Here’s to the Childless Women

This December I turn 35.

Now, more than ever, it’s fascinating to witness the responses of people I don’t know when they ask about my life situation.

“Do you have kids?”

“No.”

“Are you married?”

“No.”

“Have you ever been married?”

“No.”

“Do you want kids?”

“No.”

At 34, I think my mind is pretty well made up.

Am I going to suddenly decide I want to birth and care for a child? It’s highly unlikely. I’m still focusing on caring for myself. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even able to have childrenyou’d think I would have had a slip by now.

Sure, I could accidentally get pregnant, or I could meet a partner who influences me to have a change of heart. Hell, I could simply just change my mind.

I doubt it though.

Being a parent is not easyand I commend the people who parent with all their heart and soul. It’s a huge job- but it isn’t for everyone.

Here’s to the women who followed their hearts and didn’t sway their decisions because they were told what they “should” do. Here’s to the women who have decided that they didn’t want to take responsibility for another human. Here’s to the women who realized it wasn’t in the child’s best interest for them to take responsibility.

Here’s to the women who are childless- and just because they don’t have a child doesn’t make them any less of a woman.

No matter what you choose, here’s to you- because our own decisions are just that: our own. ❤️

Shattering the Shame: Why I Haven’t Openly Talked About My Sobriety

“The truth will set you free, but not until it is finished with you.”

-David Foster Wallace

For the past ten years I’ve known I had a problem with alcohol.  Time and time again, my drinking caused me to be unpredictable, irresponsible, and downright destructive.  Despite knowing all of this, I spent the better part of the decade trying to “drink like a normal person.”

I grew up glamorizing a glass of wine, going to Sunday brunch, and dressing up to sip champagne.  Over the years I’ve proved to myself that there was nothing romantic about it, yet over and over I tried to take control of something that was out of my hands.

There have been many reasons I’ve held back from sharing my truth.  I’ve been worried I would be judged, ridiculed, or rejected.  I’ve romanticized the “good old days” and avoided sharing that I don’t drink; sometimes it just seemed easier for me have a drink than to explain myself.

I was afraid of being seen as broken or a burden.

I recently had a conversation with a woman I respect and look up to about the shame I carry about being an alcoholic.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve worn a mask of “having it all together” to avoid facing the problems that lie underneath.  I never realized it, but she recognized how my facade of looking and acting a certain way has blocked my ability to truly heal and accept myself for who I am.

I’ve held onto the shame so tightly that I didn’t even realize I had it.

Since I hadn’t been completely honest with myself and others, I went back to drinking more times and I can count- and it never, ever got any better.  I know this today, and I need to continue to remember it in the future.

Instead of continuing to pretend, I decided it was finally time to openly share my struggles- and my strength. From Brené Brown to Glennon Doyle, I’m in good recovery company- and hopefully my own journey will help someone else one day, too.

We only grow when we do something that makes us uncomfortable.

True Freedom: Letting Go of Resentments

As I strolled through the Back Bay and down to the Esplanade yesterday, I felt a new sense of freedom. It was a beautiful fall day, and I had the chance to head to my favorite spot in Boston- the Charles River.

The freedom I felt was greater than just being able to take time out to enjoy nature, though- it was a sense of freedom within.

I went to a meeting where I saw some people from my past who I avoided due to resentments- and not only did I face those people for the first time in over a year, I raised my hand and spoke about it.

“Resentments kept me sick and my secrets held me hostage.”

For a long time, I only let half of my true self be known.

People in the group nodded and smiled. Over the years, I found every reason in the book to avoid groups, places, jobs, family, or friends- all due to uncomfortable feelings, resentments, or disagreements. Running was my favorite pastime- but not in the jogging sense of the word. I ran from discomfort.

“I’m no longer willing to water down my story or hide from the world,” I continued. In the past I was extremely fearful of judgment or rejection- but the only person that hurt was me. The more honest I am, the more I learn how accepting others are- but I also learn which people don’t matter.

I’ve been working on being my authentic self, loving my truth, and owning my story no matter what others have to say about it, and that is the greatest freedom of all:

Freedom within.