A Crisis of Ways

Pilar Mendiola Fernandez

Your Way is the Way

Are you feeling drained, anxious and unglued because you are not hitting a specific mark or following a specific way the rest of the world is expecting you to follow?Breathe, You do You.  

Your unique way of living your life, on your own terms is the only pathway to happiness. Following a specific recipe of how to do things just does not work for everyone unless you decide that is what you want, because no one is an expert on you, probably not even yourself at this moment.

I was not the expert of me but I was committed to getting to know me.  Evolution is essential to the creation of my own path and I’ve slowly learned to focus and take the time to contemplate my feelings and thoughts at the same time that I try to remain flexible and adaptable if I change my mind.

Like Fashion, I learned to never say never because human beings and life are both dynamic. What is true today may not be true tomorrow and it may not resonate with you anymore, and vice versa - it’s OK.

Something very personal to me was the decision to not have a baby. It was not a firm decision nor was it a decision I made on a specific timeline.  It just happened that I was a hopeless romantic and had a number of “serious relationships” since I was 15. After a number of hard break ups (it did not matter if I was the one who ended things) I could never avoid a terrible heartbreak that generally occurred in the 2nd or 3rd year when I realized that Mr. X and I were not quite compatible. I actually was married twice by age 33.

When I was 33, at the end of my second marriage, I had a “Come to Jesus” conversation with myself. I realized my flakiness on the matter of finding the one and, that bringing a baby to the world would feel very irresponsible to me. I knew that in my book, a great love makes a wonderful environment for a child, but a child does not make a great love to a couple who does not have it. This situation based on my specific reality weighed into my decision which remained somewhat open to the possibility, if the situation changed somehow.

When I finally met the man that I would have loved to have had a baby with, I had been sick and had taken a fair amount of harsh medicines. As a result, I thought my body was not in the ideal condition for a baby and, although I had been completely committed to a super healthy lifestyle otherwise, I felt it was not right. My husband Christopher was excited with the possibility if we decided to have a baby together but at the same time supported whatever decision we made. We have been together for six years (I broke the record on this one. I will tell you more about how I broke the 2-3 year curse of relationships on another post, tell me in the comments if you want to know more about this).

Did people ask me why I didn’t have babies? Sometimes, politely.   Did they secretly wonder what was wrong with me?  I bet. Did I feel pressured by society or my own family? Yes, sometimes.

At times, my father would ask me about my timeline, but I always knew that whatever decision I made, I was the one who would be 100 percent responsible for it, no matter what inspired it or influenced it either way.  

The most uncomfortable conversation about this topic was with a Mexican gynecologist who told me that having a baby would solve all my problems. He could not understand why I was not up for it.  I felt kind of intimidated by his words.

Most importantly, he left me thinking about other women who were his patients and how they could feel about his premise on children, especially if they had any kind of challenges with having one. This, on top of having to live within the Mexican society which tends to validate women through motherhood.  

At that time, I thought about my fellow sisters and and how intimidating it would be for them to have an “authority figure” aka “the man wearing the white coat and stethoscope” advising them.

What did I do? I cancelled the noise related to expectations, ways and timelines on this one. Why? Because I had a great life as a kid and a wonderful family. For me it was crucial to have a stable home along with a partner that I completely adored and who was willing to do the greatness of parenting with me.  And so, emotionally sober and with my five senses showing up during these various conversations with myself, I made this very conscious decision based on what mattered to me on this subject.

In reality, there are other ways of parenting in life including adoption, God sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and the greatest of aunty-hood. I have been totally blessed with a beautiful niece and an incredible nephew who I adore, and I am thankful for them every day of my life.  For me my parenting role has been filled as an aunty, and I totally love it.

I hope whatever ways you find to do your life, you give yourself the compassion and love that you so freely give to others. And, if in your dreams there is a family and a baby, five, or none, a great career, a great cause or all of the above, know that you can totally do it, if you commit yourself to it.  You can do it your way and on your timeline.