Monday, September 10, 2007

Who am I?

I'm an actress and after many years of sacrifice, I had achieved a small modicum of success. And as long as I was booking gigs and making money in my chosen field, I could feel good about myself and who I was. I felt successful and powerful. And when I stopped booking gigs, my self esteem would quickly erode. I went from temp job to temp job, waiting for my big break. I wanted to be a more positive, well rounded person who could be happy and enjoy her life no matter what and when I became a Buddhist, the practice definitely uplifted my life and perspective on life.

Fast forward to the recent past when I was determined to become a mother in the usual fashion. And after the unfortunate outcome, I was once again face to face with the "who am I now?" question. So much time, so much sacrifice, so much expense (financial and emotional) had gone into the effort. My ultimate creative moment was a non-event. For years, I'd assumed I'd get married and have kids by the time I was 30 and be a series regular TV star. When I hit 30, I figured I just had to postpone things for a little longer. I had just started to figure out the kind of woman I wanted to be. And then I thought I'd never meet Mr. Right and almost settled for Mr. Wrong. And when I did meet Mr. Right, I really had to figure out how to make myself happy no matter what. I grew up a lot.

This whole infertility bag has taught me a lot about my ego. I've been thoroughly humbled. I doubted my faith, I doubted my ability to ever feel peace of mind again and I still struggle with how to reconcile my sense of femininity with the body I've been given in this life. This body that could carry my through a 10K race could not carry me through a pregnancy. Not that I'm an athlete in any sense of the world, but I've always been healthy and strong. I thought by doing all the right things and believing with all my heart, that giving birth to our child would only be a matter of time and persistence. I've always been the one that people come to nurturing and care. You know, the "mother" of the group. I confess I don't feel very feminine these days.

You know there's one thing that a Buddhist knows for sure - life isn't fair. It's how you react to life's challenges that counts. So aside from the emotional eating, a fibroidy uterus, and unemployment, I'm not doing too badly.

I'm off to a Buddhist conference in a few days, and I hope to come back spiritually refreshed and ready to deal with more paperwork and social workers.


Pamela T. said...

A really powerful post that captures how insidiously infertility can tear us apart. Among the other things you mention here this aspect is something I, too, still struggle to reconcile:

"I've always been healthy and strong. I thought by doing all the right things and believing with all my heart, that giving birth to our child would only be a matter of time and persistence."

That's where the unfair factor looms large. I hope your Buddhist conference brought you some peace and clarity--and if you have some to spare, I'm willing to absorb as much as you care to spare!

Deathstar said...

Yes, I did find a measure of peace. I feel hopeful about the future. I often drive myself crazy trying to figure shit out. How an I gonna make money to adopt, why am I not booking gigs, do I really believe I don't deserve to be happy? I can navel gaze all day long. But it never gets me anywhere.