She wakes up quietly
no alarm appointed
She lies in her bed
warm, comfortable
When she does stray
she comes back to lay
Until her appetite stirs
she ponders, peacefully
Ready, she imagines
optimization, mastery
Still calm and cool
she flows easily
This way and that
with graceful intuition
Through caverns, caves
in her mind, winding
Like a dance, a song
harmoniously along
She is uninhibited
She is magick

“Your Aunt asked if you’re pregnant,” my grandma says, cheerfully.

Now, no woman wants to hear this, even when they are pregnant, let alone when they emphatically are not pregnant. It’s basically a roundabout way of saying she looks heavy.

Furthermore, I am definitely in the latter category. Emphatically so because I am barren. That’s right, 100% infertile. I have no eggs because I don’t even have any ovaries to house them in. No babies in this belly, at all.

“What’d you tell her?” I ask after the initial sting wares a bit.

“Oh, that you’re not, of course.” She says quickly. Still not looking up from the game on her iPad.

“Why would she think that?” I asked, “doesn’t she know I can’t have kids?”

“Yea, she knows… but she’s heard of women before…” My grandma starts.

“Well it’s impossible, it doesn’t matter what she’s heard about other women.” I snap, feeling stung again for completely different reasons now.

It’s hard to have autonomy as a barren woman.

It’s hard to have autonomy as a barren woman. My own mother just weeks ago told me she “refuses to believe” that I can never have my own child. This was not the first time I’ve had to explain my condition to her, and she was there when I was a guinea pig for the Drs as they tried to figure it all out. She just refuses to accept who I am, at least this part.

Now, I don’t think that my mother is malevolent in her hopes of my future motherhood. I don’t even think my busy-body aunt was trying to hurt me with her gossip. I honestly believe these women, my grandmother, and the countless other people who tell me they are “sorry” for me are genuinely trying to wish me well – they just can’t see that they’re wishing me their version of well.

Breaking things Down

Let’s take a look at the expectations my family has in just this area of my life:

  1. That whether I look a certain way or not implies their right to make comments about my appearance, even if they might be ignorant and hurtful
  2. That I would desire to be “better,” e.i. get pregnant and have a child
  3. That I want to live a life similar to the ones they have chosen for themselves

There are also possibilities of alternative goals in my aunt’s case:

  1. That hurtful comments will cause me to feel as insecure about my body as perhaps she does about hers
  2. That hurtful comments will radically influence my behavior and I will act more appropriately, e.i. stop seeing my lover

The reality is, in any case, I can’t really know their intentions. However, this does point out that none of the possible motivations are actually my problem. It’s all about their expectations and all completely out of my control.

Certainly, I can make their opinions my problems. I can be dissuaded and manipulated through subtle insecurities and programming – but in reality, I don’t have to believe a thing they say.

It is not my responsibility to make my grandma more comfortable, especially if that means lying about my sexuality. I don’t have to disassociate from my physical truth in order to believe what my mother believes. I won’t change my behavior or wish things were different because of my aunt’s immaturity.

My responsibility is to be authentic, and in this manifestation, that includes being barren.

My responsibility is to be authentic, and in this manifestation, that includes being barren. In fact, it even includes the disproportionate body shape my aunt finds so noteworthy. My condition has caused hormone imbalances from the time my body tried to go into puberty and shifted gear into menopause instead. The first time some nosey person asked if I was pregnant, I was only 13 – I wouldn’t even know the cause of all of my physical abnormalities for 4 more years at that time.

Who knows what that elderly man at church was trying to imply or what his expectations were, but at that time, I didn’t know how to think it through like this. Consequently, his comments became a weapon I used against myself for years.

Shedding the Unnecessary

I am trying and have been trying to improve my physical condition for over a dozen years now. I’ve successfully reversed osteoporosis, built healthy relationships with my body, nutrition and exercise, and am feeling sexier with each passing year as I learn to care for myself more and more. I am not perfect, I’m more than perfect – I am aware of my own self-worth, self-responsibility and my immense personal power.

I am happy to be barren. I harbor no resentments against myself or the infinite for my condition and I have no desire to become “better.”

I am happy to be barren. I harbor no resentments against myself or the infinite for my condition and I have no desire to become “better.” I don’t want children and feel no loss. I channel my creative energy and I have plans for a grand legacy, feeling only expansiveness within my being regardless.

I am confident in my sexual autonomy. I have boundaries for my encounters and practice mutual respect with my lover. I am worthy of pleasure and I feel no shame for being a fully sensual being and expressing myself in those ways.

And so, I let the rest go. What isn’t fuel for my passions or encouraging my development must go. I will not stagnate my progress for the sake of other’s ignorance, regardless of their perhaps well-intended expectations.

It’s rare, actually, it’s even quite difficult to escape expectations. Every day, as soon as we wake up, we hit the ground running with expectations. Even before consciousness, there is the expectation that one will wake up by a certain time in order to do certain things by other certain times…..

I’m sick of it.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out. I’m a glutton for surprises, the unplanned and the moments that could never be planned. I don’t want to have expectations of every second of my life because then I miss out on what the moments have to offer for themselves.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out.

The Sanctity of Nothingness

Perhaps some will say that I’m a fool, that nothing would be accomplished without making plans and setting expectations – but is that true? The wind doesn’t make plans to blow the weather through the plains, the mountains don’t have expectations of breaking apart the storm, and the people can’t even have expectations that it will rain wherever they happen to be (though we certainly try our best to).

A cougar may hunt, and even have great techniques that land its pray almost 100% of the time, but it doesn’t have the expectation that it will make a kill “at 5pm, every third Thursday.” It doesn’t require that it’s to groomed itself before it goes hunting. It doesn’t “have to” bring back a huge elk for a dinner party it doesn’t really want to have but feels obligated to host anyway…

We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more.

No, we humans are the fools. We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more. We are so desperate for validation and justification of our existence that we sacrifice authentic living for conditioned expectations.

Here’s my point: the cougar goes on living it’s great cougar life without schedules, tasks and expectations – what would a human life look like if it did the same? Arguably, some expectations and plans are beneficial, e.i. brushing your teeth, wearing clothes and having a fulfilling life – but are they really the means to getting these things?

Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Perhaps the key to a good life isn’t painstakingly designing every detail and moment to match up with external and internal standards you have to struggle and suffer to achieve… Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Reevaluating Motivation

If I only brush my teeth out of obligation to the expectations of my society or conditioning, I’m missing out. However, if I brush my teeth because I’m actively aware of my life, my body, how good it all is, my gratitude for my teeth and my ability to keep them healthy, the task becomes a celebration. It’s in this way that expectations steal from us: they make the completion or acquisition of an experience or trait more important that the experience or trait itself.

Imagine for a moment a different world, one where people operate from genuine need or desire rather than expectation. Imagine if the normal was to wake up when you feel rested rather than when you “have to” in order to be “on time.” Imagine exploring your days rather than planning them. Imagine allowing for life’s spontaneous joy and peace to bless you when you least expect it… Seems so wonderful, and so alien.

Well, that’s what I’m doing today.

Reinventing my Success

I’ve been laying in bed for hours. I woke up on my own at about 7, but I’ve been reading and writing since then without finding reason to move. My kitties are cuddling me. My lover is trying to make plans to see me today… and I am just doing nothing.

Two fluffy kitties, one comfy bed and all the time in the world…

I told him he could come by as long as he didn’t have any expectations, explaining my current desire for void, and he told me to let him know when I feel like making plans.

Right now, I have some loose ideas about how the day might go. I have desire to clean my space, and it needs it too. I also feel some curiosity and creativity bubbling up, so perhaps some study and work will get done, but I can’t say for sure what or when. I was inspired to write this blog and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. No plans.

I’m hungry, but not for my usual, easy-to-grab-and-go breakfast smoothie… No, today I’ll make myself some pancakes, for brunch now I guess… And I’ll eat them slow.

I’m also feeling like some self-care… It’s been a while since I’ve had a ritual bath. Maybe I’ll make a custom face mask and deep condition my hair too. I guess I’ll see!

Lover wants to go for a hike and forage mushrooms, which does sound fun. So perhaps once I’ve eaten, straightened up my space, and pampered myself a bit I’ll join him… He also said he would just bring me dinner later if I like though, so we’ll see how things go…

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Offering Renewed Perspective

The reality is, I won’t get everything done today. The reality is, I never do. With or without plans, LIFE IS FULL! That’s why there is always more – it’s not because we don’t do enough, it’s because we could never do it all, even in a million lifetimes.

Still, even without my plans, I will accomplish stuff today. Accomplishments are a part of life, we simply can’t avoid doing things entirely. We can however, make the act of doing things something we needlessly stress over.

So, I’m done. I’m hereby relinquishing my expectations. I’m letting go of all the “shoulds,” “coulds” and “woulds” to embrace what is, regardless of what that means I am. At least in accepting myself and my reality I can make decisions that are informed by truth, even if it’s just the basic truths of desire and need.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations. No more artfully designing the distance between myself and “good enough.” I declair myself FREE! Free to be me, free to have bad days and to have really surprisingly good ones too. Free to exist grateful for who I am rather than punished for who I “could be.”

Here’s to wishing the same for all of you. Blessed be!