Monday, June 4, 2012

Twenty-Five

I'm twenty-five today. Of course, I'm pretending that I'm twenty-two. Twenty-five just seems so...well...adult. Twenty-five really is the end of childhood. I can rent a car now. I'm REALLY an adult. I have been trying desperately to clutch to youth as I have approached this birthday and I think I've figured out why. 

I am twenty-five, but I feel fifty. In the past year of my life I have had to do a whole lot of growing up in a small amount of time. This year I've had to come to terms with the fact that life isn't always what I thought it would or should be. I have experienced the bitter pain of monthly disappointments. That is a pain that no one should ever have to experience. I've had to change my plans over and over again in the pursuit of motherhood. I'm exhausted. I am sure that my fellow fertility fighters know this feeling.

I have also learned who I am this year. I have learned that I am more than my ability to produce a child. I am talented. I've become a web developer! That's a big difference from what I went to college for (paralegal studies). I've learned to love and hurt with others who are experiencing pain, even if I've never met them. I've found my inner advocate. I have been very vocal about the struggle that my husband and I are going through and often times I am sure that it has been to the annoyance of others. I've learned that I don't care if my choices or my opinions don't meet the approval of others. There are only three people that I need the approval of: God, my husband, and myself.

The thing is, I am Rachel. I am not just a childless woman. I am a woman with many layers. I am talented, loving, creative, caring, funny, and unique. Most of all, I am strong. I have more strength than I ever thought possible. If you had told me one year ago that my husband and I would be where we are now I would have told you that it was impossible, that I couldn't do it. Guess what? I've done it and I'm still standing tall. 

I have my frequent moments of intense sadness and sorrow, but for those of you who don't know me well that is a huge showing of strength too. Until recently I have always pushed my feelings down and tried to never let them show. That was my way of trying to controlling life. I'm showing those emotions now and I know that life cannot be controlled. I am experiencing pain, but I am getting through it.

Thinking back over all that I have learned through this painful year has shown me something. I am going to be a much better mother than I would've been had it come easy. If it had come easily I would have child and my entire identity would be wrapped up in that child. I wouldn't know who Rachel really is. My child will benefit from having a mother who is strong in her sense of self and doesn't rely on the expectations of society to define her worth. More importantly, I am benefiting from that knowledge. 

Yes, I'm exhausted. Yes, infertility sucks. But wow, what a year. 

5 comments:

  1. I remember 25 being a real milestone year! Don't worry though...I still feel young at almost 32. I'm glad you know there's more to you than having children. It's a hard realization to make, but it kind of frees up the process...

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  2. Beautiful, soul-bearing post! Continue to be who YOU are Rachel, never defined by a condition, status, position, or posession. Those change all too fast, but you are precious & unique.

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  3. Awesome post! And whether you celebrate this birthday as 22 or 25, I think this post shows that you are mentally and emotionally 25. Which is a lot more than most people when they turn 25.

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  4. Happy belated 3rd-anniversary-to-your-22nd birthday ;) Let me say that I'm sorry that you've had to struggle and fight so hard to become a mother. I'm sure that you're right about being a better mother for it. Hope your birthday was great :)

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