After my second and final attempt at IVF did not result in pregnancy, I sat in my recliner with my dog at my feet and felt the most empty and lost I had ever felt in my life. Now what?? What am I going to do with the rest of my life when I don't even want to be alive?
I thought of my dad. How present he was to give me a happy childhood. How hard he worked to afford after school activities and college for me. How loving he was to raise me with his value system and a sense of fun.
I HAD to do something. I had so much to give. Well, I used to have so much to give... At the moment I was utterly depleted... But I could cultivate the energy I used to have... I could be useful to someone, somewhere... But WHO. WHAT. WHERE. I had no idea...
I am not a religious person, but I definitely believe in something bigger than me. So I gave all of my sadness and all of my emptiness and all of my questions over to my faith. I couldn't problem solve anymore. I was completely spent.
I gave myself a week to sit in despondency. I mean, I'd already been lost for years...
What was one more week?
After a week, I decided to move.
I knew I could no longer sit around my children's house waiting for life to happen to me. I was confused why I even bought a house in the suburbs in the first place. Except, deep down, I knew why. It was the perfect house for my children. The perfect floor plan. Plus, the house was equidistant between two recreational places I knew we'd be going to a lot, at least until my children could express their own interests and then we would go explore whatever they wanted.
But now... The house, the location... None of it was necessary.
None of it fit the life I was going to have.
I decided to move somewhere beautiful. I don't really like to travel, so I decided to live somewhere I always wanted to be. Somewhere that I didn't need to escape.
And thus began the long, s l o w process of creating a life I wanted to live.
I decided which state to move to. I discovered a new profession. I applied to go back to school. I knew it was going to take a long time to create a whole new life for myself. For 35 years I had planned on having children. I had saved everything from my teaching days so I could homeschool. I owned at least 1,000 kids books (and even that is a low estimate!). It was going to take a whole freaking lot to completely change directions.
I told myself to keep moving forward, no matter how slowly. I told myself to get out of bed at least six days out of seven. I had been severely depressed and lost in infertility limbo for over three years. I told myself to hold on for another three years, give creating a new life for myself everything I had, and see where I was three years in the future.
A little over three years into the future, I had moved to another state, was finishing up school, and was getting divorced. Oh. Only two of those three things were planned.
Still, I knew it would take more time to actually build a life for myself...
Now it has been three more years since that point. I've moved a couple more times and had several different jobs. It's been hard and exhausting but like I always say: What was the alternative? Stay stuck where I was? I felt like I'd already wasted enough of my life...
Drumroll please... :)
As of this past week I feel like I am finally moving from creating a life I want to live to building a life I want to live. As of now, I live where I want to be, I have a job I like, a boyfriend I love, and a hobby that makes me happy. Most importantly, I have the best relationship with myself that I've ever had. I accept the annoying things that I do and I'm proud of who I am, what I've worked through, and what I've learned. And I'm amazed at the life I am building.
I joined a quilt guild last week! I'm much younger than the average age of the members in the guild, but I don't care. I'm going to make new friendships with these women. I will learn about their lives, including their children and grandchildren, and we will talk a whole, whole lot about quilting!! I am so excited.
I also joined my profession's state organization and I'm in the process of starting a new regional district with a woman that I haven't even met yet. I am so enthusiastic about this.
My co-workers at my new job are nice and someone is planning a family-friendly social event (meaning, bring your kids, spouse, partner, etc.) for an upcoming Saturday. My co-workers are friendly people and it will be nice to get together outside of work in the outdoors for a picnic. (My co-workers are also vaccinated which is immensely relieving.) I am looking forward to it.
I did it! I created a life I want to live. I decided on WHO and HOW and WHERE I want to be and I did it. Now I don't have to create it anymore. Now I get to just build on it. And I love it.
I love my life.
And I thank my children every day. I had picked out a boy's name and girl's name and so I thank them both out loud quite often. We don't get to be together on Earth in this lifetime, but I feel our love and their guidance as they bring me closer to myself, to others, and to my true purpose for being here: to be of service to my community.
(My favorite tv show as a kid was Fraggle Rock and writing about building my new life reminded me of the Doozers, the characters that were always building. Plus, Fraggle Rock had one of the best theme songs ever.)