Infertility robbed me of my own little family. I didn't get to have kids. And my marriage didn't last. After realizing we weren't going to be raising children, my (now ex-) husband and I didn't want the same things out of life and went our separate ways. Yes, I have a boyfriend. Yes, we live together, and I love him and his family. But... Things are still up in the air. Changes that need to be made haven't happened yet. He is not my husband, and I treat the relationship differently than I did my marriage. Just being honest.
So, it's just me.
I have a lot in life. My home, my health, my jobs, my hobbies. Food to eat. Books to read. Shows to watch. Friends to text. My parents are alive. And I can always call one sister in particular knowing she'll be there for me.
But I don't have my own little family.
I'm not the first person anyone is going to call with news, be it good or bad.
When I get together with my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I am the odd man out. I don't have a spouse. I don't have a child. Everyone else is part of a little unit, and I am by myself.
It's far from being the worst thing in the world. I like myself. I couldn't always say that. In high school and college I didn't understand all of my feelings and often got on my own nerves. But now I give myself grace and enjoy my own company.
But still... I'm not even on social media and Thanksgiving provided some stinging reminders. I got a couple of promotional emails from companies I like, but they included big family photos of everyone's spouses, children, and grandchildren. As resolved as I am about my CNBC situation and as happy as I am in the awesome life I've created for myself, it still hurt to see proclamations of gratitude for what I will never have: a family of my own.