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Links: self-development

I appreciated several of the links from RowdyKittens this week.

I don't plan on reading or watching Wild, but can see what Strayed is saying about what she wrote in her journal while she hiked. Sometimes it's hard for me to be sympathetic with my former selves, but I respect that I took the time to write things out.

While the exact details vary from person to person (I dunno about her fertility cycles thing, but whatevs), I thought this notion of redefining one's core self and values was worth considering. I've definitely gone back and forth between the two modes of being on the internet.

S repeatedly raised fears about resentment in our relationship. Ever since annikusrex shared about her rowing coaches' motto of "No Regrets" her freshman year of high school, I've tried to live by those words. This seems to agree with that notion. It's not always easy to know the right action to take, though, especially when the action has major life consequences. [deep, painful sigh]

Many people, for many reasons, cannot, or decide not to, have children. Here is one story of someone who had to come to terms with this at a challenging life stage. It's hard to even touch this subject right now from a personal perspective. The last time I was out to visit AZ, S remarked, "You should have kids!" which stabbed a knife in me and twisted it around. I don't think he realized how hurtful that remark was.


( 12 remarks — Remark )
Apr. 6th, 2015 03:35 am (UTC)
I had a related experience once... an ex of mine told me that he wanted children, but not with me, because his and my children would be funny looking. What the actual fuck. I'm sorry you had such a painful comment to deal with.
Apr. 6th, 2015 02:00 pm (UTC)
Early when we were dating, S told me that his last ex told him that she wanted to have kids, just not with him. That sounded incredibly hurtful.

I really don't think he meant it to be a hurtful remark, but then again, he also made a point of repeatedly pointing out occasions when I have made hurtful remarks, which seems like it turned into an awful cycle of non-forgiveness.

From a pragmatic perspective - I'm really not in life circumstances that would allow me to have children. Look at all of the women who wind up postponing their career advancement when they have kids. It's incredibly difficult to do both things well, especially when one doesn't have full support of one's partner.
Apr. 6th, 2015 02:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I've never particularly wanted to be a parent, but it was still awful to be dismissed out of hand for such a major life-together role. It wasn't even "well, you don't want that, so since I do, we should discuss how together we can be", which would have been painful but reasonable. I wanted to be a person involved in a conversation there, not a judged-and-found-lacking quantity.

I think that's one of the great frustrations of women of our approximate generation... we grew up with the "you can have it all!" career woman rhetoric, and that's not how it has worked out for the vast majority of women. So there's that sense of having to choose, and, well, I picked career. I don't know what I would have done if I could have had it all, but it was pretty apparent to me early on that that wasn't going to be on the table, so I got sterilized and I have an awesome career. I feel a lot of sympathy for my friends who have stronger drives to motherhood than I do... I'm mostly at peace about it, but I think that's a matter of biological luck rather than anything I attained.
Apr. 6th, 2015 11:04 am (UTC)
That last thing... oh man. That just makes me want to burn down all of the things for you. And for people saying those kinds of things.
Apr. 6th, 2015 02:03 pm (UTC)
I was remembering, last night, a party back at the Farmer House, where I got into a discussion about talking about the whole "have or not have kids" thing. Not an easy discussion when my most honest answer is "I don't know." Life circumstances are so complicated sometimes, and it doesn't seem right for me to bring small human beings into the world right now.
Apr. 6th, 2015 11:13 am (UTC)
The kids comment!!! o_O The utter lack of consideration that shows says so much. Makes me angry on your behalf.

I have a friend going through a divorce right now, and part of what pushed the marriage toward his end was the husband going back on his previously stated desire to have kids, and telling my friend "I don't want to have kids with you any more, I think you'd be a bad mom. And no, you can't have a dog either."

So hurtful. You all deserve better .
Apr. 6th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
BUT, as I said, I don't think he intended the remark to be so hurtful. The thing that frustrates me about it, though, is remembering that it was said at a point where I did not have a chance to respond in a meaningful way, to point out the hurt.

My mom recommended a book on forgiveness to me recently, and I think it's going to be next on the list after I finish this darned Godel, Escher, Bach.
Apr. 6th, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
I never did get through GEB but I loooove his book Le Ton Beau de Marot. I'd recommend it to you but, um, maybe not this year. It's about love, language, poetry, cognition, and death.

Seems like I've been seeing a lot lately on the difficulty of having children, as a woman in academia. I'd think that would be enough to deal with, without wounding comments.
Apr. 6th, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
I have nothing constructive to add so I made this video for you



Hopefully one of the links will work
Apr. 9th, 2015 01:57 am (UTC)
Well arg, it looks like I'm having flash plugin crash issues again! But thank you.
Apr. 7th, 2015 01:04 am (UTC)
Even if it wasn't meant to be hurtful, reading that last remark- I could feel the knife. Opf.

Also, it's okay to have your answer to that question be "I don't know". You have no idea what your life is going to be like in three years.
Apr. 7th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, sometimes "I don't know" is the most honest answer a person can manage!

Lordy, being a postdoc is a crazy emotional rollercoaster sometimes. And at the moment, I am grateful to come home to a quiet house with just a needy kitty-cat asking for attention. The person I'm going to be working for in Berkeley is actually a single mom, and I really can't wait to learn more about her story, because she's managing that AND managing to be a stellar scientist.
( 12 remarks — Remark )

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