Apparently, I don't Like Children

I'm not a dreamer, at least not in the sense of, "I have a Plan and I will Work at the Plan until the Plan is Complete."
I've never wanted to be a certain thing when I grew up.
I thought I wanted to be a wife and a mother but those things don't feel like real desires to me - they feel like things I was told to say that I wanted, like an exclusive college. I was totally happy at Illinois State, the sub-par alternative the the University of Illinois. I transferred to Beloit, thinking that it would get me some cred and instead, I hated the resulting three years of my life and hardly had what is described as "The Quintessential American College Experience."
10 years later and it's the first time that I am able to tap into how I feel about that and verbalize it effectively. It's totally cliche but I am admitting that ahead of time, so you can forget about calling me out on that item, Buster.
And now it's time for a breakdown:

I bust myself.
When I think about me, I Bust myself...
don't bust
anybody else
when I think about me, I bust myself.

I tried to bust myself so many times when I was younger and it never worked out according to Plan (See? I can't even fuck-up on schedule).
I've been told a million times over the course of my youth (directly) and in my early-adulthood (more subtly) that I am wasteful of my talents and my gifts and my abilities and whatever else you want to throw into the mix as an indication of how someone gifted and become Nothing Special.
That is, Nothing Special in the eyes of people who expected you to climb Everest, graduate Harvard, and have three bouncing babies by age 32.
I wish once and for all that the phrase "lowering expectations" didn't have such a negative connotation. Maybe instead of "lowering expectations", we are "Accepting Sarah for who she is." And that means, whether you want to feel it bad or feel it good, it means that we all understand that Sarah isn't going to apply herself.
Get over it.
She, and I'll switch back to the first person right after this, will not be anything more than who she is.
Who I am is not particularly interested in screaming children, snotty children, or the explosive love that you feel for a child of your own. Maybe someday I will feel differently but after spending 30 years talking myself up and down about wanting this iconographic thing - a mainstream family, I have totally faith in the fact that it's not really for me.
It sounded good and it played well against the wishes of my more feminist friends and jaded lovers. The other day, a woman who just had her first kid came by work to show off the baby. I took my obligatory turn and when she had left, one of the women I work with said to me, "You looked terrified."
And she didn't mean it to be funny.
I was terrified. A split second of touching a newborn and the pulse of how strongly I did not feel anything scared me. I didn't feel like it was anything special - this baby thing. I didn't feel jealous or excited or part of the circle of life or anything.
I just felt that I was feeling nothing and hence: Terror.
But after terror, often comes liberation. The liberation is kind of a pain in the assbecause I have slowly started trotting out my truth.
To my mother: "It's a party where there will be crying children so I'm not going."
"But sometimes being around crying children can make you feel like you're part of It!"
"Mom, It's not a storybook and I don't like crying children. They make me really uncomfortable."

To my neighbor, a 23 year-old volunteer, over dinner: "The kids running around drive me insane."
"You don't like children????????????"
I paused before answering such a pejorative questions and went the simple route, "No, not really."
This was met with disbelief.

The simple facts are that I have never felt like I'm going to have a kid and I have pretty strong feelings about things and people that will happen or not in my life. I know stuff and I know I'm not ever birthing no babies.
Part of my "coming out" as a non-parent is to get myself into the defensive stance for when people start asking me (even more) about single people and insemination or adoption. Or lets say I do find a partner and that person wants kids. I'm not going to put myself or anyone else through the agony of fertility treatments or the scrutiny of adoption and I'm not going to settle down with anyone who will make me cross those infested waters.

It's hard to be honest in a lifetime of not paying attention to your own internal messages. I never got to say, "This is me and I'm really proud of it." I had to give the "right" answer every time or else face the cold drape of what felt to a child and tennager, and for that matter young adult, what the Amish call Shunning. I know I'm being dramtic but I'm serious.
I have NEVER known what I wanted because I have NEVER been allowed to have what I want unless it was provided in a way that was manipulated to fit with someone else's needs and values.

I am such a fucking cripple in some ways - when someone says to me, "But you said you wanted a kid and that's why you broke up with me," that person has NO IDEA that I am incapable of being convicted.
In my head, the logic goes like this:
"I listed wanting a kid as one of the reasons for the split but then I got to thinking and I realized it's not really a valid reason because the fact is that I already KNOW I'm not having any children, so it was a stupid thing to do because NOW, I've put this idea out there and how do youtake back a reason for a break up? Huh? How do you take back what you told your friends and family?"
You don't.
The truth is that it's never really a "take-back" for me. There are standard lines that I've been using for years because they work so effectively. By using the principal of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it, "I have successfully made excuses for lots of things - relationship endings, standing people up, not applying for a job or for school, wanting to stay home, eating Jello - you name it and I can google it in my head and fetch about 5 effective ways to throw you off of my wandering path that actually leads nowhere.
I'm trying really super-hard to be honest now but it's a little like the boy who cried wolf. "What am I supposed to beleive?"
To that, I offer this: "Beleive what you think is the truth because you'll probably be correct."
I'm totally cool with not making any sense to the outsider looking in.

arizonasarah at 11:30 a.m.

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