I received a call from my last boyfriend a few weeks ago. The call was all of eight minutes, but it was definitely seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds longer than it needed to be. During the conversation, he asked me what was I waiting for to have children. I told him that he no longer had the privilege to ask me that question. I ended the call with as much Christian civility as I could gather at that moment.
Just when I had gotten to a good place in my healing from our relationship, here I was rattled once again. I wasn’t angry that he was no longer a contender for a future husband and father for my children. (I praise Jesus EVERY DAY for dodging that bullet.) I was upset because asking a 37-year-old woman why she is single and child-free is a loaded inquisition, and it becomes even more painful when it’s posed from a shitty ex-boyfriend.
After a few days of looping that around my head, I began to realize that our relationship was built on his WHYs and not my own. As I took a step back further, I realized that marriage and motherhood were WHYs that I adopted from my Christian upbringing that again were not in line with what is important to me. So exactly what were my WHYs? There’s no time like an impending birthday in your late 30s to begin sorting that out.
During the last few weeks, I took some intensive journaling time to uncover that my current WHYs were primarily centered on building my company, traveling more, engaging in great conversations, completing my book of essays, and continuing to enjoy creating my life in New York. Becoming a wife and mother didn’t even make it to my Top 10 list of WHYs. So why was I stressing myself about a goal that had no immediate importance for me?
Will Leah @ 40 or Leah @ 45 be upset that I didn’t make marriage and motherhood more of a priority now? I don’t know. But I can’t build my life today on future regrets that I might not even have. Leah @ 37 loves being an auntie and godmother, enjoys her freedom, loves coming home to a colorful, beautiful, and peaceful apartment, and really enjoys sleeping long, late, and diagonally on a queen-size bed.
Today I feel exceptionally good and peaceful about the woman I’ve been, the woman I am now, and the woman who is yet to unfold. I don’t have all the answers, but it sure feels good to live my life more fully from a clearer and more authentic set of WHYs.