He was exactly what I needed at the time. I just didn’t know it yet. All I knew was that meeting someone on a well-deserved trip, couple drinks in hand with the warm sun on my cheeks felt like a fairy-tale. Well…at least for that week. I thought the whole thing would blow over the minute I stepped foot on the plane back home to be honest. Long distance….so not for me! Yuk. I mean, as a fresh University graduate, I am looking for something “serious” because that’s what you do after you complete school. NO?!?! (pssst! I still don’t know what that means)
Bradley aka B wasn’t exactly what I would usually look for in a man but he made me feel like the most beautiful woman on this planet. He came from a small town known for blue collar type work. He was modestly simple yet a little eccentric in his own way. He was about 6’2’ with dark features and a nose that slightly curled down like a tiny beak. Somehow, after numerous phone conversations, I grew a bit of affection for him. What I loved most about him was his visions and his dreams for the future. Contrary to most people in the the town he grew up in, B had big hopes and dreams for himself: he planned on going back to school and becoming an accountant. He wanted to move to the big city and he often dreamed of working for a fortune 500 company. Although B already had a great job, he wanted more for himself. I got hooked on that willpower. I loved it and caught myself feeding off of that energy at times.
* * * *
Fast forward a few months, I had exhausted my jar of excuses to visit him. One Friday afternoon, under the spell, I found myself driving to his small town for a weekend. Fun! I thought. How bad could it be? Riiiiight?! Just new pals getting to know eachother. Well, little did I know, my friendly pal visit became an entire neighbourhood/family pow-wow. He opened the door to a flood of family, long-time friends and colleagues. Must’ve been my lucky day cause everyone was invited. (ERGH) This totally made sense to him and apparently, according to the guests, this was common practice. While I could understand the lack of entertainment around here (counting the cows on my way down wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the weekend) I went along with it. This bi-weekly national sport i’ll call Chug it down was far from what I was used to so, in my head, thoughts were running. We are obviously from two different worlds.
Growing up, this would have been as mythical as a unicorn or a centaur. I was raised very formal; I spoke when I was spoken to. My opinion as a child had little to no weight. If my opinion was asked I was to answer with proper tone, proper vocabulary and physical form. Needless to say that drinking with your mom and dad on a Friday night was completely unheard of for me. I was raised with a fear of authority. This was completely out of my element but Although, I have to say: I kind of liked the way it felt. Awkward yet so easy and free. I fed off of this casual setting. A couple of drinks and a couple of visits later, I had a boyfriend. **GULP** I shrugged. I mean….I was interested in a relationship but I wasn’t exactly looking for one. “Fiiiiine. I’ll be your girlfriend” I said in the middle of a drink and with 15 pairs of googly eyes looking back at me. I was 27. He was 32.
A few months went by. Most nights, I was alone at home living the suburb life. My outlet was going out of town to see B on the weekends. On weekdays, the daily routine, was quite lonely. Most of my friends were older than me. Unlike most of my school mates, my first year of University alone I had already experienced being a maid of honor/brides maid. I had also attended my fair share of wedding/baby showers and gender reveals. By the time I graduated, I had a good five to seven years of baby and wedding stories (read disasters) collected under my belt. Some of my friends were already planning their first divorce. Others were planning baby number three. Seems like everyone wanted to tell me what to do and what not to do. I knew how to change a diaper, I had babysat, I ran around for medications, I entertained in the final pre-delivery hours and I attended births. I had enough stories to fill my little black book. From wedding seating arrangements gone wrong to teething to sleep training and hot flashes. I was fully equipped. Plus, if I had questions or a little bit of doubt about anything, my VERY protective friends were just a phone call away with a Dr. Phil psycho analysis.
Here I was, 27. Yet, I had nothing to look forward to when I came home at night other than the anticipation to see my new boyfriend on weekends. To me, something was missing. That’s when my life seemed empty and I started asking myself serious questions. I mean, I love myself and I love doing everything for me. Although, I was grateful for my perfect job, my car, my house and for having the luxury of travelling wherever I wanted, having only me to worry sounded a little lonely. That’s a WHOLE lot of me time in a lifetime. It can’t possibly end like this?! Can it? Is this what I worked so hard for? Will this be it? or am I just going crazy cause I’ve been watching too much Netflix lately. Should I cancel my subscription cause it’s turning me into a selfish hermit?!
In the middle of the night, I couldn’t stop the thousands of questions pouring out of my head. So I found myself making a list of things I could do. I called it: HOW TO REINVENT MYSELF. What else could I do with my life? I was half-asleep by 3 a.m. when this list became a total masterpiece. I fell asleep on what struck out the most: Have a baby. Is that what I wanted? The thought of having a baby seemed so selfish to me. Why do people want to pro-create anyway? Having babies is probably the most self-gratifying act you could ever do. Why do people want to bring in new life in this cruel world? On and on it went until I couldn’t keep my eyes closed any longer. In the morning, I tried to figure out how important this was to me. What I couldn’t answer was: how do you become the best mother you can be? So I visualized myself in doing the little things for this little unborn creature. Could I see myself changing diapers? Whipping tears? Calling schools? Giving advice? Running around like a mad woman? The answer was yes all around. See, to me, if I could visualize it all and genuinely feel it then I had it in me.
* * * *
Something about driving long distances makes you think about everything Oh so deeply. As I’m driving down to spend time with B and company; I couldn’t stop thinking about my new revelation. By the time I got to his place, I was excited to express how I felt. I was definitely looking for reassurance and someone to talk to. This was a big deal! Me: A mother. Whaaaaaattt! This is huge. A gigantic milestone in my life. I didn’t know where to start or what to do with myself. I wasn’t even sure why I was thinking about something so big now when I knew I wasn’t ready yet. I needed to vent. As I finished explaining my reflections to B, he took one deep breath, looked up at me and said: “No, I don’t want kids and I never will”. **Burst of bubble** I was livid.
I wanted to say really mean things. I mean REALLY MEAN. Instead I said “I am only informing you about my new found discovery buddy. This is far from being a sperm-deposit invite.” I proceeded to the couch with my Zoolander like confused eyes, droopy bottom lip, open hands, palms facing up, shrugged shoulders and proceeded to the couch and our weekend.
See, this conversation wasn’t about him. It was about me. While I was trying to share my inner thoughts with my “boyfriend”, he robbed me of my moment. It was then that he changed in my eyes. I saw him completely differently after that moment. Not only did I not even get a “yeah…I understand” or a “you will see later when you are there” or even a “are you sure? Is that your final answer?” but instead I got a flat-out-door-shut-can’t-talk-about-it-total-shut-down “NO” instead. It resonated with me so much that I felt my affection for him going downhill every time I thought about it. It took me days to shake it off. Lucky for him I had to go home on Sundays. The thought of him as a lifetime partner seemed dull-er. Not only because he didn’t want to have children but because:
- While he listened to what I had to say, he didn’t hear me out: I wanted to talk and share with my buddy what my fears were and how big of a decision this was to me. He didn’t get that;
- His “NO” was stern and cold. He meant every letter of the word: he was perfectly happy living selfishly. Although I can respect that, I knew I wasn’t about that life. I had already done my work that night. I wanted more than the lint in my own belly;
- I heard the ultimatum in his “NO”. He was basically warning me that it was going to be this way or I was free to leave.
In that moment, he had given me two options: 1) Let’s keep things the way they are 2) Take the door. My ego was hurt. I knew it wasn’t going to be with him but it reaffirmed my thoughts: My baby-daddy should be excited and overjoyed to have children with me not only because I am pretty amazing but because we share the same values. He should be ecstatic to create life with me. The thought of it should make him tremble in happiness to the point that it scares ME not HIM. Plus, I was the young one in this relationship. If he didn’t want children at 32, I was pretty sure he had already thought it over many times before. Needless to say that our next encounter was a very serious one. While I didn’t fuss on the spot, with a giant smile o my fave I politely and simply explained that he had no place to make me feel bad about my future decisions because they were my very own. I also mentioned that I noticed the 2 options he listed in his tone and that he was wrong. I actually had 3 options: 1)I could stay. Never talk about this again. Deny myself of my feelings. Secretly hope deep down inside that a miracle baby is produced or that he changes his mind one sunny Sunday afternoon. 2)I could give him ultimatums as well and be as honest as he was with me 3)I could leave and never come back in the hopes to find my happiness one day. **GULP**
You could feel the cold air in the room after that conversation. Let’s just say it was cut short. I went home early. I didn’t care enough to stay. All I wanted was to go home happy with my new decisions.
* * * *
I thought about it further on my own for a little while and the answers remained the same: YES. The fact alone that I was secretly ploting our breakup when I heard that horrible “NO” of his, was a strong indication that he wasn’t for me to begin with. I knew in my heart I would always choose babies over any man – even if it meant going at it alone. I felt it. I had it in me. I knew I could do it and I knew how much I wanted it. The thought of giving that up was too much of a prize for anyone. So I made the decision to close the case and move on with my life. Sin’s out. **Drop microphone**
Children or not, this relationship wasn’t for me. For many reasons, it would have never worked long term. I know I met him because there was a lesson behind it. Finding out I wanted to be a mother one day was one of them. The breakup wasn’t only because he didn’t want babies, it was also because of my sudden enlightment on who he was as a person. It was the first time I had seen him so cold, hostile and narcissistic. I didn’t want that in my life. This also wasn’t about my “clock ticking”, getting older, or being bored; it was about me discovering myself as a person, a woman and a future mother.
So the moral of the story is: ask yourself what it means to you? How much it means to you? Mostly, figure what you are willing to sacrifice. If you are still unclear about your decision, a little trick would be to try telling your family and closest friends about not wanting to conceive without crying or acting emotional. If you succeed, then you are making the right decision. If you find it difficult, I suggest revisiting these questions until you find the answers that best resonate with you. Remember, once you know how much it means to you; don’t give up on your hopes and dreams for anything or anyone. Your deepest desires are usually a reflection of who you are now or who you will become. No one should settle for less. At the time, I didn’t know my own strength. Thanks to B, he introduced me to that super human kind of strength. He introduced me to the future mother in me.