I buried my youth today. One of the things that has bugged me about infertility these last two years is that I feel like I'm stuck between two lives: my youth and parenthood. I went from being a raft-guiding, college girl to being a wife and teacher, expecting children to be close at hand. I only got married when I felt the ticking of my biological clock. (Don't worry, I loved my husband just as much then as I do now, but my mother always told me I would know I'd found my husband when I discovered that I loved him so much I'd want to have his children. She was right.) I just assumed that it would be a quick transition between fun-loving freedom and buckle-down parenthood, and I was ready for the leap. It has not been a smooth transition at all: it has been a long, frustrating, drawn-out affair that has put my identity into question.
I hold on to my youth and my experiences in a small, black, Molskine notebook. I've had it since the year 2000 and have chronicled all the books I've read, pithy phrases that have made an impact on me, things I've done, and things I mean to do. Every so often, I look back in this book and remind myself of who I am, what I want, and where I've been. Today I decided, however, that I need to re-evaluate things. I need to figure out who I am as an adult without kids. What are the things that inspire me? What do I want? What do I like to do?
So, I got out the new, red Molskine that I bought at the National Gallery in England this summer. I knew that my old black one was going to eventually run out of pages, and I was lamenting the fact that I'd have to switch over. But this, I think, is much better. I made a conscious decision to lay it to rest. It is no more. Now I have a fresh book, blank and inviting, waiting to be filled with quotes from new books, clippings from new magazines, lists of movies I want to see, and such. I am not the same person I was ten years ago, and I need to let go of that. I also need to let go of any preconceived notions I had about who I would be and what I would have at 31 (in one month) years of age. It's a new dawn, and I'm going to fill the page of my new year with a new me. (Though the old me can still hang out when I listen to Taio Cruz and go out dancing.)