Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed | Video on TED.com

Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed | Video on TED.com

The reality of what goes on in my brain every single waking moment is a terrible soup made up of PTSD, a thousand 'what ifs' and one big pit sitting at the bottom, 'am I living my second chance to the best of my abilities?' am I living that other second chance to the best of my abilities, or the third? The three of you reading this blog know what 'chances' I'm referring to.

The video posted above brings up a point that I have been considering a lot lately; it suggests that the most important responsibility is to be a good parent. Other similar messages I've gotten from the world - and I don't get many so if one gets through it must be broadcast loud and often - "you've got nothing without a family" and "The only reason to improve yourself and get an education is for your family". I don't dispute the first point at all, if you have kids by all means be a good parent. Do what you have to do to be present, be engaged and be responsible to the human you nurture into humanity. The second two points I'm not so sure about. I don't know if I agree or disagree, I'm more concerned about the following possible trend that if one doesn't have kids they are 'nothing'. My big question (because I'm a selfish narcissist), where does that leave me? It's weird, I'm actual feeling peer pressure to breed or raise kids by some magical means. It seems like the message to 'tune into your kids' has turned into 'have kids' and that concerns me. I think because it's a less than liberal, less than conscience act - not being present, not paying attention... responding to physical/biological "needs" rather than thinking and responding with consideration.

I'm really curious and anxious to have a conversation with other women who've chosen to not have families, first to ask if they get this peer pressure as well, second what do they think about it. The message I'm getting is, the taming of a shrew is to give her children. Thoughts I've written into my journal as I respond to my consideration of this stuff is that it seems perhaps having a family humanizes you in a way that can be achieved in no other way. Making a baby is easy, making a good person is hard. It seems having a family causes us to be compassionate and patient (unless you were my parents) in ways that cannot be achieved as a bachelor(ette). The results of peer pressure I'm feeling is something akin to, I'd be a better person if I had kids. Is that true? How do I test that without having kids? I have specifically chosen to not have kids so that I do not repeat my parents performance as a mother. They were... not dialed in, and unaware of it, I'm kind of a jerk and shamefully aware of it and working to better myself with every waking moment. I am desperately afraid of being like them, desperately afraid of being a single parent, of not being present for my kids. I have taken drastic measures to not have kids, and I still believe I made the best choices for myself.

It's interesting to be able to stand back from my biological clock, alarm bells sounding off louder than ever and review baby making in a thoughtful way, in no danger of making a baby. But it's sort of beating up my self-esteem. It totally doesn't help that I'm really in the swing of perimenopause which is beating up my self identity in a whole new way... but that's another blog post.


  1. yeah, that kind of rang 'bullshit' to me.
    As if being a parent is the top priority for everyone. It would have been fine with me if this fella had kept on the 'this is the most important thing for me' tip, and it would have just been so much sentimental claptrap. Fine. I get it.

    However, the minute you imply that my life is about being the best parent I can be? That's when I get pissy. I'm not parenting.

    Did you come to the MESS meeting I had at my house, a million years ago? Maternal Energy Seminar, Sweetheart! I invited women to discuss what it is to embody maternal energies- whether they had children or not. It was very interesting to hear women talk about what it is to have that energy, that impulse, yet not necessarily have children of our own.

    Someone pointed out that terminating a pregnancy that would end up being 'too much', for whatever reason? That's a RESPONSIBLE PARENTING DECISION.'

    We all nurture, we all have that inside of us. Whether we apply it to actual small people of our own, I don't know that it matters.
    Do we have to raise a sprout from our loins to adulthood, in order to be worthy? Absolutely not.

    boy, but I have a lot to say on the matter.

  2. I read another thing somewhere (probably a human/reproductive rights thing of some sort that was trying to be generally inclusive) that states all people with active eggs or sperm as parents regardless of whether they reproduce or not.

    Um, no.

    That sort of crazy-talk falls into the anit-masturbating, anti-birth control camp of religious weird.


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