I was speaking to a coworker today about his weekend. We were discussing our respective commutes and attempts to live closer to work to cut down on them. We also touched upon how in the springtime, the dawn breaks earlier in the morning and the dusk falls later in the evening. It makes the day feel longer and you can get more done. Since he has a young son and wife, I mentioned that this allows him to spend more time with them.
“How old are you?” asked my coworker.
I told him my age.
“You still have plenty of time,” he said, likely referencing meaning starting a family and such.
I was somewhat surprised, but I have heard this type of comment before. At first, I was a little put off. The comment wasn’t made to be malicious but I always take it as an affront that I am lacking something. Like, perhaps, I am not good enough to be married or start a family. This is reaching and also is a product of my own reservations and insecurities about my life, and I realize that. But, I also feel like, while well intentioned, that type of comment also exudes a glimmer of hope – similar to a “hang in there” type of mentality.
I’ve seen other bloggers discuss this topic as well on WordPress. In America, we have this linear structure to our lives. It goes like this – education – college – get a job – get married – start a family – retire – die. Why is that? Why is this the model of success?
I’ve decided that I don’t want children. There are a variety of reasons I feel that way but the most important thing is that I am certain of my feelings. I’ve never had a desire to have children and have felt that way since I was young. I want to be selfish and do what I want to do and it is difficult to do that with children. Thus, I feel I am responsible for recognizing and understanding that.
Secondly, many of you who have followed me for a while are aware that I am divorced. It didn’t work out. And because of how turbulent that particular time was in my life and other factors, I am not pursuing marriage right now for an indefinite time period. I might change my feelings on the matter. I might not.
But, I am not lacking. Those are my choices and they enable me to pursue other activities that I do find fulfilling.
So don’t be sorry for me, directly, or indirectly.
I know we see the scope of the world through our own periphery but my periphery is focused differently than yours. It may be fuzzy to you, but to me, it is very clear.