Hipster (noun): A person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream
I really enjoyed my late 20’s, slipping into my 30’s. I used to be someone quite unrecognisable from this recurrent baby loss version of me.
Rewind to 2015: I used to run along the Thames twice a week, with a colleague, at lunchtime. We shared (admittedly sparse!) recipes for the 5:2 diet we were doing together and we bought each other cute bottles to ensure we were drinking our 2 litres of water a day. To balance it out, we went around London trying to source the “best” margherita (even though I don’t really like pizza, so that really was a challenge) and sampling all the newly-trending burger joints and pretty-overpriced cake shops. Once, I brought us back some cupcakes from a business trip to Washington DC. She repaid the favour on her return from NYC.
Yep, I totally realise how this all sounds and the point is, we did at the time too: complete hipster-w@nkers. That’s what we used to call ourselves. Every time we did or tried something that legitimised an eye roll, we’d add the hashtag #HW. We joked that we’d get canvas bags with #HW printed on them.
Instant messages frequently read:
I’m thinking about becoming pescatarian… but only salmon, oh and beef! #HW 😉
Champagne on the rooftop tonight? We owe it to our #HW selves!
We knew we were being pretentious, but we kinda loved that too. I guess it was our way of trying to win at life, whilst simultaneously realising how ridiculous we were getting, poking fun at ourselves, whilst still being adequately smug. We knew there was nothing hipster about what we were doing, hence the suffix; we were essentially just being w@nkers.
And therein lies the problem.
That was what life was like. But I was in my 20’s / early 30’s, carefree and kid-free, that was fairly acceptable. I wasn’t even thinking about children, just enjoying my childfree years.
But what now? Now that my childless years are turning out to be much longer than I’d expected. How do I fill them now?
At first, I spent them better preparing myself for having children (saving, learning to drive, progressing at work, extending our home) but now? Now I feel I’m just a complete hipster w@nker again. Filling my time, yet not respecting how I’m doing that. Fancy restaurants, weekend getaways, pilates and expensive home accessories – this cannot be what it’s all about. It’s all starting to feel a bit hollow again.
I went on a yoga retreat last year, to try to digitally detox and recentre myself after baby loss. It was all rather vegan and zen, but then again, it was filled with rich 20-somethings throwing around the word “trauma” as if they knew what it meant – no darling, not knowing where you and your boyfriend want to live, is NOT considered traumatic, it’s privileged. You and I are crying during the meditation sessions, for VERY different reasons.
Jokes and mean tit-for-tat aside, I have to admit that I’m rather privileged myself. And yet, it’s all just a gap-fill, and I’m not even fooling myself anymore. I seriously don’t know what life is supposed to be or feel like anymore. It’s such a dull, unimaginative cliché, but all I now want, is to get pregnant.
I knew this was going to be a waffly blog, because it’s something I’ve been struggling to articulate for a while. So I’m not surprised about the length or shallowness of this. Bear with me, I’m on the cusp of something. Hopefully something with a bit more depth.
What am I supposed to be doing, if I’m not doing, what I was supposed to be doing?
Enjoying life? Just living it as if we’ll never have children? Treating ourselves to the next big thing, the latest must-do or must-see or must-stay? I am losing respect for myself here, just a total hipster w@nker. Though as always, there’s nothing hipster about it. This doesn’t feel like a “fun, fill your boots while you can!” gap-fill, this feels like forever. A lifetime of being someone I have no interest in being or becoming. I don’t know what the rest of my life looks like without children, I have zero appetite for it. The world is my oyster, you say? Stuff it. Stuff it with garlic butter and eat it yourself – oysters as an aphrodisiac are so not working!
I was supposed to have a child (or three) and my life doesn’t feel anywhere near complete without them.
Do not get me wrong. I am sure there are lots of people, couples, childless families out there, totally winning at life. Doing what makes them happy. But I don’t know where my childless contentedness lies. Yes I can do nice THINGS and buy nice STUFF, but I don’t think that’s the secret to my happiness. That’s not how I want to spend the rest of my life. I don’t want to be hipster or alternative, I want to be mainstream. To be the best version of me, as a mum. Not a privileged prat.
It has been a while since I’ve so thoroughly struggled with a blog, but there we are. A wholly insufficient conclusion and no workable solution. All I can hope, is that the rest of my life, isn’t just THIS. Because all this is doing, is feeding the worst and wasting the best parts of me.
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