I remember my first day as a college student at the U of A. I arrived on campus with a truck load of stuff. After checking into my dorm, unloading everything, and kissing my mother and godfather good bye; I sat on my bed looking around the room with excitement. There was a knock on the door. I looked up to find two girls- Susie and Melissa, my next door neighbors. Just like asking, “How are you?” or “What do you do?”, I realized the question in college was, “What’s your major?” I answered Business and politely asked them the same. Susie was is education and Melissa was getting her MRS. In my head I paused- What’s an MRS? Wait. Seriously, an Mrs? In a time of changing gender roles and feminism it surprised me to meet a woman like Melissa. Since then I’ve met other women that truly wanted to be wives and mothers. I, myself have never had that urge- the biological imperative to marry and have children. Most of my close friends are still single and don’t have children. Yet, in the last ten years I’ve watched as several of my girlfriends have had children or became stepmothers. I’ve always been in awe of how they change… how happy they become.
When I decided to not have children, I knew that I still wanted a legacy, to positively contribute to this world. During the last two years this desire has grown and has become more pressing. Though I’m not giving birth to a child, I now understand the call, the imperative a woman can have to create and to give birth. I now truly appreciate this desire and the agony of it.
“Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.”
– John O’Donahue
I’m on a path- my path- to discovering, to creating, to birthing, to allowing my legacy to emerge. I look at the journey I’ve been on- the growth, the struggle, the sadness, the love, the joy, the depth, the community, the loneliness, and the grace. I know this one thing to be true- there is a promise I trust. I have a legacy.
I write this, because I am not alone. I know there are other women (and men) who feel the same way I do. You may call it purpose, value, or passion- for me it’s legacy. It’s primordial, a call to contribute and to create a thriving, joyful and sustainable world. And it’s not so much mine as I know it is ours.
Today, the destination isn’t clear. This I know to be true. I trust in the promise.