Monday, January 14, 2008

The Memory of Biological History

Sometimes I find the natural wonder of the human body to be a bit too smart.

I'm chalking-up my January mood dip to that horrible clock that says, "Hey lady, you're supposed to have a three-year old kid, but you don't. What's up with that? Oh yeah, your body failed you in 2005 and things got really screwy after that. Bummer."

The problem is that even though I am happy that I do not have a child right now--my life is too complicated for taking full responsibility for a small person just now--that one loss is attached to so many other losses and forced the hand of making so many other changes that it is difficult not to mourn the overall loss of my old life and old ways and old me when my body throws itself into remembering the conception, miscarriage and non-birth of its child.

Weren't reading this blog then? In brief, married in 2002, child-wanting begins in 2003, medical school started in 2004, miscarriage in May 2005, body-whacked-out by not doing what it thought it would be doing in late December/January 2005, reeling life changes in 2006. No more teaching. Lots of doctors appointments involving tests, dizziness, nausea, hospitalizations and a bonus breast cancer scare including tests with needles and lumpectomy. It was a horrifically, ridiculously bad year. 2007 was a vast improvement with progress in art, photography and re-entry into the work force, albeit no longer as a teacher. I refocused on my own creative talents rather than on teaching other people how to develop their creative talents, and I like it.

But I hate that my body has such a good memory. I don't want it to remind me that three years ago this week I was trying to figure out how to be so sick, balancing myself between students' desks by resting my hand (hopefully ever so inconspicuously) as I walked by them en route to whoever had raised their hand. I don't want to think about all my old friends and colleagues doing their grades now and trying to figure out what to teach next and how. I don't want to wonder why they are old friends--why people who have babies and keep teaching can't return phone calls of a woman without a classroom and who enjoyed their company anyway. I don't want to wonder about their kids that were born and are three or two or almost one now and whom I do not know even though they were my "borrow babies". I don't want to wonder why.

So I'll try to forget it. I have new good friends now. Friends who let me borrow their puppies and like to hang out and be real friends--friends who have more to talk about than other people's kids behavior issues and crazy parents.

You can pick your friends, your job, your future.

I just have to remember that my choices may have been prompted by a life experience I never would have chosen to have--that I would never wish on anyone. I just have to stay focused on what I do with the aftermath of those losses. I know that the choices I make now are mine. So, I can't spend all my time crying (a little bit is OK), I have to keep moving forward and avoid the quicksand of depression. I know how to walk around those traps and I will not get lost this year. 2008 holds promise and new opportunities for decisions. 2008 is mine. Mine--and I am more than my body and its biology.


Penny said...

Good for you! May 2008 continue to see you in good health as you face all your new adventures!

KI said...

O, you have always been, and remain, ridiculously inspiring. Keep it up :-)

oakmonster said...


Karla said...

I've been away for awhile. but glad to get caught up again. Hugs.