(Wrote this last May 2016.)
It has been raining for the last few days, colder than expected- one'd think we're starting into autumn, not summer. Not wanting to get wet, one gotta think how to keep busy. Lucky, as an introvert, there is a LOT of things one can do indoors, including books, hot tea, books, movies, books, cuddling with dogs, books, doing vlogs, and books. Did I forget books? Haha!
I had stopped feeling obligated to follow Goodread goal of reading a certain number of books since I noticed that had put pressure on me, making it less enjoyable to read. Now that I am reading, I find myself consuming more- go figure. In the past I had enjoyed reading historical romances, science fiction, fantasy and graphic novels; the tastes have been shifting, I notice, to memoirs, feminism, reproductive justice and racial justice/cultural studies, and books on tiny houses.
In reading books or attending local workshops, I'm leaning toward intersectionality in goal of understanding my privileges, how I function in the system. Would you imagine that as an infertile person, this is even so noticeable how the system values fertility and motherhood primarily over individualism and self-identity? Baby showers. Baby cards. Maternal leaves. Number of children. Getting away with having days off for children, compared to childfree folks being expected to give more time at work. I mean, I could tell you how often I would come to work and end up working until 7pm or 8pm, while co-workers with kids get off at 3pm or 4pm. They could leave earlier if the kid gets sick, but if I ask for a day off, I get the stink-eye.
Ironically enough, with them using up their vacation hours here and there, they could not get away for a week or two weeks, as I could. As it is, by June, I'll have 80 vacation hours to use, so I just need to figure what I can do with the two weeks. New York. New Orleans. Taos. Or even Greece. Hmm! So, I guess there is a bright side to having plenty of vacation hours that are not wasted on children.
I had not thought of being childless for a long while, I confess. It is because social justice issues demand attention here in local, including reproductive justice access and radical justice fights. Recently I had started working with police on how to interact with the Deaf community; the responses have been positive to the point that the workshop is becoming demanded by multiple branches of police here. That and other social justice involvement have been my priorities lately. And you know- that is where I feel needed, necessary in my role in the society, and one does not have to be a parent to get the feeling.
Even with that, I am still reminding myself that there are people who love me, and I like who I am nowadays. If I fuck up, it's my problem. If I accomplish something, it's my success. And to keep my expectations low- after all it was society that had taught us to have subconscious expectations of parenthood, and many of us had struggled with seeing ourselves as failures. We aren't failures. It's the society that is the failure, placing motherhood on the pedestal, punishing us if we don't achieve the SOCIETY's expectations. Fuck that, pardon my language- fuck that.
We do not have any obligations to anyone but ourselves. Be who you are, and you're doing the best you can.