It appears I’ve forgotten a big part of what I’m doing here.
Lately, I’ve gotten so caught up in hating the wait – which was already a given, from the very first day I
started writing made the decision not to try to conceive again immediately after my miscarriage – that I’ve been ignoring the part of my mission that was telling me to love the now.
Because part of what’s so frustrating here is that, if I’m not careful, I will let every aspect of my life become tainted with my grief and my anxiety about the future and how it’s not coming fast enough. Things that I should be enjoying while I have them (my youth, my overall lack of responsibility, my nights of uninterrupted sleep) get swept under the rug in this dance of everyone-except-me-is-pregnant-and-I-want-to-be-pregnant-and-my-life-is-fucking-miserable.
My life. Is not. Fucking miserable.
How easily we forget.
My life is fun, and incredible, and full. It’s just not full of a baby, specifically. But there are reasons for that – reasons that I gave when I made the decision not to have a baby right now – and I can’t keep focusing on not having this one thing that I want. I need to focus on wanting the numerous other things that I have.
Like my family. My parents are dog-sitting for my aunt and uncle while they’re on vacation, but tonight my parents had a party to go to in LA, so we’re dog-sitting for the dog-sitters. We took the big yellow lab for a walk down to the beach earlier, and now Doug, my brothers, and I are moments away from going to the best taco shop in the neighborhood to get burritos for dinner. Then the boys will probably continue watching sports on TV, even though I tried to make a case for Toy Story 3 (which I still haven’t seen), so I’ll drink tea and read in the next room. It’s just so comfortable and easy, being here.
Like my friends. This morning, Amanda and I went for a 29-mile bike ride, with coffee at the 24-mile mark. Her chain came off at like mile 3, and we both ended up with black grease on our hands. I still don’t know how we fixed it, but she was afraid to shift gears after that, so I set my bike to the same gear she was in and we just pretended we had beach cruisers. We talked the whole time, and made the following beautiful promise to each other: “If you get pregnant before I do, I will probably be a bitch to you while you’re pregnant, but it’s nothing personal. But if you get pregnant after I do, I promise to be really happy for you, even if you were a bitch to me while I was pregnant.” Read that twice. Isn’t it so beautiful, so goddamn unconditional?
Like my body. It may not have successfully grown a baby, but it looked good doing it. I’m 11 years out of high school and my weight has never changed. And trust me, I know how lucky I am that I can look at myself in the mirror, naked, and the only negative things I can come up with are, “I should probably work to be more toned,” and, “I hate days when I’m bloated.” I know how lucky I am that I shop out of the XS drawer at the Victoria’s Secret panty buffet. And my body does other things for me, too: it can ride a bike in a single gear for almost 30 miles; it can digest burritos without having to worry about common allergens; it can work a very physical job, day in and day out, without sustaining any injuries. So it can’t quite commit to a 28-day cycle. So what? We are getting by just fine, this little, strong body and I.
Like my relative degree of freedom. Sure, I’ve booked pretty much all of my free time through May. But that’s because I have the sort of free-flying lifestyle that allows me to book my free time. My work hours are flexible; I don’t have to worry about planning around naptime or finding a babysitter. I’m still young enough and un-tethered enough to have a fabulous, exciting day-to-day life. And my plans are all for Disneyland, or birthday parties, or bike rides, or dates with friends, or dates with Doug. Hardly anything to complain about.
Like my boyfriend. Doug takes good care of me. Like actually, physically, protectively takes care of me. He cleans the kitchen; he makes tea before bed; he puts air in my bike tires before every ride. He would do anything for me. And he asks for very little in return, then claims I’m giving him everything he needs. I call shenanigans. We need to have sex. We work and play and ride and socialize until we’re exhausted, and sex gets pushed aside. My other excuses aren’t flying anymore: I got rid of the IUD, and my moments of grieving and depression are getting to be fewer and farther between. We just need to make time for it. Because that’s another thing I could be enjoying, in this young, fabulous, child-free life.
I’m not forbidding myself from hating the wait. I am allowed to hate the wait. But I can’t keep forgetting to love the now. Because the now is too beautiful and too lovable, and I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
And for those who asked for a picture of my red hair: my red hair didn’t happen. My hair-dyeing buddy got caught up in school work, and her own currently messy life (she and her boyfriend of six years just broke up, and she’s in the midst of moving back in with her mom), so we had to postpone our project. I promise I will post pictures as soon as it happens. In the meantime, here is an itty-bitty cell phone picture of the place we walked to with my aunt and uncle’s dog this afternoon.
Love the now, Marie. It is so, so worthy of your love.