Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 20 December 2012

the still not a grown up post

i do lots of grown up things. i pay rent and bills on time. sometimes extra. i eat vegetables and go to my office. i go to school and interact with other people and do all the general things that most grown up westernized low-middle-class people do. i make all kinds of stupid mistakes and i wish that i did lots of things better. but i’ve generally got this grown up thing down.

and then the holiday cards start to arrive. of all the married people and the babies. and i remember that i am never going to be a real grown up in the eyes of society – or my mother. (please note: i love married people and babies. at least the ones i know.) i love you but i am never going to belong. some of you get this. for real for real get this. and you have no idea how much it means to be treated like a real person still.

because at the end of the day, i don’t care about having my own babies. i don’t care about being somebody’s wife. the farthest i really want to go is, it would be really amazing to have a partner, to have someone to travel with, and to share inspirations with. but you know what? not required. it’s a bonus in this world.

maybe because it’s not my life goal, nothing happens. like i don’t exist. i don’t know. what i do know is that i’ve been arguing with my mom since i was maybe 8 or 9 about babies. and how i was going to be the greatest disappointment of her life for not having them. and yes, in case you’re wondering, it sucks to know that no matter what you do you will always be a disappointment because you aren’t procreating. that your physical capacity to bear children is actually the most important thing about you. and if you think that this is not a real thing then you clearly have never met my mother. also you have no empathy for women. so maybe i had already settled on mediocrity by then. of all my many faults and failings i can say this without flinching: i know what i know and i’m stubborn as hell.

so i am always going to be out here looking in. i am going to be the girl who my friends say they envy, only they don’t mean it. they say it to be nice. partly sometimes they say it out of pity. i get that the pity comes from a nice place. and maybe on a particular night when you are frustrated you do envy me. i’ll be the girl. not the woman. because women get married. women bear children.

and i’ll just be over here. making my own kind of messes.



  1. Everybody envies sometimes the life they didn’t choose. Which is not meant to trivialize your post, but to assure you that sometimes your friends probably do mean it. It’s very hard for us married with kids chicks to plan some massive study trip to a far away country. To read more than one book a month. To regularly get to a yoga class. I assure you that sometimes I read your posts and Facebook statuses and am filled with envy. Especially as those differences often resemble my difference with my SISTER, who traipses around the world and publishes serious articles and works on launching literary magazines and always has interesting stories.

    My stories always start with, “And last night, Solomon said…”

    I’m sorry you don’t feel supported by your mother. I still think and always think you are amazing.

  2. xoxo

    (And there are many times when I genuinely do envy you, you know, and not just on a bad day. I envy you when you are perusing the course catalog for next semester, for example, or when you are traveling to interesting places – you were at Macchu Picchu when I was 8 months pregnant and peeing, like, hourly – or when you are attending or teaching yoga or going out late on the spur of the moment. Some of those things I’ll get back eventually, some I won’t, and I am very happy overall with the choices I’ve made, but I think it is awesome that you do those awesome things.)

    • Yeah, what Jen of the green sleeves said.

  3. I think that whether someone is traipsing around the world or hanging out with adorable small people, they’re both exciting. I *like* stories about what my friends’ kids said last night. it’s not a value judgement for me that having more freedom and spontaneity is better. i just honestly can’t imagine what it would take, what would have to change, for me to want children of my own. which is really the heart of it with my mom. she finds motherhood to be the most rewarding awesome amazing thing that could ever happen. and she’s a great mom. but because she loves it so much, she wants me to have that same experience, and she can’t wrap her head around the idea that it’s not going to happen.

    but thank you for the vote of confidence, ladies 🙂

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