New Directions

I had a life plan.

Never mind the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (at least in regards to a career), but by the time I was 15 years old I had a general sense of how I wanted my life to turn out.

I wanted to get married by the time I was 25 years old and have my first child by the age of 27.

And because I had this notion that thirty years was a ginormous age gap between my last child and myself, my goal was to quit “baby-making” by the time I was 30 years old. This notion came from the first hand experience of a 15 year old who not only dealt with a big generational gap but a cultural gap as well.

But yeah; I’d have all the kids I could bring into this world before I turned 30 years old.

Obviously, this life plan never panned out. I mean … geez. I even pushed “actively trying” for that first child into my mid-30’s. We had already gone through all the infertility treatments we could (financially and emotionally) put ourselves through. We had even seriously considered other options to bring a child into our lives; either through domestic adoption or international adoption.

But in the end, Hubby & I made the decision to move on with our lives without children.

*****

There have been many reasons why Hubby & I decided to close the door on the quest to have children. One of which was to regain some sanity in our lives.

Living in 28-day increments, in which any given moment can produce the tiniest bit of hope, can be exhausting. Especially when the next given moment can quickly turn into a major disappointment. I won’t lie … it has been incredibly niceĀ  to step away from living in four weeks of constantly worrying about whether or not I’ll see two pink lines.

Another reason was obviously to start moving on with our lives; to start planning a “new future” without children.

When that “life plan” I dreamed of at the age of 15 was completely derailed by infertility, I know I spent a lot of time and energy trying get it “back on track” … In other words, I fought tooth and nail not to head down the child-free “railroad track” that my life was already on.

Making the decision to move on with our lives was not an easy decision. But when we finally decided on the child-free path — this “railroad track” (if you will) — it was as if I could finally allow my life to move forward in the direction that my life and our marriage was already on. I could finally stop struggling to get “back on track” and accept that perhaps we were never meant to be on that particular “track” at all.

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A "chance" photo, shot during our trip to Banff,  Alberta
A "chance" shot taken from the road in Banff, Alberta

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Today I turn 38 years old. I’m obviously very far from where I thought I’d be by now; in that “life plan” I concocted at the age of fifteen.

If my life turned out as I planned it to be, I would have had at least one child somewhere between the ages of 7 to 10 years old. And I probably would have begun to think of returning to the work force after being a Stay-At-Home mom once the 7 year old started first grade.

But it’s not … and today I can finally say that I’m actually really okay with it. Maybe it has to do with age, but I’m finally to a point where I no longer have focus on the dream or “life plan” I had always had in my mind.

Instead, I can finally accept that this is where Hubby & I are meant to be at this exact moment in time. And we can forge forward in this new uncharted direction in our lives.

17 Replies to “New Directions”

  1. Happy happy birthday!!! It is so good to hear you found peace for your birthday. That’s a perfect present.

  2. Happy Birthday Emily. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come in letting go of what your vision was for your life, and now you are just going where life takes you. I hope hubby spoiled you for your birthday today!

  3. Happy birthday! I hope you get to enjoy lots of relaxation and pampering. No wonder why we get along – you’re a fellow nurse and a Cancer! You seem to be finding such peace lately and it makes me so happy to see you in such a good place. Lots of good wishes for a very great birthday!

  4. First of all, happy belated birthday!

    And just wow, we are very much alike. It is so hard to give up what we always thought, esp when you start planning when you’re a teenager and told you can do anything you want and the sky’s the limit.

    I hope that you continue to hold the peace you have now in your head and your heart, and that you continue your role in helping other women like me, who are still on their path and struggling to find that peace and acceptance.

  5. Happy Birthday, Emily. I’m sorry my birthday wishes are late. I hope your birthday was a good one. I love reading your posts. THey are so honest and thought provoking. I don’t think you realize what an awesome encouragement you are to me.

  6. Happy belated birthday! I wish you the best on your journey. I bet you never knew that your journey blog would help keep people like me sane by knowing we are not alone :). Thanks!

  7. A very Happy Birthday to you, Emily! I’m a Cancer-sister too!

    I wish you great luck and strength in forging ahead. I know it’s hard when your life doesn’t match up to plan, and I think it’s challenging to map a childfree path because it’s a road that is less taken. But having seen what you’ve done so far, I know it will be noteworthy and amazing. I celebrate you!

  8. BIG HUGE (belated, on here at least!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES!!!

    I am so very glad to read that you are increasingly at peace with your child-free path. I know that my life diverged from my “plan” in a million different ways, but despite the weird turns, I’m trying very hard to be happy with where I am regardless of how different things have ended up. It’s just nice to read a post about being happy in spite of those divergences, really, really nice.

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