it is never the man who loses their identity. I do have a few - my friend Telisa for example - who truly try to balance both the development of their character, as well as that of the child. She still travels, she still makes time for friends, she still learns and tries to stay "interesting - however, make no mistake - her main concern is her child. But it does not DEFINE HER. Another person I can think of is my friend Tere in Miami. Amazing person, has a beautiful boy - and her son, Max, is the center of her life - but she is still a complex woman redefining herself and standing strong.
That is my point.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to not realize all of the amazing things the world has to offer. Just sit - find a husband... and well.. everything that goes with that. Be the mom, be the wife, go to church, visit family at Christmas - and visit the time share in Florida.
NO NO NO.
I start to shake when I even think about that. There are temples in Bangkok I have to visit. I must walk a small portion of the Great Wall in China. I have to tilt my head and almost hang upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland. I must stand in awe of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. I have to dance the Samba on the streets in Rio. I must get dizzy and vomit on the summit at Machu Pichu. I must write a great novel one day, even if it never gets published. I must learn to tango. I must go to every not-kid-friendly restaurant and try the waaay over-priced food, but smile as it melts in my mouth. I must proudly purchase white or tan carpet, and realize yes - it will NEVER have kool-aid stains. I could go on.. and on.. and on...
It is important to know - I LOVE MY NIECE. I do. I love spending time with her. But it is that - spending time. Not all my time. I get to truly enjoy her. Savor her giggles, watch her grow. I love my friends' children - small little spurts of laughing and playing.
I could NOT handle it 24/7.
So in the end - I guess it is good that I never had a desire to have children - since after sickness, that probability was taken away.
It is good.
But still.. I am different.