I Don’t Cry Anymore on My Birthday: How Not Getting What I Want Has Shaped My Life for the Better

Today is my birthday! I am 36 years young and loving it. I can happily say that I have achieved a lot of the accomplishments I wanted to achieve by this age. There are a couple of areas where I have missed the mark,  but there is still time for me to set course in the direction that I choose in those areas. However, there are also a couple of areas where goals have not been met that are outside of my control. Those are the areas that I want to talk about today – the things in life that you cannot control and did not anticipate that throw your whole life trajectory off course.

I thought for sure that by this point in my life I would have at least two children of my own, I’d be making a certain salary and I would definitely be a homeowner. The latter two of these things I actually could do something about. I did choose this career path and knew what the correlating salaries would be along the way.  And I’m fine with that. I have also made a conscious decision against home ownership at this time because the rental situation that my husband and I have is actually greatly beneficial to us.  So home ownership was a goal I had set for myself a long time ago that has since shifted. I have always believed that flexibility is one of a person’s greatest virtues.

However, I am inflexible on my desire to have children. Unfortunately I have learned the hard way that starting a family is not always as easy as it seems. My husband and I have been trying for a few years now and no matter what we do that is within our control, the outcome, which is not, remains the same. To say that the experience has been disappointing would be the understatement of the year. It has been a process that has caused me to reexamine who I am and what I thought I wanted for my life. When you want something really, really badly and it doesn’t come to you, it causes you to examine why you want that thing in the first place. It also causes you to look at the things you do have, and forces you to be mindfully grateful for those things in an attempt to diminish the disappointment of what’s lacking. During this period of my life, I have become more educated about my health;  I have given the most careful consideration to the people and things that are important to me; I would like to think I have become more sensitive to things that other people may be going through privately; and I have thought long and hard about what it means to even exist in this life.  I have not lost my desire to be a mother. I still hold the belief in my heart that it will happen for me when the time is right. But I am more aware now of who I am than I have ever been before.

I will tell you honestly that I am NOT one of those people who refuses to sit around and ask “why me?”. I have asked “why me” more times than I can count. And while I don’t have an answer for that particular question, I have found answers for a lot of other questions that have gone unasked in my life. I’ve done more soul searching then I thought was possible and each time I reflect on who I am and who I have become over the last 36 years, I can honestly say that I am both blessed and proud. I make it a point to live my life with intention.  I am grateful for all of the experiences in my life, both desired and undesirable. Because these are the things that make me who I am, even if I don’t want them to be.

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