Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Redefining Adulthood


I want to be a grownup. Scratch that. I am a grownup, but the definition of adulthood is in the continuous process of adjustment. When I was a kid, and even a post-college adult-in-training, my definition—or requirement—for myself to obtain the official status of “grownup” included having my own family. Reality and biology veered in different directions as I found myself childless without a partner as a result of questionable decisions, abysmal timing, and plain bad luck. Between 38 and 40, I mourned. I was at the peak of loss. It was as if a tiny person or persons who should have sprung from my womb had perished, only they were never born in the first place. There was an absence, an emptiness, a giant baby-size hole looming next to me—and sometimes deep in my gut. The pain, sometimes a dull ache, and other times debilitating, came with little warning almost overnight. I shared this pain with others in the same situation: women with much to give and no one to give it to.