Now that I’m an aunt to a brand new baby girl, my biological clock has gone from ticking to damn near exploding. It was about 6 months ago that I started really thinking about the path my life has taken and how my choices in the past have come to affect my present and future. Choosing to have Teddy at such a young age and at such a precarious place in life took me from the fast-track in journalism to the rat-race of diaper changing, but I realize now that I had absolutely no concept then of what having a child would really be like and how life-altering it was.
Having chosen that path 12 years ago, I’ve lived it and loved it without reservation. But now I see just how much of myself was extinguished along the way, especially in regards to my ability to write. I sit with a keyboard at my fingertips and I’m unable to find the right words to type, or even gather my thoughts enough to formulate an intelligent sentence…how different that is from my days of old when I could stomp a 10-page paper into oblivion in an hour or two. When did the creativity and the connection to that aspect of my life disappear? I don’t think it happened in a day, but it was certainly realized in that time frame. I guess this is what happens when you allow someone else’s life to dwarf yours for more than a decade.
Aside from the lack of creativity, whatever happened to the woman identified as Sarah, not Mom? When was the last time I focused on me, my needs and my desires? When was the last time I dolled myself up and dated someone seriously? It’s been years. It’s just not at the forefront of my priority list. Never did I ever think that having Teddy would trap me into a life of single parenthood. I thought I would beat the odds, stay with his dad, make the circumstance into a triumph. Naivety can be so cute! Instead, as life unfolded, I ditched the idea of marrying someone just because I was pregnant, refused to settle into a life of complacency, and chugged into the future with a defiant air and a healthy dose of “Yes, I can!” attitude. And here we are.
I’ve been so focused on being professionally stable, financially stable, and just generally stable in life that I forgot to my make my heart stable. I have been so busy flying through life on my little single engine plane at breakneck speeds that I have overlooked one of the most important components of a full life – the existence of a co-pilot.
Which brings me full circle back to my whole biological clock issue. Now I have five nieces and nephews, two girls and three boys. I remain Aunt Sarah (and Aunt Brady), perpetually single and always the most experienced, having had my son while my friends were still in the “party all night” frame of mind. I experience a great deal of joy by sharing in their lives, but I can’t help but to envy the lifestyle that has eluded me my entire adult life. The picket-fence, Volvo-in-the-driveway, dog-in-the-backseat life that I grew up believing would be mine. I certainly chose a different path for myself, but does that mean the end result will remain elusive forever?
I wish I had paid better attention to balance over the last decade. The Sarah to Mom ratio has been thrown completely off-track and it’s created this void where my creativity and self-awareness used to be. I’ve shrunk into myself, assumed the role I was assigned, and buried any hindrances to that role in the deep in the ground of my subconscious.
It’s time to start digging out. I’m starting to realize I had been buried, but was still very much alive.