Saturday, May 15, 2021

Gratitude for My Unborn Baby

I wrote this awhile ago. Every few months, I would reread what I had written, allowing time and introspection to reshape the final paragraph. I knew I wanted to share this, but only when the time was right. The time is now right; the final paragraph needs no further editing.

At first, I am curious. What is that? Clinging to the end of my tampon is an uncharacteristic glob. Closer inspection reveals a mass of tissue, enclosed in a spotty, translucent gel. Extending from one end appears to be a thin, tapering tail. At its nucleus is an opaque kidney bean-like body, complete with arms, legs, and a disproportionately large head. And then it hits me. And it hits me hard, as if my life has been yanked from my body. Shock stifles my curiosity as I mouth the word: Miscarriage. Indeed a life has been yanked from my body.

My views towards motherhood have changed over the years. I married in my early twenties, right after grad school. My husband and I abided to society's expectations of a newly wedded couple. We landed reputable jobs, bought a comfortable home in the suburbs, and embarked down the path of starting a family. In optimizing our chances to conceive, sex became a pleasureless deed. Day-in and day-out, I was consumed with becoming a mother. I took prenatal vitamins, charted my temperature, determined the days we needed to do the deed, and interpreted every body ache and nose twitch as a sure sign I was pregnant. I even quit my job and started my own business so I could maintain a career while being a stay-at-home mom. For nearly a year, I peed on strips of paper. For nearly a year, those strips showed disheartening flat lines. Shortly thereafter, my relationship with my husband flatlined; we divorced.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Home, Sweet Home: The Van is Done!

For years, I've been curious about living in small spaces. The curiosity began with tiny homes. I fell in love with tiny houses long before they became a fad. Then I became interested in sailboats. And then vans.

These curiosities have led to various aspirations. My curiosity in sailboats dovetailed nicely with the opportunity to live aboard with a beau a number of years ago. Living on a sailboat has been one of my favorite living experiences. I've toured numerous tiny houses over the years, wetting my feet to the idea of someday living in one. You can make a solid bet that a tiny home is in my future; I'm just not quite there yet. I've aspired towards van living, too. A van, after all, would be a nice complement to my traveling lifestyle. 

I find it fascinating how aspirations evolve. They often sit and simmer -- sometimes for days, sometimes for months, sometimes for years -- while aspirations are tried on for size and feel. Hesitancies abound and obstacles intimidate. After all, it can be challenging to muster the momentum required to give aspiration flight.  

And then something happens. All the sudden -- sometimes with reason and sometimes just because -- an aspiration is granted commitment. As soon as I commit, all hesitancy fades, and as Goethe would say, providence moves. The next thing I know, my aspiration is a reality. That's how it was with piercing my nose. With quitting my job. With going home-free and later car-free. And that's how it was with my van. 

Home, sweet home.

On October 12th of last year, momentum rallied itself. How am I going to build a van? Where am I going to park the van when I travel overseas? Do I really want another vehicle when I have relished in being car-free the last few years? On that day, these questions shrank in size. They became distant specks in my rearview mirror.