People have told me that I March to the beat of my own Drum. That I took the Road less traveled. Some have told me I am special, weird or just different.
People have misunderstood me for most of my life. It’s ok. It’s taught me something. The silver lining.
It has taught me to be less judgmental. I am constantly checking myself when someone upsets me or is cruel or weird. I have to remember that they might be going thru something as well and maybe I need to forgive or be more understanding. It’s hard to do that all the time but I am trying. I make a real effort.
In The Beautiful Robert Frost poem, he thinks taking the road less traveled has made all the difference.
“two roads diverged in the wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
But then Jerry Seinfeld said ” Sometimes the road less Traveled is less traveled for a reason.
I think about that sometimes and realize I didn’t take any road, I just followed THE MUSIC. It is really what motivated me while growing up. My Stevie Wonder Records would be sprawled out all over my room as a kid. I listened and sang along with Stevie day in and day out. As I got older I latched on to the Robert Cray Band. Those are the two artists that I literally feel like I grew up with. The most influential to me I think. Don’t get me wrong , I listened to many singers over time and love so many that I couldn’t possibly mention but those two artists feel like home for me. Like an old blanket o your favorite pair of Jeans.
There have been times in my life that I have avoided music all together because it brought on too much emotion. I just couldn’t handle the emotion and memories it brought forth. I don’t know if anyone can relate to that but there are periods in my life that I had to just stop listening. The music was always playing softly in the background. My love affair with music was always intact, sometimes I just had to take a break. So when looking back I realize I really didn’t have a chance to choose a path, the path chose me. I think about the loneliness of my path over the years but the love song was always there in the background. Sometimes playing very soft and sometimes taking front stage.
When My peers were getting engaged and having babies I was running around drinking, singing blues and trying to find ways to sing. Singing is what made me happy. It still makes me happy and it is why I have always wanted to sing. I always worked hard and had day job and I will talk about that more later. As I look back over my life as we tend to do I realize I never got to have a wedding, or a baby. I never had bridesmaids or a bachelorette Party or a baby shower. I never had the joy of holding my baby in my arms or hearing him/her cry or see him/her smile. People would ask me, when are you going to have a baby? How come you don’t have kids? What’s wrong with you?
There is no real simple answer but I really didn’t have strong maternal instincts until I was about forty. I call that nature’s cruel screw you joke on me. When I reached forty I wanted a child so bad it’s all I thought about.
How god damn unfair .WHY?!
Deep Down I knew why.
I was born with some form of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the brain damage and the bi-polar depression I was born with -both of which were undiagnosed for most of those years of course made me a late bloomer as they say. It kept me from having maternal instincts when it was natural for me to have them. I also think I was just too sad and heartsick most of the time to take care of another human being. After I was diagnosed and medicated an overwhelming deluge of maternal instinct washed over me like a tsunami. Unfortunately it was too late. Who said life was fair right?
It pissed me off. I mean I had thought about having a baby before when I was younger but I didn’t have that yearning to have a baby that other girls my age had. Also back in my mind; almost in my sub-conscience I always wondered if I would I be enough or WOULD THE WORLD BE ENOUGH ? Did I have enough to offer and would the baby be better off than I was. I mean I always knew or thought we are supposed to give them more than what we had and I didn’t know if I could do that. I could barely take care of myself.
Ok, so 40 comes and goes and all I want is a child but due to age and my circumstances It wasn’t really possible to have a child anymore. That was really hard to deal with. I had asked my boyfriend that maybe we could adopt but he had no intention of having any more kids and I understood that, he already had raised two. He did act interested for a short while but as it turns out there was nothing substantial behind his words. So another disappointment to over come.
Then I realized I was being selfish. Maybe there was a reason that was more important than my own personal needs. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to have a child. Maybe there is a higher reason. Mental illness ran in my biological family and that was always the obvious reason not to procreate but maybe there is another reason that is beyond my own thoughts and rational.
Maybe there was a silver lining in all of this. Maybe If I look up to the sky I will finally be able to see it. Silver linings are important when you deal with bi-polar depression, sometimes its all you have. Just like the movie.
Either way I had to get over the feeling of loss and go about the business of living. Like most folks that grow older, feelings of loss were becoming a bigger part of my LOVE SONG, the dissonance and noise in the my love song if you will.
So with that being said has the path less taken been worth it? Has the love song been happy or sad? Everyone says there is nothing like the joy of having a child. There is a whole social world that goes on when having children. Meeting people at the park or playground. School activities and meeting other parents and children.
Am I a childless mother or a socially conscious person who decided to not have a child because she was very practical. Maybe I was just too selfish. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like It’s all three. I have freedom that a lot of my peers don’t have. I have a lot of personal and of creative time. It’s been lonely and lacking but sometimes it has been vibrant and beautiful.
So for all those who ask me why no kids? This is my honest story, there is not just one simple answer. It’s complcated. Sometimes I feel nothing but regret.
Did I take the path less taken? Not really because I don’t think I had a choice. I just followed the music, followed the beat of the drum.
I think I just followed MY OWN LOVE SONG and I sang it the best way I knew how.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
By Robert Frost